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Old 10-06-2021, 09:58 AM   #101
Lil'twick
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Marion-

As you listen to Ella's story, you begin to feel yourself seethe with rage. How dare that ever happen to a child. It was unacceptable, especially considering the conditions behind it. Still, even if your primal instinct was the rip the party responsible to shreds, you were a sister now. Murder was not your duty, it was to help those in need. Even if you would gladly take any punishment, that was not your role.

Instead, you promise the girl that you would do whatever you could. That will you were recently ordained, you still had your sense of duty. To help the lost one before you, and give her care and shelter. With that, you offer to sew Fuzzykins back together.

"Really!?" the girl exclaimed, her eyes lighting up. "I would really appreciate it. And I'm sure Mommy would too," she says, looking skywards. You follow her gaze, to see a detailed painting detailing the acts of Her Grace. Quite marvelous, and only missable due to the giant statue drawing all visitor's eyes first.

She then hands you the doll and asks you to take extra special care of him. You were a doll once, yourself. You knew how important it was to be loved, cherished, and cared for. You knew the pain of being cast aside... Being cast away. Though, it also taught you how to repair other dolls with ease. All you needed to do was find the spare materials.

With Fuzzykins in your care, you leave Ella to her own devices. You see the girl walk with you a little bit, before stopping at Her Grace's statue and kneel in prayer. Looks like she'd be here for a bit, and this would allow you to fully explore the secrets of the Cathedral. Trusting your instinct, you follow the path that Her Glory went down earlier.

Doing so, you see an oaken door at the end of the hall. This looked to be the nun's quarters. Entering inside, you instead see the sprawling, catacomb-like walls and what looked to be stairs towards the end. There were four branching paths, left and right near the entrance and left and right towards those squares. Of course, there was more to this place than meets the eyes. The worst part was that nothing was labeled.

What do you do?
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:18 AM   #102
Marion Ette
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Marion-

As you listen to Ella's story, you begin to feel yourself seethe with rage. How dare that ever happen to a child. It was unacceptable, especially considering the conditions behind it. Still, even if your primal instinct was the rip the party responsible to shreds, you were a sister now. Murder was not your duty, it was to help those in need. Even if you would gladly take any punishment, that was not your role.

Instead, you promise the girl that you would do whatever you could. That will you were recently ordained, you still had your sense of duty. To help the lost one before you, and give her care and shelter. With that, you offer to sew Fuzzykins back together.

"Really!?" the girl exclaimed, her eyes lighting up. "I would really appreciate it. And I'm sure Mommy would too," she says, looking skywards. You follow her gaze, to see a detailed painting detailing the acts of Her Grace. Quite marvelous, and only missable due to the giant statue drawing all visitor's eyes first.

She then hands you the doll and asks you to take extra special care of him. You were a doll once, yourself. You knew how important it was to be loved, cherished, and cared for. You knew the pain of being cast aside... Being cast away. Though, it also taught you how to repair other dolls with ease. All you needed to do was find the spare materials.

With Fuzzykins in your care, you leave Ella to her own devices. You see the girl walk with you a little bit, before stopping at Her Grace's statue and kneel in prayer. Looks like she'd be here for a bit, and this would allow you to fully explore the secrets of the Cathedral. Trusting your instinct, you follow the path that Her Glory went down earlier.

Doing so, you see an oaken door at the end of the hall. This looked to be the nun's quarters. Entering inside, you instead see the sprawling, catacomb-like walls and what looked to be stairs towards the end. There were four branching paths, left and right near the entrance and left and right towards those squares. Of course, there was more to this place than meets the eyes. The worst part was that nothing was labeled.

What do you do?
Ella expresses appreciation for Minerva's offer, not only from herself, but also the mother who watched her from Heaven. Bia and Minerva's eyes follow Ella's skyward, gazing at the beautiful painting. Not content simply to build a church with her bare hands, she also apparently worked very hard within it, building a reputation of good works. Minerva had to wonder what Her Grace was like before she earned her title... The human that inspired the image. Minerva wondered the same of Ella's mother, too. Mother, after all, was a title in and of itself.

Entrusted with the stuffed Buneary, Minerva cradles Fuzzykins gently and protectively, as if he were a precious child. Minerva gives Ella the time and space to offer her fragile heart up to Her Grace, who would, Minerva hoped, provide some comfort to this poor girl, after all she's suffered. Let the High Priestess handle the spiritual mending of the heart, while Minerva handled the physical mending of cloth.

The newly ordained Sister intuitively sensed that, whatever she was looking for, she was likely to find it down the path that Her Glory had trod, and thus, she walked that same path herself, with Bia following. This decision led her to what appeared to be the Nun's Quarters, which appeared more labyrinth than living space. Yet, perhaps it would be expected that, in the inner sanctum of the High Priestess' cathedral, secrecy would be prioritized over organizational principles. Still, it didn't exactly make Minerva's task an easy one...

Without the powers of premonition on her side, and no clues to go by, Minerva decided that she would simply choose a path and go - deciding to take the righthand path nearest her first. Perhaps she could find a hint, or someone to ask. If not, she would simply go back and try another. Bia follows silently, keeping her own eyes open for needles and thread. Being nearly seven feet tall, perhaps she could help if such items happened to be stored on a high shelf...
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Old 10-09-2021, 08:10 PM   #103
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grassyglide:

You decide to play along, despite your complete lack of musical inclination or practical knowledge. You're probably not the only one in this situation - there's a reason the Golden Fiddle is only good for composing Unfinished Symphonies...

Still, you're not alone! Wisewoods and Eevee are with you, ready to add some flair to the proceedings, in hopes Rillaboom won't be too put off by the amateurish-at-best music. The ape resumes his rhythmic beating, 3 hits at a time, while your troupe prepares. How hard can it be? Other folks have made millions off of just 3 beats, after all...

Wisewoods takes to the air and showers the area with feathers, while Eevee seems to be really getting into the groove, tapping its paws and wagging its tail to the tune. Hoping this is distraction enough, you hold the fiddle up like you've seen actual players do on TV, and cautiously run the bow across the strings, unsure what to do with the other hand. But the sound that comes from the instrument... is mesmerizing!

Even Wisewoods and Eevee seem momentarily taken aback by the beauty of the sound you just produced, and so you decide to keep going - not because you suddenly know what you're doing, but because clearly there's some mysterious power at work that makes the notes you randomly play sound almost heavenly! Visibly impressed, Rillaboom kicks things up a notch, drumming away to his heart's content; he's so absorbed in the whole thing you doubt he'd even notice if you flubbed every note, but since the Golden Fiddle isn't letting that happen anyway, you keep playing as well, while Wisewoods and Eevee dance.

After a while, Rillaboom puts down his sticks and lets out a loud roar, which you interpret as a laugh. The massive beast slams a fist against his chest and bows his head in thanks for the musical performance. Then, his expression changes from that of amusement to a conflicted one... but finally, he picks up his golden drum and drops it at your feet. Then, he turns around and climbs back up the enormous oak, vanishing from sight. You wonder of he's gone, but soon after the ape jumps back down to the ground, landing in front of you, and opens his hand to reveal three colorful berries.

*You obtained 3 Liechi Berries!*
*Congratulations! You obtained a Golden Drum (Key Item)!*
*Wisewoods gained 3 Levels!*


Rillaboom nods once again, then points North, beyond the giant oak. You're not sure where he's telling you to go, but Eevee, who knows the woods, nods in agreement... Understanding your confusion, the ape tries his best to convey his message through mimic, swinging his trunk-like arm up and down as if he's chopping something, then imitating a sort of box with his palms...

Of course! The drum is no good in its current state - you'll need a wood carver to make a small shrine out of the magical wood. But is there really someone skilled enough to do that out here in the wild? You look ahead to where you were told to go; the forest seems even more impenetrable going forward, and you can spot a faint layer of mist enveloping the trees up ahead. If you're going to go through with this, the path might just become more dangerous the farther you go...

This is the last chance to make preparations before you delve deeper into the woods. Will Wisewoods and the wild Eevee be enough company? And how will you carry the heavy drum?

*Declare your party going forward. You won't be able to change it until further notice!*

...and play he did... or maybe the fiddle played itself? Argyle didn't really know how to explain it. Argyle put the bow to the instrument and the magic took over. The Rillaboom was enthralled too such that he joined in with the drumming. With Eevee and Rowlet dancing along, it was quite the festival. Clearly the Ape would be willing to part with the drum now, right?

Argyle watched the Rillaboom as he was conflicted but eventually put down his drum in front of Argyle. Mission accomplished! Not only that, but the grass-type went up to his tree and came down with three Liechi berries too. Argyle, or rather the fiddle, had clearly impressed the Pokemon.

With the wood secured, Argyle needed to find incense and a skilled carver. Where to go now? Argyle of course didn't know the answer. Luckily Rillaboom and Eevee were there to help him out. Though the direction the duo agreed on seemed... ominous? There were the faintest tendrils of mist poking out into the opening from that direction, indicating that the mist only got thicker as they progressed deeper. And where there was ominous mist... there was bound to be adventure (or misadventure). Still it wasn't like Argyle had an option. Was he to just up and leave the forest? Truth be told, he didn't think he could find a way out even if he did that. Anyway, he had to see this through as he made a promise. Still, he needed as much help as possible, especially since he had promised Kirlia to keep the Eevee out of danger as much as possible, so he really needed someone to help out Rowlet if the going got tough. Thus, he took out another ball. It was a damn shame that this partner of Argyle's had missed everything so far, but one thing had led to another and Argyle really didn't have the time to bring him out. Well, better late then never. So, out came Silver, the Icy Snow patterned Vivillon. Argyle had caught Vivillon as a Spewpa in Amity Gardens on his first day in the sprawling metropolis known as New Fizz City.

Silver looked around inquisitvely. After all, Argyle and Wisewoods were in the middle of a forest along with an Eevee and a Rillaboom. Who wouldn't be curious? Argyle owed his Pokemon an explanation, thus he recounted everything that had happened since they had set food in Fortune's Woods.

With all that out the way, Argyle and co were ready for the next step: finding the carver. That is... after they sorted out carrying the drum. "Silver, can you wrap the drum in a protective coating of your silk using string shot? Then, can you give a piece of your string to Wisewoods while you hold on to another. It's gonna be heavy, but I think the two of you can carry it together. Though you won't probably be able to fly high with the trees around." The Vivillon nodded at his trainer command. He was always willing to lend a helping hand as he had proven in Remembrance Park among other places.

Hopefully, that'd work for carrying the drum. It was at least worth a shot. Worst case, they'd hit the drawing board before continuing.

----

OOC: party declared as Rowlet and Vivillon (not sure if I have to state the Eevee or not)
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:17 AM   #104
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Marion-

Pondering one of four options, you make your way down the closest right most path. Heading down the hall, you notice that absolutely nothing is labeled still. Just more and more unassuming doors that could lead to a myriad of things. Supplies? Food? The lavatory? The only people who knew would be those who have dedicated their lives to being here.

These walls were beginning to feel like a sprawling tomb, the cathedral feeling like a sprawling labyrinth. All you could see was straight ahead of you, seeing a spare door and opening it every so often. Though most of these chamber just looked to be individual rooms for the nuns. It was surprisingly accommodating, and endless. Did you perchance end up taking the hall down the residence? You soon find another crossroads, but from the looks of it this was just the residential wing of the downstairs. Drat.

So, you make the long treck back. As you do, the smell of warmth... The smell of home filled the air. Baking bread, an enticing call for those to rest their weary hearts and bond over the hearth. The smell came from behind you, from the other left side of the floor. Was that the kitchen and dining area? there certainly were people there, for it was unwise to leave bread unattended for long periods of time. Yet, there were always the stairs down.

What do you do?
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Old 10-23-2021, 02:50 PM   #105
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Elijah watched as his Pokédex sailed towards the wall of fog that was clearly meant as a distraction... and shattered into pieces along with the fog. Huh? That wasn't supposed to happen, was it? That thing was supposed to sail through the wall and somehow trap the Rotom inside of it... right? You can't just crash into fog like that, unless... it's solid. Of course it's solid. Why wouldn't it be solid?

How can FOG be SOLID?!

Well, so much for the money he sunk into that Pokédex. It wasn't like he was too attached to that thing anyway. He'd just have to blow another couple thousand on another one of those things... if he was even able to entertain the idea that he was going to be able to handle just how stressful being a Pokémon Trainer was. That being said, he didn't have time to entertain any thought, as he bolted out of the alcove and into the city. All that he left in his wake were the broken Pokédexes, a Weezing who was obviously very fed up with Elijah's clueless antics, and a cry of "what the hell is your deal, man?!"

He didn't slow down until he was around 500 feet away from the alcove, the spike in adrenaline dipping low enough for him to register his surroundings. Rows of abandoned storefronts, a bunch of faded toys... nothing that he hadn't already seen before. Just the same old rusty appliances that greeted him when he first stumbled across this place... of course. The answer to this entire ordeal was staring him in the face the entire time and he didn't even realize it until it had become a massive problem.

Whatever. He'd probably figure out what to do with those things later. Resolving to get himself out of this as soon as he could, he turned right to follow one of the arrow trails that the Weezing had presumably carved out of the fog.
Catching your breath outside you take a look around and definitely seem to have gotten away from the conflict, for now, the only signs of activity now coming from your pokemon and the strange floating fog arrows. After a while you notice that one of the buildings off in the distance crumbles, the tea house falling into an indistinct pile of rubble as a pulse of energy ripples through the fog in the area.

With a renewed sense of urgency, you start heading over to the general store, the road on the way where being composed of remarkably healthy grass and other small plant life & the curb being lined with what you can only assume used to be little houses that some of the former residences must have slept in during the forest's cool nights.

Some time passes and both of you arrive at the front entrance of the store, its composition seems to be the standard mix of junk and condensed fog save for some luminescent moss that seems to have begun growing around the place in sporadic patches alongside the inside.

Moving forward you walk up to what seems to be an actual checkout desk, which is being kept up by a combination of its legs and a...pile of books that make it clear this thing has seen better days. Above the counter, you look up and notice signage hanging off the roof leading to various sections including...Mulch?, Berries &....whatever a picture of a Minccino is supposed to mean.

Although nothing comes to mind right away as to what these different signs are supposed to be; it may yet prove a fruitful endeavor to search the different departments for clues.
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Old 10-23-2021, 03:51 PM   #106
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Catching your breath outside you take a look around and definitely seem to have gotten away from the conflict, for now, the only signs of activity now coming from your pokemon and the strange floating fog arrows. After a while you notice that one of the buildings off in the distance crumbles, the tea house falling into an indistinct pile of rubble as a pulse of energy ripples through the fog in the area.

With a renewed sense of urgency, you start heading over to the general store, the road on the way where being composed of remarkably healthy grass and other small plant life & the curb being lined with what you can only assume used to be little houses that some of the former residences must have slept in during the forest's cool nights.

Some time passes and both of you arrive at the front entrance of the store, its composition seems to be the standard mix of junk and condensed fog save for some luminescent moss that seems to have begun growing around the place in sporadic patches alongside the inside.

Moving forward you walk up to what seems to be an actual checkout desk, which is being kept up by a combination of its legs and a...pile of books that make it clear this thing has seen better days. Above the counter, you look up and notice signage hanging off the roof leading to various sections including...Mulch?, Berries &....whatever a picture of a Minccino is supposed to mean.

Although nothing comes to mind right away as to what these different signs are supposed to be; it may yet prove a fruitful endeavor to search the different departments for clues.
Houses? It was one thing to build a town center, but all these? The more that Elijah walked down the street, having slowed down from the frenzied sprint that had carried him out of the alcove a few moments ago, the less that he trusted that Weezing. There was no way that just a single Pokémon could build all this. Granted he was really running low on things to trust at the moment, but he wasn't exactly pulled into this situation willingly. In fact, there were a lot of things that he wasn't really psyched about doing this week. At least all this was providing a distraction from his plummeting motivation. And—

Elijah quickly snapped out of his spiraling thoughts when he saw Epoch floating beside him again. Wasn't that Rotom still in charge of it? He hadn't noticed that it wasn't really doing anything interesting anymore, but maybe his expectations were so low that the Porygon simply moving was enough to sound the alarm bells in his head. God, what happened to him? He wasn't really in the mood to be introspective, so he simply focused on getting in that surprisingly convenient general store that he'd been led to.

Dark and spooky was really tonight's theme, huh? Same old abandoned junk, same old fog everywhere... the glowing plants growing inside the gutters of the linoleum floor was new, though. The checkout desk was literally on its last legs, a corner in particular only being held up by a stack of assorted books. He debated swiping one from the stack, but that would have made a little too much noise so he shelved the idea. All he was really here for was to grab something to keep that Rotom at bay. He looked up for a sign that pointed him to the appliances department...

...but nothing was ever easy around here, was it? Elijah thought that any reasonable general store would have an appliances department, but this felt more like a specific store than anything. The mulch and berry signs kind of implied that this was for farming supplies, but the Minccino... cleaning? It wasn't exactly marked with anything, so he definitely had to rely on his intuition here.

He wasn't exactly stoked about it, but fertilizer didn't really count as an appliance so he opted to walk down the aisle marked by the sign with a picture of a Minccino on it. It was definitely a moonshot but sometimes venturing into the unknown had better results than just sticking to what he knew; a thought that Elijah definitely did not expect to have.
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Old 10-24-2021, 04:37 PM   #107
Marion Ette
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Marion-

Pondering one of four options, you make your way down the closest right most path. Heading down the hall, you notice that absolutely nothing is labeled still. Just more and more unassuming doors that could lead to a myriad of things. Supplies? Food? The lavatory? The only people who knew would be those who have dedicated their lives to being here.

These walls were beginning to feel like a sprawling tomb, the cathedral feeling like a sprawling labyrinth. All you could see was straight ahead of you, seeing a spare door and opening it every so often. Though most of these chamber just looked to be individual rooms for the nuns. It was surprisingly accommodating, and endless. Did you perchance end up taking the hall down the residence? You soon find another crossroads, but from the looks of it this was just the residential wing of the downstairs. Drat.

So, you make the long treck back. As you do, the smell of warmth... The smell of home filled the air. Baking bread, an enticing call for those to rest their weary hearts and bond over the hearth. The smell came from behind you, from the other left side of the floor. Was that the kitchen and dining area? there certainly were people there, for it was unwise to leave bread unattended for long periods of time. Yet, there were always the stairs down.

What do you do?
Minerva's head spins as she tries to navigate the labrynthine corridors of the nun's quarters, only to find herself going in circles. Minerva darkly wonders to herself if she and Bia were going to end up having to piss in a corner if this kept up. Not very nunlike... Hopefully, their lack of direction would not put themselves in that dire a situation, but then, she had not expected this level of complexity and confusion!

Her journey was going nowhere fast, so she decided to retrace her steps... and, during this backtracking, Bia starts sniffing the air, a curious and hungry expression coming across her face. Something good to eat, it seemed. The bear's sense of smell was much better than her own, so it takes some walking before the smell of fresh-baked bread hits Minerva's own nostrils. A warm, inviting smell of home... Certainly, Bia was intrigued by it, making motions toward the door from which the smell is originating. Minerva takes a moment to consider, keeping Fuzzykins close to her, gently cradled and protected all the while.

"Well..." She thinks. "It would not help us with the task at hand, but... I do think it would do Ella good to have a nice, warm slice of bread to eat. Might make her feel more at home, here. Perhaps we can ask for one to give to her... and, if they can spare one, we can ask for a slice for you, too, Bia."

The Bewear accepts this - their primary focus was helping the girl, after all - just as long as she could get a treat, too. Bia had never been one for sweets, but homemade bread? Delicious.

"Perhaps we can ask for directions while we're in there, too," Minerva comments, making her way towards the door and knocking respectfully, intending to enter the room and request directions to the sewing materials should they allow her inside.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:20 PM   #108
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Carrying the golden drum is a puzzle you manage to solve with a bit of extra help – Silver the Vivillon joins the fray, and uses its sturdy String Shot to wrap the block of wood for easier – though by no means easy – transportation. It takes the combined efforts of Silver and Wisewoods to pull the heavy object across the floor, leaving only you and the accompanying Eevee free to lead the way into the misty depths of the forest, where Rillaboom advised you to head.

Slowly making your way through, stopping every now and then to allow Silver and Wisewoods to catch their breath, you feel a growing sense of dread on account of the fog that surrounds you. Unquestionably, the further in you go, the thicker it becomes, and after roughly half an hour of braving the wilderness, it has now become almost impossible to see more than a foot in front of you. Shouldn’t you have arrived wherever Rillaboom intended you to get by now?...

Eevee then tugs at your leg, rather insistently. You have to kneel to get a good look at its face, and realize the fox looks quite concerned. Its ears are twitching, but you can’t hear a sound. You only make sense of things when it’s too late – a pained cry from behind makes you turn around, only to see Wisewoods lying on the floor with a single clean cut across its left wing. There is no foe in sight, but it’s quite obvious you’re under assault…

What will you do?
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:52 PM   #109
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@Saiza


Closing his eyes briefly the man lets off a light chuckle before looking straight in the eyes with a piercing gaze, the old man seeming to a proper judgment of Ary's character.

Nodding in what appears to be approval he takes a step back and begins talking with a slightly more friendly look on his face "Aye I see, well befer I go answering the question you've asked it seems you need a few circling in yer head answered first."

"Firsly, yes the Fool's Path did plop ya here, welcome to The Arcane Realm outlander. Secondly no you aren't in the past, some places just refuse to let tradition die...or the blood that backs it." the man spitting on the ground in disgust with the end of that sentence.

"As fer where you two oughta start...you can leave the specifics to me, bloody wench needs knocked down a peg or three. Just come up with a Performance Type & Aesthetic. Additionally, I'd recommend having a few basic tricks learned.

Handing you a leather-bound book he continues on saying "This guide should give you the basics of what I'm talking about here, just read through it and tell me what you're aiming for...also pick out some better clothes from the wall, couldn't be more of a sore thumb if ya tried!"

A quick look through the book reveals precious little, with most of the pages being filled with flowery storytelling about how the contest came to be and some passing stories about the royalty who have owned the garden it takes place in. Continuing through however you do find sections that both depict and explain the performances the man had been talking about.

[Performance Types are separated into three "Power, Grace, Intelligence" with Aesthetics actually following among the lines of contests you're more familiar with Smart, Beauty, Tough, Etc.]

Looking up you notice the old man impatiently tapping a pen on the registry in front of him "Name's Rauwlon by the way"
Ary couldn’t help but feel thankful that the man picked up on his complete sense of loss. And as luck would have it, despite his rough appearance, it seemed this Rauwlon character shared a similar resentment toward the woman who’d abandoned Growlithe, for some reason of his own…

“Performance type? Aesthetics?...”

He stared at the book Rauwlon handed him. He knew he had to stop seeking the easy way out by basically asking everything, and start searching for answers on his own, if he was ever going to grow as a Trainer. Despite his aversion to reading, he skimmed through the pages, almost instinctively cutting out the fluff (something he hoped he wouldn’t regret later, in case he was required to know the contest’s actual history) and heading straight for the chapter that mattered.

“Oh… so this is pretty much like Contests after all! I only ever saw them on TV though… how am I supposed to pull something even half-decent together?”

His heart sank as he imagined letting Growlithe down in front of that woman. But something told him she had to be an expert at this sort of festival, whereas he… he needed someone to tell him where he even was.

First things first, he had to look the part. And he reasoned the best way to appear in-sync with “his” Pokemon would be to find a matching outfit.

“Well, uh… got anything orange or red that fits a kid my size? Y’know, something uh… fire-like?”

Crucially though, there was on more thing bothering him…

“How am I going to coordinate a Pokemon I know next to nothing about?”

He dropped to one knee and scratched the pup behind the ear.

“Hey buddy… what can you do? You look pretty Tough to me, but clearly you’re Smart as well, and I mean all Growlithe are pretty Cute… Got any tricks you wanna show me?”

He knew how to battle a lot better than he knew how to do something flashy, but something he’d learned on TV was that talented coordinators could chain seemingly unspectacular attacks together to create amazing performances. Maybe if he knew Growlithe’s skills he could find a way to work something out. Whether it’d be good enough to put the pup’s former owner in her place was another matter entirely…
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:09 PM   #110
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With both Cleffa now in potentially perilous situations, the path ahead is clear for Revel and her companions. Despite the dangers that may be lurking within the cave, Revel does her best to show determination in her expression, emphasizing the need to go down the slope and help to Elgyem. The alien-like creature nods in response, trying his best to match her enthusiasm in spite of his fear and worry. Still, all the determination in the world would not be enough if Revel's other Pokémon ended up similarly endangered as the Pokémon they were trying to save, so the trainer judiciously decides to exercise caution despite her rising feelings of panic, taking the descent slow and steady, and encouraging her team to do the same.

Faced with the prospect of entering the cavern's maw, Alfie the Appletun mumbles with hesitation. His concerns were reasonable; after all, they were intent on exploring the unknown abyss, possibly full of the monsters Cleffa had described earlier. Fortunately, with Revel and Chachi's support and encouragement, Alfie re-evaluates his initial hesitation, focusing instead on memories of standing up to a formidable Simisage and assurances that his friends will support him. Thus, with gentle guidance from his trainer and Chachi, Alfie begins the slow descent down the slope, the Elgyem following with equal caution not far behind.

The Cerebral Pokemon's powerful mind considers Revel's question regarding what they might find down there in the cave. "I haven't explored the interior myself," the Elgyem responds nervously, "but given what Cleffa described to us earlier, about the dangerous creatures..." He trails off, looking into the darkness with a shiver. "...I believe this cave might be the creatures' den."

With careful, well-placed steps, the group manages to make their way to the bottom of the slope, to the cavern's entrance. The darkness is thick, nearly impenetrable - traversing this terrain is likely to be difficult. Revel notices that Elgyem's hands and eyes give off a faint glow as he moves toward the entrance, which at least means they won't be traveling in complete darkness, but they will likely still need to be extremely cautious...

What will you do?
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Old 10-30-2021, 01:15 PM   #111
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Carrying the golden drum is a puzzle you manage to solve with a bit of extra help – Silver the Vivillon joins the fray, and uses its sturdy String Shot to wrap the block of wood for easier – though by no means easy – transportation. It takes the combined efforts of Silver and Wisewoods to pull the heavy object across the floor, leaving only you and the accompanying Eevee free to lead the way into the misty depths of the forest, where Rillaboom advised you to head.

Slowly making your way through, stopping every now and then to allow Silver and Wisewoods to catch their breath, you feel a growing sense of dread on account of the fog that surrounds you. Unquestionably, the further in you go, the thicker it becomes, and after roughly half an hour of braving the wilderness, it has now become almost impossible to see more than a foot in front of you. Shouldn’t you have arrived wherever Rillaboom intended you to get by now?...

Eevee then tugs at your leg, rather insistently. You have to kneel to get a good look at its face, and realize the fox looks quite concerned. Its ears are twitching, but you can’t hear a sound. You only make sense of things when it’s too late – a pained cry from behind makes you turn around, only to see Wisewoods lying on the floor with a single clean cut across its left wing. There is no foe in sight, but it’s quite obvious you’re under assault…

What will you do?


Argyle and co started making their way towards the direction Rillaboom had pointed them towards. With each step they took, the fog got deeper. Was this really the way to go? Argyle didn't have any reason to doubt the Rillaboom. They had so much fun together, why would he mislead them. He had never said it would be an easy trip (though he also didn't say it'd be hard, but that's besides the point). Still, from Argyle's experience, or rather from the stories he read and movies he watched, whenever fog thickened, something bad would happen. So, he trekked onward though with each step now filling him with dread.

How much longer did they have to go? They were walking for a good half hour and all they had to show for it was fog. As Argyle pondered, Eevee began tugging at his leg. Of course Argyle couldn't really make out what the fox was trying to tell him, so he had to kneel down to see a face filled with concern. What was he concerned about? Had they gone the wrong way? The Eevee's ears were twitching. Did he hear something? Something was up and Argyle was in the dark. Then, he heard a cry from behind. He spun around to see his Wisewoods on the ground with a cut on his wing. Yet, there was no enemy in sight.

The Pokemon they were dealing with was clearly accustomed to the fog. Argyle was at a severe disadvantage, but he didn't want to fight just yet. It wouldn't be prudent after all, he'd be fighting blind, plus there might be good reason as to why Wisewoods was attacked... They might've trespassed onto some Pokemon's territory.

"Wisewoods, are you alright?" Argyle asked, "Try and heal yourself up with a Synthesis and Silver you stand watch. Get ready to hit back with an Icy Wind if anything hostile comes your way. Eevee please help Silver keep watch, you're probably more accustomed to these woods and we might be able to use your acute sense of hearing."

Having given his orders, Argyle faced the direction they came from and said, "We've travelled this way in search of a wood cutter on orders of the Kirlia of the shrine. The Rillaboom who lives in the oak tree pointed us this way. We apologize if we've tresspassed and mean no harm."

The diplomatic approach had worked before in these woods, so it was worth a shot.
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Old 10-31-2021, 06:00 PM   #112
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Missingno. Master - Awaking from your slumber just within the Cave of Strength, the Dusknoir you knew to be a threat lurches over its would-be prey. Not the young boy Johan as you had expected, but a small Shinx, drained away by the monster. Noticing your presence, a Rock Tomb quickly surrounds the Shinx before the specter turns to face you, the mouth stretching across its stomach curling into a menacing grin.

Unperturbed and recovering quickly from the dream state you had just woken from, you toss Chuck's Pokeball into the air once more, happy to find it was in no way affected here in the waking world in the same manner as it had been by the Mage in your sleep. Raising your Mega Hat into the air as Chuck and Meowth ready themselves to take down your foe, the link between yourself and Chuck is established, a bright light forming a cocoon around the Gengar before splitting to reveal his Mega Gengar form.

Wincing slightly from the sudden light, the Dusknoir swiftly turns to your team, not willing to wait as you shout your orders. Ripping an entire stalagmite from the ground, the eyes of the beast glow a sinister red before it pierces itself with the chunk of earth, a dark link forming between itself and Chuck for a moment thanks to this horrible Curse. The Mega Gengar takes the time to Bulk Up in response, his ethereal muscles becoming a bit more buff, before Meowth looses a piercing noise. The Screech catches the Dusknoir off guard a moment, causing it to drop the stalagmite entirely, the rocks shattering against the ground.

Eyeing your team for a moment, the Dusknoir simply waits, and its patience is quickly rewarded as a Shadow Punch reaches its left side from Chuck, followed by an Assurance from Meowth to its right, the damaging blow made more severe by the followup. Once more the maw of the Dusknoir grins, though, as it opens wide, a horrifying energy reaching out towards Meowth as it siphons away the cat's life force with the help of a Pain Split, leaving Meowth looking rather ragged, far worse than one would think from simply the damage Dusknoir should have taken from what moves you've already seen. To make matters worse, the Dusknoir suddenly erupts in a dark aura, storing every ounce of its hatred into the darkness before lunging forward in a flash, moving at speeds unexpected for such a beast before an uppercut sends Chuck flying nearly to the ceiling, the Payback having struck extremely hard. The Mega Gengar falls back down to earth before a piercing pain strikes his form, the Curse taking hold for a moment.


Connor - Thoughts race through your mind at lightspeed as you watch the Durant begin to clamp down on their unsuspecting prey. Your investigation was bound to bear better fruit should you let them continue, but no. You weren't about to let an innocent be slaughtered on your watch. Calling Lancelot from his ball once more, your orders are issued with speed in order to try to prevent any further harm to the Durant's quarry.

Atlantis pulses out a Foresight in equally quick order, making it much easier to spot the metal ants, before Julia grabs their attention with a Snarl, the dark wave of sound washing over the beasts and causing them to drop their prey with little hesitation before rushing through the sand towards the Larvitar. Having expected this somewhat, Joss proceeds to Fly in to further distract the bugs a moment. Unsure what is even happening at this point, the Durant begin to clamp about randomly before an Earth Power strikes the one not currently distracted by Joss, causing it to reel a moment. Rising into the air a bit with his job done, Joss looses a Heat Wave at the two ants, causing one of them to promptly decide this is a fight not worth its time, scurrying out into the sandstorm with speed. The other, however, isn't so flighty in its fight-or-flight response, and finally notices you on the edge of the battle. Deciding that you are responsible for the Pokemon now attacking it, the bug begins to rush you, mandibles covered in a dark energy as it prepares to Crunch you. Lancelot is having none of it, though, and a single Flamethrower washes over the bug, causing it to drop its attack and begin running for its life after its partner. Doubling back, it picks up the same form you saw the two just attack, which prompts Atlantis to pelt it with a Rock Slide. The stones slam across its carapace, causing it some nasty damage, but even though its hurried steps are reduced to a limp it does not release its quarry.

That is, until a stream of white-hot sands erupts through the desert floor and into the ant. The resulting scene is grotesque, as both Durant and its prey are ripped to pieces, metal shell flung into the air as well as, thankfully, the head of a stone statue of a Larvitar - one bearing an uncanny likeness to Julia, landing promptly at your feet. The sands on the ground shift for but a moment before the culprit emerges, a massive snake of sand, its body curled up around itself before wrapping around what was once the abdomen of the Durant. The Sandaconda stares angrily at your team as it attempts to collect its prey, wary of your movements, sand leaking from its nose to help conceal its form as it slithers through the sandstorm before you.

Atlantis gained 1 level!
Julia gained 1 level!
Joss gained 1 level!

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Old 10-31-2021, 08:16 PM   #113
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Marion-

The bread of god is bread. May the lord bless us with this bread, for it is the accumulation of this hearth and harvest. For our kind lord, for whomst we place our hopes for to partake in his body. His holy body shall strengthen our flesh and sanctify our soul. For yes, prathest he, for bread. The bread of god is bread. Amen.

Entering the room, the smell of crisp, fresh baking bread assaults you. Evelops you. Caresses you. This warm, intimate embrace was not one you have felt before. For to lie with a man, he may leave. But this,this was true bliss. This bread, it would fix the void in your heart. Heal the scars men leave, and renew you with purpose. Was this bread truly a gift from Her Grace?

Attending the oven was yet another nun, but those one you could already tell towered over you. She was humming an ancient song, one from a land far far away from any you've known. The soft hums were intertwined with drawn out clicks of the tongue, yet another blessing onto this breath.

She then turned at the sound of the door opening, staring at you. Gentle, wheat colored eyes and a giant, hearty smile greated you. Curly, ebony hair flowing freely from beneath her habit, and mocha skin that radiated by the light of the hearth.

"Hello Sister!" She exclaimed, a warm, deep voice coming out of the woman. "Sister Brunetta has let us know a new sister by the name of Minerva has joined us, I must presume it is you correct?"

You give the woman your response, and she gives you a joyous smile.

"Nice to meet you Sister Minerva. You may call my Sister Thandiwe. Today, I am in charge of the bread. A sourdough, made with golden wheat from the fields around us, and the starter that Her Grace prepared when she was still walking with us in flesh centuries ago," the woman explains, pending down to check the hearthfire to make sure it was the right temperature.

"That shall do it for now," she states with a joyous tune. "I sang to the bread the lifesong of my tribe. We all sing to our bread, each Sister adding her voice to the bread past down from generation to generation. For you see, Sister Minerva, the bread can hear your song. Its taste changes according to your song, and will hearkend all of us Sisters to the flavors of your childhood and homeland."

"Now, I see you haven't gotten your habit nor tunic yet sister. I am more then willing to assist, if that is why you are here... Or if you have another reason?" Thandiwe asks, sitting down and wiping sweat off of her brow.

How do you respond?
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Old 11-02-2021, 04:28 PM   #114
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Missingno. Master - Awaking from your slumber just within the Cave of Strength, the Dusknoir you knew to be a threat lurches over its would-be prey. Not the young boy Johan as you had expected, but a small Shinx, drained away by the monster. Noticing your presence, a Rock Tomb quickly surrounds the Shinx before the specter turns to face you, the mouth stretching across its stomach curling into a menacing grin.

Unperturbed and recovering quickly from the dream state you had just woken from, you toss Chuck's Pokeball into the air once more, happy to find it was in no way affected here in the waking world in the same manner as it had been by the Mage in your sleep. Raising your Mega Hat into the air as Chuck and Meowth ready themselves to take down your foe, the link between yourself and Chuck is established, a bright light forming a cocoon around the Gengar before splitting to reveal his Mega Gengar form.

Wincing slightly from the sudden light, the Dusknoir swiftly turns to your team, not willing to wait as you shout your orders. Ripping an entire stalagmite from the ground, the eyes of the beast glow a sinister red before it pierces itself with the chunk of earth, a dark link forming between itself and Chuck for a moment thanks to this horrible Curse. The Mega Gengar takes the time to Bulk Up in response, his ethereal muscles becoming a bit more buff, before Meowth looses a piercing noise. The Screech catches the Dusknoir off guard a moment, causing it to drop the stalagmite entirely, the rocks shattering against the ground.

Eyeing your team for a moment, the Dusknoir simply waits, and its patience is quickly rewarded as a Shadow Punch reaches its left side from Chuck, followed by an Assurance from Meowth to its right, the damaging blow made more severe by the followup. Once more the maw of the Dusknoir grins, though, as it opens wide, a horrifying energy reaching out towards Meowth as it siphons away the cat's life force with the help of a Pain Split, leaving Meowth looking rather ragged, far worse than one would think from simply the damage Dusknoir should have taken from what moves you've already seen. To make matters worse, the Dusknoir suddenly erupts in a dark aura, storing every ounce of its hatred into the darkness before lunging forward in a flash, moving at speeds unexpected for such a beast before an uppercut sends Chuck flying nearly to the ceiling, the Payback having struck extremely hard. The Mega Gengar falls back down to earth before a piercing pain strikes his form, the Curse taking hold for a moment.
And the battle got underway at once! Chuck had Mega Evolved in preparation, and Keith made sure to take note of Dusknoir's reaction to this transformation. Meowth and Chuck were both raring to go, but so was the Dusknoir, ripping an entire stalagmite out of the ground and using that as the needle to lay a Curse on Chuck! And by no means was Dusknoir done at that point, either- the Ghost-type went on to establish a link with Meowth and used Pain Split, leaving the Scratch Cat Pokémon looking positively ragged. "Gah," panted Meowth, stunned by just how much the attack had done to him- Pain Split, after all, merely averaged out the hit points of user and target, so for it to leave Meowth in such miserable shape, surely their adversary couldn't have been faring much better! "Wat, did we get dat ting down ta its last hit point or sometin'?!"

"Don't forget, it did use Curse," Keith reminded Meowth, still eyeing the Dusknoir warily. "That's half its health gone in one move. And we haven't exactly been slacking off on our end, either."

"Indeed," Chuck nodded, grinning even in spite of the pain. But before anything more could be said on the matter, Dusknoir landed a potent Payback on Chuck, sending him flying just about up to the ceiling, revealing the hilariously tiny legs Mega Gengar was known to possess, before Chuck slammed back down to the ground, grunting in even further pain as the Curse reared its ugly head. "Ugh... We should- should see about finishing this up fast," the Mega Gengar grunted through gritted teeth.

"I agree completely," Keith nodded. "Now, Meowth, use Flash, and Chuck, Dazzling Gleam!"

"Hm?" the pair of Pokémon responded in mild surprise- these were not moves they were expecting Keith to command, but as they looked back, they saw the confident expression on his face, and knew he had to have something in mind. And so they turned back to Dusknoir and let loose their respective light-based moves.

This was exactly the shot Keith was aiming for. He hadn't missed that, when Dusknoir had winced just from the brief illumination given off by Chuck Mega Evolving- this Dusknoir did not like light! This, he figured, could have been a contributing factor in that Pain Split taking Meowth down so low, even considering the Curse and the heavy hits it had already sustained. If witnessing a Mega Evolution taking place was enough to make it wince and possibly weaken it some, it was really not gonna like two light-based attacks to the damn face! "Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Chuck, use Shadow Punch and then right into a Play Rough! Meowth, use Night Slash and then wrap this up with Assurance!" At worst, he figured such intense light-based moves would buy them the time they needed to execute this relentless onslaught of attacks. At best, he hoped those light-based moves would weaken Dusknoir so severely that this would finish it off then and there. Either way, Keith was feeling optimistic about the outcome of this battle.
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:40 PM   #115
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Sniz-

Looking for the loudest, toughest-looking ruffian to heckle, you soon find a worthy target. A large hulking mess of a man, he looked more like something straight out of a pirate movie than an actual person. This was definitely the sort of person who you could easily convince to help out with a ship in some way. Channeling your inner teenager, you approach the man and don't make eye contact as you make a snide remark.

The man immediately stopped his boisterous laughter and looked at you. While you were avoiding his gaze, you could tell by his coat that he was a sea captain of some kind. He dropped an anchor to his side, and you heard his neck cracking. And then, a loud boisterous laugh

"Ah see mates! This man has the guts to call out these pieces of shit!" He bellies out, the words echoing across the shipyard.

"I've been telling me, boys, here that the good ol' ships have started to whether away and all these new ones look like baby's first ship. The ol' king's gone senile I say. His father, well, he let people make what they please! But no no no, this new king want's to piss in his pants and regulate things."

The man picks that anchor back up and turns to address the shipyard.

"Well, the crew of the Saint Mariette ain't takin' this shit. I remember the days where captains and pirates alike came together to admire the different beauties. But no, no more Ebonwood. No more Rosewood. No more Mahagony.Too cursed, bah!" The man spits before quieting down and turning to you. "Bah, I ain't repair my girl with this sissy wood. Nah, she deserves the best Rosewood 'round."

You then hear a hard slap, and you could feel the man calm down.

"Aye, sorry for going overboard there. Name's Captain Whitehook. Me crew and me been moored here for a few months, waiting for someone with the guts to be able to help. Me ship, the Saint Mariette, is an ancient ship that's been sailing the high seas for centuries. We come here every decade or so to repair her with the newest Rosewood. But bans and tariffs have been making it extremely hard..."

"Unless, well, you'd be interested in getting some for me? If you need something in return my crew and I would be more than happy to comply. We honor our debts."

What do you say?
To say that Michael was taken aback by the boisterous captain would be nothing shy of an understatement. Not only that, but the man then proceeded to drag the trainer directly into making a point to his fellow sailors as to the quality - or lack thereof - of the wood one was still allowed to use to make and repair their ships with. The point was a bit interesting, as this was not likely an extremely recent change, meaning the small boat he had seen earlier must have been around for some time.

What caught his attention most, though was the mere mention of the idea that the men who called this vessel, the Saint Mariette, theirs, would only stop in every decade or so. Where in the world else could possibly be so interesting as to avoid a city known for its riches for such an extended period of time? Surely there had to be another reason entirely for the long stints between docking here. Criminal undertakings? Unlikely. If the ship was as old as stated it would surely be recognized at least once in the months they claim to be here...

That was about all he could take. Between the state of the small boat he had seen prior and the oddities surrounding this particular Rosewood ship, there had to be more at work here than just a lazy old king unwilling to allow the use of "cursed wood". His interest, as much as it pained him given the original intent of his journey here, was piqued.

"Okay. I'm in."

Almost on cue, the five Luxury Balls on his belt wiggled with intensity before the entirety of the horde of Pichu he had just stashed away emerged in blinding light around the man. Clearly they had become just a bit too bored in their balls, as the lot of them began to play along he dock, not even bothering to pay mind to the fact that they occasionally ran between the legs of the crew of the Saint Mariette or otherwise got in their way.

"Sorry. I meant we," Michael chuckled, scooping Annie up and placing her in his hood as a signal to the remaining Pichu to shape up, the lot of them quickly collecting around the man's legs, "We're in. Just let us know what needs done and exactly what level of above or below board you're looking for it to be done in."
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:08 PM   #116
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Sniz-

The captain rubs his beard, thinking based on the addition of the horde. You could tell by his pensive look that he didn't exactly expect help from you. Yet, this would end up being a good thing. After all, it wasn't every day that someone would be willing to risk themselves to get banned, potent wood.

"Well, we mostly need its bottom side. Topsides fine, was able to get some replacement wood here a few years back for that. She's a hearty girl, and has withered by in much worse conditions," he points to the ship.

"As for where to look, the Playground is the best place to get the info you need. Need to stay on the good side here. They don't care if we obtain the wood, just can't buy it ye know? They don't wanna mess with me crew," he leans in and whispers to you.

With the information at hand, you decide to follow the only lead you have so far. Yet, you don't even make it another step before you hear a voice shouting.

"Cap'n!" a tall, slender woman yells.

You see her jump down from the ship, Pokeball in hand. She was wearing a corsair's blouse, with a bandana tied around her curly, salt-weathered blonde hair. There was a resemblance between both the captain and the woman, who looked to be in her twenties at most.

"Aye lass, what be it?" he responds, a little taken aback.

"I wish to test this man. The last time someone offered they were found hangin' in the slaughter docks. As the future captain of this ship I have the right to this," she states with an authority, and the captain gives a simple nod.

"You, one on one. Judging by yer little horde there, I have a fresh catch that'll do just nicely," see states, throwing the Pokeball in the air.

You see a Clobbopus emerge from the Poke Ball. The little octopus looked more than feisty and raring for battle.

"Rather not have my Poliwrath cream ya here. Best to fight fair for an assessment, fight dirty for the raids. Clobbopus, once he's chosen his Pichu, great it with a Leer, Bind it down, and smack it in the face with a Rock Smash," she commands.

Whether you liked it or not, you're being forced into a battle.

How do you react?
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Old 11-03-2021, 08:58 PM   #117
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Marion-

The bread of god is bread. May the lord bless us with this bread, for it is the accumulation of this hearth and harvest. For our kind lord, for whomst we place our hopes for to partake in his body. His holy body shall strengthen our flesh and sanctify our soul. For yes, prathest he, for bread. The bread of god is bread. Amen.

Entering the room, the smell of crisp, fresh baking bread assaults you. Evelops you. Caresses you. This warm, intimate embrace was not one you have felt before. For to lie with a man, he may leave. But this,this was true bliss. This bread, it would fix the void in your heart. Heal the scars men leave, and renew you with purpose. Was this bread truly a gift from Her Grace?

Attending the oven was yet another nun, but those one you could already tell towered over you. She was humming an ancient song, one from a land far far away from any you've known. The soft hums were intertwined with drawn out clicks of the tongue, yet another blessing onto this breath.

She then turned at the sound of the door opening, staring at you. Gentle, wheat colored eyes and a giant, hearty smile greated you. Curly, ebony hair flowing freely from beneath her habit, and mocha skin that radiated by the light of the hearth.

"Hello Sister!" She exclaimed, a warm, deep voice coming out of the woman. "Sister Brunetta has let us know a new sister by the name of Minerva has joined us, I must presume it is you correct?"

You give the woman your response, and she gives you a joyous smile.

"Nice to meet you Sister Minerva. You may call my Sister Thandiwe. Today, I am in charge of the bread. A sourdough, made with golden wheat from the fields around us, and the starter that Her Grace prepared when she was still walking with us in flesh centuries ago," the woman explains, pending down to check the hearthfire to make sure it was the right temperature.

"That shall do it for now," she states with a joyous tune. "I sang to the bread the lifesong of my tribe. We all sing to our bread, each Sister adding her voice to the bread past down from generation to generation. For you see, Sister Minerva, the bread can hear your song. Its taste changes according to your song, and will hearkend all of us Sisters to the flavors of your childhood and homeland."

"Now, I see you haven't gotten your habit nor tunic yet sister. I am more then willing to assist, if that is why you are here... Or if you have another reason?" Thandiwe asks, sitting down and wiping sweat off of her brow.

How do you respond?
The sound of prayer meets Minerva and Bia's ears - the pair bow their heads in reverence, allowing the warmth of the words and the scent of the bread to envelop them both. Something about this particular bread seemed to promise a deeper fullness than that obtained from eating a typical loaf; this bread promised to fill the void in Minerva's heart, which was a very large promise, indeed.

Just as warm and inviting as the bread was the nun who tended it, her song drawing Minerva to her like a moth to flame. Upon noticing her, the towering Sister exclaims her greetings, asking Minerva if she is the new Sister she's heard about.

"Indeed I am," Minerva confirms, bowing her head respectfully. "And this is my Bewear, Bia."

Bia waves, though her eyes are focused on the bread, nose sniffing with eagerness. The woman at the oven joyfully introduces herself as Sister Thandiwe, informing Minerva that she is in charge of the bread today - her warm, deep voice explaining the tradition of breadmaking within the Cathedral, originating from a sourdough starter developed by Her Grace centuries ago when she was still among those working in the flesh, and developing its flavor from centuries of songs, each nun infusing their own childhoods and homelands into the bread with their melodies.

Minerva gulps with trepidation. She could carry a tune, sure, but she was a horrible baker. The only thing she would be infusing in that bread was a whole lot of burning and bitterness. Perhaps she could take on extra sewing duties... Speaking of which, she had a mission to accomplish, and now was as good a time as any to ask for assistance.

"I do have another reason, Sister Thandiwe," Minerva begins, gently holding up Fuzzykins so that the Sister may examine him. "I am administering to the needs of a young girl named Ella who has brought this beloved stuffed animal with her. His name is Fuzzykins, and he is all that remains for Ella to remember her mother by. I would very much like to mend him for her, as sewing is a particular talent of mine. I am looking for sewing materials - perhaps I could find them in the same place as the habits and tunics? Then I could address both needs at once."

Bia, on the other hand, points at the oven and points at her mouth, putting her hands together in humble request.

"Oh, yes..." Minerva adds. "When the bread is ready, if it is permitted, I would like to bring a slice to Ella, in hopes that it might help heal some of the deep wounds within her soul that she is nursing." The newly appointed Sister bows her head. "I know I've arrived with a number of requests, but any assistance you provide, I will be very grateful for."
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Old 11-04-2021, 12:30 AM   #118
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Missingno. Master - With both Meowth and Chuck having taken absolutely hefty amounts of damage from a single round of combat, Meowth insists for the moment that the Dusknoir must have been brought fairly low from the previous volley of attacks, to which you point out that he Curse that was inflicted certainly didn't hinder in your damage dealing abilities thus far. Noting that the Dusknoir winced somewhat at the light from Chuck's Mega Evolution, you formulate a quick plan before issuing orders to the duo in front of you.

Meowth is the first to act, a bright white light illuminating the cat's form and causing the Dusknoir to lift an arm over its face to shield from the Flash of light. Now somewhat off kilter, the brute is a sitting duck as it lowers its arm only for further light to lance into its gut in the form of a Dazzling Gleam from Chuck, the monster before you seeming more bothered by the light itself than the actual damage done. Rubbing its eyes a moment, it looks back to see Meowth and Chuck already gearing up for a second salvo, both rushing in for physical blows this time. Chuck's Shadow Punch connects beautifully, but his speed in comparison to Meowth gives the Dusknoir just enough time to prepare for the cat, an aura enveloping the ghost just before the Night Slash connects, catching Meowth in the air for a moment as his claws sink into the Dusknoir, who promptly takes this opportunity to Counter with a savage punch, launching Meowth all the way to your feet, looking to be in extremely rough condition at this point.

As Meowth and Chuck regroup, he Dusknoir suddenly stops in place, no longer moving. The state of it is fairly curious, but the duo do as ordered and charge once more. Chuck's Play Rough beats on the Dusknoir a moment before he backs off and Meowth follows up quickly with an Assurance, the damage of the blow massively increased and easily enough to break the Substitute the Dusknoir had set up, revealing the true specter in the distance looking somewhat ragged itself, a glowing orange orb clutched between its hands. The Focus Blast is tossed towards Meowth, who in his current condition almost definitely could not take the hit. But, whether due to sheer luck or he Flash used earlier, the attack is slightly off he mark, allowing Meowth to dive away from it at the last moment as it sails into the wall with a booming explosion. Things aren't all spectacularly as things take a temporary cooling off, though, as Chuck winces once more, the Curse taking hold and leaving him looking in an equally sorry state.
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Old 11-04-2021, 01:24 AM   #119
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Sniz-

The captain rubs his beard, thinking based on the addition of the horde. You could tell by his pensive look that he didn't exactly expect help from you. Yet, this would end up being a good thing. After all, it wasn't every day that someone would be willing to risk themselves to get banned, potent wood.

"Well, we mostly need its bottom side. Topsides fine, was able to get some replacement wood here a few years back for that. She's a hearty girl, and has withered by in much worse conditions," he points to the ship.

"As for where to look, the Playground is the best place to get the info you need. Need to stay on the good side here. They don't care if we obtain the wood, just can't buy it ye know? They don't wanna mess with me crew," he leans in and whispers to you.

With the information at hand, you decide to follow the only lead you have so far. Yet, you don't even make it another step before you hear a voice shouting.

"Cap'n!" a tall, slender woman yells.

You see her jump down from the ship, Pokeball in hand. She was wearing a corsair's blouse, with a bandana tied around her curly, salt-weathered blonde hair. There was a resemblance between both the captain and the woman, who looked to be in her twenties at most.

"Aye lass, what be it?" he responds, a little taken aback.

"I wish to test this man. The last time someone offered they were found hangin' in the slaughter docks. As the future captain of this ship I have the right to this," she states with an authority, and the captain gives a simple nod.

"You, one on one. Judging by yer little horde there, I have a fresh catch that'll do just nicely," see states, throwing the Pokeball in the air.

You see a Clobbopus emerge from the Poke Ball. The little octopus looked more than feisty and raring for battle.

"Rather not have my Poliwrath cream ya here. Best to fight fair for an assessment, fight dirty for the raids. Clobbopus, once he's chosen his Pichu, great it with a Leer, Bind it down, and smack it in the face with a Rock Smash," she commands.

Whether you liked it or not, you're being forced into a battle.

How do you react?
The captain's thoughts on the matter of how to obtain the wood wasn't exactly insightful, but the point that it didn't really matter how the wood was obtained so long as it wasn't a purchase certainly left a number of options open. But before Michael could head off with his horde, a slender and tall woman shouted from the ship before jumping down to demand a chance to test the man.

The full blown pirate ensemble was a bit on the nose, but it's not like a man who dressed like he did had any real right to judge. Still, he couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as the woman insisted that she would use her Clobbopus to test the Pichu rather than a Poliwrath. Was he being... pitied? By a pirate? Even if she did have the nerve to follow it up with a statement of why she would choose to do so, this was by no means something that Michael was about to stand for.

Meanwhile, the Pichu gathered by his feet began to argue as to who would actually battle the Clobbopus as the woman gave her orders, with Asher and Axel the top contenders of the fight. "Not now, boys. You'll get your chance to show your stuff later." Shifting his hold on Annie from two arms to one, he began digging through his pack, "Besides... oldest first."

The man produced a Throat Spray, handing it to Annie. "Alright then, ready for your debut?"

The Pichu happily accepted the item, holding onto it with a lighthearted "Chu~"

"Great. Then use a Disarming Voice when it tries to Bind you up, and then set up Electric Terrain." The man ordered the attentive Pichu, shifting his pose a moment while using his now free hand to grab her entire body. "But first..."

Once more Annie let out a cry, but this "Chu!" was much more a statement of being prepared for what was about to come.

On the signal, the man spun himself suddenly, tucking his arms inward for momentum before coming to a sudden stop and tossing the Pichu at full force towards their foe, "USE FAKE OUT!"
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:02 PM   #120
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Missingno. Master - With both Meowth and Chuck having taken absolutely hefty amounts of damage from a single round of combat, Meowth insists for the moment that the Dusknoir must have been brought fairly low from the previous volley of attacks, to which you point out that he Curse that was inflicted certainly didn't hinder in your damage dealing abilities thus far. Noting that the Dusknoir winced somewhat at the light from Chuck's Mega Evolution, you formulate a quick plan before issuing orders to the duo in front of you.

Meowth is the first to act, a bright white light illuminating the cat's form and causing the Dusknoir to lift an arm over its face to shield from the Flash of light. Now somewhat off kilter, the brute is a sitting duck as it lowers its arm only for further light to lance into its gut in the form of a Dazzling Gleam from Chuck, the monster before you seeming more bothered by the light itself than the actual damage done. Rubbing its eyes a moment, it looks back to see Meowth and Chuck already gearing up for a second salvo, both rushing in for physical blows this time. Chuck's Shadow Punch connects beautifully, but his speed in comparison to Meowth gives the Dusknoir just enough time to prepare for the cat, an aura enveloping the ghost just before the Night Slash connects, catching Meowth in the air for a moment as his claws sink into the Dusknoir, who promptly takes this opportunity to Counter with a savage punch, launching Meowth all the way to your feet, looking to be in extremely rough condition at this point.

As Meowth and Chuck regroup, he Dusknoir suddenly stops in place, no longer moving. The state of it is fairly curious, but the duo do as ordered and charge once more. Chuck's Play Rough beats on the Dusknoir a moment before he backs off and Meowth follows up quickly with an Assurance, the damage of the blow massively increased and easily enough to break the Substitute the Dusknoir had set up, revealing the true specter in the distance looking somewhat ragged itself, a glowing orange orb clutched between its hands. The Focus Blast is tossed towards Meowth, who in his current condition almost definitely could not take the hit. But, whether due to sheer luck or he Flash used earlier, the attack is slightly off he mark, allowing Meowth to dive away from it at the last moment as it sails into the wall with a booming explosion. Things aren't all spectacularly as things take a temporary cooling off, though, as Chuck winces once more, the Curse taking hold and leaving him looking in an equally sorry state.
Dusknoir was no slouch, and Keith didn't expect it to be. He owned two of them himself, knew the species as a whole was nothing to scoff at, and this one was not defying said expectation. He was watching intently throughout the fight, and therefore was quick to pick up on Dusknoir's reaction, not so much to the Mega Evolution of Chuck in and of itself, but rather to the light it gave off, and just as quick to act accordingly. Thus came the orders for light-based moves- neither Meowth nor Chuck had seen that coming, but they went with it all the same, and ended up seeing what Keith was getting at- light. This Dusknoir apparently couldn't stand the stuff, and the back-to-back Flash and Dazzling Gleam did quite a number on it.

Dusknoir, however, was not just standing there- OK, floating there- and taking the subsequent beatdown. It was able to combat Meowth's Night Slash with a fierce Counter. And after that, he... stopped moving altogether? Meowth and his Mega Gengar teammate didn't think much of this, not until they launched their next attacks and realized they had just quite literally knocked the stuffing out of a Substitute. However, luck turned back their way when Dusknoir's attempt at a Focus Blast was so poorly aimed that Meowth was able to dive out of the way. "Gah!" Meowth panted. "Dat was too close! We ain't lastin' much longa in dis condition!" he said to Keith. As if to drive home the point all the more, Chuck winced and grunted in pain once more as the Curse laid upon him by Dusknoir continued its insidious work on the Ghost/Poison-type's hit points. That, Keith knew, was not going away until Chuck fainted.

"Yeah, I'm inclined to agree," Keith nodded, already rummaging through his bag. "Chuck, Dazzling Gleam! Meowth, over here," he added, taking a canned beverage out of his bag. Meowth, taking the cue, dashed over to Keith while Chuck attempted to keep Dusknoir at bay with more light.

"...ahh, yeah, dat's da stuff," Meowth sighed upon guzzling down the Lemonade. "But wat about Chuck?" he added, glancing at his teammate. "Unless youse gots anotha can o' dis stuff in dat bag o' yers?" he added- considering the expansive capacity of the average Trainer-grade backpack, whatever the small exterior might imply to the contrary, he would honestly not be surprised if Keith had a whole vending machine full of the stuff shoved in there somehow.

"Got it covered," Keith stated, now taking not a can, but a spray bottle out of his backpack. "Chuck, over here! Meowth, use Flash!"

"Ahh. Good thinking," grinned the Mega Gengar as Keith sprayed him with the Hyper Potion he'd taken out, while Meowth took his turn trying to keep Dusknoir at bay with even more light. "That was no beverage, but I'll take what I can get," he quipped.

"You better damn well," Keith retorted with a good-natured grin. "Whatever gets us through this, right?"

"Indeed," agreed Chuck, already turning back to face the Dusknoir.

"All right, then let's not waste any more time," Keith stated, turning his Mega Hat backwards, as he so often did when he friggin' meant business. "Let's wrap this up once and for all! Chuck, use Shadow Punch! Meowth, follow up with Assurance!" This had to work- they had been doing massive damage to Dusknoir, and fairly consistently, too. Surely, surely, the Gripper Pokémon wasn't going to last through this onslaught.
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Old 11-05-2021, 10:23 AM   #121
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Marion-

Sister Thandiwe ponders your requests. For a new sister, you did have quite a lot, but at the same time, they were to help a lost lamb. Especially a young girl who had lost basically everything, but wishes for renewal. For hopes towards the future, despite everything that had happened. Yet, from your tone, the Sister in front of you could pick up on a few things.

"Hmm... Usually, the bread is for us, but if what you are saying beneath your words is true... That shall be fine," she responds to you. "But, for the sewing supplies, that is not an issue in the slightest."

"Please wait here, I shall be back soon Sister," she states with a joyous smile, her solemn tone gone and replace with what you had experienced before.

And so, you sat in one of the stools and took in the smell of bread. Bia, too, sat and smelled. Both of you could feel the motherly warmth get stronger. As the bread baked, memories of happier times would come and go. While a lot had happened in your damned life, there were still things you had cherished. After all, even a discarded doll had memories of brighter days.

You heard the door open after a while, and see Thandiwe carrying giant bolts of fabric under one arm, and a sewing kit in her other hand. She was a lot stronger than she looked, yet the garb obscured much. Perhaps as a way to hide the scars... To hide the pain and marks all of the women held.

"Now sister, please stand, and I shall get your measurements," she asks.

You comply, and Bia does too. The Bewear was curious about what was happening. It looked like she too would like to get proper attire. Sister Bia, now that would be a sight to behold. You see Sister Thandiwe chuckle at the idea.

"Sure, why not! We've had Pokemon Sisters before, so it would be nothing new," she stated.

She then began to wrap measuring tape around you, getting your three measurements and height. It was a little uncomfortable, especially having to have your arms out at times. The last thing she measured was your head, as you feel the tape wrap around your brow. They did need to make the habit accurate, after all.

Next was Bia, who happily stood for Thandiwe to measure. Considering the bear was almost seven feet tall, even the tall sister had to grab a step stool to get Bia's head measurements. Once those were written down, Sister Thandiwe began work on sewing Bia's outfit first, seeing as she would need more cloth for that.

"Here, sister, we have spare thread and needles in here. Please, sit next to me, and let's chat while we work on our respective projects. I rather you do not keep the owner of the stuffed doll waiting," she tells you.

How do you respond?


Sniz-

Giving Annie a Throat Spray, you give your orders to the Pichu who won out. Before the Clobbopus can even give her a leering glance, she Fakes Out the opponent with a hard face slap. The Clobbopus flinches, causing it to real and lose focus on the attack.

Though, it quickly shakes its head and recovers. Seeing that Annie was already close, the punchy octopus wraps its fists and legs around the baby electric rat. She was trapped now, and would take some damage for each round she was trapped. With your orders, however, that wouldn't be an issue.

Activating her Throat Spray, Annie lets out a Disarming Voice directly into her opponent's ears. With Fairy being super effective against the Pokemon, and the heightened special attack boost, the Pokemon takes a large amount of damage. But, even with the hard-hit, that does not deter the Clobbopus.

It continues with a Rock Smash, smashing its fist directly into Annie's face. The move was heightened by the Pokemon's Technicain, causing you to realize this little octopus was a special breed. To make matters worse, the Rock Smash triggers its defense drop, which will cause Annie to take more damage. Though, in response, the Pichu sets up an electric terrain. This will cause her Electric Moves to become heightened, as well preventing sleep. Handy, for sure, as some point-blank electric attacks will sting. The Clobbopus then tightens its grip, the wrap dealing its end of round damage.

"Alright, not our best round but we can regain the advantage. Cycle through a Power-Up Punch into a Rock Smash, and then go for a Seismic Toss!" your opponent orders, going full offensive.

How do you respond?
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Old 11-23-2021, 04:11 PM   #122
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XVII. Desert of Stars - A small, arid desert at the northern tip of the Land of Cups, the Desert of Stars is named for the various meteorites found within this region. While more a dry, mountainous desert than a sandy one, sandstorms are still a common occurance here. Though, despite these conditions, explorers and treasure hunters flock to this region for the meteorites found here, and the rare Pokemon attracted to them. Some have even stated they’ve had some otherworldly experiences here.

Lucia Grimsdottlir rubbed the grit from her eyes before resettling her goggles over her eyes. it wasn't as hot as the small pocket desert on the way from Mauville to Fallarbor, but just as rocky and just as obnoxiously, unpleasantly sandy. Sweeping dunes and stark outcroppings of jagged black rock covered most of what was visible through the windblown sand, but a job was a job, and the boss seemed certain that the meteorites spoken of in the tourist brochures and some strange land formations reported by an aerial survey were the key to something or other. Ed had a way of droning on and most of the reasoning had been lost on Lucia. checking the hastily folded requisition forms and requested sample descriptions forms the Tallsocks Lab Acquisitions Department lead had handed her before she boarded the plane bound for the arcane realm one more time, she let out a sigh and resumed trudging through slippery sand down the dune's windward side. Nothing left to do but try to make one of the larger stone outcroppings before nightfall and begin planning her next steps. "an exciting adventure to look for fucking space rocks..." she muttered, the rest of her words whipped away by the wind.
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Old 11-26-2021, 02:20 PM   #123
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Lil'twick – As you gladly accept the slice of leftover cake, you muse one Pokémon in particular would enjoy the prize before handing it over to Pie. The sentence gives you pause though, as you suddenly realize you have no idea how he even came to be on your team in the first place. Strange how such a huge creature could slip into the crew unnoticed. Was it the work of your Big Sis looking out for you? Or perhaps- a result of Dialga's time distortions? For Pie's presence almost feels fleeting somehow, memories of tenure tenuous...

Shaking off the gnawing sensation of something amiss, your thoughts are abruptly interrupted by the urgent situation of a missing Princess, and you swiftly volunteer said Snorlax's powerful sniffing services in tracking her down, along with Waffle's helpful hearing aids. Seeing Cottonee concerned as well, you offer to provide a ride should it wish to tag along. It glances at its parent momentarily for permission, and the Whimsicott looks a little worried but eventually nods in approval, acquiescing to such pleading puppy eyes and assured by your skills that you'll be able to keep its child safe. Bowing before you, the chef allows its precious bundle to hop happily up onto your head instead, stating it will stay behind to help hunt Her Highness's whereabouts near the palace grounds in the meantime.

As Cottonnee snugly settles in to its new perch, the Nuzleaf guard agrees to escort the ragtag search party to the lady's last known location of...

Lover's Grove

Stepping into the dappled grove, your vision is immediately greeted by the gorgeous sight of two towering oaks bathed in dazzling emerald and gold. They twist and sigh into each other's embrace like passionate lovers, an enchanted eternity of enamorment. Flowers line their feet, some seemingly freshly picked but the harvester and her handmaiden are apparently nowhere to be seen. In fact, a half-filled basket of blooms lies sadly on its side amongst the bed. Pie bends down to start furiously smelling the hamper for traces of the owner's fragrance, while Waffle keeps his ears open for any strange sounds. Cottonnee perks up also as a worrying wind suddenly starts to blow, carrying the scent off in a different direction. Confused, you all follow as Pie plods along after it deeper into the woods, steering away from safety and sun to deposit instead before the dark and foreboding...

Cave of Strength

The Nuzleaf guard stiffens in surprise and horror upon realizing the destination, aghast that her Majesty could end up in such a malevolent place. Waffle puts his ear to the wall, confirming he can faintly hear hushed, feminine voices somewhere within its depths - although remarkably reporting while he can't make out the conversation they don't seem to be in any distress at least. Nuzleaf appears relieved by the news, but still believes the area is too dangerous to enter alone, insisting on returning to gather reinforcements. You note its knees trembling in terror as its spear tip shakes uncontrollably, clearly preferring to stall in cowardly hope it doesn't have to go in at all.

What do you do?
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Old 11-26-2021, 02:20 PM   #124
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Yuki-

Deciding to face her fears, Kanna ascends the ladder to progress deeper into the labyrinth. The Furret soon reaches the very top of her section and sees a key shard sitting atop a pedestal. Seems that this was the last thing she'd need to get before she could leave. Approaching, she saw a sign posted next to it, as if it were a warning.

"Only through sacrifice may this be earnt. In exchange for a worldly desire, may though be bestowed this heavenly virtue. Offer what you prize most, or pay a dire price."

---

Seeing the Hyper Beam about to consume him, Kief erects a protective barrier. The full force of the move pushes him against the ceiling, and he could hear it begin to crack. How much longer did he need to weather this? He didn't know. The entire ceiling was about to crash down... And yet it didn't.

The Sigilyph collapsed onto the floor, obviously exhausted by the amount of strength it needed to use. This was an opening for Kief, where he used a Charge Beam to singe the weird bird. Feeling his mental acuity heightened, he send out a punishing Thunder to fry the Sigilyph to a crisp. This defeated the guardian, and as he landed down both the key and lantern were his. Seems his part of the trial was over. He noticed two small pieces drop from the Sigilyph, and goes to investigate them.

Kief has obtained two rare candies for his efforts in battle, due to already being Lv. 100!

With that done, all he needed to do was wait for Kanna and Yuffie.

---

Yuffie, not wishing to be wet, heads towards the higher route. Feeling herself ascend, she continues to climb until she enters a new chamber. In the center was what looked to be a key fragment, sitting atop a pedestal in the middle of the room. The pedestal sat on a small platform, surrounded by a bottomless pit. She saw a series of platforms and levers in the room. Seems she'd need to find a way to jump across safely to get the piece. Though, there was no way out this way... Best to at least get the key now instead of having to backtrack later.

What do they do?
Kanna carefully made her way up the ladder, weaving up the steps one by one like a wiry worm. At the top, she finally saw what seemed to be a sign of salvation: a key shard sitting upon a pedestal, presumably the final piece of the puzzle. Yet, there was something suspicious about how plainly it was presented to her. A plaque posted beside bewailed a warning, beckoning whoever approached to hand over a "wordly desire" in exchange for the token. (Strangely, she could easily read these symbols compared to the placard at the temple's entrance - perhaps an effect of whatever mystical forces were at play here?)

Kanna gulped as she fastidiously scanned over the forewarning's wording, calling her to truly give up her most prized possession if she wished to win the trophy. She placed a pensive paw over the Heart Necklace Kief had gifted her, own heart wavering as she reluctantly slipped the pendant from her neck with a sigh, planting a sentimental kiss on the crystal before offering it out to take the treasure's place; hoping Kief would forgive her for such transgression, and knowing he'd understand she would give anything in order to see her family again...

-

As Kief summoned a protective bubble around himself in the nick of time, the Sigilyph unleashed its powerful laser straight at its target, the force of it enough to push him all the way against the ceiling despite his best efforts to remain grounded. Grunting, he braced himself against the blow and strove his best to endure, clutching the lantern close as well to prevent breakage as the entire foundation began to crack and crumble around him...

Before the roof could collapse completely however, Sigilyph eventually did instead from exhaustion. Seizing the opportunity, Kief fired back an electrifying beam of his own as he fell - followed by an even fiercer bolt of lightning that struck the foe for massive damage, burning the bird to a crisp. Landing atop the now ashen avian, Kief grinned in triumph as he claimed both the key and lamp as spoils of victory. His snout then twitched, sensing something sweet in the air below, and began curiously looting the comatose cuckoo to discover two small pieces of ate candy as additional rewards.

Satisfied with his haul, the plunderer plopped down for a well-deserved rest while waiting for the girls, confident they would finish their parts successfully and come find him soon - seeing as there wasn't any way down from here...

-

Foregoing the flood for hopeful freedom, Yufi hastily hopped up the staircase until she reached an unfamiliar room, with what appeared to be a key fragment atop a podium in the center - similar to the spiritual stone before. However, she had learned her lesson and neared more cautiously this time, seeing the space was clearly booby trapped by a bottomless pit surrounding all sides. The floor plan wasn't entirely lacking however, as a few floating tiles and levers were scattered around, so she quickly began scheming a plan to get across. Backing up a bit, she took a deep breath before deciding to first try and test what the levers did by SWIFTly spitting stars at them. If she saw a safe chance to cross, she'd charge forward at EXTREME SPEED and attempt to vault her way to the closest platform with VEEVEE VOLLEY. While she might not be able to build as much momentum as her dad at the moment, she felt her father's faith still guiding gently from afar, and her mother's warmth waiting for her. Thus, she refused to fail - or fall - determined to succeed and return home together no matter what...


OoC - Picking up 2x Rare Candies. Thank you!

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Old 12-01-2021, 07:14 PM   #125
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Marion-

Sister Thandiwe ponders your requests. For a new sister, you did have quite a lot, but at the same time, they were to help a lost lamb. Especially a young girl who had lost basically everything, but wishes for renewal. For hopes towards the future, despite everything that had happened. Yet, from your tone, the Sister in front of you could pick up on a few things.

"Hmm... Usually, the bread is for us, but if what you are saying beneath your words is true... That shall be fine," she responds to you. "But, for the sewing supplies, that is not an issue in the slightest."

"Please wait here, I shall be back soon Sister," she states with a joyous smile, her solemn tone gone and replace with what you had experienced before.

And so, you sat in one of the stools and took in the smell of bread. Bia, too, sat and smelled. Both of you could feel the motherly warmth get stronger. As the bread baked, memories of happier times would come and go. While a lot had happened in your damned life, there were still things you had cherished. After all, even a discarded doll had memories of brighter days.

You heard the door open after a while, and see Thandiwe carrying giant bolts of fabric under one arm, and a sewing kit in her other hand. She was a lot stronger than she looked, yet the garb obscured much. Perhaps as a way to hide the scars... To hide the pain and marks all of the women held.

"Now sister, please stand, and I shall get your measurements," she asks.

You comply, and Bia does too. The Bewear was curious about what was happening. It looked like she too would like to get proper attire. Sister Bia, now that would be a sight to behold. You see Sister Thandiwe chuckle at the idea.

"Sure, why not! We've had Pokemon Sisters before, so it would be nothing new," she stated.

She then began to wrap measuring tape around you, getting your three measurements and height. It was a little uncomfortable, especially having to have your arms out at times. The last thing she measured was your head, as you feel the tape wrap around your brow. They did need to make the habit accurate, after all.

Next was Bia, who happily stood for Thandiwe to measure. Considering the bear was almost seven feet tall, even the tall sister had to grab a step stool to get Bia's head measurements. Once those were written down, Sister Thandiwe began work on sewing Bia's outfit first, seeing as she would need more cloth for that.

"Here, sister, we have spare thread and needles in here. Please, sit next to me, and let's chat while we work on our respective projects. I rather you do not keep the owner of the stuffed doll waiting," she tells you.

How do you respond?
For Minerva, the word "mother" was synonymous with "murderer." Source of life, cause of death, seed of grudge. Minerva's last moments on this earth - in a natural, normal life, without the influence of supernatural shenanigans, anyhow - were marked by the ultimate betrayal. No one loved Minerva more than her mother... and no one hated her more, in the end. With a single bullet through her daughter's skull, she left her body to rot. Discarded, like an unwanted doll.

Still, even the wicked demoness Minerva was a small and innocent child, once - a child who looked to her mama with adoring eyes, who wore the beautiful dresses that mama sewed for her, whose tiny fingers were carefully, gingerly kissed and bandaged whenever she pricked herself while trying to learn the craft. Warm memories of those halcyon days drift through Minerva's mind. She loved her mother, once... and maybe she still did. She looked like her mother. She sewed like her mother. Inherited her mother's eyes, her curiosity, her wild thoughts, her darkness... but beyond that darkness, she was a loving woman once, and perhaps there was healing to be had in remembering her in those moments.

Bia, on the other hand, had a much simpler upbringing in the wild. Mother Bear was big and warm and fluffy. Sometimes, her paws were soaked with honey; sometimes, her paws were soaked with blood. Bia was always well fed, either way. Mother Bear nursed, she protected, she taught how to hunt and survive. Bia remembers the taste of Basculin fished fresh from the river - the success of a catch, displayed proudly to her mother. The warmth of the life leaving the creature as she bit down. It was a bit like the bread, that warmth, as the abundance of life does not exist without death - somewhere, there is a wheat field that mourns for the stalks that would feed them. Not that Bia thought about this, really - it was something she understood in her stomach, in her bones, in the powerful body her mother had taught her to nourish.

The woman and bear are given their measurements by the tall and motherly sister, and though the process is slightly uncomfortable at times, Minerva was not entirely unused to it - her own mother, after all, was a talented seamstress, and had to measure her little girl frequently as she grew. As for Bia, she was patient throughout this process, even eager - Sister Bia? Well, why not!

With the measuring out of the way, Sister Thandiwe invites Minerva to sit beside her while she works on their habits. The white-haired woman nods in response, grinning a bit.

"Thank you so much! I'd be happy to," Minerva says, carefully picking a needle, some thread, measuring tape, scissors, and fabric that matches as closely to Fuzzykins' shade and texture as she can find. She also grabs some scraps to replace lost stuffing and fill Fuzzykins out a bit - she wouldn't be able to feed him any of the bread, but she could still make him nice and plump again! Gingerly setting the plush toy down on the table, she begins measuring and cutting out some cloth for patches, which she can whip stitch onto Fuzzykins to mend the larger holes. Smaller holes could be ladder stitched shut without the help of additional fabric, but better to address the larger swaths of repair first, to give some structural stability. Bia, meanwhile, keeps her eyes on the bread... To make sure it doesn't burn, of course.

"Sister, I must admit... I'm really impressed by your talents in both baking and sewing. Did you arrive here already possessing these skills, or did you receive tutelage? Because, uh -" Minerva blushes a bit. "I must admit to some trepidation at baking. Sewing, I am happy to do, but baking is... well." Minerva sighs. "It's... just something I've always struggled with learning."
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