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The Arcane Realm: Land of Freedom and Magicks

Doesn't Like Change
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ChrisClark13 - Annahime, as per usual, takes some convincing to do the one thing necessary to provide the lot of you with a decent night's sleep. But the idea of a shining stone adorning her soft fur seems to be enough incentive to get things rolling as she begins digging up chunks of earth with Psychic energy, tossing it into the air after a bit of coaching to reveal some shining glints here and there. Meanwhile, the Eevee begins frantically running about, collecting the small shining scraps and pawing off any remaining dirt before putting the stones in a pile.

It's a bit of hard work that consumes some time, but soon enough there's a sizable pile of the stones, able to illuminate some ten feet or so around it. Taking out a small pouch of water, the older man washes off his hands before making camp around the stone, motioning for you to do the same.

"It's later than I would have liked, but we should be able to get going fairly early after a good night's sleep." He comments, laying down, the small brown fox cuddling up next to him for the night.

Annahime, meanwhile, begins dragging your sleeping bag over with Psychic, trying to position it by the stones, ready for rest herself after all that exertion. Taking a nice resting position near the stone, she stares into the pile, the soft glow reflecting off of her lustrous fur while revealing some eyes in the distance that it reflects off of momentarily before whatever predators are out there move along for the night.


Missingno. Master - Withdrawing Anion and Meowth, it's become increasingly obvious that these fights are bringing your team to the edge. Meowth pops back from his Pokeball near immediately, now cleared of his confusion but decidedly at a major disadvantage against these two foes on his own. With little option left, you make the decision that it's time for Chuck to join the fight, the Gengar appearing by your side once more, prompting a short "Oh?" from the mage walking in these trials alongside you.

One shining glint of light from your Mega Hat later and the Gengar's form begins to twist in light that reflects throughout the Mega Stones lining this section of the cave, sinking slightly into the ground as his form becomes more streamlined and ready for combat.

Meowth starts off, back fresh in the fray with a Breaking Swipe, catching both foes in the wide arcing attack, the residual Dragon energy lowering the attacks of both Mega Pokemon. Meanwhile, Chuck's Dazzling Gleam temporarily blinds both opposing Pokemon as it deals fair blows to them each. The Sableye responds by proceeding to Fling its large gem at Chuck, dealing a hefty blow, the magical gem pinning the Gengar to the ground. This leaves the Ghost wide open as the Kangaskhan and its joey rush in with a Shadow Claw to strike, as well as a followup attack by the Sableye, a Shadow Ball ripping through the air to explode atop Chuck. At least the explosion loosens the gen enough for Chuck to get free, smacking Kangaskhan with a Drain Punch to get a bit of health back after the devastating barrage.

Meowth responds to the attacks now that Chuck is clear of the fray, a Shadow Wave washing over the two enemies for a fair chunk of damage. After a brief moment of recovery, the Kangaskhan and its joey continue the assault on Chuck, each striking with a blow of Assurance, powered up due to the recent damage of the blow by Sableye, leaving Chuck in a more than sorry state thanks to the never ending slew of super effective attacks. Looking at the enemies, it's obvious as to why they are going this hard, as neither looks too great themselves, perhaps weaker than the Golurk you had just recently fought. A Hex from Chuck onto the Sableye confirms this, as the blow lands just to cause a similar shattering of the Pokemon constructed by the Mega Stones into nothing but shards. Angered by the falling of their ally, the Kangaskhan and joey dig into the far wall, ripping up a large chunk of it with a Rock Slide that flies through the air and into Chuck, leaving causing the Mega energy arround the Gengar to fade as he is knocked unconcious by the repeated blows.

Luckily, Meowth still has another attack up his sleeve for now, a final Breaking Swipe smacking into the two roos and causing them to burst like pinatas into yet more Mega Stone shards.

"How convenient that our foes continue to open the way forward for us..." the Mage muses, signaling to the now open room in front of you.


ConnorFB - This strange arm of seemingly carved stone couldn't have gotten here on its own, not in this excellent shape, aside from being clearly broken off of something. The regular sandstorms hadn't even eroded a bit of it, so clearly it was fresh. With Julia and Atlantis willing to help out, you decide that Lancelot would be the optimal choice to help relay orders while clearing the area.

It's not long before Julia finds something, taking a Bite into the sand only to come up with another large chunk of stone, Atlantis proceeding to blow some of the remaining sand away with an Icy Wind to reveal the main statue that the arm had come from, the immaculate form of a young female trainer seemingly issuing orders to an unseen Pokemon, the legs buried down into the dune. Pulling the remaining stone statue out of the stone with a bit of Strength, Lancelot reveals the remaining form, not much more than boots and a bag tossed to the ground, all sitting atop a large chunk of uncut stone, what the statue was likely carved from.

Unlodging the statue, however, does reveal exactly what had severed the arm off in the first place, a couple of Durant staring up at your team, only to realize they've been found and promptly scuttle out of the dune with surprising speed. The duo of bugs quickly blitz past you and make their way further into the desert, kicking up a fair bit of dust in their wake. At least they've left an easy trail to track.
 
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Zelphon: "Name? I..."

Mimikyu trailed off, the fabric of her disguise shifting uneasily, the Fairy type pausing for a few moments to focus on her thoughts.

"I... have no... name. None that I... remember."

Where the stuttering speech pattern had once seemed ominous, now it felt tragic and pitiful, the trembling resort of a being struggling to maintain their grasp on their self of sense. The foreboding surroundings only emphasised this pained moment, and Naula briefly bristled - until it became obvious that no danger would be posed. As Naula settles, you offer a Haban Berry - and Mimikyu accepts with an uncertain gratitude. After eating, the Ghost type waits patiently for you to regulate your breathing - a far from simple task considering the circumstances - and you finally begin to move towards the Grove.

It does not take long for you to realise that something was wrong. No matter how much distance you covered, no matter how much your legs began to succumb to a persistent tiring, it appeared like you were stuck in a repeating loop. You notice that Mimikyu becomes visibly more deflated with every cursed repetition, and eventually the Pokemon stops in her tracks entirely.

"I knew.. this would happen. I am.. unable to leave... this place. Neither can you... if you stay near me..."

This dejected sight seems to resonate with Naula. Puffing her cheeks out, the Eevee rushes you, determinedly barking, her intent clear as day. Mimikyu was suffering a horrible fate, and regardless of their inadvertently involving you both, now that you were involved Naula was overcome by an obligation to help. Unfortunately, you were ill prepared to handle an oddity of this inclination. Above all else, information was vital when dealing with the supernatural, and currently there was little to work from.
Saddened by his new traveling companion's lack of memory, Rylie gives a weak smile as the Mimikiyu eats the offered berry. Meanwhile, he once again regains his composure from the chilling surroundings. Satisfied enough with the rest, Rylie gets up with a slight grunt before putting on his backpack and securing his scarf. He then motions for his two companions to follow along before once again hitting the trail.

"Alright, now that we've gotten the chance to relax and eat let's get going to the Grove eh?"

But just as Rylie was starting to get into the rhythm he noticed something strange. The trees were always in the same spot, accompanied by the same mixtures of stone, twigs, and other sparse fauna. Distressed, he turns around and looks back at Naula and their ghostly companion only to notice that they were once again acting disheveled. His partner had apparently tried to bring this to his attention sooner, the uppity Eevee giving him a look of determination before turning around to cuddle up to their companion.

Egged on by Naula's newfound support for them, Rylie leans down to console Mimikyu, givng them a smile before saying;

"Well then it looks like we're stuck in this together, can you tell me what is that's keeping us here? Regardless of that, you look like you aren't holding up too well so if you need a lift just let me know, and either I or one of my Pokemon would be glad to help you."
 
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Poison-type Trainer
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Missingno. Master - Withdrawing Anion and Meowth, it's become increasingly obvious that these fights are bringing your team to the edge. Meowth pops back from his Pokeball near immediately, now cleared of his confusion but decidedly at a major disadvantage against these two foes on his own. With little option left, you make the decision that it's time for Chuck to join the fight, the Gengar appearing by your side once more, prompting a short "Oh?" from the mage walking in these trials alongside you.

One shining glint of light from your Mega Hat later and the Gengar's form begins to twist in light that reflects throughout the Mega Stones lining this section of the cave, sinking slightly into the ground as his form becomes more streamlined and ready for combat.

Meowth starts off, back fresh in the fray with a Breaking Swipe, catching both foes in the wide arcing attack, the residual Dragon energy lowering the attacks of both Mega Pokemon. Meanwhile, Chuck's Dazzling Gleam temporarily blinds both opposing Pokemon as it deals fair blows to them each. The Sableye responds by proceeding to Fling its large gem at Chuck, dealing a hefty blow, the magical gem pinning the Gengar to the ground. This leaves the Ghost wide open as the Kangaskhan and its joey rush in with a Shadow Claw to strike, as well as a followup attack by the Sableye, a Shadow Ball ripping through the air to explode atop Chuck. At least the explosion loosens the gen enough for Chuck to get free, smacking Kangaskhan with a Drain Punch to get a bit of health back after the devastating barrage.

Meowth responds to the attacks now that Chuck is clear of the fray, a Shadow Wave washing over the two enemies for a fair chunk of damage. After a brief moment of recovery, the Kangaskhan and its joey continue the assault on Chuck, each striking with a blow of Assurance, powered up due to the recent damage of the blow by Sableye, leaving Chuck in a more than sorry state thanks to the never ending slew of super effective attacks. Looking at the enemies, it's obvious as to why they are going this hard, as neither looks too great themselves, perhaps weaker than the Golurk you had just recently fought. A Hex from Chuck onto the Sableye confirms this, as the blow lands just to cause a similar shattering of the Pokemon constructed by the Mega Stones into nothing but shards. Angered by the falling of their ally, the Kangaskhan and joey dig into the far wall, ripping up a large chunk of it with a Rock Slide that flies through the air and into Chuck, leaving causing the Mega energy arround the Gengar to fade as he is knocked unconcious by the repeated blows.

Luckily, Meowth still has another attack up his sleeve for now, a final Breaking Swipe smacking into the two roos and causing them to burst like pinatas into yet more Mega Stone shards.

"How convenient that our foes continue to open the way forward for us..." the Mage muses, signaling to the now open room in front of you.
With Meowth's confusion cleared up and Chuck Mega Evolved, the battle resumed, The mage seemed rather intrigued by Keith's usage of his Mega Gengar, but Keith couldn't focus on that- much more important was the battle at hand.

Which... was not going well. Keith could only look on, mouth agape in disbelief, as Chuck was pinned underneath the Mega Sableye's gigantic gem. Was it somehow stopping him from sinking into the shadows or passing through the floor? Either way, he only got out from under it when practically blasted out by a Shadow Ball. Attack after attack pelted Chuck, and even in spite of him healing off some of this damage with Drain Punch, the Mega Kangaskhan knocked Chuck clean out with a Rock Slide before being finally bested by Meowth's Breaking Swipe.

"Gah," panted Meowth. "Dat was rough."

Keith, meanwhile, was listening to the mage's remark. "Yeah, it's convenient, alright," he nodded gravely, reaching into his backpack. "Almost too convenient."

"Yeah, dis has gotta be some kinda trap," Meowth stated.

"My thoughts exactly," Keith stated. "But regardless of whether it's a trap, it's also the only shot we got of stopping Dusknoir and saving Yohan." As he spoke, he produced a number of items from his bag- a Revival Herb, a Revive, and five Sitrus Berries. "So we gotta be as ready as we can," he finished, striding over to his unconscious Gengar. He took the Revival Herb and held it in front of the Ghost/Poison-type's mouth, at which Chuck began to sniff at it. Once his mouth fell open a bit, Keith dropped the Revival Herb right on in. A few moments of chewing, and then Chuck's eyes flew open almost comically.

"Ugh!" gagged Chuck as he choked down the Revival Herb. "Oh, it tastes like Muk piss!"

Keith chuckled, raising an eyebrow. "Speaking from personal experience there?" he quipped. "Yeah, I know they ain't the tastiest solution, but this is an emergency," he said.

"Gah... Yeah, you're right," conceded Chuck. "Arceus, Mew, and Helix, that's disgusting," he groaned, pulling a face.

Keith, meanwhile, handed three of the five Sitrus Berries to Meowth, who had started to greedily devour them, after which he produced a Poké Ball, sending out his unconscious Venusaur. The Revive did its work, restoring Dennis's health at least by half, and the remaining two Sitrus Berries were fed to the Venusaur in the hopes of getting the rest of the job done.

"All right," Keith stated once his Pokémon had eaten their fill. "Things are gonna get dangerous moving forward, just letting you know," he said. "There's a little boy's life at stake, and I for one won't give up. I know I can count on you, though. Are we all good to go?" he asked.

"But of course," grinned Chuck. "It'll take more than that to stop me."

Dennis grinned. "Venusaaaaur!" he declared.

"Youse can count on me-owth as well!" purred Meowth.

Keith grinned. "Thank you, guys," he said. "I know I can always count on you. All right- Chuck, Dennis, return for now," he added, withdrawing the Gengar and Venusaur. "Just to play it safe," he murmured as he reattached the balls to his belt. "Meowth?" he added.

Meowth responded by nimbly climbing back up onto his Trainer's shoulder. "Let's do dis," he grinned.

Keith grinned back, adjusting the brim on his Mega Hat, before they both turned to look at the opening ahead of them. Taking a deep breath, Keith stepped forward. Whatever lay ahead, he couldn't say for sure, but right now, he was as ready for it as he would ever be.
 
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Mask: With the climax imminent, Victor and Gigas muster the dregs of their strength, desperately forcing their reserves to their limit. Fortunately for you, despite lacking the initiative, Gigas is swifter than his foe. His eyes bulge as an immense pressure builds deep in his chest, and with a triumphant yell the Snorlax thrusts a pulsing ring through the air. Victor is caught mid attack, turquoise flames lapping at the edges of his maw. Eyes wide, the Charmeleon staggers as he loses focus, his technique petering into nothingness as he finally crumples into a defeated heap. The atmosphere is electric, a momentary bubble of elation welling up. This is abruptly burst by the hearty laughter of Umberto. Recalling Victor, the guard mutters something to the now closed Poke Ball - no doubt offering some words of consolatory encouragement - before walking towards both yourself and Gigas. With a respectful nod to the Snorlax, Umberto clasps your hand in a firm shake, the warmth behind his gestures punctuated by his now shining eyes.

"That was an excellent battle. I had a good feeling about you, but I must admit, you surpassed my expectations. Not many among the duty soldiers could push Victor so far - perhaps only the personal elite of His Majesty. You do yourself proud."

With his praise comes a junior guard from the nearby barracks, the youth holding a familiar item of clothing - one of the emblazoned blue scarves which adorn the necks of those employed by the King. Umberto proudly offers it to you, though a sense of disappointment is palpable.

"Would that i could welcome you to permanent employ, but for now your duties will primarily be limited to patrolling the castle grounds. I am sure you can find a way to make yourself useful. Strange rumours have circulated recently... allegedly a mysterious beast has been seen stalking the cellars and dungeons, but how they gained access with our security is beyond me. Most like to be nothing more than an imagined story."

===


Zelphon: "I am... cursed. I don't know how... or when, but I have been unable to leave... this place as far back as I can recall. Curses are fickle... and can be powerful, but they... also follow strict rules. There is a... precise order to inflicting such chaos... and suffering. However... this structure can... prove them vulnerable. A slight fraying... can cause an unravelling of... the entire tapestry... and lead everything to collapse."

Where once an entrenched dejection held the tone of Mimikyu, now a faint glimmer of hope seems to crawl forth. Naula seizes upon this, using the slightly upbeat mood to begin playfully tackling Mimikyu, managing to solicit a brief giggle from the Fairy type as she rolls with the roughhousing. This solitary moment of brevity breaks some of the barriers Mimikyu had clearly erected, the at first sinister impression giving way to one of unguarded pity. With a start, the Ghost type wrenches herself straight, an eagerness to her movements.

"I am not sure why... but I have just realised. I have a recollection... of warmth. Of happier times. An inn... I stayed there, with someone. A long, long time ago. It is not... far. Maybe it is... connected. To how I became... this."

The implication is left hanging, uncertain and seemingly unbroachable - was Mimkyu referring to their predicament, or something more fundamental? You have little time to ruminate on this, as Mimikyu again musters her strength in an attempt to convey one final message.

"I am already... at the limit of my territory. I am... weaker here, but I must... warn you. Curses are fragile, yes... but they are dangerous... when not approached correctly. Their rigidity... causes a flipside of instability... and they can easily backfire onto meddlers."

The ominous warning was as shivering as it was clear: involving yourself without appropriate foreknowledge would have dire consequences.
 
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Mask: With the climax imminent, Victor and Gigas muster the dregs of their strength, desperately forcing their reserves to their limit. Fortunately for you, despite lacking the initiative, Gigas is swifter than his foe. His eyes bulge as an immense pressure builds deep in his chest, and with a triumphant yell the Snorlax thrusts a pulsing ring through the air. Victor is caught mid attack, turquoise flames lapping at the edges of his maw. Eyes wide, the Charmeleon staggers as he loses focus, his technique petering into nothingness as he finally crumples into a defeated heap. The atmosphere is electric, a momentary bubble of elation welling up. This is abruptly burst by the hearty laughter of Umberto. Recalling Victor, the guard mutters something to the now closed Poke Ball - no doubt offering some words of consolatory encouragement - before walking towards both yourself and Gigas. With a respectful nod to the Snorlax, Umberto clasps your hand in a firm shake, the warmth behind his gestures punctuated by his now shining eyes.

"That was an excellent battle. I had a good feeling about you, but I must admit, you surpassed my expectations. Not many among the duty soldiers could push Victor so far - perhaps only the personal elite of His Majesty. You do yourself proud."

With his praise comes a junior guard from the nearby barracks, the youth holding a familiar item of clothing - one of the emblazoned blue scarves which adorn the necks of those employed by the King. Umberto proudly offers it to you, though a sense of disappointment is palpable.

"Would that i could welcome you to permanent employ, but for now your duties will primarily be limited to patrolling the castle grounds. I am sure you can find a way to make yourself useful. Strange rumours have circulated recently... allegedly a mysterious beast has been seen stalking the cellars and dungeons, but how they gained access with our security is beyond me. Most like to be nothing more than an imagined story."
Gigas roared in triumph. Kou, raised to be more collected in his displays of enthusiasm, clenched his fist and sighed in a mixture of pride and relief - it had been the most exciting battle he'd had in a very, very long time. Perhaps now he was closer to being a match for Althea, the "Lady in White"...

"Exceptional job Gigas. Not just for the victory, either... That High Horsepower was flawless! You've earned your rest, dear friend."

Gigas grinned proudly and gave his Trainer a thumbs-up, before returning to his Ball. Kou approached Umberto and bowed respectfully, as he'd been taught.

"Thank you for the battle. Your strength is inspiring - I will not fool myself into thinking myself stronger than you, as Victor has yet to completely evolve. I look forward to fighting again once he does, if you'd have me."

His attention shifted to the lovely blue scarf that was offered to him. Despite his hometown's garbs traditionally featuring red, there was no denying the piece of cloth was a thing of beauty; hesitating for a moment, Kou told himself this could be regarded as the equivalent of a Badge, and it would be disrespectful to turn down a royal gift. Smiling, he accepted it.

"You honour me, Sir Umberto. Regrettably, my own journey prevents me from accepting a permanent place among your ranks, but... I would be glad to help clarify the mystery of this beast. Stories like that rarely grow from nothingness - no matter how small, most come from a grain of truth."

Kou placed the scarf around his neck and straightened his back.

"Please show me where I am needed. I am at your service."
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Liltwick – Thoughts plagued by questions and concerns, your mind sluggishly follows your feet by wandering in circles, trapped in an endless cycle of self-doubt. Everything seems too unreal to be true. Was this perhaps all just a dream? Some cosmic scheme to keep you confined within a fantasy, forever fated to fight gods and wars rather than fulfilling one simple wish…

Lost in your reverie, you fail to notice the absence of your astern party member until it’s too late. Hearing snickering from above, you start to suspect some mischievous spirit is at work, but apathy has drained your will to the point of barely registering alarm, let alone rage. The eerie, quiet calm with which you command your remaining companions causes more unease than if you had yelled with full force, and they sense something else must be done quickly to snap their trainer out of such critical stupor.

Hovering over to your bag, Custard roots around and retrieves a black and gold leaf ball trimmed with a floral pattern, gently impressing it into your palm. Confused and bewildered by the insistent request but too lethargic to protest, you agree to release your Comfey onto the scene in hopes she’ll somehow be able to help find your missing friend as well. Upon seeing such worry upon the Togetic’s and Snorlax’s expressions, and then the languid state of their trainer, the little lei swiftly floats over and wraps herself comfortably around your shoulders, letting a soothing aroma wash over you in an attempt to breathe some life back into your soul.

Custard then proceeds to raise a paw and waggle his finger invitingly at the treetops, calling out in temptation to whoever was hiding within. There’s a pause – before a small, dark brown object suddenly drops down from the branches. Though primed to face a much more menacing foe, all five of you blink in bemusement as you confront what appears to be… an acorn?

All of a sudden, the tiny bean suddenly sits up and sprouts a pair of short stubs, striving to flee whilst its foes are distracted. Pie promptly moves to block its path however, and the petite Seedot squeaks in terror as a giant foot stomps down in front of it, plopping back onto its bum in surprise. The kernel cowers with fear as it switches tactics to trying to burrow itself deep into the ground instead in a desperate effort to hide, and your perplexed Pokémon look to you for assistance, wondering what to do now about this miniature prisoner they’ve managed to capture.

How do you react?
 
Märchen Meines Lebens
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@SpinyShell -

You head down the path towards the Chalice of Sun. You immediately notice that the area starts to warm up as you continue down the path. Despite the volcano being dormant for who knows how long, it still has left a last effect on the area.

Another thing besides the heat that you notice is that the area slowly becoming more and more sparse of vegetation. Compared to the grassy plains and sprawling hills you traversed on the path, this was arider. The Chalice filled your vision, and everything paled compared to the ever-looming mountain. It was all-knowing, all-consuming, and all enlightening.

After what felt like hours you finally see something on the horizon. At this point, it was dusk fall. The sky was vibrant pumpkin orange, with hazy violets and mute pinks melting into the horizon. You could start to see the beginnings of the brightest stars peek through the veil of the ozone, looking down on the Arcane Realm with all their glory. And this celestial waterwork painted your gaze to a small shack at the base of the mountain. A plume of smoke rose from the building, and you could smell burnt earth.

An Indeedee held a broom, sweeping away at the outside of the shop. You could tell by the shape of its horns it was a Male, and it looked that he was quite fussed with the work he had to do. He'd make large sweeps with the broom, look around quickly, and then use his psychic powers to disperse the piddling dust pile he just made. Why'd he started over the work he was so obviously annoyed with? Perfectionism would make sense, but from the behavior, you could see it was definitely being haphazardly done at best.

His head perked up as he heard you approach, and he quickly dropped the broom and ran inside. Was it worried you'd report its behavior if you caught it? You didn't know, but you could see the Pokemon poking its head out every so often to check if you were still there. You could always check it out, or move forwards.

What do you do?
 
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THE ARCANE REALM

"The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate... Entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yes, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed..." Nyx Avatar (Persona 3)

Once a simple place where new trainers were sent to learn the basics of adventuring, with the vast changes to Fizzytopia the Arcane Realm seemed to have faded from existence. Though gone, it was never forgotten by the bitter trainers who were forced into spending what felt like years in that simplistic place. A place where no growth was truly given, and only stagnation existed. Yet, when the realm disappeared, all were freed from their restraints and truly allowed to begin anew.

Now, it seems that the Arcane Realm has resurfaced in Fizzytopia. Showing up where the old Arcane Realm use to be, this new one is vastly different then the one that the denizens of Fizzytopia are used to. Now truly a place of magic and mystery, it says the very land itself is influenced by the “cards”/ What these cards are, and what they refer to nobody particularly knows. The only thing that is certain, though, is that this Arcane Realm is teeming with life, and has infinite possibilities for adventure.


The Forest of Wands


Once monikered the Forest of Adventure, the Forest of Wands has been changed and twisted by the surplus of magical energy flowing through the Arcane Realm. THe once simplistic woods are now a labyrinth where magic flows through the roots of the trees and a sense of dread and whimsy encompass all who enter. Though, it was possible that this was here the entire time, like everything else, and the deep magic that flows through these woods caused trainers to dream of the much more simplistic Arcane Realm. (Please reply in SeaGreen)

XI. Grounds of Justice - A barren field, charred and stained in blood. Here war criminals were executed, heretics burned, and those affected by plague said to waste away. A statue of an angelic figure watches over these sacred grounds, guiding the dead towards enlightenment. Whether their deaths were just or not, they have tainted this land within the forest. The only thing that awaits here is grim fate, with scales in her left, and sword in her right, ready to guide the lost.
Well this was... Unexpected. The last thing Liawe remembered was falling asleep at her camp in the valley, and now she awoke in what seemed to be a barren plain. Without her tent. Her bag was on the floor next to her, with an assortment of Pokeballs that she hoped were hers, but... With how weird this all was, it could've been anyone's. That issue was quickly resolved however, as three of her Pokémon emerged from her bag, proving it to be without a doubt her own as Hope floated through the fabric with a strange noise that might've been a laugh or a snarl. Following Hope from the bag on the floor came the rather sleepy forms of Carl and the Crimson Fandango, the little bird twittering happily as the bug crawled over and nestled its head into Liawe's leg. Smiling at her company, she picked up the bag and got things in order before sitting down, before grunting with surprise as the Larvesta hopped into her lap. "So, we're here, wherever 'here' is." Taking in the surroundings of the scorched plain, Liawe twisted to look at her shadowy compatriot questioningly. "Was this your doing, Hope?" The only response from the little ghost was a look of almost-calculated bemusement. "Well," she said, lowering the Crimson Fandango to the floor as she stood, "We're not getting anywhere just sat here, so what say we go figure out where we are?". This was met with a cheer from the Crimson Fandango, who crawled into her arms, and a twittering chirp from the Starly as he perched on her shoulder. Hope grimaced behind them, but set off in pursuit of her trainer as they set off through this strange land they found themselves in.
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Yuki-
With the three choices made for who goes to which tunnel, the family breaks apart to take their challenges. Kanna looks down her corridor and noticed multiple levels of what seemed like a maze. Walking in, she notices a ladder in front of her. Going up it, she sees a new floor and notices a hole in the ground. Going down that, she feels herself slide down into the next floor.

She makes her way through the maze, going up another ladder. She notices the path leads into a left-hand corridor. Walking down that path, she ends up at another shute, she slides down. The next room has another shute, and she goes into the lowest floor of the maze. At this rate, she notices three options within the room. There was a ladder towards the left, a corridor straight ahead, and a right-hand corridor. The entire maze seemed disorienting. Up and down, down and up. It made her feel sick to her stomach. At least this gave her a chance to rest. Though, she needed to choose what path she'll take next.

--

Keif, knowing his family will be fine, runs down into his corridor. He noticed high walls, which seems to contain a maze of some kind. He runs straight into it and heads down a straight path. As he's running, he begins to ramp up more and more speed. The path seems endless until he reaches the other side. That didn't seem like a maze at all. In front of him was a door with three slots within it. It was obvious he needed the key, but where could he find one? The so-called maze seemed to be a straight path.

He then looks behind him and notices that the entire maze looked different. There were multiple corners that he hadn't even noticed. Turns going off the straight path, and multiple corridors that he couldn't see. The key seemed to be within this place somewhere. But where? The obvious options were a left path and a right path immediately at this side of the maze. He could go straight into the middle path again and hope he could slow down enough to find another path. What does he do?

--

Yuffie, excited that she gets to be by herself, runs off into her own maze. She notices corners after corners, but her unique running style seems perfect for it. Until the path slopes down, and she starts to bounce off of the corners before she crashed into a wall. She yelps in pain, realizing that being too fast could potentially be dangerous in this maze.

Taking her approach more slowly, she manages to get to a crossroads. Each path in front of her had a different kind of curvature to it. The path directly in front of her continued to be the zig-zag corner pattern. To her left the walls were wavy, and she could hear the sound of ocean waves coming from it. Was this maze partially sunken? To her right the maze was straight, and she could see a bright light coming from it. Was that a way out? She didn't know. Which way to go was her choice though.

What do they all do?
With directions settled and determined countenances, the three set off on their respective routes. Kanna gulped as she peered cautiously through the right corridor, finding herself greeted with what appeared to be a multi-layered maze. A ladder positioned prominently before her beckoned, and with no other obvious option she obliged to climb. Reaching the top, there was nothing but a small hole awaiting, just the right size for her wiry frame to slip through. She swallowed in hesitation, bracing herself as she gently lowered into the burrow, sliding on her belly towards the unknown and landing with a soft plop at the bottom. Though the ride was a bit smoother than her previous adrenaline-fueled descent downstairs, she still wasn't keen on any further such steep falls. ...Unfortunately, as she progressed through the paths, it seemed like the whole catacomb was comprised of chutes and ladders, like some kind of disorienting roller coaster. Stomach squirming, she took a moment to curl up and rest, letting her senses settle as she considered her next move. Having landed on what she presumed was now the lowest floor, two hallways headed forward and to the right, with yet another ladder leaning to the left. She immediately dismissed the latter, having had quite enough of rising motion sickness for the time being. That left the two remaining passages... Though still somewhat woozy and weary, she gradually unraveled with a heavy sigh after recovering some stamina and picked the rightmost pathway, praying her family was having an easier time than her...

-

Kief, confident in his and his family's navigation abilities, quickly raced down his course at full speed, which turned out to be a completely straight shot. After what felt like an excessively long period of running though, it seemed as if there was no end in sight... Until at last, he encountered a barricade with a single door, bearing no markings aside from three slots in the center. It appeared a key of some kind was required, but where to find one? With no other clues, he revolved back around and blinked at how the entire labyrinth seemed to have shifted, with several branching trails he hadn't noticed before. Confused, he decided to comb through the entire length of the middle lane once more, this time utilizing his ODOR SLEUTH in an attempt to sniff out which of the connecting conduits might contain treasure a hidden key, or perhaps at least some yummy food to satisfy his tummy...

-

Enthused at the prospect of venturing out on her own, Yufi bounded blissfully forth and sailed through her section with ease, which seemed perfectly suited to her unique movement style. ...That is, until the track began to slope downwards, causing her to trip and stumble, bouncing off the sharp corners before crashing directly into a barrier. Wincing in pain, she picked herself up and decided to follow her mother's advice after all to proceed more carefully, glad her parents weren't there at least to see such concerns embarrassingly proven right.

Slowly, she approached a crossroads up ahead, forking to the front and on both sides. The avenue forward seemed to maintain a zigzag pattern, while to the left the walls were shaped like ocean waves, the sound of which she could hear coming from that vicinity. Could part of the structure be submerged underwater? Considering her recent seafaring experience with battling Mother Nature for survival, she wasn't really eager to test out the theory. Instead, she turned to the final choice: A bright light emanating from the right, easily visible through a seemingly straight, simple channel. Twinkling in invite, she excitedly advanced towards the brightness, optimistic that it was a signal showing the way to freedom...
 
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Wistful
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Mask: Umberto smiles warmly at your deference, a clear resonance between your respectful bearing and that of the by-the-books guard. As you ask for direction, Umberto frowns, briefly somewhat uncertain. After a moment, he decides for now your efforts are best spent on introducing yourself to the castle's not insignificant myriad of workers - an investigation into the strange rumours would be sorely hindered if those circulating those very whisperings were tight lipped. This makes sense, and you begin your patrol, resolving to try tugging out any potential leads while you were at it.

After quite some time, having completed roughly a lap of the castle grounds, you had made a little headway - but nothing particularly enlightening. Much of what you heard were obvious red herrings standard urban myth fare. Shadowy unidentifiable figures, otherworldly noises, ghostly apparitions. Most of them could be drawn up to fancies of the mind, minor misunderstandings that grew into something more threatening and gossip worthy. Two things stand out from the rest courtesy of their comparatively mundane nature. It seems that food has been regularly going missing from the kitchen and storage rooms, and while certainly less concrete, a notable number of the guards at the barracks had noticed there was a higher turnover of spare uniforms lately, with many seeming to vanish into thin air.

Your busywork had taken longer than you expected, the midday sun now beginning to soften as afternoon crawled in. There was still plenty daylight to be had though, and your options were clearer. You could give the barracks another try, pulling harder on that strand, or head towards the kitchens. Both seemed likely to have logs for vanished items, so confirming that part of the rumours would be a simple task, if nothing else.
 
Wistful
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ConnorFB - This strange arm of seemingly carved stone couldn't have gotten here on its own, not in this excellent shape, aside from being clearly broken off of something. The regular sandstorms hadn't even eroded a bit of it, so clearly it was fresh. With Julia and Atlantis willing to help out, you decide that Lancelot would be the optimal choice to help relay orders while clearing the area.

It's not long before Julia finds something, taking a Bite into the sand only to come up with another large chunk of stone, Atlantis proceeding to blow some of the remaining sand away with an Icy Wind to reveal the main statue that the arm had come from, the immaculate form of a young female trainer seemingly issuing orders to an unseen Pokemon, the legs buried down into the dune. Pulling the remaining stone statue out of the stone with a bit of Strength, Lancelot reveals the remaining form, not much more than boots and a bag tossed to the ground, all sitting atop a large chunk of uncut stone, what the statue was likely carved from.

Unlodging the statue, however, does reveal exactly what had severed the arm off in the first place, a couple of Durant staring up at your team, only to realize they've been found and promptly scuttle out of the dune with surprising speed. The duo of bugs quickly blitz past you and make their way further into the desert, kicking up a fair bit of dust in their wake. At least they've left an easy trail to track.
Watching from a distance while investigating himself, Sweeney stops as Lancelot manages to wrestle the statue free from the surrounding dunes. First impressions confirmed it as extremely strange. Not only was it a weird subject - a female trainer, stood in a familiar pose to any trainer not wet behind the ears - the apparently rushed plinth underfoot drew further curiosity. How did it get here? Who placed it in the desert? Who was the sculptor? Having looked to answer questions, the Bartender only found himself with more than ever. The severed arm lay beside it, pointing towards the statue as if in a twisted mockery of Sweeney's inquisitiveness.

His thoughts were not allowed to ruminate. Without warning, a group of Durant come hurtling out from beneath the statue, no doubt the culprits of the mysterious disarmament. Much like his Pokemon, Sweeney is quick to move out of their way. He had endured his fair tussle with angry Pokemon, and Durant were not the type you wanted to fuck around and find out with. Especially not when startled. Sweeney had no intention of meeting the same fate as the unfortunate stone lady.

As they scuttle into the distance, a decision has to be made. Either chase the Durant, or investigate the area they discovered the statue. potentially uncovering concrete information regarding it's origins. Weighing the options up, Sweeney considers the tracks left behind by the escaping insects, and makes his choice. Recalling Lancelot, he motions for Atlantis to nestle comfortably on his helmet again, before releasing Joss and pointing to the tracks. With a mocking caw, the Chatot sails into the air, his task clear. Keep a close eye on the Durant, and indicate if they were heading in an awkward direction. With that done, Sweeney gives chase.

---

OoC reminder - Pokemon used (Larvitar, Kabuto, Slowking, Chatot)
 
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Märchen Meines Lebens
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Yuki-

Kanna makes her way through the rightmost pathway and continues to work through a few winding corridors. She continues for what feels like forever as the path continues to move forward. It was strange, not seeing anything in terms of heading back up. After who knows how long, she hits a dead-end in the maze. All of that walking, for nothing. Looking around, it seems that her only option now was to head back and take one of the alternative routes.

---

Kief makes his way down the central hallway once again, using his Odor Sleuth to try and pick something up. He smells nothing but the dusty old walls as he makes his way down, before feeling a powerful scent enter his nostrils. Stopping, his nose takes him to the right and he enters a small corridor. At the end of it, he could see what looked like the key. Though, it didn't look easy. He saw three crates stacked up gently at the entrance of the corridor. Examining it forward, there were a few holes in the floor that'd prevent him from moving forward. Looked like he'd need to figure out a way to move the crates into the holes without breaking them.

---

Yufi heads towards the bright light, and enters a chamber filled with treasures! Looking at it, it seems this place was meant to house the treasures of the monks in the temple. Though, on a closer look, the treasures were boring old things like clothing and bowls. Nothing here was actually interesting, well, besides what seemed to be a lit lantern in the middle of the room. Was this making the glow? Well, if that was it, it would certainly help navigate the labyrinth.

What do they do?
 
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Mask: Umberto smiles warmly at your deference, a clear resonance between your respectful bearing and that of the by-the-books guard. As you ask for direction, Umberto frowns, briefly somewhat uncertain. After a moment, he decides for now your efforts are best spent on introducing yourself to the castle's not insignificant myriad of workers - an investigation into the strange rumours would be sorely hindered if those circulating those very whisperings were tight lipped. This makes sense, and you begin your patrol, resolving to try tugging out any potential leads while you were at it.

After quite some time, having completed roughly a lap of the castle grounds, you had made a little headway - but nothing particularly enlightening. Much of what you heard were obvious red herrings standard urban myth fare. Shadowy unidentifiable figures, otherworldly noises, ghostly apparitions. Most of them could be drawn up to fancies of the mind, minor misunderstandings that grew into something more threatening and gossip worthy. Two things stand out from the rest courtesy of their comparatively mundane nature. It seems that food has been regularly going missing from the kitchen and storage rooms, and while certainly less concrete, a notable number of the guards at the barracks had noticed there was a higher turnover of spare uniforms lately, with many seeming to vanish into thin air.

Your busywork had taken longer than you expected, the midday sun now beginning to soften as afternoon crawled in. There was still plenty daylight to be had though, and your options were clearer. You could give the barracks another try, pulling harder on that strand, or head towards the kitchens. Both seemed likely to have logs for vanished items, so confirming that part of the rumours would be a simple task, if nothing else.
Kou spent several hours searching, questioning, and all he had to show for his efforts come the afternoon was...

Nothing.

Well, not quite. Amidst the countless baseless rumours, paranormal tales and unfounded speculation from the castle staff, two things did stand out that might be worth pursuing further.

"Food missing, not just from storage, but the kitchen itself; and uniforms vanishing into thin air," he muttered during the short break he'd allowed himself to take. "I can't find a correlation between them, but I don't think these events should be ignored either."

At this point in his adventures, his Pokemon weren't ideal for stealthy jobs - in the near future, he would be reunited with his father's Zangoose, but at that moment, all he had was Gigas, and the Snorlax was hardly an inconspicuous presence. Still, he could serve a particular purpose in the investigation...

The kitchen. If food is being stolen, Gigas will have no difficulty following its trail. And if I lie in wait when the room is supposed to be empty, I might even catch the thief in the act...

With that, Kou returned to Umberto, hoping he would direct him to the kitchen so he could continue his assignment. Perhaps the first order of business would be to ask around the kitchen staff, and if nothing came of it, he would try and weed out the one responsible through his own means. All in all, the one thing that mattered was obtaining the Emperor's approval, the equivalent of a Badge in his mind...
 
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ChrisClark13 - Annahime, as per usual, takes some convincing to do the one thing necessary to provide the lot of you with a decent night's sleep. But the idea of a shining stone adorning her soft fur seems to be enough incentive to get things rolling as she begins digging up chunks of earth with Psychic energy, tossing it into the air after a bit of coaching to reveal some shining glints here and there. Meanwhile, the Eevee begins frantically running about, collecting the small shining scraps and pawing off any remaining dirt before putting the stones in a pile.

It's a bit of hard work that consumes some time, but soon enough there's a sizable pile of the stones, able to illuminate some ten feet or so around it. Taking out a small pouch of water, the older man washes off his hands before making camp around the stone, motioning for you to do the same.

"It's later than I would have liked, but we should be able to get going fairly early after a good night's sleep." He comments, laying down, the small brown fox cuddling up next to him for the night.

Annahime, meanwhile, begins dragging your sleeping bag over with Psychic, trying to position it by the stones, ready for rest herself after all that exertion. Taking a nice resting position near the stone, she stares into the pile, the soft glow reflecting off of her lustrous fur while revealing some eyes in the distance that it reflects off of momentarily before whatever predators are out there move along for the night.
Curtis would rather be in the tent he brought, but whatever- he's too tired to put up a fight against Annahime's pushiness right now. Besides, wasn't sleeping next to that pile of rocks is supposed to be safer right now, right? Annahime, already curled up on the sleeping bag, seems to have forgotten a few things- namely the sleeping mat and the pillow. He lets out a sigh and walks the short distance to his tent to go grab them.

Meanwhile, Annahime picks up some of the shining stones with her Psychic grip and lifts them up. She tries for a while to arrange them into different floating patterns; however, much to her annoyance, trying to do beyond a very simple pattern quickly becomes very difficult. She keeps at it for a while longer anyway, at least until she starts feeling a headache from the psychic strain of it. She's about to set the shining stones back down but notices the Eevee lying over there. She wonders what the other fox would look like with the shining stones adorning their fur as well, wondering if they would even like that.

She's not quite sure where the thought came from, but she supposes the other brown fox did help after all. Maybe her dumb trainer's rubbing off on her or something- maybe because she's sure that somehow her dumb trainer is going to end up bringing that Eevee home at some point so she might as well play nice with it. Anyhow, she starts to carefully place some of the shining stones one by one on top of the Eevee- covering their back and (if the Eevee doesn't object) putting some in its tail. There, the other fox is all pretty now.

Curtis, having come back just in time to see this rare act of generosity from Annahime, lets out a soft "Aaaaawwww" and gives his Vulpix a pat on the head. "Knew you had it in you to be a good girl," he softly teases, giving her a scratch under the chin. "Now if you'll excuse me a moment..." he says, tugging on the sleeping bag to lay it out on top of the sleeping mat. Stubbornly, Annahime doesn't move at all and just stares blankly at him as he sets up for the night and finally gets into the sleeping bag.

Soon, both trainer and Pokemon are fast asleep...
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Yuki-

Kanna makes her way through the rightmost pathway and continues to work through a few winding corridors. She continues for what feels like forever as the path continues to move forward. It was strange, not seeing anything in terms of heading back up. After who knows how long, she hits a dead-end in the maze. All of that walking, for nothing. Looking around, it seems that her only option now was to head back and take one of the alternative routes.

---

Kief makes his way down the central hallway once again, using his Odor Sleuth to try and pick something up. He smells nothing but the dusty old walls as he makes his way down, before feeling a powerful scent enter his nostrils. Stopping, his nose takes him to the right and he enters a small corridor. At the end of it, he could see what looked like the key. Though, it didn't look easy. He saw three crates stacked up gently at the entrance of the corridor. Examining it forward, there were a few holes in the floor that'd prevent him from moving forward. Looked like he'd need to figure out a way to move the crates into the holes without breaking them.

---

Yufi heads towards the bright light, and enters a chamber filled with treasures! Looking at it, it seems this place was meant to house the treasures of the monks in the temple. Though, on a closer look, the treasures were boring old things like clothing and bowls. Nothing here was actually interesting, well, besides what seemed to be a lit lantern in the middle of the room. Was this making the glow? Well, if that was it, it would certainly help navigate the labyrinth.

What do they do?
As Kanna navigated her way through the extensive winding corridors, doubts began to plague her mind as to whether she was really headed in the right direction. More than that, she worried how her family was faring. Kief could surely take care of himself, but what about Yufi? Was she safe, all alone without any guidance? What if there were more traps lying in wait - or even enemies lurking within the shadows? Her tail twitched fretfully to and fro with increasing anxiety - to the point she didn't even notice a dead-end planted right before her until she bumped straight into the wall. Grimacing and rubbing her snout, she sighed as she examined the surroundings and came to the unfortunate conclusion there was no further path to progress from here. Reluctantly, she made a U-TURN right back the way she came, returning to the fork before deciding to try the straight passage instead in hopes it would finally lead to freedom, and her family...

-

Meanwhile, Kief was conscientiously backtracking along his own route, keeping his nose close to the ground as he sniffed furiously in search of some kind of clue. For the most part, only the musty odor of dust filled his nostrils - inciting him to sneeze violently once or twice in order to clear the irritated canals. As he inhaled deeply following another coughing fit, this time a strange new scent floated faintly by, tickling his heightened senses. His ears perked as he picked up on the unfamiliar fragrance, tracing it to the source as it grew steadily stronger. The trail took him down a small adjoining hallway - so narrow he had missed its existence entirely before - at the end of which he could spot what seemed to be the prized key he sought. While his younger self would've barked in excitement and immediately bounded forth without heeding any danger, an image of Kanna's concerned expression suddenly crossed his mind, and he glimpsed down to realize there were a few gaping holes in the floor to prevent ease of crossing. The tight fit meant he couldn't just walk around the pitfalls, so he'd have to find some other way to circumvent them. Casting about, he noticed three large crates conveniently stacked nearby, clearly meant to be used to construct a makeshift bridge. Being not particularly well equipped to handle lifting heavy boxes (let alone how to even get the top two cartons down by themselves without breaking), he pondered for a bit before coming up with a brilliant(?) idea: Using an ICE BEAM to coat the hall and sliding the containers across altogether as a group (balancing carefully so as not to cause the tower to collapse), then applying MUD SHOT to the bottom when approaching a breach to slow each successive base down and cushion the fall.

-

Pursuing the brightness, Yufi soon found herself stumbling into a secret room stuffed full with treasures - at first glance, anyway. As she eagerly investigated the relics, her enthusiasm over hitting the jackpot deflated as the appraisal only yielded boring items such as some inexpensive earthenware and drab, simple clothing befitting a monk's lifestyle. Everything was obviously lacking extravagance, utterly unadorned in keeping with an ascetic's aesthetic. As she put down yet another plain piece of pottery in disappointment, her eye was caught by the chamber's centerpiece: a softly glowing lantern, which emitted welcome warmth and comfort amidst the dampened cold. Figuring it would help to at least dispel darkness as she made her way through the maze, she marched boldly forth to grab the lamp (not even questioning who could've bothered to light it after supposed "abandonment" so long underground).
 
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Märchen Meines Lebens
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Yuki-

Making her way back, Kanna heads down the straight corridor. The path here was a lot more interesting than the previous one. Strange pictures adorned the walls as if it was telling a story. She saw various monks and what seemed like a ritual to seal away what looked like a demon. They sealed it away in a vessel of stone, its spirit scattered around the temple. But, it also spoke of a young girl who sacrificed herself to act as a seal to the demon.

At the end of the corridor was a lamp, alight with a bright green flame. It sat atop a pedestal with a small inscription. In unown letters, it stated, "Bring the lamps and key to the seal." With that information, it seemed safe enough to take the lamp.

--

Using his wits, Kief freezes the corridor down with an Ice Beam, allowing him to easily slide the crates. Pushing them forwards, he softens the blow to them with mud shots, allowing them to nice and firm in the holes he needed to cross. With his path forwards, he heads towards the key. Standing in front of it, he notices that it's only big enough to cover one of the other holes. Guess there were more hidden around this maze that he'd need to find.

--

Yufi rashly jumps ahead and grabs the lamp. As she does, the room shakes and the door behind her seals shut. She starts to hear the sound of water as if the waves were rising. Looking around, she could see small holes in the walls. Did she have to figure out a way to escape? Before she could think, she heard a voice in her head.

"Prove your worth."

Suddenly, a dark shadow appears before her, taking her form. Did she have to defeat this shadow to escape from here? It looked like she had no choice but to fight.

What do they do?
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Yuki-

Making her way back, Kanna heads down the straight corridor. The path here was a lot more interesting than the previous one. Strange pictures adorned the walls as if it was telling a story. She saw various monks and what seemed like a ritual to seal away what looked like a demon. They sealed it away in a vessel of stone, its spirit scattered around the temple. But, it also spoke of a young girl who sacrificed herself to act as a seal to the demon.

At the end of the corridor was a lamp, alight with a bright green flame. It sat atop a pedestal with a small inscription. In unown letters, it stated, "Bring the lamps and key to the seal." With that information, it seemed safe enough to take the lamp.

--

Using his wits, Kief freezes the corridor down with an Ice Beam, allowing him to easily slide the crates. Pushing them forwards, he softens the blow to them with mud shots, allowing them to nice and firm in the holes he needed to cross. With his path forwards, he heads towards the key. Standing in front of it, he notices that it's only big enough to cover one of the other holes. Guess there were more hidden around this maze that he'd need to find.

--

Yufi rashly jumps ahead and grabs the lamp. As she does, the room shakes and the door behind her seals shut. She starts to hear the sound of water as if the waves were rising. Looking around, she could see small holes in the walls. Did she have to figure out a way to escape? Before she could think, she heard a voice in her head.

"Prove your worth."

Suddenly, a dark shadow appears before her, taking her form. Did she have to defeat this shadow to escape from here? It looked like she had no choice but to fight.

What do they do?
As Kanna made her way through the straight corridor this time, she found herself accompanied by what seemed to be a scrolling story along the walls, adorned by ancient murals depicting the temple monks performing some sort of ritual. Though faded and worn with age, the fresco's paint was still just fresh enough to make out details such as the subject of the ceremony: what could only be described as a foul demon, dark and foreboding. The evil spirit was apparently sealed within a stone vessel, its soul scattered by the sages in several pieces throughout the shrine. Of note was another small figure contrasting the shadow: a young girl bathed in holy light, acting as a sacrifice to keep the beast at bay. The chiaroscuro effect was chilling, and Kanna shrank in reverent fear as she passed beneath the devil's design, almost afraid it would come to life and leap out at her.

When she reached the end of the hall, she was greeted by the sight of a peculiar green lantern sitting atop a pedestal, as if burning with the color of envy. Inscribed on a placard below were symbols she recognized resembled the Unown species, but given her lack of association with the human alphabet she still could not comprehend their arrangement. Still, the setting seemed relatively safe enough, and the light brightened in invitation to her approach. Entranced by the flickering emerald flame, and seeing as there were no other signs to steer her so far, she wondered if perhaps this was meant to help guide her to the goal. Taking a deep breath and bracing for whatever might result in case this was indeed a trap, she gingerly reached forward to take the lamp

-

Kief quickly got to work coating the floor with frost, gently pushing the packages forth with much greater ease. Taking care not to slip or stumble so as to keep the cartons from capsizing, he slowly neared the first hollow and stopped to smear some viscous mud in the basin as well as along the bottom box, before cautiously nudging it into the cavity. It dropped without much difficulty, the sticky substance helping to steady its descent whilst also cementing firmly in place, fitting snug and secure in the square. Kief continued on with alternating snow and sludge, the task growing progressively simpler as he deposited each load one by one. Eventually he made it to the other end, where the key lay tantalizingly within reach. Examining it up close though, it clearly could only cover one of the slots seen on the previous door. Looks like he'd have to keep searching for the others. Sighing, he extended out to collect the prize before heading back to continue exploring

-

As soon as Yufi touched the target, the chamber once again began to tremble and the entry (expectedly) slammed shut. Her ears perked to the sound of rushing water, as if the ocean waves were rising all around her. A claustrophobic sense of dread began to creep up as she recalled the terrifying experience of being submerged in the sea, and she swiftly scanned about for an escape. Her suspicions were only confirmed when she realized the surrounding sides contained tiny gaps reminiscent of a sieve, intended to gradually fill the room with liquid death and drown the poor victim caught within. Before she could even begin to process the situation enough to start panicking, an ominous voice suddenly resounded in her mind:

"Prove your worth."

She blinked as her own shadow cast by the lamplight seemed to expand and transform, swelling up to the same height whilst still reflecting her image. A mirrored pair of eyes peered forth, glowing eerily like sinister rubies amidst smoke. ...Rather than cower at the creepy clone however, a look of relief crossed Yufi's face as she raced towards the stranger(?), wagging her tail with thankful excitement to see she wasn't alone in this endeavor.

"Hey! Are you stuck here too? Looks like we gotta find a way out of here fast... Come on, let's work together!"

Not at all disturbed by the daunting duplicate, she grinned with purely innocent CHARM as she obliviously batted her BABY-DOLL EYES, holding out a hopeful HELPING HAND towards the doppelganger as a prospective peace offering...
 
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Märchen Meines Lebens
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Liltwick – Thoughts plagued by questions and concerns, your mind sluggishly follows your feet by wandering in circles, trapped in an endless cycle of self-doubt. Everything seems too unreal to be true. Was this perhaps all just a dream? Some cosmic scheme to keep you confined within a fantasy, forever fated to fight gods and wars rather than fulfilling one simple wish…

Lost in your reverie, you fail to notice the absence of your astern party member until it’s too late. Hearing snickering from above, you start to suspect some mischievous spirit is at work, but apathy has drained your will to the point of barely registering alarm, let alone rage. The eerie, quiet calm with which you command your remaining companions causes more unease than if you had yelled with full force, and they sense something else must be done quickly to snap their trainer out of such critical stupor.

Hovering over to your bag, Custard roots around and retrieves a black and gold leaf ball trimmed with a floral pattern, gently impressing it into your palm. Confused and bewildered by the insistent request but too lethargic to protest, you agree to release your Comfey onto the scene in hopes she’ll somehow be able to help find your missing friend as well. Upon seeing such worry upon the Togetic’s and Snorlax’s expressions, and then the languid state of their trainer, the little lei swiftly floats over and wraps herself comfortably around your shoulders, letting a soothing aroma wash over you in an attempt to breathe some life back into your soul.

Custard then proceeds to raise a paw and waggle his finger invitingly at the treetops, calling out in temptation to whoever was hiding within. There’s a pause – before a small, dark brown object suddenly drops down from the branches. Though primed to face a much more menacing foe, all five of you blink in bemusement as you confront what appears to be… an acorn?

All of a sudden, the tiny bean suddenly sits up and sprouts a pair of short stubs, striving to flee whilst its foes are distracted. Pie promptly moves to block its path however, and the petite Seedot squeaks in terror as a giant foot stomps down in front of it, plopping back onto its bum in surprise. The kernel cowers with fear as it switches tactics to trying to burrow itself deep into the ground instead in a desperate effort to hide, and your perplexed Pokémon look to you for assistance, wondering what to do now about this miniature prisoner they’ve managed to capture.

How do you react?


Feeling the comforting healing of his Comfey, Leo looks around as if he had awakened from a nightmare. He had a role to play in this, and he needn't run away. Everything here was just a bygone dream to the forest, but it was a reality for him at this point. Looking around, he saw Custard and Pie following the orders he had issued out. Good, nothing went wrong when he was in that stupor.

He watched as a bean, no maybe an acorn, jumped out of the tree and slammed into the ground. Its small feet went to try and get some solid footing, opening its eyes and trying to figure out a way to flee. This was a Seedot... Was it following them, the rustling in the trees? It felt like a little too much noise for one Seedot, but it didn't matter.

What mattered was that the Seedot tried to flee while his Pokemon were focused on him. That's when Pie stomped his foot down, scaring the living daylights out of the small acorn. It tries to burrow in the ground, feeling that if it can't run away it'll go down. Though, that really wouldn't work at this rate.

"Custard, please use Extrasensory to lift it up from the ground. Pie, I want you to use Yawn to make it drowsy," Leo calmly ordered, walking up towards Seedot as well.

With a small smile and a soft tone, he spoke to the Pokemon.

"Could you please help us find your missing friend? I'll promise you no harm will come to you if you do. Of course, Pie is probably hungry by now." Leo looked at his Snorlax. "I can't control him when he's in his hungry rage, and he loves chocolate. And you look like a cute little bonbon, so much he might swallow you whole. So what do you say?"
 
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THE ARCANE REALM

X. Fortune’s Woods - A place in the forest where the magical energy is at its most potent, forming a sort of myst that permeates the air. Everything from the trees to the wildlife here seem a bit out of this world, and it’s hard to predict what exactly will happen here. Some state that these woods even spin like a wheel, and depending on where the wheel is travelers will experience either good luck or bad luck. Whatever it is, this portion of the forest is filled with fun and whimsy.
With Wisewoods perched on his left shoulder, Argyle stood still in between two tall and thick trees that seemed to serve as a gateway to a particularly strange part of the forest. He took a deep breath, following the air as it made its way to his lungs and then eventually back out. The air felt different than previously when he was walking in the forest. He couldn't help but feel a mystical sensation throughout his body. He turned left and met his Rowlet's gaze. It was clear that Rowlet felt a similar sensation.

"Looks like we made it to Fortune's Woods," Argyle said to his partner, "Let's see what fortune has in store for us, huh?" He tried to feign confidence as much as possible; however, with the undeniably strong presence of an other-worldly force, his anxiety about the possibilities that laid ahead seeped in through the facade. Despite knowing that such worries were pointless, he frequently found his mind occupied with such thoughts. Being present in the moment was a work in progress for Argyle.

"Let! Let! Let!" Wisewoods chirped. It seemed as if the Rowlet had sensed Argyle getting lost in thought, after all they had spent a fair bit of time together and both knew how each other operated at this point. Wisewoods' chirp snapped Argyle back into the moment. The two seemed so small compared to the trees around them, but that didn't matter. They were here to check out the Woods and as long as they had each other and the support of their family no matter how far away they were from them, they could get back up even after facing the toughest blows Fortune could swing at them.

His eyes filled with a mixture of excitement and worry that was only natural, Argyle asked, "Well then, shall we?"

"Rowlet!" the Pokemon chirped back, his voice carrying the same mixture of excitement and worry that Argyle felt. Argyle nodded in return and took a step forward. They were now in Fortune's domain.
 
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THE ARCANE REALM

"The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate... Entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yes, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed..." Nyx Avatar (Persona 3)

Once a simple place where new trainers were sent to learn the basics of adventuring, with the vast changes to Fizzytopia the Arcane Realm seemed to have faded from existence. Though gone, it was never forgotten by the bitter trainers who were forced into spending what felt like years in that simplistic place. A place where no growth was truly given, and only stagnation existed. Yet, when the realm disappeared, all were freed from their restraints and truly allowed to begin anew.

Now, it seems that the Arcane Realm has resurfaced in Fizzytopia. Showing up where the old Arcane Realm use to be, this new one is vastly different then the one that the denizens of Fizzytopia are used to. Now truly a place of magic and mystery, it says the very land itself is influenced by the “cards”/ What these cards are, and what they refer to nobody particularly knows. The only thing that is certain, though, is that this Arcane Realm is teeming with life, and has infinite possibilities for adventure.


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

XVII. Desert of Stars - A small, arid desert at the northern tip of the Land of Cups, the Desert of Stars is named for the various meteorites found within this region. While more a dry, mountainous desert than a sandy one, sandstorms are still a common occurance here. Though, despite these conditions, explorers and treasure hunters flock to this region for the meteorites found here, and the rare Pokemon attracted to them. Some have even stated they’ve had some otherworldly experiences here.
The Arcane Realm is a place not unknown to Revel, but it's somewhere she hadn't been before. Now that she's able to explore different places without hindrances (and a few experiences in her arsenal), she took the opportunity to take her next adventure at this place called The Land of Cups, known as the jewel of the Arcane Realm. She wasn't sure if that particular title drew her in, but the more she read about it, the more she wanted to see it for herself.

Her interest was particularly piqued by something called the Desert of Stars. A desert, Revel thought to herself. I've definitely never been in one before. This was a different land from what she was used to, which was usually filled with people. She knew that reading about it, especially since it mentioned meteorites and 'otherworldly experiences' that some people have encountered. It sounded daunting, but very intriguing, and that unfamiliarity definitely would not deter her. She's finally given an opportunity to be a Trainer and an explorer. She had to see what's up about this place.

The thing is, the Desert of Stars was far up north, so naturally it takes many days of travel. The Trainer isn't sure how long her trio has been travelling now, but it's definitely been a while. Her Piplup Chachi and Applin Alfie are walking close by to her, a bit exhausted, but patient in moving forward. Even Chachi, who is always looking for excitement, is trudging on with few complaints - though the most would be how slow his companions were at times. The unfamiliar terrain did not hinder his thrill of adventure.

Alfie, on the other hand, is a little more timid and walks closer to his Trainer (or even Chachi, if Chachi walked slow enough). All his life, he's lived among a grove of berry trees, and has never been elsewhere aside from that. He also has new companions as well, and none of them were round or small or looked like the fruits that grew on his home.

Still, whenever his Trainer stops to take in the view of the mountains shaped like cups (hence its name), Alfie would look at the view with her. He doesn't quite understand what it entails exactly, but it helps him get used to the new terrains they've been walking on. Revel knows that the Appletun does not have the adventurous spirit that her Piplup had, or at least not yet. "Not that much trees around, huh?" Revel says. Alfie would nod slowly as he looked around, seeing only mountains and unfamiliar plants that could only thrive in dry environments. Different. Very different.

"This is a new place for me too," Revel says to no one in particular, both her Pokemon at her side. "I wonder what's in it for us here?"

They continue walking slightly further, and just as Revel thought about taking a break, she notices the first few meteorites around the desert. Or maybe they were regular rocks? She isn't sure if she's able to tell the difference. Either way, she hopes that her trio finally made it to their destination.

"I wonder if that's..." Revel says to herself, before she notices Chachi running excitedly towards a nearby rock. "Chachi! Don't touch that!" Chachi stops before he reaches the rock, and pouts at his Trainer. "I mean, we should be careful," Revel continues. "We don't know what kind of power or side effect we could get from touching these things." Understanding the warning but disappointed he doesn't get to touch, Chachi crosses his fins, settling for staring at the rock (for now). Alfie simply tilts his head in curiosity.


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