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The Arcane Realm: Land of Freedom and Magicks

Märchen Meines Lebens
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@SpinyShell


SpinyShell -

While Hailstone happily sits on his iced water, you explain to the old man that you're new here in the Arcane Realm. He listens as you tell him how your Alolan Sandshrew went down the path towards the Chalice. You add in that he most likely was getting tired of the latent magic in the air, and how you walked for hours before stumbling on the hut. The old man just sipped at his tear for a bit while you regaled your tale.

"Ah, that reminds me of my youth. Well, you are more than welcome to spend the night here then. The kiln will be fired up all night, so if you hear any cracking noises don't worry. It keeps the place nice and warm," he replies, sipping at his tea.

The Indeedee stares at you again, having a sort of strange fixation. Was it just not use to be around customers, or was it for some other purpose? You couldn't tell, but it constantly looking at you in between its chores were a little unsettling. If anything, it was going to be the reason why you wouldn't really be able to sleep through the night.

"There is one thing I'd like your help with," the old man states. "In the morning, if you could get me some clay from the mountain I would appreciate it. My body is frail and feeble now, so all I can do is make my wares here instead of travel. My Indeedee would be able to lead the way."

"Of course, rest first. Tiredness leads to a cloudy mind. Please let me know in the morning."

You see the old man retire back into his room. You could tell from how he spoke that he was doing this for many years and that he didn't like being able to do his work by himself. It was sad, but also comforting in a sense. At this point, it felt like the tea was brewed with melancholy instead of tea leaves. You could feel a calm serenity fill the place, the only sound was the kiln.

The Indeedee returns inside and looks at you. It seems it was going to show you the way to the guest room. There was a lot to process, and a good night's rest would allow you to collect your thoughts. Of course, there was always the option to continue to head out and tough it in the night.

What do you do?
 
Sea Slug Pokémon
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@SpinyShell


SpinyShell -

While Hailstone happily sits on his iced water, you explain to the old man that you're new here in the Arcane Realm. He listens as you tell him how your Alolan Sandshrew went down the path towards the Chalice. You add in that he most likely was getting tired of the latent magic in the air, and how you walked for hours before stumbling on the hut. The old man just sipped at his tear for a bit while you regaled your tale.

"Ah, that reminds me of my youth. Well, you are more than welcome to spend the night here then. The kiln will be fired up all night, so if you hear any cracking noises don't worry. It keeps the place nice and warm," he replies, sipping at his tea.

The Indeedee stares at you again, having a sort of strange fixation. Was it just not use to be around customers, or was it for some other purpose? You couldn't tell, but it constantly looking at you in between its chores were a little unsettling. If anything, it was going to be the reason why you wouldn't really be able to sleep through the night.

"There is one thing I'd like your help with," the old man states. "In the morning, if you could get me some clay from the mountain I would appreciate it. My body is frail and feeble now, so all I can do is make my wares here instead of travel. My Indeedee would be able to lead the way."

"Of course, rest first. Tiredness leads to a cloudy mind. Please let me know in the morning."

You see the old man retire back into his room. You could tell from how he spoke that he was doing this for many years and that he didn't like being able to do his work by himself. It was sad, but also comforting in a sense. At this point, it felt like the tea was brewed with melancholy instead of tea leaves. You could feel a calm serenity fill the place, the only sound was the kiln.

The Indeedee returns inside and looks at you. It seems it was going to show you the way to the guest room. There was a lot to process, and a good night's rest would allow you to collect your thoughts. Of course, there was always the option to continue to head out and tough it in the night.

What do you do?
The old man sipped his tea as he listened to her tale, his wrinkled hands so frail Sil was surprised that they could even hold the cup. Once finished, she lifted up the tea cup she was given, pausing for a moment to savor the scent before taking a drink.

“Ah, that reminds me of my youth,” he said. “Well, you are more than welcome to spend the night here then. The kiln will be fired up all night, so if you hear any cracking noises don't worry. It keeps the place nice and warm.”

She smiled to show her thanks, but as she did so she caught sight of the Indeedee taking a break between his chores. He was staring rather intensely at her and she couldn’t tell why, his expression unreadable to her. Perhaps he wasn’t used to visitors--she figured not many people would head out this far in the desert and, even if they did, it was so vast it was unlikely that they would stumble across this little shop unless they were deliberately searching for it. Or, maybe there was another reason. Whatever it was, she figured it would be difficult to sleep through the night while the Emotion Pokémon kept his gaze fixated on her.

"There is one thing I'd like your help with,” the old man said, getting up from the table. “In the morning, if you could get me some clay from the mountain I would appreciate it. My body is frail and feeble now, so all I can do is make my wares here instead of travel. My Indeedee would be able to lead the way. Of course, rest first. Tiredness leads to a cloudy mind. Please let me know in the morning."

And, with that, he disappeared into the backroom. His voice had a bitter edge to it--it seemed that he disliked having to work all alone, having none but his Pokémon to aid him and keep him company.

The tea began to taste bitter, melancholious.

...

The Indeedee returned to the room and looked at her, waiting for her to finish her drink. It seemed he wanted to show them to the guest room. Gladly accepting his silent offer, she began to get up, eager to hit the hay and rest. But as she took her last sip of tea, she paused. The Indeedee’s stare had made her uncomfortable--something seemed off here. While she felt terribly guilty to feel such a way in the face of the hospitality of the old man, she still couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling that had settled in her gut. And, looking at Hailstone, it seemed he had noticed too. Perhaps it would be better to go tonight rather than wait until morning.

Recalling Hailstone back into his Pokéball for some much-needed rest, she picked up her backpack.

“I… I think I could go tonight. The tea did restore some of my energy. And while I’d like to let Hailstone rest, I have two other Pokémon that could help us. I’m ready whenever you are. If you, uh, want to go tonight that is.”
 
Wistful
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grassyglide: Your plan decided, you watch as Wisewoods begin to slowly but methodically stalk his way towards the gathered Pokemon. For brief moments the Rowlet evades your gaze, even knowing where he is, a testament to his ability to blend into the surrounding nature, Finally, you see the meticulous owl break through the brush, briefly startling the shrine attendants. Both Kirlia skitter to block Wisewoods, arms raised and Psychic energies fluttering over the surface of their body - but the fright in their eyes was that of a startled and cornered animal. You almost forsake your own cover to defend Wisewoods - but the Rowlet is quick to diffuse the situation, cooing gently while raising both wings nonthreateningly. After a tense moment, the Pokemon are persuaded, hiding deeper within the woods; though the Kirlia make sure to have a clear vantage of their still besieged shrine.

With that done, and Wisewoods ready to provide backup, you stride into the clearing. The vandals take immediate notice, recoiling from your words and bunching together in an instinctive defensive motion. Your height helps to lend credence to your shouts as you berate the boys, but after the initial shock has worn off their sneers soon return. The largest of them steps forwards, clearly working up a little bravado and punctuating it with one final kick on the shrine.

"Yeah, and what the hell are you gonna do about it? You can't start attacking some random kids, mister. There's only one of you..."

At his call, a bright crimson flash erupts, and a Poliwag stands before the boy, immediately adopting an aggressive stance with narrowed eyes and smirk.

"And there's four of us!"

With that, Poliwag moves to attack you - but as he does, Wisewoods bursts from his position, unleashing a frenzied storm of leaves. As the Leafage lands its mark, Poliwag recoils, but a burned foe is not necessarily a defeated one. This ambush seems to inflate the sense of defiance in the bully, and he quickly orders a retaliation.

"Phelps! Hit them with a Double Slap and then a Headbutt!"

---

OoC: Don't take this as a reprimand, but in future you should probably avoid determining the outcome of selected actions. I'm not sure it was intended this way, but noting that Wisewoods had success in communicating with the shrine Pokemon could easily be construed as overstepping your boundaries as an updatee - for all you know, I was intending to have Wisewoods have a little trouble convincing them. It's minor and it's best to catch something like this when it's innocuous and not later in your FB experience, so consider this a worthwhile learning experience for going forward.
 
Wistful
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ConnorFB - Moving swiftly out of the way of the fleeing Durant, you take a moment to survey the area and make a choice. Whether to stay and discover as much as you can here, or follow the Durant before they can make a proper escape, that is the question here. After a moment's thought, your Slowking is recalled while Atlantis the Kabuto quickly scuttles back up your back. Tossing out another Pokeball as a replacement, the multicolored feathers of your Chatot, Joss, take flight.

The bird is quick to respond to your command, taking high to the sky to best keep an eye out on the Durant as they flee, leaving a bit of a trail behind them but covering their exact location thanks to the sheer amount of sand they begin to kick up. Giving chase to them, it's obvious they are much more suited to this environment, as they slowly form a gap between your positions, even Joss barely able to keep sight of them after some time as they lead you deep into the desert.

A bit later, the Chatot lets out a loud Hyper Voice into the air, the sound losing much of its potency thanks to the distance, before making a slight bank to the left and swooping towards a bit of a sandstorm kicking up in the area, just barely within eyesight at the horizon of your vision. The trek there is devoid of contact with flora nor fauna, despite the sizable distance, and as you come to the very edge of the storm, you spy a mass of strange shapes within.
The sound of Joss' signal was a welcome one. Sweeney pushed through the final stretch of his shadowing, his figure showing signs of slouching under the strain of the journey. After the taxing trek through the desert, Sweeney had to take a moment to collect himself. He was hardly a slouch - he had to have a degree of physical competency just to have survived this long - but the combination of unsuited dress and harsh environment were beginning impose a visible toll. Head tilted back as he attempts to study his breathing, the Bartender had to consider whether this particular thread was really worth tugging at. A raging sandstorm whirled before him, and the thought of intensifying his hardship by wading through the mire was not one he relished. He somehow doubted he would get many answers behind the statue by pursuing the Durant, but at this point he had invested too much into the chase to simply retreat empty handed.

Unsure even if the shapes he could make out were the quarry he was tailing, Sweeney motions to Joss to descend. The Chatot, while a useful guide from the skies, wouldn't be able to deal with the conditions within the storm too well. As Joss settles on his shoulder, Sweeney fumbles with the parrot's Poke Ball, recalling him. Straightening his suit, as much good as it would do him, Sweeney takes the first few grim steps into the sandstorm, with Julia - being the most suited for the task at hand - merrily leading the way.

At least his visor would keep the sand out of his eyes.

Hopefully.

Mostly.

---

OoC, for personal reference;

Declared Pokemon: Larvitar, Kabuto, Slowking, Chatot
 
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grassyglide: Your plan decided, you watch as Wisewoods begin to slowly but methodically stalk his way towards the gathered Pokemon. For brief moments the Rowlet evades your gaze, even knowing where he is, a testament to his ability to blend into the surrounding nature, Finally, you see the meticulous owl break through the brush, briefly startling the shrine attendants. Both Kirlia skitter to block Wisewoods, arms raised and Psychic energies fluttering over the surface of their body - but the fright in their eyes was that of a startled and cornered animal. You almost forsake your own cover to defend Wisewoods - but the Rowlet is quick to diffuse the situation, cooing gently while raising both wings nonthreateningly. After a tense moment, the Pokemon are persuaded, hiding deeper within the woods; though the Kirlia make sure to have a clear vantage of their still besieged shrine.

With that done, and Wisewoods ready to provide backup, you stride into the clearing. The vandals take immediate notice, recoiling from your words and bunching together in an instinctive defensive motion. Your height helps to lend credence to your shouts as you berate the boys, but after the initial shock has worn off their sneers soon return. The largest of them steps forwards, clearly working up a little bravado and punctuating it with one final kick on the shrine.

"Yeah, and what the hell are you gonna do about it? You can't start attacking some random kids, mister. There's only one of you..."

At his call, a bright crimson flash erupts, and a Poliwag stands before the boy, immediately adopting an aggressive stance with narrowed eyes and smirk.

"And there's four of us!"

With that, Poliwag moves to attack you - but as he does, Wisewoods bursts from his position, unleashing a frenzied storm of leaves. As the Leafage lands its mark, Poliwag recoils, but a burned foe is not necessarily a defeated one. This ambush seems to inflate the sense of defiance in the bully, and he quickly orders a retaliation.

"Phelps! Hit them with a Double Slap and then a Headbutt!"

---

OoC: Don't take this as a reprimand, but in future you should probably avoid determining the outcome of selected actions. I'm not sure it was intended this way, but noting that Wisewoods had success in communicating with the shrine Pokemon could easily be construed as overstepping your boundaries as an updatee - for all you know, I was intending to have Wisewoods have a little trouble convincing them. It's minor and it's best to catch something like this when it's innocuous and not later in your FB experience, so consider this a worthwhile learning experience for going forward.
Argyle watched after Wisewoods as the latter flew off towards the shrine Pokemon. Even though Argyle was able to roughly guess the flight trajectory of the Rowlet, Argyle still struggled to pick out the Pokemon at times. The Grass Quill Pokemon, true to its nickname, was at home in such woods. While brandishing a momentary look of admiration at his Pokemon, Argyle thought that he could potentially make use of his partner's capabilities in its natural habitat in the battle that might happen moments later. However, the moment of admiration was not to last. As Wisewoods approached the Pokemon, Argyle noticed that the shrine Pokemon were initially combative. Argyle was overcome with a mix of surprise and fear as he looked on to see how his Pokemon would handle the situation. Despite Argyle's uneasiness, Wisewoods, for his part, seemed to approach the situation calmly. From afar, Argyle observed the Pokemon raise its wings to indicate that it came in peace and then could barely make out the chirps it made to explain the situation. Argyle relaxed when he saw the Pokemon move deeper into the forest.

Wisewoods, having completed his task, flew back to Argyle. With the shrine Pokemon a bit farther away from the scene of a potential battle, Argyle could now engage the delinquents freely. Argyle and Wisewoods exchanged looks and nodded at each. With that, Argyle emerged from his position among the bushes and into the clearing.

"Stop that!" Argyle shouted at the trio of troublemakers, "Why would you want to harm that shrine and frighten off the shrine Pokemon? We're in Fortune's Woods and I can only guess that shrine was built as a way of expressing gratitude to Fortune and a place for trainers to come and share their deepest wishes with the hopes of them being granted. Whether you call it coincidences, fortune, fate or destiny; our lives and the world progress in mysterious ways. All we can do is be grateful and hope for the best. Two notions that the shrine probably embodies." As Argyle spoke, his mind jumped back to the day he met Wisewoods in Ilex Forest. Perhaps it was the magical nature of the woods, perhaps it was Fortune or perhaps it was Argyle's own doing, but the flashbacks only strengthened Argyle's resolve and served as a reminder that the duo's relationship was part of this intricate and mysterious web of fortune. "Don't you see that harming that shrine will only get yourselves hurt?" Argyle concluded.

Argyle paused to see what impact his words had on the kids. While they initially recoiled and became defensive from Argyle's emergence into the clearing, it was apparent that Argyle's words had fell on deaf ears. To drive that point home, the largest of the trio kicked the shrine one last time before defying Argyle, "Yeah, and what the hell are you gonna do about it? You can't start attacking some random kids, mister. There's only one of you...". The kid cut off to take out a Pokeball. Looks like we're gonna have to do this the hard way, Argyle thought. From the ball, a blue Tadpole Pokemon emerged. "And there's four of us!" The kid shouted to finish the sentence he had paused. In the ensuing moments, the trainer ordered his Poliwag, Phelps, to attack Argyle. However, Wisewoods was quick to leap into action to protect Argyle by firing off a Leafage attack that landed a hit on the opposing Pokemon.

Just like that the battle for the shrine had started. The Poliwag's trainer had said that there were four of them, but Argyle wasn't sure whether to trust him. It could be that the other two also had Pokemon and they were just waiting for Phelps to tire out Rowlet before bringing them out. Better end this quickly, he thought, Than risking it drawing out. Wisewoods did seem to have the advantage in more ways than one. Wisewoods had aerial superiority and could seamlessly blend in with his environment, not to mention the clear type advantage.

"Phelps! Hit them with a Double Slap and then a Headbutt!" The boy's orders to the Tadpole Pokemon interrupted Argyle's train of thought. Thinking time is over, Argyle thought, Looks like the Poliwag will have to try and get in close to get those attacks off. I'll have to try to make it hard for the Pokemon to get close. Then, maybe I can take the battle to them.

"Wisewoods, hit 'em with Razor Leaf and then follow it up with a Grassy Glide!" Argyle yelled.
 
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Liltwick – A sense of gusto begins to rise in your gut as you absorb the situation, almost giddy with glee at the idea of getting to crash a party uninvited. Though perhaps alarming in its own way – as Uxie raises an eyebrow slightly at the unexpected amount of enthusiasm displayed – at least you seem to be motivated again, and so it doesn’t question the sudden shift in attitude. Custard appears hardly concerned either, rubbing his paws together mischievously as he plots some nasty punishment for whoever would dare neglect to extend an invitation to your own entire party. Pie is more confused than anything, but recognizes he won’t be eating the Seedot anytime soon it seems, and so passes the nodding off nut to you in disappointment. As you grant permission for it to lead the way with a “gentle” pat on the head, you offhandedly remark if it knows the location of any chestnuts to take you there as well.

Spurred awake by the somewhat nonsensical threat request, the Seedot swallows as it agrees and slowly begins to shuffle off upon being placed back on the ground, still a bit woozy and unsteady on its feet. Though clearly too tired to try and run away at this point, your group continues to keep a close eye on the captive; flanking it on all sides like prison guards to prevent escape, instantly primed to subdue and restrain should it try to make a break for it.

Eventually, you come to a surprisingly sizeable clearing where a great commotion seems to be taking place: all kinds of Grass Pokémon are bustling to and fro – presumably busy with preparations for the party – as you quickly crouch down behind the bushes to avoid being seen and creep steadily closer to spy on the proceedings. Over to one side, you spot poor Carrot being contained in a sturdy wooden cage suspended to a tree by vines, with two Nuzleaf sentinels standing watch; brandishing sharp-looking spears and stern expressions as they diligently patrol the perimeter.

Before you can even attempt to approach the confined Carbink however, your attention is caught by a booming exclamation from the back, where a grand throne garnished with garlands of blooms is erected in the center. The thunderous voice belongs to a fuming Vileplume seated on top – clearly the so-called “Forest King” – as its followers all screech to a grinding halt, pausing the process of further festive decorating with flower festoons to stare at the recipient of the raging ruler’s wrath: a wilting Whimsicott with its head bowed before the former in shame. A smaller Cottonee cowers behind its elder’s shielding ball of fluff as the mad monarch makes a sour face and spits out the sample bite of Birthday cake it had apparently been munching on, glaring at the offending piece of pastry before tossing the plate at the fearful floof’s feet. (Fortunately the crockery is carved of wood as well instead of porcelain so it doesn’t shatter dangerously – despite landing close to the little one as it squeaks and ducks its head in dread, diving deeper into the senior subject’s down.)

“Pah! You call this a cake?” (Kadabra takes the liberty of translating mentally for you once again as a courtesy.) “Every year is the same old thing, I’m sick and tired of it. Can’t you come up with a new recipe?”

“But, milord, this is the princess’s favorite flavor she always requests…”

“Hmph. My precious daughter deserves better than this commoner fare. Something fresh, something exotic…” The poisonous petal Pokémon grins as its budding idea blossoms into a direct order, licking taste buds in anticipation. “Right then, return to the kitchen, and come back with a dish that’ll really impress. Only the most extraordinary, exciting dessert will do!”

The Whimsicott winces at such a vague demand, but nevertheless nods, daring not to disobey the crown’s command.

“Yes, your Majesty…”

The chef murmurs in defeat with a heavy sigh, as Cottonnee pops its head out again out of the wool, peering worriedly up at the parent cook with consternation. Meanwhile, with the Vileplume’s anger momentarily quelled, the other vassals simply shake their heads in sympathy before starting to resume their tasks. If you wish to slip by whilst the servants are still distracted, better make a decision fast…

What will you do?
 
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@mespritchaser
With no sight of the pink flash that you had recently spotted amongst the boulders, you have a hunch that the peculiar door you have encountered might hold the answer to its disappearance. With Chachi commanded to deliver a polite knock to the strange portal, you collectively hold your breath as the plucky penguin gladly steps forward to rap upon the door thrice. The seconds that follow Chachi's knock seem to stretch out with nothing until you hear a faint clattering noise coming from behind it. Despite this, no answer comes to the Piplup's knock and he proceeds with the next step of your plan.

With no knob to speak of, Chachi steps up to the door and slides his flippers along each of its sides. If it was a door, it would have to have some way of opening and it wasn't long before the young penguin found the solution. Along one side of the door, a small button was hidden in an indentation in the metal and, upon spotting this, Chachi gives it a quick poke with his beak. With a metallic whoosh, the door swings outwards and a familiar squeak rings out from within.

"Please don't hurt us!" Another voice, strangely human, comes from within the sphere and a small turquoise hand feebly attempts to pull the door closed but appears to retreat at the sight of Chachi. Not planning to harm whoever the voices belonged to, your Piplup gets closer and peers into the dark within the boulder and you carefully approach the doorway yourself. In front of the space, you suddenly spot the cause of the pink blur. Inside the boulder looks to be what you can only describe as the sophisticated trappings of a spaceship, with levers and contraptions aplenty as well as a pair of small Pokémon: a cowering Cleffa and a young Elgyem.

"We come in peace. My friend and her sister came here in search of a gift for their mother... but we got separated." The human voice before appears to be coming from the Elgyem, his beady eyes aglow as the words apparently form directly in your mind. The Cleffa corroborates this, hopping forwards to vaguely point out into the distance beyond the plateau. Given that you and your Piplup are not posing a threat to you, the Elgyem steps forward into the doorway, albeit still nervously:

"We're smart but we're not exactly tough so... we really could do with some help."

"Clef?" The young Star Shape Pokémon peeks out from behind the equally sheepish Elgyem. Though she was shy and quite clearly scared by yours and your Piplup's intrusion, it seemed that she was imploring you with her eyes from the safe spot behind her friend. Looking up to you with similar eyes of his own, Chachi chirps up at you and awaits your decision.

What will you do?
"We're smart but we're not exactly tough so... we really could do with some help."

When Chachi managed to open the door attached to the boulder, none of Revel’s trio expected to see the interior similar to a spaceship, with all sorts of levers and contraptions. None of them had much time to take it all in either, as up ahead, they discovered what the pink blur was. Standing in front of her trio are a small Cleffa, who seems to be cowering fear, and an Elygem.

Additionally, Revel did not expect the human sounding voice to come from the Elygem; she assumed there was another human being in the cave. Well, some Pokemon do have that ability, so it isn’t much of a surprise. Still, she is relieved that neither of the Pokemon are hostile towards them. In fact, they need their help. The Elygem’s request becomes a bit more urgent as the Cleffa behind it looks at them with imploring eyes.

“Pip?” Chachi asks, turning towards Revel for a decision. Alfie, standing beside Revel just outside the doorway, tilts his head awaiting for his trainer’s decision as well. “Hmm,” Revel thinks as she, on the other hand, considers the situation that the Elygem and the Cleffa were in. It may not have been a surprise that a small team of Pokemon would be separated in a greatly stretched terrain such as this, and she imagines it would be difficult to find their way around here.

Revel bends down to reach her Piplup’s and her Appletun’s eye levels and talks to them. “I think it would be a good idea to help these Pokemon. Don’t you think?” Chachi and Alfie look at each other. Surprisingly, assertive Chachi waits for Alfie’s response - making sure they’re both in agreement - and slightly timid Alfie nods first. Revel smiles at her Pokemon, who beam back at her with determination.

The trio turn toward the Elygem and the Cleffa, and nod. “We’ll offer whatever help we can,” Revel says. Chachi and Alfie chime with a “Pip!” and a “Tun!” simultaneously to show the pair that they can be trusted and are lending a helping hand.

Revel then turns toward the distance the Cleffa pointed towards earlier, although she isn’t sure what she was looking for. “Seems like the first thing we need to know is where you got separated. Do you remember?”


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Fizzy Bubbles Resident Bird Keeper
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@mespritchaser
The decision to assist the young travellers comes as a welcome relief to the Cleffa who had tried her best to implore you and your Pokémon friends and the Baby Pokémon chirps happily, dancing up and down before remembering herself and her predicament. You can sense the Elgyem's similar relief as well as you watch the little green man offer a hand-like appendage to Chachi as a way of a greeting, the Psychic type choosing to follow this up by bowing slightly through the doorway in the rock to you and your Appletun.

With your offer of help quickly accepted, the Cleffa leaps into action before you. Given that you don't speak her language, the Star Shape Pokémon attempts to mime what she needs to tell you to the very best of her ability, hopping this way and that before hiding behind a nearby boulder. From what you can gather, she seemed to be imitating some sort of monstrous creature, using her tiny hands to emulate something with horns... or perhaps tusks. Her Elgyem companion watches yours and your Pokémon's reactions as the odd pantomime takes place and takes stock of things before stopping the Cleffa in her tracks.

"What Cleffa is saying is that there are dangerous creatures out there and she believes her sister has been snatched up by one."

At the telepathically shared words of the Cerebral Pokémon, the Cleffa nodded, her hands quick to imitate the monster once again. This time, she motions away from the safety of their vessel and once you have followed her, she begins to point down one of the sloping sides of the rock formation that you all found yourself gathered upon. Not all too far away, it looked as if there was the mouth of a cave in the sloping rock and this is where you realise the Baby is highlighting to you.

"We think she could be in th-"

The alien's implanted words stop abruptly and you realise that something is suddenly quite wrong. Before you or your team mates can react, the Cleffa loses her footing at the edge of the slope and begins to tumble down in the direction of the cavern opening. As she does, Elgyem leaps forwards to gape aghast at his companion's slide into the abyss before turning to you with tears instantly forming in his wide eyes.

What will you do?
 
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Yuki-

Figuring out that she had no way of escape, Kanna curled up into a ball. She pleaded with the two Baltoy, saying she'll return the lantern if they'd let her go. Things weren't all that simple, and the Baltoy just floated there. They were watching, waiting. Escape wasn't a possibility, so what exactly were they trying to get out of this?

This was supposed to be a test, and the words of the chained spirit echoed in Kanna's mind. In order to free it, she'd need to pass her trial. Was this too part of her own trial? She had to figure that out, or she'd never escape this room.

---

Heading towards the pretty obvious trap, Kief headed towards the pedestal and grabbed the lantern. The room shook, and the platform once again shifted. Kief could feel himself being lifted as the floor below him rose towards the ceiling. He could see that other parts of the floor were now missing, a pure void awaiting him if he fell off. He heard the flapping of wings and could see a Sigilyph descent from the ceiling. Seemed he needed to fight the guardian of this lantern.

---

Yufi, realizing her shadow self wasn't playing around, retaliates from the vocal moves with more physical ones. She tackles into her doppelganger and then proceeds with a direct headbutt. Her dark version flies through the room before landing perfectly. It stood completely still, its eyes of pure darkness reflecting Yufi's being.

"Flesruoy tpecca ot deen uo. Yawa nur ot gniyrt pots. Nword ot si etaf ylno, ton fi," the shadow screeches out, its voice completely distorted and maddening to Yufi's ears. It sounded like her's but completely distorted beyond proper comprehension.

As its words finished, the water levels in the room began to rapidly rise. She needed to figure something out, now.

What do they do?
Despite Kanna's pitiful crying and pleading, the Baltoy merely blinked blankly at the curled ball of fetal fur cowering in the corner, making no move towards either the lantern or to eat/free her. ...Eventually, she unwound slightly just enough to fearfully peek at the waiting "predators", as the words from the chained spirit echoed through her mind - combined with the images she witnessed on the walls on the way here. Could the sacrificial maiden's soul be the one trapped here for eternity, and the only way to save her was to pass this "trial"? The palpable pain heard in the presence's sad speech pressed on Kanna's conscience once again as she carefully processed the weight of this information, recalling Yufi's worried expression as she begged to help rescue the poor rock from its sedentary station. Whether it was indeed the ghost of the girl in the stone or not, her heart ached beyond for just its sake - as it seemed the only way she would be allowed to see her own family again would be to take some sort of action instead of just sitting here feeling sorry for herself.

The Furret bit her lip as she took a deep breath and unfurled fully, facing her foes with fresh determination. Though still somewhat afraid, focusing on her familial bonds helped fill her with enough confidence to further fortify her DEFENSIVE status by summoning a SHIELD around herself in anticipation of the coming combat, as it appeared a clash was inevitable at this point.

"If I beat you, then you'll let me go, right? Fine then, if that's what it takes..."

Steeling her trembling nerves, she tentatively started by testing the WATER with a PULSE of aquatic energy towards the top she didn't (accidentally) kick earlier, planning to then SURF the small wave to strike both simultaneously. (Meanwhile, she was unaware her daughter was about to do the same, but with a much larger body of liquid...)

-

As predicted, the moment Kief touched the MacGuffin, the entire pedestal began to move with him on it, ascending up towards the heavens. He held on tight to the platform as its altitude quickened to a great height, fortunately stopping just short of the ceiling so he wasn't squashed. However, after unflattening his pancaked form and peering cautiously over the edge, he saw only an endless void awaiting should he make a single misstep. Swallowing, his ears perked to the flutter of feathers in darkness as a colorful winged creature descended from above, three circular blue eyes staring out from stripes of black as it swooped ominously overhead. The orbs rotated unnervingly in their sockets before converging on the lamp, clearly fixated on protecting the prize from potential thieves. Considering the flame's handle was currently clamped firmly in the Linoone's jaws and there was nowhere to run, it didn't seem like he'd be getting out of this predicament easily without first subduing the sentinel somehow.

Like a true trained crook treasure hunter, Kief quickly assessed the situation and his opponent, calculating his options. The arena's limited size didn't leave the Linoone much room to operate, let alone make use of the new movement capabilities his species was famed for. Straight speed certainly wasn't the answer here, as it'd only send him plummeting to his doom. On top of that, his adversary obviously had an unfair aerial advantage, making him practically a sitting Ducklett to any oncoming attacks. Also, while his trainer unfortunately wasn't around to help provide information on the enemy's stats via her strange blue-and-white pocket device, he had a suspicion such a bizarre being may also be carrying some surprise nasty tricks up its "sleeve". So, in typical Team Pocket fashion - but also out of sheer curiosity - his initial instinct was to steal SWAP abilities with the bird-beast to find out just what sort of SKILL it possessed.

Next, his plan was to make himself appear as miniscule as possible to avoid damage, as any direct hit could easily knock him over to his doom. Taunting with the fabled catchphrase CAN'T CATCH ME, he suddenly transformed into a tiny cookie version of himself like a fairy tale. With a grin, he then fired off "frosting" in an ICY WIND to try and slow down the feathered fiend further, so that they would be more evenly matched in terms of maneuverability.

-

As Yufi retaliated in revenge for the tickle/electro-torture, her aggressor received the strike with surprisingly little resistance, simply landing smoothly in a backflip across the room. For a moment, it stood completely still - before unleashing another shrill mix of garbled noises, causing Yufi to wince as she covered her ears again.

"I still don't get what you're saying..." She frowned in frustration, utterly unable to decode the distorted message despite sounding vaguely like her own voice. "But if you're not going to help, then quit trying to distract me."

Whilst she said this, the water levels were still rapidly rising within the chamber, and so was her panicked sense of dread as her priority shifted back to getting the heck out of here. The steady stream had pooled to a dangerous point where her short stature now had to paddle lightly to stay afloat, and right now she had bigger concerns than trying to deal with some dumb stubborn shadow who couldn't take a hint - like, not drowning. Thus, an idea occurred to her as she started swimming in circles, hoping to trap the shade in a WHIRLPOOL and SURF over it to SMASH through the ROCK wall herself if she had to.
 
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grassyglide: With orders issued, the battle immediately gets underway. Phelps seizes the initiative, closing the distance between himself and Wisewoods with a burst of unexpected speed. Crouching low, the Poliwag centres himself before twisting violently, slapping Wisewoods twice with his tail. The Rowlet coos in disdain, flapping his wings to create a bit of distance and firing off a sharpened volley of leaves. These slash at the mucus covered skin of Phelps, the Poliwag visibly wincing as he is stricken. With an audible huff, the Water type lowers his head, taking careful aim before propelling himself forwards. With a sickening crunch the blow lands, catching Wisewoods off guard and sending him skittering away. A sharp hiss of indignation follows, before the owl cloaks himself in a flickering aura of pale green energy. With an elegance to his movements, Wisewoods moves left to right, mixing up his approach timing before finally employing one final agile acceleration. With expert precision he rakes his talons along the body of Phelps, the Poliwag shrieking in agony as he recoils away.

With the advantage clearly in your favour, the gathered boys seem uncertain. They each take a few unsure steps back, and for a moment it seems they may end up fleeing - before the tallest, and presumably eldest, finds within himself a defiant second wind. Barking at the other two to man up, he stamps petulantly. Try as he might though, the youngster has a poor poker face - it's clear that the momentum was there for the taking, his body language screaming insecurity about his battling skills.
 
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grassyglide: With orders issued, the battle immediately gets underway. Phelps seizes the initiative, closing the distance between himself and Wisewoods with a burst of unexpected speed. Crouching low, the Poliwag centres himself before twisting violently, slapping Wisewoods twice with his tail. The Rowlet coos in disdain, flapping his wings to create a bit of distance and firing off a sharpened volley of leaves. These slash at the mucus covered skin of Phelps, the Poliwag visibly wincing as he is stricken. With an audible huff, the Water type lowers his head, taking careful aim before propelling himself forwards. With a sickening crunch the blow lands, catching Wisewoods off guard and sending him skittering away. A sharp hiss of indignation follows, before the owl cloaks himself in a flickering aura of pale green energy. With an elegance to his movements, Wisewoods moves left to right, mixing up his approach timing before finally employing one final agile acceleration. With expert precision he rakes his talons along the body of Phelps, the Poliwag shrieking in agony as he recoils away.

With the advantage clearly in your favour, the gathered boys seem uncertain. They each take a few unsure steps back, and for a moment it seems they may end up fleeing - before the tallest, and presumably eldest, finds within himself a defiant second wind. Barking at the other two to man up, he stamps petulantly. Try as he might though, the youngster has a poor poker face - it's clear that the momentum was there for the taking, his body language screaming insecurity about his battling skills.
As soon as Argyle wrapped up giving orders, both Pokemon lept to action. Phelps the Poliwag landed the first hit. Argyle was hoping that Wisewoods would have gotten the Razor Leaf off before Phelps could've closed the distance, but he was clearly not expecting such speed from the Tadpole Pokemon. Wisewoods took the hit with some pain but was quick to shrug it off and create some distance between himself and his foe. This allowed the Grass Quill Pokemon to fire off a barrage of leaves. "Alright!" Argyle exclaimed as he saw the leaves slash at the Poliwag leaving it recoiling in pain.

Perhaps Argyle's exclamation distracted the Rowlet as Poliwag managed to make use of Wisewoods' momentary loss of focus to send him skittering away. "Wisewoods!" Argyle yelped with concern but he should've known more than to doubt his partner. In retaliation, Wisewoods cloaked himself in a pale green aura. Argyle watched in awe as his partner elegantly and swiftly made his way toward Phelps. The owl used his talons to attack the Poliwag. Phelps' shrieks of agony pierced through the silence of the clearing.

"That's it Wisewoods," Argyle said, "We'll wrap this up soon enough." The tide of battle was clearly in favor of Wisewoods. Argyle, though not the most experienced of trainers, was brimming with confidence at the situation. On the other hand, the trio of troublemakers' confidence was clearly all but depleted. The apparent leader of the bunch tried to face Argyle defiantly and bolster his two friends' spirits, but Argyle could see from his body language that the leader was only feigning confidence. Behind that defiant second wind, Argyle sensed insecurity. Argyle saw this as an opportunity to end this without further battling.

"Listen guys," Argyle started, "You're clearly no match for us. From what I can see, the battle is in our favor and if things keep up Phelps will be out sooner rather than later. So, why don't y'all just scurry on home and let's just call this over. If you don't care about harming shrines and frightening Pokemon at least consider your Pokemon's wellbeing. If you refuse, I'll be forced to keep up the attacks like earlier. Are you really sure you want that?" Argyle then turned his attention to Wisewoods who was still awaiting Argyle's next orders. "Hey Wisewoods, I've given them an out. If they don't take it, be prepared to first hit 'em with a Grassy Glide, since that worked out so well last time. Then, follow it up with a Leaf Blade." Once again directing his attention to the leader, "So, what'll it be?"
 
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grassyglide: Your continued attempts at diplomacy seem to begin bearing fruit as the situation continues to worsen for the group of bullies. The worry is palpable on the two younger lads, and soon they stagger away. Slowly at first, they abruptly rush at a breakneck pace through the woods, their frantic retreat clearly that of people who knew the locale well. Unfortunately, the remaining kid is apoplectic. Body trembling, eyes straining as he fights back frustrated tears, you can almost hear the sound of his teeth gnashing together, his monotonic jaw motions leaving little to the imagination. Finally cracking, the boy screams orders to Phelps, the Poliwag flinching at the desperation in his trainer's voice.

"Meet his Grassy Glide with a Body Slam, then obliterate him with Ice Ball!"

Wisewoods has a clear aura of caution around him as he once again becomes bathed in verdant light, spreading his wings and using them to move along the ground at a rapid clip, weaving right and baring his talons at Phelps. The Poliwag lunges forwards to collide with his foe, reeling away from the point of impact as he comes out looking much the worse. Faltering, Phelps is left wide open for Wisewoods, who leaps into the air. Performing a neat pirouette, the Rowlet ignites his wing, a flickering green blade manifesting as he drops like a stone. A slicing blow bisects Phelps from top to bottom, and for a moment it seems the Poliwag will fall. Then his eyes narrow, his lips pursing as he creates a hardened sphere of jagged ice.

This was what Wisewoods was so wary of.

Leaping in an attempt to escape, the Rowlet shrieks in agony as he is pelted by the projectile, his manoeuvring managing to reduce the hit somewhat, but the super effective nature could only be mitigated so much. Thrusting an arm out, seemingly oblivious to Phelps being so close to fainting, the young tormentor issues what he believes to be his winning hand.

"Ha! I've got you now, you'll be so god damn sorry! Phelps, Ice Ball them till they stop moving!"
 
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grassyglide: Your continued attempts at diplomacy seem to begin bearing fruit as the situation continues to worsen for the group of bullies. The worry is palpable on the two younger lads, and soon they stagger away. Slowly at first, they abruptly rush at a breakneck pace through the woods, their frantic retreat clearly that of people who knew the locale well. Unfortunately, the remaining kid is apoplectic. Body trembling, eyes straining as he fights back frustrated tears, you can almost hear the sound of his teeth gnashing together, his monotonic jaw motions leaving little to the imagination. Finally cracking, the boy screams orders to Phelps, the Poliwag flinching at the desperation in his trainer's voice.

"Meet his Grassy Glide with a Body Slam, then obliterate him with Ice Ball!"

Wisewoods has a clear aura of caution around him as he once again becomes bathed in verdant light, spreading his wings and using them to move along the ground at a rapid clip, weaving right and baring his talons at Phelps. The Poliwag lunges forwards to collide with his foe, reeling away from the point of impact as he comes out looking much the worse. Faltering, Phelps is left wide open for Wisewoods, who leaps into the air. Performing a neat pirouette, the Rowlet ignites his wing, a flickering green blade manifesting as he drops like a stone. A slicing blow bisects Phelps from top to bottom, and for a moment it seems the Poliwag will fall. Then his eyes narrow, his lips pursing as he creates a hardened sphere of jagged ice.

This was what Wisewoods was so wary of.

Leaping in an attempt to escape, the Rowlet shrieks in agony as he is pelted by the projectile, his manoeuvring managing to reduce the hit somewhat, but the super effective nature could only be mitigated so much. Thrusting an arm out, seemingly oblivious to Phelps being so close to fainting, the young tormentor issues what he believes to be his winning hand.

"Ha! I've got you now, you'll be so god damn sorry! Phelps, Ice Ball them till they stop moving!"
Argyle waited to see how the trio would react to his latest peace offering. Then, the two followers of the apparent bully leader started to move away from the shrine. At first Argyle watched them move slowly, but soon enough they broke into a frantic run. The slightest of smiles appeared on Argyle's face. Who would've thought I'd have people cower in fear like that, he thought.

Unfortunately for him, the smile was short-lived as he saw the apparent leader of the bunch still just barely standing in front of him. At least two of them bucked, Argyle thought, looks like this one won't give up without a fight though. The kid was the picture of desperation. He was shaking and trying to fight back tears of frustration. Argyle wasn't sure what kept the boy going. Was it just out of stupid pride? Whatever it was, it pushed the boy to finally scream an order filled with desparation to his Poliwag.

The kid's command caught Argyle off guard. "Wait what, Ice Ball!?" Argyle reflexively shouted, "How'd I not see a potential Ice-type move on a Water-type Pokemon? If that connects Wisewoods'll be in serious trouble." Argyle watched in worry as the owl and tadpole went at it with their new commands. The two Pokemon collide; Wisewoods' Grassy Glide slamming head on into Phelps' Body Slam. Fortunately for Argyle, the Poliwag came out having sustained more damage than Rowlet. However, Argyle was still tense as he watched on. After all, his concern was not the Body Slam but rather the doubly super effective Ice Ball that was about to come. Wisewoods was clearly not out of the woods yet. Argyle's hope was that the Grass Quill Pokemon's Leaf Blade would be just enough to end it before letting the water-type fire off the Ice Ball. So, he watched anxiously as Rowlet took the sky and then dove downwards with a green blade forming in his wing. The attack connected. Argyle and Wisewoods watched and for at least a moment it seemed like they were victorious. But... it was only to last for a moment. Poliwag managed to muster enough strength to fire off a hardened ball of ice. Wisewoods was able to react fast enough to evade taking on the attack at its fullest attack. Still the move was doubly super-effective on the Grass/Flying owl.

"Wisewoods!" Argyle yelled, "I should've expected an ice-type move and I should've had you play it more cautiously from a distance."

The Rowlet turned around and acknowledged his trainer's sentiment but then cooed indicating that he was fine. Wisewoods, who was always attentive to his surroundings, then pointed to his opponent with his wings. Argyle was quick to take note of what his Pokemon was trying to show him. The Poliwag was teetering on the brink of fainting. Argyle nodded to his Pokemon. He was grateful that he had such a perceptive Pokemon as a partner.

The Poliwag's trainer, on the other hand, lacked the perception that Rowlet had. In a last-ditch effort filled with desperation, the bully ordered his Phelps to use Ice Ball. It seemed to Argyle that the trainer was blind to his own Pokemon's condition. Phelps being on the brink of defeat gave Argyle confidence but he was still cautious of the Ice Ball that awaited them if Rowlet could not finish it in the next move. Argyle wasn't really sure how much more of that Rowlet could take.

"Wisewoods, you are great at hiding yourself, right? So, let's use Shadow Sneak to sneak up on your opponent and attack 'em. Hopefully that'll be enough. If it's not, though, you'll need to try and get away from the Poliwag and dodge the impending Ice Ball. As you try to dodge the balls of ice, try running a Double Team to increase your chances of evasion. Of course hopefully it won't come to that and your Shadow Sneak will be enough."

Wisewoods responded with a hoot and faced Phelps, hopefully for the last time.
 
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Märchen Meines Lebens
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@SpinyShell -

The Indeedee looked at you curiously. It didn't understand why you wouldn't want to take a rest. Your clothes were a little scuffed up from all the walking that had happened today, after all. Though, if you did indeed wish to help out, it couldn't fault you on that. He looked at you once more, seeming to ponder what exactly would happen if he left on his own free will. He left the room real quick before quickly coming back. He looked like he was ready to go.

Leading you outside, he began to walk further down the road. You trail behind the Pokemon, trusting that he knew the area better than you. The night air was crisp, and the skies were clear. You could see the moon beginning to rise, and the starry night painted across the skyline. Compared to the dusk that you saw when you arrived, there was a different kind of beauty to this. A sense of tranquility washed over you.

You watched as the Pokemon continued onwards. The road started to twist and turn up the mountain, and it becomes colder as you ascended the Chalice. There was a sort of beauty to this place, the frigid air dancing on your skin. It was enticing you to climb higher and higher, but the Indeedee soon stopped. You could see why, as the psychic and normal-typed Pokemon looked at the road ahead. There was a fork here, on to the left that kept level with where you were at on the mountain, and one going diagonally forwards that went up the mountain.

He looked back at you, looking a bit puzzled. Was he actually not as familiar with where to go as you thought he would? Well, the road branched here, and it looked like you had the choice on which way you could go. It seemed strange having to choose this many paths in one day, but the mountain was vast.

What do you do?



lilbluecorsola-

The Baltoy were ever staring, ever watching. Kanna's anxieties grew to a peak before realizing that they weren't going to immediately eat her. There was really only one way out of this predicament, and that was to fight. Creating a Defensive Shield around herself, Kanna shot a Water Pulse at one of the Baltoy before flooding the entire area with a Surf. The Baltoy just completely got washed away, and fall to the ground unmoving. All of that worrying over two trash mobs? The grate falls behind her, and her way back was opened. If this was that easy, then what truly awaited her here?

---

Quick on his feet, Kief immediately Skill Swaps with the Sigilyph. As the two abilities are traded, he gains the ability of Magic Guard. Well, immunity to all forms of non-direct damage was a nice bonus. With that done, he immediately shrinks into the size of a small cookie, enticing the Sigilyph to come and dine on him.

The weird ancient bird-like creature indeed descends to feast on the cookie Kief. It sends out blades of air, the Air Cutter trying to cut through the small cookie. However, the attack manages to miss due to his smaller size, and Kief couldn't help but feel a giggle coming up his throat.

With his evasive maneuvers now done, he turns around and emits a frosty Icy Wind. The move washes over the seemingly gigantic Sigilyph, slowing down the Pokemon and lowering its speed. The Sigilyph then picks Kief up with a Psychic attack and throws him against the ground. He could feel his cookie self 'crack' a little bit, but nothing too much to worry about. This was starting to get fun!

---

Yufi, choosing to ignore the words of the shade, focuses on worrying about getting out of the room. If it was going to stand in her way, then she'll just have to get use it to break through the room. She uses a Whirpool attack to trap the Pokemon??? before ramming into it with a massive Surf attack. The water in the room moves violently as she does so, but the walls do not break. Thinking on her feet, she then uses Rock Smash, using the force of the water to try and break through the wall with the shade. She somehow manages to do so, and the shade disappears.

The water, however, doesn't start to drain out of the wall. Instead, it starts to drain out the center of the room. It turned into a giant whirlpool, and it was pulling things in. Before she could even react, an eldritch scream pierced her ears as she felt something grab her foot. Looking back, it was the shade looking at her with a nightmarish smile. Its face was starting to meltdown, with only one eye and a pure white, goopy smile staring into her.

"SSYBA EHT OTNI LLAF! LLAF! LLEH GNITSALREVE NA OTNI EM HTIW EMOC LLIW UOY. NWORD DNA ETAF ROUY TPECCA. SYAW RUOY EGAHC OT ESUFER UOY FI!" The creature shrieked as it began to drag Yufi into the whirlpool.

What do they do?
 
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grassyglide: The hairs on your arms begin to prick as the tension reaches a fever pitch. Phelps has his orders, and should he land his blows Wisewoods would be unlikely to make it through the battle. Thinking quickly, you instruct Wisewoods as best you can, an affimrative chirp the only response. Phelps hurriedly begins to draw moisture from the surrounding air, jagged crystals locking together as a larger hunk of ice forms before him. Finally finishing his first projectile, Phelps searches for his opponent... but his desperate eyes tell a vivid story, one of uncertainty and panic. Cloaked in darkness, Wisewoods moves through the nearby foliage, his silent stalking as ominous as it is brilliant. Circling round to the back of his foe, Wisewoods hurtles from the brush, talons drawn in front of his body to score a raking assault. Staggering, Phelps narrows his eyes as he fights encroaching oblivion, determined not to fall. With a defiant shout the Poliwag lobs his brutal sphere towards Wisewoods, the Rowlet barely managing to twist his body and reduce the resulting damage.

Phelps huffs with disdain, visibly irritated at his failure. This is only compounded as Wisewoods rapidly creates a number of flickering duplicates of himself. Faced with choice paralysis, Phelps is strikingly open to attack, and Wisewoods seizes the initiative, once more cloaking himself in night. Twisting his approach, the Rowlet bursts upwards, scoring the decisive blow on Phelps and causing his gathering Ice Ball to melt to the ground with a whimper. The bully is aghast, returning his Pokemon while spitting fury, face contorted with crimson rage. Sputtering, he promises retribution before stomping deeper into the forest.

Something about his mannerisms struck a chord with you - the certainty with which he spoke left a malingering sensation that he wasn't blustering with his final words. Giving chase seemed sensible - maybe you could cut off a second confrontation at the root - but Wisewoods seems concerned with the Shrine Pokemon, cooing in their direction.
 
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