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Old 09-15-2021, 09:00 PM   #1
Marion Ette
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Phantump The Haunted Mansion

It's back...

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The Dollhouse (Please reply in plum): High above the Haunted Mansion grounds, atop a weeping willow tree whose trunk has grown far taller than any you have ever seen, is a strange little tree-cottage, built as if lovingly handcrafted for a life-sized doll...

Once meticulously maintained by an eccentric crew of spooky Pokemon - not to mention the eerie, doll-like homeowner herself - the old tree-cottage is (perhaps ironically) a washed-out ghost of its former self. Indeed, the formerly bright and cheerful mint-green paint and white trim seems to have turned grey and pale after the departure of its occupants.


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Old 09-15-2021, 09:00 PM   #2
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:04 PM   #3
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Now it's the Devil I love.

((For context, please see Sludge Wave Coast from post 589 to post 606.))

All right... Let's try this again.

Oroitz narrows his eyes with determination as he once again approaches the tree cottage. Once again, the familiar feeling of goosebumps that prickle on his neck, just underneath his feathers, mildly at first, which eventually gives in to the unspeakable, unnameable dread which permeates his entire being by the time he reaches the front door. Despite this, with renewed confidence and the knowledge that he had successfully summoned others to his aid, he is able to keep his body from shivering such that it would impact his ability to fly.

As he lands by the front door, he immediately senses that something is... different, about this dread. This was not just an ominous foreboding, no - he was being watched.

The moment he turns around to confirm his suspicion, he jumps in fright, flapping his wings, cawing several expletives in his native tongue. Despite this severe reaction, the creature behind him - a silent Crobat, mere inches away - doesn't even flinch.

Disappointing. The Crobat shakes his head. You call yourself a hunter?

"I call myself Oroitz," the irritated crow fires back. "And what do you call yourself, oh mighty hunter?"

Sangre. The Crobat grins slightly, but the act seems mostly to serve as a means to bare his fangs. You would know that if you paid better attention... As I have paid attention to you.

"State your purpose," Oroitz growls. "I have not the time to engage in battles over whose observational capabilities are better-"

Because you would lose, Sangre retorts, eyes gleaming. I have flown these skies for eighteen years, and I know a fledgling when I see one... and I have seen you often enough, without you seeing me.

At this, Oroitz puffs up with disdain. "If your purpose is to insult me, I have no time for it."

I merely report what I observe, Sangre coolly responds, as Marion requests. But today, a slight deviation from the norm - I have been asked to deliver a message, and a gift.

Oroitz laughs harshly. "Hmph. Given how warm your welcome has been, I can only imagine what she has to -"

She apologizes for her earlier rudeness, and sincerely hopes you will consider forgiveness for her unseemly outburst.

Unable to conceal his surprise, the dark bird's eyebrows raise, his beak slightly ajar. Even so, he quickly gains composure. "Well, I certainly imagine the news I gave her was a shock, so, I can certainly understand -"

Time grows short, Sangre interrupts, eyeing the position of the sun. Marion has been in communication with your Commander since your visit. Based on their conversations, and her own research, she has... something that might help. Sangre winces slightly as he says this. Needles. When it comes to curses, Marion learned from the best. She believes she has harnessed a bit of that power. Fight fire with fire - stick yourself with one of the needles, just enough to draw a bit of blood, and it should prevent the worst effects of any curses - though some needles work better than others, depending on the curse. He pauses. I don't recommend using them unless you absolutely have to.

"And why is that?"

We haven't tested them yet.

Before Oroitz could formulate a reply, the Crobat was already in flight, zooming off at speeds Oroitz couldn't even fathom. In his place was an ornate wooden box, as well as a container of sanitization kits, with a handwritten label sternly directing that needles are to be sanitized after each and every use! Even arcane needles with questionable magical properties should be kept clean, after all.

With a curious expression, Oroitz opens the box. Inside, he indeed finds a strange collection of needles, all looking as though they came from a witch's sewing kit - seventeen in total, each ornately carved out of different materials and with different symbols carved into each.

Oroitz takes a deep breath, Sangre's warning echoing in his ears.

"Hmph... I thought I was a crow, not a guinea pig... But I might as well take one, and share these with the others..."

Something about inspecting the needles makes Oroitz profoundly uncomfortable, and he closes the box, deciding to wait until the others arrive before taking a closer look.

Last edited by Marion Ette; 09-15-2021 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:22 PM   #4
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A pair of Stunfisk, one Normal Form, one Galarian, flying through the skies of Fizzytopia? Eh, the people of this region have seen weirder sights. Even with a Dusknoir (presumably) following not far behind.

"How much farther, Dad?" Mercury, the Galarian Stunfisk, called to the other Stunfisk, who she was flying more or less right behind.

"Still a little farther," Rubeus called back. "But not too much. I know the way well- Marion and Keith used to be neighbors back when Keith had his old Secret Base."

As they flew, however, the journey proved to be anything but uneventful. But not in a bad way, either- Rubeus's attention was certainly caught by a large winged shape coming their way, but he broke out into a big smile as he realized he freaking recognized that shape. An Unfezant, female if the plumage was anything to go by, wearing the bottom half of a Poké Ball on a string around her neck. "Rubeus!" the Unfezant cawed delightedly. "I knew that was you! I'd recognize those fins anywhere!"

"Batrach?!" Rubeus laughed. "Landorus above, how long has it been?!"

"Years and years," Batrach responded. "You're looking well. And who is this?" she added, noticing the Galarian Stunfisk flying not far behind Rubeus.

"Ah, yes," smiled Rubeus. "Batrach, may I introduce you? This is my daughter Mercury. Mercury, this is Batrach, an old friend of mine, and a Pokémon Keith used to own."

"H-hi, Miss Batrach," smiled Marcury.

Batrach would have beamed if beaks were physically capable of smiling. "You and Bubbles finally...?!" she exclaimed. "Oh, that's wonderful! What else, what else, what's been happening? Did Gold and Chance ever get together? Kyle and Nagini?"

"Now, calm down, one question at a time," chuckled Rubeus. "Yes to the first, and no to the second, but we're all basically just waiting for it to happen. What have you been up to?"

"Oh, anything and everything," the Unfezant replied, now flying alongside Rubeus. "I've been all over the world several times over, and it never gets boring. Keith was a great Trainer to me, but I made the right decision to leave," she stated firmly. "I've trained with the Flying-types of Violet Gym in Johto. Even met an interesting man in Unova who could talk to Pokémon! So, Rubeus, fill me in, what all have I been missing out on?" she asked.

Rubeus hesitated for a moment, but decided it was only fair Batrach be filled in, and so he told her. Absolutely everything. Up to and including the mind-blowing revelation he'd learned just minutes before.

To say Batrach was a little surprised would be as much an understatement as calling a Slugma slightly warm. "...she faked her death so Keith would be happy?!" she squawked in shock. "But... How does that make sense? He was happy with her!"

"Indeed," Rubeus nodded. "And the week after learning she was supposedly dead was... not pleasant," he stated. "But... now? Keith is truly happy. He has a wife and a daughter- both of whom you should meet sometime, by the way," he added.

"Oh, absolutely," nodded the Unfezant. "Where are we going, by the way?" she added.

"Well... I'm going to Marion's old Secret Base, as I said," Rubeus replied. "I can't presume to speak for you, but-"

"Well, obviously I'm coming to help!" Batrach interrupted, with an air of having just stated the most basic of facts. "I might not be Keith's Pokémon anymore, but if Minerva still matters to him, I'm not about to just stand by and do nothing, knowing she might be in danger!"

"...Alright," conceded Rubeus. "As long as you understand how potentially dangerous this truly is."

"I do," nodded Batrach seriously. "And I'm stronger than I was when I left the team."

"And you were fairly strong then, too," nodded Rubeus thoughtfully.

It wasn't much longer after that when the grounds of the Hidden Mansion came into view. Rubeus smiled nostalgically, especially as he saw the crater that used to be his home, now occupied by what appeared to be a family of Koffing and Weezing. None of them looked up at that moment or noticed them, or one of the two Weezing would have recognized a former teammate or two.

Rubeus, Mercury, and Batrach came in for a landing not far from where Oroitz was. "Sorry for the delay," Rubeus greeted the Honchkrow. "I took the liberty of, ah, catching up on my reading before I left," he said significantly. "On that note, I believe I owe you an apology for my earlier outburst," he added respectfully. "I very clearly did not have all the information, and I strongly suspect I still don't."

"So this is Oroitz, then?" said Batrach. "Pleased to meetcha!"

"Ah, yes, Oroitz- this is Batrach, an old friend we happened to cross paths with en route here," said Rubeus. "She is up to speed on the situation and is prepared to offer whatever help she can."

"So, what's the plan, Mr. Oroitz?" Mercury asked.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:08 AM   #5
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A porcelain teacup sat atop white satin, empty like the sea of stars above. A pinch of dried black tea, Earl Gray, was added to the bottom of the cup. A piping hot kettle poured in, filling the cup almost to half. A sugar cube with lavender flowers encrusted in dropped in with a plop. Then, freshly steamed MooMoo milk, and all giving a swirl with the honey coated stirrer. A calming, refreshing drink.

Her work for the past few months had been meticulous. Each action planned accordingly, for her home of eons past was starting to become... limiting. This self-made cottage of hers, in the far recesses of the outer planes, was starting to lose its purpose. It was rare for her to become interested such in the affairs of mortal men, but that did not ever deter her. Nay, for she erred on the side of caution often. For her to expand her strength... she must be patient and forthcoming in her goals.

Thus, as she took a sip, she recalled the nexus event that had happened recently. For the mortal realm... She would presume it would've been May, two-thousand and twenty anno domini. When for the first time in a millennium she had ventured forth from her cottage out of sheer boredom and met the most peculiar island. Candy glades and the water instead of being some... saccharine-sweet carbonated drink unknown to her. And yet, there was latent power here. A well of potential that she could tap into.

With this, she decided to venture forth. Her form much too large, and her power much too dangerous, the denizens of the land came to fight her off. It was pathetic, really, as she easily was able to fend them off. Throwing them off the isle, she prepared. She covered it in runes, which to her wouldn't take long, but for them would take well over a year before they could be activated. Let it sit and simmer, draw out the power within instead of making hasty, rash decisions. Oh, she detested that fool of a brother so, him only focusing on flashy, explosive displays.

Within the span of a month, her work was finished and she absconded back to her home. The boy who tended to the island never found them, but he could be useful nonetheless. After all, if she contracted with the island's master... Her move would go completely unopposed. And thus, phase two of her plan began to unfold.

Taking a small scone, she dipped it into her tea and took a bite. Nice, soft, and spongy. Perfect with her tea. It was such a nice refreshment, especially saving those trainers from the far fallen fragment. It was the result of a dead, forgotten timeline pruned eons ago. It sweltered and expanded to the point where it began to cause anomalies in the main timeline. It was a troublesome mess too, as in these planes any disruption to the fabric of spacetime had dire consequences for those with much greater power. Outer entities were beginning to slip through the pockets created by it...

"Nyarlathotep," she muttered beneath her breath.

One such entity immediately took advantage of that and slipped through. Seems to have plans for the homunculus in her summoner's companionship. If not for the multitude of other entities after that living battery, well, she'd put in her stake. Even if, at the end of the day, she was just a Pokemon. But one such, from the time, where all of those things were still intermixed. Humanity didn't truly diverge until around the start of the new era.

Though she was done bemusing herself in tangents now, and her tea was already halfway done. Where was she? Right, saved the fabric of spacetime out of her own interests. And then spent a while in dormancy, during her own research and working on her plans until the boy summoned her. The Wishing Well... something of great power that not even she knew of. That solidified her reasoning on making the shift make to the mortal plane. Or, at least have easy access to it.

And thus did the boy summon her, passed her test, and pacted with her. He was flabergasted when he arrived here for the transient moment. But, well, what was done was done. She technically was at his beck and call. Though, he respected her autonomy and seemed to even fear her. It was a strange relationship indeed, but mutually beneficial.

Yet, all of that time, she was crafting a conduit for her own devices. Every month, she'd take in some of the energy of the isle. Warp it, and twist it into the fog. A fog suited for magi, to be able to sustain her true form on the mortal plane, and transform the place into a haven. It would act as a bomb, exploding into this psychic mist once it was able to draw in enough energy. And thus, did she sent it out in the form of a Castform, using the power spot as a battery and allowing her to take full control.

And now, it would be time to continue to tend to the island. Her teacup was empty, and thus her break was over. Yet, there was something rotten in the air. Some unholy evil had made itself known... Something that threatened to balance that she painstakingly worked towards. She had established herself as one of the new power players on the underground world game being played in Fizzytopia. It was more than time to set forth and show her power.

Thus, she left her cottage and awoken in the mortal plane. This size... Was too small for her liking. While her cottage was sized for her, this body she made for the boy to use was just... minuscule. But no matter, she'd need to work with it. A witch always used the tools at her disposal. And no matter, it would be a lot less conspicuous than arriving in her full glory. Besides, if trainers saw her, they'd say that the "Hat Witch" was sighted and that some threat was coming.

She ended up making her way towards the Haunted Mansion. This was the place where her patree and his homunculus friend took part in a maze. Where some cryptid variant of Bulbasaur was found. And where the source of this... the energy was coming. Whatever was wrong here, well, she would certainly make swift and smite it down.

Approaching the willow tree, she could feel the amount of wretched energy here. Though, she pauses for a second. Demonic influence, in a weeping willow across the way.

"Belial," she spits with disgust. A curiosity indeed, but not what she was here for. But that... That definitely confirmed some theories she had. This was no time to deal with tracking that hedonist anyways.

Shaking her head, she begins to ascend the tree to reach the dollhouse above. She slunk her way to and fro, her hair caring not for the potential of splinters from the ancient willow. The ascent, for the most part, was trivial. Not much needed to really be expended here... After all, it wasn't like she was actually doing the work.

She then spots a... baffling group before her. A Honchkrow, both species of Stunfisk, and an Unfezant. Birds and fish... An awkward grouping indeed. Yet, what intrigued was was the strong magical signatures radiating from the Honchkrow. She couldn't exactly tell what sort of arcane artifacts it held.

"Hello," she spoke calmly, an aura of grace and power surrounding her. "I could sense... something wrong here. Something in need of my... power."

The Hatterene paused, knowing not how to respond. Introductions? "Please, call me by the moniker my pactbearer call me: Rosemary. My true name is not comprehensible by mortals such as ye," she bemuses, a cheeky grin on her face. "Do not, however, dare call me by that derogatory title your trainers had the gall to bestow me without consent."

She pointed towards the Honchkrow with her hair antenna.

"Please, tell me, your name first. Then, I would like to know the background of the situation," she says directly, caring not for the others here. Surely those recruited for the cause, not the person of true interest.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:59 AM   #6
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Fizzytopia's fearsome reaper was not trailing behind the others, as one might have otherwise expected given the group largely left together. No, instead the ghost had taken the time to return to the place her master called home, to make sure the lack of her presence had not been noted by the other denizens there. But her time away was short, as the arrival of the others to the Haunted Mansion was not minutes before a flash of light saw to her appearance at the treeline, thanks to a handy Teleport to see her safely there. However, her form was not the only new silhouette greeting the horizon after the flash of light, as another floating form trailed slightly behind her, crazed eyes darting to and fro as the duo approached.

"Apologies for the delay," The ghost muttered, a clear change in her demeanor from before coming through in her words despite her usual postured appearance, "I had meant to ensure that our operation would not be interrupted, but it would seem to do so comes at the cost of adding another to our midst."

An irritated shrug from the Dusknoir signals the sights of the group towards the Mismagius now traveling with her. Twitching with every movement, the other specter's eyes dart about between the ragtag bunch before locking firmly with Oroitz, unblinking in their crazed stare.

Sighing and placing her lance in front of the Mismagius to break her stare, the Dusknoir continues apace, "This is Abigail, one of my... compatriots, I suppose would be the best term." The mere mention of the Mismagius' name causes the ethereal mage to cackle softly to herself, as though her mind were entirely elsewhere. "...Abigail!" The Dusknoir's patience finally wore thin, snapping at her ally.

"Hehehe... Sorry! Sorry!" The mad mage's attention returned momentarily to reality, "So many new fleshy ones to meet! Are the fleshy ones here off limits like the ones at home?!"

"Yes," a groan ripped through the air from the mouth at the Dusknoir's stomach, "Behave yourself and maybe there will be some that you can entertain yourself with."

The very thought seemed to delight the Mismagius, causing her to twirl about in the air, lost in her own mind once more. "Fleshy things to play with~ Dripping with sanguine~"

"Aaaaaanyway." The Dusknoir groans in full once more, looking about the group, only just now noticing that another couple of additions had been made since she earlier left, including a rather well-known Hatterene. "Now that we've all met the second craziest one of us here, what is the plan for our band to accomplish?"
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:40 PM   #7
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And it's as funny as real love...

As if the unexpected visit from Sangre wasn't surprising enough, Oroitz was now contending with three new faces among those he had recruited to investigate the tree cottage. First, Batrach, a lady Unfezant who was apparently acquainted with Rubeus and Mercury from a time before the Honchkrow was monitoring Sludge Wave Coast. He was sure of this, for if he had known such an attractive bird called that miserable place home, perhaps he would have made himself known sooner... Still, this was strictly business, and Oroitz would not wish to impose his feelings upon her without first getting to know her, regardless.

The second visitor was known to him only from whispers, rumors, dark tales spread among the birds at night... Denizen of another realm, her presence did not bode well. For it was known that whenever strange happenings were afoot in Fizzytopia, she would appear... If the Hat Wi- er, Rosemary saw fit to make the journey here, then whatever awaited them was sure to be far more sinister than a Nosepass with a baffling business venture and an armored taco truck. Of this, Oroitz was doubly sure. "My name is Oroitz," the crow is quick to say, complying with the first of two requests. "A pleasure."

Finally, the Mismagius introduced as Abigail, who at the very least was being instructed that the "fleshy ones" were to be off limits - and, giving her chaotic cackling and talk of blood, such instruction seemed quite crucial to ensuring that she would be a help rather than a harm. With this "compatriot" in tow, the Dusknoir's demeanor seems to have changed considerably - and, Oroitz had to admit to himself, somewhat for the better, considering.

All in attendance looked to Oroitz for their marching orders, and the crow clears his throat, taking his species designation of Big Boss Pokemon quite seriously.

"For those of you just joining us who have not received the necessary intel - and for those who may have forgotten, or require additional detail - allow me to briefly recap what we seek to accomplish here. Please listen carefully, as I am already loathe to repeat myself," the Honchkrow begins. "This is to be an investigation of the Tree Cottage built and previously maintained by one Professor Marion Ghosttree, known as 'Marion Ette' during the time of her residence here. The deed to the home was transferred years ago to her sister, Minerva - the last remaining operative of Lacunosa Nightwatch Unit 28, who is also my dear friend and the one to whom I'm registered. The house has been uninhabited since 2018 - save for an absolutely puzzling intruder known as Mr. Nose, who has recently vacated - and yet, Minerva recently received an illegible letter from this address, almost certainly not from Mr. Nose, the contents of which are unknown to us due to the horrible writing. Between Minerva, Professor Ghosttree and myself, all we have been able to discern is that it is some sort of invitation. Why Minerva would receive an invitation to a home she owns is the mystery we set out to solve... And, admittedly, I have reason to believe that the illegible letter may be connected to a phenomenon which killed five members of Minerva's Unit, known as the Love Teller - a fortune-telling machine which dispensed illegible fortunes, causing those who received them to endure horrible visions and delusions which drove them to suicide - and even murder, in one case."

Oroitz takes a deep breath. "Speaking of Professor Ghosttree... A visitor came by moments ago. This Crobat, identifying himself as Sangre, apparently arrived as an ambassador of the good professor. Given the gift he provided us, I fear that Professor Ghosttree thinks we may be up against something particularly potent."

With his beak, Oroitz opens the box that Sangre gave him, and moves it towards the group. "Each of you, please, take one. My understanding is that sticking oneself with one of these needles will provide protection against curses, though the mechanizations of these arcane tools are as yet unknown to me. Oh, and please, do sanitize them before and after you use them. Bloodborne pathogens can be just as bad as curses, you know."

SEVENTEEN NEEDLES ARE AVAILABLE. EACH POKEMON MAY CHOOSE ONE - FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE. THE CARVINGS AND DECORATIONS ON THE NEEDLE MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE ONE WHO CHOOSES IT.

YOUR CHOICES ARE AS FOLLOWS:


Spoiler: show
Carnelian Needle
Aquamarine Needle
Angelite Needle
Calcite Needle
Moss Agate Needle
Copper Needle
Tiger's Eye Needle
Obsidian Needle
Selenite Needle
Rose Quartz Needle
Ivory Needle
Arsenopyrite Needle
Glass Needle
Piemontite Needle
Cobaltite Needle
Granite Needle
Amber Needle
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:01 PM   #8
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The Hatterene watched with piqued interest as the Honchkrow spoke. He went by the name of Oroitz and seemed apprehensive to her at first. Good. Her power was something that needed to be respected and revered. If not, then, there would be dire consequences involved. She did just ignore everyone else though, they weren't of any interest to her. She was here for what was going on, nothing more.

The Love Teller, a mysterious machine that brought insanity to those who got its fortune. Odd, for something to have such influence on mortals. Why would this broken machine return once more? No matter, that was not of her concern as of this time. Pondering without proper evidence would lead to improper results. All that she needed to do was wait and observe for the proper moment.

The thing that did interest her were the needles. All were made of different gems, metals, and other materials. Each of them held their own, unique power... Yet there was one that she was drawn to. The Selenite. A gem of peace, calm, and flow. A powerful conduit, especially when she was getting magical blockages. Or when her pesky brother wished to intervene with her and cause trouble.

So, with her tendril, she carefully grabbed the Selenite Needle. This would be a much, much-needed rejuvenation for her. Too much power had been spent in the past year, and she needed her magic circuits cleared. With a Life Dew, she washed the needle with her own life energy.

And then, with her psychic power, cleared her hair to reveal her small white body. It wasn't much larger than that of a Hattrem and was foreign to most unused to her species. Holding out her left arm, she poked her arm with the needle. Clarity, insight, and a ward for curses. If whatever was here was as powerful as it was, she didn't want to risk exposing her unique inner magics.

"It is done. I shall be keeping this needle for my personal analysis. Now, let us proceed once the others have finished."
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Old 10-22-2021, 01:37 AM   #9
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Needles. Always with the needles. Even if this was a somewhat ironic case of their use, given the past history the family was rumored to have with them. The Dusknoir simply watched and waited as Rosemary picked out a needle and began to prick herself with it. But while Marissa watched out of curiosity, wanting to observe the aftereffects of these supposed curse warding needles, Abigail's stare was much more fierce and pointed, sharp as the needle itself.

The Mismagius' eyes narrowed as she awaited even a single droplet of blood, inching slowly closer towards the Hatterene for a better view, chanting rhythmically to herself, "Seep and weep, flowing and-"

A sudden pull backwards at the hands of Marissa cut the words short before the deranged specter could continue. "This. This nonsense right here is why you aren't allowed out on your own." Shoving the hatted ghost towards Oroitz she barely holds back from shouting. "Now pick a needle before I act on old impulse and pierce you with my lance instead."

The Mismagius' eyes lit up once more as she noted the variety of gems and other precious magical materials making up the contents of the box. Forgetting herself yet again she began digging through the pile of needles with a feverish intensity, as though ignoring the fact that near all of them were visible at a simple glance. But just as suddenly as she had begun digging she comes to a stop, turning towards the larger ghost behind her. The aberrant mage's voice practically whines with her statement, "It's not in there..."

"Of course not. They're for protection, fool. What psychopath would try such a thing with something as unstable as hematite?" Another groan from the Dusknoir. "Now pick."

"Don't wanna."

At this point Marissa near lost it, shoving the Mismagius out of the way and thrusting her free hand into the box before pulling out the Obsidian Needle before shoving it into the chest of the other ghost. Obsidian was known to help stabilize turbulent emotions and safeguard against negative external stimuli, which was sure to be helpful in some way, hopefully in quieting the more obnoxious qualities of the younger ghost somewhat. "Take this one."

"No."

"Quit throwing your tantrum and use the damned needle!" Her maw opened violently in outburst, the stench of rot filling the air just as it had back at the Coast.

Simply sticking her tongue out in response, the Mismagius gently pricks through her ethereal form without a care before letting it fall to the ground. "Silly sis! You know you're not allowed to hurt me~"

Grumbling to herself Marissa looks through the box once more, "I've broken half a dozen rules already today, what's one more?" Pulling out the Arsenopyrite Needle, she speaks a bit more clearly. "And I've told you not to call me that."

Floating herself upside down, Abigail sticks out her tongue in mock defiance once more as she circles around her would-be sister, watching her. At least she was finally out of her own head for the moment.

Marissa simply does her best to ignore the obvious taunting and muses on the needle before finally deciding to prick herself with it. The material wasn't exactly common, but one of the few properties she knew it had was in improving self-esteem. And while that wasn't a quality she needed any real help with in any way, it was certainly not something she wished to see draining away due to any curses persisting in this place.

Picking the dropped Obsidian Needle off the ground and placing it in her palm with the Arsenopyrite Needle, her hand erupts momentarily in flame, a technique typically used when preparing for a Fire Punch, before allowing itself to slowly cool. "There. All sterilized."
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Old 10-22-2021, 05:15 AM   #10
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Rubeus had only expected to see Marissa show back up. He had not, by any means, expected the first Pokémon he saw to join them be such a well-known one. Indeed, the powerful Hatterene so callously referred to by so many across the land as the "Hat Witch" had arrived, agreeing to lend her considerable power to the situation at hand. She requested that the Honchkrow introduce himself first, and so Rubeus respectfully kept silent, indicating to his daughter and old friend that they ought do likewise. Mercury would likely have done so out of shyness anyway, but Batrach, who had never heard of this Hatterene (kinda busy traveling the rest of the world and all that) did need to take Rubeus's cue there.

Marissa reappeared, apologizing for the delay, as well as the fact that her efforts to ensure their operation went uninterrupted resulted in another joining them. And... the Mismagius tagging along was certainly something, alright. Her referring to the others as "fleshy ones" was... unnerving, to say the least.

With everyone present, Oroitz introduced himself to those who had not been present for his appearance back in the town of Sludge Wave Coast, and repeated the essentials of the situation at hand. Batrach did not need to hear this, for Rubeus had filled her in during the flight over here, but she kept her beak shut all the same, willing to bet that Rosemary and Abigail almost certainly did not have such a luxury. And indeed, the Honchkrow followed up with brand new information- Sangre, Marion's Crobat, had come to give them a selection of needles, to serve as protection against curses. The suggestion that there may have been a need for such a thing seemed ominous, to say the least, but neither Stunfisk nor the Unfezant seemed deterred by this.

Before any selections could be made, Rubeus cleared his throat before speaking up to introduce himself to those new to the party. "Hello- my name is Rubeus, and this is my daughter Mercury, and an old friend of mine, Batrach," he said, gesturing to those two respectively. "And if I may," he added, flapping his fins and hovering slightly, in order to properly bow to the Hatterene. "It is an honor to be working alongside one of such immense power and ability as yours, Miss Rosemary," he said courteously. Mercury, taking the cue from her father, likewise bowed. Batrach did as well, though she still didn't really know who this Hatterene was or why she deserved such respect, unaware of the Psychic/Fairy-type's role in the Primal Dialga incident.

Rosemary was the first to select a needle, and Marissa needed to practically force one upon Abigail. After this, it came time for Rubeus, Mercury, and Batrach to make their selections. "I'm gonna be honest, I don't know what's what when it comes to these," Batrach admitted.

"I can't say as I do, myself," nodded Rubeus. "Hmm..." At last, his eyes glowed as he lifted the Aquamarine Needle from the box with Psychic. "How about this, Batrach?" he asked.

"...Sure," shrugged the Unfezant. With that, Rubeus floated the needle closer to himself, and rinsed it off with a small-scale Scald for sterilization purposes. Once it had cooled and dried, he gently stuck the Unfezant with it. He then repeated the process, choosing the Tiger's Eye Needle for Mercury, and finally, the Angelite Needle for himself. None of the three Pokémon seemed to mind their respective needles much, taking them well enough. Rubeus then dutifully washed off all three needles with another Scald. 'I believe that's all three of us ready to go," the Normal Form Stunfisk stated. Mercury and Batrach nodded in agreement.
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:57 AM   #11
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And that's as real as true love.

Oroitz watches quietly as each Pokemon steps up to the box and chooses a needle. Politely allowing the others to select their needles before he takes his own, the Honchkrow weighs his options.

His first instinct had been to pick the Obsidian needle; his plumage was often compared to this very stone, after all, but more than that, the energies from that particular needle seemed to resonate with his own. Even so, he hesitated... For some reason, he felt his energies being pulled elsewhere. Oddly enough, he even feels a slight bit of relief when Abigail is given the Obsidian needle instead (though with no small bit of resistance). With the obvious choice out of the way, and with the others having made their selections, Oroitz reaches without hesitation for the Carnelian Needle, unable to resist the call of the bright red stone. It matches his eyes, yes... and matches his heart.

Meanwhile, the others in his group sterilize and utilize their rather strange arcane trinkets, one by one, and the effects are immediate.

THE FOLLOWING EFFECTS ARE ACTIVE AND AVAILABLE ONLY DURING THIS FREE RP ADVENTURE:


Selenite - The Blessing of Intuition (Rosemary)

A vision flashes in Rosemary's mind of the full moon against a starlit sky, radiating light and healing. Rosemary's inner eye is illuminated, and her sight is clearer than ever. Though the vision fades, it can be called upon to cleanse powerful curses should she just focus on the gentle lunar blessing bestowed upon her.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Rosemary's pupils will appear as a pair of small moons, gently illuminated with guiding light.


Arsenopyrite - The Blessing of Ambition (Marissa)

Fortunately for the Dusknoir, the very moment before this needle is injected, it magically coats itself in a protective film of gold so as to prevent ill effects from injecting it (much less heating it for sanitization purposes...) so, instead of toxic fumes and arsenic poisoning, this strange needle infuses Marissa with visions of ore veins, gleaming with gold. Glittering ambition infuses her, bolstering her resolve and self-esteem. Should the curses cause her to falter, she may call upon this vision to set her back on the right path. Yet, there is a message here, too... One's ambitions can be poisonous, if one is not careful.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Marissa's pupil will appear as if plated in glittering gold.


Obsidian - The Blessing of Reflection (Abigail)

Visions of darkness. Not terrifying darkness, no - the calm, tranquil dark of a starless sky, beckoning one to slumber, to rest, to let the day's events gradually unwind from the coils of a whirring mind, and dream sweet dreams. This darkness is a scrying mirror, reflecting the past in gentle, soft lines - yet, as we once arose from the primordial dark, so to will we return to it. In viewing the past, we see the future. Should horrible curses come to haunt the Mismagius' thoughts, immersing her mind in that reflective darkness will cleanse her of impure visions.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Abigail's pupils will appear as obsidian mirrors.


Aquamarine - The Blessing of Tranquility (Batrach)

An endless ocean, brightest blue, calm and gentle. The soft churn of the waves, rhythmic and soothing. Batrach's vision is of flying over the coastline, the sun at her back, watching the tides. Aquamarine is a talisman of luck for seafarers, as it is said to calm the waves, dispell their fears, and keep them safe at sea. Should Batrach be set upon by fearful adversaries, bringing the ocean to her mind will drown all fear and doubt.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Batrach's pupils will appear as sunlit oceans.


Tiger's Eye - The Blessing of Courage (Mercury)

Mercury's vision is transformative, powerful - no longer a Stunfisk, she finds herself in the body of a massive beast, stalking through the jungle. Yet, she is not here to hunt defenseless prey, or feast upon the weak. She hunts the poachers - the arsonists - the evildoers who would seek to harm those close to her, and to the land. The Tiger's Eye does not blink, does not falter. As long as Mercury is able to hold on to the vision and feeling, the beast within shall continue her relentless hunt, unfettered by any who would dare curse the Predator Queen.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Mercury's pupils will appear as tiger's eyes. (You may interpret this as the stone or the animal.)


Angelite - The Blessing of Elation (Rubeus)

What a blessing it is, to be able to fly! To soar above the world, unhindered by gravity. Rubeus is filled with the sheer joy of liftoff, of that moment where the Earth's hold is escaped, and the Stunfisk soars free of worries and cares. Rubeus must surrender to a higher purpose, a greater calling - envision flying higher than he ever has before, and he will - above this cottage, above the curses, above all that seeks to drag him down.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Rubeus' pupils will appear as if floating clouds are suspended within them.


Finally, Oroitz takes a deep breath and, after using one of the sanitary wipes Sangre had provided with the box, sticks himself with the needle, feeling an immediate rush of warmth through his body.


Carnelian - The Blessing of Passion (Oroitz)

Despite the Hidden Power of Ice, and the frigid temperament Oroitz was often accused of, deep down, Oroitz holds with those who favor fire. His vision is of the tree cottage completely engulfed in flames, himself included, the center of the blaze - but as the flames consume and destroy all around him, he remains untouched, warmed and cleansed instead of charred to ash. No longer held trapped in icy resentment, unable to act, his rage is a weapon of forceful cleansing. The carnelian channels his passion, and should he feel himself slipping into doubt and darkness, the fires will burn it all away.

For the duration of the Blessing's effect, Oroitz' pupils will appear as if burning in flames.

"What in Darkrai's name did that batty Professor do to these needles..." Oroitz remarks, cleansing his needle once again as he takes a look at the others around him. "...Should we be contacting a physician? Hells below..."

Shaking his head, he takes a deep breath. "Well, perhaps not... The effects seem benign. Beneficial, even - I sense no ill intent, which, perhaps, was the best we could hope for."

Oroitz hops up the staircase, towards the living room area, motioning for the others to follow him with his wing. "No time dwelling on it. Just let me know if any of you suddenly feel as if you may drop dead."
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:20 PM   #12
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With everyone having chosen, sterilized, used, and re-sterilized a needle, Oroitz having gone last out of them all, they each felt the effects of their respective needles just about immediately.

Batrach felt a feeling of calmness, of tranquility. Fitting for a Pokémon whose pre-evolution is literally called Tranquill, wouldn't you say? But yes- a vision of the ocean accompanied this feeling. A familiar sight for an Unfezant who had traveled the world, flown over many an ocean in her day, so often a calming, soothing sight. The Unfezant knew, right away, that if ever the fearful nature of their potential adversaries might threaten to get the better of them, she needed only think of the ocean, and it would wash away any fear or doubt.

Mercury's vision was a powerful one. Powerful enough to make her think for a moment that she was no longer a Stunfisk, but rather a powerful beast of some sort. A mighty Pyroar or Liepard, something like that, stalking the jungle, on the hunt. Not for helpless prey, not for the weak and defenseless, but for those who would harm those she cares about. And even after she remembered who, what, and where she was, she knew, somehow... as long as she held onto that vision and the accompanying feeling, then the courage, too, would hold strong. Nothing could or would stand in her way. Just like her father, who the Galarian Stunfisk so looked up to and idolized- he too let nothing stop him from protecting those he cared about.

And speaking of which, Rubeus was granted the immediate feeling of elation, the elation he so associated with taking off, taking flight. In particular, he recalled the moment where he took off from the peak of Mt. Chaos, Keith's command for Fissure still echoing in the night, as he dove back down, charging immense power into his tail fin, and struck the peak with enough force to cleave the entire mountain in two, thereby bringing an end to Neville once and for all. But overall, flight was the theme here- so long as he imagined himself flying higher than he ever had done in the past, then so he would, albeit more in the sense of above any curses.

With all said and done, Oroitz remarked on the effects of the needles, wondering what the hell had been done to them to produce such effects. He dropped the matter fairly quickly, however, conceding that the effects seemed to be beneficial. "Yeah, wow, this is insane," chuckled Batrach. "Well, I feel ready to go, how about all y'all?"

"I'm ready," confirmed Rubeus, still smiling a bit.

"I'm ready too," added Mercury. It registered to Rubeus that his daughter sounded a lot more determined and courageous than usual- clearly, whatever her chosen needle imparted had to do with courage, just as his dealt in elation.

"Then it seems we're in agreement," the Normal Form Stunfisk nodded. He led his daughter and old friend up the staircase after Oroitz. The Honchkrow's quip about informing him if any of them suddenly felt as though they might drop dead was heard and acknowledged, and normally might have come across as needlessly ominous, but for right now, it wasn't bothering them. Besides, at least insofar as the two Stunfisk and the Unfezant, they felt just fine, at least for now.
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Old 11-02-2021, 01:38 AM   #13
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The effects of needles were nothing shy of sudden. With Marissa's needle taking on a shimmering golden coat prior to injection, her eyes lit with the same golden hue as a vision of veins of gold ore, glittering far as the eye can see through endless caverns, a fitting symbolism for the shining depths of her endless esteem for herself reaching through even the darkest crevasse of her mind. Puffing her chest as the visions embed themselves into her body and soul, she lets out a hefty cleansing breathe, though the rotting smell might indicate otherwise to those around her.

Abigail's vision, on the other end, was a much more empty void, endless darkness as far as can be imagined. Calm and serene, with nothing to draw her attention, the vision offers a sense of peace, calming her of her usual hyperactive mind if only for the moment. Staring off into the boundless void of tranquil space she finds herself feeling pure, even her usual lust for blood slipping from her thoughts for a time as her eyes gloss over in the shimmering pool of obsidian.

"I can see... Eternity."

Huffing, Marissa immediately snaps at the comment. "That better not be a reference or anything."

"Nope. I don't think so~"

Taking a moment, Marissa inspects the needles now that they've been heated and sterilized. Staring at the same gold plating on the needle that now coats her eyes, a single thought crosses her mind, 'Damn that meddlesome woman. I did want to see what arsenic does to a spirit.'

It's at this moment, as her chaperone turns attention away from her, that Abigail finally notes her companions with a truly clear mind, one most in particular. Floating over towards Rosemary she comments, "Hey! You have a hat! And you're a witch! That must mean..."

'Please no.' Marissa's mind immediately shifts to worry for the first in a very long time.

"We should be friends! I have a hat too!" She motions towards her head with her arm-like appendage, "And I'm kind of like a witch! Though... everyone calls me a Mage..."

Dragging Abigail away from the Hatterene, Marissa begins heading towards the living room area with the rest of the group. "Leave Rosemary alone, we have work to do."

"Okay~" Her response rings with an air of agreement not usually within her purview, "Come on Witch-With-a-Hat! You're going to be late to the party~"
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Old 11-02-2021, 05:38 PM   #14
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Rosemary's inner eye truly awakens after what felt like eons. Millenia of planning, plotting, and hoarding knowledge had dulled this sense of hers. And she could see, so clearly, like she was able to once before. Hmm, yes, she would be more than willing to keep this needle if it meant reaching this heightened clarity.

Though, with this newfound clarity brought immediate visions. Visions of all the happenings going on involving those around her. Things that she dared not speak or say, for they were not involved at the matter at hand. No, she had to stay focused and process this information later. But, then again, maybe she wouldn't. Such a deliciously devilish deal she saw here. No wonder that hedonist was leaving tracks.

Though, seems someone else was trying to get her attention. One that was actually physically next to her. She blinked, and on hearing the words hat and witch she was filled with boiling rage. Did someone dare call her that mockery here? She turned towards the voice of such meaningless words and saw a Mismagius trying to interact with her. Curious, it was not afraid of her, and seemed more curious in... befriending her? Such trifling nonsense.

The Dusknoir, who she had recognized from various fights involving her, immediately dragged the other ghost away with a prompt warning. Wise, but yet this was intriguing. One with such audacity... or was it stupidity, to do that with no care for their own life. Hmm, yes, this would be a lot more exciting than she had hoped.

"Let us proceed then," the Hatterene states in acknowledgment to the rest of the group. "And don't dawdle. Lest we need is yet another... visitor to show up offering their unsolicited help no?"

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Old 11-04-2021, 08:00 PM   #15
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Come here. Pretty please... Can you tell me where I am?

From the doorway, Oroitz watches the exchange between Rosemary and Abigail warily, particularly given the latter's rather... dangerous use of words, very nearly leading to horrible offense. Fortunately, the Hatterene's blinding rage gives way to intrigue, and the discussion does not give way to bloodshed... Not yet, anyhow. Regardless, everyone was ready, and as Rosemary had so rightly observed, the last thing the group needed was to further stall their investigation and risk having to explain the situation again to yet another well-meaning Pokémon that might come out of the woodwork.

Steeling himself, the fire in his eyes flickering, he makes his way into the main room of the cottage, stopping beside the broken laptop, which curiously had been left behind by Mr. Nose. The "crypts of currencies," however, had been cleared away. Taking a moment to look around him now that he was not distracted by the utter insanity the Nosepass seemed to generate without effort, he notes that the living room's pastel, Victorian-style wallpaper seems to be starting to peel, and the beautifully-painted portraits all along the walls are gathering dust. One cannot help but feel as though the paintings are glaring at the group, the years of wear only adding to the eerie effect. Though there is plenty of space for furniture in the room, only a few high-backed chairs, a coffee table, an empty television stand, and a few sagging bookshelves remain, appearing to have once buckled under the weight of a number of tomes which have since been removed, leaving only a few scattered books and papers here and there.

After taking a few moments to look around and ensure that there are no immediate threats awaiting to pounce on the party, the Big Boss Pokemon addresses the group -

"The floor plan of the Tree Cottage is quite simple, and I believe we have sufficient numbers to split up our investigation without stretching ourselves too thin. Here, of course, is the Living Area - we will need two Pokémon to search this place thoroughly. We also have the Kitchen and Dining Area which will require another two from our group... and, finally, the Bedroom and Washroom, which is the largest area of the three - likely due to the fact that it was meant to provide resting quarters for a sizeable number of Pokémon back in the day. We should have three Pokémon investigating there, I'd think."

Oroitz pauses a moment, considering those gathered and their strengths, before continuing. "I will defer to your judgment as to who wishes to go where, just as long as you decide quickly, and in the numbers I mentioned. I shall go wherever I am needed, as I have no preference."

That was a lie, of course. He did have a preference... but it was far more personal than professional.
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:29 AM   #16
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Rosemary scanned the room as she entered the mansion. A broken laptop, presumable from some encounter that had occurred previously. Everything else was dilapidated, scattered, and coming down to ruin. It was obvious this place was left to rot once its owner had abandoned it, yet she could sense something was incredibly off here. Perhaps it was her heightened clairvoyance, but what was here was incredibly off.

She listened patiently to Oroitz as he gave the areas to investigate, as well as the rooms that they would explore. Three rooms, two groups of two, and one group of three. While the obvious choices left her with Oroitz, she had a feeling that sending the three with the least experienced to the master would be an incredibly bad choice. So, she had an idea of her own.

"Marissa, you've proven your strength when you fought me. I see you as worthy here, so please come with me to the Master. Take that... mage with us. You're the only one who can control her at this time, I rather not have an incident when we're already investigating one," she speaks to the Dusknoir, her tone respectful but authoritative.

"The father and daughter should investigate the Kitchen. With my hunch, that should be the best place for the two of you to investigate," she turns to the Stunfisks, almost commanding them.

"And that leaves Oroitz and our Unpheazant. If you two could investigate the living area, that would round this up for us. Besides, birds of a feather as they say," she finishes her thoughts, looking at Oroitz with a knowing glance. She could see it, after all.

"Are these terms agreeable? If so, let us perform this contract, so we do not stray from our duties."
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:15 PM   #17
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Oroitz's explanation of the area was succinct, and his listing of how many Pokemon should explore each of the areas of the Dollhouse was at the very least well thought out. Unfortunately, Marissa was paying only half attention, instead choosing to case out the general area to determine potential entry points. That was, of course, a bit more attention than Abigail was capable of paying, instead choosing to stare down her newfound friend with a twinkle in her eyes, that is until the words 'Kitchen and Dining Area' were mentioned. This caught her attention right away, floating a bit towards the general area as Rosemary began to speak towards Marissa.

"Hmm?" The specter replied, still checking the area, "I would rather keep an eye on the primary entrance in the event of an incursion." The Ghost stared about a moment at the remaining group and considered the possibilities offered by the Hatterene. "But I suppose that if Oroitz will be keeping a proper watchful eye here my services can be of assistance elsewhere..."

It was at this moment that Abigail finally spoke up, "Big sis~ Let's get some food~"

An irritated groan emanated from the Dusknoir for a moment, "Stop. Calling. Me. That." Collecting herself, she points her lance at the Mad Mage before turning it to point towards the bedroom and washroom. "We're going this way. Besides, any food that was left behind likely rotted ages ago."

"But rotten food can be fun~" Abigail jokingly responded, twirling herself about in the air before heading in the direction pointed by the lance, "It makes squishy sounds when you eat it. Oozes and gushes!"
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Old 12-01-2021, 02:19 AM   #18
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With everything agreed upon, the group entered the abandoned Secret Base, though not before Abigail came most uncomfortably close to calling Rosemary by the moniker she so loathed and despised. Fortunately for almost certainly all in the vicinity, the Mismagius did not actually say the exact words, and so certain disaster was averted.

Rubeus breathed a sigh of relief. "That could have been disastrous," he murmured.

"Why?" Batrach asked, her head tilted.

"Ah, yes- you haven't been in this land for a long time," nodded the Normal Form Stunfisk. "Rosemary is... very well known in these parts. You remember she was requesting we not call her a certain thing? That Mismagius came disturbingly close to doing just that."

"Ah," nodded the Unfezant. And with no more said on the subject, Rubeus, Mercury, and Batrach joined the others inside.

The sight was a sad one to see. What had once surely been a beautifully decorated Secret Base- a home- was now home to naught but peeling wallpaper, a few pieces of furniture, a number of portraits on the walls that, eerily enough, almost seemed to be watching the group, and years upon years of accumulated dust. It made Rubeus slightly nostalgic for Keith's old Secret Base, which was right in the same neighborhood. Or, well, had been- all that remained of that place now was a crater in the ground that a family of wild Koffing and Weezing called home.

But now was not the time to reminisce- now was the time to freaking listen, because Oroitz was addressing them all. He proposed they split into groups to investigate the three areas of the rather simply laid out cottage. The Living Area (where they currently were) and the Kitchen and Dining Area would require two Pokémon apiece, while the Bedroom and Washroom, being the largest area, Oroitz was inclined to think three Pokémon would be ideal to investigate that one. He closed by leaving the judgement to the others, provided they make their decisions quickly, and it was Rosemary who took control of this situation. She requested that the Dusknoir and her Mismagius teammate accompany her to the Bedroom and Washroom (in the process, Rubeus, Mercury, and Batrach all learned the Dusknoir's name to be Marissa, for she had not actually introduced herself by name at any point today). After that, she turned to the father and daughter duo, all but commanding them to investigate the kitchen. Rubeus nodded respectfully, having no objections to this. "I am inclined to agree, Miss Rosemary," he said, his tone more of respect than of fear. "Mercury, is this agreeable to you?"

"Yes, Dad," Mercury stated with confidence, and the pair of Stunfisk headed towards the kitchen.

Finally, with a knowing glance at the Honchkrow, Rosemary requested that Oroitz and Batrach team up to investigate the Living Area. The female Unfezant made her way over to Oroitz. "Hey, no objections from me," she said to Rosemary with a tone that suggested that if grinning was physically possible for beings with beaks, she'd be doing just that.
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