The Arcane Realm: Land of Freedom and Magicks

Poison-type Trainer
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Missingno. Master - Promptly calling out the man for his new, strange appearance and the dark fog that had just transported you back to the entrance to the Cave, yourself and Meowth make your displeasure towards his cryptic ways known and known well. But the man doesn't even bother to grace you with turning his face back towards you, instead opting to stare directly towards the cave entrance. That is, until you get directly into his face, attempting to get a better look under his hood, where you are met with a piercing gaze of bright red eyes, his smile widening as he seems to look straight through you.

"Why, have you not yet realized what has become of you? What more is to come for you to leave?" The man slowly raises one arm, a bony finger cloaked in a dark purple glove pointing towards the cave. "You cannot leave this cave aside from your own merit, and as such part of yourself has been lost here."

The further dodging of your question is made only more obvious as he simply places his hand on your opposite shoulder to Meowth, a cold chill running through the area he touches before he simply begins to walk past and into the cave. "Perhaps you'll find it once you help this boy, or perhaps the boy requires that you find it to save him." Removing his hand from your shoulder he presses on, "It is quite the conundrum. But then, why ever were you sent to find me if you could do this all on your own?"
This man, this mystery of a man, was clearly capable of a great deal many things. Keith had seen enough to know this to be true. That said, he'd also seen enough to sincerely doubt that straightforward answers were not among that which he was capable of, for he refused to give a simple, straight answer, instead stating that leaving the cave was impossible except by one's own merit, and therefore, part of Keith was lost there. Keith and Meowth exchanged bewildered looks at this, before the man touched Keith's shoulder. Keith shuddered- his hand was frigid to the touch. The man continued towards the cave, speculating that Keith might find this lost part of him once he helped Yohan. Or maybe it was that Yohan required Keith to find this part of himself in order to save him. Keith's head was spinning at this point, but it was the man's final words that got the gears turning. "Why was- sent to find- you mean-"

"Dis guy's da mage?!" Meowth exclaimed.

"I mean, he's clearly got powers of some sort, so in hindsight, kinda makes sense," Keith shrugged. "But if I could do this all on my... why... sent to find..." Keith's eyes gradually widened, his mouth falling open as it dawned on him. "...oh, that piece of shit,," Keith hissed.

"Wat?" Meowth asked.

"Dusknoir!" Keith exclaimed. "Meowth, that was no accident that he let slip about the mage- he played us like fiddles! Sent us on this wild-Zangoose chase to waste our time and leave him free to drain Yohan- oh, geez, Yohan," he murmured, turning back to the cave. "We gotta get back in there, Meowth!" he exclaimed. "We've already wasted so much time! I just hope we're not too late," he groaned as he took off running after the mage.
 
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Liltwick – Disgusted by such a childish display coming from a grown man, you decide it’s time you acted the adult and teach this awful bloke a lesson. Calling out to Carrot to refine its senses once more, it grits down and grinds against the stone, rubbing the burnt charcoal and polishing to a shine again. Turning from coal back to diamond. Seeing Carbink easily counteract the stat drop, Melvin grates his own teeth and commands Braixen to attack again.

“Two can play at that game. Since you can’t seem to get your magic act together, use HOWL, and then show that stupid hunk of rock your IRON TAIL!”

Braixen does as directed by throwing its head back and letting loose a long wail, bolstering its own strength. Muscles fortified, it suddenly leaps at Carrot as its stick shines bright white with further reinforcement, wielding the weapon physically like a lead pipe rather than a wand. Displaying surprising strength and close combat ability for a caster class, steel slams into the stunned target with a super effective strike, sending the poor rabbit reeling across the field as if it were a baseball (causing the panicked crowd to hurriedly part its path rather than try to catch the foul fly).

Carrot squeaks as it collides harshly with the earth, digging a deep furrow into the soil in an attempt to slow its trajectory, finally stopped fully by bumping hard into buried bedrock. The battered bunny manages to right itself, albeit wobbling weakly as it barely lifts to the air. On the other hand, its opponent appears to be panting hard as well, having used up a great deal of energy in its Hail Mary assault. Carrot senses an opportunity as it uproots and raises the large boulder it contacted with, before sending it barreling back at Braixen, smacking straight in the belly and knocking it over once more. …When the dust settles at last, Braixen is left unconscious, with Carrot still hovering triumphantly mere inches above the ground.

Braixen is unable to battle! Carbink gains +3 Levels!

Melvin grumbles in frustration as he recalls the fainted fox back into its ball, casting a cavalier glance towards Kadabra, who cowers in response.

“Fine then, forget about you. I might be able to still get some use out of this one, but if you can’t master another skill that doesn’t involve your Psychic powers when they’re on the fritz, then I don’t need another freeloader.”

With a “harrumph” and whisk of his cape, he takes off down the street, leaving the eggs and abandoned Psi Pokémon behind. Confused and hurt, it watches as the surrounding congregation shrugs and starts to disperse as well, until only you remain. It looks to you with uncertainty, clearly not sure how to react to its newfound independence.

It seems Custard has yet to return from his scouting mission either… What will you do?
 
Märchen Meines Lebens
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Liltwick – Disgusted by such a childish display coming from a grown man, you decide it’s time you acted the adult and teach this awful bloke a lesson. Calling out to Carrot to refine its senses once more, it grits down and grinds against the stone, rubbing the burnt charcoal and polishing to a shine again. Turning from coal back to diamond. Seeing Carbink easily counteract the stat drop, Melvin grates his own teeth and commands Braixen to attack again.

“Two can play at that game. Since you can’t seem to get your magic act together, use HOWL, and then show that stupid hunk of rock your IRON TAIL!”

Braixen does as directed by throwing its head back and letting loose a long wail, bolstering its own strength. Muscles fortified, it suddenly leaps at Carrot as its stick shines bright white with further reinforcement, wielding the weapon physically like a lead pipe rather than a wand. Displaying surprising strength and close combat ability for a caster class, steel slams into the stunned target with a super effective strike, sending the poor rabbit reeling across the field as if it were a baseball (causing the panicked crowd to hurriedly part its path rather than try to catch the foul fly).

Carrot squeaks as it collides harshly with the earth, digging a deep furrow into the soil in an attempt to slow its trajectory, finally stopped fully by bumping hard into buried bedrock. The battered bunny manages to right itself, albeit wobbling weakly as it barely lifts to the air. On the other hand, its opponent appears to be panting hard as well, having used up a great deal of energy in its Hail Mary assault. Carrot senses an opportunity as it uproots and raises the large boulder it contacted with, before sending it barreling back at Braixen, smacking straight in the belly and knocking it over once more. …When the dust settles at last, Braixen is left unconscious, with Carrot still hovering triumphantly mere inches above the ground.

Braixen is unable to battle! Carbink gains +3 Levels!

Melvin grumbles in frustration as he recalls the fainted fox back into its ball, casting a cavalier glance towards Kadabra, who cowers in response.

“Fine then, forget about you. I might be able to still get some use out of this one, but if you can’t master another skill that doesn’t involve your Psychic powers when they’re on the fritz, then I don’t need another freeloader.”

With a “harrumph” and whisk of his cape, he takes off down the street, leaving the eggs and abandoned Psi Pokémon behind. Confused and hurt, it watches as the surrounding congregation shrugs and starts to disperse as well, until only you remain. It looks to you with uncertainty, clearly not sure how to react to its newfound independence.

It seems Custard has yet to return from his scouting mission either… What will you do?
While he was glad that he won, Leo was miffed at that piece of human garbage calling itself a magician. All he needed were the eggs, but that inadvertently caused the Kadabra to become homeless. It was all about talent and prowess, and if a Pokemon wasn't up to stuff than it was disposed of like trash. It was frustrating.

He noticed that Custard wasn't back yet, which was a bit surprising. Usually he'd be able to track down and get back to him within a moment's notice. Something was off here. Well, he knew that, but not seeing his Togetic return by now only further affirmed his suspicions.

The boy then went to pick up the eggs and carefully secured them at his side. He then looked at the Kadabra and extended his hand.

"Look, I'm sorry that you were treated the way you were. No trainer should treat their Pokemon that way. Everyone has their own talents and potential, and you shouldn't be forced into something that wouldn't benefit you," he told the Kadabra, hand still extended. "Come with me for a bit, I can at least find you a home."

"Besides, I might need your help in tracking down Custard. I have to get back to the shop..." he said with worry. He didn't want to lose Custard in this, but he couldn't risk his apprenticeship. Though, there were still doubts about Lucius, he needed to trust the rumors weren't true. That's when he got an idea in his head. He grabbed a Pokeball made out of pure, hardened chocolate and sent it out.

"Alright Pie, let's go!" he announced, and a giant Snorlax came out, interested in its very own Pokeball.

"I'll let you eat it once you find Custard. Take the Kadabra with you, and don't forget to use your Oder Sleuth. You know everyone's scents Pie, I can trust you with this," Leo ordered his Snorlax before heading back to the shop with Carrot in tow. He just hoped this would all work out.


(OOC: Claiming these levels, thank you Yuki!~)
 
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THE ARCANE REALM

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 are preservation efforts to make sure this jewel doesn’t lose its shine. (Please respond in Plum


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.
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Darik had been walking for awhile, but he finally found himself where he was wanting to get to, the famed Lake of the Moon. He'd been traveling another region during the sordid past of the Arcane Realm, and he'd heard terrible things about it, but it was apparently much better, if weirder, nowadays. He took in the sight of the lake in the mid-morning sun, and let out a nostalgic sigh. The water made him miss his teenage years abroad, even some of the worse bits. But right now was really no time for a trip down memory lane. He was here for more than just aquatic comfort.

He reached into his vest and pulled out a pair of PokeBalls. "Come on out, Timburr and Yamask!" he called out, tossing the balls. The two Pokemon emerged from their respective flashes of light. Yamask was pensive, but the Timburr could not mask his nervousness, subtly trying to hide his face behind his plank. Both Pokemon were quite young and inexperienced, neither having yet been dubbed with a name, and Darik was hoping this adventure would allow their inner lights to shine and reveal who they truly were inside.

"Now, you two, we're here to try to train you both in teamwork and battle skills. I believe in you two." He knelt by the duo, and rubbed the Ghost's mask and the Fighter's head lightly.

"Timmm," Timburr growled happily, lowering his piece of wood. "Yam!" Yamask chimed in.

Darik smiled at them. They'd do fine, he was sure of it. "Let's get down to business, now," he said, digging his Fishing Rod from his bag. "I'll try to reel something in, and I want you two to work together to take whatever it is down, all right?" They nodded in agreement.

He picked his place at the lakeside, took aim, and cast his line out.
 
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TheKnightsFury - Opting to cement your position in betraying Ralph by giving the captain a side of the story that paints you a bit more white in this shades of grey situation, you begin telling your tale as the other officers clear the area. The captain seems over all sympathetic to your plight, though he does raise an eyebrow at the mention of your life being threatened if you didn't complete the job for the man. He takes a moment to examine the Zigzagoon as you continue, the small thief managing to become free of paralysis only long enough to happily lick the captain on the cheek.

"Seems to be a bit on the friendly side to belong to such a notorious thug," the captain muses, "But it does match the description of a few known thefts that can be linked to Ralph." Eyeing over the work of the other officers, he addresses your concerns, "Of course we can get a medic for you and your Pokemon, though we'll have to take you a bit closer to town center to keep you safe given your testimony will be important in this case. Now, where is this base? We need a plan to hit this scourge where it hurts before he can react."

The captain's words are overshadowed pretty quickly by the echoing of your own, "All I ask is for my share in the bounty. All I ask is for my share in the bounty." A flapping of wings reveals a Chatot perched upon a rooftop, which promptly proceeds to take flight down the alley you had entered the area from, making its way towards the hideout.

"Scratch that! We're out of time, lead the way!" The captain snaps, rushing towards the alleyway.


ChrisClark13 - Promptly ignoring the Phanpy and giving chase to the brown fox, you notice that people seem to be avoiding you on your path. But how could this be? Your suit was so adorable people should be flocking around you with praise for the outfit. Of course! The hood was down, completely ruining the illusion of your Ninetales appearance! Setting Annahime down, a quick flip of your hood fixes the situation, allowing you to further chase down the Eevee.

Yipping and barking behind you Annahime seems a bit less than enthusiastic about running along, but luckily for her the chase doesn't take too much longer, the Eevee having taken shelter under a moving cart filled to the brim with an assortment of flowers being pushed along by an older man. Spotting you running after, the man stops, causing the Eevee to run out in front of the cart for a moment before realizing that its cover had been blown, choosing to instead jump up and into the flowers to hide and relax.

"Oh, is this little scamp yours?" The man notes, glancing over at your attire, as well as the now panting Annahime following you, who is more than happy to come to a stop, pawing at your leg as you've halted.

The small brown fox begins rolling about in the flowers, clearly enjoying all the colors, eliciting a small "Vee!" of excitement.

"Oh dear, can you please control your Pokemon?" The old man attempts to straighten out the flowers as the Eevee continues to roll about, fretting ever lost petal and broken stem. "These flowers need to last a few days along my trip, and I don't have time to stop to get more."


Missingno. Master - Stuttering about unsure of what this man was even going on about, you exchange looks with Meowth at his rather less than straightforward answers, before the sudden realization strikes that this very man is none other than the mage you were sent to find in order to defeat the Dusknoir and save young Yohan. Worse still, if the mage's words ring true, only your own actions can grant safe passage out of the Cave of Strength, and his help may not have been needed in the first place! That vile cur Dusknoir clearly sent you on this mission in order to further drain Yohan, securing time away from your intrusion and possibly finishing its terrible plan.

Running in after the mage, you find yourself greeted by the very same room with a varitable horde of Z-Crystals dotting the walls, with no clear way forward from here. What's more, there doesn't seem to be any voice prompting you through the room as before, and even the mage seems to be stumped as he wanders about for a moment examining the room.

Your eyes are however, drawn to a few small divots in the wall ahead, small diamond shaped dents where Z-Crystals were once housed now empty. Stranger still, the six empty slots form a perfect circle in the wall, each one pointing to the next slot in the formation.

"An odd place your Cave has taken the shape of," the mage chuckles at your predicament, before offering out his hand. "I've found these Z-Crystals scattered about the room, I'm guessing at least some of these fit into the holes you've found."

Dumping his findings into your hands, you see that he has located a Psychium Z, a Grassium Z, a Darkinium Z, a Ghostium Z, a Rockium Z, a Buginium Z, and Poisonium Z. But which six of these are meant to fit in the slots? And in what pattern?
 
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ChrisClark13 - Promptly ignoring the Phanpy and giving chase to the brown fox, you notice that people seem to be avoiding you on your path. But how could this be? Your suit was so adorable people should be flocking around you with praise for the outfit. Of course! The hood was down, completely ruining the illusion of your Ninetales appearance! Setting Annahime down, a quick flip of your hood fixes the situation, allowing you to further chase down the Eevee.

Yipping and barking behind you Annahime seems a bit less than enthusiastic about running along, but luckily for her the chase doesn't take too much longer, the Eevee having taken shelter under a moving cart filled to the brim with an assortment of flowers being pushed along by an older man. Spotting you running after, the man stops, causing the Eevee to run out in front of the cart for a moment before realizing that its cover had been blown, choosing to instead jump up and into the flowers to hide and relax.

"Oh, is this little scamp yours?" The man notes, glancing over at your attire, as well as the now panting Annahime following you, who is more than happy to come to a stop, pawing at your leg as you've halted.

The small brown fox begins rolling about in the flowers, clearly enjoying all the colors, eliciting a small "Vee!" of excitement.

"Oh dear, can you please control your Pokemon?" The old man attempts to straighten out the flowers as the Eevee continues to roll about, fretting ever lost petal and broken stem. "These flowers need to last a few days along my trip, and I don't have time to stop to get more."
"Um... it soon will be my Pokemon?" Curtis comments as he crouches down and approaches the Eevee rolling around in the flowers as non-threateningly as he can. He makes a few soft clicking sounds with his mouth to gently get the Eevee's attention. He then gently extends his right hand, palm down, so the Eevee can sniff it. "Hey, hey there little guy. Do you wanna be friends? Please be friends me with me..."

Meanwhile, due to how her dumb trainer is completely ignoring the cue to pick her up, Annahime is now pacing around his feet and making small hops onto his legs to get his attention. Eventually, she is forced to take matters into her own paws and so, just makes the leap up onto her dumb trainer's crouched-over back. She claws her way up his backpack and onto her preferred riding position, his left shoulder.

Curtis looks away to turn his head towards Annahime as she claws her way up. "Oh hey there," he says softly, "um... say hi to our new friend. Be nice please..."

Upon reaching her spot, Annahime pokes her head up past Curtis's shoulder- only to immediately start staring down the Eevee best she can. She starts rumbling with a high-pitched growl, not liking that this brown fox-thing is stealing away her trainer's attention.

Curtis starts stammering nervously, "Oh, um. P-play nice now... please... Oh oh um, um- Use Psychic to lift the Eevee out of the cart! Um, gently please though!" he suddenly gives out a order, causing the Vulpix to stare at him for a moment as the order processes through her brain.

Luckily, Curtis's relatives had gotten in a some amount of training before handing off Annahime or else she would've not followed orders at all. Though in her mind, it was a matter of 'well, if he wants me to do a trick- I suppose I can humor him'. Annahime sits up more on her trainer's shoulder, then her eyes glow a light red as she attempts to grip the Eevee in a psychic hold and tries lift it up slowly. She had better be getting a treat later for all this effort.
 
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ChrisClark13 - The old man's misunderstanding was rather, well, understandable, given your attire and apparent affection towards the Eevee now messing up his flower cart. Nevertheless you correct him, insisting that this small fox is only soon to be yours, rather than already in your possession. A small, stifled chuckle manages to escape the worried man's lips as Annahime climbs your back and on to your shoulder - at least your antics are helping to ease the mood!

Heeding your order to do one of her best tricks, the Vulpix's eyes glow red a moment before a similar glow surrounds the Eevee, lifting the troublemaker slowly from the cart and setting the fox on the ground, though not without a fair bit of protest as shouts of "Vee!" ring through the air, eliciting looks from other travelers.

"Thank you for helping with your friend," the man speaks out with a smile, reaching down and giving the Eevee a light scratch behind the ears, an action which prompts Annahime to pout a bit. But as the man picks up his cart to continue forward, the Eevee stares over at you and your Vulpix before deciding that shoulders must make for an excellent sitting spot. Sadly, it isn't your shoulder the fox is interested in, jumping on the cart once more only to launch itself onto the old man's shoulder.

"Oh! I'm terribly sorry little one!" The man shouts in surprise before placing the Eevee back on the ground, "I'm getting a bit too on in years to be making new friends at this stage of life."

This statement doesn't dissuade the fox, though, as one more "Vee!" of obstinacy shouts out before the creature jumps back to the man's shoulder. Sighing, the man accepts his position as Eevee's new perch, 'Terribly sorry young man, but it seems your new friend has taken a liking to me." Scratching the Eevee behind the ears for moment he ponders, "But perhaps you'd be willing to help me out and show this scamp just how friendly you are? I could use some help getting this cart to the City of Pentacles."
 
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ChrisClark13 - The old man's misunderstanding was rather, well, understandable, given your attire and apparent affection towards the Eevee now messing up his flower cart. Nevertheless you correct him, insisting that this small fox is only soon to be yours, rather than already in your possession. A small, stifled chuckle manages to escape the worried man's lips as Annahime climbs your back and on to your shoulder - at least your antics are helping to ease the mood!

Heeding your order to do one of her best tricks, the Vulpix's eyes glow red a moment before a similar glow surrounds the Eevee, lifting the troublemaker slowly from the cart and setting the fox on the ground, though not without a fair bit of protest as shouts of "Vee!" ring through the air, eliciting looks from other travelers.

"Thank you for helping with your friend," the man speaks out with a smile, reaching down and giving the Eevee a light scratch behind the ears, an action which prompts Annahime to pout a bit. But as the man picks up his cart to continue forward, the Eevee stares over at you and your Vulpix before deciding that shoulders must make for an excellent sitting spot. Sadly, it isn't your shoulder the fox is interested in, jumping on the cart once more only to launch itself onto the old man's shoulder.

"Oh! I'm terribly sorry little one!" The man shouts in surprise before placing the Eevee back on the ground, "I'm getting a bit too on in years to be making new friends at this stage of life."

This statement doesn't dissuade the fox, though, as one more "Vee!" of obstinacy shouts out before the creature jumps back to the man's shoulder. Sighing, the man accepts his position as Eevee's new perch, 'Terribly sorry young man, but it seems your new friend has taken a liking to me." Scratching the Eevee behind the ears for moment he ponders, "But perhaps you'd be willing to help me out and show this scamp just how friendly you are? I could use some help getting this cart to the City of Pentacles."
Curtis looks despondent for a moment upon seeing that the Eevee seemingly wants nothing to do with him, but he cheers back up again once he realizes that he hasn't lost his chance to get it to like him just yet! "Yeah! I'll do it!" he shouts over-enthusiastically as he pumps a fist into the air. "I'll prove I'm the best, friendliest person ever!" He pauses for a moment, realizing just how silly the words that came out of his mouth were.

Annahime whines in embarrassment and tries to hide her face behind her trainer's head.

"O-oh um," Curtis stammers as he gives out a nervous chuckle, "I overdid it didn't I?" though once again, the wind comes back into the sails of his determination. He points his whole arm at the old man, his finger held out defiantly, "But, my point still stands! I'll come along and help you out!"

Then to prove his determination he wrestles his Vulpix off of his back and sets her down? And now he's getting out a treat bag? He takes one out and holds it out of Annahime's reach, who immediately starts jumping up and trying to get at it. "Hey, hey! Sit, siiiitttt," Curtis chides as he sets a hand on the fox's head to make her sit back down, "I'll give you this on one condition, you have to be nice. Okay?"

Annahime internally grumbles, 'You have to be nice'? what kind of stupid command is that? She turns her head away in disagreement. But then, her trainer says, "I'll give you the whole bag later..." that gets her attention, though that's not quite good enough and so she turns her head away towards the other side of her body, "Vuuul-pix!" and turns her nose up at the offer.

Curtis sighs, an entire bag isn't good enough? They weren't kidding when they said that this Vulpix was stuck-up! "Um... I'll give you three now?" His Vulpix starts turning her head back towards him, but not all the way and gives a tilt of the head. Okay, um, she seems to be listening at least? "How about, five now and the rest later?"

Finally, an agreeable deal was reached. Annahime fully turned her head back towards her dumb trainer and gave a slow, solitary nod. She supposes can make nice with the Eevee for such a sizable bribe. Dutifully, her trainer pulls out from the bag the agreed-upon five treats and holds them out in his hand for her to eat.

The pact made with the lazy, greedy Vulpix- the cosplaying trainer picked up his fox and placed her back on his shoulder. "Alright! Lead the way!" he shouts as he makes to follow the old man and his flower cart.
 
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TheKnightsFury - Opting to cement your position in betraying Ralph by giving the captain a side of the story that paints you a bit more white in this shades of grey situation, you begin telling your tale as the other officers clear the area. The captain seems over all sympathetic to your plight, though he does raise an eyebrow at the mention of your life being threatened if you didn't complete the job for the man. He takes a moment to examine the Zigzagoon as you continue, the small thief managing to become free of paralysis only long enough to happily lick the captain on the cheek.

"Seems to be a bit on the friendly side to belong to such a notorious thug," the captain muses, "But it does match the description of a few known thefts that can be linked to Ralph." Eyeing over the work of the other officers, he addresses your concerns, "Of course we can get a medic for you and your Pokemon, though we'll have to take you a bit closer to town center to keep you safe given your testimony will be important in this case. Now, where is this base? We need a plan to hit this scourge where it hurts before he can react."

The captain's words are overshadowed pretty quickly by the echoing of your own, "All I ask is for my share in the bounty. All I ask is for my share in the bounty." A flapping of wings reveals a Chatot perched upon a rooftop, which promptly proceeds to take flight down the alley you had entered the area from, making its way towards the hideout.

"Scratch that! We're out of time, lead the way!" The captain snaps, rushing towards the alleyway.

Xander was relieved that the captain seemed to believe the slightly altered narrative that he'd crafted. There were a few moments where he feared the captain would call Tauros shit, but thankfully it seemed he'd done enough to throw Ralph in the deep end. The captain was about to send him off to the town center to get treated, when their conversation was rudely interrupted by a Chatot.

"All I ask is for my share of the bounty"

The Chatot cried, almost mockingly. "Fuck", Xander spat, realising in an instant that it seems he wasn't the only one that was distrustful. The bird obviously worked for Ralph, it was already flying back towards his hideout. They had to be quick! What was it that Ralph had said about his hideout again?

"This building is about as bare bones as bare bones comes, you see. With but one entrance in the front and an escape route in the back, it means that even if you're chased here there's minimal risk to myself."

Right! One way in, one way out! "Captain I know Ralph's hideout, you should send your officers around the back with my Pokemon. Rookidee, take Grookey and lead the officers around the back of the hideout. If you can locate the exit, try bust the lock with a Smart Strike, Grookey plant a Leech Seed to try and seal the exit." That was the back covered, but then they'd have to deal with the entrance and Wigglytuff. "Sir, Ralph has a kid with a Wigglytuff working for him, they'll try and incapacitate us as soon as we enter. I'll have Toxtricity strum up a Metal Sound, which should hopefully dampen the effects of the Wigglytuff's singing." Xander was doing his best to keep up with the captain, who he hoped would have no issues with his plan. There was no time for them to argue. Xander was the one who knew Ralph's operation, their best bet was to follow his plan.
 
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Missingno. Master - Stuttering about unsure of what this man was even going on about, you exchange looks with Meowth at his rather less than straightforward answers, before the sudden realization strikes that this very man is none other than the mage you were sent to find in order to defeat the Dusknoir and save young Yohan. Worse still, if the mage's words ring true, only your own actions can grant safe passage out of the Cave of Strength, and his help may not have been needed in the first place! That vile cur Dusknoir clearly sent you on this mission in order to further drain Yohan, securing time away from your intrusion and possibly finishing its terrible plan.

Running in after the mage, you find yourself greeted by the very same room with a varitable horde of Z-Crystals dotting the walls, with no clear way forward from here. What's more, there doesn't seem to be any voice prompting you through the room as before, and even the mage seems to be stumped as he wanders about for a moment examining the room.

Your eyes are however, drawn to a few small divots in the wall ahead, small diamond shaped dents where Z-Crystals were once housed now empty. Stranger still, the six empty slots form a perfect circle in the wall, each one pointing to the next slot in the formation.

"An odd place your Cave has taken the shape of," the mage chuckles at your predicament, before offering out his hand. "I've found these Z-Crystals scattered about the room, I'm guessing at least some of these fit into the holes you've found."

Dumping his findings into your hands, you see that he has located a Psychium Z, a Grassium Z, a Darkinium Z, a Ghostium Z, a Rockium Z, a Buginium Z, and Poisonium Z. But which six of these are meant to fit in the slots? And in what pattern?
With everything finally clicking, Keith wasn't wasting any more time. He and Meowth were right behind the mage as the they entered the cave, finding themselves in the same room from before, the one where the walls were studded with a Champion's ransom in Z-Crystals. Annoyingly, one thing about it that was different from before was the lack of a guiding voice- no doubt that voice before had been Dusknoir, and of course no way in hell he'd want Keith making it through now...

"Hm," Keith murmured, noticing something else askew about the room. "What have we here?" And as he approached a wall, he saw a few diamond-shaped divots- six, to be exact, in a perfect circle, each pointing to the next one in the formation. Exactly the right shape for Z-Crystals, he realized. And as this occurred to him, the mage held out his hand- conveniently, he'd found some Z-Crystals lying around, and supposed that some of them might fit into these holes. "Yeah," Keith murmured, scooping up the Z-Crystals.

"And if dey's gotta be in a certain orda," Meowth piped up, "I'm tinkin' it's got ta do wit type matchups."

"My thoughts exactly," agreed Keith. "Alright, so, six holes, seven Z-Crystals, question being, which one's out? Poisonium beats Grassium, Grassium beats Rockium, Rockium beats Buginium, Buginium beats Darkinium, Darkinium beats Ghostium, Ghostium beats Psychium, Psychium beats Poisonium... wait- Dark beats Ghost, Ghost beats Psychic-" he added, realizing. He and Meowth exchanged looks of sudden realization. "Dark also beats Psychic!" they exclaimed simultaneously. With this established, Keith hastened to fit the Z-Crystals into the slots, leaving out the Ghostium Z, in the order he'd just established- Poisonium, Grassium, Rockium, Buginium, Darkinium, Psychium, each one pointing to the one it was super effective against, forming a very nice type hexagon. If that wasn't ever a term, it sure as hell is now.
 
Fizzy Bubbles ZA
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Faiyaa- "A fitting name", Marina smiles, although you can sense she is somewhat saddened by the Popplio's decision. She could at least take solace in the fact that you were an amazing, caring trainer and not some wicked scientist bent on success. "I've cleared all the traps surrounding the temple, thankfully no Pokemon had fallen for them yet, although I'm sure it was only a matter of time. You didn't happen to spot any signs of the seaweed we're searching for did you?" Unfortunately you hadn't, the only thing out of the ordinary you'd found was that magical conch shell. Suddenly, Muse begins to bark, spotting something odd.

You turn in the direction the Popplio is facing, the direction the Sharpedo had fled in. The cloud of sand had settled, revealing something odd in the ruins of the coral bed it had destroyed. The crash seems to have revealed the entrance to an underwater cavern! With a large portion of the coral smashed apart, there was now a large enough opening for you all to fit through. The strange thing about the cavern was the warm glow that emanating from within, more magical energy? Marina seems to think so, the Primarina rushes through the water, leaving you to follow. You have to be careful not to cut yourself on the jagged coral around the entrance, but manage to slip through the opening unscathed. Popplio stays close to your side as you swim deeper into the cavern, Vander following up the rear. The glow gets brighter as you get deeper into the cavern, until eventually you find the source. A large bed of golden seaweed waves gently back and forth. The bright purple rings on the weed were more than enough to confirm it, this was exactly what you were looking for. Marina can barely contain her excitement and she rushes in to retrieve some.

This is a grievous error. As soon as she reaches the bed, a Dragalge rises, ensnaring her in a painful embrace. The Poison/Dragon type is rather large, almost twice the size of any you'd seen before. Its colour was almost identical to that of the strange seaweed it was slumbering in. Could it perhaps be imbued with the seaweed's power? Marina yelps in pain, you had to help her!
Amidst the chaos of the Sharpedo fleeing the area and Muse officially joining Gary’s team, an upheaval of sand clouded the water where the Sharpedo had crashed into the coral reef. Once the sand had cleared up, Muse noticed some magical energy emanating from the crash site. There seemed to be an underwater cavern of sorts buried beneath the reef. Following her intuition, Marina swam into the cavern leaving Gary with few options but to follow. The entrance was tight, and Gary wanted to pay extra attention to the sharp edges of the broken coral, not wanting to get cut. He quickly recalled Vanderdecken back to its Pokeball and followed behind Muse and Marina.

A soft golden glow seemed to light the way as they travelled through the tunnel, the source of light coming from up ahead. Sure enough, as they arrived at an opening, there were a bed of seaweed growing at the bottom of the cave. As the golden glow would suggest, it was exactly what they were looking for. However, as Marina eagerly swam over to scoop some up, a large golden Dragalge emerged from its camouflage and coiled the shiny Primarina within its kelp-like fins.

This was going to be a tough one. Gary knew the opponent all too well, having his own Dragalge, Leviathan. They possessed a diverse movepool and were not short on firepower as well as a tough natural typing. He’d need to distract it fast in order to free Marina from its grasp. Only one of his accompanying Pokemon had experience in this kind of situation; Gary removed a Dive Ball from his clip and lobbed it, releasing Triton the Wishiwashi once more. As a swarm of fish formed a bait ball around the shiny sardine in a Schooling effect, Gary recalled his adventure at Le Marecage Noir, where the situation was reversed. Alongside Leviathan the Dragalge, Gary had to quell the once wild Triton, who had been possessed by a ghostly spirit and grown to monstrous proportions. “Alright Triton, let’s get its attention with an Iron Tail! Lower its guard with a Tearful Look and then hit it hard with an Earthquake!”
 
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Meetan- You stalked your prey from a distance, being sure to keep a good distance from the rippling wall of muscle, but making sure to keep him within your sights. You'd slipped out of the camp just after him, recalling Blaze into his ball. The big chicken would be too easy to spot on such a stealthy mission, Eridian and Mimi were much better suited to slipping unnoticed through the trees. You follow Herakles as he makes his way through the Lover's Grove. You couldn't be sure since you'd only spent a bit of time in the grove yourself, but if your bearings were right, he was heading in the direction of the entwined trees, where the letter was waiting patiently for its intended recipient. You pause, hiding behind a tree as Herakles comes to a stop. He looks around, had he seen you? His eyes scan around and then up, looking up into the trees. Fixated on one in particular, he wraps his powerful hands around the trees trunk and begins to shake it in a display of brute strength. Apples rain down around him, plopping softly onto the lush grass. He then scoops up the arm full of apples, cradling them as he turns back to camp. You shuffle behind the tree as he walks past, "these apples look really juicy, they'll make Raji feel much better." Wait, he was actually out here looking for apples?!

You were close enough to the letter now that you decide to take a quick detour. Eridian seemed to remember the way, following the little black Bagon you quickly locate the clearing with the entwined oak trees. To your surprise, the letter was gone! You search around the trees but there is no sign of it. Had someone already claimed it? Maybe the wind had blown it away? Time was quickly passing, you needed to get back to camp before they decided to leave without you!

By the time you make it back, everyone is packed up and ready to leave. The damaged wagon has been repaired and Raji is finishing off the last of the apples that Herakles had collected for her. You make your way over to Sera's wagon, the acrobatic seems happy to see you. "Oh Alice, there you are!" Sera beams, "I was beginning to worry, we're about to get back on the road. Hatenna's been restless ever since you left." The Galarian Psychic type throws itself at Mimi, delighted to see the Mime Jr. again. The caravan was about to head off again, meaning you'd be alone with Sera once more. Perhaps it was time to confront her and finally get some answers?


Faiyaa- This was a tricky situation, although one you were somewhat experienced with. Calling on Triton, the Wishiwashi swarms into a bait ball, strengthening himself to fight the mystical Dragalge. You'd had a battle like this, with the roles reversed, but it still gave you a bit of an edge. You knew the arsenal Dragalge possessed and the threat it posed, but perhaps there was more to this one than an odd colouring....

Triton surges forward, the fish forming his tail glistening like polished iron. He swings his tail around, striking the Dragalge across the side of the head, forcing it to release Marina. The Primarina floats motionless, the toxins seemed to have a powerful effect on her. Triton gives the Dragalge a Tearful Look, lowering its guard and decreasing its offensive stats. He makes use of the opening, reverberating he prepares to crash into the venomous dragon with the force of an Earthquake. Unfortunately, as he charges in, he is intercepted. Marina shockingly takes the schooling Wishiwashi's attack for the Dragalge! The Primarina isn't Playing either, as she Roughly tears at Triton, wearing him down. What was she thinking?! Dragalge floats behind the Primarina, it doesn't seem to be engaging in the battle, but why? What was it that Marina had said about the sea weed? It had special qualities, it could be used to make someone open to suggestion. Could the Dragalge have the same power? And if so, could it really be strong enough to turn Marina against you? Why else would she be standing between Triton and the Dragalge? Muse seemed really concerned, her old mentor was certainly not acting like herself and this development certainly made the battle less straight forward.
 
Doesn't Like Change
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ChrisClark13 - Practically jumping at the chance to prove just how friendly you can truly be, your enthusiasm is perhaps a bit startling to the Eevee, who elicits a worried "Vee..." as it positions itself on the old man's shoulder to try and avoid your gaze for now. At the least, your realization that you may have overdone your greeting helps the situation, the old man chuckling a bit as you offer your help on the way to the City of Pentacles.

Annahime, on the other hand, is a bit belligerent in her willingness to help, having to be offered bribe after bribe and turning them down one after another before finally agreeing to five treats now and the rest of the bag later. Happily wolfing down the treats provided, the Vulpix is lazily placed atop your shoulder, ready to ride along.

"Yes, well, as much as your enthusiasm is appreciated, your energy is best saved for the moment." Hoisting the cart back up and walking once more, the man points to the road ahead. "We're about two days out from the City of Pentacles, and who knows what troubles we may run into along the way."

It takes a few moments for the man to realize he's just agreed to letting you travel along without actually providing any assistance, let alone your own name, "I'm sorry, I didn't actually catch your name, or why you're here, beyond trying to befriend this fox. My name is Hugh, and despite the flowers I'm currently carting I actually deal in higher value trade goods normally."

The statement catches the ears of a man heading the opposite direction along the Path, choosing to wander over and stand in front of the man's cart. "High value trade goods, you say? Mind if I... examine your stock?" The man was somewhat young, with his hair cut short and an outfit that struck less of being able to purchase such goods than it did the idea that he might try to charge a toll despite being in the middle of the road already.

"Oh, I'm out of stock right now, and I've spent what little profit I've made recently on these flowers..." The man pauses, turning the cart to try to get around the hoodlum, only for the new arrival to position himself in front of the cart once more. "Really sir, I must be going, it's only a matter of time before these start to wilt." But the younger man persisted still, refusing to allow movement down the Path.


TheKnightsFury - Chasing after the Captain and the chattering Chatot, Ralph's words ring through your ears, reminding you of the stated setup of his hideout. Shouting out to the Captain just ahead to inform him of the state of the building, a plan is made. Hearing your idea, the Captain stops momentarily, shouting back at the other officers quickly, "Malone, keep these people out, we don't want anyone interfering, and send for a wagon for backup, and a medic while you're at it! Walters, ship out, and follow the boy's plan!"

Saluting, the man owning the Meganium continues holding off the crowd while the other guard recalls his Drifblim and gives chase. Now leading the Captain and the second guard, you round out of the alleyway and back into the street towards the hideout, just shortly away. The Captain proceeds to barrel past you at full sprint, shoving a couple people out of the way in his reckless pursuit. "Make way! Make way! Official police business!" echoing through the streets before you manage to arrive just outside the building.

The Captain, as well as his remaining officer begin to head around the back, the Captain loosing a Delphox out into the area, which proceeds to shoot a Mystical Fire into the air, signaling your location for backup. "We're short handed here! Walters and I will take the back, just try to hold them here if they make a run this way!"

The guards, as well as Rookidee and Grookey disappear around the back of the building, leaving yourself and Toxtricity to watch the entrance, all seeming quiet for a bit as some ruckus and shouting can be heard down the back of the building.

"All I ask is for my share of the bounty."

The very same words that got you into this mess chant out in a sing-song manner, Kojo emerging from the building with the Chatot perched upon his shoulder, his Wigglytuff striding along his side. Luckily, Toxtricity is prepared, and as the balloon begins to sing, a Metal Sound screeches through the streets, interrupting the softer sound.

Disgruntled, Kojo stares at you and your Pokemon, fixing his gloves as he takes another couple steps forward. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. It's such a shame, really. You should have seen the look on the boss' face when Chatot here came back. Disappointed, but not surprised." Looking around, he notes you're the only one out front. "What's this? Your officer friends seem to have left a weak point in their barricade of the building. And it's right up front." The Wigglytuff puffs itself up menacingly, knowing all too well that its trainer is looking to pick a fight.


Missingno. Master - Examining the Z-Crystal shaped holes for a moment, with a little help from the Z-Crystals the mage has found lying about the cavern, your first thought is that this hexagonal ring must have something to do with type matchups. A thought that Meowth just happens to blurt out before you can. Listing off the types here, there's a fairly obvious chain between all seven of the crystals, but only six slots to fit them into.

A sudden realization dawns about the both of you, shouting out that one of the steps in the chain is unneeded, as Dark beats Psychic as well as Ghost. Hastily fitting the remaining Z-Crystals into the ring on the wall, the type hexagon glows momentarily, the crystals sinking into the stone and holding themselves in place. This just leaves the Ghostium in your hand, pulsing with energy but nowhere to go, until a blast of ghostly wind erupts from the crystal, pushing the three of you backwards.

The Ghostium Z floats menacingly in the air for a moment, before beginning to crack and shatter, the shards glowing and growing in size before breaking again and again, slowly forming an almost humanoid shape. After a moment, the shape takes proper form as pure Ghost energy coalesces in one final pulse, revealing a large Golurk standing between you and the hexagon you had just created.

Reeling a fist backwards before punching, a Shadow Punch rips through the room, striking Meowth, though luckily the Normal type is immune to the attack. However as the Golurk lurches forward slowly, its clear this foe isn't about to let up just because its surprise assault didn't work out as intended.
 
Poison-type Trainer
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Missingno. Master - Examining the Z-Crystal shaped holes for a moment, with a little help from the Z-Crystals the mage has found lying about the cavern, your first thought is that this hexagonal ring must have something to do with type matchups. A thought that Meowth just happens to blurt out before you can. Listing off the types here, there's a fairly obvious chain between all seven of the crystals, but only six slots to fit them into.

A sudden realization dawns about the both of you, shouting out that one of the steps in the chain is unneeded, as Dark beats Psychic as well as Ghost. Hastily fitting the remaining Z-Crystals into the ring on the wall, the type hexagon glows momentarily, the crystals sinking into the stone and holding themselves in place. This just leaves the Ghostium in your hand, pulsing with energy but nowhere to go, until a blast of ghostly wind erupts from the crystal, pushing the three of you backwards.

The Ghostium Z floats menacingly in the air for a moment, before beginning to crack and shatter, the shards glowing and growing in size before breaking again and again, slowly forming an almost humanoid shape. After a moment, the shape takes proper form as pure Ghost energy coalesces in one final pulse, revealing a large Golurk standing between you and the hexagon you had just created.

Reeling a fist backwards before punching, a Shadow Punch rips through the room, striking Meowth, though luckily the Normal type is immune to the attack. However as the Golurk lurches forward slowly, its clear this foe isn't about to let up just because its surprise assault didn't work out as intended.
Keith hastened to fit the Z-Crystals into their intended slots- every moment counted here, and he knew it. And for a moment, he grinned triumphantly, seeing the momentary glow as the Z-Crystals were fixed in place. But this triumphant moment was short-lived; the remaining Z-Crystal, the Ghostium Z, let loose a blast of ghostly wind that pushed everyone backawards. "Wha..." Keith murmured, at a momentary loss for words as the Z-Crystal hovered in midair. And then, it shattered! The shards glowed, grew in size, then shattered once more. This process repeated itself as a vaguely humanoid shape began to form before them, and with the final pulse that pulled all the energy together, it became clear that their assailant was a large, formidable Golurk. The towering titan let fly a Shadow Punch. Keith winced, even as the attack just barely missed him- the intended target was Meowth, however, who took the Ghost move like the nothing that it was to him. "Boy, we know type matchups betta den dis big lug," he remarked.

"That we do," Keith nodded. "Here comes Golurk," he added, noticing the giant fighting robot starting to lurch forward- it was obviously not deterred in the slightest by the epic fail that was its opening attack. "Meowth, go!" Keith exclaimed, gesturing forward.

"I'm on dis!" Meowth declared, jumping down. Normally, he'd have hesitated at the idea of going up against such an alarming opponent, but he knew there was too much at stake to be a scaredy-Meowth about it. He assumed a fighting stance, claws extended.

"Alright, Meowth, start with Mimic!" Keith ordered. "Copy that thing's opening move for your own use, then show it a real Shadow Punch! Then follow up with Water Pulse!" He grinned, confident in these orders- Golurk's blunder was actually going to be quite the opportunity for Meowth to temporarily gain a move that was not only super effective against this adversary, but would also surely gain even more power in the paws of a skilled Technician like Meowth.
 
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TheKnightsFury - Chasing after the Captain and the chattering Chatot, Ralph's words ring through your ears, reminding you of the stated setup of his hideout. Shouting out to the Captain just ahead to inform him of the state of the building, a plan is made. Hearing your idea, the Captain stops momentarily, shouting back at the other officers quickly, "Malone, keep these people out, we don't want anyone interfering, and send for a wagon for backup, and a medic while you're at it! Walters, ship out, and follow the boy's plan!"

Saluting, the man owning the Meganium continues holding off the crowd while the other guard recalls his Drifblim and gives chase. Now leading the Captain and the second guard, you round out of the alleyway and back into the street towards the hideout, just shortly away. The Captain proceeds to barrel past you at full sprint, shoving a couple people out of the way in his reckless pursuit. "Make way! Make way! Official police business!" echoing through the streets before you manage to arrive just outside the building.

The Captain, as well as his remaining officer begin to head around the back, the Captain loosing a Delphox out into the area, which proceeds to shoot a Mystical Fire into the air, signaling your location for backup. "We're short handed here! Walters and I will take the back, just try to hold them here if they make a run this way!"

The guards, as well as Rookidee and Grookey disappear around the back of the building, leaving yourself and Toxtricity to watch the entrance, all seeming quiet for a bit as some ruckus and shouting can be heard down the back of the building.

"All I ask is for my share of the bounty."

The very same words that got you into this mess chant out in a sing-song manner, Kojo emerging from the building with the Chatot perched upon his shoulder, his Wigglytuff striding along his side. Luckily, Toxtricity is prepared, and as the balloon begins to sing, a Metal Sound screeches through the streets, interrupting the softer sound.

Disgruntled, Kojo stares at you and your Pokemon, fixing his gloves as he takes another couple steps forward. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. It's such a shame, really. You should have seen the look on the boss' face when Chatot here came back. Disappointed, but not surprised." Looking around, he notes you're the only one out front. "What's this? Your officer friends seem to have left a weak point in their barricade of the building. And it's right up front." The Wigglytuff puffs itself up menacingly, knowing all too well that its trainer is looking to pick a fight.

For the most part they'd followed Xander's plan. The major difference was that Xander had been left to guard the front by himself, while Rookidee and Grookey had accompanied the captain and one of the officers around the back. He wasn't surprised when Kojo emerged from the building, Wigglytuff on hand and singing as predicted. Thankfully Toxtricity was quick to drown the soft notes out. Kojo was a welcome sight, one that he preferred to a vengeful, pissed off Ralph. Wigglytuff inflated itself, preparing for battle, but Xander was confident he could knock the wind out of it. Chatot was on sight as well, and while Toxtricity had a type advantage over both, fighting on two fronts was always difficult. He'd have to even the playing field. Xander selected a Friend Ball from his belt. As soon as its released, Dreepy floats around to cling to the top of Xander's head. "No Dreepy, not on me, go cling to Toxtricity", the little dragon let out a shrill cry, releasing his hold as he drifts over to Toxtricity, gripping onto his right horn. Toxtricity handed the net containing Zigzagoon back to Xander, he'd need both hands to fight.

"Alright Toxtricity, kick us into Overdrive!" Toxtricity prepared to kick off the fight with its signature tune. "Dreepy boost Toxtricity with your Helping Hand, then spray our opponents with Swift. Toxtricity, soften Wigglytuff up with an Acid Spray, then douse it in Toxic sludge while Dreepy restricts Chatot with Thunder Wave." Xander wasn't sure how strong of a battler Kojo was, but the kid sure had some balls, he wasn't about to underestimate him. He just hoped that Ralph wasn't proving to big of a handful for the others....
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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lilbluecorsola-

It's been a few weeks since the trio had saved the boat from the Caterpie horde and inadvertently stealing the boat. Incognito Island was a distant dream at this point. There was enough food for the three to survive off of, even if Kanna was starting to get at her wit's end. Their trainer must be worried sick by this point, and it seemed no one was really able to find them. All they could see was the open seas and a spare Wingull or two fly by every few days or so.

It really was a vast nothingness. The ocean was this blue void, and the sun red warmth bordering on death. With supplies dwindling, it would be a miracle for landfall to happen soon. Yufi and Keif were at least having fun being "pirates" even so this was just a simple merchant ship. Besides all of the cloth that was mostly eaten, there were still a few other valuables. Mostly jewelry and kits to make clothing or jewelry. If there was anything else, it was either eaten by the trio or eaten by the Caterpie.

Though, today seemed to be a little different. There were clouds forming on the horizon. It was a welcome sight, to say the least. After all, it's been nothing but blistering sun since they left Incognito Island. A huge thunderbolt then broke across the sky, and the smell of rain became incredibly strong.

A huge, whale like creature erupted from the ocean. It let out a huge roar, and as it did the rains came crashing down. The waves were now turbulent, and it was becoming obvious that the boat wasn't going to handle this sudden change in weather. The whale roared, and jumped up into the air before diving back into the ocean. The resulting aftershock caused a giant wave to wash over the boat and knock it over.

When the trio came to, they were washed ashore on a distant island. In front of them seemed to be the back of some kind of building, with most of it in the water. Wherever they were, it seems that they were stranded here. What a vacation.
Days passed, turning into weeks. There was nothing surrounding them but a vast, blue emptiness, as the red hot sun beat down mercilessly, baking the brown stowaways on board into a golden crisp. Their food supplies were diminishing, and Kanna’s anxieties were running rampant as she wondered how in the world they were going to survive once they ran out, let alone find their way back. Jess must be worried sick about them at this point, and there was no sign of land or life other than a stray Wingull soaring overhead every now and then (who were always flying too high to heed her quiet cries for help, or else purposefully playing deaf to the desperate pleas).

Kief and Yufi, meanwhile, seemed wholly unconcerned by their current dire situation, having the time of their life pretending to be pirates as they explored the entire ship from top to bottom, gleefully looting every unopened crate they could find. A part of Kanna couldn’t help but be amused by their antics as she watched them play, decking themselves out in jewels and dashing garments as they swashbuckled on deck. Still her apprehensions were mounting, especially as the gathering clouds on the horizon began to shift to black without warning. Her nose quivered as she sensed the smell of rain in the air, and a streak of lightning abruptly pierced through the canopy and spread across the sky, followed by a booming clap that sent the skittish Furret fleeing for cover. Even Yufi was frightened by the sound and heavy downfall as waves crashed against the hull, heaving the boat to and fro. She shivered and curled up against Kief and Kanna as the three soaked balls of fur huddled together for warmth and comfort, attempting to keep their balance amidst the turbulence which threatened to overturn their vessel at any point.

Just then, an enormous whale-like figure erupted from the sea, singing with a roaring wail like a banshee. The beast bellowed again as it dived back into the brine, resulting in a towering tsunami that completely engulfed the craft, causing the trio to squeak in terror as they tumbled from the sinking safety straight into the dark and dangerous depths. Kanna clung to Yufi with all her might, but her grip slipped from Kief’s, and she watched in horror as they started to get swept away from each other. The Zigzagoon struggled against the stream, however his small paws simply weren’t capable of fighting such strong currents. Kanna’s own limbs were full and she couldn’t move, and she was swiftly losing consciousness from being buffeted by the powerful surges. Just as the undertow pulled her below, she thought she saw a bright flash of light glowing in the distance, and an approaching shadow like an eel rapidly racing in her direction , reaching down towards her from above. She blinked as she felt something grab hold of her and lift forcefully, bursting back to the surface and gasping for air. Her savior dragged her over onto a piece of driftwood, nudging encouragingly from behind as she barely mustered the last of her energy to clamber up and collapse, still clutching the trembling Zigzagoon beside her. She couldn’t even twist her head to look at her rescuer, as her exhausted lids drifted to a close…



…When she awoke, her first sensation was of something wet and sandpapery licking her face. She fluttered her eyes open to see an unfamiliar creature standing over her, tongue hanging out as it slobbered all over.

“Ah- ah… PUNCH!”

She yelped in shock and disgust as she instinctively socked the rude stranger right in the jaw, making him stumble backwards as he plopped his bum on the beach, painfully nursing the smacked sore spot with an expression of hurt surprise in his eyes. Kanna glanced fearfully around to realize she was on what appeared to be a deserted island, meaning she was alone with some wild Pokémon who was probably going to end up eating her for dinner, after having already inappropriately harassed his prey.

“Wh- wh- where are you? Who am I? What’s going on? Yufi! Kief! Help!”

Hearing her screams of panic, Yufi came dashing down the sandbar with an excited bark, wagging her tail in joy.

“Papa! Mama! You’re awake!”

Kanna paused as she rotated slowly to the unknown party, squinting at his cream and caramel-colored features as things finally clicked into place.

“…Kief?”

The Linoone smiled and awkwardly waved a claw.

“Hey.”

Tears formed at the corners of her eyes as she immediately extended forward to embrace him.

“Is it really you?”

She sobbed, as he gently wrapped a long tail around her in reciprocation.

“Yeah. It’s me.”

“I can’t believe it,”
she sniffed. “You evolved… in order to save me?”

“’Course I did.”
He grinned. “I love you after all.”

Kanna froze again at the words she’d always longed to say herself, but could never work up the courage to – let alone ever expected to hear from him first. And here he had admitted it so casually, the humiliation crept up her cheeks like a hot thermometer.

“You… You really mean that?”

“Yep.”
He swelled with pride as he fished out a crystal Heart Necklace. “I saved this for you too after all. …Was planning to give it to you when we got home, but I guess now’s a good a time as any.” He confessed sheepishly with an uncharacteristically shy scratch of his chin.

Kanna clasped her paws together over her mouth in astonished honor at the offer; she knew she should be angry at him for giving her stolen goods in the first place, but this was such a dream come true she overflowed with appreciation at the unexpected romantic gesture.

“Thank you…” She giggled nervously as she wiped dry diamond drops, giving him an affectionate peck. “I love you too. …And uh, sorry about slapping you before.”

Meanwhile, Yufi was eagerly watching the proceedings with a wide beam, as the snuggling pair suddenly became aware of their young spectator and broke away in embarrassment. Kanna’s heart was still thumping as she placed the pendant over it, treasuring the keepsake despite its… “illicit” origins. After all, the reason she fell for him in the first place was because of his thoughtfulness towards others – even if he did have some rather *ahem* rascally habits.

Coincidentally, Yufi spotted something wash up on shore, and chased after the dark blob before it could be whisked away again. Fetching it with her fangs, she trotted triumphantly back and handed it to Kief, who gleamed with relief as he wrung out the fabric, setting the slightly sodden Team Pocket cap back on his crown. Kanna stretched out to assist in adjusting it, before nodding in approval. That settled, they revolved to take stock of their environs, noticing they were near the back of some sort of building, partially submerged in water.

“For now, I guess we should try checking out this place first… And see if we can find a way to contact Jess.”


OoC - Evolving Lv. 100 Zigzagoon♂ into Linoone~
 
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Märchen Meines Lebens
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Sneaze-

With your brief meeting with Haley over with, you ponder over what direction to take now that the mystery of the boat was solved. As soon as you mentioned it, the horde immediately start to fight within itself. Ear pulling, punching, kicking, you name it. These Pichus wanted their voices heard and they would do anything to make sure theirs was the right one. Seeing it devolving into a mess, you decide to hold a democratic vote. Two of your Pichu vote to stay within the Land of Cups, and three of them decide to venture off to the City of Pentacles.

Taking the road you used to get here, you end up back onto the Fool's Path. It was the main road through the Arcane Realm, and branched off towards every major area before ending at the World Tree. Heading towards the city, you end up passing by multiple trainers and travelers as they head towards the various attractions of the Arcane Realm.

Of course, the scenery wasn't changing much now. This was a huge place, and exploring the entirety of the Arcane Realm could very easily take months. Some people even stated they've experienced a strange phenomena that they felt there were locked in one place for a year, even so no time seemed to have passed while they were there.

After what felt like a few hours, probably was as the sun was starting to cross the sky and set, you notice a peculiar sight on the road. A young trainer, no more than about the age of ten, was sitting on the side of the road. Was a common enough sight, but the appearance was what caught your eye.

They were wearing a brown hoodie that had a zigzagging cream pattern on the bottom part of the jacket. The other thing was that the hood itself had two brown, cream tipped ears jutting out. It looked like someone took an Eevee and made it into clothing. Surrounding this trainer were five Eevees, who seemed to have noticed the Pichu horde accompanying you. They all bark in happiness and eagerly jump up to play with your Pichu.

At this rate the trainer notices what was going on and runs after them, but they were too late. The Eevees barrel into you, causing your horde to become loose. At this rate its was just udder chaos.

"I-I'm sorry sir. They don't like to be in their balls and they just want to play. They're all very young and I'm new to this whole thing I'm sorry." The trainer explains, apologizing profusely. At this point you're able to tell that this was a young boy. Seemed like he needed some help with managing five of the same species at once.

What do you do?

lilblue-

With Keif's evolution and further confession to Kanna, the Furret and Linoone share a tender moment before Yufi crashes the party. The female Zigzagoon is wondering what her mommy and daddy were doing, and was further wondering about the big building in front of the group. Kanna decides the best course of action would be to explore the submerged building. They could possible find a way to communicate with their trainer in there.

The group heads towards the building, and quickly realizes that it was some kind of temple. There was a small bridge leading towards the back entrance, which didn't seem to be submerged within water. Since there was nothing else around, it only seemed natural to go inside and investigate the place.

Once inside, the group notices a sign posted on the wall. It seemed to be an informational plague of some kind. Something about how people shouldn't try to explore the place and stick to their tour guides. Of course, words mean nothing for the two members for the Zigzagoon line, and they barrel forth deeper within. Nothing was ever quiet with them around after all.

Kanna makes haste to follow them, and she could see Keif and Yufi sitting in front of some kind of door. There was a little switch near the bottom, and there was another plaque there saying "Do Not Enter." Of course, Keif and Yufi don't necessarily understand the meaning of that and pull the switch anyways. The door opens to reveal a set of stairs. Once set leads up, and the other leads further into the depths. An ominous feeling emanates from these stairs but, well, it was less of trying to convince them to not, but more trying to figure out which one would be less dangerous.

What do you do?
 
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Missingno. Master - A bit shocked by the sudden appearance of the massive Golurk before you, it's a bit of a relief that its surprise attack wasn't able to affect Meowth, a sentiment the cat clearly shares as he jumps from your shoulder, claws at the ready to take down this titan.

Quickly proceeding to Mimic the Shadow Punch that was thrown at him, Meowth picks up use of the move to hopefully put the hurt on this gargantuan colossus. The Golurk, however, clearly just now realizes that its attack did a whopping nothing to Meowth, and proceeds to switch tactics. Jets bursting from its feet, it closes the gap quickly, an arm raised back to deliver a hefty blow. The attack is so telegraphed it isn't even funny, something easily avoidable by most Pokemon. But as Meowth goes to strafe to the side to dodge the blow, the Golurk's other fist quickly launches itself from its arm as a rocket, delivering a hefty Dynamic Punch directly to Meowth's head and sending him reeling with confusion. Stopping in the air as the hand returns and reattaches, it's clear this particular foe is employing No Guard tactics to ensure its attacks land.

Dazed by the previous attack, Meowth finds himself unable to execute his newfound technique, a situation the Golurk capitalizes on heavily as it slowly approaches, mechanical servos whirring as it raises a limb into the air and brings down a hefty Hammer Arm into the cat before it, the excessive force at least slowing down the titan for the future. Unfortunately, between these two hefty blows and the damage sustained in the Meadow, Meowth isn't exactly looking too hot at the moment, staring with glazed over eyes at the foe before him.

Reeling an arm back, the Golurk begins focusing a massive amount of its energy into one, fight ending blow. Fortunately, before it can swing, Meowth temporarily breaks through his addled state, releasing a Water Pulse to drench the titan, the sudden shock to its system causing its energy to temporarily reboot as its arm drops from its raised position. While the attack may have been stopped, it's clear Meowth is in no shape to deal with this formidable foe on his own.


TheKnightsFury - Deciding that even though Toxtricity has a clear type advantage, as well as a species advantage against these two sound based foes, it's in your best interest not to fight on two fronts, you release your Dreepy onto the field, the small Dragon happily attaching itself to Toxtricity as per your order. As you issue commands to your Pokemon, your foes take up a similar position, Wigglytuff running out in front of the building to face you as Chatot swoops down and lands on the balloon Pokemon's head.

Oddly, Kojo doesn't even speak a word to his team, not that it seems to matter to them at all, as the Chatot begins to Role Play, emulating the Punk Rock abilities of your Toxtricity. Realizing the fight is on, Dreepy promptly executes your plan, giving Toxtricity a Helping Hand a happy applause cheering up the rocker and boosting the power of his Overdrive as he strums at his stomach organs for a moment. The resulting sound is clearly devastating to the opposing force, even with the newfound ability Chatot has picked up. Scowling, the Wigglytuff traces a couple lines through the air, before a shimmering pane of Light Screen takes form in front of the duo.

The trouble doesn't end there, as the Chatot puts its new ability to good use, a quick Chatter directed at Dreepy doing a solid bit of damage to the Dragon as well as leaving it confused. Confused just enough that he can't immediately recall what it was he was supposed to be doing. Taking aim at the Wigglytuff, Toxtricity unleashes a torrent of Acid Spray, the waters hampered a bit by the Light Screen but still striking a solid blow and lowering the balloon's Special Defense. The drop is clearly not appreciated, as Wigglytuff's Competitive nature kicks in, massively boosting its Special Attack. The balloon huffs for a moment, before inflating itself as it proceeds to Stockpile energy, raising its Defense and Special Defense a bit in the process.

Opting to add insult to injury, the Chatot begins an intricate Feather Dance, bits of down floating across the yard to surround Toxtricity, greatly lowering his Attack. This doesn't seem to bother him too much for the moment, though, as he lobs a Toxic glob at the Wigglytuff, causing an angry stare back as it becomes poisoned. The sudden use of status seems to help Dreepy remember what to do for the moment, and the small dragon looses a Thunder Wave, proceeding to paralyze the Chatot handily. Wigglytuff is having absolutely none of it, though, and makes a small, chiming sound, the resulting Heal Bell relieving both foes of their status.

What's worse, the chime seems to have had an additional unexpected effect, the Zigzagoon in your arms now freed of its paralysis, wiggling about happily to express this. At least the net from the Electro Web is preventing it from moving around too much.
 
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Missingno. Master - A bit shocked by the sudden appearance of the massive Golurk before you, it's a bit of a relief that its surprise attack wasn't able to affect Meowth, a sentiment the cat clearly shares as he jumps from your shoulder, claws at the ready to take down this titan.

Quickly proceeding to Mimic the Shadow Punch that was thrown at him, Meowth picks up use of the move to hopefully put the hurt on this gargantuan colossus. The Golurk, however, clearly just now realizes that its attack did a whopping nothing to Meowth, and proceeds to switch tactics. Jets bursting from its feet, it closes the gap quickly, an arm raised back to deliver a hefty blow. The attack is so telegraphed it isn't even funny, something easily avoidable by most Pokemon. But as Meowth goes to strafe to the side to dodge the blow, the Golurk's other fist quickly launches itself from its arm as a rocket, delivering a hefty Dynamic Punch directly to Meowth's head and sending him reeling with confusion. Stopping in the air as the hand returns and reattaches, it's clear this particular foe is employing No Guard tactics to ensure its attacks land.

Dazed by the previous attack, Meowth finds himself unable to execute his newfound technique, a situation the Golurk capitalizes on heavily as it slowly approaches, mechanical servos whirring as it raises a limb into the air and brings down a hefty Hammer Arm into the cat before it, the excessive force at least slowing down the titan for the future. Unfortunately, between these two hefty blows and the damage sustained in the Meadow, Meowth isn't exactly looking too hot at the moment, staring with glazed over eyes at the foe before him.

Reeling an arm back, the Golurk begins focusing a massive amount of its energy into one, fight ending blow. Fortunately, before it can swing, Meowth temporarily breaks through his addled state, releasing a Water Pulse to drench the titan, the sudden shock to its system causing its energy to temporarily reboot as its arm drops from its raised position. While the attack may have been stopped, it's clear Meowth is in no shape to deal with this formidable foe on his own.
Keith suppressed a chuckle as Golurk went for another attack, one so obvious and easily avoidable that it was honestly comical. That is, of course, until the attack unexpectedly landed. Keith gritted his teeth- Golurk had No Guard! And that combined with a powerful move like Dynamic Punch, that was just asking for trouble. The confusion resulting from the move left Meowth reeling hard, and the Hammer Arm Golurk used as a follow-up move did heavy damage. "Oh, geez, Meowth!" Keith exclaimed. At that point, however, Meowth was able to fight through the confusion for a moment and land the Water Pulse as ordered, shutting down Golurk's attempt at finishing it off. As Meowth stumbled and turned around, Keith held up three fingers. "How many fingers am I holding up, Meowth?" he asked.

"...September?" Meowth mumbled in a daze.

"Yeah, this is a problem," Keith stated. He reached for his belt. The Fast Ball- nope. Anion would be next to useless against a Ground/Ghost-type. Dennis and Stewie were unconscious. He grabbed the purple Poison Ball, but as he did so, the Fast Ball rattled, then burst open.

Keith stared as his Minun reappeared. "Mai mai!" Anion declared boldly, standing on the ground before them. Then, she looked up- way up- and saw the Golurk properly. "Mai..." she murmured weakly, before hastening to retreat behind Keith.

"Oh, no," Keith stated, picking up the plucky Pikaclone. "Anion, Meowth can't do this alone. Or... probably not at all if I'm being honest," he added, with another look.

"Meowth, dat's right..." Meowth was mumbling, teetering around like a drunken Spinda.

"Minun mai," Anion conceded, seeing this.

"Look, I get this isn't the best matchup for you," Keith stated. "But I'm not asking you to do this alone, alright? You'll have backup."

"Mai..." murmured Anion.

"There's a life at stake here, Anion," Keith said seriously. "Please?"

"...Mai mai!" Anion finally nodded, cheeky grin back in place.

"That's the spirit," Keith grinned back as the Electric-type hopped down to the ground. This left Keith free to grab one of his least-used items; Meowth's Poké Ball. "Meowth, return!" Keith declared, withdrawing the confused Normal-type, only for him to send himself back out onto Keith's shoulder, shaking his head vigorously- as Keith had hoped, the brief stint in his ball had cleared up Meowth's confusion, though Keith had no intention of sending him back into the fight.

"Gah... I feel like I been hit by a freight train," Meowth groaned.

"You're not that far off," Keith stated.

"Wh... yer sendin' Anion in ta fight dat ting?" Meowth said incredulously, seeing the tiny Minun facing off against the gigantic Golurk.

"Not by herself," Keith stated, finally throwing the Poison Ball. "Aster, let's go!" he exclaimed.

The ball split open, and in a flash of light and a swirl of stars, there appeared an unusually pink Toxapex beside Anion. "Tox, Toxapex!" Aster exclaimed.

"Mai mai!" Anion said to Aster.

"Toxa," smiled Aster. Keith smiled as well- Aster might be shy and reserved, but most certainly not when there was a battle to be had.

"Let's do it, then!" Keith stated. "Aster, use Baneful Bunker to block whatever Golurk goes for, then follow up with Liquidation and Hex! Anion, use Magnet Rise, strike using Acrobatics, and power up Aster's Hex with your Helping Hand!"
 
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ChrisClark13 - Practically jumping at the chance to prove just how friendly you can truly be, your enthusiasm is perhaps a bit startling to the Eevee, who elicits a worried "Vee..." as it positions itself on the old man's shoulder to try and avoid your gaze for now. At the least, your realization that you may have overdone your greeting helps the situation, the old man chuckling a bit as you offer your help on the way to the City of Pentacles.

Annahime, on the other hand, is a bit belligerent in her willingness to help, having to be offered bribe after bribe and turning them down one after another before finally agreeing to five treats now and the rest of the bag later. Happily wolfing down the treats provided, the Vulpix is lazily placed atop your shoulder, ready to ride along.

"Yes, well, as much as your enthusiasm is appreciated, your energy is best saved for the moment." Hoisting the cart back up and walking once more, the man points to the road ahead. "We're about two days out from the City of Pentacles, and who knows what troubles we may run into along the way."

It takes a few moments for the man to realize he's just agreed to letting you travel along without actually providing any assistance, let alone your own name, "I'm sorry, I didn't actually catch your name, or why you're here, beyond trying to befriend this fox. My name is Hugh, and despite the flowers I'm currently carting I actually deal in higher value trade goods normally."

The statement catches the ears of a man heading the opposite direction along the Path, choosing to wander over and stand in front of the man's cart. "High value trade goods, you say? Mind if I... examine your stock?" The man was somewhat young, with his hair cut short and an outfit that struck less of being able to purchase such goods than it did the idea that he might try to charge a toll despite being in the middle of the road already.

"Oh, I'm out of stock right now, and I've spent what little profit I've made recently on these flowers..." The man pauses, turning the cart to try to get around the hoodlum, only for the new arrival to position himself in front of the cart once more. "Really sir, I must be going, it's only a matter of time before these start to wilt." But the younger man persisted still, refusing to allow movement down the Path.
As they're walking along, Curtis starts to respond to Old Man Hugh giving his name, "Oh, I don't think I shared my name either!" The trainer puts his right arm out of front of himself and jabs back at his chest with a 'thumbs up' sign, "I'm Curtis, Curtis Renard! And this here is Annahime because-" he takes note of another guy coming out and blocking their path. Curtis trails off as he finishes his sentence, "-because she acts like a princess..."

What the heck is this random guy doing!? What he's doing doesn't line up with what he's saying at all! Not to mention he looks all shifty-like! Not so much the way he's dressed, because you're not supposed to judge people based on appearances and all that- but the way he's acting! (Though also kind of how he's dressed.)

Curtis stomps his way up and wedges himself between the cart and this interloper, "Hey! What are doing? You're being super rude you know! He's said he doesn't have any high-value stuff on him right now- and even if he did, it's none of your business!" He puffs out his chest and does his best to between the man and the cart for now.

Annahime has to tighten her grip to stay her perch as her trainer barges in. Wasn't he supposed to be showing how nice he was? Yet, here he is now getting all angry at someone. Though to be fair, like he said, they are being rather rude... though also, she really doesn't like being carried into this mess either. But getting out of this would mean having to jump down and getting back up would be a hassle and she also guesses that it would make her trainer look weak and that'd be indirectly bad for her own reputation as well. So, instead, she just sits there and silently glares up at the man her trainer is confronting. Her hackles and tails are raised and her ears are laid flat back on her head in a threat display- trying to both look bigger and look ready for a fight.
 
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