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Old 09-05-2021, 05:06 PM   #76
Lil'twick
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Marion Ette-

The sister listens to you, a little perturbed by your words. A walking contradiction, someone with the look of a sinner and heart of a saint. How such devotion could bring about contradictions within a person, well, that was only known to them. To you. Still, you could see her brow furrow on listening to your lament.

"Well, ma'am, while we can't control the weather... We can at least offer you solace in clearing your head. Sky. Whatever," the sister responds to you, still not sure how to interpret your words.

The serious-type, no-nonsense, or purple prosy phrases. Just pure, stout honesty and the beguiling sense of unwavering mental fortitude. A charm for sure, for a woman to be so in charge and headstrong. Yet, she spoke as if she knew her own heart's answers. That they formed her own fortress and locked out those who stopped and smelled the roses. There was a certain strength to her as she walked down the cathedral's aisle.

"Now please, follow me," she states, looking back at you with a fiery spark within her eye.

As you follow her, you begin to see the other people in the building stare at you. It was a mixture of gawking, awe, and terror. For the name Minerva was well known throughout these lands. And no matter what emotion it elicited, it always garnered respect that was on the thin veneer of terror.

The sister then stops you before the statue.

"Please, behold her grace in all of her majesty," she declares, voice filled with awe and majesty. Such reverence for this woman, as if this was the one weakness to melt her away.

Gazing forth, you see the holy woman in all of her glory. Holding scripture in her right hand and hammer in left, she commanded everyone's presence. Commands that one both work on their spirit and body, as well as build towards a better tomorrow. And this, after all, was what was needed to mend a broken heart.

"Now, ma'am," the sister speaks up. "We can do a few things for you here. Confess, and we may work through it. Repent, and we shall put you to work. Or-" before the woman could finish, another sister came forward.

Looking at her, she felt oddly... familiar. Long, raven black hair trailed from beneath her habit. Icy blue eyes ever piercing, and an almost otherworldly nature to her. She was grace-given form, fallen and corrupted by the darkness. Yet, at the same time, she felt like a complete stranger.

"Ah your glory!" the sister clapped.

"Hello Sister Brunetta. Thank you for assisting this special guest," the woman bows, holding her hand in prayer towards you. "I am Her Glory Stacenellia the XIV. To see one such as yourself here, there must be a lot on your mind we can offer. But of course, for one such drenched in a sin... We must cleanse first."

The woman takes an offensive stance and pulls a Poke Ball from within her dress. The entire crowd surrounding you clears out towards the back, with Sister Brunetta standing beneath the statue.

"Now, do you take my challenge? Let me lustrate your mind through battle!" Her Glory questions you before exclaiming fiercely, eyes peering and poised.

How do you react?
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Old 09-06-2021, 02:36 PM   #77
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Marion Ette-

The sister listens to you, a little perturbed by your words. A walking contradiction, someone with the look of a sinner and heart of a saint. How such devotion could bring about contradictions within a person, well, that was only known to them. To you. Still, you could see her brow furrow on listening to your lament.

"Well, ma'am, while we can't control the weather... We can at least offer you solace in clearing your head. Sky. Whatever," the sister responds to you, still not sure how to interpret your words.

The serious-type, no-nonsense, or purple prosy phrases. Just pure, stout honesty and the beguiling sense of unwavering mental fortitude. A charm for sure, for a woman to be so in charge and headstrong. Yet, she spoke as if she knew her own heart's answers. That they formed her own fortress and locked out those who stopped and smelled the roses. There was a certain strength to her as she walked down the cathedral's aisle.

"Now please, follow me," she states, looking back at you with a fiery spark within her eye.

As you follow her, you begin to see the other people in the building stare at you. It was a mixture of gawking, awe, and terror. For the name Minerva was well known throughout these lands. And no matter what emotion it elicited, it always garnered respect that was on the thin veneer of terror.

The sister then stops you before the statue.

"Please, behold her grace in all of her majesty," she declares, voice filled with awe and majesty. Such reverence for this woman, as if this was the one weakness to melt her away.

Gazing forth, you see the holy woman in all of her glory. Holding scripture in her right hand and hammer in left, she commanded everyone's presence. Commands that one both work on their spirit and body, as well as build towards a better tomorrow. And this, after all, was what was needed to mend a broken heart.

"Now, ma'am," the sister speaks up. "We can do a few things for you here. Confess, and we may work through it. Repent, and we shall put you to work. Or-" before the woman could finish, another sister came forward.

Looking at her, she felt oddly... familiar. Long, raven black hair trailed from beneath her habit. Icy blue eyes ever piercing, and an almost otherworldly nature to her. She was grace-given form, fallen and corrupted by the darkness. Yet, at the same time, she felt like a complete stranger.

"Ah your glory!" the sister clapped.

"Hello Sister Brunetta. Thank you for assisting this special guest," the woman bows, holding her hand in prayer towards you. "I am Her Glory Stacenellia the XIV. To see one such as yourself here, there must be a lot on your mind we can offer. But of course, for one such drenched in a sin... We must cleanse first."

The woman takes an offensive stance and pulls a Poke Ball from within her dress. The entire crowd surrounding you clears out towards the back, with Sister Brunetta standing beneath the statue.

"Now, do you take my challenge? Let me lustrate your mind through battle!" Her Glory questions you before exclaiming fiercely, eyes peering and poised.

How do you react?
Though Minerva's metaphorical expressions of her inner turmoil may not have gone over as well as she had hoped, the general gist was still understood by the no-nonsense Sister Brunetta, who guides her to the statue, sparks within her eyes... Reminiscent of the rays of Heaven, or possibly the flames of Hell. After everything she's experienced thus far, Minerva was beginning to feel that both places burned just the same.

Minerva largely ignores the eyes on her as she moves through the cathedral, though Bia regards the stares with some surprise and confusion. Having become Minerva's companion in a land where she was relatively unknown, the attention was new, different, unnerving – but ultimately, Bia takes Minerva's lead, and does her best to ignore the attention.

As commanded, both Minerva and Bia behold the holy woman. Taking a moment to meditate on her commanding presence and glorious visage, Minerva considers the message of her scripture and hammer – that one should strive to better mind and body both, internally, as well as work towards a better tomorrow, externally.

There was a bitter irony in the message. Indeed, Minerva had those very goals in mind when she left Fizzytopia to join the Lacunosa Nightwatch. In training with the fourteen other recruits who had joined the strange, yet necessary organization, her thin frame had bulked with muscle, and her mind had been tempered in both intense sessions of meditation and training with their leader, Cal. Through such training, Cal had hoped that Minerva would become more stable – more resilient – and regain her humanity in such a way as to not harm others. As a violent, unstable half-human monster, Minerva wanted nothing more than to be a better person... for the one she loved.

Ultimately, Minerva was what was known to the Nightwatch as a “Cyclops”. You see, Lacunosa Nightwatch members are colloquially referred to as “Eyes”. If all members of a unit are lost or killed before their five year service is at an end, that Unit is referred to as “Blinded” - however, if just one member should survive, that member is transferred to another unit and given the designation of Cyclops. Unfortunately, through some sort of administrative mix-up, Minerva's unit was temporarily marked as Blinded, and death notices had been sent for her. When the mistake was caught, Minerva had vehemently requested that no correction be sent. Why correct the error when she was just as likely to die tomorrow and have to send notices all over again? At the time, she still had three years ahead of her, and the odds were not in her favor. Having watched everyone around her die horribly in the name of that “better tomorrow,” why bother giving anyone false hope, when she was likely next?

Of course... counter to Minerva's expectations, Cal (with particular urging from his wife) took special care to keep her out of harm's way, even working to procure Bia and Oroitz in order to take care of her.

Minerva didn't end up dying. Not physically, anyhow.

A single eye, staring up to Heaven. She had sacrificed everything, but what was it all for? What did it matter, in the end...?

If there was an answer, it would have to wait. Sister Brunetta was listing options for how Minerva might proceed with her time at the Cathedral, but her options are cut short at the appearance of another Sister.

The first words to pop into Minerva's mind are Oracle of Darkness. Then, upon the Sister's introduction of herself, a bit of a double-take. Her Glory Stacenellia the XIV... Was it just a coincidence that the name sounded to her like Stacey, the former Elite and friend of her sister's from many years ago?

No. There was no such thing as a coincidence in this place. Even if logic would say such connections were irrational, if this is what her gut told her, she needed to listen... And be careful.

“It is an honor to meet you, Your Glory,” Minerva responds with due respect, giving a slight bow, as does Bia.

Unlike Sister Brunetta, Her Glory is not one to give Minerva options. The idea of many paths forward was an illusion, it seemed. Given the venerable woman's stance, the crowd, the challenge... Destiny had a clear path in mind. With a deep breath, Minerva turns to the Pokemon that had accompanied her.

“Bia...”

The Bewear faces Minerva, a determined expression already taking over her normally curious face.

“Do you consent to fight this battle on my behalf?” As was custom for Minerva, she did not issue orders or force her Pokemon into battle like simple slaves – any battle they fought, must be fought willingly. It was a tendency which had earned her a great deal of respect.

Despite knowing that she has the option to refuse, Bia does not hesitate. Without a word, she stands directly in front of Minerva, eyes fixed on Her Glory's Pokeball. To Bia, it didn't matter what she might be facing – what disadvantage they may already be staring down, given that it was certainly no secret that the nearly seven-foot normal/fighting type had accompanied her sinful companion to this place.

Bia the Bewear was not one for religion. She did not comprehend a higher power, much less believe in one. Philosophy went in one fuzzy ear and out the other. The cards of Minerva's well-worn and beloved tarot deck were just pretty pictures to her. Whatever the spiritual or psychological significance of this battle was, Bia didn't quite get it... and she didn't particularly care. What she cared about was opportunities to unleash her absolutely devastating strength, and she was not about to let one such opportunity pass her by. Sinner or Saint, she didn't care, as long as she was given the green light by Minerva to pound the ever-loving daylights out of them.

Minerva steels herself, Bia having made her intentions clear.

“We accept your challenge, Your Glory,” Minerva responds with convinction. “Bia shall serve as your opponent.”
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:40 AM   #78
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Marion Ette-

Watching ever so carefully, Her Glory analyzes Bia's choice. The Bewear chose to fight on her own volition for you and thus would require an opponent that had equal trust. With a holy smile, the woman throws out a Luxury Ball. The swirling orb of black and gold gives way to a gorgeous, elegant figure who floats down next to Her Glory with poise.

White petals fly through the cathedral and a regal cry echoes in tune with the bells. A green body posed in a curtsey, and two leaf-like appendages fluttering in some made-up wind. The Pokemon's blue eyes stare at you, sapphires shining in a sea of dull indigo stone. Rays of light from the stained glass illuminated each white flower on its head, creating a kaleidoscope of colors... And prayers.

"Florges!" Her Glory cried out, and the become next to her let out a somber hum. "This was the partner of Her Grace, known across the Arcane Realm to represent the High Priestess Arcana! Now, one who must be purified, let us begin."

And with a twirl, Her Glory shifts her pose. Instead of the cool composure, this was the look of a haughty woman with full confidence. Why need to flaunt when your body itself was that of a sculpture? This was a woman who spent every hour of the day training herself, both mind and body. A woman who knew what she needed to do in her life... One deserving her title from seeing her battle pose alone.

"Now, my cherished friend. Let us begin! Set up a Grassy Terrain, let these stone walls bloom with new life! Then, with grace, send out an array of Magical Leaves!" she orders, her tone not wavering despite the latent excitement within. It's time to get the show on the road.

How do you respond?
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:19 PM   #79
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Marion Ette-

Watching ever so carefully, Her Glory analyzes Bia's choice. The Bewear chose to fight on her own volition for you and thus would require an opponent that had equal trust. With a holy smile, the woman throws out a Luxury Ball. The swirling orb of black and gold gives way to a gorgeous, elegant figure who floats down next to Her Glory with poise.

White petals fly through the cathedral and a regal cry echoes in tune with the bells. A green body posed in a curtsey, and two leaf-like appendages fluttering in some made-up wind. The Pokemon's blue eyes stare at you, sapphires shining in a sea of dull indigo stone. Rays of light from the stained glass illuminated each white flower on its head, creating a kaleidoscope of colors... And prayers.

"Florges!" Her Glory cried out, and the become next to her let out a somber hum. "This was the partner of Her Grace, known across the Arcane Realm to represent the High Priestess Arcana! Now, one who must be purified, let us begin."

And with a twirl, Her Glory shifts her pose. Instead of the cool composure, this was the look of a haughty woman with full confidence. Why need to flaunt when your body itself was that of a sculpture? This was a woman who spent every hour of the day training herself, both mind and body. A woman who knew what she needed to do in her life... One deserving her title from seeing her battle pose alone.

"Now, my cherished friend. Let us begin! Set up a Grassy Terrain, let these stone walls bloom with new life! Then, with grace, send out an array of Magical Leaves!" she orders, her tone not wavering despite the latent excitement within. It's time to get the show on the road.

How do you respond?
Minerva and Bia are treated to a dazzling display of melody, color and grace - the arrival of no ordinary Pokemon, to be sure. As if to confirm Minerva and Bia's suspicions, Her Glory announces their opponent to be none other than the partner of Her Grace, the renowned representation of the High Priestess Arcana. Beautiful, white petals and sapphire eyes... Enchanting beauty seemed to surround Minerva at every turn in this place. As if to prove to all who watched her that she was the worthy successor of Her Grace that she envisioned herself to be, Her Glory enters her battle pose with a twirl, embodying the very same elegance and finesse as the Fairy which accompanies her now. Minerva couldn't help but envy her sense of purpose - of course she did. After all, she was but a lost and humble sinner seeking purification...

Yet, despite the moment of envy and doubt, one look at Bia and her unwavering stance renews Minerva's sense of confidence. More than that, the stark contrast of the bear's large, muscular frame, solid and unmoving, against all the frills and fanfare -

This isn't a battle, Minerva thinks to herself, comprehension dawning as Her Glory issues her poetic orders. This is a performance.

A dangerous performance, at that. If this Florges was indeed the beloved partner of Her Grace, she was certain to be no pushover, and the promised gardens of "new life" would be rife with wicked thorns. At a clear type disadvantage and without pretension, Bia's martial arts would certainly not be as flashy - or as evocative - but they still had the potential to be deadly, nonetheless. For despite the lack of grace and poise, Bia had worked just as hard on her own mind and body – and the fruits of that labor were evident. Courage. Determination. Power. Like the infamous lion embraced by the maiden on the eighth card of the Major Arcana, Bia was a powerful animal who, under Minerva's direction, embodied a very different tarot card than the one up Her Glory's sleeve...

“Quick, Bia, get a grip on Florges with Bind while she tends to her garden, then show her the full force of your Strength.” Minerva smirks, a burning glint in her pale, grey eyes as she stares down Her Glory.

“Shine as bright as you like. Illuminate our minds. Purify our souls... With our Strength, we shall endure suffering and torment.”
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:23 AM   #80
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Marion Ette- Drawing on the 8th Major Arcana, Strength, you begin your battle with Her Glory. Like the bare-chested maiden who tamed the lion, your orders showcase your power, both inner and outer. Bia takes great stride in the actions you give her and rushes out towards the Florges. The Bewear strides forwards at great speeds, the Fairy-type only able to send out a green pulse of light before binding the Florges in a tight grip.

The green light fills the cathedral, and you feel the ground beneath your feet feel like a grass-filled meadow. The light aura illuminates the pink stuffed bear's hold on the giant white flower, and you see the Florges's discomfort underneath Bia's binding grip. Yet, the opposing Pokemon does not falter, and creates magical, multicolored leaves all around it, before pelting Bia with them.

Your Bewear winces at the pain, but this is nothing. THe both of you have been through much worse hardships than this before, and you intended to prove it to your foes. Raw power would get you through this, as you see Bia's own Strength come out as it crushes the Florges between its arms, squeezing tightly and not letting go in the slightest.

Yet, even under the immense duress, the flower doesn't wither. Its gaze changes not, seeming cold, and indifferent to its own suffering. This was a Pokemon that had spent years training its mind, to not show unneeded emotion. It knew what it was, and its place in the world, and held fast determination to win this battle. For Her Glory.

"While it's true that Florges are more physically frail... We have reflected on that, and have worked on ways to get around it. Now, my friend, please bless us with your Petal Blizzard! And then blinding them with the radiance of the moon, and fire off a Moonblast," Her Glory orders, and the Florges responds with a graceful hum.

How do you respond?
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:07 PM   #81
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Raves-

Clutched flower in hand, you and your team head towards the small light. As you approached, it began to become fainter, and fainter, and fainter still. Chasing dying light in fields of snow... This was certainly a day to be alive. Yet, this was the only light you could see. The skies were turning gray, surely a sign a blizzard was on the horizon.

And then the light fades completely, as you see something pass out in front of you. White Fur, Red Spines, and a gray thorax. Its breathing was faint, but you could tell what that Pokemon was. The same Pokemon that you brushed with before, back when things weren't so... Cold. A Larvesta, seemingly trapped in the same world as you.

Yet, why were you here? Why was it here? Besides snipping the flower, there was no other real reason for you to be here with it. Yet... Camellias. Perhaps this Larvesta became tied to you as soon as you two brushed against each other?

Its body was failing and in response, the Spider Lily bloomed brighter. Crimson glow alit the darkened skies, the warmth rushed through your blood. The Larvesta began to slowly stir and looked at you confused. This flower tied the two of you together... And you felt that its life was yours. And its life was the Larvesta's.

So if this was your lifeblood... Then you'd have to find your body, heart, and soul. But where would those be in this frozen waste? The only option was to scan the area and find a lead.

What do you do?
He felt oddly warm with the flower in hand, even as his body recognised the cold of the snowy fields, and yet as he came closer and closer to the light, he could see that it was becoming faint, waning in its brilliance. Rory was somewhat attuned to the fact that the surroundings seemed to be getting duller, the skies grey with a haze, telltale signs of a brewing snowstorm. Not good, not dressed for this at all...

And then the light faded.

Stuck in a snowy, overcast field, he saw something small, yet slightly familiar, collapsing into the white. Fluffy, with deep red thorns, a thorax as grey as the sky. There was little doubt that this was what caught his attention amidst the spider lilies for a start, and even less doubt on the state the poor thing was in. Barely breathing, the Larvesta lay there, and as he held the flower, Rory couldn't help but feel...empty. Disturbingly empty.

His brain began to question itself. Why was he here? That was simple, he touched the flower and ended up here, something of judgment. Didn't judgment usually follow a trial? And if so, then was this a trial of some sort? And how did the small bug fit into this? Unless they were somehow...linked?

Were it to remain here any longer, the poor thing wouldn't survive much longer, yet the spider lily in hand, as if knowing this, bloomed with intensity. Xig covered his face with his claws while the Elgyem merely squinted to reduce the crimson glare. The skies above flared with the bloom, and in his veins Rory could feel his blood flowing warmly, and as he watched, mesmerized, the Larvesta stirred.

The worm was evidently confused, looking around slowly, then at the teen, who stil held the flower, the spider lily, as he instinctively whispered the first part of the poem. "In darkness blooms the spider lily..."

His eyes widened in some semblance of thought and understanding. The flower roused the bug from consciousness, blood flowing through its veins once more, yet at the same time part of that inner emptiness disappeared. Was he and the Larvesta really linked? If that was the case, then the bug type's fight for survival was his own, and the other flowers held the key to their fate. The spider lily seemed to be the blood, but that still left the body...heart...and soul.

He had a bit of a bad feeling that this was more than just a meadow, yet as he gazed up at the sky, at the prospect of the impending blizzard, he knew that there was no chance either of them could weather a snowstorm. He had to find the other flowers...amidst a vast plain of white. Camellias first, he reckoned, as he deigned to check his booklet of the area to see what those looked like. Botany wasn't quite his strong suit, yet before he thumbed the booklet, his sight fell to the one he was linked to.

"H-hey...hop on, you're not i-in much shape to move, little guy..." Rory murmured to the Larvesta as he bent down, offering his arms for the bug to climb up on. If the Larvesta lacked the strength to move, then he would carefully pick them up, holding them close to himself to try and preserve what warmth they had, before he would give his book a quick skim through for a reference for camellias and attempt to look around for potential signs of colours that weren't white. The sudden seriousness on his face prompted the Golisopod to nod and Statis to remain calm, her analytic mind taking a moment to search for the best place to start.
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:20 PM   #82
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Lil'twick – With both your life and reputation as a budding baker on the line, you quickly bark orders to your teammates to get to work gathering the necessary ingredients for your master plan. Custard salutes and immediately sets out to collect a cup of cool spring water, some butter, and milk. After further searching, he luckily happens upon a jar of Sunflora seed oil, which he tosses in with the wet elements as well and stirs together thoroughly. Meanwhile Pie takes a large pot of fresh liquid and boils it as instructed, dutifully snapping stems off the Roseli Berries (under the watchful eye of Glace to ensure he doesn’t try to sneak any samples) and cooking them into a warm, thick syrup.

Summoning your Audino to assist, Waffle swiftly assesses the situation and obediently starts on splitting the Occa Berries, extracting the individual beans from their shells and wrapping them with Nanab leaves to let dry a little before roasting. Though there unfortunately isn’t time to allow for full fermentation, he makes do with the semi-dehydrated seeds and heats them until the husks start to “pop”, revealing the precious dark centers within. After carefully winnowing the cracked outer casing, Waffle places the nibs in a mortar and begins painstakingly pounding with a pestle into smaller particles, for lack of a convenient mechanical grinder. Though perhaps not as smooth as what more modern methods may produce, Waffle manages well enough to crush them into fairly fine granules (if still somewhat coarse compared to commercial grade).

Whimsicott and its child watch this extensive process in awe – having never considered such complex refinement of resources despite them being readily available – whilst they simultaneously progress with their own much simpler task of whipping butter and sugar into a frosting as light and fluffy as their own wool. As you finish combining flour with the other dry ingredients and pull out a partially consumed Chocolate Pidove from your pack, Cottonee comes closer out of curiosity to observe as you pluck off feathers into thin flakes. Offering it a taste, Cottonee tentatively nibbles a piece and its eyes widen with wonder and delight at such surprisingly rich flavor, the crunchy material melting into pure delectable sweetness inside its mouth. It calls its parent over to try as well, and both are amazed as you explain the delicious treat is sourced from the same berry base as the cocoa powder. Even more excited now to test out the final result, they carry on blending the buttercream with Roseli concentrate to create a pretty pale pink icing in preparation for the embellishment phase.

Throughout all this, Kadabra stands there looking a bit lost, and so you suggest for it to make actual use of its new well of knowledge and determine the proper condiment proportions to incorporate. Bemused by this request, Uxie nonetheless hovers over to the spice rack and meticulously measures out with its spoon the exact average calculated from millions of possible recipe variations – down to the very last decimal gram – which occupies the Psychic Type for some time as the rest of you all successfully complete your tasks in turn. Growing impatient, you eventually grab the gauging tools and roughly eyeball the remaining level, sifting the seasonings together and dumping in with the dry components. You then pour the fluids into the same bowl and mix it all up before popping into the oven to bake.

Whilst waiting for the batter to rise, you begin reducing the Cheri Berries into a sauce for spreading, and by the time the cake is done everything is ready to decorate. Garnishing with several generous layers of glaze and grated chocolate shavings, you then adorn the masterpiece by lining the swirled edges with a circle of intact Cheri Berries – before stepping back at last with a swell of pride, believing to have outdone yourself. Whimsicott and Cottonee clap in respect at your skill, almost worshipping reverently as they admire the gorgeous dessert, certain it must taste as exotic and exquisite as it appears.

“Marvelous… I’m sure his Majesty will be pleased with this. I can’t thank you enough for showing us such novel human techniques. Truly, I have learned much from you today, oh kind stranger.”

The Whimsicott bows deeply before you in gratitude, followed by its offspring. Though it then looks a little sadly towards its own creation left abandoned on the table, the plain pastry seeming to pale in comparison.

“I suppose there will be no more use for this one now… It seems such a waste to toss out though. I know it’s not much, but would you care to take some for your journey? I’m afraid I haven’t much else to offer as repayment at the moment…”

The chef sheepishly cuts another slice and offers out the plate of 1x Leftovers. As you give your response, suddenly a Nuzleaf guard bursts into the kitchen looking rather alarmed.

“Has anyone seen the princess?”

It exclaims breathlessly, and as everyone shakes their heads the nervous Nuzleaf wrings its palms.

“She had gone to gather flowers by Lover's Grove with her handmaiden and was scheduled to return in time for the surprise party, but when the vassals went to pick them up they claim the two weren't there... The King has ordered all proceedings for the ceremony to be halted until Her Highness has been found. A search party has thus been organized and sent to fetch her, but I'm afraid we've no idea where to begin looking...”

At this, Cottonee appears to grow pensive, and a worried expression of panic crosses Whimsicott's face. With the guest of honor herself missing, having potentially wandered off and gotten lost (or worse) within the vast network of woods – and her father likely in no mood to partake in cake at the moment as a consequence – it seems your team's fate rests on whether or not she can be brought home safely.

What do you do?
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:20 PM   #83
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Lil' Bluey

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Yuki-

Kanna begins to scurry back the way she came. Nothing. She encountered nothing. This felt a little ominous. She felt a weird feeling crawling up her back. Like as if she was taking too long within the labyrinth. Just... A sinking feeling entirely. She soon was back at the crossroads. She had two options here, backtrack further, and hope she can flee through the entrance and possibly fail, or brave the ladder, face her fears, and finish the test?

~~~

Kief, on the other hand, was enjoying the joy of battle. Coating himself in lightning, he zings and zaps through the air before crashing into the gargantuan Sigilyph with a Volt Tackle. He could feel the recoil surge through his body, but his furor couldn't stop him now.

Taking advantage of the situation, he freezes his right paw over while coating his left with a shadow. One. Ice punch to the Sigilyph's face. Two. Shadow Claw to send it straight to the floor. This looked like it was all going to plan until Keif saw the Sigilyph's eye burst. A beam of pure white started to wash over him. Hyper Beam. Was this it?

~~~

Yuffi, not wishing to be drawn, feels herself connect with her father temporarily. Volt Tackle? Yeah, that was something she could definitely do. Charging her fur with lightning, she tries to barrel through. Her shadowy self continued to manically laugh, warped and twisted. Until it started to stop as she connected with the wall. She could hear, and feel, the wall shattered as she jumped through, lantern in the maw. Landing with a slide, she looked back to see the water starting to rush down towards the sunken section of her labyrinth. She was free from this room... She just needed to figure out a way out. And that either meant taking the higher path, or diving beneath the waves.


What do they all do?
Kanna hightailed back down the hallway as fast as her legs could carry her, hastily dragging the lamp along as she did not wish to dwell on the demonic depictions on the walls. When she reached the fork, she was met with a decision to make: continue returning the way she came for familiar security - yet risk failure for taking the "easy way out" by the entrance - or press on into uncharted territory. An eerie sensation crept along her back, as if indicating she had little time left to make a choice either way.

With a heavy sigh, she turned her eyes up towards the taunting ladder above. Swallowing her apprehension, she resolutely began to ascend the rise, determined to make it back to her family no matter what lay in wait for her, hiding amongst the heights of the labyrinth...

-

As Kief crashed into his foe, sparks shot forth between them, sharing pain from the static. He pushed foward with his plan though, striking successively with snow and shadow to slam his much larger opponent onto the floor. As the small sweet stood triumphantly over pinned poultry with a smirk, the stunned target swiftly shook off stars before its singular eye exploded with white hot rage. Kief's smile vanished instantly as he realized he was standing right in the path of powerful laser, and he had but moments to prevent a cookie crumb catastrophe.

Thinking fast, he braced himself and attempted to use the lamp as a makeshift shield to PROTECT his delicate ginger body from sustaining as much damage as possible, hoping he'd have enough integrity left to fire a point-blank CHARGE BEAM of his own back at the bird's fowl face; followed by delivering a devastating THUNDER strike by summoning it straight down on the grounded conductor...

-

Focusing on her connection with her father, Yufi called upon the currents to carry her to safety, charging forward without looking back. The laughter continued to echo after her, but it ceased once she contacted the wall, managing to successfully bust through in a burst of ecstatic electricity. As her wet paws slid along the solid surface on the other side to a stop, she breathed a sigh of relief upon recognizing the shade wasn't following her. Still, she wasn't fully free yet - as the water was now slowly filling towards the already sunken section of the maze. Having no desire to spend any more time submerged, she immediately began to head for the higher route in hopes of finding an easier method of escape...

Last edited by lilboocorsola; 09-18-2021 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 09-19-2021, 10:11 AM   #84
Marion Ette
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Marion Ette- Drawing on the 8th Major Arcana, Strength, you begin your battle with Her Glory. Like the bare-chested maiden who tamed the lion, your orders showcase your power, both inner and outer. Bia takes great stride in the actions you give her and rushes out towards the Florges. The Bewear strides forwards at great speeds, the Fairy-type only able to send out a green pulse of light before binding the Florges in a tight grip.

The green light fills the cathedral, and you feel the ground beneath your feet feel like a grass-filled meadow. The light aura illuminates the pink stuffed bear's hold on the giant white flower, and you see the Florges's discomfort underneath Bia's binding grip. Yet, the opposing Pokemon does not falter, and creates magical, multicolored leaves all around it, before pelting Bia with them.

Your Bewear winces at the pain, but this is nothing. THe both of you have been through much worse hardships than this before, and you intended to prove it to your foes. Raw power would get you through this, as you see Bia's own Strength come out as it crushes the Florges between its arms, squeezing tightly and not letting go in the slightest.

Yet, even under the immense duress, the flower doesn't wither. Its gaze changes not, seeming cold, and indifferent to its own suffering. This was a Pokemon that had spent years training its mind, to not show unneeded emotion. It knew what it was, and its place in the world, and held fast determination to win this battle. For Her Glory.

"While it's true that Florges are more physically frail... We have reflected on that, and have worked on ways to get around it. Now, my friend, please bless us with your Petal Blizzard! And then blinding them with the radiance of the moon, and fire off a Moonblast," Her Glory orders, and the Florges responds with a graceful hum.

How do you respond?
Minerva's initial assessment of this Florges had been spot-on; this was no ordinary Pokemon. To keep such cool and dignified resolve clear and unwavering on her face while enduring Bia's display of pure strength... It was downright inspiring. Her Glory proudly comments on this, stating that she and Florges had reflected upon the fairy-type's physical frailty and worked on ways around it. Theirs was not the path of ignoring and hiding weakness - they openly faced it.

Of course, Bia was no slouch, either. She could take as good as she could give, such was her strength. The dance of petals had clearly caused damage, but the bear was undeterred. Even so, if one was to talk about meditating on weakness - that incoming Moonblast was making such thoughts quite urgent. Yet, the poetic orders of Her Glory only seem to fill Minerva with a strange sort of amusement.

"The light of the moon should not be blinding," Minerva retorts, a dark smirk spreading across her face. "Hers is a radiance that knows restraint - who gladly shares the sky with the multitude of stars. Is it worth wiping them from our vision to show your incandescence?"

Minerva turns to Bia, ready to risk it all - ready to show what both she and Bia were capable of. "Let's see if it's worth it for them, Bia. Bide our penance, burn in the light, and when the time is right..."

Though Minerva does not finish her sentence, the ominous threat of Bia's unleashed energy hangs heavy in the air. Bia herself, fully understanding the gravity of the orders placed, seems to root herself to the ground, feet firmly planted, eyes on Florges.

Bia was not the type of Pokemon to reflect, to contemplate... but meditation every evening was a part of her training. In battle, this translated to the ability to empty her mind of distraction, doubt, second-guessing - even thoughts of victory or assurance. Nothing was assumed. Nothing was guaranteed. The moment was all she had... and with mind empty save for the singular order issued to her by her dear friend, her mantra was clear.

Bide. Bide. Bide.

It was not thought or strategy that would tell her when to strike. Deep within herself - within her body - she would know the moment when it came.
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Old 09-19-2021, 02:35 PM   #85
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Raves-

The Larvesta meekly looks up at you and your bare arm and crawls along. It tickles a tiny bit, its little feet and warm fur soon curling up onto your forearm. Using your spare hand, you pull out the flower booklet once more and read it over. Though, it soon becomes a tad hard to read as the Larvesta begins adjusting itself to find a comfortable position.

Once it finds one, it starts to emanate warmth. The bug was like your own personal heated stuffed animal and helped make the snowy environment a lot more tolerable. And, most importantly, helped clear up some of your mental fog, allowing you to fully devote yourself to reading the booklet.

Camellias- A pinkish-red flower grown out of bushes. Due to its hardy nature, it is resistant to snow. It is one of the few flowers that bloom in the wintertime, causing light amounts of pink to pop out amongst the white landscape.

With her analytical mind, Statis tries to work out where to head out. Anything that would stand out against this winter landscape would be immediately seen. So the only choice would be to determine where the proper amount of sunlight here would be so they could stand out. It was pretty dark and dismal here at the time, so the only answer would seem to be bringing out the sun.

And that leads her to point towards the weary Larvesta. Seems the way to find the flower would be to revitalize the bug. If the moth larva could regain its strength, it surely would be able to light the way and thaw through winter. She then points towards the sky, and you could see a blizzard coming onto the horizon.

A new task has appeared! Figure out a way to revitalize the Larvesta! In the state it is in, it'll need an ample amount of warmth, food, and a safe place to rest. Send out your Pokemon to find shelter in this wintery landscape to weather the storm. If your blood isn't flowing, then the body wouldn't be able to move, after all.

What do you do?


Yuki-

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

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

---

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

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

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

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

---

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

What do they do?


Marion Ette-

Realizing the penance that would soon come, your order Bia once single action: Bide. The Bewear takes a defensive stance and takes both of the attacks. It was time to stop, thinking, and wait. Retreat within oneself, a hermit to the world to truly build on your inner strength. The dreams and illusions given by the moon would not sway her, for she knew with perfect clarity that all she needed to do was wait.

"I see, you look towards the hope the stars offer, instead of the beguiling light of the moon...." Her Glory comments, trailing off at the complexity you exhibiting. "I thought you would be one that walked on the path of the Devil...But nay, I know now how we shall proceed once this battle is over. Please, my friend, this shall be over now."

Stacenallia then pulls down her left sleeve, showcasing a black and white ring with a pink crystal inlayed. Flipping it, a large amount of power surges from her into the Florges. She does a... weird hop before forming a heart with her hands. Despite the ridiculous dance, the woman's face stays as stoic and unchanging as before.

"This was a gift bestowed on us by one of our Alolan Sisters. Now, please brace yourself for our Twinkle Tackle," the woman states, as the Florges's Z-Move barrels completely into Bia.

The entire cathedral becomes enveloped in white light, before a loud BOOM echo throughout. You hear Bia's scream, unleashing all of her pain at the exact moment she's hit by the Z-Move. Though, you couldn't tell exactly what has happened... until your vision soon comes back.

THere you see Bia, hunched on one knee panting heavily. THe Florges laid on the floor, knocked out from the sheer amount of damage sent back at it. The Z-Move was a huge gamble... It either would've wiped Bia out then and there or KO the Florges. Yet, it seemed to be a risk that Her Glory was willing to take.

You then see the woman return the fainted flower, and give the Pokeball a light kiss. She then turns to you and walks over.

"Splendid... To see such strength and determination. You have been through a lot, but you never stopped putting in the effort to be who you are. While your heart may be lost, you have never lost sight of who you are," she states, handing you two rare candies.

"Patience is the virtue both you and your Bewear inhabit. It is rare to see one dressed in sin to instead embody a virtue, but that display proved that to me. I feel... That we may need of your assistance more than you need ours," Her Glory trails off, before giving Brunetta a nod. The stout Sister soon runs off, before returning with an egg. You could see Numerals I to XXI etched across the top and bottom.

"This is a Major Arcane Egg... A rarity around the parts of the Arcane Realm. Yet, it will not hatch... The soul inside has laid dormant for a decade now. We can confirm it is still alive, but, seems to be in stasis," the woman tells you.

"So I ask, please take this with you. Not only that but for besting me you have earned the right to be indoctrinated into the highest rankings of the faith. You could either go off from here, towards a place fitted for your strength, or stay here for a bit, reflect on yourself through helping others, and earn that rank."

How do you respond?
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If I had to leave to disappear and leave this world behind, no matter-
All I'd need is your smile
And I wouldn't even mind

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Old 09-21-2021, 07:42 AM   #86
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mespritchaser

Update 3
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The decision to assist the young travellers comes as a welcome relief to the Cleffa who had tried her best to implore you and your Pokémon friends and the Baby Pokémon chirps happily, dancing up and down before remembering herself and her predicament. You can sense the Elgyem's similar relief as well as you watch the little green man offer a hand-like appendage to Chachi as a way of a greeting, the Psychic type choosing to follow this up by bowing slightly through the doorway in the rock to you and your Appletun.

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

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

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

"We think she could be in th-"

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

What will you do?
“Cleffa!” Revel gasps as the Cleffa loses her footing and tumbles down. Chachi and Alfie also gasp in surprise. At this point, they will have to save both the sisters now and they have no time to lose. Revel’s trio looked at each other, all in surprise, but Revel made an effort to change her expression to determined. Chachi and Alfie followed their Trainer’s expression in mutual understanding. No way around it; they need to enter the abyss too.

Still, they have to approach cautiously. Although panicked, Revel knows she shouldn’t rush into it, else it would harm the other Pokemon in her care. She takes a deep breath and turns to the Elygem who pleads with its eyes.

“We have to get down there and help her,” Revel emphasizes, aware that the Pokemon know this. It seems like the only way down to the cavern opening is the same slope the Cleffa took, but Revel and her companions have to take care going down. She guides the Pokemon down the slope, looking at towards the opening.

"Tun..." Alfie mumbles in hesitation, looking at the unknown end of the sloping rock. He isn’t particularly scared about the climb down, but the dark abyss is unfamiliar territory after all. Everyone knows this. But Revel bends down to her Appletun and comforts him. “It’s okay, Alfie,” she whispers. “We’re gonna stick together, okay? You’re tough and brave. Remember when you faced that Simisage?”

“Pip!” Chachi exclaims in agreement, waddling up to the two to join in comforting Alfie. “Piplup!” Throwing punches in the air with his fins, Chachi made gestures reminiscent of the previous adventure when Alfie, as an Applin, stood up to the Simisage with its friends.

Revel watches Piplup, both in amusement and agreement. “Yeah, and you were small then! Imagine how tough you are now!” Revel pats on Alfie’s back to highlight his toughness. “We got you. Chachi will peck at all the enemies. Isn’t that right, Chachi?” Chachi nods proudly.

“Tun…” Alfie looks at his two companions slowly, as if he’s thinking about the situation. The flaps where his eyes where then lifted up as he slowly smiled, memories of his previous victory coming back, remembering that he was strong and capable and still definitely is. “Tun.”

He takes slow steps forward down the slope, Revel and Chachi beside him. “Take it easy now. That’s great, let’s keep going.” As they trek down, Revel asks the Elygem.

“Do you know what’s down there?”
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:57 AM   #87
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Lil'twick – With both your life and reputation as a budding baker on the line, you quickly bark orders to your teammates to get to work gathering the necessary ingredients for your master plan. Custard salutes and immediately sets out to collect a cup of cool spring water, some butter, and milk. After further searching, he luckily happens upon a jar of Sunflora seed oil, which he tosses in with the wet elements as well and stirs together thoroughly. Meanwhile Pie takes a large pot of fresh liquid and boils it as instructed, dutifully snapping stems off the Roseli Berries (under the watchful eye of Glace to ensure he doesn’t try to sneak any samples) and cooking them into a warm, thick syrup.

Summoning your Audino to assist, Waffle swiftly assesses the situation and obediently starts on splitting the Occa Berries, extracting the individual beans from their shells and wrapping them with Nanab leaves to let dry a little before roasting. Though there unfortunately isn’t time to allow for full fermentation, he makes do with the semi-dehydrated seeds and heats them until the husks start to “pop”, revealing the precious dark centers within. After carefully winnowing the cracked outer casing, Waffle places the nibs in a mortar and begins painstakingly pounding with a pestle into smaller particles, for lack of a convenient mechanical grinder. Though perhaps not as smooth as what more modern methods may produce, Waffle manages well enough to crush them into fairly fine granules (if still somewhat coarse compared to commercial grade).

Whimsicott and its child watch this extensive process in awe – having never considered such complex refinement of resources despite them being readily available – whilst they simultaneously progress with their own much simpler task of whipping butter and sugar into a frosting as light and fluffy as their own wool. As you finish combining flour with the other dry ingredients and pull out a partially consumed Chocolate Pidove from your pack, Cottonee comes closer out of curiosity to observe as you pluck off feathers into thin flakes. Offering it a taste, Cottonee tentatively nibbles a piece and its eyes widen with wonder and delight at such surprisingly rich flavor, the crunchy material melting into pure delectable sweetness inside its mouth. It calls its parent over to try as well, and both are amazed as you explain the delicious treat is sourced from the same berry base as the cocoa powder. Even more excited now to test out the final result, they carry on blending the buttercream with Roseli concentrate to create a pretty pale pink icing in preparation for the embellishment phase.

Throughout all this, Kadabra stands there looking a bit lost, and so you suggest for it to make actual use of its new well of knowledge and determine the proper condiment proportions to incorporate. Bemused by this request, Uxie nonetheless hovers over to the spice rack and meticulously measures out with its spoon the exact average calculated from millions of possible recipe variations – down to the very last decimal gram – which occupies the Psychic Type for some time as the rest of you all successfully complete your tasks in turn. Growing impatient, you eventually grab the gauging tools and roughly eyeball the remaining level, sifting the seasonings together and dumping in with the dry components. You then pour the fluids into the same bowl and mix it all up before popping into the oven to bake.

Whilst waiting for the batter to rise, you begin reducing the Cheri Berries into a sauce for spreading, and by the time the cake is done everything is ready to decorate. Garnishing with several generous layers of glaze and grated chocolate shavings, you then adorn the masterpiece by lining the swirled edges with a circle of intact Cheri Berries – before stepping back at last with a swell of pride, believing to have outdone yourself. Whimsicott and Cottonee clap in respect at your skill, almost worshipping reverently as they admire the gorgeous dessert, certain it must taste as exotic and exquisite as it appears.

“Marvelous… I’m sure his Majesty will be pleased with this. I can’t thank you enough for showing us such novel human techniques. Truly, I have learned much from you today, oh kind stranger.”

The Whimsicott bows deeply before you in gratitude, followed by its offspring. Though it then looks a little sadly towards its own creation left abandoned on the table, the plain pastry seeming to pale in comparison.

“I suppose there will be no more use for this one now… It seems such a waste to toss out though. I know it’s not much, but would you care to take some for your journey? I’m afraid I haven’t much else to offer as repayment at the moment…”

The chef sheepishly cuts another slice and offers out the plate of 1x Leftovers. As you give your response, suddenly a Nuzleaf guard bursts into the kitchen looking rather alarmed.

“Has anyone seen the princess?”

It exclaims breathlessly, and as everyone shakes their heads the nervous Nuzleaf wrings its palms.

“She had gone to gather flowers by Lover's Grove with her handmaiden and was scheduled to return in time for the surprise party, but when the vassals went to pick them up they claim the two weren't there... The King has ordered all proceedings for the ceremony to be halted until Her Highness has been found. A search party has thus been organized and sent to fetch her, but I'm afraid we've no idea where to begin looking...”

At this, Cottonee appears to grow pensive, and a worried expression of panic crosses Whimsicott's face. With the guest of honor herself missing, having potentially wandered off and gotten lost (or worse) within the vast network of woods – and her father likely in no mood to partake in cake at the moment as a consequence – it seems your team's fate rests on whether or not she can be brought home safely.

What do you do?
Leo continued to work hard in making sure that the cake turned out well. The fate of him and his team depended on it. Each minute it was baking, he preoccupied himself with something else. He made sure that his Pokemon were always on the move. Something in hand, some task that needed to be done. The 19-year-old was frantic, needed to make sure that everything was ready. This was his first major baking task since he left Alola. He needed to make sure every single thing counted.

And once the cake was done, he worked with everyone to decorate it to perfection. Every single detail mattered. Each pipe must be perfect, each shaving must be in the proper place. If not, well, then this would end up becoming a complete disaster.

Once he felt satisfied with the cake, he stepped back with both pride and relief. This was the best damn thing he'd made. Nothing like the threat of death to a teenager to make them bake their heart out. It certainly impressed the Whimsicott and the Cottonee as well. Surely, if this was the best thing the royal baker and their child had, then it would surely impress the king. So much so, that the Whimsicott gave him a leftover slice of cake it made as a thank you.

"Pie would like this for sure..." he awkwardly trailed while accepting it, before handing it to the Snorlax.

Wait. When did he get a Snorlax? He had a few fairies on him, but he couldn't remember when he got the large normal-type. Though, he certainly knew the Snorlax. It was one of the ones Team Skull stole and was only placated by his pies. Did Big Sis slip the Pokemon into his bag when he left to start his own journey? Would explain why he recognized the ball and Pokemon. Was a bit weird he never questioned that until now. Pie didn't really seem to mind, and the Snorlax happily held on to the slice of Leftovers.

Before they could present the freshly baked cake to the king, a Nuzleaf guard suddenly burst into the room. It looked panicked and frantically scanned the room before inquiring if the princess was here. The entire group collectively shook their head in a no, and the Nuzlea's panic only grew. It told them that she had gone to the Lover's Grove with her handmaiden, but had yet to return.

The Alolan noticed the Cottonee's interest piqued at this and looked at its father.

"Well, we can go look for her," Leo offered to the Pokemon. "If you have anything of hers that has her scent, Pie could use his Oder Sleuth to track her down. Waffle, I'd like for you to give Pie a Helping Hand in the search by using your sensitive hearing to try and locate her as well."

He then looked at the Cottonee.

"If you want to come, I'd love it if you could. You could rest atop my head like a hat! Sorry if my hair is too short and dry compared to your dad's, I'm planning on growing it out over the next few years," he said with closed eyes and a soft smile to try and comfort the cotton boll. He just hoped that they'd be able to find her quickly.
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If I had to leave to disappear and leave this world behind, no matter-
All I'd need is your smile
And I wouldn't even mind

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Old 09-21-2021, 03:20 PM   #88
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OoC: So so sorry for the delay everyone!

Slash:

Harkening back to your days as a Team Aqua Officer, you feel suddenly compelled to join the fray yourself - employing an unorthodox technique even by Pokemon standards, let alone humans.

Ravyn seems in-tune with your plan though, gathering water in its fangs and giving it the shape of a blade not unlike a Samurott's sword. But the Mightyena is some distance away, so you need to close the gap with Cloyster. The shellfish darts across the water like a torpedo, making it hard to focus on targeting allies with its LIFE DEW, but fortunately some droplets do find their way over, dragged by the underwater currents, mostly to where Atema and Kiyo are located and bringing them some relief.

The path is kept clear by the SNARLing Falcyn, menacing soundwaves traveling fast across the water and keeping the Barraskewda at bay while you speed past them and toward the saber Ravyn holds in its fangs. One of the fish, however, maintains its composure enough to try and intercept you with an AQUA JET, one of its fins grazing your cheek as you nearly collide, leaving a small cut behind; mercifully, that's all it was, and Cloyster soon finds its target, allowing you to grab the LIQUIDATION blade.

At the same time, Atem and Kiyo are struggling to even close their distance to the rest of your team. Their power level and experience are nowhere near your Mightyenas', and you can tell even from where you stand that they're having a tough time fending off the onslaught of attacks from their foes. Atem takes aim and fires off a powerful SAPPY SEED, but the targeted Barraskewda dodges with AGILITY, before moving in to deliver a vicious CRUNCH on your Yamask... until a small ABSORB sphere pelts the distracted fish's head, barely inflicting damage, but breaking its concentration and interrupting the attack! Barraskewda shifts its focus from Atem to Casper, and that allows Atem to fire off a second SAPPY SEED which this time finds its mark! Furthermore, Kiyo moves in at the same time, and delivers a powerful POWER-UP PUNCH on the same Barraskewda! The red glow in its eyes fades, and the fish swims away, reducing the number of foes down to six!

One of the other Barraskewda focused on your weaker companions attempts to capitalize on the commotion and lunges at Kiyo, who has his back turned, but David's Dewpider decides to intervene on its own, rushing into the much larger foe with a weak HEADBUTT! Barraskewda is mostly unaffected, but enraged, and decides to devour Dewpider before dealing with the rest. Capitalizing on that mistake, Kiyo turns around and hits a mighty POWER-UP PUNCH, boosted by the previous attack and his innate Ability - the force of the impact enough to snap the predator back to its senses and causing it, too, to flee into the depths!

You look on proudly at the smaller Pokemon's efforts, but realize they won't be able to fend off the onslaught for much longer. But before you can issue further commands, you notice that the Barraskewda that nearly beheaded you earlier turns back around and homes in on you, mouth agape... You'll have to deal with that first!

Five enemies remain, and your own life is in peril... what now?!




grassyglide:

You reason that a show of intellect might be the most pacifist approach to displaying your worthiness. Leaves and snow, encompassing all seasons at once, should be by no means possible, and yet only one answer presents itself to you. You call out to Sawsbuck, and after a few moments, as if summoned by magic, four magnificent specimens appear from behind the foliage that surrounds the clearing. One Sawsbuck for each station, each larger and more imposing than any other you remember seeing either live or in pictures.

Fortune’s Woods are clearly more than a regular forest, and these beings are at the beck and calling of the Shrine keeper – it stands to reason, if reason is even the word for it, that they would possess supernatural power. The four look at you with peaceful eyes, no doubt assessing the being in front of them. For what feels like an eternity, they do not move, until finally the Spring Sawsbuck lowers its head, followed by Each of the other three in succession. The whirlwind subsides, multicolored leaves and snowflakes falling to the ground gently, allowing you to finally leave the clearing and move deeper into the woods, in search of the precious wood you need to rebuild the shrine.

Eevee looks at the four creatures with apprehension, but slowly begins to loosen up once it becomes clear they pose no threat. Then, confidence renewed, it looks at you excitedly, urging you to get going. Wisewood seems to agree, but you can tell it wouldn’t mind observing the magnificent Sawsbuck a while longer. Alas, you are on a mission.

You make your way out of the clearing, and soon find yourself surrounded by enormous trees all around once again. No clear path is visible to you, meaning you have no way of knowing where to even go from here, but something tells you the Sawsbuck wouldn’t have led you astray. And so, you march forth, wondering all the while how you’re even supposed to identify the right kind of wood for the task you were given…

Suddenly, Eevee stops abruptly, causing you almost bump into it. Its ears are perked up, and its gaze shift northeast. It seems to be picking up something… you focus, trying your best to ignore the birds singing in the treetops, and sure enough you too notice it – a faint, rhythmic beat. The cadence is clearly intentional, perfectly regular, and after a while longer of paying close attention… almost melodic. With no other clue to go on, you follow Eevee through the bushes and around the sea of trees, the sound becoming louder and louder as you go. Until finally, after a good while of running, you reach the source…

An absolutely massive oak tree rises before your eyes, surrounded by a wide area of carefully-trimmed grass. Its sheer size, no doubt supported by a gigantic network of underground roots, means no other tree manages to thrive in close vicinity, and so it stands tall, unopposed, and frankly impressive. It must have taken countless centuries to grow this large, a wonder of nature indeed. And the beating sound, now crystal clear, comes from atop this very oak.

Wisewood spots him first, and points with a small wing. You look in the pointed direction, and spot a large black shape perched atop one of the branches. On closer inspection, you realize it’s actually a Rillaboom, beating away proudly on his wooden drum. His eyes meet yours, and he leaps down with unexpected grace given its massive frame. It lands a few feet in front of you, still holding on to its drum, and as soon as you lay eyes on it, it immediately dawns on you. That is, without a shadow of a doubt, the piece of wood you’re looking for.

This Rillaboom’s wooden drum is unlike any other you recall seeing. Perfectly sculpted, and seemingly too heavy for anyone but this Pokemon to hold, it is a marvel to behold; golden veins run across it, glimmering against the darker brown wooden surround it. The sound which emanates from every beat is strangely alluring, even if the tune itself doesn’t seem to have any particularly complex rhythm to it. Rillaboom stands silent, eyes firmly locked on you, as it continues to drum almost mechanically.

You feel it in your very soul – this is the wood you need to rebuild the shrine. But at the same time, it serves as this Rillaboom’s precious drum.. What will you do?


Zelphon:

The knight shakes his head at your defiance, seemingly more annoyed that you actually want to pursue this than concerned about your attempt at countering his specialty type. His isn’t the expression of a Trainer getting ready to battle, simply that of a man desperate to go back to his drink.

Which makes it all the more surprising when, despite the absolute lack of commands, his Pokemon suddenly spring into action unprompted, as if they’ve done this a thousand times before – and they probably have. Doublade’s two swords scrape against one another, causing your entire team to writhe in pain as the METAL SOUND assaults their ears, and as if on cue Pawniard darts forward and strikes the pained Naula with a vicious IRON HEAD, sending her tumbling along the floor before stopping at your feet.

“A warning shot,” the rust-covered knight snarls, before spitting on the ground. “Is the information you’re looking for really worth getting your Pokemon beat up over? You’re way out of your depth, whelp.”

The disdain in his voice makes your blood boil, but you know you have to keep your cool. Clearly, he’s skilled, even if completely disinterested in this whole affair. You remember who you’re doing this for, the Mimikyu you promised to help, and looking at Naula, who is mustering strength to get back up, she too knows what she’s fighting for.

The knight has drawn first blood, but you definitely get the feeling he’s speaking the truth – that was a warning shot, and he’s pulling his punches for now. If he’s waiting to see how you measure up, then you better swing hard!
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:00 PM   #89
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grassyglide:

You reason that a show of intellect might be the most pacifist approach to displaying your worthiness. Leaves and snow, encompassing all seasons at once, should be by no means possible, and yet only one answer presents itself to you. You call out to Sawsbuck, and after a few moments, as if summoned by magic, four magnificent specimens appear from behind the foliage that surrounds the clearing. One Sawsbuck for each station, each larger and more imposing than any other you remember seeing either live or in pictures.

Fortune’s Woods are clearly more than a regular forest, and these beings are at the beck and calling of the Shrine keeper – it stands to reason, if reason is even the word for it, that they would possess supernatural power. The four look at you with peaceful eyes, no doubt assessing the being in front of them. For what feels like an eternity, they do not move, until finally the Spring Sawsbuck lowers its head, followed by Each of the other three in succession. The whirlwind subsides, multicolored leaves and snowflakes falling to the ground gently, allowing you to finally leave the clearing and move deeper into the woods, in search of the precious wood you need to rebuild the shrine.

Eevee looks at the four creatures with apprehension, but slowly begins to loosen up once it becomes clear they pose no threat. Then, confidence renewed, it looks at you excitedly, urging you to get going. Wisewood seems to agree, but you can tell it wouldn’t mind observing the magnificent Sawsbuck a while longer. Alas, you are on a mission.

You make your way out of the clearing, and soon find yourself surrounded by enormous trees all around once again. No clear path is visible to you, meaning you have no way of knowing where to even go from here, but something tells you the Sawsbuck wouldn’t have led you astray. And so, you march forth, wondering all the while how you’re even supposed to identify the right kind of wood for the task you were given…

Suddenly, Eevee stops abruptly, causing you almost bump into it. Its ears are perked up, and its gaze shift northeast. It seems to be picking up something… you focus, trying your best to ignore the birds singing in the treetops, and sure enough you too notice it – a faint, rhythmic beat. The cadence is clearly intentional, perfectly regular, and after a while longer of paying close attention… almost melodic. With no other clue to go on, you follow Eevee through the bushes and around the sea of trees, the sound becoming louder and louder as you go. Until finally, after a good while of running, you reach the source…

An absolutely massive oak tree rises before your eyes, surrounded by a wide area of carefully-trimmed grass. Its sheer size, no doubt supported by a gigantic network of underground roots, means no other tree manages to thrive in close vicinity, and so it stands tall, unopposed, and frankly impressive. It must have taken countless centuries to grow this large, a wonder of nature indeed. And the beating sound, now crystal clear, comes from atop this very oak.

Wisewood spots him first, and points with a small wing. You look in the pointed direction, and spot a large black shape perched atop one of the branches. On closer inspection, you realize it’s actually a Rillaboom, beating away proudly on his wooden drum. His eyes meet yours, and he leaps down with unexpected grace given its massive frame. It lands a few feet in front of you, still holding on to its drum, and as soon as you lay eyes on it, it immediately dawns on you. That is, without a shadow of a doubt, the piece of wood you’re looking for.

This Rillaboom’s wooden drum is unlike any other you recall seeing. Perfectly sculpted, and seemingly too heavy for anyone but this Pokemon to hold, it is a marvel to behold; golden veins run across it, glimmering against the darker brown wooden surround it. The sound which emanates from every beat is strangely alluring, even if the tune itself doesn’t seem to have any particularly complex rhythm to it. Rillaboom stands silent, eyes firmly locked on you, as it continues to drum almost mechanically.

You feel it in your very soul – this is the wood you need to rebuild the shrine. But at the same time, it serves as this Rillaboom’s precious drum.. What will you do?

Argyle looked around anxiously, would his words have the impact he desired? While the wait itself was short, it seemed like ages for Argyle when four Sawsbuck stepped forward. This sight was a reward in itself. The Sawsbuck, one for each season, were marvelous. Not to mention that this gathering should've been impossible... but Argyle was learning that there was no such thing as impossible in Fortune's Woods. This place was truly magical. As Argyle adjusted his gaze from one Sawsbuck to the other, the Sawsbuck apparently sized him up in return when finally the Spring Sawsbuck lowered its head. The others followed suit and the whirlwind subsided opening up the path.

Eevee's fears subsided as well, meaning that he was back to his energetic self urging Argyle to move on. As hard it is for Argyle to bid farewell to these majestic guardians of the forest, he has to. He bowed in thanks to them, then turning to his Eevee said, "Alright Eevee, lead the way. But please don't run off again..."

And lead he did... to a deadend? To being lost? Where they ended up, there was no path and there were trees everywhere. How on earth were they going to find this wood? Argyle's confidence was waning... when Eevee came to an abrupt stop. His ears were perked.

"What is it Eevee? You hear something?" Argyle asked.

Eevee's response was to look towards the northeast. So, Argyle oriented himself in that direction and concentrated to hear whatever Eevee was hearing. There it was! Though it was faint, it was obviously an intentional beat that someone was playing. "So are we going there?" Aryle asked his guide. The small fox-like Pokemon responded by moving in that direction. "So, that's a yes," Argyle said to no one in particular as he followed his guide towards the source.

Finally, Argyle, Wisewoods and the Eevee made it to the clearing. However, there was no one in sight except for an enormous oak tree. Clearly, the tree was around for ages. What's more the area around the tree was well-trimmed grass. Clearly, there were Pokemon looking after this place. Who were they? Were they the source of the sound? Speaking of which, where was the Pokemon responsible for that sound? It seemed like it was coming from the oak tree...

Wisewoods was the first to spot him. After he directed Argyle to the direction of a Rillaboom on the branches of the tree. Rillaboom made eye contact with Argyle and jumped down. That's when Argyle saw the drum in all its glory... He almost felt like the drum was calling out to him, saying that it was the wood he was searching for. Oh yes, that drum was indeed the wood that Kirlia had requested. It was oh so close, yet oh so far for there was already someone who had claimed the wood for himself: Rillaboom. Argyle felt the Grass type's gaze as he pondered what to do.

That drum was precious to the Rillaboom. It was essentially an extension of his body. Was there anything that he could say that would convince the Pokemon to hand it over? Argyle was pessimistic about the prospects. Still, did he have any other option besides pleading his case? If push come to shove, he could offer to find a new drum to him. Also, maybe there was more of that wood from where the drum came from. Not to mention that the Rillaboom might know about the shrine and might agree that building it was important. So, perhaps there was no point in being pessimistic. Why assume the answer would be no? So, Argyle pled his case:

"Rillaboom, my name is Argyle and this is my partner Wisewoods. This Eevee here is our guide and is one of the shrine Pokemon. You see, there was trouble at the shrine and three kids wrecked it. Eevee here is guiding us as we help find the necessary items to repair the shrine. One of those items that the Kirlia asked us to find is sacred wood. That hunt led us here and I think your drum is the wood we're looking for. What would it take for you to give it to us? Or perhaps there's more of that wood somewhere else? We can try to build you a new drum too or if you'd want to try a new instrument, I have a Golden Fiddle I can trade you?"

So, Argyle played his initial cards. Hopefully the Rillaboom would be as accommodating as the Sawsbuck...

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Old 09-22-2021, 09:57 PM   #90
Marion Ette
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Marion Ette-

Realizing the penance that would soon come, your order Bia once single action: Bide. The Bewear takes a defensive stance and takes both of the attacks. It was time to stop, thinking, and wait. Retreat within oneself, a hermit to the world to truly build on your inner strength. The dreams and illusions given by the moon would not sway her, for she knew with perfect clarity that all she needed to do was wait.

"I see, you look towards the hope the stars offer, instead of the beguiling light of the moon...." Her Glory comments, trailing off at the complexity you exhibiting. "I thought you would be one that walked on the path of the Devil...But nay, I know now how we shall proceed once this battle is over. Please, my friend, this shall be over now."

Stacenallia then pulls down her left sleeve, showcasing a black and white ring with a pink crystal inlayed. Flipping it, a large amount of power surges from her into the Florges. She does a... weird hop before forming a heart with her hands. Despite the ridiculous dance, the woman's face stays as stoic and unchanging as before.

"This was a gift bestowed on us by one of our Alolan Sisters. Now, please brace yourself for our Twinkle Tackle," the woman states, as the Florges's Z-Move barrels completely into Bia.

The entire cathedral becomes enveloped in white light, before a loud BOOM echo throughout. You hear Bia's scream, unleashing all of her pain at the exact moment she's hit by the Z-Move. Though, you couldn't tell exactly what has happened... until your vision soon comes back.

THere you see Bia, hunched on one knee panting heavily. THe Florges laid on the floor, knocked out from the sheer amount of damage sent back at it. The Z-Move was a huge gamble... It either would've wiped Bia out then and there or KO the Florges. Yet, it seemed to be a risk that Her Glory was willing to take.

You then see the woman return the fainted flower, and give the Pokeball a light kiss. She then turns to you and walks over.

"Splendid... To see such strength and determination. You have been through a lot, but you never stopped putting in the effort to be who you are. While your heart may be lost, you have never lost sight of who you are," she states, handing you two rare candies.

"Patience is the virtue both you and your Bewear inhabit. It is rare to see one dressed in sin to instead embody a virtue, but that display proved that to me. I feel... That we may need of your assistance more than you need ours," Her Glory trails off, before giving Brunetta a nod. The stout Sister soon runs off, before returning with an egg. You could see Numerals I to XXI etched across the top and bottom.

"This is a Major Arcane Egg... A rarity around the parts of the Arcane Realm. Yet, it will not hatch... The soul inside has laid dormant for a decade now. We can confirm it is still alive, but, seems to be in stasis," the woman tells you.

"So I ask, please take this with you. Not only that but for besting me you have earned the right to be indoctrinated into the highest rankings of the faith. You could either go off from here, towards a place fitted for your strength, or stay here for a bit, reflect on yourself through helping others, and earn that rank."

How do you respond?
As the battle rages towards its nail-biting climax, Minerva watches with dark amusement as the contrast between the two combatants becomes more and more stark, until near-perfect dichotomy:

The Florges, with her beautiful petals, radiant power of the moon, elegant and eye-catching. She dances, she performs, she captures attention - her moves both visually appealing and technically flawless. Movement, color, light, ferocity.

Bia, by contrast, is perfectly motionless. Each hit is met with powerful determination - but the time was not right yet. Her actions - or lack thereof - speak a strange, yet poignant lesson; sometimes, it takes every ounce of one's strength to remain still - to accept what comes - to present oneself unflinching to the tireless blows of fate.

Her Glory acknowledges Minerva's earlier retort, and the surprising complexity with which the infamous sinner regarded her words. Despite her looks, her demeanor, her reputation... It was clear that Minerva did not walk the path of the Devil. The observation seems to hit Minerva hard, and she looks thoughtful for a moment. Had the comment been made to her a few years ago, Minerva would have laughed and dismissed it immediately. She was the Devil's child, through and through - a naked demoness chained to the altar of Baphomet. Puppet and puppeteer. Manipulator and murderer. That's what she was... wasn't she?

The white-haired woman is knocked out of her reverie by Her Glory's dramatic reveal of what Minerva recognized to be a Z-ring, set with a Fairium Z. The little dance, paired with the name of the oncoming move, would be enough to force a small chuckle from Minerva given the ridiculousness of it, were it not for her grim understanding of the fearsome power behind Her Glory's actions. She braces as if about to take the move herself, but it is Bia who must endure the full force...

Blinding light. Deafening sound. Judgment.

As Minerva's eyes adjust and the brilliance fades, the consequence of Her Glory's gamble was laid bare. Though Bia had been brought down to one knee, panting heavily with exertion, she is still upright. The large bear turns her head toward her trainer, eyes gleaming with pride. It was true Bia had fought with her own muscles. Her own heart. Her own mind. But the strength... the strength to be patient, the strength to endure, the strength to turn impossible odds around -

That strength was Minerva's.

Rushing over to Bia, she gives her beloved Pokemon a gentle embrace, which Bia returns with a strong, yet careful arm around her trainer. Her Glory approaches the pair, gifting two rare candies and affirmations which warm Minerva's heart.

"Thank you so much, truly... I have never been so inspired and enlighted through battle before today, and Bia and I are so grateful to have been given this opportunity. Florges was a truly powerful opponent, deserving of the utmost respect... As are you, Your Glory."

Bia nods in firm agreement, before Her Glory reveals that Minerva may be of more help to them than they would be to her. She then nods to Sister Brunetta, who procures a fascinating egg with an even more fascinating story - was this little one also waiting for the right moment, as Bia had been moments ago?

Minerva accepts the egg with a heartfelt thanks and no small amount of curiosity, cradling it as the truly precious thing it was. Bia, too, seems quite intrigued by the egg - though, the moment she sniffs it and realizes that it's not food, the bear's interest is immediately gone.

Her Glory suggests that Minerva could go down one of two paths - she and Bia could make their way to a place fitting their Strength, or stay here, reflect on themselves through helping others, and earn the rank which besting Florges had bestowed upon them. Giving her Bewear a once-over, Minerva shakes her head.

"Well, Bia... I don't think you're going anywhere in this state. Here..."

Minerva pulls a Full Restore (1/17) out of her bag, administering the potion to her furry friend. Picking herself up off one knee, Bia bows to Minerva in appreciation before looking up to the statue of Her Grace, and nodding her head respectfully. The big bear makes a motion to the pews, and holds her paws together as if in prayer.

"Hm...? You want to offer a prayer to Her Grace...?"

Bia nods her head. Not that the Bewear truly understood what such an action would really entail with her rudimentary comprehension of religion, but instinctually, it felt right to offer some form of gratitude for a good battle. After all, if Bia had relied on Minerva's strength to fight, Florges certainly must have somehow drawn, in no small part, from the elegance and poise of the Holy Maiden herself. Minerva was admittedly rather surprised that the big bear was not barreling off to test her Strength once again, but perhaps the battle had affected them more similarly than she had originally thought.

Turning to Her Glory, Minerva offers a genuine smile. "Well, if Bia would like to stay and offer up her gratitude, I too will stay awhile and provide what assistance I can."

~*~

((OOC: Claiming 2 rare candies. Thank you!! Also, I hope that Full Restores don't have expiration dates on them))
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Old 09-27-2021, 01:38 PM   #91
Saiza
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grassyglide:

Rillaboom hears your plea, ceasing his drumming while you talk - probably out of respect when you mention the Shrine -, but his expression giving very little away. When you ask whether more wood with similar properties can be found nearby, he slowly shakes his head and hold the instrument close to his chest, perhaps meaning that it has been a prized possession for a very, very long time - perhaps even passed down from previous generations. Makes sense - you don't recal seeing golden trees anywhere during your journey across Fortune's Woods.

His reaction trading his current drum for a new one is, therefore, predictable well before he answers. With a growl, he shakes his head again, more vigorously this time; he bears his fangs as he does, but you get a feeling he means no actual harm. Which is for the best, really, given how absolutely enormous the ape is.

It is only when you produce a Golden Fiddle from the confines of your Bag that the gorilla's expression changes, from one of apprehension to one of curiosity. Could it be that the same special wood was used in ages past to produce the two musical instruments? With steps that make the ground shake, Rillaboom draws closer, eyes firmly locked on your fiddle. He raises his gargantuan hands, and for a moment you think he's about to steal the item from you... but instead his palms come crashing down on his own drum, producing a vibrant beat, then another, and yet another. He repeats the same three-beat routine a couple more times, then stops expectantly.

Wisewood tilts his head in confusion, but Eevee seems to get it. It points at your fiddle with its tail, urging you to use it. Does Rillaboom want... a duet?

So, can you find a way to impress Rillaboom?
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Old 09-27-2021, 01:55 PM   #92
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Barking happily at your apparent cooperation the Growlith exits its pointing pose to jump up and lick your face profusely before shrinking back away with a concerned look on its face as if expecting some kind of punishment for the outburst of affection.

Noticing that nothing bad is coming his way the Growlith once again lets off a happy bark before dashing off to the entrance of the large tent it had been pointing to earlier, wagging its tail expectantly as you take notice and follow along.

Upon entering the tent you notice three things, a large board planted in the ground by one of the walls with a series of ornate paintings depicting what appear to be prior gold medal winners of whatever contest was going on here, a large assortment of costumes, pokemon toys, and training gear and lastly a smug-looking older looking gentleman leaning on a counter at the back.

Smiling at you and the Growlith the man breaks the ice by saying "Ahh, Lady Harrison's old side mutt." Turning to look into your eyes, he continues saying "and I see you've brought a fool from the path with you too...damn out of place ain't ya?"

Just as you're about to respond the man holds a hand up to stop you saying "listen kid, I don't know who yar or why this was where the path decided to drop ya but if you're aiming to do what I'd wager you are you're gonna need to register here and look the part while you're out there showing her whats fer"
The fact that Growlithe winced, expecting to be punished for its display of affection, was not lost on Ary. He shook his head, disgusted at what kind of life the pup has been subjected to if it harbors these kinds of fears, and then dropped to one knee to look the pup in the eyes.

"Come on now, don't be afraid, that was fun! I get the feeling we'll get along just fine. Now, about that score we need to settle with a certain someone..."

Ary looked around the area. Apparently this was a Contest of some sort - and if it had anything in common with present-day Contests, then he was in trouble.

"I've never practiced a single routine in my entire life... But Growlithe doesn't need to know that", he told himself, trying to remain composed.

More importantly, he then noticed someone staring back at him from behind a nearby counter. An elderly gentleman smirking with the same air of superiority he saw plastered on the face of that noblewoman... but this one seemed to know a lot more about Ary's predicament.

"The Fool's Path... decided to drop me here?"

He felt an urge to press the man for more information, but stopped himself. There would be time for that - for now, this whole thing wasn't about him or his troubles.

"Side mutt? What do you mean by that? And..." he realized he might as well try his luck, without making it too obvious he was completely out of his depth. "If Growlithe and I were in fact looking to show Lady Harisson what fer, what would you say is the best place to start?"

He'd take anything at this point. Even a vague hint of what he was supposed to do to do right by the poor Growlithe... He had a feeling it involved performing, judging by all the props, but he really didn't want to make a fool of himself - or, more importantly, his new friend.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:11 PM   #93
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Marion Ette-

Fully healing your friend, you then watch her give up a prayer to Her Grace. It seems that Bia was thankful for how the battle went. That was a good sign, for sure, as the battle before took a big toll on you and her. It did showcase, though, you had the potential to join the nunnery. And for you, your growth, your journey... This was where you needed to be.

Perhaps, this love shackling your heart can be mended... molded, into caring and compassion for others. Visions of futures that have come to pass will only shackle you further, so if you had the patience and true sight of a seer, then that would prove for you to start your path.

Telling Her Glory your decision, she gives you a curt nod before beginning to walk away. It seems that she had other matters to attend to, and as you saw her disappear into the further annals of the cathedral, the patrons began to make their way back to the pews. Sisters began to resume their current business, too and fro, talking with patrons that looked in need of aid. Brunetta looked at you cautiously, before casting her gaze at the patrons.

Looking over the pews, and the people that sisters weren't helping, you saw three very different people. A mother, nursing her newborn child while in deep prayer. Her face was soft, doll-like even. She looked like she was straight out of religious art, a virgin mother nursing a child of the gods. An ivory shawl covered her hair, straw hair falling in luscious locks that keep the child's attention. The baby, too, was covered in the same ivory silks, betraying their looks to the open world. Yet, despite this perfect picture, you could see ashen soot covering the woman's face. Beauty marred.

The second was an older man. Skin leathered and wrinkled, and tufts of white hair resting above his ears before forming a long beard. He smiled jovially, crooked yellow teeth gleaming in the glasslight. He was in rags but was happier than everyone else in the room. He hummed a small hymn, its tune fast and forgiving. Yet, his eyes look clouded. Pale blue, and no pupils either. Robbed of sight, and robbed of a comfortable life... But even if he was sticks and bones, the sheer joy radiating like the sun astonished you.

The last was a young girl, clutching tightly a rugged stuffed animal in the shape of a Buneary. The toy was frayed at the seams, and you couldn't tell apart the internal stuffing and the fluffy detailing. She looked lost and confused as if wanting guidance from the sisters. Yet, despite her nervous demeanor, she watched the sisters with such awe. As if there was a sign of inner courage building up, and hope among the horizon. Her glasses shown the light of the stained glass, and her black pigtails braided into knots were unmoving. She was completely overwhelmed, lost, and alone, shining with hope.

"Now, the first task of a sister is to offer an ear to those in need. Guide them towards their inner truths, and learn from them as much as they do from you. This is the first step in earning your habit, Sister Minerva." Brunetta leaves as soon as the advice escapes her lips. Seems the clergy wasn't going to give you any more advice on how to earn your rank.

How do you proceed?
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:01 PM   #94
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grassyglide:

Rillaboom hears your plea, ceasing his drumming while you talk - probably out of respect when you mention the Shrine -, but his expression giving very little away. When you ask whether more wood with similar properties can be found nearby, he slowly shakes his head and hold the instrument close to his chest, perhaps meaning that it has been a prized possession for a very, very long time - perhaps even passed down from previous generations. Makes sense - you don't recal seeing golden trees anywhere during your journey across Fortune's Woods.

His reaction trading his current drum for a new one is, therefore, predictable well before he answers. With a growl, he shakes his head again, more vigorously this time; he bears his fangs as he does, but you get a feeling he means no actual harm. Which is for the best, really, given how absolutely enormous the ape is.

It is only when you produce a Golden Fiddle from the confines of your Bag that the gorilla's expression changes, from one of apprehension to one of curiosity. Could it be that the same special wood was used in ages past to produce the two musical instruments? With steps that make the ground shake, Rillaboom draws closer, eyes firmly locked on your fiddle. He raises his gargantuan hands, and for a moment you think he's about to steal the item from you... but instead his palms come crashing down on his own drum, producing a vibrant beat, then another, and yet another. He repeats the same three-beat routine a couple more times, then stops expectantly.

Wisewood tilts his head in confusion, but Eevee seems to get it. It points at your fiddle with its tail, urging you to use it. Does Rillaboom want... a duet?

So, can you find a way to impress Rillaboom?

Of course there's no more of that wood to be found, Argyle thinks as the Rillaboom replied in the negative to his inquiry about finding more of that wood. And of course you wouldn't trade it...

Just when things were looking bleak, The Grass Ape's curiosity was piqued by the Golden Fiddle. Could that be Argyle's solution to obtaining the drum? The Pokemon approached Argyle and the fiddle. Was he jus going to take it? He did raise his hand and his eyes were locked on the musical instrument. Argyle braced himself as the hand came down, but to his surprise the target was not the fiddle but instead his own drum.

Thump
Thump
Thump

The Drummer Pokemon repeated the 3-beat routine a couple times before stopping. The silence that ensued was one of expectance. However, neither Argyle nor Wisewoods could make sense of it. Luckily, their guide, Eevee, was quick to figure it out: Rillaboom wanted Argyle to accompany him.

Just great... Argyle thought. See, Argyle was not musically inclined at all. A Magikarp might have had more talent than him. But... this was just 3 beats. How hard could it be? It had to be harder to mess it up. He just needed to follow his companion's need. But also he had to figure out what note blended well with the drum.

"Alright, I'll try my best to accompany you," Argyle accepted the Pokemon's request, "But... I'm gonna need some help. I'll try to play some notes and you tell me which ones you think suits the duet and I'll try to stick with it. And... let's please start off slow?"

Then, he turned to Wisewoods, "Why don't you engage in some high-flying acrobatics and a feathery dance to accompany the piece." Of course, he didn't want Eevee to feel left out, so to him he said, "And Eevee if you want to dance or sing feel free to join in. I take it the jovial Rillaboom would appreciate it rather than scorn it, though we should probably get his OK anyway."

And so Argyle was set to give a musical performance of a lifetime...
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:23 PM   #95
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Fully healing your friend, you then watch her give up a prayer to Her Grace. It seems that Bia was thankful for how the battle went. That was a good sign, for sure, as the battle before took a big toll on you and her. It did showcase, though, you had the potential to join the nunnery. And for you, your growth, your journey... This was where you needed to be.

Perhaps, this love shackling your heart can be mended... molded, into caring and compassion for others. Visions of futures that have come to pass will only shackle you further, so if you had the patience and true sight of a seer, then that would prove for you to start your path.

Telling Her Glory your decision, she gives you a curt nod before beginning to walk away. It seems that she had other matters to attend to, and as you saw her disappear into the further annals of the cathedral, the patrons began to make their way back to the pews. Sisters began to resume their current business, too and fro, talking with patrons that looked in need of aid. Brunetta looked at you cautiously, before casting her gaze at the patrons.

Looking over the pews, and the people that sisters weren't helping, you saw three very different people. A mother, nursing her newborn child while in deep prayer. Her face was soft, doll-like even. She looked like she was straight out of religious art, a virgin mother nursing a child of the gods. An ivory shawl covered her hair, straw hair falling in luscious locks that keep the child's attention. The baby, too, was covered in the same ivory silks, betraying their looks to the open world. Yet, despite this perfect picture, you could see ashen soot covering the woman's face. Beauty marred.

The second was an older man. Skin leathered and wrinkled, and tufts of white hair resting above his ears before forming a long beard. He smiled jovially, crooked yellow teeth gleaming in the glasslight. He was in rags but was happier than everyone else in the room. He hummed a small hymn, its tune fast and forgiving. Yet, his eyes look clouded. Pale blue, and no pupils either. Robbed of sight, and robbed of a comfortable life... But even if he was sticks and bones, the sheer joy radiating like the sun astonished you.

The last was a young girl, clutching tightly a rugged stuffed animal in the shape of a Buneary. The toy was frayed at the seams, and you couldn't tell apart the internal stuffing and the fluffy detailing. She looked lost and confused as if wanting guidance from the sisters. Yet, despite her nervous demeanor, she watched the sisters with such awe. As if there was a sign of inner courage building up, and hope among the horizon. Her glasses shown the light of the stained glass, and her black pigtails braided into knots were unmoving. She was completely overwhelmed, lost, and alone, shining with hope.

"Now, the first task of a sister is to offer an ear to those in need. Guide them towards their inner truths, and learn from them as much as they do from you. This is the first step in earning your habit, Sister Minerva." Brunetta leaves as soon as the advice escapes her lips. Seems the clergy wasn't going to give you any more advice on how to earn your rank.

How do you proceed?
Minerva takes no offense to the curtness of Her Glory's response - after all, one such as her would be expected to have a number of duties requiring her attention, and Minerva would not begrudge her this in the slightest. Indeed, all of the Sisters seem intent on resuming their duties after observing the battle, and Minerva had the feeling that she should be moving to action just as quickly.

Minerva gives a grateful bow of the head to Sister Brunetta for her advice before briefly considering each supplicant in turn.

The mother and child, like the famous, golden portraits of the Madonna... Such an image of holiness, and yet, the mother's beautiful face is marred with dark ash.

The older man, blinded - a phrase which, in the Nightwatch, held a particular meaning to her - yet brimming with joy. His was a fascinating secret - the smile of the sightless.

Yet, it was the third and last of those in need who pulled Minerva's heart the strongest. Long ago, Minerva herself could very well have been that over-loved, falling-apart stuffed doll - for all the rage, the vengeance, the power, that was really all a Banette was. More than that, though, there was something in her eyes - the light of hope - which Minerva felt drew her to the child. Hers, she felt, was the lesson she needed to learn. The newly-titled Sister Minerva could only help that she could make some small difference in the child's life, as well.

With a gentle demeanor and soft smile, Minerva approaches the child carefully, not wanting to exacerbate her nervousness.

"What a lovely friend you have, there," Minerva remarks, gesturing at the Buneary. There is no hint of sarcasm or humor in her voice - and, indeed, there was a real sincerity in her admiration of the doll, threadbare as it was, for its show of such intense love. "My name is Sister Minerva, and beside me here is Bia the Bewear. Might we hear your names?"

Bia, having finished her prayer to Her Grace, waves a friendly paw at the little girl. The bear tries to bend her knees a bit, attempting to reduce her rather intimidating size.
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Old 10-03-2021, 12:21 PM   #96
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Closing his eyes briefly the man lets off a light chuckle before looking straight in the eyes with a piercing gaze, the old man seeming to a proper judgment of Ary's character.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking up you notice the old man impatiently tapping a pen on the registry in front of him "Name's Rauwlon by the way"
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Old 10-03-2021, 12:44 PM   #97
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Marion-
You approach the girl carefully, not wanting to intimidate her. After all, you weren't exactly dressed like the rest of the nuns here. A woman dressed as a harlot, after all, was already out of place in the cathedral. One approaching a crying child would only seem to be a stranger. If not for the previous events, you'd probably have been tossed out.

Once you do reach her, you begin to speak softly. With a genuine tone, you tell her how lovely the stuffed rabbit was. You were, after all, a doll once upon a time. A Banette, having risen from your human death to serve your dear sister. Through this, you already felt a special connection to this girl, giving her a warm smile while offering your name and service. Bia joins in as well, trying her best to look cuddly instead of intimidating.

"H-Hello Sister," the girl bows before tightly squeezing the doll between her arms. You see a little bit of the stuffing bulge out as she does so before it retracts within. Curious.

"My name is Ella... And this here is Fuzzykins," she says, holding the doll up proudly. With closer inspection, you could see one of Fuzzykin's button eyes hanging loosely.

"I-I'd like to join... Join the church, or at least get shelter," she states, her voice more flimsy until it becomes firm with conviction. "I don't have a home... Not anymore. Not after Daddy... Did things." The girl touches her stomach, and with realization, you immediately knew. Best left unsaid.

"Fuzzykins and I ran, and ran, and ran from the City of Pentacles. Mommy was a pious person..." she trails off, looking downcast. Her mother was gone as well? "And she always spoke to me of Her Grace's teachings. She always told me about this place, and that she'd love to have taken me one day."

"But, now it's just Fuzzykins and I," she holds up the doll once more, hiding behind the false Buneary. "And I-I-I fear I might not have Fuzzykins much longer. He's the last thing I have of Mommy. So please sister... can you please help?" She asks you with shining eyes, glittering like the stars above.

How do you respond?
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:54 AM   #98
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grassyglide:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

*Declare your party going forward. You won't be able to change it until further notice!*
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:04 PM   #99
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THE ARCANE REALM

The Land of Cups

Named for the small valleys and tall hills and mountains native to the region, forming almost natural cups, this is an almost verdant and fertile land. Despite the desert in the very north and the mountains nestled in, a large variety of life can be found here. The Land of Cups is the jewel of the Arcane Realm, and without it, the realm would be a lot more desolate. Luckily, there are preservation efforts to make sure this jewel doesn’t lose its shine. (Please respond in Plum

XVII. Desert of Stars - A small, arid desert at the northern tip of the Land of Cups, the Desert of Stars is named for the various meteorites found within this region. While more a dry, mountainous desert than a sandy one, sandstorms are still a common occurance here. Though, despite these conditions, explorers and treasure hunters flock to this region for the meteorites found here, and the rare Pokemon attracted to them. Some have even stated they’ve had some otherworldly experiences here.
"Oh my god," Aiden said, rolling his eyes at his brother over the phone. "Seriously, Mike, I'm fine. I'm literally on my way back, walking on the sidewalk, far away from the road."

"Yeah, well, the last time you were 'just taking a walk', you got blackmailed into helping with an underground Pokémon battling club," Mike replied dryly. "And then you were 'just gonna ask about Hint's Pokéball' and you ended up sucked into some kind of retro gaming console."

"Well, it's not like I wanted that to happen!" Aiden protested. "Either time!"

"But you wanted to be a Trainer, so congrats, I get to be even more overbearing."

Aiden groaned, but figured Mike had earned that. Because if their parents ever found out about Aiden's being a Trainer now, however sketchily, it was Mike's ass in the firing line first. And, Aiden could admit to himself, both situations had been terrifying. And he'd kinda known what was happening the whole time! Mike had barely gotten anything before Aiden'd dropped off the grid both times and that was just a recipe for disaster.

Which absolutely would not be helped by Hint muttering "Uh-oh" into the call.

"Uh-oh?" Aiden repeated.

"What?" Mike demanded.

And then Aiden screamed as he tripped into a sand dune. Shoving himself up and spitting sand out of his mouth, he grabbed his phone from Hint with an automatic "Thanks" and brought it back up to his ear.

"Aiden? Aiden?!"

"I'm here." Aiden coughed and spit out more sand. "Ended up, um, in some kind of desert somewhere? Not sure where. Or how."

"Jesus christ." Mike blew his breath out. "Okay. So, you were just walking and fell? And then somehow ended up in a desert? Somewhere?"

"I think it was a leftover time distortion," Hint offered. "From when Dialga's Gate was around?"

"Uhh, Hint thinks it was a time distortion?" Aiden relayed to his brother as he checked out his surroundings. It was a desert. With mountains. That was pretty much all he could figure out.

"A time distortion," Mike repeated faintly. "Alright then. I can't believe I'm saying this but you got your Pokémon?"

Aiden checked. "Yeah. Got my stuff too."

"Alright. Call me back when you figure out where you are." Mike paused. "Or later tonight. So I know you're not dead."

Aiden nodded, even though Mike wouldn't see it. "Will do."

"...be safe."

"I'll try my best," Aiden said wryly.

"...'ll see you later."

"...yeah, see ya."

Both of them hesitated for a moment longer before Mike hung up. Aiden hung up his end and tucked his phone into his pocket. Resettling his bag so its weight was more evenly distributed, Aiden scanned the horizon. "Alright, which way do you think we should go?"

Hint circled him, peering out towards the horizon. "I think...that way." The Rotom pointed. "Maybe."

Aiden shrugged. "As good as any. You wanna hide again?"

In response, Hint shot itself back into the ear cuff slash hands-free device Aiden'd built for it and went quiet.

"Alright. Let's go."
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Old 10-04-2021, 06:05 PM   #100
Marion Ette
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Marion-
You approach the girl carefully, not wanting to intimidate her. After all, you weren't exactly dressed like the rest of the nuns here. A woman dressed as a harlot, after all, was already out of place in the cathedral. One approaching a crying child would only seem to be a stranger. If not for the previous events, you'd probably have been tossed out.

Once you do reach her, you begin to speak softly. With a genuine tone, you tell her how lovely the stuffed rabbit was. You were, after all, a doll once upon a time. A Banette, having risen from your human death to serve your dear sister. Through this, you already felt a special connection to this girl, giving her a warm smile while offering your name and service. Bia joins in as well, trying her best to look cuddly instead of intimidating.

"H-Hello Sister," the girl bows before tightly squeezing the doll between her arms. You see a little bit of the stuffing bulge out as she does so before it retracts within. Curious.

"My name is Ella... And this here is Fuzzykins," she says, holding the doll up proudly. With closer inspection, you could see one of Fuzzykin's button eyes hanging loosely.

"I-I'd like to join... Join the church, or at least get shelter," she states, her voice more flimsy until it becomes firm with conviction. "I don't have a home... Not anymore. Not after Daddy... Did things." The girl touches her stomach, and with realization, you immediately knew. Best left unsaid.

"Fuzzykins and I ran, and ran, and ran from the City of Pentacles. Mommy was a pious person..." she trails off, looking downcast. Her mother was gone as well? "And she always spoke to me of Her Grace's teachings. She always told me about this place, and that she'd love to have taken me one day."

"But, now it's just Fuzzykins and I," she holds up the doll once more, hiding behind the false Buneary. "And I-I-I fear I might not have Fuzzykins much longer. He's the last thing I have of Mommy. So please sister... can you please help?" She asks you with shining eyes, glittering like the stars above.

How do you respond?
Minerva responds to the little girl's greeting with warmth and gentleness. "A pleasure to meet you both, Ella and Fuzzykins." Bia, too, gives a soft grunt in response to the greeting, acknowledging both girl and stuffed animal with a nod of the head for each.

Ella musters up her courage to express her desire to join the church, or at least, have shelter - a basic need, so often taken for granted by those who have never known the lack. Surely, the sisters would have no issue with Minerva granting this simple request. But before Minerva can give it too much thought, Ella relates the reason why she is without shelter, alone in the world... and the very moment Ella touches her stomach, Minerva's own stomach fills with the burning, caustic bile of the purest, most potent rage. Her blood boils with the dark desire to run, and run, and run towards the City of Pentacles, as Ella had been so tragically forced to run away - to find, to find, to find this father of hers, and kill, kill, kill, KILL him. It was a righteous fury, no doubt - a fury even the Old Gods of yore would quiver at - but Minerva takes a deep breath, looking into the button eyes of Fuzzykins, one of which was hanging sadly askew.

The last thing she has of Mommy... No small burden for a falling-apart Buneary to bear. Best to prioritize treating him with due respect. Minerva knew only too well what discarded dolls were capable of, and this one had more than enough reason to lift his head in defiance of the natural law. Even without that threat... He was all she had in the world.

"Truth be told, Ella, I myself am only recently ordained into the Sisterhood," Minerva admits, "So I have much to learn myself about Her Grace. Even so, I will personally see to it that you and Fuzzykins will have a place to rest your weary heads." Minerva grins. "I do know a thing or two about sewing. Perhaps you would like to join me while I search for a needle, some thread and a bit of fabric to patch Fuzzykins up a bit. Would he like that?" Minerva pauses, addressing the stuffed animal directly. "I cannot promise that I will restore you exactly as you once were, but at least I could try to mend you enough that you can continue to support Ella on her journey... provided we have the necessary tools around. How does that sound?"

In places as this, with religious garb, rich tapestries and ceremonial cloths and runners, there was little doubt they would need to keep sewing equipment on hand to mend any rips and tears. Hopefully, the Sisters did not believe in wasting cloth, and she could find some excess without accidentally committing some form of blasphemy by tearing up Her Grace's holy cape or some such. If it was the will of Ella and Fuzzykins, she would do what she could to mend him - or else, think of some other way to provide the pair a bit of comfort.
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