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Old 04-26-2021, 11:09 AM   #1
Sneaze
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Misdreavus Unreal Archipelago: Zone of Mysteries

Unreal Archipelago: Zone of Mysteries


Many know of Phantom Isle, the haunted theme park that has terrified all those who entered. But after years of adventuring across the island, some trainers dared to go further out to sea from the mainland. Here they quickly found a number of other land masses, each just beyond the horizon from the next, forming a perfect circle with Phantom Isle at its base, though some have claimed the islands take the true form of the darkest witchcraft itself, Phantom Isle being the quintessential element of Spirit in this reverse pentagram. The first to be discovered was deemed the Defiled Oasis, possibly once a place of fae magic and abundant beauty, destroyed by companies to hide their power plant meant to fuel Phantom Isle's theme park with electricity, its existence hidden from the rest of the world after the failure of the park. Those that believe the theory of witchcraft have stated that this place's destroyed terrain has all but devastated what once was a place of only the purest Air quality. Next came the Conflagrant Spire, a beautiful and lush rainforest island with its own towering volcano, dotted with relics of a civilization past. While some say the great fire of the island's volcano disproves the theory of witchcraft, others have pointed out that the altars point to sacrifices to the Earth itself, further supporting the horrid story. Then came the Quiescent Glacier, less a land mass than a strange and massive chunk of ice, having made its way here some time ago but refusing to go even an inch further. The stillness of the ice seems to have filled the missing elemental slot on its own, the tranquil Water here sitting peacefully where other islands show the constant signs of the tide. Finally came the Tranquil Lagoon, so named for its seeming normalcy in comparison to the rest of the islands, where trainers would soon call home for those who wished to live away from the mainland. Ever stoking the Fire of the hearth, the villagers here set forth to live away from the craziness of the mainland, by whatever means necessary.

Each place was distinctly different, yet their mysteries all seem they could be connected in some way. Voyage has been granted to all trainers from the mainland, hoping to discover the true secret behind this strange land, but adventurers beware, Phantom Isle is not the only place of terror among the Archipelago. Please note that only direct traffic from island to island is approved at this time, as the conspiracy theorists firmly believe that at the center of this Archipelago, deep beneathe the sea, lies the most ancient evil ever to take seat in Fizzytopia, a statement that simply cannot be ignored.




Phantom Isle
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Sitting at the far south of the Unreal Archipelago, Phantom Isle was once a large theme park with an accompanying hotel, the park incorporating a slew of rides, entertainment venues, and showcases, terrible events in the past caused the shutdown of the park for some time. With years now having passed, nobody can say for certain what the singular moment was that caused this downward spiral of the park's luck, but the final straw in its closure can be directly linked to the event wherein the Ghost Train ride caught fire, killing dozens of adults, children, and trainers. In its heyday the park held Contests, saw frequent friendly battles, and even allowed children to hire Pokemon for the day to keep them company or to battle with in special kiddie events. The hotel towering over the south side of the island was added only recently before the park had been shut down, meant to house those that wished to stay for more than a single day with their families and enjoy all of the attractions they could. Now, the park lingers with supernatural activity, an odd purple haze washing over the island causing it to be shrouded in a perpetual darkness as natural light no longer filters through. While it is known that the park once had a large variety of places to see, enough to accommodate large crowds for days on end, some locations seem to have disappeared forever, as though absorbed into the fog that now covers the Isle.

Sub Areas:

Rollerquaza:
The largest rollercoaster in the park, this ride is designed around the legendary Pokemon Rayquaza and its home, the Sky Pillar of the Hoenn region. The highest peak of the ride reaches, much like the Pokemon itself, high into the clouds above the fog shrouding the park. The final drop leading the rider to a darkened tunnel where people have apparently gone missing for days at a time, reporting a bizarre force as they plunged deep into the shadows.

The Funhouse: The name speaks for itself, though the fun you'll have might not be the sort of fun you are acquainted with. A strange entity exists in the building which seems to emanate evil from the walls and floors, causing even the most nimble of trainers to have trouble keeping their balance in the various rooms. The Funhouse even contains a Hall of Mirrors, an endless maze that may trap you for all time if you don't keep your wits about you.

Sideshow Alley: Contains all of the normal things you would find in a sideshow with one exception - a memorial wall set up with dozens of plaques in honor of the deceased children who never made it off the ride of a lifetime. Each plaque has a space for flowers to honor their memories if you wish, but beware, for the sad and gloomy atmosphere around here attracts more than curious trainers.

The Circus Tent: Want to see the show of a lifetime? Enter the Circus Tent and challenge the bloodthirty ghosts within to a battle upon the stage. It is said that you could once take a challenge of four of these beasts in a row in order to face the Champion - A Dark Pokemon whose identity remains a mystery as nobody has ever made it far enough to win.

Fortune Teller's Tent: Situated in the shadows cast by the majestic circus tent is a much smaller tent which once housed a mystical woman who was said to have powers beyond that of a regular human, being able to see not only into the past, but also into the future. She passed away not too long before the closure of the theme park but nobody thought anything of it, since she was getting on in years. Today, there is still a light coming from her tent, so could it be she still lingers in the theme park, waiting for her next customer?

Ghost Train [Shadow Zone]: Enter if you dare - The Ghost Train, the site of the disaster responsible for the final closure of the theme park. Ghostly visits from children lost are reported to have scared many a construction crew away from this site while some of the strongest and darkest Pokemon of all are rumored to dwell within the burnt out remains of this once popular ride.

The Lobby: Upon entering the hotel's main doors, you reach a marble-floored lobby with a check-in desk and huge chandeliers that flicker ominously. Behind the desk lies most of the keys to the various hotels rooms, but an unseen power prevents you from taking more than one at a time. Attached is a gift shop selling theme park souvenirs, though you might find more than a keyring or two floating about there. A lone elevator sits at one end of the lobby, leading up to the rest of the rooms or down to the storeroom and casino.

Restaurant: Within the hotel and through a set of ornate double-doors lies what used to be one of the finest restaurants in the world. All of its tables and chairs remain untouched and the food seems to be frozen in time, no signs of decay at all even after all these years. Candelabras decorate the tables but they have been seen flying around the room. The kitchen has become a dangerous place, however, located through a saloon door behind the food counters. The walls, still lined with the sinister, sharp utensils previously used by the various chefs glint in the moonlight and seem to sway on their own. A wrong move could lead to you being the latest delicacy.

Storeroom: A vast room filled with everything the hotel might need and plenty of spare hotel furniture of all kinds. Pokemon have taken the furniture as an invitation to make themselves at home and quite a large variety of Pokemon can be found here not wanting to be disturbed by anything, let alone humans.

Members-Only Casino: Situated beneath the hotel is a large casino that was previously members-only. Reports speak of a barrier that you still seemingly cannot pass without possessing one of the members' cards handed out to adults who visited the hotel and casino in its heyday, though these reports have yet to be verified. A visit to this casino and you might end up gambling more than you bargained for, so beware...

The Upper Floors: There are eight upper floors to the hotel where the park's guests stayed, and some still dwell. One great mystery seems to be surrounding the sixth floor, or lack thereof, as the entire level seems to have vanished. Curious, as it's clearly visible from the outside, it just doesn't appear to exist within. The key to room thirteen is also rumored to be located somewhere within the hotel, its sinister contents being protected as best they can. While some believe these mysteries may be connected, the secrets of the hotel are likely to never truly be unraveled.




Defiled Oasis
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A lush forest, teeming with natural life, both flora and fauna, barely touched by human hands. That's what the Defiled Oasis, the southeastern isle in the Archipelago used to be, before it was ravaged for its natural resources to run a coal burning power plant built on its coast. Constant digging of new tunnels and collapsing of those deemed too dangerous has seen the island reduced to a mere shell of what it once was, and while much of the previous wildlife yet remains, invasive species introduced by the companies looking to take advantage of the island run amok, driving many of those that once called this place home into hiding. The plant now abandoned, having once been used to power none other than Phantom Isle itself, waste products leak through the stonework and into the earth, tainting it and leaving the plant life sickened the closer you get to large building, the forested area becoming more of a bog as you approach. The plant itself remains largely intact, now serving as a home for Pokemon driven from their previous places of life, as well as those that would call them prey. Disturbing those that still remain may be costly to the average adventurer, as some of those within may bite the hand that feeds in order to prevent further destruction of the Oasis. While not exactly a hospitable place, many environmentalists have been coming here since the island's discovery, looking to repair the damage that has been done.

Sub Areas:

The Splintered Wood:
The once tall trees here have long since fallen, the ground cracked throughout the woods from the rumbling of the earth below. The now rotted wood becoming the earth itself as small vegetation yet survives serves as a reminder that perhaps one day the Oasis may return to its previous state, but for now the land is filled with constant skirmish between those that used to call this place home and those that have taken residence here by necessity rather than birth.

The Tainted Bog: Waste leaking into the ground has left the ground here deteriorated, turning what was soft, fresh soil into thick, slimy mud in the area surrounding the Power Plant. The native wildlife has long since left this area, now only inhabitated by the most hardy of Pokemon as the trees themselves have become petrified and the shrubbery long since has died. The taint of the area has twisted some of its denizens, who knows what sickened creatures one may encounter within the muck?

Coal Burning Plant: Once pristine tile floor now covered with dirt, white walls scratched and muddied, those who ran the Power Plant left not long after Phantom Isle shut down, and took most everything of value with them. Still, the reception desk and offices here with their cheap wooden doors make for easy living space for Pokemon not normally suited for life on the island, and while the Plant is hardly being run anymore, it has found use as a handy staying place for a near endlessly rotating series of helpful hands wishing to bring the island back to its former glory days. The rest of the plant, a large series of rooms with both furnaces and coal storage, has been deemed too dangerous to be used, though any amount of repair and cleanup is sure to be appreciated.

Waste Storage: By regulation, all waste is to be kept above ground level, where it cannot easily affect the soil of the area. But with no easily located storage facilities to be found, regulations must have been second priority to profits for this particular company. One can only hope that a dedicated environmentalist some day finds this hidden cache so that progress can truly be made here.

Crumbling Mines: The soft soil of the island hid a small mountain of coal, but to get to it the companies responsible for this travesty had to dig, and the soil itself was not wont to holding firm as tunnels. Stretching to and fro below the island, the mines have entrances and exits strewn about near everywhere, but whether any given path remains intact is another story, as collapses happen regularly. With tunnels having been shut down regularly, this may be the best place to find anything left behind when the plant was closed, whatever these items may be. These deep running tunnels allow for quick escape routes for any creatures considered prey, but the corridors have many dark corners where the most cunning of predators lie in wait.

The True Oasis: A small, crystal clear pond can be found at the center of the island, surrounded by what few lush plants remain. Many of the island's denizens have fled here, safe from the introduced predators in the area. Unfortunately, sheer cliffs surround the area, meaning the only safe way down is through the Mines, though a smart trainer could perhaps get down with the right transportation.




Conflagrant Spire
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At the northeast of the Archipelago can be found the Conflagrant Spire, an active volcano that has formed into an incredibly tall and thin tower of a mountain. The spire itself finds itself to the far west side of the island, with the land below stretching and reaching out, as if attempting to grab out at the island far to the south. The nutrient rich soil hosts lush plantlife and a wide variety of fauna, leaving this what would be the most naturally beautiful of all the islands. That beauty hides a horrible secret, however, relics of times past that hint at terrible rituals that were once conducted here in the name of ancient deities. Those who have braved the island have yet to find anything resembling human life, yet these horrid sites remain clean, as though used only yesterday. It is unknown when the Spire last erupted, let alone when it will again, but a temple at its top gives hint that it must have been some time ago.

Sub Areas:

The Ashen Coast:
West of the spire is where all ash falls, thanks to the breeze created by the change in weather condition of the Archipelago due to the constant cold air from the Quiescent Glacier attempting to suck in the heat from so far away. While the ash falls into the ocean long before reaching any of the other islands, the coast here is kept rich by what percentage of it lands here, leading to healthy Pokemon happy to roam the area for the small foliage that pokes through the sand.

Volcanic Rainforest: The heated water creates a heavy amount of humidity, resulting in regular rainfall that has nourished rich plant life on the island's entire eastern side. Large and various species of both flora and fauna can be found everywhere here, a natural ecosystem undisturbed for a period of time long lost to the ages. Within the forest are speckled a multitude of altars, which are believed to have been used for terrifying rituals, each depicting a more terrible act than the last in the long lost names of unknown deities.

Thermal Cliffs: What at first seems to be impassibly steep cliffs turns out to be carved paths spiraling along the mountainside in all directions, all of which look to have been made as if by hand and well maintained. Small lava spouts break out in various locations, and the resulting thermals make for excellent winds for airborne Pokemon large and small, while what spouts have cooled have been turned largely into dens used by those that would feast on their nests.

Bubbling Caldera: After traveling only a short ways up the Spire, one may find themselves at a large caldera jutting from the side of the mountain and over some of the rainforest below. The heat of the volcano below leaves the water warm by nature, and within can be found many a species that appreciates the fresh water as opposed to that of the sea. The bottom of the caldera glitters as the light from above catches upon small specks of glass formed from the sand and intense heat over time. One should be careful approaching the falls, as it is said to be the perfect place to toss away a life in dedication to the island gods.

Cracked Canyon: The Caldera constantly overflows from the regular heavy rainfall, the resulting waterfall creating a large canyon over the years that splits the Rainforest in two, with old wood and rope bridges, oddly well maintained, stretched about from side to side. While the canyon does cut deep into the mountain itself, it is only slightly above sea level, resulting in a slow flowing river as it reaches out to sea and the various paths meet the beach. The running water carries anything that should fall from the Caldera, accidentally or otherwise, out to sea towards the center of the archipelago, to sate the thirst of the oceans below.

Cursed Temple: At the top of the Spire can be found a series of rope bridges the lead within the bowl of the volcano itself, to what seems to be a large temple carved into the volcano's side. While one is sure to find many great mysteries and treasures here, this area is extremely dangerous, riddled with traps and filled to the brim with ferocious beasts.




Quiescent Glacier
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An oddity to be sure, this glacier is more than enough to sink the grandest of ships and then some, measuring just as large as any of the other islands, though the term is definitely loose here. Having at some point floated into the southwestern point of the Archipelago, the glacier seems to have halted its movement entirely, a phenomenon unknown to the scientific world. Since its discovery, some researchers have set up on its base to study this curious event, only to repeatedly end up with more questions than they have answers. From strange frozen formations on the outside to a rumored endless void within, every inch of this place teems with beauty, though it may be difficult to describe it as natural. Between these landmarks and the halted movement in the sea, many believe that this glacier was called here, destined to fill the empty slot of the circle of islands for some reason. Whether staring into the white expanse above the island, or delving into the frozen caverns below, adventures are likely to lose, or perhaps even find, a part of themselves in these slopes.

Sub Areas:

Base Camp:
A hodgepodge collection of various mobile scientific trailers, this camp makes up the homes and workplaces as the researchers here. A rare few are typically around, usually only to process whatever labs they need to run before returning to the field, desperate to discover the secrets of the so-called island.

Frozen Expanse: The base of the glacier is covered with snow, the cold from the area creating enough of a chill to affect the weather itself. The snowy fields are riddled with strange ice sculptures that branch upwards like trees, a primary point of interest to those researchers less willing to explore further into the freezing "island".

Avalanche Hills: Leading up to the peak of the glacier are some more worn down mounds of ice, forming large hills covered with snow that rolls down the mountain in the event of an avalanche. The deep snow hides endless mysteries, including many entrances to the glacial caves. While there doesn't seem to be much too out of the ordinary here, research is regularly slowed as snow falls off the faux mountain, covering any areas left unattended for too long. The endless sea of white can blind the eyes and may blank the mind if not careful, leaving one to rely on their other senses should they ever wish to make it back to camp.

Shimmering Peak: Coated top to bottom in thick snow with steep paths made of nothing but the ice of the glacier itself, the path to the peak is nothing shy of treacherous. To make matters worse, the ice mountain pierces the clouds at what can only be assumed to be the halfway point. The trek is perilous and should only be taken by the most tenacious of adventurers, but those willing to brave the wind and snow may find that not only glory but rarities beyond imagine await them at the top.

Ancient Wreckage: Those capable of underwater travel may find themselves wanting to examine below the surface of the water surrounding the Glacier. Here can be found wrecks of ships from all periods of time, frozen to the side of island as it moved through the sea over the years, collecting debris as it passed over ships whose passengers never made it home. Nobody knows what rare antiquities may be found here, but the researchers are more than interested to find out where this glacier has been over the many years it has existed.

Rainbow Caverns: Entrances dotted all throughout the hills, caverns run through the mountain, lit by what sunlight filters through the clouds. The light passes through the ice of the glacier, refracting and reflecting throughout the mountain, causing near every surface withing to radiate with ever-changing colors. The caverns are not overly difficult to navigate, but if you enter you may find yourself not wanting to leave, a curse that has befallen many a researcher, itching to explore every last nook and cranny and see every color imaginable and then some.

Perpetual Spiral [Shadow Zone]: At the center of the caverns lies a large pit, the light and colors of the area disappearing into the center as it seems to stretch on forever. With the glacier known to not be connected to the ocean floor, the fact that this spiraling staircase seems to go on forever befuddles even the most astute of researchers, and any information as to why this assumed illusion occurs is sure to be met with reward.




Tranquil Lagoon
Please reply in RoyalBlue


The northwest island, the Tranquil Lagoon has been deemed the only island in the Archipelago currently capable of sustaining a village. As such, many trainers have taken to building their homes here, huts and cabins of all shapes and sizes built along the sparkling shore of the crescent moon shaped land mass. Floating pathways made of wood have been constructed over the Lagoon itself, allowing for easy transportation all along the island. While those who have moved here are happy to have done so, there is always one dispute or another abound due to the current lack of any actual governing force, so the helping hand of other trainers is often wanted, not that the disputes ever seem to dampen the ever-smiling faces that greet anyone who steps ashore here. The island itself lacks much vegetation, instead being covered entirely in shimmering white sand. Instead those living here farm algae and other plant life from the coral reef around the island, and fish and hunt along the Lagoon and island itself.

Sub Areas:

Lagoon Village:
The village makes up most of the coast, both inside and outside the lagoon. The economy here is largely based on trade, so trade disputes are a common occurrence, but at the end of the day most villagers are more than willing to lend a hand to their fellow man or woman as they make their homes here. While smiles can be found abundant even at the end of the most serious of arguments, some villagers seem content to move into huts that have been strangely abandoned despite the only recent move to the island.

Crescent Desert: The inner island is made largely of shimmering white sand, a veritable desert where few have made their homes due to the coast being such a beautiful sight. As a result, most of the non-aquatic life here has made its way inwards to avoid the increasing hustle and bustle of town life, or perhaps they know something mere visitors to this village never will.

Crystal Lagoon: Shimmering and crystal clear, the lagoon within the crescent moon shaped island resembles a deep blue pool, opening itself up towards the center of the Archipelago. The floating wooden bridges above make for good fishing spots for the town, as well as comfortable resting places for more amphibious Pokemon that no longer wish to go all the way to the shore. While members of the town regularly enter the water for relaxation or to find vegetation, few stray far from the shore, let alone to the center of the deep blue below.

Vibrant Reef: Beneath the waves to the northern and western sides of the island can be found a gorgeous coral reef, where colorful sea life makes its home. The existence of the reef goes to show that the island, while not far above sea level at its highest point, has clearly been here for some time. Divers come here regularly for the vegetation, as well as for the many beautiful natural treasures usable for trade on the island that can be found here. Tampering with any of this beauty is ill advised, as the villagers are oddly overprotective of the reef more than even their own island homes.

Last edited by Sneaze; 06-25-2021 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:10 AM   #2
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:10 AM   #3
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BMG Recorded History

CyberBlastoise
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Adventure Start
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As soon as the words "Cursed Temple" entered into Bill's ears, the trainer was all but packed to go explore it. The trainer had a history of breaking into dangerous temples and the like to find mystical items and learn their secrets. To him, this was no different. His Finneon can be a testament to just how much he likes pissing off the gods. The trainer had his climbing gear to scale the mountain itself before it goes to the rope bridges. The building was probably very old and filled to the brim with ancient mystical artifacts. Accompanying him was Megas the Golett to his side, and Silver the Squirtle on the other. The trainer looked at the two and said "Okay, here we are. Ready?"

Megas started to flex, showing off what muscles it would have if it were an organic being. This was usually its way of saying to the world or at least its trainer "I'm always ready. Let's do this!" It stood assuredly on a raised rock, standing about chest level to Bill to establish the dominence. Bill always thought this behavior was funny.

Silver, on the other hand, was a lot more carefree and bouncy. The Water type jumped for joy around the trainer, all the while going "Squirtle Squirt!" The rubble on the unmarked path below the Squirtle started to move around with the turtle's movements, starting to create a path more traveled, so to speak.

Bill had other Pokemon on his belt, of course, but these two were always out of their Pokeballs ready to aid him in whatever way they can. Bill approached the first of many rope bridges to try and cross to the other side, where the real fun begins. He was hoping that the bridges themselves would be easy enough to cross so that he could get to the meat of the operation immediately.

Update 1
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Hearing of the Cursed Temple built into the bowl of the volcano high to the peak of the Conflagrant Spire, this seems like the perfect opportunity to spit in the face of the gods themselves. Utilizing your trusty climbing gear makes the trek up the Thermal Cliffs far easier than it otherwise would have been, and you find yourself staring down one of the many wooden rope bridges stretching along various paths into the volcano itself and to the temple carved into the stone, many entrances stretching deep into the bowl.

With Silver and Megas at the ready, a trek across this bridge is finally in order to make your way into the Temple. Strangely, the rope and wooden planks of the bridge are nothing shy of pristine, with nary a sway from the wind caused by the thermals nor a creak of the wood despite these bridges having existed over the intense heat here for some time. This particular bridge stretches almost exactly across the bowl's center, sloping downwards at a sharp angle to reach an alcove some twenty feet above the bubbling lava of the volcano.

From here, there are a clear two entrances before you, one a large, intricate arch covered in many a glyph, while the second is much smaller in size, barely taller than the average door frame, with barely any decoration to bring note to it. The smaller opening is partially covered by a large slab of rock, leaving only room for small Pokemon to pass through, while the larger entrance is completely uncovered, revealing a massive hall leading into the Temple. Further, a second bridge connects to this alcove, leading to another alcove just nearby at a slightly higher elevation where a small, cave like entrance situated between two bird-like statues can be seen.

Reply 1
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Bill looks at the two entrances, and takes a moment to ponder. On one hand the less decorative door often means less traps and ultimately less headache, but on the other hand most of the best stuff is most likely more easily accessible from the large door. The smaller entrance is covered by a large rock, and ultimately Bill decided to go with that entrance instead. Half of the fun of these temples is trying to find your way out of an exit you did not initially enter in, besides the less traps might also mean finding a treasure room might be likely too. He approaches the large slab of rock.

"What do you two think?" All three figures look at the door before they start to do their individual thing.

Megas starts to try to pull the rock and lift it by itself, lifting with its robotic back, very obviously straining. However, its pride and energy would not allow the rock to have the better of it. After a couple of strains, it imitates spitting on its hands, rubs them together then does a very motivated lift.

Silver, the more experienced of the two Pokemon when it comes to tomb raiding, on the other hand, takes a peek through the hole to see whether or not it's clear for the two Pokemon to make it through and see if they can open the temple up for their trainer. He looks up and down inside the room, careful not to step inside quite yet just in case some sort of trap happens to be right at this entrance...or worse some sort of rot from the old temple might cause a collapse on top of the turtle.

Finally, Bill eyes around the entrance to see if maybe there is some sort of mechanism that is meant to move this slab that might have jammed due to years and years of age.

Update 2
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Deciding that getting through the entrance guarded by the large boulder is your best idea, you watch the area as Megas and Silver work on getting through the entryway. The bowl of the volcano seems quiet and undisturbed as various rope bridges sway in the thermals, the only sounds here being the creaking of the wood and the straining sounds made my Megas as the Golett slowly moves the slab. It's rough work but soon enough there is room for you and your companions to squeeze through, while Silver gives you a nod to indicate that the area ahead seems to be safe, at least for now.

The room inside is large and expansive, with various carvings along the walls of what you assume to be different Pokemon species. The area is suddenly lit with flames of bright blue on six torches lining the walls as you step inside, the sudden lighting causing something lurking within to startle, promptly scurrying through a very small hole on the opposite end of the room. Nearby the hole is a large, intricate door with seven symbols etched upon it.

A small flame, a large wing, a slab of stone, a snowflake, a gear, a flask, and a strange orb.

A small altar sits in the center of the room with three clear crystals sitting loosely atop it, glinting in the glow of the blue flame. The light reflecting off of the crystals highlights pillars in each corner of the room, with a small bowl sitting atop each. Each pillar has an etching similar to those around the room, but they are crude at best, with only rough anatomy to figure out what's what.

A coiled snake made of circles. A creature shaped like an orb with multiple small branches coming from its form. A small dog standing on its back legs. A head with three small hairs.




Missingno. Master
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Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
"...following my interview with one Keith Masters, and the subsequent establishment of my laboratory at Sludge Wave Coast, I was also able to locate a singular wild .4 in the FIzzytopian Desert. Although I failed in my attempts to catch it, this discovery nevertheless cements the fact that these Pokémon are indeed not restricted to the Kanto region. Thus, today I set out for the Conflagrant Spire, a volcanic island in the Unreal Archipelago- a name which, might I add, inspires great confidence- in the hopes of making further discoveries in my endeavor to study cryptopokology in the Fizzytopia region. If similar conditions to Cinnabar Island in the Kanto region can be found here, then there may very well be big discoveries to be made." At this point, Eddie hit the stop button on his tape recorder. "Phew," he sighed, albeit with an excited grin. "I can't wait to see what we can find, Hermione," he said, addressing the slightly larger-than-average Weedle on his shoulder.

"Weedle, Weedle," Hermione nodded in agreement.

"Yes... Missingno. and 'M are most famously found on the eastern shores of Cinnabar," stated Eddie. "So the eastern shores of another volcanic island, one contained within an island chain literally called the Unreal Archipelago... that sounds promising, to say the least."

"Hard to argue with that logic," came a chuckle. This was from behind Eddie and his Weedle- the duo were aboard a boat, the Banette's Revenge, and the words were spoken by her captain. "Hope you guys can find something here- I wanna hear all about it on the trip back."

Eddie grinned. "You can count on it, Keith," he said. "You're certain you can't come ashore with us?" he asked.

"Much as I'd love to, got quite a bit on my plate already today," Keith shrugged apologetically. "Me and Willa already agreed we'd get going on planning our wedding before you asked me this favor."

"Understandable," nodded Eddie. "I congratulate you once more on your engagement," he added.

"Thanks, man," Keith nodded back. "Alright... Conflagrant Spire, that should be it," he added, pointing just off the port bow.

"Ah! Indeed, yes, I believe so," said Eddie, adjusting his glasses as he spoke.

"Then hard to port we go!" Keith declared, turning the ship's steering wheel.

And soon, Eddie and Hermione were ashore, and the Banette's Revenge was headed back to Sludge Wave Coast. Eddie wasn't concerned- Keith had agreed to return later to pick him up, so for now they were free to explore the Volcanic Rainforest that took up the entire east coast of the island. "The east coast of the island... Missingno. and 'M tend to appear on the east coast of Cinnabar," Eddie said, once more speaking into his tape recorder. "Therefore it makes perfect sense to begin the search here. The first thing we must be on the lookout for- abnormally powerful Pokémon," he stated. "They tend to congregate in areas where Missingno. and 'M nest." He stopped recording, stowing his tape recorder back in his bag. "Grandpa Oldman knows this especially well," he said. "He'd like to meet you, Hermione, I'm sure- he's quite familiar with the Weedle species, it would surely blow his mind to meet one as powerful as you."

"Weedle, Weedle," Hermione responded, though she was already looking around, as though in search for something.

"Ah, yes, of course," nodded Eddie. "Into the Volcanic Rainforest we venture, then. Come, Hermione- we've mysteries to uncover!" he declared, the young cryptopokologist setting off at once, his eyes peeled for anything of interest.

Update 1
Spoiler: show
Stepping off of the Banette's Revenge in preparation to explore the Conflagrant Spire in hopes of finding something as rare and mysterious as Missingno. or 'M on this tropical volcanic island, you decide that you and your Weedle, Hermoine, are best set looking for powerful Pokemon in order to get a step in the right direction. With the setup of the island, the eastern side is covered by the jungle of the Volcanic Rainforest, the gargantuan plants having made a healthy home here thanks to the nutrient rich soil, the very same nutrients that may allow for healthy growth of powerful Pokemon.

The Rainforest is more than lush, but oddly peaceful, with little in the way of visible wildlife or even tracks thereof. Yet a clear path appears before you where the trees and various flora spread apart from each other with ease. Small drops of water from the humid air collecting on the leaves drip along the area, creating a soothing sound throughout the area.

The path comes shortly to a small clearing, wherein lies a small altar made of stone sat atop a raised slab made up of several other stones. The slab, as well as the altar itself, are completely free of anything even resembling dirt or dust, and are dry as a bone even though the surrounding area is soaked by dripping water. The altar, made of a singular large stone brick carved into the shape of the head of a jackal, holds atop it a singular candle, lit yet with nary a drop of its own wax having melted at this time. At its base are a series of letters carved into the stone.

"ENMS IG N ASOG"

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Eddie and Hermione looked all around, taking in every detail of their surroundings. "Incredible," Eddie murmured. He started recording again, speaking into his tape recorder. "The plants on this island are growing to gargantuan proportions, indicating fertile, nutrient-rich soil. This shows promise, as the soil on Cinnabar Island is similarly rich in nutrients, and there is an established link between fertile soil and the healthy growth of Onix at the very least. It is for these reasons Cinnabar's status as a volcanic island is theorized to be a critical factor in its levels of cryptopokological activity- perhaps such conditions are ideal for more Pokémon than merely Onix, and allow Pokémon to thrive abnormally well, such as the kinds that tend to gather where Missingno. and 'M nest." He stopped recording. "Very peaceful," he noted. "I'm not seeing many Pokémon... or any at all, if I'm being honest. Hermione?"

"Weedle," Hermione shook her head.

"Hm," frowned Eddie. "We appear to be off to something of a slow start. That said, the day is young. Surely we've only just scratched the surface. After all, there's a very clear path here. Seemingly naturally formed, too. I must admit I'm curious about it."

"Weedle, Weedle," Hermione nodded in agreement as Eddie continued to follow said path.

And soon, they came to a clearing. "Oh!" Eddie murmured. "What have we here?" Tape recorder back out, he approached the slab of stones and the altar atop it. "Our explorations have thus far uncovered no Pokémon, but have led us to a clearing in the rainforest, in which there appears to be a raised slab formed by numerous stones specifically arranged, with a stone altar on top of it, carved into an intricate shape from what appears to be a singular rock," he observed. "Strangely, the slab and the altar are dry as a Cubone, despite the surrounding area being soaked by dripping water. And... atop the altar, I see a candle, lit, yet with no wax dripping. Was this recently done? Did I just miss something? Or is there something else at work here?" he inquired, adjusting his glasses with his free hand. "And... at the base, I see a series of letters carved into the stone," he continued. "'ENMS IG N ASOG'... The mystery deepens." He stopped recording. "This clearly means something, Hermione," he stated. "But what? Is it a different language, some kind of code? An anagram? Of course, you hear about the realm of Glitch City, with its seemingly arbitrary placements of numbers and letters... You've been there with Keith, yes?"

"Weedle," Hermione nodded, remembering that adventure well. Of course, her only real contribution that day was taking on a Kangaskhan back when she was a lot less capable in battle, but she'd asked Myrtle and Helena for more information afterwards.

Eddie, meanwhile, had his PokéGear out, and was taking pictures of the altar and slab, making sure to get a good one of the candle and the seemingly random letters. He had no idea how relevant any of this was to his studies, but he intended to find out, continuing to think hard about what the letters could mean.

Hermione then started sniffing around, intent on finding things out in her own way- Weedle boasted one distinctive advantage over their evolutionary relatives; namely, an extremely acute sense of smell. Hermione reasoned that it wasn't outside the realm of possibility that someone could have very recently been here to light the candle, and if that was the case, perhaps their scent still lingered. Eddie, noticing this, took one of Hermione's notebooks and ink bottles out of his backpack, to make it easier for Hermione to communicate her findings to him- dipping her tail stinger in ink and using it as a pen was second nature to her by this point, as evidenced by how years of doing this have irreversibly dyed said stinger jet black. Nothing was coming to Eddie about the letters at the moment, so any sort of clues they could uncover here would be greatly appreciated.

Update 2
Spoiler: show
Taking some photos as well as a voice recording, you set to work at discovering the true meaning of these letters carved into the altar you've located. A few different ideas cross you mind as you ponder, yet none pop out enough to consider them over the others. Turning your attention away from the altar for just a moment, you spot Hermoine sniffing about the area, attempting to come to the truth of this mystery in her own manner. Producing a notebook as well as ink bottles from your backpack, you set them down for the Weedle, allowing the practiced scribe to begin recording her own findings about the area.

After just a moment the Weedle enthusiastically points towards the notebook to get your attention, the fairly neat writing telling the story of her various sniffings. The scent here is familiar to her, but yet unknown, and permeates the entirety of the altar. Three paths away from the altar have the same scent, each equally strong and very much fresh. The first points towards the Cracked Canyon further through the rainforest, with just a bit of flora along the path from what you can tell. The second leads towards the Spire itself, a relatively cleared path similar to the one that brought you here. The final path, if your directions are correct, should head towards the Ashen Coast, but is ridden with all manner of lush shrubbery of the forest.

With each path's scent being so strong, whoever - or whatever - was last here can't have gotten far. The question now is whether to follow one of these paths or to further investigate the altar and discover the meaning of the letters carved therein.

Reply 2
Spoiler: show
After leaving Hermione with the notebook and ink bottle, Eddie was given results just about immediately. Hermione jotted down her olfactory findings in no time, and managing it in neat, legible writing, no less. "Hm," Eddie murmured, looking over what Hermione had taken down. "Familiar to you, yet you can't quite identify it... So something you've definitely smelled before, and from the stories Keith tells me, I have a good feeling," he smiled. "And three paths leading away, with the same scent, all very much fresh..." The young cryptopolologist looked up from the notebook to look at the actual paths in question. One went towards the Cracked Canyon, with a mild amount of plant life in their way. The next led towards the Spire, and the path was just as clear as the one that had taken them this far. The final path seemed to head for the Ashen Coast, but was chock full of plant life. "Hm... I would say the hardest path to traverse would be our best bet for uncovering the biggest of secrets," decided Eddie, adjusting his glasses as he looked down the shrubbery-riddled path leading towards the Ashen Coast. "The question is, how to traverse it? I suppose we could get Homer's help to cut through some of-"

Nope, came a telepathic voice cutting Eddie's words short. Eddie gave a small sigh- that had come, unmistakably, from the Poké Ball on his belt containing the powerful, albeit fat and gluttonous, Alakazam. Homer was formidable, but also quite lazy.

"Weedle," grumbled Hermione- her latest teammate's disrespect never sat that well with her. She gave it a few seconds of thought, then spoke up a bit louder. "Weedle? Weedle Weedle Weedle!" she stated.

At this, the ball on Eddie's belt burst open, and a fat Alakazam emerged, fork and knife in hand as he looked down at Hermione. ...Fine, he relented.

"Ah, Homer, good," smiled Eddie. "We'll need the help of your Psycho Cut move to navigate this dense foliage," he said, gesturing to the overgrown path they were to traverse. "And time is of the essense- I feel we may well be on the verge of a major cryptopokological breakthrough!"

Uh huh, Homer responded, sounding bored. He turned to Hermione. And then I get the Chocolate Bomb shrapnel, right? he asked. Eddie facepalmed at this as Hermione nodded curtly- of course Hermione bribed him with food. Why didn't he think of that? Alright, fine. Let's get moving, Homer said telepathically.

"Weedle!" stated Hermione, crawling up Eddie and onto his outstretched hand. At this point, Eddie started walking, allowing Hermione to dictate which way they went. Homer brought up the rear, the Alakazam ready to hack away at any excessive foliage with Psycho Cut.

Update 3
Spoiler: show
Hermione pointing out a few paths for you, it's quickly decided that leaving this shrine for now is likely in your best interest to track down the scent Hermione has found. Choosing between the paths, the one leading out to the island's eastern edge sounds the most worth your time, though the path is blocked by only the most dense of the jungle foliage. Luckily, your Alakazam of rather... healthy weight, Homer, offers a helping hand, or spoon, in exchange for the sweet, sweet bribe of chocolate to be created by the Weedle after the job is done.

A short series of Psycho Cuts later sees you plowing through the jungle at speed, Hermoine insisting that you go faster and faster as she furiously sniffs at the air to try not to lose the scent. A few sharp turns here and there see you plunging deep into the jungle, no longer able to see the sky above nor the Spire in the distance, though the occasional chirp of bugs and sounds of wildlife finally grace your ear for the first time since you had stepped onto the island.

Now moving in a full blown sprint, you find yourself bursting through some foliage, only to take a quick tumble over a rather large rock at your feet, stumbling and falling downhill over the ashen sands making up the island's eastern coast. Looking back at the stone, a low, loud rumble can be heard all around you, the stone having been only the tail end of a chain of boulders stretched all around the area. The rumble escalates to a full blown roar as the boulders begin to move along, not rolling but rather slithering with eachother as a massive shadow looms over you. A glance back behind you reveals none other than a colossal Onix, this particular behemoth stretching much higher into the sky than one might normally expect, the length from its head to the tip of its tail looking to be easily over a hundred feet.

Staring down at you in displeasure, the Onix roars once more, winding itself in preparation to defend itself and its home.

Reply 3
Spoiler: show
With Homer's Psycho Cut forging their path, Eddie and his Pokémon proceeded onward, with Hermione urging them to keep moving, faster and faster, the better for her to not lose the scent. Eventually, this led to Eddie actively running, something he didn't usually do, but he couldn't afford to dwell on it, not when the time for action was at hand! And then, as this thought crossed his mind, he tripped over a rock. "Gah!" Eddie exclaimed as he tumbled, falling down a hill, and landing on the sand of the island's eastern coast. As a rumbling sound echoed throughout the area, Eddie took stock of his surroundings, including the massive chain of boulders stretched all around. And then, just as the rumbling turned to roaring, the boulders moved- they weren't rollng, they were slithering as one entity, and Eddie very quickly identified said entity as the one thing such a huge chain of boulders could be; an Onix.

"Weedle..." Hermione murmured warily.

"It's humongous..." Eddie murmured, half in fear, half in awe. "A hundred feet, head to tail, easily, at the very least!"

How enlightening, Homer telepathically snarked. Now how about we start moving away from the colossal Onix, hmm?

But Eddie wouldn't budge. As his Pokémon looked, they could see a wide grin spreading across his face, the light glaring off his glasses as he adjusted them. "What a breakthrough," he murmured. "I knew we were onto something!" He whipped out his tape recorder once more and hit the button to record. "At this moment, I have encountered a gigantic Onix on the eastern coast of the island," he spoke into the device. "The size alone shows promise, but I will need to gauge its power level as only a Pokémon Trainer can; then and only then will we know if we're on the right track." He stopped recording and put the device back in his bag.

Do I take this to mean you intend to battle that behemoth? Homer demanded.

"But of course!" Eddie grinned. "A well-documented cryptopokological phenomenon is the tendency for abnormally powerful wild Pokémon to gather where Missingno. and 'M can be found, and this Onix looks like it just might fit the bill! Now, Homer, attack that Onix!" he ordered. "Reflect, Energy Ball, and Psychic attack!" The Alakazam said nothing in response, keeping his mind firmly on the promised feast of chocolate as he set to work- after all, with the situation being what it was, it doesn't exactly take an IQ of 5,000 to realize this was hardly a time to start arguing. Eddie, meanwhile, resolved to keep a close eye on the battle, to see how the Onix fared against this powerful Alakazam.

Update 4
Spoiler: show
In sheer awe of the size of this gargantuan Pokemon, you quickly set to work recording your findings, all the while being prompted that you should likely leave the beast alone in its entirety by Homer. Nonetheless, your mind is made up on fighting the monster, and orders are quickly issued to do so.

Homer erects a translucent pane of energy upon your command, the Reflect meant to help keep physical attacks from hurting quite so much. And it's a good thing to, as the Onix moves itself about just slightly, the grinding of its boulders emitting a loud Screech as they rub against each other, causing a shuddering to wash over Homer and lowering the Alakazam's defense. Retailiating, Homer looses an Energy Ball, capitalizing on the type of the rocky behemoth, which takes the attack remarkably well, groaning in a moment of pain before a stone strikes Homer from seemingly nowhere. Looking about, it would seem this Rock Throw came from the end of the creature's tail, easy enough to miss due to the sheer size of the Onix taking up more than just your periphery vision. Recovering quickly, the Alakazam looses a Psychic blast, doing a bit of damage but barely even managing to nudge the Onix away thanks to the weight of the monster. Clearly fed up, the Onix begins to curl for a moment, bringing much of its more than sizable mass together before whipping its tail out to slam against Homer. The Dragon Tail sees Homer sailing far back into the jungle you had just emerged from, temporarily removing the Alakazam from the fight.

Staring down at you with a groan, the Onix turns away for a moment before barreling headfirst into the ground, an action that takes quite some time for all of its boulders to disappear beneath the earth but simultaneously causes terrible tremors preventing any reaction. Once the tremors die down, the Onix has vanished entirely, though rumbling away and towards the Spire itself may hint to where it went. Just moments later, Homer returns to your side, having found his way back through the jungle, with a fair bit of bruises and scrapes to take away from the fight.

Reply 4
Spoiler: show
The battle got underway! Homer's Reflect was almost immediately nullified by the Onix's Screech, but what Eddie was watching intently was how the Energy Ball went, and the budding cryptopokologist's eyebrows flew up as he saw how well the gigantic Rock/Ground-type took the Grass move. The following Rock Throw did a fair amount of damage, and then Homer unleashed Psychic, which barely made Onix budge. And then came the Dragon Tail, sending the Alakazam flying back into the jungle. Eddie gritted his teeth, looking up at the Onix, who... turned away and burrowed into the ground! A lengthy process for such a lengthy Onix, but the resultant tremors made it impossible for Eddie to do anything in the meantime. Once it was done, however, and Eddie could see Homer re-emerging from the jungle, Eddie took out his tape recorder and spoke into it some more.

"The Onix proved formidable and powerful," Eddie was saying as Homer shot him a dirty look. "Despite Onix being more known for physical defense than anything else, least of all offensive prowess, this one put up a formidable fight, inflicting noticeable damage on my Alakazam. Most notably, it took an Energy Ball far better than one would expect to see from the likes of Onix. Between this and the ease with which its Dragon Tail sent my Alakazam flying, it is certain that this Onix is high in level. Unfortunately, further analysis may well prove impossible, for the Onix has burrowed under the ground to make an escape."

Tell me we're not going to chase after that thing, Homer said telepathically.

"Hm," murmured Eddie. "Judging by the direction of the rumbling, it's headed towards the Spire, which is on the west side of the island... Why, Homer, it could very well be heading for the Missingno.'s nest!" he declared. "And don't worry- ideally, you won't have to battle it anymore. Ideally," he added as he dug into his bag, producing a single Sitrus Berry from within and offering it to his Alakazam, who almost certainly would've had a snarky response were he not too busy greedily devouring said Sitrus Berry. "The battle might not have been the most telling, but the Onix is at least sufficiently strong to have attracted my attention. Homer, Hermione, let's move- to the spire!" declared Eddie.

"Weedle!" declared the Weedle on his shoulder. Homer, having swallowed his last bite of Sitrus Berry, rolled his eyes, but followed nevertheless. At least he wasn't absolutely guaranteed to be battling that thing again.

OOC: Sitrus Berry is #5 of 5.

Update 5
Spoiler: show
The Onix demonstrated more than the expected amount of power for its considerable size, taking off towards the Spire after sending Homer flying into the greenery behind you. Upon the Alakazam's return he promptly scarfs down the offered Sitrus Berry in order to heal up, putting him back into proper shape on the off chance that further combat is required, though the look he gives at the mere mention of the battle might hint to the idea that he isn't exactly keen on going through the experience again any time soon.

Marching forward from the coast and back down a different path into the jungle, Hermoine points the way as her sniffing tracks the continued scent that brought you to the Onix in the first place. That is, until your slow trek through the plant life towards the still rumbling area ahead is suddenly interrupted, a small grumbling sound breaking out to your side before two more moving boulders emerge from the trees. These two are decidedly different from the large chain of rocks you are tracking, smaller boulders each with naught but a pair of arms and what appears to be electric current flowing through parts of their bodies.

Stopping as they spot you, the Geodudes look a bit confused by the presence, having clearly expected something else to be causing all of this commotion. The duo stares between yourself, Hermoine atop your shoulder, and Homer at your side, before further rumbling gives them each a start and they proceed to bolt off into the jungle in opposite directions, leaving your path forward unobstructed once more.

Reply 5
Spoiler: show
Eddie had had a choice to make here- investigating the coast more thoroughly was something that had crossed his mind, but right now, he had an opportunity to potentially study the sort of abnormally powerful Pokémon that tend to be drawn to the presence of Missingno. and 'M. Why were they so powerful? Why was it so many of them seemed capable of surpassing even what a Trainer-owned Pokémon could achieve? What about Missingno. and 'M drew Pokémon like these to them? So many questions. And right now, he hoped he would soon get to maybe answer some of them.

Hermione, big red nose working overtime, kept Eddie on the right path, while Homer followed not far behind. The chunky Alakazam wasn't the most interested in all of this, least of all at the prospect of having to potentially battle that damn Onix again, but he reasoned that the bit of battling he'd done had already told Eddie everything he'd wanted the battle to tell him, and contented himself with that much for the moment. Besides, if this really was going to lead to some big cryptopokological breakthrough, he confessed himself interested- not even he, with the 5,000 IQ inherent to the Alakazam species, knew much about this sort of thing, and when one's Trainer happens to be descended from eight generations of famed cryptopokologists, one tends to gain something of an intere- damn it, he actually was interested in all of this! Homer mentally facepalmed as he silently followed behind Eddie. Well, interested he might be, but he wasn't about to start gushing over every aspect of this. Eddie did enough of that for the both of them.

Before long, their way was blocked by more moving boulders. Eddie paused warily, before said boulders revealed themselves to be no more than just a pair of Geodude. Though not the kind of Geodude Eddie was expecting to see.

"Alolan Geodude?" Eddie murmured as the pair of Rock/Electric-types looked at him and his Pokémon. "Fascinating. Evidently there are magnetic rocks on this island if the local Geodude have taken this form... Hm..." And just then, more rumbling. The Geodude were startled and fled, but this wasn't of much concern to Eddie, who nodded to Hermione. Hermione nodded back, the Weedle continuing to sniff, continuing to set Eddie on the right path, while the youth took out his tape recorder and started recording yet again. "In the process of pursuing the Onix, I came across a pair of Alolan Geodude," he was saying as he continued onward. "While this variety of Geodude is unheard of in Kanto, it should also be noted that Geodude of any sort don't live on Cinnabar Island. Notably, this variant is the result of a diet consisting of magnetic rock, and Onix navigate while digging by way of a magnet in their brain. Perhaps the same source of magnetic rock that has resulted in Alolan Geodude on this island is where this Onix makes its home?" He stopped recording, thinking all of this over in his mind as the group continued onward towards the spire.

Update 6
Spoiler: show
Watching the Geodude become startled by the sudden shaking, you opt not to follow either of them and instead continue ahead with the help of Hermoine's trustful nose. All the while, you continue taking notes on the encounter and speculating as to why these Geodude may be on the island, as well as whether the presence of any magnetic rocks may have a direct influence on the Onix you have spotted and its ability to navigate the area.

Approaching the Spire ahead, it becomes very much apparent as to the source of the most recent rumble, a large hole just outside of the jungle with a trail of broken ground giving hint to the fact that the Onix has surfaced once more. There doesn't need to be much more in the way of said hints, as the hefty trail leads directly into the side of the spire, now spewing lava from several large holes along its side as the massive rock snake has dug through and back out on its way up the Spire. The holes point directly towards the Caldera a good way up the Spire, where a massive shadow looms down over the area, likely belonging to your quarry.

With your mark spotted once more, the problem now lies with getting to it, the holes left by the Onix letting an amount of lava over the already precarious path up the mountain that both makes the Cliffs unable to be ascended and seems to be causing yet more problems in the way of local fauna, the most immediate source of which being a Gligar and a couple Salandit beginning to squabble over the already quickly depleting territory.

Reply 6
Spoiler: show
Eddie gave a soft gasp as they approached the spire- a large hole in the ground, plus a trail of broken ground, said all he needed to know- that Onix had surfaced once more. What was more, the need for further hints appeared to have been eliminated by the clear and obvious fact that Onix had gone right into the side of the spire, which was currently spewing lava from holes that now dotted its side, undoubtedly dug by the Onix.. "Gah," Eddie sighed. "This makes it difficult to pursue Onix. Which, I'm guessing, was the entire point," he added.

Indeed. Almost as though Onix is actively trying to stop us from following it. Imagine that, Homer dryly retorted telepathically.

"Weedle," Hermione murmured, casting a worried glance at the Gligar and Salandit, who appeared to be fighting over what little territory they had left, considering the flowing lava.

"Oh, yes- that is a problem," Eddie agreed as he witnessed this. "Well, it seems as though giving chase to Onix will prove impossible for the moment, and in any case, I feel the more pressing matter would be to ensure those Pokémon don't get hurt by Onix's actions."

You mean the actions it took to get away from you? Homer interjected.

Eddie turned to his Alakazam. "I don't appreciate the attempt at a guilt trip," he frowned. "Now are you going to help me help those wild Pokémon, or will you just stand by, making snarky comments, demanding food, and blaming the person trying to fix the problem while making no contribution yourself? Or does an Alakazam with an IQ of 5,000 still not know the definition of 'hypocrite'?"

For a moment, Homer said nothing, eyeing Eddie with the unreadable expression one tends to see from an Alakazam. Then, he gave a sigh. What's the plan? he inquired.

"Weedle. Weedle Weedle Weedle!" Hermione spoke up at once, looking at Homer and gesturing with her black tail stinger in the direction of the Gligar and Salandit, as well as the flowing lava. Finally, she jabbed her tail stinger in the direction of a Poké Ball on Eddie's belt.

"Ah," grinned Eddie, plucking the ball in question from his belt. "I think I see now. Alright, Homer- I'd like you to try and telepathically talk some sense into the Gligar and Salandit, get them to escape. If it comes to it, use Telekinesis to lift them to safety." And then, he threw the Poké Ball. "Gigawatt, go!" he exclaimed.

"ELECTRODE," droned the large sphere that had emerged from the smaller sphere. The Electrode's highly visible eyebrows shot up as it saw the flowing lava. "TRODE?" it inquired.

"Gigawatt, I want you to try and impede the lava flow with your Light Screen," instructed Eddie. "The lava as a whole; however, in particular, you're to keep the Salandit and Gligar safe, and try and make sure they have an escape route. Teleport them to safety if you need to." As Gigawatt rolled forward to do this, Eddie turned to the Weedle on his shoulder. "Hermione, despite what one might assume about a well-educatd boy who grew up on a volcanic island, I'm not sure how effective Water or Ice moves would be in the cooling of lava such as this. But if the need arises, we may need to test it, and that's where your Blizzard and Hydro Pump will no doubt come in handy. Are you up to the task if need be?"

"Weedle. Weedle," Hermione nodded seriously. With the plan established and in motion, Eddie could only wait now. Everyone understood that things were serious- even Homer was doing his part. Nothing to do but wait and see how things went.




SlashKub
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
"I feel like such a tourist," Slash remarked to the Popplio he carried in his arms, stepping off the boat that took them to the Tranquil Lagoon. "Po po!" she replied back in agreement. Oh, well, he thought. He guessed he'd just have to embrace it. "Come on, Caprina, let's look around. I hear the settlement here has plenty of Trainers to battle. And if you behave, maybe we'll go to the reef and have some fun there, as well. You'd like that, right, girl?"

"Po! Li po!" she responded, enthusiastically.

Sightseeing here was pretty interesting. On the surface, it seemed to be a pretty basic trade town, boring even, but there were some oddities about the area that somehow made everything all the more interesting as a whole. The village folks' creepy, eternal smiles were warm and inviting, but still somehow off-putting when every person he found around the town seemed to have the exact same smile. The wooden walkways- probably teak- had a little give to them, which made them feel a little dangerous despite the fact they were clearly safe enough for heavy, frequent travel. The dwellings also seemed to be weirdly dated, out of style, but this place was only settled relatively recently.

He shook his head sharply. He was probably just letting the creepy stories he'd heard of the Phantom Island mess with his imagination. This place was fine, this weirdness was all in his head. He needed a good battle to clear his mind. Then he'd be able to really appreciate this place for its beauty.

He flagged down a passing smiling settler. "Excuse me," he said. "I was wondering if there was an area of this village where Trainers have Pokemon battles? I'm just off a long boat ride and I need to unwind with a good fight."

"Po!"

Update 1
Spoiler: show
The Tranquil Lagoon, a peaceful village with crystal clear waters and shimmering white sands ill fitting the standard faire of the other islands of the Archipelago. Had you not had to travel passed the other islands just to get here, the very sights alone would be enough to make this place out to be a true gem hidden among the sea. And yet, things here seemed odd, as the villagers walked about with ear to ear smiles on their faces in the peaceful calm of the island. The walkways of the wooden planks barely sinking into the lagoon even as carts filled to the brim with fish are transported across them, and the dwellings old but well kept told a tale of a town lost to the ages. An odd thought given how recently established you know the area to be.

Shaking off the oddities, you look about for some form of fun, before flagging down a passing settler to ask about where to find a good place for Pokemon battles. The man, a fisherman whose upper body looked as though he could snap one of these wooden walkways in two, and lower body matched in such a way that you might think the planet rotating might just be as a result of him taking a morning stroll, stopped suddenly at your waving, sticking a fishing spear into the wood with a firm grasp.

"Trainer battles?" The man smiled, the idea of a battle seeming to confuse him for a moment, "Oh, you mean for training? Most people take that kind of thing out to the desert." Pausing for a moment he continues, "I suppose there's sometimes some polite arguments over resources out at the reef as well, though they rarely escalate that far."

Barely bothering to even acknowledge your existence, as though reciting the words from a script, the man finishes his words before walking away toward the Vibrant Reef. It might be worth following him, but just as he leaves, the savory smells of local cuisine tingles your nose, salty yet sweet, with a slight bit of spice to it. The delicious scent seems to be wafting from further into the Village, perhaps it's worth looking into as well.

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Slash blinked in confusion. Conflict resolution... without Pokemon battles? That was... that's not how the world is supposed to work. It was unsettling to think of. And the guy's unbroken smile while he said something so weird so casually, that was even stranger. Did he not understand how outlandish his statement was? Apparently not, as the bulky man proceeded to walk away in short order, not even giving time for the words to settle.

While confused on what path to follow, Slash became aware of a very nice scent that began wafting through the air, or maybe it had been there all along and he was just catching a whiff of it. It smelled very nice, though he couldn't quite place what it was. It might be something local, something completely foreign to him. The reef, the desert, food. All seemed like good options, but at the same time, not of them felt right.

Maybe coming to this archipelago was a mistake. There was just something here he couldn't shake, it felt like everything was just half a step out of tune. It was just close enough at the surface, but the longer he was here, the more he could feel just how discordant it was. Maybe he should just leave-

The second it crossed his mind, Slash felt a shiver in the back of his head. Some kind of instinct, maybe, but he had this strong feeling that, should be try to take a boat off this island, he wouldn't be able to. Not at this time. An odd instinct, to be sure, but he felt he could trust it. It felt as though maybe some... thing? one? some force? he wasn't sure, wanted him to stay. Maybe it was even just a part of himself. He would have to keep an eye out-

"Po! Li po!" Caprina shouted and wriggled in his arms and gave him a light but sharp slap on the cheek. He realised he'd been just standing there for a few minutes, pensive, ignoring everything else.

"Sorry, girl, you know how I get sometimes," he gave a small chuckle and rubbed her head. Slash needed to have a battle, that would serve best to clear his head at a time like this. Nothing gave a Trainer perspective like a Pokemon battle. "I think we should head to the desert, girl. This town is getting unsettling. We might even find you a nice oasis."

"Popo!" she squealed happily. It was decided. Slash started his trek towards the desert, Caprina in his arms.

Update 2
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Sitting in pensive thought for quite some time, your concentration, or lack thereof, is broken by Caprina wriggling about for a moment in your arms before giving a swift slap to your face. It's a bit of a shock, but enough of one to help you decide where you truly want to go. Happy with your suggestion of heading to the desert, Caprina stares out before you as you walk towards the shimmering white sands making up much of the island.

Exiting the border of the town and stepping into the desert, it's as though pure white glitter has been stretched out before your very eyes as far as you can sea. The sand seems to reach out far beyond the horizon, giving the impression that there is no sea to be found on the other side even though you know all too well that this island is not overly large in size. As explained by the man you previously bumped into, a number of people can be found training with their Pokemon as you take view of the full landscape, Pokemon of every shape and size finding ways to make themselves stronger in their own respective strengths and lessen their individual weaknesses.

You find yourself quite unable to approach any of them, though, as a woman with bright red hair in short shorts and a training top runs up from behind you, her bare feet kicking up sand as she passes by you. Her Pokemon, on the other hand, waddles behind slowly, snacking on what appears to be a taco, before stopping near you to stare up at the Popplio in your arms. The small, off-white cephalopod promptly finishes the snack before raising both of its tentacle-like arms up in a defensive pose.

"Come on Hurley, you're falling behind!" The trainer shouts before looking back, finally spotting you. "Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't see you there!" Jogging back over the woman scoops up her Pokemon, "I'm Lacey, nice to meet you!"

The woman's smile seemed a bit less... off than that of the man before, a bit more genuine, perhaps. And yet her eyes seemed to pierce straight through you, as though she was examining your every flaw. "Oh, are you here to do some training?"




ChrisClark13
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
"I'm sorry, but we really don't have any Fire Stones right now."

Those words were the reason Curtis had made it out here today: If the Department Store wasn't going to give the Fire Stone his Vulpix, Annahime, needed, then he'd just have to find one of his own! And what better place to do so than in the newly discovered volcanic island! Completely oblivious to the sheer spookiness of absolutely everything to do with the islands, he had gotten on a ship to the Conflagrant Spire. All he saw was the opportunity to break Annahime out of the slump he was sure she was falling into.

Two of his other Pokemon had themselves evolved already and ever since then she had started to get all mopey and it had only gotten worse after that Gigantamax Gengar raid a while ago. Sure she did have a baby Alolan Vulpix named Jin to take care of for a while, but it wasn't long before he was bounding around too and playing with the others all on his own! But when she wasn't curled up around her kit, she just lazed around. She doesn't even try to push around the others to take the best spots anymore and she used to do that all the time! Well, they were smaller than her back then, but she gives up way too easily now. Even in the group training sessions, she just didn't have as much of that spark in her eyes as before. Well, it was time to make her feel special again!

Now here he was, hiking up the cliffs up the Conflagrant Spire in search of Fire-type Pokemon that also evolve with the use of a Fire Stone! Which well, wasn't a long list- but where there's powerful Fire Pokemon there's bound to also be Fire Stones right? Now... he'd just have to find them! Hood pulled on tight and his costume freshly washed before heading out for good luck, he had his Pokemon at his side and was ready to face anything!

Annahime meanwhile was at her usual perch: on her Trainer's shoulder. She stood at attention, just waiting for something to jump out at them. It was like this entire place was just made of bad juju- she could just feel it in her tails the moment they had sailed in on that boat. She had heard the rumors the other Humans and Pokemon were saying about this entire chain of islands! Even if her Trainer just thought they were being silly. Hopefully, very hopefully, her Trainer wasn't completely misguided in coming here looking for a Fire Stone.

Well, yes, she would like to evolve- but what was the point? Did her Trainer just want her to look like his costume so she would fit better in his collection of animals or what? She shook that thought out of her head. No! No! No! That was just what that terrifyingly huge Gengar had said getting to her again! Thinking back to battling that THING and especially falling to that attack called 'G-Max Terror' was something that still occasionally gave her nightmares. She was here to get stronger! Better! But a creeping doubt in her mind told her that they'd have to survive this place first... why, oh why, did it seem like Curtis wasn't taking this place seriously? Her focus temporarily renewed- she went back to keeping a keen eye on the surroundings.

Update 1
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Avarice. Extreme greed for wealth or material gain. That was your goal in coming here, to fulfill the avarice within your heart. Not for yourself, but for your plump Vulpix. A princess of vanity and gluttony. You cared not what the dangers were, or how eerie the place actually was. You had a singular goal in mind. Get a Fire Stone, and get out. It seemed to be a simple enough goal. This place was littered with thermals and lava spouts. It would be a great shame, after all, if a place so inclined to the element of fire wouldn't have the evolutionary stone associated with it.

Of course, while you were too obsessed with your goal, your Vulpix had other ideas. She could tell there was something off with this place. Something that didn't sit just right within the natural order. She recalled her battle with the Gigantamax Gengar at Loch Bygone. The way she was swallowed whole by G-Max Terror left a chill down her spine. This place was giving off those same vibes. Even if it was just a place for fire type Pokemon to live, there was a certain unnatural element to it.

But no matter. You pushed your way forwards, searching every nook, crack, and cranny for your fiery prize. But alas, there was nothing. Nothing to be found. It was beginning to look like a wasted effort. What was the point of coming here if there wasn't anything interesting to be found? The strange thing though, was that you found nothing. Empty dens, cloudless skies, and nothing within sight. All there was was the beating sun, baring into the cliffside, making everything feel like you were in a boiler.

That was until you heard something on the wind. A noise? A cry? A sign that there was, in fact, life here? You couldn't tell, but from the direction, you could feel a large warmth. Turning around, you see a lava spout pierce the horizon. Sparks flew through the air as the molten rock spit and spewed everywhere. And if there was molten rock, then surely there must be rocks that absorb that fiery essence?

As you climbed the cliffside, there was something else you noticed. There was a cavern giving off cooler air. It went deep into the cliffside, and you couldn't see anything besides a dim glow towards the back. It was a small source of light, and it looked like it might be moving?

There were two choices in front of you, and it was obvious enough that both held equal opportunities to the prize you seek. The real question was, what choice to go for? Annahime seemed indifferent to the entire situation. She wanted you and your sorry ass to leave this place. But, there was something gnawing at you. You couldn't go now. So the question was, which way to go?

What do you do?

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Curtis took a drink from one of the plastic water bottles he had brought along (note to self: get a Water-type Pokemon, probably one of those otter-like ones or something) as he considered his next move. So, the dens were strangely empty probably just meant that the Pokemon who lived there were out and about for the day?

Though waiting for them all to get back would just take too long- and it's questionable if finding powerful Fire-types would help anyways. Only a small fraction of species of Pokemon evolved via evolution stones after all and what if he didn't find one of the ones that did via Fire Stone? That being Growlithe and Vulpix and Eevee and... some kind of monkey right? Well, he was in the wrong place to find monkeys on this island that's for sure. That'd be in the jungle and he'd have to hike all way the back down with nothing to show for it! (Never mind that the place was seemingly beckoning him forwards for some spooky reason.)

So that just left going further in! But to where though?

The lava spout in the distance signaled that there was certainly something up there worth checking out. Maybe if there were Fire Stones up there, then they'd surely just be floating along the lava or getting chucked out of the spouts. Fire Stones didn't melt, right?

Though then, there was also the cave in front of him with something glowing way, way in the back. Maybe a Pokemon, maybe some lava or something? Looking under the earth for a Fire Stone might just be a smarter idea in general since those are usually mined up, right? But he didn't have any digging tools now did he? Though if he could find and catch a tunneling Pokemon, that problem would be instantly solved!

Besides, there was one big, big problem with going up to the top. If he'd went up there he'd certainly end up sweating all the way through his fursuit! He did only have so many water bottles he could carry with him for this trip after all.

So into the cooler, but certainly spookier, cave it was! He'd just have to do something to not get lost. Oh, and to light up the place. Duh. In fact, he can get that taken care of right now!

"Annahime," he barked, "get us up some Will-O-Wisps so we can see in that cave."

Now while she took care of that, all he'd have to do is find a nice hard rock or two to leave a scratch on the wall he could follow back out! As he bent down to pick up rocks, he noticed that Annahime was clawing into the furred cloth on his shoulders way harder than usual. In fact, she hadn't even gotten started on the Will-O-Wisp lights yet! He raised up his right hand and gave her a pat on the head, making her flinch slightly oddly enough. Had she been distracted by something? He followed the oddly still gaze from her too-wide eyes and saw that she was staring right down into the depths of the cave-like the darkness itself was about to come out and bite her or something.

"It's alright, it's alright," he said as he rubbed her head and stood back up straight. He looked at her and pulled her head so she was looking at him, "We've got type coverage for most anything we're gonna encounter in there. You've got Energy Ball so that covers Rock and Ground types, your biggest weakness aside from Water-types and there's not gonna be any of those here, and then your fire will get through any Steel types and well, for Fire types, we can just have Finnegan and you blast through those."

Annahime looks back at the cave then back to him. No no no! He wasn't getting it!

Curtis hmms. Was she worried about something else? "Dark types?" he asks. She shakes her head. "What else would be in there?"

She rolls her entire head with a huff and conjures up a Shadow Ball and motions at it with her snout.

"Ooooh, Ghost types?"

She slowly nods her head. Now the idiot was getting it.

"Well can't you just use that to blast them to bits?"

She gives him a flat look and droops her ears in frustration, also dropping concentration on the Shadow Ball- letting it vanish harmlessly. No, he wasn't getting it.

He didn't get it, she has an effective move against them- why would she be afraid of them? But alright then... "We also have Finnegan for that? His Snarl'll clear 'em out too," he offers.

She lets out an annoyed huff and looks back out at the cave. Well, she supposes that would be enough backup for this spooky cave- and it does sound like her idiot Trainer does have a plan and said plans do usually work out. Though it doesn't help if he doesn't actually get the other fox out of his Pokeball! To help with that, she looks down to the pockets in which he keeps his filled Pokeballs and grabs at the fabric with a Psychic, tugging it towards herself.

"You want me to get him out now?" Curtis half-whines.

She nods vigorously. YES. YES YOU IDIOT, NOW!

The trainer follows along with his pushy Vulpix's demands and pulls out the Pokeball containing Finnegan, a Thievul. He gives it a lazy toss and says, "Come on out Finnegan!" as if he's reciting a line.

After Finnegan's done materializing and the Pokeball flies back into his hand, he starts giving orders to the brown-and-black fox, "Alright then, Annahime's feeling pretty scared of the dark right now so it'll be your job to be on- hey, hey not you too!"

Finnegan, instead of sitting there to listen to orders, walked up to his Trainer and jumped up on his leg so he can dig and grab at the pockets containing the rest of his team.

Curtis has to shove the disobedient fox away, who gives out a disappointed whine. "No, I didn't bring your kid along. I dropped him off at Daycare while we're out here. Remember?"

The Theivul simply hops back up to keep going through his Trainer's pockets. While it was disappointed that the kids hadn't been brought along, he still wanted his friend to come on out! Resisting the attempts to push him away, the fox successfully manages to snatch the Pokeball containing his best friend- a Delcatty named Toby and runs off a short distance with it.

"Hey no! Bad! Get back here with that!" Curtis shouts out as he tries to grab at the fleeing fox.

In response, Finnegan simply drops the Pokeball to the ground and gives the button on it a smack. The Pokeball dutifully opens up, letting his friend free. Finnegan's tail wags as he bows down. As soon as his friend is finished materializing, he pounces on them and starts tussling with them.

Curtis groans as he runs over to grab Toby's Pokeball before it has a chance to roll off the cliff. After putting that away, he reaches out and grabs both the Thievul and the Delcatty by their scruffs. "You can play later," he says frustratedly. He speaks in a serious tone, trying to get this Pokemon to listen to him. "Right now, it's serious time. Alright? Alright. We've got some exploring to do and if you guys get yourselves lost- you might just be stuck out here forever. Foreevvveerrrrr." After giving that a moment to sink in, he lets them go.

"Sit," he says with a snap of his fingers and they both do actually sit down. Okay, they do seem to be paying attention now.

Backing up, he holds up a finger and points at the cave. "We, are going to explore that cave. Annahime here," he points to her briefly, "will be providing light with her Will-O-Wisps." he then points to the other fox and the cat in turn, "Finnegan and Toby, your job will be to look out for any threats. Finnegan, be ready to blast any Pokemon that jumps out at us with a Snarl. Toby, you will be looking for said threats using your Foresight move. If you see anything, make sure you let Finnegan know. Ya got that you two?" The two Pokemon give an unsteady nod. "Don't get too far from me now either."

"Alright then! Let's get this show on the road!" Curtis shouts out as he makes his way to the mouth of the cave. He motions with his hand towards the darkness. "Annahime, we're all ready now- so light up that cave!"

Annahime stretches for a moment before waving her tails around and conjuring up several bright blue balls of fire which she has float at positions around the group to their sides and up above their heads. She keeps them closeby as her Trainer starts walking in.

Curtis looks back for a moment and beckons his other two Pokemon forward, "Alright, don't forget. Snarl and Foresight- I don't want anything sneaking up on us!"

And so, the Trainer and his three Pokemon made his way into the cave where certainly nothing bad was about to happen to them…

Update 2
Spoiler: show
With your Thievul and Delcatty now out, and a few hijinks later, your group descends into the cave. Your Vulpix uses her Will-o-wisps to light the path, which mostly just helps you to avoid jutting out rocks. The cave itself isn't all that interesting, and didn't seem all that scary at all? Was it just the darkness, and the strange light, that seemed to give the illusion of it being scary? It was hard to say, for there wasn't anything too interesting.

CLING.

The sound reverberated through the cave, causing an echo effect. It was loud, and sharp as if someone was slamming a piece of metal into the ground. This immediately caused your Pokemon to jump up, looking a lot more aware then they previously were. Looking back, you can only see darkness. It looked like that the entrance into this den was long gone. Was this one of the giant volcanic tunnels that ran through the cliffs? At this rate, it felt like it was.

CLING.

At this rate, the sound was starting to get louder and louder. Were you starting to approach the noise? And what awaited you once you reached it? The only thing you could do at this point was to push forward a little bit. At least see what it could be? Taking a few more steps forwards, you notice the same glowing light. It was a lot brighter than when you say it at the entrance of the cave. Seemed your quarry was here. You could see fully what it was, or turn back now.

What do you do?

Reply 2
Spoiler: show
As the group ventured into the spooky cave, Curtis realized that... you know what? It just seems to be a cave. Sure that can be scary in and of itself and maybe the color of Will-o-Wisps is making things seem a bit odd, but really he's not seeing much that's there to be afraid of. Heck for his Pokemon who can see in the dark better than he can, it's probably even less scary.

He turned to face the still trembling Vulpix as they walked, "See Annahime? Nothing to be scared of, just a cave. No spooky markings or spooky vibes, just normal cave vibes."

Annahime shrunk down at being belittled. Yeah sure maybe she was overreacted, but how was she supposed to know that there wouldn't be anything to be scared of before they went in here?

Then all of the sudden there was an ear-curdling screech behind them! "THIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!" Both of them stood up straight and spun around to see- Finnegan and Toby laughing at the Thievul's latest prank. It takes a moment for Curtis and Annahime to realize that yes, that noise did indeed come from Finnegan.

With a growl, Annahime makes one of the Will-o-Wisps take a swipe at their idiot faces, making the silly fox and cat skitter off ahead and get back to being on guard.

Curtis sighs, "Do that again and you're both going back in your balls. Anyhow, see? There's nothing to be scared of except for those two idiots and I guess running into something unfriendly."

CLING

"Oh no, why did I open my mouth..." Curtis groans, "You two, come here and huddle up."

The two pranksters also scared by the sudden noise, do as told for once. Looking back, he also can't see the daylight that's coming from outside anymore.

Just how deep are they?

CLING

Oh gods no, gods why it's coming closer. Oh and hey look that glow's back. Great just great.

He grits his teeth and clenches his fist. "Fuck this, we're not letting some dumb thing scare us off so easily. Might be nothing anyways. Annahime, get down. Everyone, get ready to fight if you have to... it might not like us."

Curtis and his team creep closer... "Wait for my signal and when I give it, Annahime- Mystical Fire. Toby- Copycat that Mystical Fire. Finnegan- Snarl."

If whatever's attack moves to attack, he'll yell for his team to attack in return…

Update 3
Spoiler: show
CLING.

Fearing that whatever what was the origin of the noise was hostile, you prepare your team to attack. Better to blow something up if it looked even remotely hostile instead of risk your luck. Besides, it was better to sip regret than swallow death. Of course, this did actually require you to move forwards, so you did. Inching ever so closer to the light, the one you saw briefly before entering the cave.

CLING.

The noise was certainly increasing in volume at your approach. Though, it seemed oddly stationary. If a creature was creating that noise, and with the light, wouldn't it make more sense for it to start moving? Your entire team was on edge over this ordeal at this point. This was slowing picking away at your minds, each reverberating cling piercing through. A primal fear was rising deep within your souls. All by a simple noise.

CLING.

At this point, your anticipation was consuming you. The various anxieties that were wreaking havoc on your fragile psyche. No amount of playfulness could really detract from this. Nothing could really break through this. It echoed, and echoed, and echoed. It was starting to get to the point where it was the whole of your being. That awful, wretched, periodic noise.

And then it stopped.

You hear a loud shattering noise echo through the cave. It sounded akin to a gothic glass chandelier dropping from the top floor of a skyscraper to the ground floor. You hear a few yips from your Pokemon at the sudden loudness of the noise, and your adrenaline forces you all full center into the source of the light.

You see a lone figure putting down a pickaxe next to a bag of mining supplies. They then grab a hempen bag from within the bag and begin to put pieces of various sized rocks into it. This was what was causing the noise? But then the light? You noticed a lantern in the middle of the "room". All of this over a miner? They don't really seem to be noticing you though.

What do you do?

Reply 3
Spoiler: show
A deep sort of fear echoed through Curtis- one mostly borne of his fear that... what if he was wrong this time? What if he had gone to a place where his arrogance would finally be punished and he and, worst of all, his Pokemon would end up paying dearly for it. Still, that fear did not change the plan- he had gone into the lair of darkness and now the only way through this was, well, through it- directly through it. (After all, to back down from a challenge was something that went against all of Curtis's dreams of becoming a Pro Pokemon Trainer someday.)

CLING.

Jaws, fists, arms, even feet (and butt), and muscles in general clenched out of the sheer pressure coming in on him- the fursuited Trainer lead his team forwards into the darkness. The tunnel lit only by blue wisps of flame that gave everything an eerie hue and by that mysterious light in the distance. Able to feel how stressed her Trainer at this moment, the Vulpix, Annahime, too began to feel the pressure of the situation weighing down on her. How far had they gone? Was she going to be strong enough to face whatever was ahead? Had her human finally lost it with his crazy ideas?

CLING.

Meanwhile, such heady philosophical concerns barely reached the minds of the somewhat airheaded (but also fabulous) Delcatty, Toby, and Theivul, Finnegan. It would be a lie to say that the cavernous tunnel was not also starting to get to them. The strange, sharp noises from ahead woke some sort of primal fear in them. The fear their teammates were showing also was not helping their moods. Whatever lay ahead, their Trainer and that Vulpix clearly expected to be in for a tough fight. Toby having a better idea than Finnegan of what such a fight could entail- though surely there would be no mysteriously giant Pokemon showing up this time, right? Cautiously, the pair of troublemakers followed in the footsteps of their Trainer as they moved forwards...

CLING.

The periodic clinging brought everyone's tensions to the edge as they crept forwards.

Then... another such sound did not come for some reason. Was this a good sign? Did it stop moving? Had it been doing something and now it was moving?

"Com'on", Curtis said in a curt whisper as he motioned for them all to press on.

Then there was a massive shattering noise, making everyone stop in their tracks and shout and yip in surprise.

"Everyone remember the plan?" Curtis asked. That seemed to get their attention once more and he soon got a series of nods back from his team after a few moments. Creeping forwards, they all came upon...

...a miner? Just a miner, with his pick, his lantern, and a few other things. Oh, that noise was... was just them mining.

Curtis, all of the sudden broke out into a small fit of laughter. It was only natural, after all he had expected much- much worse. Only to suddenly some entirely unexpected measure of relief at the moment when he thought everything was about to go wrong. Instead, he had let something entirely mundane put him on edge as if it was some spooky terror coming for him.

After gathering his thoughts, he simply walked forwards and waved to the figure in the distance, "Oh, h-hello there." He spoke, trying not to let how shaken he was still feeling effect his voice too much, "I'm Curtis and this is my team of Pokemon. So uh, what're you doing down here?"

Finnegan though, the sly fox he was, had a plan of his own. Suddenly overcome with curiosity, he began sneaking towards the miner's bag of mining supplies so he could get a look inside.

Update 4
Spoiler: show
You burst out laughing at the entire situation. You let your mind play tricks on you, and the ensuing paranoia almost caused you to attack a random stranger. Of course, your laughter caught the attention of the miner, who just kind of looked at you.

"Oi' mate! Didn't know anyone else was down here. Was just gathering some sapphires for a client of mine," the miner stated. He was a tall, gruff-looking man. Yellow hardhat, green mining suit, and a five o'clock shadow.

"I'm all done here if you want an escort back to the surface. These lava tubes can be a pretty deadly place if you aren't careful, ya know?" He spoke his nonchalant attitude a sort of relief compared to the small trip down this tunnel.

He then notices Finnegan rummaging through the bag and promptly smacks the Thievul with the hilt of his pickaxe. The fox-like Pokemon lets out a yelp and scurries back to you. Seems none of its thieving antics will be tolerated with this man.

"Just a word of warnin' to ya boy. Folks 'round here don't take kindly to their things being messed with. Wait a minute. I was about to go off on ya' when I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Paul, one of the best miners in all of the archipelago. I know all of the routes inside and out across these islands, and there are certainly some rarities 'round these parts. Of course, the locals are creepy and the wildlife dangerous, but that's what makes it fun!" He boisterously exclaims, seeming to drop any hostility he had due to your Pokemon.

Grabbing his mining equipment, he hoists the bag over his shoulder and grabs the lantern in the middle of the cavern. You could start to hear this low, guttural growl coming from further within the cave, and the ground starting to shake.

"Ah shit, that's a Garchomp! They're especially vicious around here, I suggest turning tail and run!" Paul exclaimed as he started running away. Do you want to risk fighting this shark in the dark, or run away and most likely live to see the light of day?

What do you do?

Reply 4
Spoiler: show
As he wasn't paying attention to Finnegan's shenanigans at all, Curtis flinches a bit at the suddenness of the yelp. He can't help but let out a laugh at the way the Fox Pokemon came scampering back and immediately began to try and escape from the miner's line of sight by hiding behind his trainer's faux-tails. "Sorry about that, Finnegan is... very determined to get himself into trouble," Curtis explained as he gave the naughty fox a little shove to get him out from under his own feet, "he also doesn't think things through."

"Anyhow, my name's Curtis, this Vulpix is Annahime and..." Annahime stretches and preens from her perch upon her trainer's shoulder as she's mentioned. Curtis meanwhile is looking around for the Delcatty to see that he's decided to just laze around a short distance away, "...that Delcatty is Toby. We're all down here to look for a Fire Stone for Annahime here, though I'm realizing that I probably should've gotten some mining equipment of my own instead of assuming that it'd find one just sticking out of a wall somewhere..."

"...though, maybe you could help me out? Ah-"

Curtis's attempt at conversation is cut short by a low, guttural growl coming from deeper within the depths of the cave. The expression on his face falls from cautious optimism to very worried, "Ah... oh no... that's not good is it?"

Paul's next words confirm Curtis's bad feeling and... and then for once in his life he decides that this is a fight he's not going to take. Mostly because he's not at all prepared for it, seeing as he currently lacks an ice-type in his roster. "Finnegan, Toby, we're following the miner! We're not set-up to fight a Garchomp right now, especially in these close quarters so we're gonna book it!"

Curtis turns tail and runs, shortly followed by Toby and Finnegan who soon outpace him, "Don't run too far guys! You'll get lost!" Annahime meanwhile just clings onto her perch for dear life, unable to keep the Will-O-Wisp lighting up as they all chase after the miner and the light of his lantern.

Update 5
Spoiler: show
Running through the tunnel, you and your team could feel a deeply rooted fear welling from deep within your soul. A primal terror that could be cumulated into a single phrase: prey. Even if the Garchomp couldn't get to you, there was that creeping feeling that you'd be consumed. Torn apart and ripped to shreds. That alone was your motivation to escape.

Soon you reached the entrance of the cave, seeing Paul there panting. The miner jumped a little as he heard your footsteps, but sighed with relief as he saw you and your team making it out. He immediately grabs a Pokeball from his belt and throws it up. From a pulsating light, you see a Solrock appear.

"Okay my man, use Rock Slide to block the entrance!" he yells, and the sun rock complies. You can see the Pokemon's eyes glow an ethereal blue before chunks of rocks start to fall over the mine's entrance. You hear a loud thud as something from the other side hits it. It then lets out a booming, draconic roar before you hear a scraping noise.

"That won't hold it, but we'll be able to get away from it by the time it burst out," he states, trying to reassure you of the situation.

He motions for you to follow him, and you comply. After that situation, your entire time was too shocked to really get up to their usual mischief. Scaling the cliffside, you could feel the sun's warmth beating down. Time had certainly passed, and the sun felt even hotter than normal. Like it was born into your flesh and baking it. You were going to be roasted at this rate.

You then feel an earthquake and huddle down towards the ground. You could smell fire, and see a lava plume within the distance. The Thermal Cliffs were a hotbed of volcanic activity after all. You could see a Fletchinder and Talonflames fly towards it, and ride the thermals up into the sky. It was a magnificent sight compared to the dank cave you were just in. It was refreshing in a way.

At this rate, Paul was a ways ahead. He seemed unfazed by the lava plume erupting. You figured that for somebody that frequented the area. You run to catch up to him, feeling he was the only safety net in this red hellscape. You do notice that the trainers you saw earlier were now battling. While it was interesting, Annahime tugged on your shoulder to keep going. She wanted no part of this.

After a while, you notice what seemed like a few stalls. Was this the main hub of the gem trade here? You notice a younger woman standing towards the entrance, glaring in your direction. She had chestnut brown hair neatly tied into two buns. Her eyes shined a vibrant azure, and she was wearing a royal blue qipao.

"Paul, you're late!" she yelled, obviously tired of waiting.

"Sorry my lady, there was a slight change of plans," he laughed before motioning at you/

"I could tell," stated before walking up to you. She had a feisty look in her eyes.

"Now tell me, who are you?"

How do you respond?

Reply 5
Spoiler: show
Curtis follows after the miner who's clearly more experience in dealing with this kind of situation. Curtis almost feels like smacking himself on the head for not bringing a better team composition to this. All it took was one powerful Dragon-type to show up for him to suddenly fold because he realized he didn't bring any super-effective moves! One moment of panic from him and the rest of his team falls to pieces! He was so focused on dealing with fucking ghost bullshit because 'oooh spooky islands! so spooky!' that he didn't prepare at all for what usually lives in caves like that!

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! He could've at least tried to take on that Garchomp! He could've at least made an attempt! He feels like lashing out at something but can't because of Annahime's clinging to his shoulder!

As he walks, he's not sure what's hotter- the weather beating down on his costume or how angry he is at himself. He doesn't even really pay heed to his Skitty and Thievul as they seemingly take turns trying to jump up on him and stop him, he just angrily pushes them along without thinking about it.

After a while, Curtis's Pokemon give up on getting his attention and just follow after as they pant heavily.

The ground shakes and Curtis balls his fists as he looks around. "What is it now, com'on..." he growls to himself as he looks around. An earthquake, that's a Ground type thing right? But the air smells like burning so maybe it's a Fire type instead?? He stops and keeps an eye on the surroundings, he spots a couple of bird Pokemon flying in the air but... away from him?

Instead they are soaring towards a lava plume in the distance. They approach it and simply soar around it as they fly up into the sky. The aerial dance they do as they ride the thermals into the sky was not at all what he was expecting to happen. But... what- what had he been expecting to happen anyway? Well, a wild Pokemon to show so that he could... he could fight it? He looks back at Toby and Finnegan and he can clearly see that they're in no position to fight right now.

He looks ahead and sees that the miner didn't stop at all. Oh, right- he is on a volcanic island and all that. Must be common here. Annahime's even tugging at his shoulder with her mouth, wondering why he's stopped.

Curtis realized that he had been getting all worked up for nothing again. Just like in the caves it was his own damn fears playing himself again. He sighs and looks back again at the cat and fox trailing behind him- his cat and fox who look like they're having an incredibly hard time with the heat. He sighs and motions them over, "Sorry guys, you want back in your 'balls right?" They perk up at that. Curtis nods and grabs the duos balls, one in each hand, and recalls them back to safety.

That done, Curtis hurries up to follow after the miner. "Annahime, what about you- wanna go in your ball?" Almost instantly, his Vulpix shakes her head- signaling a clear 'no'. Curtis nods, but he does take her off his shoulder and holds her tight in his arms- feeling comforted by the feeling of her fluff against his chest, "Com'on then let's go." Annahime squirms somewhat, but she soon settles in- not minding the extra attention.

Sometime later, he finally comes upon what looks like some sign of civilization. Huh, maybe Curtis should've seen if there were guys like this from the start instead of going it on his own?

There's also a lady dressed up in some sort of fancy eastern dress. Though while the name of the kind of dress evaded Curtis's mind, he certainly did not similarly evade the notice of the person wearing it.

It takes a moment for Curtis to respond but he doesn't think it would be a good idea to try and talk himself up at this moment, not does he even feel like he has the energy for it right now after the emotionally rollercoaster he's put himself... and his team... oh gods, what a fool he's been.

"I'm just some idiot trainer who'd like to go home now," he states defeatedly.

Update 6
Spoiler: show
"You want to go home?" she questions, giving you a soft smile before letting out a chuckle.

"Well, I do hate to break it to you, but the boat schedule has currently been stopped due to reports of strange activity lately. Most trainers don't tend to come to the Unreal Archipelago without at least some way to transport themselves off, besides the public methods," she states. Paul just gives you a disapproving look as he unloads the gems that he had unearthed.

"Well still, you know how the old saying goes right?" she playfully questions as she stared directly into your eyes. Her pupils were a vibrant azure, and they seemed to dance as if they were flames.

"When two trainer's eyes meet, they must battle! Oh, how rude of me, I did forget to introduce myself. My name is Yang, a trainer from a region off the western coast of Hoenn. My family are a high-ranked merchant family, and one of the few with permission to leave the country in the interest in trade," she states, tossing a Pokeball up and down in her hand. You could recognize it instantly as a Luxury Ball, from the ebony plating and gold-leaf trim.

"Now then, if I win this battle, you'll tell me your name. If I lose, well, then I'll give you a little reward. I declare this battle as a singles battle, with each side permitted to use two Pokemon. Since I am feeling generous today, I'll let you go first," she states, before sending out her Pokemon. A Minior popped towards her side, but you couldn't tell its core color based on its current shield.

You could tell there was no way out of this now, as Paul gave you a look that indicated denying her challenge would lead to a fate worse than the Garchomp. And really, being if something was worse than being devoured and torn the shreds, it was something to be avoided at all costs.

What do you do?

Reply 6
Spoiler: show
Curtis's jaw dropped when he heard that the boat schedule had been stopped. He had only been here a few hours- most of it underground- but still- how could that have happened so suddenly?! Then why did go through the effort of dropping him off then? He was supposed to be getting picked in a few days or so. At least that had been what he had been told when asked about a round trip...

When the lady started staring into his eyes his spirits fell a bit more. Though he just kept his mouth shut and stared right back, even though the last thing he wanted was a battle right now! He's just a kid in a costume! Aren't people supposed to want to help instead of making things worse?

Curtis stammered, trying to get a response out- maybe something along the lines of how he didn't care to fight right now... but then Annahime started squirming and trying to get out of his arms as soon as she saw the other Trainer's Pokemon! "Woah calm down! That's clearly a rock type- you'll just get wrecked! Annahime! Stop!" He hoisted the feisty fox onto his shoulder with one hand as he went through his pockets with the other- reaching for Annahime's Pokeball.

But then, he looked around and saw Paul's face... then back to Yang's face... he didn't think he was going to get out of this one- so might well put in a good effort at least?

He changed his mind and reached for Finnegan's Pokeball. Annahime would just get trashed and Toby wasn't much of a better pick... that only left one option.

"Go! Finnegan!" he shouted out as he threw the Pokeball- bringing the Theivul back out onto the field. Much to that fox's relief, they were now in an area that wasn't trying to boil them him alive. Curtis took a deep breath before throwing forward his free arm and shouting out orders- now acting more like a proper trainer is expected to in a fight instead of moping around like he was just moments ago.

"Let's start this out strong! Hone Claws, Thief, Assurance- go show that rock what you're made of!"

Update 7
Spoiler: show
With your order in place, you notice a spry grin on Yang's face. Looking at her Minior, she gives a quick nod before quickly dissecting your orders.

"Alright, use a Substitute! Then, I want you to use Shell Smash and hit back hard with Acrobatics," she orders.

You watch as your Theivul starts to sharpen his claws, honing them into powerful weapons. Scratching them against the hard earth, you notice them becoming sharper and finer, allowing for precise, deadly attacks. At the same time, the Minior cuts its health and creates a green doll. The doll just stands there, with the Minior now at an undisclosed location.

This doesn't phase your pokemon, who lunges forwards with a sort of dark aura and swipes with his claws. He makes a downward arcing motion, trying to steal the held item of the substitute. Unfortunately for you, the substitute isn't holding any items, so the attack is sort of a moot point. The Minior quickly comes out and smashes its shell. Well, not its hard exterior shell, but a white coating that was in the shape of its shell. You can see its offensive stats massively raise with a red aura, but a blue aura weakening its defenses.

That doesn't last long as the Minior quickly ingests a white herb before retreating behind the substitute. This only irritates your vulpine Pokemon, who uses Assurance on the green doll. Despite its increased power, it doesn't manage to break the substitute. The meteor comes out once again from its hiding place, and process to use acrobatic tricks to deal a massive amount of damage to your Thievul. It then fully tackles your Pokemon to finish the attack, sending the fox flying.

It takes a few seconds, but the Thievul gets up, obviously strained from the massive attack it had just taken. You needed a better strategy than pure offense here since Yang was so easily able to counter you.

What do you do?

Reply 7
Spoiler: show
Curtis's face fell the moment he heard his opponent's orders come out. This was some kind of advanced tactics bullshit, the kind of thing you see in a Pokemon League or, heavens forbid, the Battle Tower! Well- probably! It wasn't the kind of thing you break out on a random kid who's down on their luck! He had a feeling that the Minior was holding an item, but what was that? Some kind of... recovery item? Either the health lost from the sub or the negative effects of the Shell Smash? Why didn't he know what that was? No use worrying about it, he'd have to look it up later.

He starts shaking, his focus going off of keeping himself from shaking and instead going towards trying to come up with the best thing he can do at the moment. Well, first thing's first, he has to take down that Substitute! Maybe there's some move out there that takes care of it instantly, but Finnegan certainly doesn't know any! He doesn't even really have any tricks up his sleeve like Annahime does! He can steal things, but he's just basically pure offense otherwise!

Okay, okay, what's Finnegan's strongest move? Assurance, but also... Lash Out. When conditions for both are met, Lash Out is terrifyingly powerful- but he's not going to get to be able to use it unless he cedes the initiative to his opponent and, bonus, it's not something that a Thievul would usually know.

Then something occurs to him, what if he- Finnegan rather- hit the Minior by accident? A spread move. Well, here's goes nothing!

Curtis stops shaking for a moment as he thrusts out a finger at the substitute, "Alright, give me a Nasty Plot followed by a Snarl!" Two moves this time, he couldn't afford to let his opponent keep playing reactively where he knows that's she's going to be much better at it than he is.

Finnegan shakes himself off and gives his trainer an annoyed huff before following the orders. His claws were already sharpened, why wasn't he getting orders to just go all out? But whatever, seems that the human was trying to switch it up. It'd better pay off!

Update 8
Spoiler: show
Feeling like you're already on the back peddle, you quickly try to think up a strategy that'll help you beat the Minior. Piecing something together, you order your Thievul to use Nasty Plot and Snarl. The girl just smiles, having already decided what she was going to do next.

"So you're going to try and play on the special side of things now? Boosting up is all good but there is an obvious hole in your plan," she states, looking at her Minior.

"I think we'll end the battle here. I've seen enough. Acrobatics, then finish it with Stone Edge," she orders. Her Minior nods back, and the round begins.

Finnegan starts to think up a Nasty Plot to try and bypass the Minior's Substitute. That wastes too much time, however, as the Meteorite Pokemon once again barrels into your Thievul. The fox yelps in pain as it gets knocked into the air.

Though, he lands quickly onto his feet and lets out a Snarl. The sound move is able to bypass the substitute and land a solid hit onto the Minior. It doesn't seem like it even chips through the Pokemon's hard out shell. The rock type then slams itself into the ground, creating a line of hard, jagged edge stones that rip Finnegan apart.

You watch as your Pokemon soars through the sky and lands in front of your, knocked out cold. Yang recalls her Pokemon and walks up to you.

"I didn't realize you were still pretty green under the belt. I'll concede the battle here. I rather not scare a new trainer off from this life," she gives you a small, warm smile before digging through her pocket.

"Here, this is something my family gives out to those they like to work with. Think of it as a bringer of good fortune. I did technically lose, so it's only fair I honor the deal," she states, handing you an Amulet Coin.

"Now, let's get your Thievul patched up," she says as she pulls out a Max Revive and gives it to Finnegan. She then looks over at Paul.

"Now, what happened to cause you to be late?" She questioned.

"You see Lady Yang, I got a little distracted by this kid stumbling into the area I was mining, and then we were almost made food for a Garchomp," he stated, having finished processing the gems.

"Hmm, well, that isn't great. The gems here are very valuable for my family so, well, I guess I must take matters into my own hands. I will need someone to help me as I go through the volcanic tunnels. You," she states, looking at you. "If you're looking for something, you'll probably be able to find it in these volcanic tunnels. Help me investigate the matter and I'll see to it that we can try and find what you're looking for. Do we have a deal?"

How do you respond?

Reply 8
Spoiler: show
Curtis just stands there and blinks for a few moments, speechless as what just happened as his opponent puts some sort of Coin... Amulet... into his hand. "Uh...."

It was a weird feeling to have an opponent that so clearly outclassed him take pity on him. It still kind of stung, but really not nearly as bad as if she had just put him and his entire team into the dirt. There was a strange lightness in his chest- as if the battle that had just happened suddenly didn't matter that much anymore.

Finnegan wakes up with a jolt as the medicine goes to work, he growls and snaps at the human his Trainer was just battling- but just for a moment. His mind registers that... he feels fine now! He still felt tired from how crazy this day's been, but there's no bruises or stinging cuts anymore. Noting his trainer standing off to the side, he warily eyes the female human and her floating rock as he returns to him. As the Theivul gets near, he notes that his trainer is holding and straightens up on his hind legs to get a look at it. Though then Annahime, from her stop on Curtis's shoulder, lifts up their consolation prize so she can get a better look at it too- though she does hold it where the other fox can see it too.

As his Pokemon crawl all over him, Curtis sighs and looks over to Lady Yang, "Um, well I was just looking for a Fire Stone for my Vulpix here- since well, the Department Store back in didn't have them in stock at the moment. Thought it would be a quick... in-and-out sort of affair. Didn't think it would well... turn into a full-blown adventure like this. Like how, well, some days just end up like that ya know?"

He sighs again and looks to his Pokemon- clearly concerned. He takes a deep breath in and out and tiredly speaks up, "Know what? Just help me and my team get off this place in one piece and I'm all yours. I can just buy that Fire Stone when it's in stock again- not worth risking their lives for it anymore- well, I mean at all really. And uh, name's Curtis- Curtis Renard- by the way." Oh right, wasn't he supposed to tell her that only if he lost? He was just doing it to be polite, but nevertheless, he speaks up again a moment later, "I really didn't win there, we both know it."

* 1x Amulet Coin received!

Update 9
Spoiler: show
You could see Yang's eyes light up and her smile turn foxy as soon as you revealed your name. You knew you messed up as soon as you did that, and she quickly poked you on the nose as a quick punishment. What seemed like something totally harmless hurt like hell, and it almost burned? You could be just not feeling it though, the blistering heat has started to affect your mind.

"So Curtis, you want a fire stone? Well, hate to tell you this but there haven't really been any on the island that has been safe to mine for a few months. Part of the reason why I'm here, besides to make sure everything is working well for my family's business," she tells you before scanning the area.

It was warm and barren. You could see bird Pokemon flying around, riding the thermals, and gliding for any food. A small lava spout cropped up in the distance every so often, but besides that there was nothing. It was the same old scenery as it was as when you had arrived. Barren, empty and devoid of all things but heat. It seeped into your skin, your blood, your mind and burned you in your very core. Heat.

"Well, let's see here. There are a few ways towards the mines," she states before pulling out a small scroll.

You watch her pull it apart with her hands, showcasing a small map of the area. You see a few spots circled and a few spots marked with Xs. She quickly sets it down and grabs a pen from her bag and places an X on the area of the caves you ran away from.

"SO these Xs are where people have sighted unusually strong Pokemon or sudden dangers in the tunnel systems here. Something fishy is going on here in the old lava tubes... The Pokemon aren't usually so aggressive. These circles are entrances into our mines that are still safe. We have about three we can go through," she states as she looks at you.

Looking at the map, the closest one was southbound. Though, something that simply felt like a trap in this place. The one closest after that was northwest, heading towards the caldera of the spire. The last one, to the north, didn't really have much detailing at all. It felt odd like it was freshly added. She looked at you with a smile.

"As punishment, you get to pick!" she exclaims, whimsy on her voice but her eyes showcasing more seriousness. You had a sudden creeping feeling in your chest that no matter which way you went, that danger would be afoot.

What do you do?

Reply 9
Spoiler: show
Curtis rubs at his nose after the lady boops it, it felt weird- but maybe it was just all the random gunk that had no doubt collected on his face getting disturbed, plus the mind-numbing heat of course. Even Annahime seemed to get affected by the heat, slumping over his shoulder rather than perching on it like she usually does. Sooner or later she'd start having to breathe out puffs of flame in order to keep herself cooled down. If she's feeling this bad already, it would only be a matter of time before Finnegan started getting heat exhaustion... again.

Curtis recalls the dark-typed fox as he continues this conversation, "Well, I thought I just said 'forget about the Fire Stone' more-or-less?" Though it was nice to know that Fire Stones could be found here after all... and that there had been no real way he was going to get some all on his own anyway. As Yang looks around again, so does he. He notes a few bird Pokemon out and about, but he can't spot any other Pokemon. "Is it unusually hot today?" he ponders, "Is that why I can't see hardly any Pokemon out and about or ya think this is related to the problem with the mines?"

When she pulls out the scroll and opens it, Curtis stands up on his toes for a better look. He carefully follows along as she explains. Though as punishment he gets to pick where they go? That's not really a punishment and really of a test now, isn't it? He traces a finger along the map as he thinks, southbound was probably connected to the tunnels he just ran from... or maybe that'd be northwest again? Either way, it would still be in this awful heat... which would potentially- no definitely, limit how much he could do with his Pokemon. Even Annahime would need to take a rest inside a Pokeball at some point, no matter how much she disliked going in one.

A thought crosses his mind, well if the problem is new... maybe going to the newest mark on the map would yield more answers? Maybe they dug into a spot and woke something up... or let something out...

He stops moving his finger along and sticks it at the mark to the north, "I'm thinking... here. It's marked a bit differently than the others, right? And I want to get as far away from that Garchomp as possible." Though given that he just said that last thing, fate may decide that he get's to be unlucky and the place would be utterly swarming with them. "Though uh, if I had to pick a second choice I think.... that spot," he says, pointing to the mark at the south. "Mostly I really don't want to heat- head into more of this heat." He wipes sweat from his brow and considers that he should probably really actually get a partial fursuit costume for the next time he heads into a hot place like this. I mean yes, sticking to a theme was important and all for various spooky reasons such as fate and luck and all that, but not dying from overheating is a bit more important yeah?




Enigmatic Professor
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
The ticking in Drake's mind as the spirit counted down, reminded him of a place he visited long ago. Drake shook his head and cleared his thoughts, thinking only of the directions the spirit gave.
"Right around the bend, second right, first left, first right, first right, third left. "
Drake started to run as the countdown continued, Wolfe having no problem following behind him.

"Right around the bend, second right, first left, first right, first right, third left. "
Drake turned right around the bend, chanting the same line over and over in his head.
The trainer and pokemon ran to the second right, then the first left.

"Right around the bend, second right, first left, first right, first right, third left. "
The two turned on the first right and another first right.

"Right around the bend, second right, first left, first right, first right, third left. "
Drake and Wolfe turned again on the third left, Both skidding to a stop on the dead-end the spirit spoke of. The spirit said to wait for a few seconds, because this was a fake dead end of sorts. Drake supposed.
The run had left made them huff a little, as both did not want to stay here forever, but both the man and his starter pokemon were... somewhat ready for what might lay ahead.
A ticking in Drakes's head continued over and over.

Tick... Tick... Tick...
"Now what?"
Drake spoke out-loud and with his mind, allowing him to, what he thought, would hide his thoughts from both.... creatures in this hallway.

Update 1
Spoiler: show
Tick... Tick... Tick...

The sound followed you as you made every turn.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

Right around the bend.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

Second right, first left.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

First right, first right.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

And as you made the third left and stopped to stare at the false dead-end, the ticking continued. You found the mirrors mocking you, your own visage having clearly aged in the reflective glow of the maze. But not only your own form stared back through the mirrors, haunting you with its older age. That of the Pokemon accompanying you seemed to visibly age as well, until your Tynamo burst from its ball and began to glow a bright white.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

The white glow fills the room around you, bouncing off every mirror as the light blinds your eyes.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

And then the light sharply fades.

You find yourself standing in a room, made up entirely or a circle of mirrors, your own form having aged to that you saw in the mirrors only moments ago. The Arcanine by your side having grown to look a bit more experienced, as though it had been through many more trials than when you had entered the House of Mirrors, your Tynamo now a fully evolved Eelektross.

What could have caused this? Was it all just a dream? Some dark and twisted magic? No. It couldn't be. Far too cliche. The mirrors about the room flicker with your memories over the years, the room showing you events of your future, or perhaps of your past. It's all become so unclear now.

A primordial beast flashes over the mirrors, the form of a Dialga ripping apart time itself only to be defeated by a great many trainers. The echoes of time falling apart to reveal only the silver screens of the mirrors, your own face staring back at you.

And then the voice you heard before. The strange spirit that had led you through the maze. "Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence."

Directly before you a strange form steps out of your own and through the mirror. "Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance."

Slowly, the form takes shape, humanoid at first before growing slowly smaller. "Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence."

Soon, a Pokemon of with a soft, pink body and a large, white, helmet with a singular jewel comes to form. "Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance."

Then, a wave of Psychic energy erupts from the Pokemon, launching you and your Pokemon back into the mirrors behind you with a crack. The mirrors around the room shatter one by one, reflecting the same scene over and over as the Slowking grins, staring you down with malicious intent.

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Drake is visibly shaken by what just happened, several things happened all at once and he struggled as his psyche became overwhelmed with precious memories and new ones combining all together at this point in time. Drake then watched as a pokemon dropped in front of him, the voice of the spirit he heard that had led him through the maze of mirrors was a Slowking.

His back cracked and he could feel mirror shards raining down upon him and Wolfe, along with Voltsy, not only did his head hurt like a motherfudger but his now his entire body had erupted in a flare of pain. Drake struggled to get back up, the mirror shards reflecting his face and the sweat dripping down of the bridge of his nose. Blood trickled down his arms and hands as well as his forehead, telling him these mirrors were glass and since the Slowking had materialized from them also made him wonder if they were lined with silver.

Without needing a verbal confirmation from Drake, Wolfe was faster to recover and jump into to action unleashing a Stream of Firery hell upon the surrounding area encircling Voltsy and Drake, the giant 12-foot monstrosity of pure anger and fur then lept at the royal pokemon brandishing fangs cloaked in sparking electricity, aimed to the pokemons throat.
Wolfe had unloaded the psyche overwhelming upon Drake so he could battle, which was smart and it seemed to be the best course of action at the time being given the severity of the situation so he could defend his partner who had been with him through everything.

Voltsy on the other hand struggled to get back on his flippers, then released a Discharge of electrified power that bounced around the room, after which he moved over in front of Drake to defend him however he could.

Drake looked around slowly as if in a drunken daze, he could see his partners fighting this pokemon that was the spirit he had trusted... Where was his sister? Krelia... he was sitting with krelia at the mess hall laughing with her while she held the man's hand who's face was visibly red from whatever he had said... things felt all weird since the battle with Primal Dialga... but they had beaten him... right? Drake remembered the roaring and a giant hand from a hatterne that helped them... where was he?

Update 2
Spoiler: show
Recovering from your blow you watch as your partners begin battling the foe that has appeared before you. This strange Slowking that you had trusted to lead you through the maze, only to fall into this trap of a room of now broken mirrors. A Firestream erupts from Wolfe's mouth, setting the area ablaze in a bit of a defensive tactic that also manages to deal some damage to your foe. You think for a moment you spy a shadowy figure in the now shattered mirrors through the haze of the heat created by the flames, but it's only for but a blink of a moment before Voltsy regains fighting composure and looses a Discharge through the room. The electric jolt strikes at the Slowking, managing to paralyze the Pokemon, but the beast does not seem overly bothered by this predicament.

"Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were." The voice rings out from the Slowking, as if mocking your current predicament.

Pulling a Sitrus berry from its side, the Slowking proceeds to quickly chow down on the fruit before turning to your team and loosing a gut wrenching Belch. The noxious attack wafts through the air and over Wolfe, who looks visibly ill as a result.

"Memory is more indelible than ink."

Taking a moment, the Slowking lets out a loud Yawn, creating a soft pink bubble that drifts through the air before popping in front of Voltsy, rendering the eel rather drowsy as a result of the technique.

Reply 2
Spoiler: show
Wolfe was visibly ill from the belch attack the Slowking let loose. Drake knew that his sense of smell must be bombarded right now and he was surprised his Arcanine wasn't vomiting already because even as a growlithe and an Arcanine from when they were in their home dimension he always had issues with very strong smells. Drake struggled to get back to his feet, his mind was still reeling from the Psyche overload thrust upon him from Wolfe through their telepathic connection. He knew this was to ensure that at least Wolfe was able to battle with a clear sense of mind because Voltsey was struggling like his trainer and now on top of that he was growing drowsy.

The heat and light from both of Drakes's pokemon's attacks filled the room and for a moment he thought he saw another shadow figure as the Slowking mocked him and his current Pysche struggles. But he couldn't focus on that at the moment, He needed to regain his composure so he could work out how to handle this situation and how to get out of it. So Drake started to slow his breathing and focus on stilling his mind. With each breath, he worked on ignoring the memories that bombarded him and made him question what was real and what wasn't, and worked on centering his focus right here and right now. He reached out with his mind to anchor himself further with Wolfe and used the feedback from Wolfe's mind to focus on the Slowking.

Wolfe assisted out greatly despite trying to remain focused on the situation at hand, From Drake's knowledge of the pokemon slowking and his memories from their home dimension, He knew that this thing packed some water moves as well as psychic moves and it was probably best if Wolfe changed his typing. Now, normally Arcanine would not be able to do this at all, But Wolfe was not your average Arcanine. The 12ft monster of an arcanine focused on his muscles and flexed them all over his body, Causing the stripes to move and shake. Wolfe started to Camouflage himself to his surroundings. Now since this was a rather tight space and he figured the Slowking probably could find him easily either with its psychic powers or by reaching out and attacking his trainer, Wolfe didn't bother to hide for very long and thrust forward at the Royal Pokemon, moving as fast as Thunder, and striking like a Bolt.

Voltsey as drowsy as he was decided to do two things, He positioned himself so that when he fell asleep soon he would land on top of his Trainer, and then aiming at the Slowking, he hissed out and sprayed lots of Acids, hoping to burn through the opponent's special defenses so Wolfe could hit harder with special attacks. Drake sat upon his legs and took his shirt to gently wipe the blood away from his face. He finally gained enough composure to focus on the here and now and he started to adapt to his 27-year-old fit body and the memories that accompanied it. The Slowking was right, His memories weren't easily forgotten nor removable but they could be hidden, and Apparently his memories of this place were hidden from him for a long time... but why... Why come back here. What happened here that got hidden away until Dialga shattered the flow of time?

Update 3
Spoiler: show
With the crown bearing Pokemon taunting your every move as it slowly pokes Wolfe and Voltsey in combat, you take to focusing yourself, calming your thoughts to determine what it is that brought you here and why you are fighting this Slowking in the first place. His stripes shifting as he begins to Camouflage himself while lending you what solace he can, Wolfe's form shifts like the mirrors surrounding him, his visage appearing much more similar to some Psychic types you've seen in your time. Meanwhile, Voltsey starts to give in to the sleep attempting to grasp at his mind and body, slowly slumping his form over yours, but not before spitting up a volley of Acid over the Slowking, which does its job in lowering the Special Defense of the creature, though it doesn't seem particularly bothered by the actual attack itself. Reappearing, Wolfe strikes at the weakened Slowking with a mighty Thunderbolt, the shock causing a brief flash of light that once more reveals a shifting shadow moving through the shards of mirror scattered about the area.

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."

The shade moves through the mirrors quickly, and a few scattered around the Slowking dissolve into bright light, washing over the form of the creature to reveal instead the true creature that has been speaking to you throughout the maze. The form is similar, yet with a different helm altogether, colored a much darker hue and reaching further down over the face of its wearer, instead presenting its own eyes to stare at you. The darker form's eyes glow before an Eerie Spell is cast over Wolfe, draining the dog of energy considerably, though his recent shift in type seems to help prevent taking too much damage for now.

Reply 3
Spoiler: show
The moment Drake catches sight of the Galarian form Slowking, his mind careers into another wave of splitting pain as conflicting memories wash over him, Memories of before, and memories of when he found a way back home and then living back again in this world. Everything associated with these memories flooded his body and he shrugged Voltsy off and gripped his forehead and let out a pained scream. "WHY DID THIS HURT SO MUCH?" he thought to himself, It wasn't the first time, from any of his time, that he suffered from psychic backlash. But something made this much more difficult...

That's when his one clearest memory flashed across in his mind, the raid battle to defeat Primal Dialga, That had to be it.
Rupturing the timeline and sending him back into a shattered timestream that didn't exist, forcing him to live through it and reconnect it to the main timestream... Drake then felt along his belt to see if he had any other pokeballs other than Voltsy's or Wolfe's, Grabbing Voltsy's, he recalled him for now, thinking it'd be better to protect the eel in his slumbering state until Wolfe and Drake can get away from this Slowking.

Since Wolfe seemed to have obtained the Psychic typing, The Arcanine decided that he needed to push the opponent back and try to create an opening for him to take Drake and Flee, so Drake can recover and come up with a plan to get out of here...

He decided to do something stupidly risky to push the foe back Placing himself in front of Drake, who without hesitation climbed upon his partners back, started to inhale deeply and then upon exhaling, unleashed a tremendous torrent of water seemingly from nowhere causing a huge surfable wave to spring forth, then and unleashed a bolt of pure thunder once more to the wave as it made its way to the foe. A dangerous combo for sure, but it should allow for an opening to either retreat back through the hallway, or allow for Wolfe to jump past the foe and travel deeper into the attraction…




empoleon dynamite
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
The Golurk’s searchlight-eyes scanned from the trainer’s shaggy hair down to his muddy sneakers, that'd tracked dirt all over the blood red carpeting. It shot a disapproving look before honing in on the member’s card which must have been passable. With a pang of relief Emp counted the footsteps as the spectral sentry continued its patrol, out of sight and mind for the time being... The young adult’s eyes then fixed across to a blue door advertising races for Magikarp. He couldn’t hide his smirk, ‘who would want to see a bunch of Magikarp flounder down a race track?’ From personal experience Magikarp weren’t the swiftest swimmers. Emp noticed two men shuffling nearby, suited up and whispering among the haze of cigar smoke. The boy strained his ears but the strings of conversation were drowned out by the slot machine cacophony. The Golurk and Solosis share a subtle exchange, Emp barely noticing as they conferred with one another. The trainer’s curiosity sharpened, tilting his head in efforts to listen in on the gentlemens’ conversation.

"Taco truck? You're... you're kidding me, right? Our entire pack, wiped out by a-"

"By a taco truck. Yes. I dunno who the Hell was drivin' that thing, but it broke right through the kennel and now we got 7 Houndoom in the hospital. Blood and tacos everywhere. It was a mess, man, a total-"

"Spare me the details, you idiot. We're losin' money to those b******s racin' MAGIKARP with every wasted second. We have to race SOMETHING or we'll be out ten grand, easy!"

"Yeah, but what? Where are we gonna find Pokemon to race?"

Emp’s brow furrowed in confusion - surely he’d misheard. The mental image of a taco truck careering into the Houndoom kennels and mowing the entire pack tugged at the trainer’s heartstrings, the sport one he detested as-is. The talk of Magikarp races on the other hand, he could almost feel the Rocket Ball wriggling against his belt – a fully grown koi primed for competition lay dormant within. Was this fate or was something more sinister in store for the lost trainer? Solosis quickly revolved his gooey essense with a look of shared opportunity, although he didn’t seem too pushy about the idea. The trainer had reached a crossroads; with the offer too good to pass up he gingerly approached.

“I have a Pokémon to race,” Emp interrupted, prizing the black-red ball from his jean pocket and tossing it in one hand with feigned composure, “Guppy is a shiny Magikarp, well trained, at least level fifty. I’m sure he’d fetch some high odds if he entered, but I’d want a nice cut of the earnings...” Emp’s cheeks felt numb as he strained to hold a confident grin, clenching his fists to keep his hands shaking. He could only hope that the shifty characters wouldn’t see straight through his poker face and would allow his Magikarp to compete.

Update 1
Spoiler: show
Standing before the men with Rocket Ball in hand and a struggle to keep your composure, you offer the services of your Magikarp, Guppy. It was no use, though, this wasn't the kind of race you would typically find a Magikarp entering and your request is met with a harsh scoff and a rolled eye.

"Ya think that small fry stands a chance in a real race? Forget about it..."

The man closest to you and the smaller of the two cuts you off before he even seems to really listen to you and your request, turning to point at the door to the Magikarp Race. Alongside him, other man barely even pays attention to your presence as his eyes scan around the room, shifting from one side to the other as if looking for somebody. At these words, the peaceable Solosis you find yourself in the company of has a swift change in demeanour and his eyes begin to pulsate with the faint blue illumination of Confuse Ray, directing the strange light directly at your detractor.

"Huh? What was that you said? You're offering up your shiny Magikarp to race with us? I don't see why not!"

Following the Solosis' successful negotiations, the taller of the two brings his attention back to the conversation he hadn't particularly been listening to and nods in agreement with his companion. It was settled, Solosis had sealed you and Guppy a spot in the race. He wasn't done there, though, floating between the two men and cooing wistfully to offer his assistance in the race as well. With him volunteering, there would only be five spots to fill and they seemed happy with this.

"We're making jack all right now, we may as well. We've both got a Pokémon each too so if we enter ourselves we're just three short - how's about you go and ask those guys over there if any of them fancy joining us?" The taller man appeared more present now and almost excited to get things up and running. With a subtle grin, he points across to a booth of people lounging around; they're clearly some of the casino's higher rollers and each of them appears to be positively dripping in jewels.

You scan the group he is pointing to and spot a number of different characters: a short, jolly looking man with a top hat and a bushy moustache who seemed quite happy to just people watch; a pair of beautiful women who appear to be locked in some sort of private joke, giggling amongst themselves every now and again; a couple of business men in tight-fitted pinstripe suits, each drinking from a large tumbler and counting their chips greedily and what at a first glance appears to be a tall woman that you come to notice is in fact a drag artiste, waist cinched and hair styled high with a cigarette holder dangling from one hand bedecked with numerous rings. Around their feet, their Pokémon interact similarly, their coats and feathers glinting in the same way that Guppy's scales do.

What will you do?

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Emp’s elevator pitch would fail to get him as far as the first floor, the aristocrats turning their nose up as his proposal without so much as a second thought. The drifter felt his cheeks flush a shade of pink, making a beeline for the doors through to the Magikarp races – an effort to save face, more than anything. Just as he was clear of the cigar fog, the two gentlemen made a surprise heel turn; the cerebral cell had them spellbound, and with three more contenders the race would be off in no time!

Before they had a chance to change their minds (or unchange, more like) the trainer scoured the crowd of punters in search of extra bodies. One of the two gentlemen gave him a prod in the right direction, a booth crowded with a cast of the casino’s highest rollers. They were decked up to the nines, lavished with diamonds and pearls and topped with hats that would put a Galarian Weezing to shame. Such extravagance was enough to turn his stomach but where there was money there would no doubt be low inhibitions and loose purse strings. He ushered closer in efforts to size up the would-be contenders; a jovial gentleman, a yuppie and socialites quartet, and a tall... woman?

Emp flushed with embarrassment all over again. Drafted in what felt like the roaring twenties by the paranormal ferris wheel, the drag artiste was surely ahead of their time. They were serving the sort of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that would make them the one to bet on – as much a rival as a prospect. He had never found gaggles of girls approachable, no less the wealthy sort. And while the moustachioed fellow piqued Emp’s interest, choosing him would leave just one seat open for the remaining businessmen pair. With targets acquired, the trainer cleared his throat and gingerly approached, taking solace at least in his Solosis safety net.

“Ahem.” He started, voice struggling to carry over the casino cacophony. It was all he could do to get a word in edgeways above the sound of cards whirring in the hands of the dealers, the bells and whistles of the various slot machines, and the racketing noise of their levers being pulled. He drew even closer, a sore thumb admidst the socialites: “You three look like the winning sort, how do you fancy your odds at an all bets Pokemon race?"

Update 2
Spoiler: show
Having agreed to seek out participants for the upcoming race, you gingerly approach the group of people the taller of the two gentleman had suggested that you attempt to recruit. The sounds of the casino ring out from all around you but you press on with your request to certain members of the party nonetheless, neglecting to even try to permeate the world of the socialites who chattered incessantly.

"What's that, hon? A Pokémon race? I've not taken part in one of those for years... consider me signed up!" The drag artiste strains to hear at first but is quick to nod and beam at you in agreement, sliding an arm through yours before walking you away from the table slightly, "You won't get much out of these lot, they're all about the slots but I was used to race Rhyhorn back in the day if you'd believe it."

Having walked you away from the table you had only just arrived at, she takes another cigarette from a pearl-encrusted tin in the clutch at her side. Popping it in the cigarette holder she had been brandishing previously, she lights it and takes a deep drag through ruby lips, "The name's Bonnie. Bonnie Lass. I usually perform here of an evening but tonight I'm here on a different kind of business."

Clearly enjoying having an air of mystery about her, Bonnie takes another long drag of her cigarette before flicking the ash to one side, her eyes fixed on the Cell Pokémon accompanying you. As the moment hangs in the air for what feels like an eternity, her Pokémon dashes to her side: a Galarian Zigzagoon with the most fabulous red and white coat. Reaching her feet, the Tiny Racoon looks up at you and Solosis inquisitively, its bright blue tongue lolling to one side.

"You look like a trustworthy lad so I'm going to let you in on a secret - there's been some shady goings on around here lately. Stolen Pokémon, missing valuables, the works. Just ask your little Solosis friend, he's seen it all." At the drag artiste's words, the Solosis nods slightly, a strange sadness in his eyes as he bobs in the air beside you, edging ever so slightly closer to line up with your shoulder. He must have been at the casino for some time if the clientele were familiar with his presence.

"I've got my suspicions about who is involved and I'm almost sure it's those two."

Following the cigarette holder she motions in the direction you just came, you spot the two businessmen you had planned to approach alongside Bonnie to invite to the race. If she was right, these weren't the sort of people you would want to get involved with but if she was wrong, it could be anyone and neither of you would be any the wiser.

"With that in mind, we could invite them to join us and maybe I can get to the bottom of the matter. If you'd prefer not to get involved in anything messy, though, I'm sure Solosis and I can introduce you to some of the casino's wayward inhabitants who I'm sure will be keen to show their worth." As she spoke, Solosis beamed and nodded towards a number of Pokémon milling around listlessly: Two Misdreavus waltzed around a grand chandelier above the casino floor without a care for what was going on below whilst a Gothita and a Kirlia stood watching some of the human gamblers and trying to get their attention. Out in the lobby, an Electrike circled repeatedly, sniffing and seemingly trying to spot someone amongst the crowd.

Who will you approach?

Reply 2
Spoiler: show
It was a classic casino caper – the figure in drag eluding to a shady underbelly beneath the guise of neon slots and spinning roulettes. Emp had to wonder if he had been spirited away to this art deco afterlife for a higher purpose, rather than a high stack of cash. There was a pain hidden behind Solosis’ beady eyes that reminded the tourist of a wistful Reuniclus he had met up in the clouds; if Emp had to hazard a guess, the lifelong guest had seen the establishment fall into a corruption beyond recognition. He felt compelled to right this wrong, not least because he was growing fond of the extrasensory embryo.

Following Bonnie’s tail of cigarette smoke back to the businessmen supposedly at the thick of all the thievery, the drifter was given one last chance to opt out of the reconnaissance and wrangle up a more innocuous assortment of contenders, for which the casino was in no part short of: an Electrike sniffing and dashing about the lobby like an excited pup, Gothita and Kirlia tugging at the coattails of gamblers with what could be premonitions, and Misdreavus locked in an haunting courtship around a magnificent chandelier. They could very well pass under the radar of any criminal activity altogether by selecting one of the options above, but Emp had already made up his mind.

“You know what they say about keeping your friends close,” he answered with a coy smirk, “Bonnie, how about we show these boys the race of their lives?” He gestured for a dry whisky from a nearby waiter before offering the drag queen an arm ahead of rubbing shoulders with the racketeers.

Update 3
Spoiler: show
Bonnie was clearly happy with your decision despite having offered you an alternative arrangement, a wry smile forming behind her cigarette holder. As the impeccably-dressed waiter brings your beverage request, she grabs her own glass from the tray and winks at the gent as the two of you head back to the table where you had first met your fabulously dressed new companion and her shiny Zigzagoon. Taking a deep swig from the tumbler in her hand, she strides directly up to the two men, "Good evening, gentlemen. My friend and I are after a couple of gambling types to join us in a Pokémon race. Don't suppose you guys know anyone who fits the bill?"

As the drag artiste spoke, the two men looked her up and down before treating you to the same awkward treatment: eyeing up their opponents, trying to spot your weaknesses. Whatever the two of them saw in you or not, they shared a look between themselves and nodded in unison, "Sure thing, we came down here for a flutter on the Houndoom but them guys said the race was off. Reckon the winning Pokémon'll hit the jackpot?" The man closest to you spoke first, he was dressed in an old-looking navy suit with a pair of slightly scuffed brogues. It seemed Bonnie hadn't even considered the thought of prize money as she looked at you for more information before nodding in agreement with the man, "That'll be for my Zigzagoon to find out!"

Bemused by the drag artiste's confidence, the second man similarly dressed in a black suit, let out a hearty guffaw. It was clear that he had already started to underestimate Bonnie before they had even reached the track. She didn't seem to mind, though, she was too busy rifling around in her purse for a treat for her Pokémon. Knowing her plan, you sense that Bonnie is putting on a poker face and trying to come across as harmless. Solosis seems to as well, sharing a knowing glance with you.

"You guys sorted or what?" A shout reaches you from across the parlor. The taller of the two gentlemen who had proposed the race to you initially beckoned the four of you to the door carved in the likeness of a Houndoom. Having gathered the full roster necessary to kick things off, Bonnie links you once again and the two of you lead the way with Solosis alongside and the two businessmen and Zigzagoon following close behind you.

---

As you pass through the door and begin to ascend an ornate orange staircase adorned with painted flames, you hear the two men behind you whispering between themselves. Bonnie clearly hears this too, turning her head to one side as if to engage you to better eavesdrop the men. It's no use though as all of your footsteps muffle the words being spoken just metres behind you. It isn't long before the stairs come to an end, opening out into a thin oblong room with a bar at one end and one wall entirely made of glass. Beyond the wall, the impressive racetrack stood illuminated but empty at the base of unoccupied bleachers.

"So, tell me, good sir..." Bonnie took another cigarette from the purse at her side and lit it with one deft flick of a match before placing it in her holder and taking a deep drag once again, "What kind of prize money are we looking at for the winning Pokémon?"

The taller man eyed up the Zigzagoon at the drag artiste's feet. He too seemed to be underestimating the odd pair but he answered nonetheless, "The winner'll get about 50,000 smackers, give or take a couple'a thousand." Hearing this, the two men accompanying you dash forward. Clearly neither of them had realised what was at stake here and they seemed more keen than ever to be involved in the race, "Wait 'til the others get a load of this. Imagine the sort of wins ya could get with $50,000..." The man in the navy suit smirks to himself, already lost in ideas of how he could gamble his winnings before the starting pistol had even been fired.

"My associate will be notifying the casino's clientele shortly - first we need to get you guys set up and ready to race." With that, the shorter gentleman returns up the staircase from which you had just arrived as the taller man ushers you all towards a sliding door in the entirely glass wall before you. Beyond the door, a staircase cut between two bleachers down to the side of the racetrack and the starting line complete with traps where each of your Pokémon are expected to begin the race. As you and the rest of the racers arrive, you notice that the first trap at either end is already closed shut and occupied, presumably with the organiser's choices.

"Right, get your pep talks over with now, the race'll start once your Pokémon are all lined up in the traps and the starting pistol is fired. Unlike Magikarp racing, there's no rules so feel free to get dirty out there."

At the man's words, Bonnie and the two businessmen choose their lanes and begin to prepare. The man in the navy blue suit selects his Pokémon first: a Dodrio with the most gorgeous green plumage. Seeing this, his fellow businessman chooses an Ampharos, her fur a fine pale magenta. As anticipated, Bonnie chooses her Zigzagoon and Solosis bobbles in the air excitedly, visibly happy with himself for having elected to join the challenge before he disappears into the trap alongside yours.

[In terms of strategy, anything goes - you can order a series of up to four attacks against your fellow racers in any combination or simply focus on trying to win through similar means, utilising your attacks to further advance in the race - good luck!]

Reply 3
Spoiler: show
The weight of the situation felt a whole lot lighter with a drink in hand, Emp swirling the brown liquid idly as they made their ascent up to the racing box. He tried to soften his footsteps and tune into the conversation between the would-be crooks; they were playing with fire, and not the decorative sort that licked against the ornate staircase. He could only hope that Bonnie Lass knew what they were doing, or else they would both be burned before the night was through. The thought wouldn’t linger for long as the throng of challengers pushed through the double doors into the viewing box, a fully stocked bar to his left and a panoramic view of the racetrack to the right. He made a beeline left, a top up needed before he could even face up to the impending action.

Emp almost spat whiskey as the organisers unveiled what lay at the end of the racetrack, a jackpot to the tune of 50,000 bucks. The gentlemen’s eyes lit up with dollar signs, fancying their chances before the piston was even fired, supposedly on standby with a speedy team or shifty scheme. His stomach was in knots as they ambled out from the viewing box to the rafters, slotting into one of the traps where the racers were instructed to start. With the contenders given free reign to get down and dirty, the more questionable in their ranks would have no qualms beating his Pokemon to the dirt - they wouldn’t even need to be discreet about it. While a loss wasn’t the be all and end all, the safety of his Pokemon was. Bringing a Magikarp to the race was a suicide mission, although perhaps the fish out of water would look so pathetic it would slip under the radar of its opponents’ entirely.

“We can do this,” he whispered, more to himself than the Rocket Ball wriggling in his open palm. With a gentle lob the sphere cracked open against the dusty floor, Guppy flopping helplessly onto the scene. It took some patience to wrestle the shiny ‘Karp into submission, caressing its pectoral fin until it settled down and allowed him to fix on a Superhero Cape in a tight knot. The supernatural garment granted any wielder the power of flight, even a species as dim as Magikarp. The race coach felt a cheeky smirk coming on, if his opponents were going to break the rules of conventional racing then so would he.

“You’re my champion, buddy. First up I want you to Wish for good luck, god knows we’ll need it. Then let’s Bounce into the sky to gain altitude, and if anyone tries to wrestle with you back down give them a knock right back with your Tackle!” Whether or not it was the drink kicking in, Emp felt his nerves start to ease. If there was anything that Magikarp were known for, it was their unwavering determination in the face of adversity, spending their whole life swimming against the current, vaulting stories high waterfalls to unlock their full potential. With a gentle pat Emp stood back allowing Guppy to take things from there, the 'Karp forgetting his gravitational ties and readying to prove the worth hidden beneath his feeble facade.

Update 4
Spoiler: show
Deciding to stick out the competition with your original entrant Guppy, you release the shiny Magikarp from his Rocket Ball and quickly adorn him with what you hope will be his secret weapon: the Superhero Cape. At the sight of this, Bonnie can't help but join you in smirking, bemused but quick to compliment the glittering fish nonetheless. Though some would consider it an unconventional tactic, only time would tell if it would pay off to get Guppy airborne. That didn't matter, though, Guppy was already a champion in your eyes and you let him know as much as you discussed your opening tactics.

Growing impatient, the taller of the race's organisers ushers you and your fellow racers to a patch of grass in the centre of the oval racetrack once all of your commands have been given - though the racetrack itself is quite long, the lawn at its heart offers you and your competitors the chance to follow the action and try your best to interact with your Pokémon as they compete. With each of you lined up, Bonnie flicks you a quick thumbs up before eyeing up her chief suspects and your fellow racing rivals. Before there is any time to get too comfortable, the sound of a pistol rings out through the small subterranean racetrack: the race had begun.

At either side of the tracks, you spot the organiser's Pokémon first and foremost: a huge Scolipede unfurls itself from the closest trap and sets off down its lane and a Morgrem dashes out of the furthest trap, cackling to itself as it does so. Quick to follow suit are Solosis and Bonnie's Zigzagoon, the pair of them hot on the heels of the organiser's choices. New to the racing scene, Guppy and the rest of the Pokémon follow next and you spot the Wishful look the Magikarp has in his eye as he levitates shakily out from within his designated trap. Finding his wings, he too begins to head down the track, following the lead of his rivals.

Seeing the Magikarp flying stops the Ampharos in its tracks as soon as he enters the fray, the magenta Light Pokémon stopping to stare up confusedly at their foe. This leaves an opening for the Dodrio to employ one of her requested tactics as she quickly unleashes a Tri Attack on her unexpecting competitor. Without waiting to see the Ampharos' reaction, the Dodrio takes off down her lane, eyes locked on the next Pokémon: Guppy. Luckily, though, the Magikarp has got the hang of his cape and uses this combined with his keen ability to Bounce and keep his distance from the approaching Triple Bird Pokémon without need to Tackle her just yet.

Reaching the organiser's Pokémon, you spot the Galarian Zigzagoon Taunting the Morgrem and Scolipede. This doesn't go down so well and the two of them focus their attention on the Tiny Racoon Pokémon instead of their progress. This appears to be what she wants, though, as she unleashes a flurry of her red and white spines in the form of a Pin Missile and takes the lead. Eyeing his opportunity, Solosis floats through the chaos quietly, managing to go unnoticed thanks to the Zigzagoon's attacks and continue towards the goal unimpeded. Despite this slight head start, though, Bonnie's Zigzagoon quickly overtakes the Cell Pokémon.

At this stage in the race, the furthest Pokémon along the tracks is Bonnie's Galarian Zigzagoon, almost reaching a flag marking the quarterway point. A mere few metres behind bobs Solosis who doesn't even seem to have broken a sweat so far. Beyond those two, the organiser's Morgrem and Scolipede follow close behind after regaining their composure. Next is Guppy the Magikarp, narrowly missing the tussle at the starting block, followed closely and intently by Dodrio despite his aerial nature. Ampharos has got a ways to go to catch up but he's not exerted himself too much yet - he's also got a bone to pick with Dodrio and appears to be Charged up.

What will you do next?

Reply 4
Spoiler: show
The golden ‘Karp made a wish before kissing the racing mark (and entire track) goodbye, defying gravity before the spectators' very eyes. The racers looked like small Durant as he picked up altitude, floundering awkwardly like a fry caught in an undertow. The racetrack could have been mistaken for an aquarium from the viewing boxes, and yet Guppy couldn’t glide like he could in the open water – the sensation of swimming through thin air entirely new to him. The slow learner at least startled a few contenders in his ascent, the rest leaving him in their dust… Emp was coloured impressed as Bonnie’s Zigzagoon synched the lead with ease, the crisscross sprinter drawing the attention of its opponents before giving it a taste of its spines. The diversion befitted the orphaned Solosis too, bobbing through the bedlam and settling in second place without breaking so much as a sweat. While the red racoon had the lead they were still only a quarter way in, who knew if it had the stamina to sustain its head start?

Emp was getting ahead of himself; They were still lagging behind while the two on their tail were only just getting amped up. The Dodrio had eyes locked onto the flying fish the way a racing Houndoom might follow a mechanical Bunnelby. It didn’t ease the trainer’s anxiety that the bird of prey would have no qualms picking off a weakling like the Magikarp in the wild. He didn’t have it in him to needle the other contenders like his fierce drag acquaintance, but he wouldn’t stand idly like a sitting Psyduck either.

“You’ve built some altitude but at the expense of distance, try gliding back down to earth to pick up some speed. Then let’s try ricocheting into the lead, Bouncing off the top of Scolipede and Morgrem if you’re able. Finally, see if you can slip up an opponent with your Hydro Pump – and don’t forget to muscle any saboteurs off your back with Tackle!” Emp grinned widely, pumping his fist encouragingly as he watched the little ‘Karp go. Sure, they weren’t doing the best, but they weren’t doing the worst either – they would give it their all and have fun while doing it.

Update 5
Spoiler: show
Having watched the first leg of the race unfold, you quickly form your strategy for Guppy's next moves. Without hesitation, you call out your plans to the Fish Pokémon as he glides past you in his cape, the three-headed terror bird hot on his tailfin. You don't hear any of the commands of your opponents but as you glance over to Bonnie, you notice that she has moved herself closer to the two businessmen and had engaged one of them in what looked like a heated conversation. None of them have noticed the race organiser pacing, not particularly paying attention to the tracks in that moment and looking up to the large window instead. As you follow his gaze up and through the glass, you see what looks to be the shorter of the hosts stood in the bar area alongside another person you don't recognise; the pair appearing to be having a rather lively discussion themselves.

A coarse squawk draws your attention back to the competition at hand, though, as the Dodrio reaches his personal goal and lunges up at Guppy with each of the heads attacking in a fury. Quick to follow your command, though, the Fish Pokémon tackles hard into the three-headed bird, the cape and the attitude gained helping to deliver a decent knockback to the fish's foe. Sensing this as his opening, Guppy turns away from the shiny Dodrio and begins to Bounce down the tracks once again, back in the running. The Dodrio doesn't have an opportunity to follow either as the Ampharos he had previously launched an assault on is hot on his tailfeathers.

The race front runners are becoming less clear as both the Scolipede and Morgrem are catching up quickly to the leading Zigzagoon and the Solosis tagging along a mere few feet behind. This doesn't appear to deter the Tiny Racoon but you notice that Solosis can sense the approach of their less than friendly opponents and begins to prepare a retaliation. This only appears to goad the Devious Pokémon, though, as he unleashes a Sucker Punch to the back of the Solosis' head, sending him ricocheting from his lane. Despite his focus, the frackus behind him causes Bonnie's Zigzagoon to stop and look back. With this momentary lapse of focus, Scolipede has the chance to catch up and surpass the Morgrem and Solosis, heading directly for the now-static Tiny Racoon instead.

Directing your focus back to Guppy, you see that your plan to use Bounce along the tracks is working out nicely as he careens towards the Pokémon in front at a pace that would be alarming to them if they were more focused. Checking to see if the Dodrio is hot in pursuit, you see it grappling with the Ampharos. Despite its pink and fluffy appearance, the magenta beast was pummeling the three-headed bird with numerous Thunder Punches and each of the heads squawked their anguish in unison. Neither Pokémon looked like they were focused on the race at this point as the Dodrio fired off a Tri Attack in the face of their assailant and leapt into a combat stance for its next move.

Having nobody on his tailfins, Guppy continues to bounce and glide down the tracks, quickly reaching the four Pokémon who had similarly engaged each other in combat. Seeing this and wanting to get the edge on the situation, the shiny Fish Pokémon unleashes a humongous torrent of water on his approach in the form of a Hydro Pump. The water soaks the entire portion of the racetrack, sending both friends and foes alike scattering across the lanes; your plan had worked out perfectly. That is until you spot the Morgrem, first on his feet once again, dashing directly at your Pokémon. Before Guppy can react and continue down his own lane, the Devious Pokémon leaps and snatches at the cape. It isn't clear if the thief knows that this item is what gave the fish the uncanny ability of flight but he slipped it on his shoulders before dashing off in a flash nonetheless.

With Morgrem taking the lead, Bonnie's Zigzagoon shakes off his gorgeous red and white fur and careens down his lane once again. Guppy, having utilised the bouncing strategy once already, starts off down his lane as well; even though he hasn't got his Superhero cape at the moment, he still seems as determined as he was previously. Behind these three, Scolipede and Solosis appear to be facing each other down rather than continuing onwards, both locked in a stare off across the lanes and awaiting the other's move. Thanks to their extended tussle, neither the Dodrio or Ampharos have made any progress and they don't look like they even remember the race is happening.

What will you do next?

Reply 5
Spoiler: show
Emp was starting to doubt his race coaching credentials as the mismatch of contenders careened down the track faster than his eyes could follow. His delayed encouragement would be no help to the ‘Karp as it tailed behind the bulk of racers, he needed to keep his eye on the prize and off the suspicious goings on around him. He could only hope that their wish would come true or another taco truck would arrive to mow down the opposing racers. While Guppy had finished the first leg unfettered, he would soon enough fall prey to the Dodrio hot on his tailfin, each head united in their determination to pick him out of the race. Emp sighed in relief as the Magikarp shirked them off, springing out of range and toward the frontrunners while the Triple Bird Pokemon fell victim to an Ampharos’ electrified fisticuffs in their wake. All three heads retaliated at once and the altercation devolved into an all-out brawl, effectively taking them out of the competition.

The trainer’s eyes darted down the track where it was fast becoming anyone’s race, the Scolipede and Morgrem closing the gap between the two frontrunners. Living up to its devious nature, the latter gave their precognitive pal a sucker punch even they couldn’t see coming. The sock sends its head rattling around its embryonic sack, slipping out of its lane and losing all momentum. Emp felt a pang of guilt for the contender, lacking a voice to coach him forward. The ruckus was enough to stir the Zigzagoon from its concentration, almost costing it the lead with the Scolipede accelerating into third, then second. Slipping free of his would-be saboteurs Guppy was building speed and fast; he was decidedly a special breed, body made of tightly coiled springs rather than the scale and bone. Homing in on the other racers it was time to dabble in some dirty tactics as he locked on and took a deep inhale. Clustered together in fierce competition, the contenders made for an easy target as the shiny ‘Karp doused the track beneath their feet with a flood of water. Losing their friction, the sprinters started to topple like bowling pins.

It would be an easy lap from here, if the Morgrem hadn’t decided to play dirty too. First on its feet it made a beeline for Guppy before swiping the cape right from under it! Emp could barely watch as the Magikarp lost altitude and skidded and scraped against the hard, gravelled track. The crash landing set him behind the robber, but he was quick to regain his composure as he flopped his tailfin against the ground with incredible propulsion, more determined to clinch the win than ever. Emp felt he might burst with pride as he pumped a fist into the air. The loss of their secret weapon would no doubt set them back, but they were only two positions from the lead now. The Morgrem had no idea what it was wielding either, so perhaps they could use that to their advantage.

“Keep Bouncing boy! Then see if you can push Morgrem off the ground with an upward Tackle, once it’s airborne send it propelling into the bleachers with your Hydro Pump,” Emp couldn't hide his wicked grin. Where the ‘Karp at least had experience navigating up and down in the water, he suspected the thief would crash and burn on its first attempt - and with the race heating up he had no qualms provoking such a disaster.

Update 6
Spoiler: show
With commands issued, you watch in anticipation as Guppy sets about trying to get a hold of his cape once more. Using his ability to Bounce with an impressive speed, it isn't long before the Magikarp catches up to the Devious Pokémon still wielding the piece of fabric in one claw. As Guppy gets close and attempts to launch himself up to Tackle his foe, the Morgrem is quick to flip out of the way of the attack and with his free hand unleash a powerful Shadow Claw upon Guppy. During the fracas, Bonnie's Zigzagoon darts past, once again taking the lead position. Though the Magikarp is injured by the Morgrem's attack and his attempt to knock his opponent off guard failed, he is quick to follow up with the next phase of his assault, unleashing another powerful torrent in the form of Hydro Pump directly at the imp. Though it doesn't quite send it into the bleachers, the Devious Pokémon takes a decent hit from the attack and is completely washed off its feet once again, pushed out of its lane and onto the grass verge at the side of the track. In the space between Guppy's lane and the Morgrem, your Superhero cape lies discarded and damp.

Further down the tracks, Solosis and Scolipede's face off ends up being a quick one as the Cell Pokémon uses its signature Confuse Ray to throw the giant centipede off guard and take off once again, quickly catching up to and overtaking Guppy and the Morgrem as they glare at each other. Nearer to the beginning, the Ampharos and Dodrio have both taken a lot of damage from the other. Sensing its need for flight over fight, the Dodrio decides to use its lightning fast Agility to careen off down the tracks away from the Ampharos. As you watch, the supersonic bird covers metres with every second, quickly catching up to the Scolipede in front of it with ease. Having eyed the Dodrio locked in such serious combat with the Ampharos mere moments before, the Megapede Pokémon unleashes a Cross Poison attack directly at the approaching avian with its gnarled horns. This catches it completely off guard and, having already been severely weakened by his previous sparring, the Dodrio collapses in a heap of verdant feathers.

As things stand right now, Bonnie's Zigzagoon has managed to take the lead with no distractions or diversions but appears to be slowing somewhat from all the effort exerted. Behind the Tiny Racoon is Solosis, bobbing eagerly along his lane in an attempt to catch up to the leading racer. Guppy and the Morgrem are next up, currently facing off after the Magikarp's powerful retaliation. Buoyed by its recent knockout, the Scolipede has set off down its lane once again but it is unclear if he is heading for the Cell Pokémon or the goal. Since the Dodrio's knockout, Ampharos has been focusing on making progress in the race but it still the last Pokémon out of those still left standing.

Before you bring your attention back to Guppy and the situation at hand, you notice the Dodrio being led away from where it fell on the racetrack by the organiser who had been observing from the stands previously. Curiously, the man doesn't lead the limping bird back over to his trainer but instead towards the stairs leading to the glass-walled lobby where the two soon disappear from view. This doesn't appear to be the regular racing protocol, though, as the Dodrio's trainer is quick to pull away from conversing with Bonnie to follow, a concerned look forming on his face.

What will you do next?

Reply 6
Spoiler: show
Battling against fatigue (and one another) the racers ploughed on through the next leg. The foul play was starting to rub off on Emp, willing to fight tooth and nail to show their worth and clinch the crown. With a powerful ram the ‘Karp out of water readied to take back what was rightfully his – only for the Morgrem to cartwheel out of the way, raking him with a shadowy claw on its way out. The heated exchange gave the Zigzagoon a window to dart on back to first, the gasping Gupp only able to watch on as the two racers left him in their dust. Until... With an inhalation, he let loose a high-pressure hosing against the imp, not sending it airborne but washing it clean off the track and separating it from the stolen shawl. Coach and Pokemon eyed the soaked cape intently; struggling to hold position, it could either be their ticket to the finish line or the distraction that sets them back to last place. Solosis had already overtaken them in their deliberation and was gaining traction on the other racers – while the cerebral cell had been successful in befuddling the Scolipede, it wouldn’t be long until the aggressive arthropod was on their tailfin too.

Emp racked his brain for a moment, only to have his attention to be stolen by a peculiar scene in the wings. In a ruffled ball of plumage, the broken and beat Dodrio was being carted off not to its trainer but a staircase leading back to the lobby, where it vanished from the trainer’s line of sight. This drew noticeable concern from the bird’s keeper, who broke from his conversation with Bonnie to give chase. Emp had heard whispers of injured race Pokemon being put down rather than rehabilitated before, but surely that wouldn’t be the case with a concerned trainer in the picture. He was tempted to investigate himself, but Guppy was in desperate need of encouragement and he could hardly leave him hanging. While the distraction had eaten away into precious thinking time, their next move seemed to come instinctively.

“You don’t need a superhero cape, you’re already my superhero!” Emp felt tears of pride trickle down his cheeks as he prepared their bid for the title, “Bounce down the track, Bounce through the sky, Bounce against the other Pokemon if you have to! The other racers are starting to tucker out, it’s time to show them the grit and determination your breed are famous for!”

Update 7
Spoiler: show
Before you have chance to shout your next round of orders to Guppy, a deafening shot rings through the air. As it does so, Bonnie falls to the ground near your feet in one sudden movement. Though your worst fears quickly swoop in, it’s clear she is fine and found herself being pushed over instead. The race organiser who remains on the verge is now grappling with the Ampharos’ trainer and the two scuffling had caused the shove and a broken stiletto for Bonnie. After shoving the man, the race organiser took off in the direction of his Scolipede.

Dipping low to meet the height of your toppled friend, the two of you glance around the stadium eagle-eyed for the source of the gunshot. It is then that you spot the other race organiser had appeared at the bottom of the bleachers near to the race’s start point once more with the starting pistol aloft and a grin spread across his face. At the top of the stairs, the mystery figure stands once again, this time they are surveying the scene with a Pokémon at their side and you can make out the canine form of a Houndour with a blue coat.

In your distraction, you both miss the bulk of the chaos unfolding on the racetrack. It is quite clear that the Morgrem and Scolipede were expecting the sudden shot and they dash at their fellow racers completely undeterred. Before Guppy can react with anything but surprise, he is scooped up under the opposing imp's arm and the Devious Pokémon careens off towards the staircase you had all descended to the tracks, grabbing the cape once more as it does so. Seeing this, the Galarian Zigzagoon panics and starts to zig zag around the lanes and lose its focus before making a beeline straight for its trainer on the green. Further along the course, the Scolipede uses its window to grapple with and disarm the already weakened Ampharos, tossing it onto its back with the help of its trainer before following their Morgrem accomplice. The Cell Pokémon was nowhere to be seen.

"Sweetie, return - it's time to show them who they're really messing with." Bonnie calls out to her return her Pokémon to safety, recalling the Zigzagoon as she throws two extra Pokéballs into the air. Before her, two more shiny Pokémon materialise, both similar to her previous choice but different: a Linoone from Hoenn with a gorgeous golden sheen to its fur and an Obstagoon with shimmering red fur and needles like the Zigzagoon. Without needing commands from their trainer, the two leap into their respective battle stances, spotting the thieves as they fast approach.

With no other option, the organiser's Pokémon dash directly past you with their fellow racers in their clutches and the Morgrem tosses the cape in your faces by way of distraction. As you and Bonnie fumble and struggle to remove this, a howl rings out across the stadium: the shiny Houndour you had spotted before. Assisting your friend back onto their feet, the two of you begin to head in the same direction as the Morgrem and Scolipede alongside the disheveled Ampharos' trainer who had set off already. The Dark-type dog bares its teeth atop the stairs as the Ampharos trainer approaches before disappearing from view and being replaced by a number of silhouetted figures from the lounge behind it. A pair of Houndoom materialise as if from nowhere, howling in unison and clearing the staircase in a single leap, landing between you and the escaping thieves and allowing them to return up to the lounge with yours and your fellow racer's Pokémon in their clutches.

"Leave these sons of bitches to me, they won't be any match for Obstagoon."

No sooner does Bonnie say this does the exotic-looking Blocking Pokémon leap forwards and slam into the Houndoom pair with a Close Combat attack, quickly followed by the Linoone dashing to catch up and encircle their foes with its Extreme Speed. It seems as if Bonnie and her Pokémon have the Houndoom on the racetracks under control for now and as you turn to join your fellow racer in following the thieves up the staircase, you feel a nudge at your elbow - it’s the wild Solosis who vanished in the ruckus. Before you can react, an infantile voice chimes in your very mind:

Dear Bonnie thought our peers did plot
Now it’s clear the case is not
Allow me please to save your fish
To show my worth, my only wish​

What will you do?

(Note: If you decide to ‘buddy up’ with the Solosis, it will be Lv20 with the ability Magic Guard and know EM Confuse Ray and MT Shock Wave )

Reply 7
Spoiler: show
Emp ducked for cover as the sound of gunfire pierced through the air, sending the contest into disarray and Morgrem and Scolipede into sprint – not for the finish line, but their oblibious competition. The scuffling spectators were enough to draw his attention, Bonnie’s infallible poise dashed as she buckled under a broken heel. On high alert, the trainer pored over the perimeter for a sniper, one of the race’s organisers propped below the bleachers fitting the bill, pistol still smoking. To some relief the shot wasn’t for Bonnie, it was a signal for the chaos that ensued.

With Emp’s eyes off the tracks, the pair of sleeper agents were given a free pass to snatch up Guppy, meanwhile Bonnie’s partner just managed to zigzag from their clutches. The Ampharos wasn’t so lucky, its limp body hoisted against the Scolipede’s rear stingers as it skittered off of the track. With a ‘Karp kidnapped, the trainer felt panic take hold like a cluster of spark plugs in his abdomen. While Solosis’ whereabouts were unknown his other ally was quick to spring into action, recalling the tuckered out Zigzagoon in favour of more powerful stock. Their intimidating guard was no match for the burglars who quickly veered into retreat, leaving the superhero cape behind as a mean parting gift. Emp gagged against the material as he attempted to peel it away, a good distance set between them by the time he managed to wrestle free.

The pair fell into hot pursuit, approaching the staircase which was barred by a gnarly set of Houndoom. They would need to punch their way through, the trainer wrestling with the idea of adding more Pokemon to the scene while others were going missing left, right and centre. Bonnie was on the case fortunately, her Linoone and Obstagoon locking the canines in fierce combat – punches and bites flying every which way. With the Houndoom subdued the trainer was free to tail the kidnappers and with a telepathic tug against his elbow, he wouldn’t be alone in this effort. The Solosis pledged its allegiance in its own poetic way, the trainer overcome with gratitude and fresh resolve. With a wry smile he nodded at the gelatinous glob, ushering it into a follow.

“See if you can prop up a Reflect to block any further escape!” he huffed as they ascended back toward the lobby, “Once they’re in view, hit Scolipede with a Confuse Ray.” When Guppy was in sight he would command him to Flail out of Moregrem’s clutches too. Their enemies might have one up on them, but they would learn soon enough they had picked the wrong punters to mess with!

Update 8
Spoiler: show
Pleased with your decision, the Solosis chirps and bobs about happily before beginning to float off towards the bottom of the stairs to begin Guppy's rescue. Catching up with the Cell Pokémon, the two of you are quick to make your way back up the staircase between the bleachers that you had not long descended. Not knowing what to expect, the Solosis sets up a defensive barrier to shield the pair of you as you head upwards towards the unknown.

Reaching the lobby, you are surprised to see how dishevelled the opulent lounge looks since your previous visit a little while ago. In one corner, you notice the shiny Dodrio's trainer sitting in a solitary chair at an overturned table, his head in his hands. Upon seeing you and the Solosis have arrived on the scene, he looks up and points towards a black door to the rear of the room and you notice tears in his eyes. Judging by the man's demeanour, he didn't have much joy rescuing his three-headed avian companion from the collective of thieves.

"Edmund took off through there already, those bastards got his Ampharos too."

Upon realising who he is talking to, the man's face appears to drop further, "They had your Magikarp with 'em too."

Nearby, a low growl reverberates from the shadows and a familiar canine Pokémon appears from a darkened corner of the bar: the shiny Houndour from before. As you and the Solosis begin to approach the door at the rear of the room, the blue-coated dog begins his approach as well, fangs bared and its growl deepening. At the sight of this, Solosis remembers the command you had given previously if the two of you had encountered Scolipede and began to emit a ray of confusing blue light from his eyes in the direction of the approaching dog. Despite this attack meeting its mark, the Houndour continues its approach with a flurry of Embers forming at its maw.

Press on we must on through that door
But first a foe with tooth and claw
We can avoid and chase our foes
Yet that beast may remain close​

What will you do?

Reply 8
Spoiler: show
The race for the finish had become a race for the racers. Emp had to clench his abdomen the faster they climbed; there was a stabbing pain below his ribcage as a stitch began to take hold, each breath growing harder to draw. He could only think of exhausted Gupp’ must have felt flailing down the dirt track, all for nothing. The perpetrators would have hell to pay, if his sore legs would carry him so far.

The viewing box they returned to was almost unrecognisable, a sorry state compared to moments before. Sitting ahead of an overturned table was Dodrio’s owner, eyes puffed as he wiped away the tears; while the bird of prey had terrorised them on the tracks, it pained Emp to see its trainer beaten and emptyhanded. He gestured to a door at the back of the room, the kidnappers and kidnapped on the other side. There was just one thing standing in their way, four-legged, growling and tooth-bared. Emp eyed up his de-facto Pokemon with waning confidence. With the Houndour sporting an immunity to the bulk of Solosis’ attacks, the cards were stacked against them. Still, the canine breed wasn’t exactly known for their wits – while green glob had an innate intelligence about it.

“You're right, even if we manage to slip away it'll be on our tail." Emp clenched his fists in resolve, exchanging a look with his partner as he reeled off a battle plan, "Prop up a Light Screen, then fire off a Shockwave as a warning shot,” who was he kidding, the Hound’ wasn’t backing down that easily, “Then see if you can wrack up some hits with your Rollout.”

Update 9
Spoiler: show
Though the cards are stacked against your Solosis companion by way of his typing, the Cell Pokémon is happy to be given the chance to show you more of his might against the approaching Houndour. Quick to jump into action once more, the Solosis darted through the air and positioned itself squarely between you and the canine, glowing slightly as he formed another defensive barrier in front of where the pair of you stood. Despite this, the confused canine continues to careen forwards, firing the Ember it had been preparing right at its Psychic type target. Thanks to the freshly set up Light Screen, the damage from this attack is minimal and the Solosis quickly prepares his next move, crackling slightly with static energy before releasing a powerful wave of electricity at the Houndour.

Reeling from the electrical assault and the confusion the Solosis had put it under previously, the Houndour stops in its tracks and appears to dazedly stare through the large window to the side of the lounge, its attention appearing to be more on the Houndoom it had commanded in the moments previous than the battle it had started with you and your companion. Spying his next opportunity to strike, the Cell Pokémon begins to spin on the spot in the air between himself and his foe before lowering himself to the ground at just the right moment and zooming forwards, slamming hard into the shiny hound with the ordered Rollout attack. Though it seems to have taken a decent hit from the mismatched Solosis, this attack appears to bring the Houndour back to reality and it lunges forwards to Bite down hard on its target, delivering a fairly harsh blow of its own.

"Don't underestimate that thing, it's a spoiled brat but it's tough for a pup." The Dodrio's trainer has wandered to your side by this point, not wanting to get caught up in the battle unfolding in the already turned over lounge. From behind the door the thieves had been quick to head through, the two of you hear several different people shouting between metallic clanking noises as if something large was being shifted around. With the door closed, fast, though, you are unable to make out what any of the voices are saying.

What will you do?

Reply 9
Spoiler: show
It was a battle between mind and matter, the Houndour bounding ahead before spitting Embers at the Solosis – the latter propping up a Light Screen in the nick of time. Shrugging off the flames, sparks began to fly up and down its gelatinous mass as it discharged a Shockwave of electricity. It appeared confusion was setting in as the foe’s attention was stolen by some doggos on the other side the view box, giving Solosis the window needed to Rollout; wheeling against the blood carpet, the Psychic-type steadily built his momentum before ploughing into the befuddled foe. Yelping in pain, the Houndour snapped back to its senses and retaliated with a Bite into its gooey opponent, incisors tipped with dark energy to deliver an extra sting. The Dodrio keeper came to his side, offering a word of warning that the Houndour’s bite was indeed as bad as its bark.

Emp grimaced, knowing full well they couldn’t let too many attacks like that slip through. If the fight ahead wasn’t enough to contend with, his ears piqued to a metallic clamour on the other side of the door, like something heavy was being shifted around. It was a stark reminder that time was running away with itself and the kidnappers wouldn’t exactly stand around waiting for them. The battle was a distraction from the real objective, rescuing Guppy. The trainer furrowed his brow in concentration, his new friend had put its own safety on the line and he wasn’t about to let them down.

“Keep Rolling Out Solosis – see if you can rack up enough momentum to overwhelm it!”

Update 10
Spoiler: show
Buoyed by a not too unsuccessful first round at your side, the Solosis awaits and listens to your command keenly before giving you a swift nod and resuming the velocity-increasing spinning that had already helped to land him a successful hit on the hound he was facing off against. Eyeing this familiar motion, the royal blue canine quickly prepared to retaliate, embers forming at his fanged maw once more - this time, though, the flames became more pronounced as the Houndour fired off a searing Flamethrower at the approaching Solosis instead.

Despite the flames, the Solosis managed to careen with an even stronger momentum than before into his opponent, narrowly managing to escape getting too burned up even though he had spun right through the Houndour’s flaming breath. Not wanting to give the Cell Pokémon another opportunity to continue his ordered barrage, the pup dashes directly to where Solosis is beginning to ready himself for another go. As it reached its floating foe, the Houndour leaped up and delivered another harsh Bite deep into your new friend’s squishy exterior.

Even though he had taken a number of decent hits and was slowing down, the Solosis continued to utilise the spinning technique that had been serving him well so far. Wondering when the Cell Pokémon would strike, the Houndour circled him nervously, eyeing him with caution. It was no use though as, like a flash, his tiny enemy dashed forwards through the air to land another successful Rollout attack square in the face of the dog that had just tried to take a chunk out of him. With such a direct hit, it was clear that this was the harshest blow of the battle by far.

Before the Cell Pokémon can continue his assault and attempt to deliver a third whirling Rollout in speedy succession, the Houndour lets out a final laboured growl and collapses into a heap before the battle’s floating victor. Though it was only a short battle, the Solosis appeared to be rather fatigued and lacking the gusto he had before the bout, having taken a number of effective hits from the pooch. Seeing the battle’s outcome, the Dodrio trainer is quick to chirp up, “That little guy is more impressive than he looks. I know he can probably regenerate but if he likes Sitrus Berries he’s welcome to my Dido’s dinner - looks like he needs it more than... she does... right now.”

As the man reached out to offer you a Sitrus Berry he had removed from one of his suit’s inside pockets, his face dropped once more into a sorrowful state at the returning thought of the tri-headed avian he was now without. Not really paying attention to whether you take the item or not, he stares off into space through the large glass window. That is until the hurried sound of footsteps start to echo up the stairwell you had all descended and then ascended once again. Given where the two of you are standing, you can’t see if it’s friend or foe through the windowed wall and deliberate whether to press on through the now unguarded door or wait and see who the noises belong to.

What will you do?

Reply 10
Spoiler: show
Emp’s better judgement was shrouded in a red mist, he wasn’t about to play it safe; the pair were decidedly in sync as Solosis bowled ahead at snowballing velocity, the carpet muddied in a trail of green jelly. Houndour met their advance with a flamethrower, sizzling against its membrane which held its speed. Emp let out a relieved sigh as the Solosis socked the Hound’ in its fiery maw, veering around the viewing box as it built its momentum. The foe broke into a frenzied chase, intercepting the green chew toy and biting down hard. The Solosis teetered but was determined to hold its velocity, u-turning and delivering its most powerful blow yet!

The Houndour released a yelp before keeling over, their path to the casino (and Guppy) set clear. While it had overcome the unfavourable odds handily, the Solosis was showing visible signs of weariness, its gelitenous mass sagging some. Emp couldn’t let the poor glob take any further damage on their part – though the Dodrio trainer would quickly come to their aide with an offering of Sitrus Berries. The cerebral cell released the berries from their gravitational ties and swallowed them into its mass, where their nutrients would be absorbed. Emp offered his thanks, but their conversation was quickly cut short by the sound of rushing footsteps.

“Let’s press on, if that’s Bonnie approaching she’ll know where to go – if it isn’t, well, we can’t afford any further delays,” Emp hesitated for a moment; the Solosis had already gone above and beyond for his cause, he couldn’t ask much more of it. There were likely greater dangers lying ahead, and there was no telling whether the kidnappers would try adding Solosis to their growing plunder – as a wild Pokemon, it would be as easy as weakening it and throwing a Pokeball. Then an idea struck-

“Solosis, you’re welcome to leave us here if you wish. I can’t guarantee your safety ahead.” Emp’s eyes darted from Solosis, to the door, then back to Solosis, “Or – if you join me, I’d like to offer you a permanent spot on my team. I’d hate for those crooks to capture you against your will – and to be honest, I think we have a great chemistry. So, what do you say?” Emp had fumbled a Green Cyber Ball while making his plea, extending it outward with bated breath.

Update 11
Spoiler: show
Having made fairly short work of the blue-coated Houndour blocking your advance whilst at the same time synergising with the wild Solosis, you feel a sense of accomplishment at your successful teamwork. Giving the wild Pokémon the choice to make a clean break and escape similar treatment to the stolen shinies or join up with you on a much more permanent basis, you are quick to offer up a neon green Cyber Ball to the Cell Pokémon. With this simple gesture, the whimsical childlike voice that had echoed deep within your mind returns once again:

Though riches you did come to seek
You can see now I’m far from meek
I almost won that ersatz race
Now, I shall show you might and grace​

As the words dissipate, the Solosis bobbing in the air before you offers a curt nod and floats forwards to nudge the release button on the sphere, disappearing in a flash of luminosity (You have successfully captured a Lv15 Solosis with EM Confuse Ray and MT Shock Wave ) Before you have any chance to celebrate with your newly obtained friend, though, the echoing footsteps appear to have almost reached the lounge and you decide to make a hasty retreat. In a heartbeat, you quickly head for the door, closing it behind you so as not to get caught up in another fracas on the way to rescuing Guppy...

~​

On the other side of the door, you are met with what you can only describe in the gloom as a hangar of sorts. At the end of this fairly large, rectangular space, there appears to be a another small room within the hangar itself where the light of a lamp shines from within and bathes the surrounding area. Given how dark the rest of the space is, you can see a number of silhouettes moving around as the lamplight ebbs out every now and again causing the shadows to grow and shrink. As your eyes adjust to the darkness surrounding you, you notice a number of antiquated-looking transit vans flank the room; their shutters were probably the noise you had heard from the lounge. Nearby, a series of large cages stand empty. Before you can begin to investigate this mysterious space further, a banging noise starts to come from one of the vans, followed by what you can only surmise are the sounds of a distressed Pokémon.

What will you do?

Reply 11
Spoiler: show
Emp was left on tenterhooks as the green glob weighed up his sales pitch. While his gut told him it was the right call to make, the two were still relative strangers; not only that, he had initially encountered the curious creature in its matured form, perhaps creating another barrier. This could all be some trick of the mind, or worse, a trip into its past where such extreme actions could have dire temporal consequences. The young adult was rescued from his spiralling anxiety as the Solosis took up his offer, in his own poetic way. He gave the cybernetic sphere a nudge, activating its capture mechanism and sealing the deal. Emp could feel a fire stoking in his belly, realising while he had set out on this journey in search of riches – he would be leaving with something no amount of money could buy.

The happy moment was fleeting as the rhythm of footsteps grew louder, the trainer making a break for the door where with any luck he’d find Guppy. The hangar was dark and drab, a perfect juxtaposition to the flashy casino decor. In its corner was a room no bigger than a storage unit, perhaps housing an office of sorts where incoming and outgoing shipments would be logged. Emp strained to catch a glimpse of its interior, a few silhouettes dancing amidst the lamplight. The hangar was lined with old fashioned transit vans, a ruckus in one of the nearest vehicles enough to give the trespasser pause. He had been generous in his assessment of their logistical operations, with large cages dotted all over the garage it was growing clear that the hangar was a base for their illegal Pokemon trafficking. With light footsteps he edged closer to the sound of the distressed captives, careful not to stand out of the shadow. With a gentle flick of his wrist he brought the Solosis back on the scene, its psychic powers well suited to a stealthy sting operation.

“I think the stolen Pokemon are in this van”, he whispered to the green goop, “Do you think you could Teleport us both in there to find out?”

Raising bond to 23 and teaching him TM Teleport and U-Turn

Update 12
Spoiler: show
Stealthily making your way from one outstretched shadow to the next, you waste no time in requesting your newly captured Solosis to help you to further infiltrate the gloomy hangar and one of the suspicious vehicles that lined the space. Inside, the pair of you can still hear the same distressed sounds as before, only now they seem to have sensed that someone is just outside the vehicle and quietened down, almost as if they were trying to hold their breath in fear.

Happy to oblige with your plan of action, the Cell Pokémon floats up towards your head and delicately places himself atop. Distracted by this act for just a split second, you are surprised to find yourself in an entirely new location in the blink of an eye. As planned, the Psychic-type Pokémon had transported you inside the van the pair of you were just hiding outside with the greatest of ease.

As the two of you adjust to the even darker space you now find yourselves in, you spot a familiar Pokémon shaking in a cage in the corner of the cab; the shiny Ampharos who had been snaffled similar to your own Magikarp. Once the terrified creature spots you, she carefully pushes a hand through the cage and starts to tap at something which appears to start to stir as she does so.

“You... did you come to help us?” A weary voice reaches you both through the darkness and you recognise it as the Ampharos’ trainer who had entered the sham race alongside you and Bonnie. As you move closer to the man and his imprisoned partner, you can see that his clothes are all scuffed and dirty and he has fresh blood on his silk shirt; whoever had decided to lock him in the van with his beloved Ampharos wasn’t messing around.

Attempting to stand before slumping onto a nearby crate, the man attempts a feeble kick at the bars keeping him separated from his Ampharos before letting out a laboured sigh, “I’m sure those bastards have the key to my Amanda’s cage but that might not be the only way of getting her out...”

What will you do?

Reply 12
Spoiler: show
In the blink of an eye the boy and the blob discombobulated – waking a moment later in the van’s interior. Emp’s ears pricked to a faint rattle, eyes following the sound through the pitch black to its maker: the Shiny Amphoros. It had barely any fight left in it, mustering the strength to tap at something obscured in darkness. A second later, its master stirred.

“You... did you come to help us?” The weary voice whispered, the glimmer of hope in its tone perhaps misplaced. Emp rubbed his head apprehensively, doubt taking hold while his improvisational skills worked overtime. He was expecting to find a missing partner in the cramped cargo space – instead, a pair of relative strangers had fallen into his care.

“Yes, we’re here to rescue you,” he hushed back with feigned reassurance, breaking gaze with the captured competitors to pore over their prison. “Did either of you see my Magikarp?” he asked finally, determining Guppy to be nowhere in sight. There's nothing else for it... Emp would have to set personal losses aside for the time being, busting out the Ampharos and its master first. He fumbled at his belt for a moment before unclipping a Red Cyberball, lobbing it into the darkness to provoke a scarlet flashbang. While Emp was blinded by the sudden contrast, the sprightly Salandit had already skittered from one side of the van to the other in keen assessment of the situation. The gaseous flames spitting from her tail markings would offer ample lighting for Emp’s escape plan – one that required speed and precision in equal measure.

“A key won’t be necessary. Detox, carefully melt away the cages with your Corrosive Gas,” Emp braced for the inevitable looks of protest from his captors’. He wouldn't worry though, stealth was in the Salandit’s genes and there was little time to dwell on the ramifications of releasing hazardous chemicals in such a confined space. The trainer had bigger fish to catch.

“This lil’ Goop here will Teleport us to the next van – and the next – until we have rescued Guppy and all the other captives.”

Update 13
Spoiler: show
Agreeing to rescue the ailing Ampharos and her trainer brings a glimmer of hope to the man's bruised face and he offers a hand for you to shake before quickly recoiling as if in pain at the mere mention of Guppy. It only takes a moment for the gent to realise his reaction and he attempts to right his wrong and respond to your question about the stolen koi.

"Those goons had that Magikarp of yours alright but I'm afraid he's not here. I'm sure he's got to be in one of the other vans, though..." The man offered a wan smile before turning his attentions to the imprisoned Electric type once again, "I'm sorry, they roughed me up pretty bad but I'll help you the very best I can, once I'm reunited with Amanda..."

With confirmation that your finned friend is not sharing the same prison as the Light Pokémon, you quickly formulate a plan of action for locating him. First, you decide you'll spring the Ampharos from the cage she now found herself trapped within before teleporting out of there with your newly captured Solosis once again. Lacking any conventional way into the cage, you settle on a more creative course, unclipping a Red Cyberball and summoning your Salandit, Detox, to your side. The salamander's flames burned bright, illuminating the stark interior of the van instantly as she darted hither and thither. The plan was a simple one but potentially dangerous: make use of Detox's deadly gases to break through the bars of the cage.

"Stand back, Amanda dearest..."

Given her expertise with the chemicals she produced, Detox deftly managed to avoid any of the toxins reaching the Ampharos and carefully focused the gases onto the wrought iron bars of the cage instead. At first, nothing seemed to be happening as she tilted her head from side to side, spreading the noxious gas across each bar one by one before returning to repeat the process. Once she was done, the Salandit turned to nod towards you. Stepping forward to inspect, the bars had indeed started to depreciate as expected. With a little force, they would surely bend out of shape but the bars were now hazardous to the touch for the captive Amanda.

What will you do?

Reply 13
Spoiler: show
Hope seemed to ebb by the second as the captors revealed all they could about Guppy’s whereabouts, which wasn't a whole lot. While willing to join his cause there were more missing bodies to consider, the complexity of their escape growing to insurmountable highs. The trainer drew a deep breath as though it would help slow his ever-speeding carousel of worries. Emp’s spiralling anxiety had fortunately not rubbed off on his reptilian recruit, the escape artist fixed against the roof of the cage with her fiery markings pulsating overtime. Beneath her scaly hide, a chemical reaction was underway.

With a drawn out exhalation purple fog slowly seeped from the Salandit’s maw, licking the wrought iron bars which released a hiss in response. Emp had to cover his face as the acrid smell of Corrosive gases invaded his nasal cavities, despite the intense precision of Detox’s application. Seconds ticked by and it seemed the steel might withstand the noxious chemicals, until signs of decay quickly became clear. The bars were melted close to breaking point – though being drenched in acid posed its own problem, punching free would be easier said than done. Emp wracked his head for another moment before signalling both his teammates, he wouldn’t leave any margin for error in the final step of their plan:

“Detox, use your Iron Tail to hack away at the weakened metal – don’t let Amanda or her trainer get caught in the crossfire.”

“Goop, give the bars a final tug with your Telikenisis. Then prepare to Teleport us to the next van in the line up, then the next.”

Update 14
Spoiler: show
Having made a start on compromising the strength of the wrought iron bars of Amanda’s cage with her specially brewed gases, Detox the Salandit nods to you confidently as she prepares for the second phase of the plan. Like with the use of her Corrosive Gas, the slender salamander is careful not to harm the pink Ampharos as she readies herself to destroy the bars between them once and for all. Her sinuous tail aglow with metallic energy, she carefully but deftly manages to smash through the weakened metal with an Iron Tail attack. Given the toxicity of her emissions, the once-fortified metal breaks away from the cage easily and a large hole is quickly formed; big enough for Amanda to exit without so much as needing to bend her long neck.

With Detox’s efforts succeeding and your strategy to free the Light Pokémon panning out as planned, the Salandit returns from the side of the ruined cage to stand at your feet, giving the captive space to escape through the newly formed gap and reunite with her shaken trainer. [Detox the Salandit receives a level-up! ]

Reuniting your fellow racer and his Ampharos only offers a fleeting moment of solace with Guppy still nowhere to be seen and your newly captured friend knows this. With a quick nod to you and the reunited two, the Solosis floats into the centre of the now gathered group and readies himself for the task at hand: getting you all to the next van with his teleportation powers. With a moment’s tight concentration, the Cell Pokémon begins to glow once more. Given the size of the party, it appears as if this is taking much more effort than the last and the seconds feel extended as you watch the Solosis readying himself.

Suddenly, the sliding door at the rear of the van begins to quietly open, revealing another person in the gloom of the warehouse. As their face comes into view, you recognise it to be a rather concerned looking Bonnie but before either of you can exchange a word, the world around you and the others vanishes and you hurtle through time and space towards your ordered destination instantaneously.

—-

Though the vehicle you now found yourself in was longer than the last, the set-up was very much the same; a series of large cages lined one side and seemingly empty crates were stacked up at the rear of the otherwise empty carriage.

As you begin your inspection of the space, Detox picks up a discarded chunk of splintered wood she discovers as the pair of you approach the crates. Looking around, the floor is covered with similar shards and you quickly discover the origin of them. In the furthest corner of the lorry, the shadowed form of a Pokémon is stood over a pile of maimed crates and you soon realise that you are looking at your fellow racer’s birdnapped Dodrio.

Hissing viciously with numerous heads at the sight of yours and Detox's approach, the now-free but still apparently rather confused avian appears to be focusing its aggression with the situation on your party. In contrast, one head appears to be completed distracted by the untouched crates with a somewhat furrowed look on its brow, though.

What will you do?

Reply 14
Spoiler: show
With the iron bars sufficiently eroded, the escape artist spared no time closing out their breakout strategy. Her Tail took on a metallic hue as it whipped to and thro, hacking away what remained of the enclosure granting the weary detainees enough wiggle room to break free. Emp felt a pang of relief as the group huddled around Solosis, a look of deep concentration in his beady eyes as his gelatinous mass began to pulsate. Teleporting a party as large as theirs was no easy feat, and it looked like their cover might be blown as the van doors flew open.

The trainer caught a fleeting glimpse before the world fell out from under them: it was Bonnie, no doubt ready to bust them out had they not already finished the job. Before he could call out they were somewhere entirely new, yet its trappings were near identical. While roomier than the last vehicle, another rattled prisoner was doing little to ease the lingering feeling of claustrophobia. Emp reeled as the feathery silhouette hissed at the new arrivals; it had made quick work of its cage and looked ready to tear apart anything and everything to seal its escape. The unnerved Dodrio had been through hell and as far as it was concerned, the fellow racers were still fierce rivals. If they weren’t careful, they could suffer the same fate as the splintered box it had sprung from. Emp’s Pokemon fell into a fierce guard as the three heads snapped aggressively, a close quarter brawl feeling inevitable at this point. Then Emp spotted something ahead of their scrum, a crate entirely untouched. It was just enough to reignite his dwindling hopes. They needed to get in that box and fast, but first they needed to diffuse the heated scene ahead.

“You’re up Goop,” the moniker seemed to have stuck at this point, “Try calming down the Dodrio with your Charm, if that doesn’t work prepare to Protect us from any unwanted aggression.”

“Detox, fill the cabin with a Sweet Scent for good measure. Then give me a hand prying open the crates with your Shadow Claws.”

Emp then addressed the Dodrio directly, hands raised in a bid to assure it they meant no harm, “We’re here to help you, we’re going to get you out of here and back to your trainer– okay?”

Detox levelled from L54 to L55

Update 15
Spoiler: show
Wanting to deal with the startled avian in as calm a manner as possible, you quickly devise a plan with your two team mates to help ease the bird's quite understandable struggles. First up, Goop the Solosis is called to action, quickly darting forward to try and appeal to the Dodrio's better nature with its innocent charms. This appears to work on the distracted head, a look of recognition appearing in that set of eyes. The next head looks calmer than it did but it doesn't seem as sure of your party as its triplet. The third head remains unfazed by the attack, looking ready to lunge forward at the Psychic type at any given moment.

Seeing the Dodrio about to strike the Solosis, Detox begins to emit the sweetest of scents from some unknown gland, catching the attention of the bird just at the right moment. Despite the alluring aroma, the third, angered head still does not appear to recognise any of you and simply seems to switch focus and begin readying itself to attack the salamander instead.

"Doooo!" squawks the bird, the suspicious head attempting to peck at the Salandit with a drilling motion. Despite this, the other two heads manage to keep control of the situation and Detox manages to dart past to reach the piled crates they seemed to be coveting so keenly. Once she gets there, she begins her own assault against the reinforced wood of one of the crates, slashing away with claws of shadow. This sends the Dodrio into a frenzy with the bird darting forwards to flip the salamander away from the crate. It was clear that the bird still didn't know who you were or why the amphibian was trying to break into the box.

With Detox retreating to your side, it's your fellow racer that steps up next. It was clear that at least one of the heads recognised your party but the bird had yet to see its sparring partner with its intent focus on you and your two companion Pokémon.

"Amanda - give the guy a hand as well, that Dodrio knows you better than anybody."

As her trainer spoke, the magenta mammal nodded and positioned herself between the rest of her group and the Flying type. Once she was in place, she turned around and produced her tail, the orb glowing much brighter than it had been during her time in the cage. With all six eyes on the orb, Amanda quickly created a blinding flash of light to stun the bird. With all three heads blinking and losing their focus, the bird struggles on its feet until it regains its eyesight. When it does, it looks as if all three heads recognise their rival stood before them.

With the Ampharos' intervention appearing to work, the triple headed bird eventually stands aside from the crate to reunite with its friend and a dull thudding from within catches your ear. Though the final head still looks a little shifty, the other two heads look much more genial as they watch on. As you observe the situation, you notice the kinder of the two motioning eagerly with its beak towards the box.

What will you do?




Emilia
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
"You know Scylla, I've never been one to be fond of amusement parks. So much light and noise, and most of all people! I'm fond of...one on one experiences, but crowds are simply too many ears and ears. But this place is positively invigorating! What an absolutely intoxicating miasma covers this place! This place, truly, reeks of death!" the mysterious woman, returning to the land of Fizzytopia again, seemed positively effervescent exploring the ruins of Phantom Isle. Scylla, floating behind her, also explored the various stalls and ruined buildings with curiousity, hoping to find something she could swipe and hide away. Hanging off of the woman's purse were two more Pokeballs, holding both Daphne, her Phantump, and Boreas, her Snom, in case she needed either of them, but for right now, she was content to explore and adventure with her darling Inkay. She had surely heard the rumors and read the newspaper articles about the disasters that took place here, but those didn't scare her. In fact, it excited her. It had been a long, long time since she had been able to find a place that truly excited her. Sure, there were many places that claimed they were haunted, but it was rare to find a place that truly had spirits that had not been laid to rest, and even the ones that did often had little precious strength. Truly, she was over the occasional poltergeist who might push something off a shelf or a table. If she wanted that, she could just get a cat.

"My own mortal soul might be in danger here! How exhilarating!" Scylla blinked a bit before continuing on. Her trainer occasionally had these sorts of mania, as if the idea of death were somehow very welcome. Scylla would rather avoid those possibilities when exploring, but she had little choice but to follow her trainer, lest she truly die. Taking a moment to rest, the woman sat down and pulled a small wine bottle out of her purse, taking a brief moment to pry the loose cork out before taking a drink straight from the bottle, the red wine staining her lips and teeth. "Oh who cares about decorum! There's frights, perils, and certain death to find! Oh where should we go Scylla? Any preferences?" Scylla pondered a bit, trying to remember anything, before pointing to the large structure that was probably the hotel. A building that big certain had things to steal, and probably was the most important place on the island. The woman giggled slightly and nodded. The hotel was a mere side attraction on the island, a haunted house compared to the real attraction, the Ghost Train. But she herself felt there was a good chance that she was going to give herself plenty of time to explore the Phantom Isle. It's not like she had obligations or some such nonsense. No shops to check or raids to participate in. None of that could compare to the sheer thrill of playing on the border between life and death.

"Come, Scylla! To the hotel!"

Update 1
Spoiler: show
You make your way towards the hotel lobby. The building, while decrepit at this point, still looked like it had regular use. People curious about what the hotel was like, the supposed haunted rooms, and the special casino all came here. The lobby itself seemed to be filled with a few trainers today, all looking to go into different directions. But, they all seemed so boring. Run of the mill riff-raff that was here to explore than to seek the excitement you craved.

Scanning the room, you do notice something interesting. A surprisingly fresh-looking notice board had a pure white paper posted onto it. Walking up and reading it, it stated that there was a special event in the casino today. A gambling tournament for VIP members, with the winner being offered a hefty sum of Pokedollars and a promise of a secret grand prize. Oh yes, that certainly piped your interest.

Of course, the question then came of trying to lock down a member's card. There were a few options you could take here. You could explore the hotel, or see if any of these chums might have a card. Though, judging by what you could see, there was no one here that would have something as lucrative as that. Thus, you had three options. You could go rummage through the hotel rooms upstairs, see if there was something left behind. There was also the kitchen and dining room you could try. Lastly was the old storeroom. All three seemed like potential options for you to choose from. That choice was yours.

What do you do?

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
As the woman entered the lobby, she was initially a little disappointed at what she saw. The building was certainly falling into disrepair, there were no handymen going around to fix broken boards or leaks, or to even do cosmetic repairs on the damages. But the hotel lobby looked surprisingly normal despite that. It certainly wasn't reeking of unnatural spiritual energy. It was no Banballow Hotel. But maybe because it was trafficked by trainers that this was the case. She saw a few in the lobby already, but none of them seemed remotely interesting. They certainly were here for their own mundane reasons. Nothing as exciting as the type of danger she craved for.

It was then that she noticed something interesting. A surprisingly new looking notice board had been put up. At the very least, it wasn't as old and worn down looking as the rest of the hotel. She walked up to it, looking to see what was being talked about in a place like this. She didn't know any spirits which were fond of communicating by sticky notes, but there might be warnings from other trainers about where not to go. The only thing on it, however, was a white piece of paper. It was an advertisement for a gambling tournament, with big prizes involved. She had remembered there was an underground casino here, but it was members-only.

'That shouldn't be a real problem. For someone like me, I'm sure such a card is bound to turn up.' Gambling was a thrill she was familiar with. Thousands of Pokedollars had gone onto roulette wheels, blackjack tables, and maybe the corset of the occasional bunnygirl in her lifetime. After a while though, gambling had lost its charm for her. It doesn't take a mathematician to see how the odds end up settling out over the long run. Sure there were games like blackjack which were more skill based, but in general you lost more than you ever gained. But in a place like this...there could be much more on offer than mere money. The odds might not be in her favor, but having new risks excited her.

The problem that remained is actually getting into the casino. She had heard there were member cards that one could use to get in, but she didn't know exactly where to find one. They weren't handing them out at the door at least. She looked at the trainers who were around to see if Scylla could snatch one off of them, but they didn't look like the type to have the money to be serious gamblers. This left a number of other options in her mind...but in the end, she decided to head upstairs and explore the hotel rooms. The other options weren't likely to have any member cards, since they are likely in short supply and held directly on someone's personage. So there's a possibility one was left behind, either by accident or because of...unfortunate accidents. Scylla would also have a good time looking for them as well, and possibly anything else she'd fine. She walked up to the elevator and pressed the call button, Scylla floating behind her.

"I'm sure we'll find one of those member cards Scylla, especially with you searching. We're going to do just a little bit of...scavenging." Scylla cooed in excitement, finally having her trainers blessing to steal shit.

Update 2
Spoiler: show
Dissatisfied with the prey here, you make your way towards the upper floors. Going into the elevator, you notice the buttons for all of the floors. Pressing one, you and Scylla wait as you make your ascent. The elevator music sounded like the usual one that you'd find in old-timey hotels, but with a low static that could be heard the entire time. It would, every so often, cut out, a weird reverb could be heard, and then start again at a completely different part of the track. Certainly set such a lovely atmosphere.

You then arrive on your floor. Floor Four. Stepping out of the elevator with your Inkay, you don't really notice anything out of the ordinary. The elevator door closes, and then the door promptly disappears. There we go, that's the sort of thing you'd expect from a haunted hotel. Walking down the hall, the lights went out every time you passed them. Something had its sights set on you. You reach the end of the floor and see total darkness. Though, walking back towards the elevator, the lights started to turn back on. Wasn't a clever ghost now was it?

Besides the lights, you could see various room doors on both sides of the walls. Some were definitely in better shape than the others. In total you passed about fifty room on each side of you. Though, there were a few numbers that popped out to you. 420, 441, 476, 404, and 411. Each of the five rooms seemed to have an aura around them that looked like someone, or thing, of affluence was there.

What do you do?




Liltwick
Spoiler: show

Adventure Start
Spoiler: show
The stench of death hung in the air. It clung to the ground, permeating the area with its vile scent. It was obvious enough that this was the area of untold death. Growing closer, and closer, and ever so closer only seem to prove that point. But to describe this massive, charred grave didn't really capture the true horrors that it held. Those fading memories... They were what led him here. Broken, fractured memories.

Ethan couldn't really care less about the actual environment here. It felt hollow, and the wraiths of this park's past avoided him. Was it the unholy protection that he held with him? He held Ozy's ball and pondered. But no, the Heracross was an emergency tool. Surely he wouldn't invoke ▂▂▃▃▄▄ without proper cause.

He looked to his side and saw that his Raichu was having an entirely different reaction. The Pokemon was in a heavy unease. The horrors of these isles had an entirely different effect on him. But, the Pokemon was feigning a strong face. Don't let weakness show in order to not be read. Keep your enemies on their toes, for not knowing how you'll react keeps you alive. He was proud of how he trained his Raichu.

Though, he knew that this wasn't going to be an easy place to deal with. With what memories he has of this place, it's incredibly dangerous. But those memories were the reason he was here. There was a lapse. How did it end? How did the boy escape? He didn't know. But, there was a Pokemon who might.

And that was the other one at his side. A Litwick, standing on the ground looking at the train in pure terror. It felt like it was fate when Ethan happened upon the Pokemon. It was lost and confused, seeming to not know what happened for a long period of time. Almost... Almost as if it was asleep. But, the name that came to his mind when he saw that Pokemon. The very same name that so often appeared within those borrowed memories. When he uttered that name, the Litwick knew.

And so, William was here with him. A guide of sorts, to figure out where all of these memories were. What exactly happened, and why did he have memories of someone else? These questions have plagued his mind for months now. But no matter, they only served as a past time as he became stronger. Even if it left him with questions, the answer needn't matter. As long as he could finally achieve silence, he'd do whatever it took.

That was the reason why he was here. To figure out how that boy escaped from this hell. To fully figure out the lapse in that memory. How did things end? It was certainly the question of the hour. Whatever it took, and whatever hell he'd have to brave, he'd do it to get some peace. And so, he brazenly entered the charred remains of the Ghost Train.

Update 1
Spoiler: show
Venturing back onto Phantom Isle, you are desperate to determine the events that led to escape some time ago after trials and tribulations abundant. Making your way from the coast of the island, it's clear things are different now, as a strange purple fog envelopes sections of the park that you could once see towering over much of the land. Spying the entrance to the Ghost Train ride, memories of these trials begin flashing in your mind, a strange specter fought on the train with another trainer by your side.

Stepping inside the attraction, the whole area rumbles, and you remember the fall when a sudden shake caused a tumble out of the loosely attached train car. A strange, ghostly world below with a crazed man desperate to escape from this land filled with lost souls. The train creaks with each step, the sound ringing more and more memories, as though inviting you to discover the events that took place. But where to start?

William seemed to know where to head, at least for the time being, trekking through the creaking train with fearful trepidation, eventually coming to a door in a train car, ripped open by force. Even coming near the opening causes the train to rock heavily. But you spot something down in the void below, a faint glow of sorts drawing you in. There must be some way to get closer to the source of these strange, borrowed memories without falling victim to the same fate as the boy that brought you here in the first place.

Reply 1
Spoiler: show
Ethan clutched his head, his migraine worsening. It always was like this when something was about to resurface. It felt like his head was about to be torn asunder. Picked apart, dissected, then hastily patched up and shoved back in. Every single memory was like this. Then something would resurface, and the pain would stop.

There he stood in that moving train. Seeing that wretched creature stand as the train went ablaze. Someone else was there, but it was obvious the boy didn't care enough to remember details. There was this feeling that clawed into his mind. Dragging him down and choking him. He felt like he was drowning, but at the same time had too much air to breathe. It was the feeling of being trapped. And the boy had to escape.

Blinking, he was back at the charred remains of the train. Stepping within, the entire attraction shook. He could sense the feeling of falling. The escape. But, it was stable here. What was that kid thinking, doing something so reckless? Well, he was going to find out one way or another.

Seeing the Litwick start to move forwards, Ethan followed. His gaze was guarded, and he was ready to react to whatever demons waited. He'd crush, tear, and destroy anything that stood in his way. If he was going to be strong, then he had to cull the weak. Meekness had no place on the battlefield.

But no such thing awaited him in this broken but the call to delve deeper. Such was the process whenever something such as this occurred. It was something that he always had to do alone in the end. But, that didn't really matter here. There was just one thing he was missing. The escape. How did it all end? Revisiting the beginning only helped so much. He placed his hand on the interior wall of the train.

"These ruined halls entomb such feelings..." He muttered to himself before looking at William.

The Litwick was waiting at the exit of the car. The door was gnarled and bent, forced open by some unnatural force. Were the fire and subsequent explosion that caused the closure of this park natural? Or was it the cause of otherworldly forces? It mattered not, that wasn't his concern at this point. His concern was completing this memory.

He walked over, feeling the creaking and shaking of the train with every step. He kneeled, noticing a shimmering light in the abyss below. The abyss... Without even thinking, he returned William and Lucas to their Pokeballs. This wasn't something he was going to subject them to. He then sprung into the air from his current position and plunged straight in.

Update 2
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The trek through the Ghost Train was almost as haunting in its emptiness as the spirits and specters that the ride was long rumoured to have. But approaching the end of the car you've found little opposition in reaching this point, naught but the creaking and swaying of the car to break your own thoughts in the silence. Returning your Pokemon safely to their balls as your stare down into the deep abyss below, you decide it's best that they not have to suffer through the same terrible nightmare that you remember from the memories you share with this boy for yet unknown reasons.

Your team now safely tucked away from the experience of the darkness below, you take another look at the shimmering spotted below the train before leaping forward from the train and down towards the depths to discover exactly what the ending is to the past you remember.

But the abyss does not greet you as it did this boy. No, your feet come to ground far sooner than expected, your knees proceeding to buckle below your weight as you find yourself on a small ledge on the cliffside below the train, only darkness above you with the space below darker still. The shimmer you spotted from the train becomes much more obvious here, a small glittering crystalline orb in the hands of what appears to be a complete skeleton. The shape and size of the bones reveals that this man, nay, this boy, was likely a bit shorter than even yourself, a mere teen at most, clutching desperately at the orb in both hands even as life has long since left this body.

Approaching the corpse, the shimmering orb suddenly flashes with light before being replaced with a simple stone, similar in shape and size but decidedly different. You catch a brief glimpse of light out of the corner of your eye before spotting a shadow further along this narrow ledge scurrying away, quickly jumping to a ledge on the other side of the chasm and disappearing into a small cave entrance in the wall there. At least you've found a likely route out of this place, but how to reach it with the other ledge being separated by what must be a twenty foot gap with nothing but darkness below to greet you should you fail?

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He could feel himself hitting the ground, his body rebounding from the shock as he lands on his feet. Wiping his nose with his arm, he gets up to assess the situation. Looking around, all he could see at first was the shining light. Focusing his vision on it, he sees a sort of orb start to take shape. Holding it was a corpse, clutching onto it for dear life. It looked like a younger teen's body, that much he could tell. But, whoever this was, didn't matter to him.

He gets up and heads towards it. If he could retrieve it, then it might prove a clue to his purpose here. Before he could even get close, he noticed a skittering shadow quickly swipe the orb and replace it with a plain stone. Watching it intently, he sees it sort of fly into a cave on the other side of this chasm. Looking over the cliffside, all he could see was pure darkness. If he could figure out a way to get over it, he could continue his pursuit of the creature. Of course, there was a way of figuring out how to do so. As he began to reach towards his bag, he could feel his arm locking up.

"Damn it no-!" He yelled before a severe pain cuts him short.

[SYSTEM ERROR]

His head suddenly felt like it was about to burst. Covering his eyes and clutching his head with both of his hands, he lets out a primal scream. His vision fades into black.

---

Through hazy vision, he could see himself enveloped in green goo. What was going on here? Why was he here?

"Homuncular Vitals- 20%. Initiating energy overcharge."

Before he could ask any more questions there was a surge of electricity as he felt himself waking.

---

Coming too, he was back where he was. Shaking his head, he looked back at the skeleton. Who was this? It seemed important enough if ignoring it caused something like that to happen. If only he could figure out a way to retrieve a piece of it. An idea flashes through his head, and he retrieves William's ball.

"Come forth! William, use Psychic to retrieve that skull for me!" He ordered the Litwick, who looked horrified but willing to complete the task.

With that being taken care of, the other thing he needed out was how he was going to survive a 20-foot fall. There was an easy way out of this, but that was the obvious answer. In places so close to death, simplicity was a death sentence. Improvision was the best way to do this.

"Lucas, come back out! Let's see if you can hold this for as long as I need you to," he ponders as his Riachu comes back to his side.

"Try and use Stone Edge to create a bridge between the ledges!" he commands the Raichu. If this works, he could hop along the stones to reach the cave. Of course, this all would depend on if Lucas could endure keeping the attack up for that long.

Update 3
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Spotting the body of what appears to be a teenager clutching a shining object, you approach only for said object to be promptly whisked away and down a cave on the opposite side of the chasm. What's worse, a brief blackout takes you out of commission for what seems to be but a moment, though with the state of the land around you and the unknown source of the blackout itself, who can really say how long it's been? Deciding that this disconnect was due to the skeleton before you, a quick order to your Litwick is issued to take the head off of the body. A tad macabre, but perhaps necessary, William complies, using Psychic to lift the skull and place it carefully in your palms.

Now there was just the problem of the large leap over the dangerous chasm before you. It seemed a bit far but perhaps not overly so, though the first tactic that comes to mind is more than a bit obvious, something you decide may not be the best course of action to take given the area you find yourself in. As such, it's time for Lucas to re-enter the area. The Raichu quickly complies with your request to create a bridge of sorts, using Stone Edge to create a small series of stones across the chasm so that you can cross. The Raichu looks nothing shy of a bit worried at the idea, but there's not much time to be indecisive on the idea, so like jumping across stones in a small pond, you make leap after leap before landing precariously on one of the stones, causing a slip towards the chasm below.

Luckily for you, William is safely back at the cliff, and worried for your safety, carries you a little extra distance with another Psychic, allowing you to clutch onto the ledge on the other side long enough to pull yourself up. The cavern the creature had escaped down previously now lies before you, with your two Pokemon left over by the remains of the body on the other side. Shadows shift and twist in the passage ahead, as if inviting you inwards, having been waiting for your arrival, yet no light seems to penetrate the hall whatsoever.

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With the skull secured, Ethan takes the leap towards the makeshift bridge. Jagged rocks that if he made one misstep could easily rip his flesh. It was, realistically, the most creative solution to solve this problem. In a place where everything is subjected to the regret's of the isle, sometimes the simplest solution wasn't always going to be the best one.

He lept from stone to stone, trying to keep himself at an easy pace. He didn't have enough time, so he had to make sure that the rhythm he found himself in would work. Rock to rock, stone to stone. Each leap had an uncertainty behind it. A sense of dread behind it. After all, one small misstep almost certainly would mean death. And then that slip-up happened.

He could feel himself start to fall into the abyss below. Ah, ironic wouldn't it? Him dying from falling because he was investigating someone falling. He didn't know exactly what to do, but he could feel his velocity start to increase. Though that small call of despair would go unanswered, he felt himself pushed up. Looking back towards the cliffside above him, he could see his Litwick struggling to keep him afloat onto the opposite cliffside.

Giving a small bow of the head, the man looked forwards at the cave before him. It was all-consuming, the darkness ahead knowing no light. It was calling, no, beckoning him to within. He looked back at his Litwick and Raichu, their faces are written with worry. He went to grab their Pokeballs, but the sense of creeping dread had returned. Ethan knew he couldn't have them with him at this time.

"Be safe you two, I'll see you soon," he stated to them and giving a wave goodbye.

With that out of the way, he walked deeper into the cave. He still had Ozy with him as a last resort, but doing so would make him need to invoke ▂▂▃▃▄▄ . Even so, he still had two more Pokemon if he needed them. He shook his head, prepared. It was time to heed the call of the void, and we willing plunged in.



King Ghidorah!
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Adventure Start
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”This…this seems pretty nice. I’m not so sure what all the hullabaloo about the Unreal Archipelago is all about. It’s actually very beautiful.”

Hugo inhaled deeply. The air in the crystal lagoon smelled fresh and earthy. The serene waters were very calming, and Hugo could feel the warm sunshine on his face. It was pleasant. So, he called out Ducklett.

The tiny duck materialized, and truly like a duck to water, immediately began splashing about in the lagoon happily, bobbing her head underwater with her feathery behind in the air as ducks so often do. She was in her element, and Hugo smiled to see her so full of joy. He rejoiced internally. In fact, one might even say there was much rejoicing.

He settled on a nearby wooden bridge. It was old, but comfortable.

“This seems like it could be a good spot. What do you think, Ducklett?” Hugo asked.


“QUACK!” the bird responded, cheerfully. She was in agreement, that much was clear.

“Yes, I think so, too.”

He pulled out his fishing rod and lazily cast it into the calming waters. Hugo had always loved to fish, but it had been such a long time since he had really been able to take his time and enjoy it. Life had been so busy, everything so crazy. This was one of the simplest pleasures in life, and with such beautiful scenery around him, Hugo was going to make the most of it.

“What do you think? Will we get any bites? Don’t go scaring them away now.”


“QUACK!”


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Old 04-27-2021, 12:50 AM   #4
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Missingno. Master - Upon approaching the Spire it's rather obvious the direction your quarry has taken, thanks largely to the obstacles the beast has placed in your path in order to prevent further pursuit. There is some discussion to be had with Homer as to whether or not you are responsible for this minor calamity befalling the Pokemon that make this place home, but after some amount of goading the Alakazam complies to assisting clean up the mess rather than continuing to give you grief as things are made worse by the moment with the island inhabitants arguing over territory.

Hermoine makes a rather quick assessment of the situation before pointing out the Gligar and Salandit and motioning to a Pokeball on you belt, housing none other than Gigawatt the Electrode. And with that little nudge, your plan forms and orders are quickly issued to your team as the Electrode lands before you. Gigawatt, Hermoine, and Homer spring into action, well, perhaps lazily hover into action in Homer's case, and get to work assisting the wildlife. Gigawatt and Hermoine tackle the problem of the flowing lava, a Light Screen blocking off the majority of the overflowing molten rock while Hermoine uses a mixture of Blizzard and Hydro Pump to cool off the lava in both wide spread areas as well as targeted bursts where the flow is the worst.

Homer, meanwhile, attempts to speak telepathically to the quarreling Pokemon. The Gligar seems rather receptive to the assistance, and attaches itself to the mountainside as it watches the lava flow slowly being plugged, waiting for its own territory to be made safe once more. The Salandit, however, is not so receptive, and the reason becomes clear as the last flow of lava is plugged, a Salazzle crawling out of a nearby den to hiss menacingly in your direction, completely ignoring Homer's mental pleas to cease the squabbling. Your team turns to you for advice on the matter, as it seems rather unclear if this particular opponent can be calmed at the moment.


Prof.Enigma - Reeling from the pain of the psychic whiplash from your mind being flung back and forth across multiple timestreams, you decide it best to recall Voltsy for now to prevent further harm to the eel while slumbering, and in that moment find your hand grazing across other Pokeballs having found their way onto your belt, surely a side effect of the ongoing time related issues that you are suffering from. A vision of Primal Dialga rushes through your head repeatedly, showing you that your assumptions can only be true, before Wolfe places himself before you in an act of protection, allowing you to climb atop the Arcanine's back.

What comes next is a swift blur, a massive torrent of water being unleashed by the beast bearing you towards your foe, before a heavy shock is issued in the direction of the Galarian Slowking. The wave washes over the opponent before you, giving Wolfe the opening he needs to charge forward as the electrified water should do more than distract the creature. But as Wolfe jumps past, you find yourself sailing not over, but through the Slowking, meeting face to face with a mirror on the other end.

History is not a burden on the memory...

Wolfe clearly expects to crash hard into the mirror, but instead, you pass harmless through it, into it, emerging instead into a dining room within a most elaborate hotel.

...but an illumination of the soul.

There you spy your sister, eating a feast most luxurious, the prime dish of which featuring a large slab of spiced Slowpoke tail. Further visions begin to flash, but not any recognized by your own mind. A well kept, albeit small cage. A needle sinking into soft yellow and pink skin, and then sleep. Searing pain, an unknown part of you missing from where it should be. And all of this repeating on end whenever this piece grows back. Then suddenly, freedom. Unleashed from your prison and left to roam, but filled only with anger. A vendetta placed on those that have done this to you, and all of their kind.

The vision of Primal Dialga flashes once more, and shatters the mirrors making up the illusory world around you, revealing not the Slowking you were fighting, but instead a soft pink and yellow Slowpoke, currently short its tail, staring up at you in bewilderment as to what may be going on.


Lil'twick - Saved from plummeting to a rather ironic doom by your team left on the other side of the chasm, you nod your head, trusting that your team will be safe watching over the unknown corpse you had just taken the very skull of for safe keeping. Waving the two of them goodbye, you turn towards the darkness, its every shifting movement welcoming you within its embrace. And so you stepped deeper into the cave, gazing long into the abyss, so that perhaps it may gaze into you.

But the darkness did not linger long, for near as soon as the last light of your Litwick's flame did disappear down the cavern, a faint glint catches your eye before you, followed by another, and yet more, moving about quickly in the darkness. A wide, toothy smile gleams off the ambient light given off only by the faintest flickering of signals from the basic electronics you carry on your person, reaching out from your pockets to poke through the void around you. The smile widens still before lunging at you, attempting to claw at your pockets and bag to rip out the lights peeking through to reflect off the small gems dotting the creature's night black skin.

With naught but a moment to react to this sudden assault, what is it you will do to prevent this creature from bringing you deeper into the darkness of the abyss? If, that is, it may be best to do anything at all, or else to succumb to the dark.

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Old 04-27-2021, 09:05 PM   #5
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Missingno. Master - Upon approaching the Spire it's rather obvious the direction your quarry has taken, thanks largely to the obstacles the beast has placed in your path in order to prevent further pursuit. There is some discussion to be had with Homer as to whether or not you are responsible for this minor calamity befalling the Pokemon that make this place home, but after some amount of goading the Alakazam complies to assisting clean up the mess rather than continuing to give you grief as things are made worse by the moment with the island inhabitants arguing over territory.

Hermoine makes a rather quick assessment of the situation before pointing out the Gligar and Salandit and motioning to a Pokeball on you belt, housing none other than Gigawatt the Electrode. And with that little nudge, your plan forms and orders are quickly issued to your team as the Electrode lands before you. Gigawatt, Hermoine, and Homer spring into action, well, perhaps lazily hover into action in Homer's case, and get to work assisting the wildlife. Gigawatt and Hermoine tackle the problem of the flowing lava, a Light Screen blocking off the majority of the overflowing molten rock while Hermoine uses a mixture of Blizzard and Hydro Pump to cool off the lava in both wide spread areas as well as targeted bursts where the flow is the worst.

Homer, meanwhile, attempts to speak telepathically to the quarreling Pokemon. The Gligar seems rather receptive to the assistance, and attaches itself to the mountainside as it watches the lava flow slowly being plugged, waiting for its own territory to be made safe once more. The Salandit, however, is not so receptive, and the reason becomes clear as the last flow of lava is plugged, a Salazzle crawling out of a nearby den to hiss menacingly in your direction, completely ignoring Homer's mental pleas to cease the squabbling. Your team turns to you for advice on the matter, as it seems rather unclear if this particular opponent can be calmed at the moment.
With Homer's attempted guilt trip quieted, all concerned sprang into action. Gigawatt's Light Screen was a huge help, as was Hermione's powerful Hydro Pump and Blizzard attacks. Slowly but surely, the molten threat was subsiding. "OK. OK, that's good," Eddie sighed in relief.

You spoke too soon, came Homer's telepathic retort. The Gligar listened well enough, but not so much the Salandit.

"Hm? Oh. Oh, that's not good," frowned Eddie, turning to see not only the Salandit, but also an approaching Salazzle, hissing menacingly.

They seem disinclined to listen to such things as reason, Homer stated. A battle may be imminent.

"Indeed," nodded Eddie.

...You're gonna want me to do this, aren't you, Homer groaned telepathically.

Gigawatt began to roll forward. "ELEC-" it began, before something happened that stopped the sphere where it stood- one of Eddie's Poké Balls wobbled violently on his belt, then burst open, letting out a small brown creature, the true nature of its head concealed beneath a skeletal helmet.

"What the- Femur?" said Eddie.

"Cubone! Cubone bone bone bone!" declared Femur, waving her bone club wildly.

...It seems Femur's heard enough through her ball to surmise the seriousness of the situation, remarked Homer. She seems eager to stop things from getting out of hand however she can, and it seems she agrees with me- that a battle seems inevitable here.

"Yes... yes, she would want to help with a situation such as this," Eddie nodded thoughtfully. The flowing lava, the threat of Pokémon losing their territory, let alone their lives... if Femur had indeed caught wind of such pertinent details, then no doubt that would have touched a nerve, considering her own... circumstances. As Femur looked back expectantly at her Trainer, Eddie nodded, light refracting off his glasses as he did so. "Very well, then, Femur," he agreed. "You know what to do to start with."

"Bone?!" Femur responded in mock shock. "C-c-cuuuu... b-b-BOOOOONE!!" she wailed and sniveled, putting on a real show for Salazzle in the form of what Eddie knew to be highly convincing Fake Tears. And why wouldn't they be convincing? Femur was a Cubone- if any Pokémon had a good amount of firsthand experience in producing convincing tears, it would be one known to routinely cry for real. And true to Eddie's words, Femur did indeed know what to do here- once Salazzle was caught off-guard, that would be the time to pump up the water pressure, turning it from a trickle of tears to a full-blown Water Gun. Well, unless it actually got Salazzle to back down, in which case Femur was willing to simply allow that- she'd only actually elevate the Fake Tears to more of a fight if such a thing was looking to be the only option. And if indeed the battle proceeded, Eddie was prepared to give the command for Mud-Slap following the Water Gun.

Gigawatt, meanwhile, kept a wary eye on the Salandit- Femur's focus was on the evolved Salazzle, but the Electrode wasn't willing to just take for granted that the Salandit wasn't gonna try and jump in on this as well. The Electrode and its Trainer exchanged brief looks and slight nods as they agreed upon this course of action- Gigawatt was ready with a Sonic Boom warning shot if it was necessary to hold Salandit off.
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:04 PM   #6
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Lil'twick - Saved from plummeting to a rather ironic doom by your team left on the other side of the chasm, you nod your head, trusting that your team will be safe watching over the unknown corpse you had just taken the very skull of for safe keeping. Waving the two of them goodbye, you turn towards the darkness, its every shifting movement welcoming you within its embrace. And so you stepped deeper into the cave, gazing long into the abyss, so that perhaps it may gaze into you.

But the darkness did not linger long, for near as soon as the last light of your Litwick's flame did disappear down the cavern, a faint glint catches your eye before you, followed by another, and yet more, moving about quickly in the darkness. A wide, toothy smile gleams off the ambient light given off only by the faintest flickering of signals from the basic electronics you carry on your person, reaching out from your pockets to poke through the void around you. The smile widens still before lunging at you, attempting to claw at your pockets and bag to rip out the lights peeking through to reflect off the small gems dotting the creature's night black skin.

With naught but a moment to react to this sudden assault, what is it you will do to prevent this creature from bringing you deeper into the darkness of the abyss? If, that is, it may be best to do anything at all, or else to succumb to the dark.

Not looking back, he entered even further into the abyss. This cave beckoned in a way that only the outer gods had done before. His mind was corrupted by something, but what? These memories? Flashbacks of events he had never experienced? Yet, it felt so familiar... It felt right. What was he exactly? Something that shouldn't exist, probably.

But that didn't matter now, did it? He had his own goals and dreams, and he'd be damned if he couldn't pursue them. Migraines, memories, whatever... He'd do whatever it took to be himself. Though, what was "himself"? What was "him? These questions pondered his mind as he headed deeper into the cave. He kept a careful grip on his bag, not wanting anything to try and take the skull he was holding. This was too important... It was a key, he could feel it by the intensifying migraine.

By the time Wisp's light was gone, he was ready to plunge into the dark. Though, he could see something be caught on his rotom phone. Was that what he originally saw earlier? More and more glints were caught as if he was looking at some sort of set of reflective mirrors. No, these were gems. A toothy grin then appeared, and the creature started to form into a shape.

Sableye. A creature that was attracted to pretty lights and devoured gems. These gremlins were mischievous, but also malicious if not use to human interaction. A sort of imp... Seemed like it would be a perfect opponent. Of course, he had to take the defense here, as the creature soon lunged at him to try and get his phone.

"Nyar sthtan, Nyar gashanna," he muttered, the words leaving his lips before he realized.

He instinctively grabbed a Ghost Ball from the bag, using it as a buffer between the Sableye and his phone. Its ghostly aura let out a sort of ethereal light... If this didn't work, then he'd definitely be forced into using Ozy. His patron would demand it.

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Old 04-29-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Missingno. Master - Just as the situation was beginning to de-escalate, you find another obstacle blocking your path up the twisted roads that make up the Thermal Cliffs of Spire. This time, it’s a Salazzle, having appeared to come to the rescue of one of her consorts after the noise that was being made just outside of their den. With Homer’s advice that said Pokemon has no interest in backing down at the moment, you prepare for a battle, only for your Cubone, Femur, to emerge from her ball to assist, no doubt feeling some empathy towards the situation.

Putting on something of a show as she begins fully bawling in a display of Fake Tears that would make a Krookodile hesitate, the Cubone pulls out all of the stops, providing a rather convincing performance. Enough so that the Salazzle gives pause, standing up onto her hind legs and cocking her head in an attempt to understand the situation. But just when it begins to look as though a battle may not be necessary, the Salandit begins rushing forward, prompting a quick Sonic Boom in response from Gigawatt. The resulting shockwave blasts the younger lizard back, leaving the poor thing in a rather sorry state and immediately reversing the Salazzle’s attitude, the lizard rearing up in full and exhaling a thick cloud of purple gas, covering the area in front of it to obscure your sight entirely. Femur looses a Water Gun as instructed, but as there is no sound of nearby contact it can only be assumed to have missed, doing little more than simply dispersing some of the gas.

As the cloud fades away, the Salandit appears to have disappeared entirely, while the Salazzle has backed herself up to the entrance of her den, lowered to all fours with her back and tail rigidly raised as she stares defensively in your direction.


Lil’twick - Having traversed down deep into the darkness, you find yourself, despite standing in what seems to be the middle of the room, rather backed into a corner by the dark figure lunging towards you. Your first instinctive reaction is to grab something to use as a buffer to prevent the gremlin from reaching your phone, and produce a Ghost Ball, the eerie glow of the item shimmering throughout what you can now see to be large crystals dotting the sides of the cave, as well as in the gems dotting the creature swiftly approaching you.

But just as swiftly as the ball appeared in your hand, you find it disappearing, replaced by a faded, cracked stone, made of what looks somewhat like glass and now devoid of coloration. The quick Trick by the creature sees your ball taken into its other claw, before it springs itself off of your shoulder and onto one of the nearby crystals, proceeding to scale the wall and onto the ceiling before examining its newfound prize. The faint glow of the ball shimmers an eerie purple in the creature’s bright red gemstone eyes as it gazes upon the device, using its mouth and sharp teeth to turn it about in its hand as its other claw grips the stalactites of the cave roof.

That is, until the prodding of its sharp teeth triggers the ball’s buffer mechanism, and the creature is enveloped in more light than this cave has likely ever seen, sucked into the Ghost Ball with as it begins to wobble furiously as it falls to the ground, landing with an oh so satisfying “click”.

You have caught a level 4 male Sableye with EM Trick!

Your gambit having payed off spectacularly, the ball rolls along the floor slightly after landing, illuminating a small horde of items that can only be assumed to have been scavenged by the Sableye from the poor ride goers and adventurers who were unlucky enough to find themselves having fallen from the Ghost Train and into this crevasse. Perhaps this is where he was attempting to take his prize before you gave chase?
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:59 AM   #8
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Missingno. Master - Just as the situation was beginning to de-escalate, you find another obstacle blocking your path up the twisted roads that make up the Thermal Cliffs of Spire. This time, it’s a Salazzle, having appeared to come to the rescue of one of her consorts after the noise that was being made just outside of their den. With Homer’s advice that said Pokemon has no interest in backing down at the moment, you prepare for a battle, only for your Cubone, Femur, to emerge from her ball to assist, no doubt feeling some empathy towards the situation.

Putting on something of a show as she begins fully bawling in a display of Fake Tears that would make a Krookodile hesitate, the Cubone pulls out all of the stops, providing a rather convincing performance. Enough so that the Salazzle gives pause, standing up onto her hind legs and cocking her head in an attempt to understand the situation. But just when it begins to look as though a battle may not be necessary, the Salandit begins rushing forward, prompting a quick Sonic Boom in response from Gigawatt. The resulting shockwave blasts the younger lizard back, leaving the poor thing in a rather sorry state and immediately reversing the Salazzle’s attitude, the lizard rearing up in full and exhaling a thick cloud of purple gas, covering the area in front of it to obscure your sight entirely. Femur looses a Water Gun as instructed, but as there is no sound of nearby contact it can only be assumed to have missed, doing little more than simply dispersing some of the gas.

As the cloud fades away, the Salandit appears to have disappeared entirely, while the Salazzle has backed herself up to the entrance of her den, lowered to all fours with her back and tail rigidly raised as she stares defensively in your direction.
Femur's Fake Tears did their job, and spectacularly so, with a thoroughly convincing display of tears that tugged at Eddie's heart despite him knowing full well what was going on. The Salazzle stopped, but the Salandit did not, making Gigawatt's intervention necessary. However, the Sonic Boom did more to the Salandit than either Eddie or his Electrode had planned, and this spurred Salazzle into action, letting loose some purple gas. The Cubone let fly a Water Gun into the cloud, but didn't seem to hit anyone or anything with it.

And as the gas dispersed, Salandit was nowhere to be seen. The Salazzle most certainly was, however- she'd backed up to the entrance of her den, back down on all fours, back and tail rigidly raised.

"Cuuuu..." Femur murmured.

"Femur, that'll do," Eddie said at once. "It's clear she thinks us a threat to the Salandit, and I have no desire to reinforce that notion."

'ELEC TRODE..." Gigawatt droned dejectedly, looking down. The Electric-type was no dummy- it knew good and well that its Sonic Boom warning shot had been entirely too strong for the Salandit.

"Gigawatt, it's OK," Eddie said gently, patting the top of the sentient sphere. "It may not have been the best way to go about it, but you were trying to help us, and I can't fault you for your intentions. Homer," he added, turning to the Alakazam. "I think right now we need to make it clear to Salazzle that we are not a threat."

And how do you propose we do that? the Alakazam telepathically retorted.

"With a peace offering," Eddie stated, digging a pair of Sitrus Berries out of his backpack. "I feel Salazzle will attack if we get close, so I'd like you to use Telekinesis to float these over to Salazzle. And after that, we leave them alone and continue after the Onix."

Well, let's see how this goes, Homer mentally sighed, taking hold of the Sitrus Berries with his mind, and resisting the urge to simply eat them himself, floated them over towards Salazzle, whereupon he'd place them gently on the ground before her.

Femur, meanwhile, made her way back over to Eddie. Smiling at the Ground-type, Eddie scooped her up in his arms once Homer had taken the Sitrus Berries, though after that, he turned to Gigawatt. "I think a good rest would do you well," he said not unkindly. "Worry not, Gigawatt- you did great today, all things considered."

"ELEC," Gigawatt responded, managing a small smile before Eddie withdrew the Electrode into its Poké Ball. They were ready to move, to continue after the Onix, just as soon as Homer delivered the Sitrus Berries.


OOC: Sitrus Berries are #1-2 of 3
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Old 04-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #9
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Lil’twick - Having traversed down deep into the darkness, you find yourself, despite standing in what seems to be the middle of the room, rather backed into a corner by the dark figure lunging towards you. Your first instinctive reaction is to grab something to use as a buffer to prevent the gremlin from reaching your phone, and produce a Ghost Ball, the eerie glow of the item shimmering throughout what you can now see to be large crystals dotting the sides of the cave, as well as in the gems dotting the creature swiftly approaching you.

But just as swiftly as the ball appeared in your hand, you find it disappearing, replaced by a faded, cracked stone, made of what looks somewhat like glass and now devoid of coloration. The quick Trick by the creature sees your ball taken into its other claw, before it springs itself off of your shoulder and onto one of the nearby crystals, proceeding to scale the wall and onto the ceiling before examining its newfound prize. The faint glow of the ball shimmers an eerie purple in the creature’s bright red gemstone eyes as it gazes upon the device, using its mouth and sharp teeth to turn it about in its hand as its other claw grips the stalactites of the cave roof.

That is, until the prodding of its sharp teeth triggers the ball’s buffer mechanism, and the creature is enveloped in more light than this cave has likely ever seen, sucked into the Ghost Ball with as it begins to wobble furiously as it falls to the ground, landing with an oh so satisfying “click”.

You have caught a level 4 male Sableye with EM Trick!

Your gambit having payed off spectacularly, the ball rolls along the floor slightly after landing, illuminating a small horde of items that can only be assumed to have been scavenged by the Sableye from the poor ride goers and adventurers who were unlucky enough to find themselves having fallen from the Ghost Train and into this crevasse. Perhaps this is where he was attempting to take his prize before you gave chase?

Ethan watched as his quick reaction paid off, and went to grab the ghost ball that was sitting on the ground. He pulled out his Rotom Phone and watched as the device analyzed the capture, before spitting out the information. A Male Sableye, only level four, but it does know Trick. Well, he knew that much from it snatching the ghost ball from him. Still, he has a prize he was after for a while now, and from the looks of it, this wasn't the only prize.

Of course, he needed to decide on a name for the Pokemon. Hmm, well the Sableye seemed to be a Prankster for how it acted and how it scavenged. Famous tricksters... He could feel something tugging at his mind while thinking. The same pull as with Ozy and Niddhoggr. While he didn't have the Silicobra with him, the patrons of those two mons were obvious. Suddenly, a flash of yellow-green crossed his mind, and his name was decided for him. The Prince of Wind was a little vain, so why not.

"I'll name you... Kyle. Rather not make those who are more in the know learn your future patron. At least it can be seen as an addition to the last syllable," Ethan mused. He rather not say Biyarky allowed.

Before letting the Sableye out of the ball, he used his phone to look around the room. There was a pile of items in the room, all shining in some way. Kyle was a hoarder, got it. That was going to be a fun thing to deal with once they all got home. Hopefully, a Mega Stone down the line, if permitted, would quell the Pokemon. Though for now, he'd need to scavenge around to see if the orb was in here.

"Kyle, let's go," he stated as he threw the ghost ball in the air. The Sableye looked at him in confusion, not realizing what was going on. "Hey, you're going to be with me now kid. Can you use your Foresight to look for that orb from earlier? If you want to keep some of your stuff as well, we can take it. I have room."

Hopefully we the Sableye searching his former home, results will be able to be found quite quickly.
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Old 04-29-2021, 02:59 PM   #10
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ChrisClark13-

You point to the mark on the map that seems oddly barren, and Yang's eyes light up with excitement. Was this, by chance, the choice that she wanted you to make? Or was there some other reason why she wanted you to choose this one?

"Excellent!" she exclaims, her voice echoing through the barren wasteland.

"This is our most recent entrance and is apparently close to a newly discovered vein of fire opals. They are very, very valuable and the other part of the reason I came here. Oh, I would so love to deck myself out in those beautiful gems without having to pay market price," she swooned at the idea. She was definitely a rich girl through and through, even if she kept her cunning business sense.

"However, due to its recency, we really haven't been able to survey the area as much. There could potentially be other entrances along the way into the mines, so we do need to be careful," she adds in. She then rolls up the scroll and begins to head north.

With not much you can do besides follow her, you do, well, just exactly that. The hot, barren land of the cliffs continues to bare its fangs and dig into you. Though, oddly, you notice Yang doesn't seem to notice. What exactly was up with her? If anything, she seemed to get more cheery as the heat went on.

Though, that could be a heat-induced illusion. You couldn't tell exactly. Your vision was becoming hazier as you walked, and could swear you could see more and more lava plumes erupting. It was as if the volcano had come to life, and was slowly making its way towards you to swallow you whole.

Though, after a while, the heat started to die down. Though the air quality was becoming much worse, and you could see why. What seemed like black snow begun to fall, littering you, Yang, and Annahime. You could hear Yang coughing a little as the "snow" was falling.

"Ack... Ash," she states as some caught in your throat.

Though, it was weird, as the volcano hadn't erupted in a long while. Though, your answer soon arrived as you reached the ashen coast. High above, you could see a flock of Talonflame flying through the area, kicking up the ash along the coast and creating a miniature ash storm.

At this point, the conditions were starting to get worse and worse. It was too dangerous to try and go through head-on. You could try and figure out a way to move the Talonflame along, or find an alternative route to get to the mine entrance.

What do you do?
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:45 AM   #11
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Quiescent Glacier
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An oddity to be sure, this glacier is more than enough to sink the grandest of ships and then some, measuring just as large as any of the other islands, though the term is definitely loose here. Having at some point floated into the southwestern point of the Archipelago, the glacier seems to have halted its movement entirely, a phenomenon unknown to the scientific world. Since its discovery, some researchers have set up on its base to study this curious event, only to repeatedly end up with more questions than they have answers. From strange frozen formations on the outside to a rumored endless void within, every inch of this place teems with beauty, though it may be difficult to describe it as natural. Between these landmarks and the halted movement in the sea, many believe that this glacier was called here, destined to fill the empty slot of the circle of islands for some reason. Whether staring into the white expanse above the island, or delving into the frozen caverns below, adventures are likely to lose, or perhaps even find, a part of themselves in these slopes.

Rainbow Caverns: Entrances dotted all throughout the hills, caverns run through the mountain, lit by what sunlight filters through the clouds. The light passes through the ice of the glacier, refracting and reflecting throughout the mountain, causing near every surface withing to radiate with ever-changing colors. The caverns are not overly difficult to navigate, but if you enter you may find yourself not wanting to leave, a curse that has befallen many a researcher, itching to explore every last nook and cranny and see every color imaginable and then some.
A Sableye darted up the hillside, pausing at the peak to chitter impatiently at the trainer slowly following after him. Melissa only huddled deeper into her coat.

"I'm glad he's excited," she muttered, trudging through the snow. She squinted up at where Ore would periodically disappear and reappear, chittering at her to hurry up every time he saw her. "I mean, I'm not surprised, but why'd we have to come here?"

"Quil cyndaquil," her starter pointed out as he poked his head out of her jacket.

Melissa rolled her eyes. "I know, I know. It's just so frickin' cold. These caverns better be worth it."

Wildfire chuckled at her and ducked back into her jacket, letting her go back to using him as a portable heater. He knew she was just complaining to complain, mostly so she could distract herself from the cold, but she was the one who picked to bring Ore treasure hunting here; she had no one to blame but herself for any predictable discomfort she encountered on her way to the caverns.

She crested the peak of the hill and peered at the open entrance not far ahead. At least the tedious part of getting to the caverns was almost over. Ore was most of the way there already, not even bothering to wait for her to catch up, but she'd expected that. She had promised him years ago that they'd go treasure hunting and the Sableye had waited as patiently as he could for her to finally get around to it. Now that they were this close to actually fulfilling her promise, of course he couldn't wait.

"Well. Let's see what these caverns have in store for us."
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:38 PM   #12
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Missingno. Master - After having harmed the Salandit much more than you had otherwise intended to do so, the Salazzle sets up a brief defense to allow herself and the smaller lizard to reposition, the gas soon fading to reveal the larger of the two backed up to her den in a position that basically screams “go away”. Realizing that she had only initially engaged you in order to protect the Salandit, you convince Homer to offer a couple of Sitrus Berries to the Salazzle, while recalling Gigawatt for a job otherwise well done.

The Salazzle seems to react hesitantly to the offering as it floats her way, but as the Electrode is recalled she relaxes somewhat, scooping up both berries and slowly backing into the darkness of her den to allow passage along the cliffs towards your destination. With that settled, it’s onward and upwards, though as you carefully pass by the den the Salazzle does give a light hiss of warning as you catch her eyes warily watching from just inside. Soon enough, though, the den is well behind you, and the worry of the damage caused by the quarry you’re seeking with it.

Weedle, Alakazam, and Electrode all gain 1 level.

The rest of the trek to the Caldera is a bit restful, save for having to watch your step a few times due to the leaking lava that slowly pours out of small openings every here and there and as soon as you round the corner of the Spire it’s clear exactly why the Onix would have come here. A relatively peaceful location with shimmering crystal clear water, speckled with a myriad of colors of various deposits of heated sand turned to glass and other natural resources, all overlooking the large majority of the island and its jungle. The Caldera feeds into a large waterfall, and with naught but a couple small trickling streams feeding into it, it’s clear that the waters here are almost entirely brought by regular rainfall, accounting for their natural clarity.

By the edge of the heated waters lies what you came here for, the Onix curled into a tight ball, resting for the moment as it watches over the area, clearly no stranger to the locale as it is climbed upon by some of the local wildlife, a couple Marill, a Vulpix, and even a small flock of Fletchling all from what you can see at a quick glance. But the other Pokemon do not linger long, as a light tweet from one of the birds alerts them to your presence, causing them to begin scattering in various directions and disturbing the Onix, slowly unfurling itself from its near slumber to reveal its size reduced somewhat from the travel, though still massive in comparison to the norm for its species.


Lil’twick - With your newfound catch in hand thanks to a rather lucky ploy, you decide on the name Kyle for the Sableye, before taking a look around and discovering the small hoarder has left a large pile of knick-knacks and trinkets stolen from other trainers and adventurers over some period of time. Deciding that it may take some time to dig through all of this yourself, you send Kyle back out, requesting that he dig through his pile to help. A flash of Foresight lights up the cavern for but a brief moment before the Sableye jumps headfirst into the pile, chittering with excitement as all manner of useless junk is scattered about, though at least most of it lets off a small bit of light, allowing for some amount of vision in the darkened cave.

After a moment Kyle emerges from his hoard, having found no small manner of oddities, not least of which being what appears to be a plastic crown he dons with glee. Perhaps his name alluding to the Prince of Wind was a bit more apt than initially thought. Staring up at you whilst grasping an old Pokeball, worn and rusted, and decidedly no longer usable, it’s clear Kyle’s thoughts may have gotten a bit lost in the pile, as this is most decidedly not what you had requested. Regardless, he places the ball in front of you before scuttling around behind you, having apparently remembered something as he stares intently at your pack. Perhaps there is something you could do to remind him of what it is he stole?


myahoo - Following after your Sableye as you approach the Rainbow Caverns, it’s clear as to why few people aside from some researchers have come to call this place home as of yet, as the freezing winds and biting cold nip at your skin, it’s hard not to complain about the frost even with a personal heater of a Pokemon tucked away inside your jacket to keep you warm. Luckily, the Caverns are reached soon enough, shining colors of every hue glinting through the cave system, the rainbow walls changing drastically every now and again as the clouds above the Glacier change shape, allowing different rays of light to pierce through the ice and refract in different ways to alter the color of each individual surface. But beyond even the beauty of the caves to your eyes, perhaps more miraculous is the feeling here, as the natural ice helps to insulate at least some level of warmth, a stark contrast to the bone chilling cold outside.

You’re not but a few steps in before you spy someone, clearly one of the men from the research base nearby by his gear, a thick coat, snow goggles, warm boots and gloves, and a leather bag stuffed to the brim with papers and… large chunks of ice? In fact, he’s carrying yet more of these ice chunks the bottom of his coat pulled up in his arms to make something of a hammock absolutely overflowing with naught more than fist sized chunks of crystal clear ice.

The man mutters to himself as he approaches you, staring clean through you and out to the exit of the cave. “I’m rich… rich… beautiful gems… rich…”

It would seem you’re not the only one here interested in treasure, though hopefully you come out of it with a bit more than a few mounds of ice.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:11 PM   #13
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Lil’twick - With your newfound catch in hand thanks to a rather lucky ploy, you decide on the name Kyle for the Sableye, before taking a look around and discovering the small hoarder has left a large pile of knick-knacks and trinkets stolen from other trainers and adventurers over some period of time. Deciding that it may take some time to dig through all of this yourself, you send Kyle back out, requesting that he dig through his pile to help. A flash of Foresight lights up the cavern for but a brief moment before the Sableye jumps headfirst into the pile, chittering with excitement as all manner of useless junk is scattered about, though at least most of it lets off a small bit of light, allowing for some amount of vision in the darkened cave.

After a moment Kyle emerges from his hoard, having found no small manner of oddities, not least of which being what appears to be a plastic crown he dons with glee. Perhaps his name alluding to the Prince of Wind was a bit more apt than initially thought. Staring up at you whilst grasping an old Pokeball, worn and rusted, and decidedly no longer usable, it’s clear Kyle’s thoughts may have gotten a bit lost in the pile, as this is most decidedly not what you had requested. Regardless, he places the ball in front of you before scuttling around behind you, having apparently remembered something as he stares intently at your pack. Perhaps there is something you could do to remind him of what it is he stole?
Ethan watched as the Sableye started to dig through his horde, taking out both a crown on top of his head as well as a rusted Poke Ball. Well, it seems that Kyle got lost in translation, but oh well. The man grabbed the rusted Poke Ball and pocketed it. After all, the more useless knickknacks he could take him, the happier the Sableye would be. It would help since he knew the corruption would be eminent. He sighed... Why was he so caught up in this? What exactly did that boy do? And for what?

Shaking his head, he knew that the Sableye got lost in translation in the pile. He needed to do something to remind the Sableye that they needed to retrieve the glowing orb. And Ethan had a feeling searching through the horde himself was a bad idea. He then remembered that he had retrieved the skull and brought it with him. Perhaps that was a good idea?

"Hey Kyle," he stated to get the Sableye's attention. He then pulled out the skull from his pack. "Remember the orb this skeleton was holding? Would you be able to find that orb?"

Ethan hoped that this would work, since if not he would probably have to search through it himself. He knew that freshly caught Pokemon, especially those caught out of the blue, didn't always trust their trainers. To be the best, he needed to know how to properly tame Pokemon. There was no point in crushing everyone and everything if he couldn't prove he was adept at all things trainer-wise.

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Last edited by Lil'twick; 05-11-2021 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:31 PM   #14
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myahoo - Following after your Sableye as you approach the Rainbow Caverns, it’s clear as to why few people aside from some researchers have come to call this place home as of yet, as the freezing winds and biting cold nip at your skin, it’s hard not to complain about the frost even with a personal heater of a Pokemon tucked away inside your jacket to keep you warm. Luckily, the Caverns are reached soon enough, shining colors of every hue glinting through the cave system, the rainbow walls changing drastically every now and again as the clouds above the Glacier change shape, allowing different rays of light to pierce through the ice and refract in different ways to alter the color of each individual surface. But beyond even the beauty of the caves to your eyes, perhaps more miraculous is the feeling here, as the natural ice helps to insulate at least some level of warmth, a stark contrast to the bone chilling cold outside.

You’re not but a few steps in before you spy someone, clearly one of the men from the research base nearby by his gear, a thick coat, snow goggles, warm boots and gloves, and a leather bag stuffed to the brim with papers and… large chunks of ice? In fact, he’s carrying yet more of these ice chunks the bottom of his coat pulled up in his arms to make something of a hammock absolutely overflowing with naught more than fist sized chunks of crystal clear ice.

The man mutters to himself as he approaches you, staring clean through you and out to the exit of the cave. “I’m rich… rich… beautiful gems… rich…”

It would seem you’re not the only one here interested in treasure, though hopefully you come out of it with a bit more than a few mounds of ice.
There were so many colors. Even as her shoulders loosened, no longer needing to hunch against the wind, that was the first thing Melissa noticed. Colors everywhere. The ice walls were clearly acting like prisms, splitting what sunlight made it through the clouds and then scattering them all over the place; it made for a beautiful, dizzying kaleidoscope of a tunnel.

Wildfire poked his head out now that she'd relaxed and peered at their surroundings. "Cyndaquil. Quil cynda." He then glanced further into the cave. "Cynda quil cyndaquil?"

Melissa frowned and turned to see what her Cyndaquil was talking about. There was a man in winter gear walking towards them, carrying chunks of ice in his paper-filled leather bag and in the bag he was making out of the bottom of his coat. The man was muttering to himself--something about being rich and gems?--but Melissa only saw ice in his hands. He was also staring past her to the cave exit, apparently not even noticing their presence.

Ore glanced skeptically between the man and the chunks of ice before stealing one, like the little Thief he was, to examine.

"Ore, don't take people's things," Melissa said, keeping an eye out for the man's reaction.

The Sableye rolled his eyes. He turned back to his chunk of ice, tilting it this way and that, confirming to himself that it was just ice, before tossing it back into the man's bag with a derisive sound and turning to head further into the cave.

Melissa sighed loudly and went to follow Ore, politely tossing the man a "Sorry" as she went.
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:09 PM   #15
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Prof.Enigma - Reeling from the pain of the psychic whiplash from your mind being flung back and forth across multiple timestreams, you decide it best to recall Voltsy for now to prevent further harm to the eel while slumbering, and in that moment find your hand grazing across other Pokeballs having found their way onto your belt, surely a side effect of the ongoing time related issues that you are suffering from. A vision of Primal Dialga rushes through your head repeatedly, showing you that your assumptions can only be true, before Wolfe places himself before you in an act of protection, allowing you to climb atop the Arcanine's back.

What comes next is a swift blur, a massive torrent of water being unleashed by the beast bearing you towards your foe, before a heavy shock is issued in the direction of the Galarian Slowking. The wave washes over the opponent before you, giving Wolfe the opening he needs to charge forward as the electrified water should do more than distract the creature. But as Wolfe jumps past, you find yourself sailing not over, but through the Slowking, meeting face to face with a mirror on the other end.

History is not a burden on the memory...

Wolfe clearly expects to crash hard into the mirror, but instead, you pass harmless through it, into it, emerging instead into a dining room within a most elaborate hotel.

...but an illumination of the soul.

There you spy your sister, eating a feast most luxurious, the prime dish of which featuring a large slab of spiced Slowpoke tail. Further visions begin to flash, but not any recognized by your own mind. A well kept, albeit small cage. A needle sinking into soft yellow and pink skin, and then sleep. Searing pain, an unknown part of you missing from where it should be. And all of this repeating on end whenever this piece grows back. Then suddenly, freedom. Unleashed from your prison and left to roam, but filled only with anger. A vendetta placed on those that have done this to you, and all of their kind.

The vision of Primal Dialga flashes once more, and shatters the mirrors making up the illusory world around you, revealing not the Slowking you were fighting, but instead a soft pink and yellow Slowpoke, currently short its tail, staring up at you in bewilderment as to what may be going on.



Wolfe stumbled and in his attemptes to not trample the Slowpoke in the new area, he ends up jolting to a stop in front of the tiny pokemon that was only further dwarfed by Wolfe's gargantuan size. Drake sat up on his partners back, still woozy but attempting to get a better grip on himself.

...


"where are we..." Drake asked softly, because he couldn't muster the strength to speak up any louder. Everything that happened up until this point put such a extreme exhaustion and it was taking every iota of willpower he could muster to not pass out.
Wolfe on the other hand was on edge.

One minute they were in the hall of mirrors and facing off against that thing, now they were here and in front of them was a tiny... younger... thing. Wolfe stepped back as much as he could while still staying within striking distance, angling his body so Drake was shielded from any forward attack.

"wh...who are you?" Drake spoke once again, aiming his question to the slowpoke in the center of the room, Drake also prepared another Pokeball, ready to let go of it at a moments notice. If he was remembering correctly then this Pokeball should contain his other long time partner since coming to his world, Luna.

If all else fails, Drake could have Luna set up a telepathic connection with Krelia and Celyn back at Gateway... wait... when did Celyn come into this world? And Krelia??... He didn't remember nor really have the time to reflect on those thoughts at the moment.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:29 PM   #16
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Missingno. Master - After having harmed the Salandit much more than you had otherwise intended to do so, the Salazzle sets up a brief defense to allow herself and the smaller lizard to reposition, the gas soon fading to reveal the larger of the two backed up to her den in a position that basically screams “go away”. Realizing that she had only initially engaged you in order to protect the Salandit, you convince Homer to offer a couple of Sitrus Berries to the Salazzle, while recalling Gigawatt for a job otherwise well done.

The Salazzle seems to react hesitantly to the offering as it floats her way, but as the Electrode is recalled she relaxes somewhat, scooping up both berries and slowly backing into the darkness of her den to allow passage along the cliffs towards your destination. With that settled, it’s onward and upwards, though as you carefully pass by the den the Salazzle does give a light hiss of warning as you catch her eyes warily watching from just inside. Soon enough, though, the den is well behind you, and the worry of the damage caused by the quarry you’re seeking with it.

Weedle, Alakazam, and Electrode all gain 1 level.

The rest of the trek to the Caldera is a bit restful, save for having to watch your step a few times due to the leaking lava that slowly pours out of small openings every here and there and as soon as you round the corner of the Spire it’s clear exactly why the Onix would have come here. A relatively peaceful location with shimmering crystal clear water, speckled with a myriad of colors of various deposits of heated sand turned to glass and other natural resources, all overlooking the large majority of the island and its jungle. The Caldera feeds into a large waterfall, and with naught but a couple small trickling streams feeding into it, it’s clear that the waters here are almost entirely brought by regular rainfall, accounting for their natural clarity.

By the edge of the heated waters lies what you came here for, the Onix curled into a tight ball, resting for the moment as it watches over the area, clearly no stranger to the locale as it is climbed upon by some of the local wildlife, a couple Marill, a Vulpix, and even a small flock of Fletchling all from what you can see at a quick glance. But the other Pokemon do not linger long, as a light tweet from one of the birds alerts them to your presence, causing them to begin scattering in various directions and disturbing the Onix, slowly unfurling itself from its near slumber to reveal its size reduced somewhat from the travel, though still massive in comparison to the norm for its species.
Things had, for a moment, threatened to escalate, but Eddie kept a cool head and was able to diffuse the situation before things could get any worse. Salazzle was understandably wary at first, but seeing Gigawatt return to its ball seemed to put her at east to an extent. At the very least, she accepted the berries and retreated, allowing the cryptopokologist to pass. He responded to the light hiss with a nod of acknowledgement as he continued onward.

"Whew. Glad that ended well," Eddie murmured as he and his Pokémon continued onward.

"Weedle," Hermione nodded in agreement.

"Cubone bone," added Femur.

Eddie, however, glanced at the Alakazam who was lazily floating along, moving himself with psychic power rather than walking. "Homer? Nothing to add?" he asked.

...I'm sorry.

This got Eddie to stop in his tracks. "What?" he murmured, unsure if he heard Homer's telepathic response correctly.

I'm sorry, OK? Even if I do believe that what happened was your fault, it was wrong of me to call you out on it when I did, Homer thought.

"...True enough, our battling the Onix might have led to that happening, but I think we both know this was not at all how I intended that to go," Eddie replied. "Thank you, Homer." With that said, he readjusted his hold on the Cubone in his arms, and the group continued onward, being careful about the occasional lava leaks. Nowhere near as alarming as what they'd helped stop earlier, but they had to watch where they were going at the very least.

And before long, they found what they were seeking, and then some. Before them was a nice, peaceful location. Pools of crystal clear water, various deposits of sand turned to glass by the heat, overlooking a great majority of the island. To cap it off, the Onix was clearly a familiar figure around here, for it was lying down with numerous smaller Pokémon relaxing around and even atop the Rock Snake Pokémon. The whole sight was breathtakingly beautiful, and Eddie was quick to take pictures of all of this on his PokéGear. "X-x above, this is beautiful," he breathed.

"Weeedle," Hermione added quietly, the Weedle equally in awe.

"Booooone," added Femur, her eyes sparkling with wonder.

Meh, Homer thought indifferently.

Eddie gave a small nod to Hermione and another one to Homer, and the two knew what to do- out of fear of disrupting any of the Pokémon, Eddie wasn't going for his tape recorder here. Instead, Homer Psychically levitated a notebook and an ink bottle out of Eddie's backpack, setting them both down so Hermione, who had already crawled down off of Eddie's shoulder, could do her thing. Doing what had resulted in her tail stinger being permanently dyed black all those years ago, she dipped said stinger in the ink and set to work writing with it, taking notes on the beautiful area, and Onix's apparent familiarity with both the area and the other Pokémon, followed by the note that the other Pokémon don't necessarily seem like they'd be quite as absurdly powerful as the sort of Pokémon Eddie was looking for. Eddie looked over these notes when Hermione was done and nodded his satisfaction, though by that point, one of the Fletchling had noticed the newcomers and alerted the others. The small Pokémon were quick to scatter, and Onix, who hadn't quite fallen asleep, was certainly not about to do so now. Getting the hint that something was amiss, the Rock/Ground-type unfurled itself. Eddie could tell right away that the Onix was smaller than before- parts of it must have chipped away in its travels, though compared to the norms of its kind, it was still freaking massive.

Well, what now? Homer asked.

We wait and observe, Eddie thought back. I have no desire to stir up any trouble. Besides, now that we've already encountered it before, perhaps now I'll be able to get some further info with my Pokédex.

...could you not have simply scanned it with the Pokédex the first time you saw it and avoided all this mess? Homer demanded.

Probably not- a scan like this could take time, and time is a luxury we didn't have back there. Here, however, may be a different story, Eddie thought back. Keep a sharp eye on Onix while I'm trying this, alright? If Onix discovers us, try and reason with it, tell it we mean it no harm.

A tall order, considering our last encounter ended with me attacking it.

And that's why we do like we did for Salazzle- a peace offering. I have one last Sitrus Berry in my backpack. If it comes down to it, offer Onix that.

...Fine, Homer relented. You realize, of course, that since I'm helping out so much, I will Teleport us all to Donphan Donuts on the way home if I have to.

I'd be surprised if you wouldn't, Eddie thought as he prepared to scan Onix with his Pokédex. If this was allowed the time it needed, he could very well get a better feel for what it was capable of, in particular how strong it was. Homer, meanwhile, was ready to use Telekinesis to grab and offer the Sitrus Berry to Onix if it spotted them and did not seem receptive to words of reason right away.
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:59 PM   #17
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SlashKub
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Adventure Start
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"I feel like such a tourist," Slash remarked to the Popplio he carried in his arms, stepping off the boat that took them to the Tranquil Lagoon. "Po po!" she replied back in agreement. Oh, well, he thought. He guessed he'd just have to embrace it. "Come on, Caprina, let's look around. I hear the settlement here has plenty of Trainers to battle. And if you behave, maybe we'll go to the reef and have some fun there, as well. You'd like that, right, girl?"

"Po! Li po!" she responded, enthusiastically.

Sightseeing here was pretty interesting. On the surface, it seemed to be a pretty basic trade town, boring even, but there were some oddities about the area that somehow made everything all the more interesting as a whole. The village folks' creepy, eternal smiles were warm and inviting, but still somehow off-putting when every person he found around the town seemed to have the exact same smile. The wooden walkways- probably teak- had a little give to them, which made them feel a little dangerous despite the fact they were clearly safe enough for heavy, frequent travel. The dwellings also seemed to be weirdly dated, out of style, but this place was only settled relatively recently.

He shook his head sharply. He was probably just letting the creepy stories he'd heard of the Phantom Island mess with his imagination. This place was fine, this weirdness was all in his head. He needed a good battle to clear his mind. Then he'd be able to really appreciate this place for its beauty.

He flagged down a passing smiling settler. "Excuse me," he said. "I was wondering if there was an area of this village where Trainers have Pokemon battles? I'm just off a long boat ride and I need to unwind with a good fight."

"Po!"

Update 1
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The Tranquil Lagoon, a peaceful village with crystal clear waters and shimmering white sands ill fitting the standard faire of the other islands of the Archipelago. Had you not had to travel passed the other islands just to get here, the very sights alone would be enough to make this place out to be a true gem hidden among the sea. And yet, things here seemed odd, as the villagers walked about with ear to ear smiles on their faces in the peaceful calm of the island. The walkways of the wooden planks barely sinking into the lagoon even as carts filled to the brim with fish are transported across them, and the dwellings old but well kept told a tale of a town lost to the ages. An odd thought given how recently established you know the area to be.

Shaking off the oddities, you look about for some form of fun, before flagging down a passing settler to ask about where to find a good place for Pokemon battles. The man, a fisherman whose upper body looked as though he could snap one of these wooden walkways in two, and lower body matched in such a way that you might think the planet rotating might just be as a result of him taking a morning stroll, stopped suddenly at your waving, sticking a fishing spear into the wood with a firm grasp.

"Trainer battles?" The man smiled, the idea of a battle seeming to confuse him for a moment, "Oh, you mean for training? Most people take that kind of thing out to the desert." Pausing for a moment he continues, "I suppose there's sometimes some polite arguments over resources out at the reef as well, though they rarely escalate that far."

Barely bothering to even acknowledge your existence, as though reciting the words from a script, the man finishes his words before walking away toward the Vibrant Reef. It might be worth following him, but just as he leaves, the savory smells of local cuisine tingles your nose, salty yet sweet, with a slight bit of spice to it. The delicious scent seems to be wafting from further into the Village, perhaps it's worth looking into as well.

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Slash blinked in confusion. Conflict resolution... without Pokemon battles? That was... that's not how the world is supposed to work. It was unsettling to think of. And the guy's unbroken smile while he said something so weird so casually, that was even stranger. Did he not understand how outlandish his statement was? Apparently not, as the bulky man proceeded to walk away in short order, not even giving time for the words to settle.

While confused on what path to follow, Slash became aware of a very nice scent that began wafting through the air, or maybe it had been there all along and he was just catching a whiff of it. It smelled very nice, though he couldn't quite place what it was. It might be something local, something completely foreign to him. The reef, the desert, food. All seemed like good options, but at the same time, not of them felt right.

Maybe coming to this archipelago was a mistake. There was just something here he couldn't shake, it felt like everything was just half a step out of tune. It was just close enough at the surface, but the longer he was here, the more he could feel just how discordant it was. Maybe he should just leave-

The second it crossed his mind, Slash felt a shiver in the back of his head. Some kind of instinct, maybe, but he had this strong feeling that, should be try to take a boat off this island, he wouldn't be able to. Not at this time. An odd instinct, to be sure, but he felt he could trust it. It felt as though maybe some... thing? one? some force? he wasn't sure, wanted him to stay. Maybe it was even just a part of himself. He would have to keep an eye out-

"Po! Li po!" Caprina shouted and wriggled in his arms and gave him a light but sharp slap on the cheek. He realised he'd been just standing there for a few minutes, pensive, ignoring everything else.

"Sorry, girl, you know how I get sometimes," he gave a small chuckle and rubbed her head. Slash needed to have a battle, that would serve best to clear his head at a time like this. Nothing gave a Trainer perspective like a Pokemon battle. "I think we should head to the desert, girl. This town is getting unsettling. We might even find you a nice oasis."

"Popo!" she squealed happily. It was decided. Slash started his trek towards the desert, Caprina in his arms.

Update 2
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Sitting in pensive thought for quite some time, your concentration, or lack thereof, is broken by Caprina wriggling about for a moment in your arms before giving a swift slap to your face. It's a bit of a shock, but enough of one to help you decide where you truly want to go. Happy with your suggestion of heading to the desert, Caprina stares out before you as you walk towards the shimmering white sands making up much of the island.

Exiting the border of the town and stepping into the desert, it's as though pure white glitter has been stretched out before your very eyes as far as you can sea. The sand seems to reach out far beyond the horizon, giving the impression that there is no sea to be found on the other side even though you know all too well that this island is not overly large in size. As explained by the man you previously bumped into, a number of people can be found training with their Pokemon as you take view of the full landscape, Pokemon of every shape and size finding ways to make themselves stronger in their own respective strengths and lessen their individual weaknesses.

You find yourself quite unable to approach any of them, though, as a woman with bright red hair in short shorts and a training top runs up from behind you, her bare feet kicking up sand as she passes by you. Her Pokemon, on the other hand, waddles behind slowly, snacking on what appears to be a taco, before stopping near you to stare up at the Popplio in your arms. The small, off-white cephalopod promptly finishes the snack before raising both of its tentacle-like arms up in a defensive pose.

"Come on Hurley, you're falling behind!" The trainer shouts before looking back, finally spotting you. "Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't see you there!" Jogging back over the woman scoops up her Pokemon, "I'm Lacey, nice to meet you!"

The woman's smile seemed a bit less... off than that of the man before, a bit more genuine, perhaps. And yet her eyes seemed to pierce straight through you, as though she was examining your every flaw. "Oh, are you here to do some training?"




"I am!" Slash said enthusiastically, maybe a bit too much so. She seemed a lot more normal than the man he had spoken with previously. More genuine, less plastic. She had an edge to her eyes that was worrisome, though. Maybe that was just the kind of competitive spirit he needed to face off against to get himself more settled into his groove here, though.

"I mean, yes, I came to get some training in," he said, in a more normal tone. "Sorry, I just got here, and it's felt a bit off to me, probably because I haven't had a battle all trip." he gave a small, more relaxed chuckle. "Nice to meet you as well, Lacey. I'm Slash. And this little sass monster is Caprina" he held up the Popplio in his arms. She "po"d happily in greeting, barking up a few bubbles that popped into sparkles. "She's not much for training herself, only when she gets really fired up, but I have other Pokemon on hand who are more than happy to cut loose for a battle. Oh, wait," he added, pulling out his PokeDex

He had to find out what that cool-looking Pokemon she had with her was. He'd never seen one before, and it looked like something his uncle would absolutely adore. He pulled out his PokeDex and scanned it.

"Clobbopus, the Tantrum Pokemon. A Fighting type. It's very curious, but its means of investigating things is to try to punch them with its tentacles. The search for food, particularly tacos, is what brings it onto land."

That was... oddly specific, but who was he to judge?

He snapped back to his previous stream of thought. "But yeah, would you be interested in a battle? I'd love to see what your Pokemon are capable of, especially that Clobbopus."
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:29 PM   #18
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Unreal Archipelago: Zone of Mysteries



Conflagrant Spire
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At the northeast of the Archipelago can be found the Conflagrant Spire, an active volcano that has formed into an incredibly tall and thin tower of a mountain. The spire itself finds itself to the far west side of the island, with the land below stretching and reaching out, as if attempting to grab out at the island far to the south. The nutrient rich soil hosts lush plantlife and a wide variety of fauna, leaving this what would be the most naturally beautiful of all the islands. That beauty hides a horrible secret, however, relics of times past that hint at terrible rituals that were once conducted here in the name of ancient deities. Those who have braved the island have yet to find anything resembling human life, yet these horrid sites remain clean, as though used only yesterday. It is unknown when the Spire last erupted, let alone when it will again, but a temple at its top gives hint that it must have been some time ago.

Sub Areas:

The Ashen Coast:
West of the spire is where all ash falls, thanks to the breeze created by the change in weather condition of the Archipelago due to the constant cold air from the Quiescent Glacier attempting to suck in the heat from so far away. While the ash falls into the ocean long before reaching any of the other islands, the coast here is kept rich by what percentage of it lands here, leading to healthy Pokemon happy to roam the area for the small foliage that pokes through the sand.
Danny and Fleur stepped out of the Corviknight Taxi, and thanked the grizzled driver. He had already told the driver to not come back for him, as he was gonna spend an unknown amount of time on the island. Danny had come to the Conflagrant Spire, a volcanic island in the Unreal Archipelago. With a heave, the Corviknight Taxi flew off, leaving only an imprint in the coast's ashen black sand.

"Interesting phenomenon." Danny said, bending down and running a finger through the shiny, black sand. It was warm to the touch, contrasting with the cold air. "I know who will like this." Danny tossed a Pokeball in the air, releasing a white, crystalline worm, who proceeded to dive into the black sand, burrowing at surprising speed and vigour.

"Yep, really get that warmth, Pepper! I knew you'd like somewhere like this." Fleur looked irritated at the sand Pepper was scattering, but even her couldn't not admire the black, beautiful beach that spanned for many miles. On the side of a volcano, the ash had mixed with the soil, causing the sand to take on this dark color - and for it to be rather fertile, sprouting foliage.

"Well, we're here!" Danny said, looking around. "Keep your eyes peeled for anything interesting!"
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:13 PM   #19
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Danny-

Exiting the Corviknight Taxi, you, Fleur, and Pepper step onto the Ashen Coast. Dyed black from the ash for the volcano, this was the home of a myriad amount of species. The warmth was perfect for a lot of things to grow, despite the winds kicking up the ash every so often. Pepper was enjoying it, the Snom's affinity more aligned with the fire type than her ice and bug types. Though that wasn't a bad thing, and the coast was the perfect place for both her and Fleur to experience the warmth.

Though, you really had no goal in mind as you entered the coast. You just knew adventure was afoot, and that you weren't going to leave for a long while. You were in for the long haul, regardless of where you were going. Were you going to encounter lunatic cultists? Something lurking deep within the lava tubes? Who knows! Anything could happen here in the Unreal Archipelago, but usually something supernatural or at least more gritty than the other areas in Fizzytopia.

As your team makes their way through the coast, you could notice the sand starting to shift. Something was lurking within, but what it was wasn't exactly describable. Your team seemed to be on high alert, and Pepper stopped burrowing. The Snom surfaced, and that's when the sand came to life. You noticed what seemed to be a yellow shovel moving at lightning-fast speeds. The sand lurches up and goes to swallow pepper whole. This was getting worse, fast.

What do you do?
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:25 PM   #20
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ChrisClark13-

You point to the mark on the map that seems oddly barren, and Yang's eyes light up with excitement. Was this, by chance, the choice that she wanted you to make? Or was there some other reason why she wanted you to choose this one?

"Excellent!" she exclaims, her voice echoing through the barren wasteland.

"This is our most recent entrance and is apparently close to a newly discovered vein of fire opals. They are very, very valuable and the other part of the reason I came here. Oh, I would so love to deck myself out in those beautiful gems without having to pay market price," she swooned at the idea. She was definitely a rich girl through and through, even if she kept her cunning business sense.

"However, due to its recency, we really haven't been able to survey the area as much. There could potentially be other entrances along the way into the mines, so we do need to be careful," she adds in. She then rolls up the scroll and begins to head north.

With not much you can do besides follow her, you do, well, just exactly that. The hot, barren land of the cliffs continues to bare its fangs and dig into you. Though, oddly, you notice Yang doesn't seem to notice. What exactly was up with her? If anything, she seemed to get more cheery as the heat went on.

Though, that could be a heat-induced illusion. You couldn't tell exactly. Your vision was becoming hazier as you walked, and could swear you could see more and more lava plumes erupting. It was as if the volcano had come to life, and was slowly making its way towards you to swallow you whole.

Though, after a while, the heat started to die down. Though the air quality was becoming much worse, and you could see why. What seemed like black snow begun to fall, littering you, Yang, and Annahime. You could hear Yang coughing a little as the "snow" was falling.

"Ack... Ash," she states as some caught in your throat.

Though, it was weird, as the volcano hadn't erupted in a long while. Though, your answer soon arrived as you reached the ashen coast. High above, you could see a flock of Talonflame flying through the area, kicking up the ash along the coast and creating a miniature ash storm.

At this point, the conditions were starting to get worse and worse. It was too dangerous to try and go through head-on. You could try and figure out a way to move the Talonflame along, or find an alternative route to get to the mine entrance.

What do you do?
The first thing Curtis does is stuff Annahime inside his fursuit, though overheated as she is she barely protests and uses the furry fabric to cover up her nose. The next thing Curtis does is slide off his backpack to pull out a spare T-shirt and fold it up a few times before tying it around his face. He would soak it in water, but he doesn't exactly have a water Pokemon on hand for that.

Those basic and simple steps done, he starts considering how he's going to get through this mess. There's gotta be a move that would get them through this right? Something to block the ash, like Reflect or Light Screen, or even cool down this entire area like Rain Dance perhaps? Too bad that once again, Curtis doesn't have any Pokemon that knows those on hand! This entire trip so far has been one lesson after another on how he really, really needs a team with a wide variety of the more 'elemental' types on it- or at least that he needs to teach his Pokemon those moves.

Well, Toby does have Blizzard- but he also has Normalize which means that the winds that he would kick up are not going to be very cold. Though somehow it can still freeze (which he has just accepted as an unsolvable mystery at this point). Even so, it is looking like the best option at hand. Or... he could try to get those Talonflame to stop flying around, but doing that without somehow starting a fight might be even more difficult.

Curtis opens up the Delcatty's Pokeball and scoops the cat off the ground as soon as he's done materializing to protect his poor paws from the heat. Hefting the surprisingly heavy feline Pokemon up, Curtis grunts out an order, "Alright Toby, surround us a Blizzard to keep this ash off of us and ward off the heat!"

Groaning, he then looks to Yang to see if she's going to do anything. After all, shouldn't the more experienced Trainer here have a better idea of how to deal with this?
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Old 05-16-2021, 12:01 PM   #21
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Danny-

Exiting the Corviknight Taxi, you, Fleur, and Pepper step onto the Ashen Coast. Dyed black from the ash for the volcano, this was the home of a myriad amount of species. The warmth was perfect for a lot of things to grow, despite the winds kicking up the ash every so often. Pepper was enjoying it, the Snom's affinity more aligned with the fire type than her ice and bug types. Though that wasn't a bad thing, and the coast was the perfect place for both her and Fleur to experience the warmth.

Though, you really had no goal in mind as you entered the coast. You just knew adventure was afoot, and that you weren't going to leave for a long while. You were in for the long haul, regardless of where you were going. Were you going to encounter lunatic cultists? Something lurking deep within the lava tubes? Who knows! Anything could happen here in the Unreal Archipelago, but usually something supernatural or at least more gritty than the other areas in Fizzytopia.

As your team makes their way through the coast, you could notice the sand starting to shift. Something was lurking within, but what it was wasn't exactly describable. Your team seemed to be on high alert, and Pepper stopped burrowing. The Snom surfaced, and that's when the sand came to life. You noticed what seemed to be a yellow shovel moving at lightning-fast speeds. The sand lurches up and goes to swallow pepper whole. This was getting worse, fast.

What do you do?
When Danny had asked for something interesting, this wasn't exactly what he had wanted. After trudging through the dark, silvery coast, keeping their eyes out for something interesting (Pepper more digging for something interesting) they had found it. The sand beneath them began to rumble, like something was turning beneath it, causing the earth to churn like curry in a large pot.

"Uh, Pepper, is that you?" Danny asked, already knowing that it couldn't be Pepper, but was hoping it was somehow. Maybe Pepper had learnt Sand Tomb.

Danny's question was answered by Pepper resurfacing, and the rumbling continuing, making it clear this wasn't her. What did happen, though, was worse. What seemed to be a large, yellow shovel was digging through the shore, and the sand was about to cover up Pepper, which would be bad.

"Quick, Pepper, that's enough fieldwork!" Danny zapped the worm back into her ball. "Fleur, attack whatever that is....with Hidden Power."

Fleur jumped up and swished her tail forward, releasing an odd energy that began to smolder and spark like fire, directing it at the yellow shovel thing.
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Old 05-23-2021, 12:51 PM   #22
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Chris-

Figuring out the best solution you have with what's available, you have your Delcatty begin to whip up a Blizzard. The galeforce winds are more neutral than icy, due to Toby's Normalize ability. So while it is a tiny bit chilly, it won't be causing anyone frostbite. With the force of the winds, the Delcatty can easily blow away most of the ash around you.

Looking over at Yang, she just pulls out a pair of green goggles with orange lenses and a face mask. She quickly puts both on, and the combo is enough to keep her undeterred from the falling ash. Considering this isn't the first time on the island, it made sense she already had a solution on hand for herself.

Though Toby's Blizzard wasn't going to last forever, and the flock of Talonflame weren't going to be going anywhere soon. You do notice that they seem to be looking towards you now, the thermal flows being interrupted. In the distance, you do see the unexplored opening to the mines. Well, that left a decision to be made. Do you go ahead and beeline straight towards the mines and pray it works out, or try to have the Talonflame leave the area to have the ash die down?

What do you do?

Danny-

Recalling your Snom, you order your Snivy to use her Hidden Power against the yellow shovel. The fiery orbs wash over the shovel, but all it does is irritate it. You soon see another yellow shovel pop up from the ashen sand not too far from the first one. Both of them looked angry that their prey was taken from them, and you see the shovels begin to rise.

You're then met with two Sandyghast, shimmering black and with yellow shovels instead of red. They being to make angry noises at you, taking away their prey. This wasn't the best thing to have happened immediately, but then again everything here was dangerous. Even something as inauspicious as sand could come up and devour you. Welcome to the Unreal Archipelago, where you either were the hunter or the hunted.

The sand beneath you and Fleur begins to shift, dragging you both down. You see the two shovels spin rapidly, the Sandyghast trying to ensnare you within two Sand Tombs. Fleur was outnumbered two to one here, and she probably wouldn't be able to hold both of them off by herself. You needed to think fast on your feet, or you and your Snivy would be entombed and become the Sandyghasts' prey.

What do you do?
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:44 PM   #23
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Chris-

Figuring out the best solution you have with what's available, you have your Delcatty begin to whip up a Blizzard. The galeforce winds are more neutral than icy, due to Toby's Normalize ability. So while it is a tiny bit chilly, it won't be causing anyone frostbite. With the force of the winds, the Delcatty can easily blow away most of the ash around you.

Looking over at Yang, she just pulls out a pair of green goggles with orange lenses and a face mask. She quickly puts both on, and the combo is enough to keep her undeterred from the falling ash. Considering this isn't the first time on the island, it made sense she already had a solution on hand for herself.

Though Toby's Blizzard wasn't going to last forever, and the flock of Talonflame weren't going to be going anywhere soon. You do notice that they seem to be looking towards you now, the thermal flows being interrupted. In the distance, you do see the unexplored opening to the mines. Well, that left a decision to be made. Do you go ahead and beeline straight towards the mines and pray it works out, or try to have the Talonflame leave the area to have the ash die down?

What do you do?
Curtis takes a breath of air now that he's not in danger of breathing in ash and the strong winds help him cool down. Now that he's no longer baking as much in his fursuit, he finally feels that he can take a moment to calm down and not be quite as rushed... though those Talonflame are staring down at him now...

It takes him a moment to realize that it's because Toby's little Blizzard is messing up their thermals. His first thought is that he could have Annahime shoot up some flames to bring the thermals back, but that'd just wear her out (if it's even possible). Besides, Toby's going to get worn out sooner rather than later if he keeps the winds up too.

As Curtis looks up at the scary birds-of-prey, he feels their gazes coming down on him more and more. Getting nervous, Curtis considers just throwing some berries at the Talonflames to appease them but- that won't make them go away, it might even encourage them to stick around!

At a loss, he only has one real option left.

The fursuited trainer turns to Yang and speaks up, "Do you think you could do something about the flock of Talonflame? Clear them out?" He looks back up to the birds, "I... can't deal with all this ash... not for long enough to get to the cave at least..." He'd never thought he'd have to have Toby use Blizzard for this long- never trained for it.

He takes a deep breath of clear air while he can. Either he gets help from Yang or... he'll have to head back and try to wait the flock out... or he could just make a mad dash for it but that would certainly risk drawing more attention from the Talonflame flock... or least resort he tries to attack them but without Yang's help there's no way that'd work out well.

Whatever he does, it's gonna be all up to what Yang does next... if she even decides to help. Ever since he met her, it's just felt like she's constantly testing him. Or maybe she just doesn't like helping? Whatever her deal is, Curtis just hopes that the senior Pokemon Trainer has a way to get past this that will also let him past.
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Old 05-29-2021, 12:38 PM   #24
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Yang looks at you, and you can tell she was smiling at you beneath her mask. It was kind of unnerving, knowing her emotions even so most of her face was covered in protective gear. You can definitely tell she was testing you, and that alone was enough to know you weren't up to par in her eyes. Though, why was she so teasing and belittling at the same time? It fit her, but it also felt off.

"I thought you'd figure something else, but it can't be helped," she replied cheekily, and you see her grab a Pokeball. Throwing it up in the air, you see a Solrock come out.

"Alright, use Smack Down on the flock! If we hit three of them the others should come swooping down. Especially since they already are sizing us up," Yang ordered the rocky sun.

The Solrock spins, and the fires off three volleys of hard rocks at the Talonflame. The impact causes the three-hit to lose their capabilities of flight, and they spiral down into the ash. You could see a puff of ashy sand cover them, but you could still make them out. The two Talonflame left flying do not take this well, and start diving at your group at breakneck speed. You needed to think of a plan, and fast, to deal with these birds.

What do you do?
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:40 PM   #25
Saiza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaze View Post
Unreal Archipelago: Zone of Mysteries


Phantom Isle
Please reply in SlateGray


Sitting at the far south of the Unreal Archipelago, Phantom Isle was once a large theme park with an accompanying hotel, the park incorporating a slew of rides, entertainment venues, and showcases, terrible events in the past caused the shutdown of the park for some time. With years now having passed, nobody can say for certain what the singular moment was that caused this downward spiral of the park's luck, but the final straw in its closure can be directly linked to the event wherein the Ghost Train ride caught fire, killing dozens of adults, children, and trainers. In its heyday the park held Contests, saw frequent friendly battles, and even allowed children to hire Pokemon for the day to keep them company or to battle with in special kiddie events. The hotel towering over the south side of the island was added only recently before the park had been shut down, meant to house those that wished to stay for more than a single day with their families and enjoy all of the attractions they could. Now, the park lingers with supernatural activity, an odd purple haze washing over the island causing it to be shrouded in a perpetual darkness as natural light no longer filters through. While it is known that the park once had a large variety of places to see, enough to accommodate large crowds for days on end, some locations seem to have disappeared forever, as though absorbed into the fog that now covers the Isle.

Sub Areas:

Fortune Teller's Tent:
Situated in the shadows cast by the majestic circus tent is a much smaller tent which once housed a mystical woman who was said to have powers beyond that of a regular human, being able to see not only into the past, but also into the future. She passed away not too long before the closure of the theme park but nobody thought anything of it, since she was getting on in years. Today, there is still a light coming from her tent, so could it be she still lingers in the theme park, waiting for her next customer?
Ary was sure he had a reason for coming here originally - something about testing his strength against the local wild Pokemon - but that idea had vanished rather quickly once he was deep in the silent grounds of the Phantom Isle theme park.

Ary felt a chill run down his spine. He hadn't seen or heard anything out of the ordinary yet though, so there was only one logical explanation...

"I'm letting all those weird stories I heard back in town get to me. There's no way this place is actually as bad as people say, right?"

For better or worse, Ghost Pokemon were rather commonplace for Trainers to interact with. He wasn't particularly fond of them, life and death and what came after being subjects he actively tried not to think too much about, but Ary had long made peace with the fact he would be running into some spirits along his journey.

Problem was, this place was home exclusively to spirit, if rumors were to be believed...

"Nope. No way I'm going in that huge, creepy place," he said to himself while staring at the circus tent in front of him. Then, he felt something tug at his hair.

"Uh, Mobius? What is it?"

The Trapinch motioned with his huge head to another nearby tent. This one, thankfully, was a lot smaller, and more importantly, there was light coming out of it. Ary was so freaked out by the whole place that he barely stopped to think that the source of the light could just as well be supernatural, and rushed toward it like a moth to flame.

"Good job Mobius! Someone must be inside! Thank Arceus, another living being..."
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