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

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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?
“This is incredible…”

Ark stood in the middle of the clearing, half-incredulous. This wasn’t a trivial nuisance – crop devastation of this magnitude, especially for a couple who relied on it to make a living, could be catastrophic in the long run. Despite his initial weariness, Ark couldn’t help but feel bad for the couple. If they didn’t have any battle-ready Pokemon of their own, it was unlikely they’d be able to stand up to whatever did this. He wasn’t sure even he could.

“These weren’t broken or pulled. They were sliced clean off…” What could have caused this? He was savvy enough to think of a few Pokemon equipped to do this kind of damage, but none of the possible suspects felt like something he wanted to have to face.

But I already committed, dammit… Oh well, we can do this!

Chimchar was getting pumped, anxious to meet the culprit – whatever it was, it had to be pretty strong to do something like this. But Ark had different plans.

“We stand out too much like this. Other than this clearing we’re surrounded by tall berry crops, who knows what’s hiding there… Sorry bud, you and Turtwig are gonna have to retreat for now.”

Chimchar’s expression went from shock to sadness to a definitely jealous glare aimed at Munchlax - who, as a wild Pokemon, got to stay outside. Turtwig, meanwhile, yawned in approval; a nap in his Ball didn’t sound so bad. In the blink of an eye, the two vanished inside their PokeBalls, leaving behind only Ark and Munchlax.

“So… what am I gonna do with you? You brought us into this mess so it’s only fair you help us get out of it.” Despite his clueless look, Ark could tell Munchlax wasn’t actually that oblivious – in fact, something told him the bear was smarter than he was letting on. Gluttony and laziness didn’t necessarily mean stupidity, after all.

He handed Munchlax the severed stalk, then pointed at the surrounding crops.

“Only way we’re getting out of this is if we find the Pokemon responsible. Only way I’m ever getting you anything to eat again, too. So better start cooperating – try to find out who we’re looking for with your Odor Sleuth, will you?”

The Munchlax tilted his head, but clearly, there was no point in pretending he didn’t get it. If Ark wouldn’t feed him anymore, that’d be nothing short of catastrophic. Beaten, the bear complied, and began trying to catch any lingering scents in the critical piece of evidence…
 
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TheKnightsFury: You opt to remain in hiding, letting your Pokemon to fend for themselves. Whether or not this backfires is about to be seen…

Totodile mostly ignores Bulbasaur’s predicament, trusting Bulbasaur can handle herself, and instead decides to obliterate the half-frozen Mightyena infront of him. It’s an open goal at this point, so he decides to make it overkill – releasing the restraints that had been binding him for a while now, he allows his body to transform and grow into a powerful Croconaw! The large water lizard grins and proceeds to destroy his helpless predator-turned-prey, smacking him across the head with a Brick Break so strong it instantly causes the wild dog to pass out from impact, with no need for any follow-up attack! *Croconaw gains 2 Levels!*

Bulbasaur, meanwhile, tries her best to keep her composure in the face of a massive hyena running straight at her with flames coming out of its mouth. She struggles to focus, attempting to use the new move she only just learned to blind the oncoming threat, but the enemy is moving way too fast and is already way too close! Her bulb begins to light up, but she instinctively closes her eyes once the flaming fangs are about to make contact… but then, nothing happens. No impact, no pain. She reopens her eyes one at a time, to find Mightyena sprawled on the ground mere inches away from her. It tripped! Talk about uncommonly bad luck… not that your partner is about to complain, as she extends her two vines high in the air and entwines her to make a single, large makeshift rope… then brings it crashing down at point blank, hitting the hound so hard it drives the enemy into the ground, cracks forming around the crater it causes! *Bulbasaur gains 2 Levels!*

“Holy crap dude!” shouts Cameron, no longer able to contain himself. “Your Pokemon are amazing! I… I guess I should’ve kept my mouth shut. But this is great! With you tagging along I’ll get that Sawsbuck photo for sure!”

Confidence renewed, the photographer leaps from behind the foliage and throws Croconaw and Bulbasaur a grinning thumbs-up. Then, he points ahead, urging you all to continue the search.

“No time to lose, these mutts delayed us way to much already! Come on, to glory!”

Commendable as his optimism may be (if not slightly annoying), he seems perhaps a bit overeager to venture even deeper into the forest. Who knows what other, possibly greater dangers you’ll run into? Is this wild goose chase worth it?...

Oblivious to your apprehension, Cameron marches onward, only to suddenly be hit atop the head by a falling Watmel Berry! Who knew those huge things grew up in trees? Talk about bad luck…

“Jeez! What the hell man? I coulda died!”

Amidst the commotion, you suddenly notice Bulbasaur make her way over to the fallen Pokemon the Mightyena were surrounding before you stepped in. The creature is weak, unable to regain its footing. On closer, more prolonged inspection, you realize it’s a black cat with red stripes…

What will you do?

They'd done it! They'd done it without his help, but a feeling a dread was tearing at Xander's stomach. That trip up, the Watmel Berry, the black cat...... It a forest known for incredible swings of good and bad luck, these signs were clear as day. This mission was cursed. Sure, at the moment his Pokemon and himself were looking pretty lucky, but Xander couldn't see that lasting long around Cameron. The amateur photographer wouldn't be too keen on him abandoning the mission, Xander knew him well enough already that nothing would stop him from foolishly chasing his rumour. No, if he wanted to get out of this, he'd have to convince Cameron that he was a liability. Xander collapsed to the ground, grasping at his leg. "I think something bit me!" He shouted, causing his Pokemon to rush to his side. "Don't worry, just play along", he whispered to his Pokemon. "Something in the bushes, I think it might have been poisonous! My head is spinning, does it feel cold out here to you? Cameron, don't you see? I've cursed us, my bad luck is cursing us. That Watmel Berry was probably my fault as well, I could have killed you! And do you see that over there?" Xander pointed at the Litten, "A black cat! Another omen of bad luck. You need to go on and find the Sawsbuck, my Pokemon will get me and that Litten to a Pokemon Centre, without all our bad luck bringing you down, I bet you will find it with ease!" Xander continued to breath rapidly, working himself up so Cameron would believe something was actually wrong with him.

If his plan worked, he would secure the injured Litten before releasing his Charizard and get it to fly him straight to the City of Pentacles. They'd surely have no trouble finding a Pokemon Centre there, by the looks of it the Litten was in need of serious medical attention, something he couldn't offer himself. He just hoped that Cameron would fall for the rouse, but if worse came to worse, he doubted the photographer would be able to stop him from leaving.

Croconaw reached lvl 39!
Bulbasaur reached lvl 23!
 
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Meetan- Sera lends you her ear as you fill her in on as much as your backstory as you're able to remember. You weren't about to share all of it either, but she'd opened up to you so it was only fair to offer some openness in return. As you finish you final sentence, you see Sera is looking a little unwell. Her face is a bit pale and she seems unsteady. Suddenly she tosses the reins at you, thankfully you reach quickly and grab them, as Sera turns over the side of the cart. Her chest heaves as she vomits over the side, the sound is both distressing and disgusting. Sera soon rights herself, grabs a bottle of Fresh Water and drinks heavily from it. "Sorry about that Alice, I've been feeling off for the last week, really nauseous. I'm sure it'll pass soon." She gives you a smile, before starting up the conversation once more. "So you travel a lot as well? I suppose that means there is no man in your life? You know we're coming up on the Lover's Grove, have you heard of it? They say the two big oak trees that are twisted around each other are a Princess and her lover, who was a commoner. Forbidden love is often the most romantic, don't you think?"

You can see the two giant oak trees towering above the grove in the distance. Was it really possible for people to turn into trees? It was probably just a rumour or children's story that spread far enough to become legend. Although Sera was insisting that she was fine, she still looked a bit pale, perhaps she should be more concerned about her illness?


Sandaa- You had to get past the Clawitzer, but the pair of powerful crustaceans seemed intent on barring your progress. You call on two of your Pokemon to help you in the endeavour and while they weren't the most experienced or intimidating, you knew they'd give you their all. Pickle and Triton share a short stare with the unwavering Clawitzer, even as Triton calls upon a school of Wishiwashi to assist him, the guards remaining undeterred. You knew Clawitzer well, you knew most Water types well. Clawitzer were mostly dependant on their cannon like claws for battle, their Mega Launcher ability making them capable of firing off some incredibly powerful attacks. Hence neutralising their abilities was a wise course of action. Triton stirs the water around the pair, momentarily trapping them in the powerful currents of a whirlpool. Pickle uses the opportunity to disperse her Gastro Acid, which quickly spreads with the aid of the Whirlpool. Although they likely don't realise it, the Clawitzer have lost the boost they'd expect to have from their ability.

It doesn't stop the pair from attacking though. Releasing a burst of water from their claws, the Clawitzer surge forward, breaking out of the Whirlpool. They take aim and fire in unison, one firing a Dragon Pulse while the other fires a Dark Pulse. Triton and Pickle are forced to endure the attacks, but the Pyukumuku quickly throws up a Light Screen afterwards, hoping to lessen the blow next time. Triton prepares for more damage by setting up an Aqua Ring, the healing water would certainly be beneficial should the battle be drawn out. The Clawitzer still seem determined to force you away. Moving rapidly they spread out with a Double Team, creating a crowd of Clawitzer for you to deal with. Your Pokemon had taken more damage but had set themselves up well, now you just had to find a way to break through.....


Maskerade- You quickly realise why the couple are so worried, the amount of produce they had lost already was ridiculous. If it was to continue unchecked, they'd probably end up losing their entire crop. No crop meant no money, no money meant no farm. You recall your Pokemon, wary of having them out when you're uncertain what exactly you are dealing with. Munchlax could help with this situation, he'd gotten you into it anyway. After giving the bear a bit of a verbal spray, it reluctantly begins to sniff the severed stalk. He was used to sniffing out food, not Pokemon. He figured if he smelled something that wasn't food, it was probably what they were after. There was one really strong scent, he could smell it everywhere. It wasn't the Cornn Berries, it was something else.

You follow Munchlax as he walks around the destroyed crop. If he started leading you around it circles, he'd likely regret it. Although the Normal type eventually picks up on a trail and heads into the crop that is still intact. You're careful not to damage any of the berries as you make your way through the crop, although you have to remind the little bear multiple times to be careful. It isn't long before you can hear something nearby, a constant, almost rhythmic clashing sound. As you push your way through the Cornn Berries, you step into another clearing in the crop, although these berries are freshly cut. The Pokemon responsible are still present as well, a pair of Scyther are duelling each other in the middle of the clearing, while another stands on the far side, observing the conflict. You haven't been spotted yet, you'd found the culprit, but could you solve the situation?
 
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Meetan- Sera lends you her ear as you fill her in on as much as your backstory as you're able to remember. You weren't about to share all of it either, but she'd opened up to you so it was only fair to offer some openness in return. As you finish you final sentence, you see Sera is looking a little unwell. Her face is a bit pale and she seems unsteady. Suddenly she tosses the reins at you, thankfully you reach quickly and grab them, as Sera turns over the side of the cart. Her chest heaves as she vomits over the side, the sound is both distressing and disgusting. Sera soon rights herself, grabs a bottle of Fresh Water and drinks heavily from it. "Sorry about that Alice, I've been feeling off for the last week, really nauseous. I'm sure it'll pass soon." She gives you a smile, before starting up the conversation once more. "So you travel a lot as well? I suppose that means there is no man in your life? You know we're coming up on the Lover's Grove, have you heard of it? They say the two big oak trees that are twisted around each other are a Princess and her lover, who was a commoner. Forbidden love is often the most romantic, don't you think?"

You can see the two giant oak trees towering above the grove in the distance. Was it really possible for people to turn into trees? It was probably just a rumour or children's story that spread far enough to become legend. Although Sera was insisting that she was fine, she still looked a bit pale, perhaps she should be more concerned about her illness?
Alice had wanted to gauge Sera's reaction, and at first, she couldn't help but feel internal panic. The performer didn't look good - had something she said triggered a bad reaction in the other, or just disgusted her? "Oh, god-- yikes." She took the reins of the cart haphazardly, leaning the other way as Sera's insides were upheaved and splattered along the road. They'd just gotten to the Forest of Wands, the bare paths and plains gradually filling with grand trees and a thin veil of magic, and they were already desecrating it. What a record, surely there should have been an achievement for that? "No, no worries, it's fine."

Before she could carry on to speak more concerns, Sera had brought Alice's attention to the oak trees ahead. She'd heard that story about the Arcane Realm before, but she'd completely forgotten about it until then, the tale pushed to the back of her mind. The view made her feel nostalgic for a home in another world, vaguely remembering the car ride through winding country roads, with two tiny trees atop a distant hill, beyond rolling fields of farmland. She never had any idea what kinds of trees they were, or even exactly where they were, and they weren't impressive, but... Sometimes, even the most random things burned their way into one's memory. It certainly felt that way for Alice, at least. "Oh, yeah. Definitely. When I was in school, I always used to fancy my teachers." Alice recalled with a short laugh, admiring the scenery as they drifted through. "And I always liked the bad guys in TV shows and stuff. You'd think taking on plenty in real life would start putting a damper on that by now, but... Nope. But as long as it's just make-believe, it's all good, right?"

People could definitely turn into trees. In the Pokemon world, anything could happen. If people could be turned to crystal, or revived via tears of despair, be affected by curses and cross through worlds... Well, being turned into trees was really quite a small thing next to the other remarkable happenings. "Are you sure you're alright, though? It sounds like you've been sick for a bit, and I doubt you're getting any rest to deal with it, either." It was obvious the words came from a place of sympathy and understanding. Alice had been there enough. "I know with work you probably have to power through it, but you can tell me at least. And if there's anything I can do, like just keep an eye on your Pokemon so you can nap, then just let me know. Yeah? Don't force yourself or anything."
 
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Raves: You'd had enough of this farce, tired of the spoiled Honedge's bitter attitude and dishonourable actions. It wasn't like he had room to talk, after all, given the methods Menefer had employed to try and achieve his ends. The ghost sneered at your tirade, although the only way you could tell was by the narrowing of his single eye and the audible sound he made. “Idiot man. You think I haven't considered such things after all this time? Only a fool would set out on a quest of this magnitude without keeping such things in mind! Not all of us are as short sighted as aimless wanderers like you! It's why you'd be better off giving your vessel to me – it's not as if you're destined to achieve anything in your short life!”

Glasspine makes to use Thief. It was an odd choice, besides its type effectiveness – there were arguably better strikes that could be used right now, when all were guaranteed to make their marks. You soon realise that he and Nuhuko must have been plotting together during your little speech, corralling the undead sword towards that infernal box. You open your mouth to speak as you watch the Lunatone gear up and charge at Menefer with Giga Impact. For one, it would simply phase through the Honedge, and it did, and two--

“No!” At first you thought that it was Glasspine using an attack, but then you realised that it was Menefer's livid roar that was making the ground shake. You almost lost your footing again given the weakness of your body, and Glasspine stumbled a bit, your group feeling his shock and fury deep in your souls. It made you feel sick, even, as if the horror striking through your opponent at the moment was embedding itself within you. Nuhuko had managed to smash the orb, shards of black and amythest glass scattering into the windswept sands. The energy inside of it seemed to be swirling everywhere, growing from a small sphere that had been contained and into a growing mass. Your jaw dropped, but before you could try to think of anything to do, it exploded. Menefer roared again, closest to the blast, and Glasspine used this as his opportunity to use Earthquake. It's not like things could get much worse, you thought, as you once again hit the ground. You've already died once, what's one more painful end?

When the latest wave of sand and grim energy faded, you'd find the quiet eerie and deafening. It seemed like while you and your Pokemon had taken some pain from the orb's kickback, Glasspine's move had succeeded: Menefer had not only been forced into the box, but said box had dropped quite a distance through the sand. It was unnerving that you didn't have full confirmation of his fall, of course, but you figure that if he had survived or was in any state to come after you, he'd still be throwing his tantrum. Right? Glasspine and Nuhuko had grown three levels each for their seeming success, and now that you have a moment, you can see the bounty of other items left in the sand: a Razor Claw, an Ice Stone, about $500 worth of coins and a a Shiny Stone. Not a bad haul, sure, but nowhere near enough to make up for what you just faced.

And certainly not enough to take your mind off the ill feeling that hangs in the air. It might be best to leave quickly, if you can, because something tells you that the Realm might not be done with you yet...
As Alex somehow expected, Menefer's response to the countermeasure was little more than a sneer of sorts, and then opted to rub salt into the man's proverbial wounds by notifying him of how blind he was to the grander scale of things, and the futility of wandering around without an aim to climb for, before making a comment on his lack of achievement in life. He opened his mouth to retort, yet nothing came out. In spite of the Honedge's cutting remarks, the asshole had made something of a point. However, before Menefer could make good on that statement and run him through as he stood there blanked out, the resourcefulness of his pokemon shone through once again.

Nuhuko bided his time, as Glasspine swung at the sword pokemon, pushing him back away from Alex, and then utilised every bit of energy he had in him to provide a distraction, rocketing towards and through Menefer's form as he phased clean through him, and as the pharaoh realised what was happening, it was far too late: the heavy Meteorite pokemon going at full strength into an orb of what was almost certainly far softer and more brittle than he was. The pokemon's terrible roar ripping through Alex, the orb immediately shattered on contact and the energy within swelled and grew, before violently exploding. Taking that opportunity, Glasspine struck Menefer from behind to shove him forward and into the blast before jumping up and stamping into the sand, a sudden earthquake triggering. Alex once more fell to the ground, quite fed up with the whole ordeal and began to sink into the sand, a ironically familiar situation to when he first visited the realm, but thankfully Nothung was on hand, much bigger and hauled him out before he was devoured by the desert again.

Menefer was certainly not as lucky. The plan it appeared was simple, as the silence was unnerving. As he comprehended what happened, he saw that sarcophagus missing, and realised the situation: the ground pokemon must have chucked him into his own tomb and used the earthquake to flip the lid and bury the pharaoh, rather fittingly. Without that dark orb of energy he would weaken in strength and influence, and the cramped conditions in that box would mean there would be no easy escape for him. A dead ruler, back in their coffin, as all things should be. Even if he did realise that, he'd be in too much of a berserk tizz to consider escape, and even if that were the case and his two cronies got him out, Alex would be long gone, and he'd be right back to square one, only with no eldritch artifact to enhance his might.

Speaking of artifacts, there was the issue of the things they had hauled out of the box. A sharpened claw, some rock that was cold to the touch yet latent with potential, several pouches of old coinage that should sell for a pretty penny, and another stone, this one lustrous and shining, and certainly something that he could find useful. He gave himself a stretch, and gave a sigh. This whole shindig had left him battered, bruised, slightly deader than he was (for all the value that had to him these days) and a bit better off, and amidst the silence, he gazed at his pokemon. Nothung, who he had ventured into this land with all those years ago, still having the same skill even as time ticked on. Nuhuko, an aura of smugness around the pumpkin pokemon at proving himself over his counterpart. Glasspine, who evolved and became instrumental in averting a grim fate for Alex.

"We...should beat it. I...I need some time to think stuff through..." he murmured, recalling the rock and ground pokemon leaving him and his starter by his side. The Infernape gave a nod, and the pair began to walk back to civilisation, to take a small break from the realm. The two came for adventure, found it, and yet the human found himself...unfulfilled. That last remark had hit him through his thick skin, even as skilfully as the first remark Menefer made to him, and Alex somehow had that lingering thought behind him. 'What if he had actually smooched me?'


---

OOC: Picking up the above items and cash, with many thanks for the fun Alice. I'll certainly be back sooner rather than later once I decide where I want to go next.
 
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The Land of Cups



XX. Meadow of Judgement - Named for being one of the places where heretics and traitors were tried, the meadow has now grown out from that purpose and is a large place of life for small critters and flowers. The beautiful flowers provide food and shelter for a variety of Pokemon living there, and the feeling of magic is strong here. Mages can often be found here practicing their craft due to the large, powerful leyline within the Meadow. It is also said by the religious sect of the Arcane Realm is that this is where Judgement Day will commence, and all of the flowers here symbolize a soul that will be saved.
"They say they used to hang traitors to the kingdom and heretics to the church at this meadow, the guide book said back in the day..."

"Wim?"

"..."

For what seemed like a grim sounding location, the Meadow of Judgment was advised to Rory by the Arcane Realm Tourism and Socialisation of Youths Pantheon, otherwise known as the Artsy Pants to most people, as an ideal place to go to learn about the many mysteries of one's self. At the very least, it was a beautiful place regardless, with countless flowers, teeming with life everywhere, and even in the air he could feel some sort of funny tingling sensation, whether that was the magic that apparently inhabited the area, or just the excessive pollen count that would lay anyone with hay fever six feet under. At his feet, Xigua scuttled around, taking the odd nibble of a flower after careful scrutiny and enjoying the variety, while hovering just above waist height was one of his oddball pokemon, and not because it wasn't a bug pokemon.

No, ever since he arrived, Statis had emerged from her ball suddenly, and was not taking a "please, return to your ball" for an answer. The Elgyem's natural role to Rory was to support him in the event of him being utterly overwhelmed in terror and fear, but there was no definitive danger to him in this peaceful a location, and he ultimately figured that maybe the Elgyem just wanted to actually have some fresh air. He did feel a bit selfish keeping the psychic pokemon cooped up in her ball often, even though she appeared to hold no grudge of sorts towards him for the treatment, and he reckoned she could maybe learn something from the apparent magic in the meadow. He didn't have much of a plan coming here other than to do touristy things, but he at least was interested in what sort of pokemon resided here.

Mentally, he was also curious of a theory he had. In a place of beauty once stained with the blood of hundreds, surely there could be some interesting history behind it, and that dark past could have some impact on today's beauty...in essence, the theory went that there was bound to be some remnant of the apparent evils committed here, and he was interested in seeing if that had any effect on the spot of ill fate and its surroundings. But most of all, he just wanted to do touristy things. Take some snapshots, get some souvenirs, maybe catch a new friend or two, that sort of thing.
 
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TheKnightsFury: A beffudled Cameron can only blink as you go on a sudden tirade about bad luck and omens and nearly killing him. Such a sudden change of heart had to be motivated by something, but before he can even argue back, you call upon a very dissuading-looking Charizard to carry you and Litten away; all the photographer can do is gulp and nod silently, he's not about to argue in the face of a dragon.

Before Charizard can retrieve Litten, however, a swirl of shadows envelops the cat, and it vanishes from sight. As if the Pokemon already belonged to someone… A mystery you might never uncover.

Dutifully following your instructions, Charizard picks you up (not too concerned with disappearing cats, clearly) and carries you away. The flight is mercifully short, thanks to the dragon’s powerful wings, and before long the City of Pentacles comes into view, an impressive sight from above.

The dragon lands gracefully, allowing you to dismount at the center of the city. Passersby throw you little more than a curious glance, as if people descending from the heavens riding fire-breathing monsters was something trivial around these parts. You look around, deciding where to go next, before some commotion up ahead catches your attention; it seems to come from the center of Hanged Man’s Plaza, where a group of merchants has gathered and seems to be loudly arguing with one another.

If you fancy seeing what that’s about, nothing stops you from approaching, but perhaps you have some other specific part of the City you’d prefer to visit instead…

 
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Zorchic- While his brother seemed reasonable enough, Chace seemed intent on being a dick. You continue to try and convince him that you are indeed an Aura Guardian, waving a picture of an Aura Guardian in his face and urging him to look at his Pokedex. "Ha, you wan't me to believe you're some sort of Superhero? You're delusional dude! Also I don't have a Pokedex, not every trainer has one you know." Chace then turns to his brother, his eyes alight with fury. "I refuse to work with this clown and the fact that you'd even consider working with him is a bloody joke. I don't need him and I don't need you, I'll do it by myself!" With that Chace rushes off, his Nuzleaf following him closely as he disappears into the trees. Well, that was one problem solved.

"Sorry about him", Heath sighs, "he is normally not that bad, I swear. Something about the King of the Lake brings the worst out of him, its weird. Nice Frillish by the way, hopefully it won't be under the Full Moon's influence now that you've caught it, guess you'll find out in a couple of hours. So if you're still interested in trying to get to the King of the Lake, I'd be more than happy to work with you. Maybe once Chace sees us working together he will come to his senses. We've never made it to the King of the Lake before, largely because the other Pokemon in the lake do their best to stop us from getting close. Fueled by the power of the Full Moon, the lake's Pokemon become extremely violent and are much stronger than usual. If you think you can handle that, we can get ready to head out, maybe this time I'll actually get to see the King.


Meetan- "Oh? You like bad boys?" Sera giggles, "I've never been into bad boys, I prefer the kind and romantic types." Sera seems to drift off for a second, but eventually she snaps back to reality. "You know, I could probably use a bit of a rest when we stop for practice, perhaps you could look after my Pokemon and given them a bit of a work out while I sleep? Bambi will need to be released from his harness, he's pretty independent, he'll wander off and find some water and food for himself. My Lopunny, Lola will need a good brushing and a good run out, she's normally full of energy so if you could try and wear her out, that would be great! I also have a new Pokemon, I found her while we were doing a tour of the Galar region, have you heard of it? Anyways, she is really shy, if I'm being honest, I'm struggling to get through to her, she seems a little scared of me. Sera pulls out a Pokeball and releases the Pokemon into her lap.

The pink and blue Pokemon curls up tightly, it was indeed shy. "Apparently it is a Hatenna, a Psychic type Pokemon. I was told they don't generally like people, especially if they have strong emotions. The Pokemon uncurls a little, allowing you to get a better look at it. It has a large hat like protrusion a top its head. A mop of blue hair draped across its small pink body. "You're more experience with Pokemon than me, so maybe you'll have more luck with the little girl." Sera pulls on the reins, bringing Bambi to a stop as she notices the over carts slowing down. "It seems we're stopping here, so are you happy to look after my Pokemon for me?"
 
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TheKnightsFury: A beffudled Cameron can only blink as you go on a sudden tirade about bad luck and omens and nearly killing him. Such a sudden change of heart had to be motivated by something, but before he can even argue back, you call upon a very dissuading-looking Charizard to carry you and Litten away; all the photographer can do is gulp and nod silently, he's not about to argue in the face of a dragon.

Before Charizard can retrieve Litten, however, a swirl of shadows envelops the cat, and it vanishes from sight. As if the Pokemon already belonged to someone… A mystery you might never uncover.

Dutifully following your instructions, Charizard picks you up (not too concerned with disappearing cats, clearly) and carries you away. The flight is mercifully short, thanks to the dragon’s powerful wings, and before long the City of Pentacles comes into view, an impressive sight from above.


The dragon lands gracefully, allowing you to dismount at the center of the city. Passersby throw you little more than a curious glance, as if people descending from the heavens riding fire-breathing monsters was something trivial around these parts. You look around, deciding where to go next, before some commotion up ahead catches your attention; it seems to come from the center of Hanged Man’s Plaza, where a group of merchants has gathered and seems to be loudly arguing with one another.

If you fancy seeing what that’s about, nothing stops you from approaching, but perhaps you have some other specific part of the City you’d prefer to visit instead…

The City of Pentacles. He'd stopped in here briefly during his travels through the Arcane Realm, but he hadn't spent much time looking around. Thankfully he did know there was a Pokemon Center nearby. While his Pokemon hadn't taken a tonne of damage, they would still benefit from a quick heal. Rushing through the sliding doors, Xander quickly handed his Pokeballs over to one of the nurses. After accepting them back, Xander made his way over to the PC. He liked to rotate his team regularly, making sure all of his Pokemon got a chance to adventure with him. He sent a couple of Pokemon back to his grandfather's while adding a couple of his newer Pokemon to his team. Collecting the Pokeballs, Xander released a pair of Pokemon.

"Tox tox city city", Toxtricity grinned as he strummed his chest organs, he was excited to be back in the field. While the Electric/Poison type strummed his chest, the other Pokemon Xander had released begun to strike the ground in rhythm with the Toxtricity. Grookey beat his stick on the floor, he looked up to Toxtricity, the pair had bonded while they were on Xander's grandfather's ranch. Toxtricity lent down, allowing Grookey to climb up onto his shoulder.

"Well it seems like you two get along quite well", Xander grinned, "How about we go have a look around the city? There was a bit of a commotion going on in the plaza, how about we go check that out?" Both Pokemon nodded, they were more than happy to go have a look around.
 
Fizzy Bubbles ZA
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Sandaa- You had to get past the Clawitzer, but the pair of powerful crustaceans seemed intent on barring your progress. You call on two of your Pokemon to help you in the endeavour and while they weren't the most experienced or intimidating, you knew they'd give you their all. Pickle and Triton share a short stare with the unwavering Clawitzer, even as Triton calls upon a school of Wishiwashi to assist him, the guards remaining undeterred. You knew Clawitzer well, you knew most Water types well. Clawitzer were mostly dependant on their cannon like claws for battle, their Mega Launcher ability making them capable of firing off some incredibly powerful attacks. Hence neutralising their abilities was a wise course of action. Triton stirs the water around the pair, momentarily trapping them in the powerful currents of a whirlpool. Pickle uses the opportunity to disperse her Gastro Acid, which quickly spreads with the aid of the Whirlpool. Although they likely don't realise it, the Clawitzer have lost the boost they'd expect to have from their ability.

It doesn't stop the pair from attacking though. Releasing a burst of water from their claws, the Clawitzer surge forward, breaking out of the Whirlpool. They take aim and fire in unison, one firing a Dragon Pulse while the other fires a Dark Pulse. Triton and Pickle are forced to endure the attacks, but the Pyukumuku quickly throws up a Light Screen afterwards, hoping to lessen the blow next time. Triton prepares for more damage by setting up an Aqua Ring, the healing water would certainly be beneficial should the battle be drawn out. The Clawitzer still seem determined to force you away. Moving rapidly they spread out with a Double Team, creating a crowd of Clawitzer for you to deal with. Your Pokemon had taken more damage but had set themselves up well, now you just had to find a way to break through.....
Gary smiled as his initial strategy was pulled off to perfection by Pickle and Triton. Sure, they had taken more damage than they had dealt, but with Triton’s set up Pickle was able to significantly hamper the sheer power of the Clawitzers’ ranged attacks to a more manageable level. However, even though their opponents were now on a more even playing field, the pair of cannoned crustaceans were not to be underestimated. Determined to not allow Gary or his Pokemon passage, the pair of Clawitzers formed a wall of Double Team afterimages.

“Alright, Triton,” Gary called out as he addressed the schooling shiny Wishiwashi, “Let’s start this round off by lowering their guard with a Tearful Look! Once they aren’t suspecting any aggression, disperse into the water and sneak up on their real form with a Feint Attack!” Gary then turned to Pickle, who was patiently awaiting her orders. “Pickle, I want you to Taunt your opponents into attacking you, but before they get a chance I want you to begin Biding your time!”

Knowing that both of his Pokemon weren’t the most offensively adept in combat, Gary would have to employ the traits that made them unique in this battle. Triton’s unique skill set was his diminutive nature and the opportunity exploit the gap between his petit stature and the strength in the numbers of his comrades. Pickle on the other hand possessed almost zero offensive capabilities, but employed an uncanny ability to soak up an absurd amount of punishment and reflect it back onto her opponents. He would have to play this battle out methodically, but hopefully not too much time would be wasted before anything bad happened to the injured Popplio.
 
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TheKnightsFury:
A change of team feels in order; Bulbasaur and Croconaw did that part admirably in the forest, but a new adventure calls for new adventurers – this time around the duo of musically inclined Pokemon, Toxtricity and Grookey.

The City of Pentacles has much to explore, a vastly different location from your previous one and, in theory, much more civilized. However, judging by the loud argument still going on in the Plaza, that might not be the case; the Mightyena from before made less noise than these merchants.

Not one to shy away from a potential problem – very much thriving off of them, like any Trainer worth their salt – you approach the group of five middle-aged men looking to understand what’s going on. For a while, they remain oblivious to your presence, continuing to argue amongst themselves with colorful language that cannot be replicated in the present narration.

“For the last time, it can’t have been anyone else!”
“You were the only one to touch the ledger yesterday!”
“Well you were the one who traced the damn route, they were following your instructions!”
“Really now? So where is it then? A caravan of that size doesn’t just vanish you idiot, how would I hide it?!”

It isn’t until Toxtricity hits a couple of high, metallic notes that the group seems to notice you’re there. The reception, however, is far from warm.

“The hell do you want?” growls one of the men, tall, burly and visibly irritated. “Listenin’ in is rude, so I suggest you scram, this ain’t none of your business.”

“Unless you want to help,” interjects one of the other participants nonchalantly, a leaner man with shoulder-length silver hair and a distinct air of superiority. “How good are you at finding missing things?”

“Gonna drag a stranger into this just like that? We don’t deal in toys, Wolfgang, it’s damn precious merchandise!”

“Which we seem to have lost, as you’ll recall,” retorts the silver-haired man in a sharp, dry tone. “It’s not like you’ll turn any more of a profit if you don’t enlist him. It takes a modicum of skill to raise a Toxtricity, and none of us five is a proper Trainer, we’re merchants. What do you say friend? Care to get your hands dirty for uncertain pay?”

He flicks his hair and smiles at you, clearly eager to see if his coin toss pays off. For someone who seems to deal in priceless goods, he’s clearly fond of gambling. Then again, he and the others might just be that desperate…
 
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Maskerade- You quickly realise why the couple are so worried, the amount of produce they had lost already was ridiculous. If it was to continue unchecked, they'd probably end up losing their entire crop. No crop meant no money, no money meant no farm. You recall your Pokemon, wary of having them out when you're uncertain what exactly you are dealing with. Munchlax could help with this situation, he'd gotten you into it anyway. After giving the bear a bit of a verbal spray, it reluctantly begins to sniff the severed stalk. He was used to sniffing out food, not Pokemon. He figured if he smelled something that wasn't food, it was probably what they were after. There was one really strong scent, he could smell it everywhere. It wasn't the Cornn Berries, it was something else.

You follow Munchlax as he walks around the destroyed crop. If he started leading you around it circles, he'd likely regret it. Although the Normal type eventually picks up on a trail and heads into the crop that is still intact. You're careful not to damage any of the berries as you make your way through the crop, although you have to remind the little bear multiple times to be careful. It isn't long before you can hear something nearby, a constant, almost rhythmic clashing sound. As you push your way through the Cornn Berries, you step into another clearing in the crop, although these berries are freshly cut. The Pokemon responsible are still present as well, a pair of Scyther are duelling each other in the middle of the clearing, while another stands on the far side, observing the conflict. You haven't been spotted yet, you'd found the culprit, but could you solve the situation?

((God damn it TKF, tossing previous Memakyu stuff my way to test my resolve :p))

They’re amazing…

Ark had suspected it might be the case: Scyther. The coolest Bug Pokemon on Earth, but at the same time, they could behead him, so his excitement was readily tempered. Three of them no less… They were the ones responsible for the destruction of Mace’s crops.

“Well done Munchlax,” he muttered under his breath while remaining concealed behind the Cornn Berry stalks. “Let’s watch them for a while.”

Two of the insects seemed to be engaged in combat, either territorial dispute or a training session. The fact that a third one was simply watching indicated the latter, or he was acting as a judge of some sort. Ark might be young, but he had good instincts – something told him the crop destruction was more an unintended consequence than the end goal for these warriors. As if their combat was all that mattered, regardless of the environmental destruction it caused. Were they even aware they were ruining a human’s livelihood? Did they even care?

Munchlax stared at Ark, genuinely curious as to what he’d do next. Three Scyther seemed like overwhelming odds, even if he called Chimchar and Turtwig back out. He sure as hell didn’t plan on getting involed in any fighting anyway. But Ark, it seemed, had other thoughts.

“Here, hold on to this,” he whispered, handing the bear a Smoke Ball from his Bag. “I’ll try to reason with them, they… they might not be hostile. If they look like they’re gonna gut me, I need you to toss this thing as hard as you can to the ground and we’ll make a run for it. It’s… it’s a lot of trust I’m placing on you here, you get that right? I would prefer to walk out of this alive…”

He couldn’t think of any other option that didn’t involve outright engaging the creatures in combat. If there was only one of them, sure, he’d take it on, Chimchar would relish the opportunity. But three, with his current team, would be suicide. Not that this alternative felt any less like it.

I’ll go out there and try to ask them to stop, take their fight elsewhere. If they don’t listen we’ll run back to the old couple, tell ‘em who’s responsible and let the Police handle it.
 
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Sandaa- While you'd done well to weaken the Clawitzers advantages over you, the pair had left you with a new problem. Spread out with a Double Team, it would be much harder to get a hit on them and your options were already limited. The technique wasn't enough to unsettle you though and a plan quickly comes to mind. You instruct Triton to lead off with a Tearful Look, a move that would be more suited to an unschooled Wishiwashi, rather that the intimidating mass of fish that Triton currently was. Nonetheless, the technique causes the Clawitzer to hesitate slightly, lowering their will to attack. Pickle goes an entirely different direction. The Pyukumuku pushes out her stomach, flipping the pair of crustaceans the bird! The taunting action aggravates the pair and they ready their cannons, taking aim at the little sea pickle.....

Triton disappears, the swarm of Wishiwashi break up and spread out. You knew exactly what was happening, it was your plan after all, but the Clawitzer wouldn't see the attack coming. Pickle clenches, setting up an aura around herself as she prepares to Bide through the incoming attacks. A pair of Aura Spheres burst from the Clawitzers' cannons, streaming through the water towards their target. Pickle braces for the attack, it wasn't easy but she endured it, the aura around her growing significantly as it absorbed the power of the attacks. While the Clawitzer were busy attacking, Triton has gotten into position. Reforming, the Shiny Schooled Wishiwashi attacks from the shadows with a Feint Attack! He saw through the clones and drove himself into the two real Clawitzer. The clones disperse as he hits his mark, dealing a nice hit to the guards in the process. Unfortunately their revenge is swift as they pepper the school of fish with Sludge Bombs! The poison spreads through the school, leaving Triton poisoned!


Maskerade- Three Scyther were too big of a challenge for your developing team. The duel bugs were impressive and you find yourself mesmerised for a moment. Once you manage to break your concentration away from the impressive dance of blades, you start to think up a strategy. You couldn't go charging into a fight, you'd lose that. You needed to try and explain to the Scyther that they were damaging the crops, surely they wouldn't be doing it on purpose? They probably didn't realise that they were doing something wrong, but that didn't mean they'd see reason and continue their duelling elsewhere. You hand Munchlax a Smoke Ball, if worse came to worse and the Scyther decided to attack you, he was to throw the ball to give you a chance to get away. Munchlax nods and grins when you give him the instruction, it doesn't exactly fill you with confidence. With the bear's track record, he was probably more likely to eat the Smoke Ball than throw it......

You step into the clearing, pausing to see if it gets a reaction from the Scyther. The Scyther don't even seem to notice you're there. You move closer, moving slowly, trying not to provoke a hasty reaction. When you get close enough, you begin to talk. Speaking confidently, you try to explain to the Scyther that they are destroying the crops and that they needed to move elsewhere. They don't react. The pair of duel Scyther whizz past you, but neither even looks at you. Even the third Scyther refuses to take its eyes of the fight, which was clearly far more important than anything you have to say. There was no getting through to them.

Having failed to even get a reaction out of the Scyther, you make your way back through the crop towards the homestead. Mace spots you as you emerge from the field. "That was quick youngen, did you get them varmints already?"
 
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TheKnightsFury:
A change of team feels in order; Bulbasaur and Croconaw did that part admirably in the forest, but a new adventure calls for new adventurers – this time around the duo of musically inclined Pokemon, Toxtricity and Grookey.

The City of Pentacles has much to explore, a vastly different location from your previous one and, in theory, much more civilized. However, judging by the loud argument still going on in the Plaza, that might not be the case; the Mightyena from before made less noise than these merchants.

Not one to shy away from a potential problem – very much thriving off of them, like any Trainer worth their salt – you approach the group of five middle-aged men looking to understand what’s going on. For a while, they remain oblivious to your presence, continuing to argue amongst themselves with colorful language that cannot be replicated in the present narration.

“For the last time, it can’t have been anyone else!”
“You were the only one to touch the ledger yesterday!”
“Well you were the one who traced the damn route, they were following your instructions!”
“Really now? So where is it then? A caravan of that size doesn’t just vanish you idiot, how would I hide it?!”

It isn’t until Toxtricity hits a couple of high, metallic notes that the group seems to notice you’re there. The reception, however, is far from warm.

“The hell do you want?” growls one of the men, tall, burly and visibly irritated. “Listenin’ in is rude, so I suggest you scram, this ain’t none of your business.”

“Unless you want to help,” interjects one of the other participants nonchalantly, a leaner man with shoulder-length silver hair and a distinct air of superiority. “How good are you at finding missing things?”

“Gonna drag a stranger into this just like that? We don’t deal in toys, Wolfgang, it’s damn precious merchandise!”

“Which we seem to have lost, as you’ll recall,” retorts the silver-haired man in a sharp, dry tone. “It’s not like you’ll turn any more of a profit if you don’t enlist him. It takes a modicum of skill to raise a Toxtricity, and none of us five is a proper Trainer, we’re merchants. What do you say friend? Care to get your hands dirty for uncertain pay?”

He flicks his hair and smiles at you, clearly eager to see if his coin toss pays off. For someone who seems to deal in priceless goods, he’s clearly fond of gambling. Then again, he and the others might just be that desperate…

Xander and his Pokemon listened in on the squabble. From what he could tell, the argument was about who was at fault for a missing caravan? Despite being a group of men, the merchants were fighting like a group of teenage girls! It wasn't long before Xander's presence was noticed, with one of the merchants aggressively calling him out. Toxtricity was having none of it and immediately stepped it front of his trainer, glaring at the merchant. One of the other merchants was quick to drag Xander into the whole dilemma, suggesting that the group hire him to locate their misplaced goods.

"Wouldn't be the first time I've been asked to help find something", Xander replied. It was true, sometimes it felt like most of what he did was help someone find something. "That said, if I have to search the whole Arcane Realm for a missing caravan, I doubt I'll have much luck. You're likely on a clock, if someone stole it they'll want to get rid of it quick, the longer they hold onto it, the more likely it is that they get caught. I'll take on the job but I'm going to need information. I'll need a map with the route the caravan was taking, who was in charge of charting the route, who knew of the route and what the caravan was transporting." Toxtricity backed off a little, stepping back to stand by Xander's side. He crosses his arms to appear more intimidating, Grookey mimics the action, although it looks more cute than intimidating on him.......
 
An illusion that didn't work out
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Zorchic- While his brother seemed reasonable enough, Chace seemed intent on being a dick. You continue to try and convince him that you are indeed an Aura Guardian, waving a picture of an Aura Guardian in his face and urging him to look at his Pokedex. "Ha, you wan't me to believe you're some sort of Superhero? You're delusional dude! Also I don't have a Pokedex, not every trainer has one you know." Chace then turns to his brother, his eyes alight with fury. "I refuse to work with this clown and the fact that you'd even consider working with him is a bloody joke. I don't need him and I don't need you, I'll do it by myself!" With that Chace rushes off, his Nuzleaf following him closely as he disappears into the trees. Well, that was one problem solved.

"Sorry about him", Heath sighs, "he is normally not that bad, I swear. Something about the King of the Lake brings the worst out of him, its weird. Nice Frillish by the way, hopefully it won't be under the Full Moon's influence now that you've caught it, guess you'll find out in a couple of hours. So if you're still interested in trying to get to the King of the Lake, I'd be more than happy to work with you. Maybe once Chace sees us working together he will come to his senses. We've never made it to the King of the Lake before, largely because the other Pokemon in the lake do their best to stop us from getting close. Fueled by the power of the Full Moon, the lake's Pokemon become extremely violent and are much stronger than usual. If you think you can handle that, we can get ready to head out, maybe this time I'll actually get to see the King."
It was no use. Chace adamantly refused to work with Jake, taking off into the forest with his Nuzleaf behind him. Whatever, that kid was a total annoyance.

Jake listened to what Heath had to say, recalling Starly while the trainer talked. After Heath was done, something clicked in Jake's mind—not quite, though.

King of the Lake...worst out of him...Full Moon... something about Chace was nagging at Jake. But he couldn't figure out what.

After thinking for a moment, Jake stated, "Alright, then. Some of the locals explained to me just how vicious the lake Pokémon could be. Pretty fearsome, it seems. But the Pokémon seemed to band up...is it possible that they won't hurt other Pokémon that live in the Lake of the Moon? We'll give it a try, and maybe Frillish's presence can protect us. Provided Frillish doesn't go the betrayal route..." He eyed his Floating Pokémon with a skeptical look. Frillish returned the look with a nonchalant shrug.

Jake's Lucario shrugged, too, and added telepathically, Let's just get on with it. Do we have to dive underwater?

In case Heath couldn't hear telepathy, Jake repeated what Lucario said. "It's not that Lucario can't swim. He's just curious," Jake supplied. "Anyway, my Pokémon and I are ready to go! Aren't you, Buizel?" He nudged the Sea Weasel Pokémon.

"Bui, Buizel," Buizel confirmed, clenching one of his fists and giving a determined smile. Oh, yes. You know I am.

Jake nodded. "Good. In that case, are you ready, Heath?" he asked. "My Pokémon and I certainly are."
 
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TheKnightsFury:
You aren’t opposed to the offer itself, but you require more details before you carry out the task. A caravan doesn’t sound like something one would easily misplace, foul play sounding much more likely, but more information is in order if you are to know where to even start.

A smile and a nod later, the silver haired man referred to as Wolfgang explains – while the remaining four merchants glare at you with obvious apprehension, clearly opposed to recruiting a random stranger.

“It’s relatively easy, friend. The five of us are a guild, and each of us is tasked with different functions within our commercial activity. Case in point, I handled the route tracing for this particular delivery, all the way from the source to our stall.” you can see where this is going; something went wrong in Wolfgang’s planning. “The source is, as usual, the Desert of Stars in the Land of Cups. It’s a long way from the City of Pentacles, but this is the first time a delivery went… astray.”

“Convenient as hell for you though,” mumbles the largest merchant under his breath, but still loud enough to be audible.

“Oh? And why would that be, Emmett?” Wolfgang’s tone, composed so far, betrays his irritation this time.

“Don’t play saint. Everyone knows your wife sustained your life of luxury; ever since she dumped your ass for another man, you’ve had to live off of this business and that doesn’t cut it for your fancy tastes.” The disdain in Emmett’s voice is palpable. “The cargo on that shipment would make anyone filthy rich; even by your standards.”

Wolfgang’s expression hardens, and you see him clench his fist until the knuckles turn white. But just as you think he’s about to take a swing at Emmett, the silver-haired man exhales and continues talking directly to you.

“Last I heard of the caravan’s whereabouts, it was already in the outskirts of the city. It was planned to arrive today. So if it was hijacked, it cannot have gone far.” He bows rigidly and turns around, walking away towards the Pokemon Center you have just come out of. “If you’ll excuse me.”

The remaining four merchants immediately turn their backs on you as well and continue bickering amongst themselves, ignoring you completely.

If you feel you have enough information to go on, you can begin your search; if you’d like to know more, Wolfgang is probably the only one who can give you more details, if he’s even willing to talk after all that.

So what will you do?
 
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Maskerade- Three Scyther were too big of a challenge for your developing team. The duel bugs were impressive and you find yourself mesmerised for a moment. Once you manage to break your concentration away from the impressive dance of blades, you start to think up a strategy. You couldn't go charging into a fight, you'd lose that. You needed to try and explain to the Scyther that they were damaging the crops, surely they wouldn't be doing it on purpose? They probably didn't realise that they were doing something wrong, but that didn't mean they'd see reason and continue their duelling elsewhere. You hand Munchlax a Smoke Ball, if worse came to worse and the Scyther decided to attack you, he was to throw the ball to give you a chance to get away. Munchlax nods and grins when you give him the instruction, it doesn't exactly fill you with confidence. With the bear's track record, he was probably more likely to eat the Smoke Ball than throw it......

You step into the clearing, pausing to see if it gets a reaction from the Scyther. The Scyther don't even seem to notice you're there. You move closer, moving slowly, trying not to provoke a hasty reaction. When you get close enough, you begin to talk. Speaking confidently, you try to explain to the Scyther that they are destroying the crops and that they needed to move elsewhere. They don't react. The pair of duel Scyther whizz past you, but neither even looks at you. Even the third Scyther refuses to take its eyes of the fight, which was clearly far more important than anything you have to say. There was no getting through to them.

Having failed to even get a reaction out of the Scyther, you make your way back through the crop towards the homestead. Mace spots you as you emerge from the field. "That was quick youngen, did you get them varmints already?"
[/color]
He wasn’t sure whether to consider this a defeat or a sort of victory, considering he was still alive and with all his limbs attached. Perhaps a victory as a human being, but a definite failure as a Trainer. Either way, there was Mace to confront him with the outcome.

“I… Well, I found the culprits,” said Ark stuttering somewhat, struggling to find words that wouldn’t paint him as a complete failure. “Scyther. Three of them, engaged in battle. I tried to reason with them but it was as if I was invisible.”

I tried to reason with them? What kind of idiot says that?!

“I mean, I… tried to get them to leave. But they didn’t even acknowledge my presence at all, like they were in some sort of battle trance… Look, for what it’s worth, I don’t think they meant to destroy your crops. If we could find a way to snap them out of it…”

The more he talked, the more he realized he wasn’t sure Mace could be trusted with all this info. Not because he was a bad man, but because a farmer’s instinct with any plague is to eradicate it, and Ark was pretty sure he didn’t want to harm those Scyther. There was always the option of interrupting their fight by force, maybe give them a more enticing target than one another, but wouldn’t that only make the property damage even worse?...

“Has anything like this happened before? Any idea what could be happening to them?”
 
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TheKnightsFury:
You aren’t opposed to the offer itself, but you require more details before you carry out the task. A caravan doesn’t sound like something one would easily misplace, foul play sounding much more likely, but more information is in order if you are to know where to even start.

A smile and a nod later, the silver haired man referred to as Wolfgang explains – while the remaining four merchants glare at you with obvious apprehension, clearly opposed to recruiting a random stranger.

“It’s relatively easy, friend. The five of us are a guild, and each of us is tasked with different functions within our commercial activity. Case in point, I handled the route tracing for this particular delivery, all the way from the source to our stall.” you can see where this is going; something went wrong in Wolfgang’s planning. “The source is, as usual, the Desert of Stars in the Land of Cups. It’s a long way from the City of Pentacles, but this is the first time a delivery went… astray.”

“Convenient as hell for you though,” mumbles the largest merchant under his breath, but still loud enough to be audible.

“Oh? And why would that be, Emmett?” Wolfgang’s tone, composed so far, betrays his irritation this time.

“Don’t play saint. Everyone knows your wife sustained your life of luxury; ever since she dumped your ass for another man, you’ve had to live off of this business and that doesn’t cut it for your fancy tastes.” The disdain in Emmett’s voice is palpable. “The cargo on that shipment would make anyone filthy rich; even by your standards.”

Wolfgang’s expression hardens, and you see him clench his fist until the knuckles turn white. But just as you think he’s about to take a swing at Emmett, the silver-haired man exhales and continues talking directly to you.

“Last I heard of the caravan’s whereabouts, it was already in the outskirts of the city. It was planned to arrive today. So if it was hijacked, it cannot have gone far.” He bows rigidly and turns around, walking away towards the Pokemon Center you have just come out of. “If you’ll excuse me.”

The remaining four merchants immediately turn their backs on you as well and continue bickering amongst themselves, ignoring you completely.

If you feel you have enough information to go on, you can begin your search; if you’d like to know more, Wolfgang is probably the only one who can give you more details, if he’s even willing to talk after all that.

So what will you do?

It seemed the contents of the caravan were quite valuable, Xander was intrigued. What exactly had they been transporting from the Desert of Stars? The other merchants seemed to suspect Wolfgang, claiming that he desired the life of luxury he'd lost when his wife left him for someone else. Rough. The caravan was due in today and the last they'd heard it was in the outskirts of the city. Xander was somewhat familiar with the city and it certainly narrowed down the search location. Death's Yard was on the city's outskirts but he doubted that Wolfgang would plot a route through a massive graveyard. The other option was The Devil's Playground, the city's slums. It would make sense that if someone was going to steal a caravan full of valuables, they'd likely seek refuge in the slums. He needed more direction from Wolfgang, perhaps he would be more willing to share information away from the other merchants?

Toxtricity and Grookey followed closely as Xander rushed after the silver haired merchant. "Hey Wolfgang!" Xander shouted, hoping to get his attention before he reached the Pokemon Center. "I don't suppose you plotted that course through The Devil's Playground? Surely you've got some more information for me, something you wouldn't want the others to hear?" He needed more information. If he had to search through the entire playground, he'd be more likely to get stabbed before he could find the caravan. "They seem like a bunch of dicks, maybe we could come to some sort of agreement that could help you get back to where you want to be?" Xander hoped that proposition would catch the merchant's attention, a side deal could see them both profit handsomely after all.
 
Just plain old me.
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King Ghidorah

The Spirtomb looked around, growing increasingly frustrated as it watched Cofagrigus multiply. A scowl (or at least, an imitation of one) grew upon the ghostly haze's face. A distaste that seemed to spread through it's entire being as it shook with anger and enlarged it's swirling mass once again. Being struck with an Energy Ball by one of the many Cofagrigus clones only seemed to make it grow angrier, it met Cofagrigus's angry howl with one of it's own. It's eyes narrowed as it moved forward aggressively, slapping Cofagrigus with a Foul Play. It seemed to get lucky among the clones, nailing yours without much difficulty. However, as the clones gradually began to close the gap, the Spiritomb seemed to grow ever more frustrated.

An angry howl escaped it's furled mouth, inflating more in size until it finally...

Pop!

The noise was odd, certainly, almost like a balloon hitting a sharp object and forcibly deflating. You turned your head and watched the creature's mass slowly dissipate, leaving a Memento of it's former self in the form of a small rock like object, which the deflated mass slowly funneled into. Cofagrigus shuddered feeling the memento pass through it's body, turning to you and releasing your mouth from it's prison.

Cofagrigus gained 2 levels!

You glanced at the small rock on the ground, knowing that you needed to catch up to the Mime as soon as possible... but you wondered if you would be able to catch the strange ghostly being in this state...


What do you do?


Lit

Kadabra's ears drooped seeing you juggle, it was clumsy, but certainly better than his attempts. The magician seemed frustrated, knowing you had made a fool out of not only his Pokemon, but you had also basically mocked how he had taught his Pokemon! He scowled, pointing towards the Kadabra with anger in his eyes.

"Continue practicing while I handle this..." He grunted, looking down, "...Ruffian." The word rolled off his tongue with disdain as he glanced at the small rock bunny you had sent out. His Braixen hardly had a chance to react before it found itself being smacked down by a rather hard rock, causing it to shack it's head vigorously.

"Braaa..." It groaned, holding it's head in it's paws. You noticed that the once sparse crowd had gradually begun to grow, many people gathering around to watch your fight. There were small murmurs to be heard from each of them, friends seemingly talking about the battle.

"Woah, you don't think the Marvelous Melvin will lose this... do you?" Asked one man, his eyes aflame with wonder as he watched the battle unfold. The magician grew flustered, his face turned up in a flushed snarl as he pointed at your Carbink.

"Braxien! Show off your Psychic Terrain, and then hit that little beast with a Psychic attack!" The Braixen did as commanded, lazy eyes fixated on you as it pointed it's stick at the ground and caused strange pink mist to swirl around Carrot and itself. While Carrot was fixated on the mist, it pointed the stick at it, blasting Psychic towards the small Carbink.

It seems as though both Pokemon are on equal footing at the moment...
what do you do?
 
Fizzytopian Idol
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Meetan- "Oh? You like bad boys?" Sera giggles, "I've never been into bad boys, I prefer the kind and romantic types." Sera seems to drift off for a second, but eventually she snaps back to reality. "You know, I could probably use a bit of a rest when we stop for practice, perhaps you could look after my Pokemon and given them a bit of a work out while I sleep? Bambi will need to be released from his harness, he's pretty independent, he'll wander off and find some water and food for himself. My Lopunny, Lola will need a good brushing and a good run out, she's normally full of energy so if you could try and wear her out, that would be great! I also have a new Pokemon, I found her while we were doing a tour of the Galar region, have you heard of it? Anyways, she is really shy, if I'm being honest, I'm struggling to get through to her, she seems a little scared of me. Sera pulls out a Pokeball and releases the Pokemon into her lap.

The pink and blue Pokemon curls up tightly, it was indeed shy. "Apparently it is a Hatenna, a Psychic type Pokemon. I was told they don't generally like people, especially if they have strong emotions. The Pokemon uncurls a little, allowing you to get a better look at it. It has a large hat like protrusion a top its head. A mop of blue hair draped across its small pink body. "You're more experience with Pokemon than me, so maybe you'll have more luck with the little girl." Sera pulls on the reins, bringing Bambi to a stop as she notices the over carts slowing down. "It seems we're stopping here, so are you happy to look after my Pokemon for me?"
"Well, in reality, kind and romantic is usually better. But if bad boys are contained to fiction, or someone has a bit of edge it's usually fine, I think." Alice added. In all honesty, she'd not had a real relationship in years. It was better for her career for starters, stopping the crazies from labelling her some sort of disloyal cheater for having 'someone other than them' in her life. More than that, though, it was just a case of time and energy. People were so annoying, and she was so used to being by herself (or only with her Pokemon) that she just didn't really have interest. Pokemon were better anyway. Who needed a boyfriend or a girlfriend when a Machoke could give you a piggy back or you had countless of fluffy critters to snuggle to sleep? Utterly unnecessary.

Alice listened as Sera talked about her Pokemon, so far looking positive. Bambi should have someone escort him just incase, but that so far seemed manageable, and Bambi she could definitely take care of. The only outlier was Hatenna. She had no experience and little knowledge of them, but she was very cute, and being psychic afforded some advantages. "I mean, as far as emotional intensity goes, I'm either all that or very subdued. So we'll have to see. But I'm used to communicating with my Abra, Axel, and he's really chill. So if I can't handle her alone, I'm sure he'll help. And my Pokemon'll be great with wearing out Lola! I'll be the one to brush her, though. That sounds so fun!" Sure enough, they were at their destination, and Alice beamed brightly. Smiling and waving at the Hatenna, Alice moved to dismount the cart, carefully moving towards the Sawsbuck to greet him once more. "I can do it! Leave it all to me!" Now just to figure out the harness...
 
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