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  1. 3 likes
    THE VOID A PLAY IN ONE ACT CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY Z. C-ko Moderators of Yanma’s Custom Monsters forum Girls of the Chorus THE VOID was originally performed at the Kashira Shadow Playhouse as part of the PMDUOS event on the evening of June 2, 2023. SCENE Z. is alone on an empty stage. Z.: Oh, what fresh hell is this? Is this even allowed? Fuck, you would think I’d have been granted the decency of being free from extra bullshit at this point. Okay, no, I would have accepted one of two things happening when I fell asleep: The dungeon bullshit would have been all a dream and I’d just wake up to a normal life, or my subconscious would pull from memories my conscious mind could not, and I could get desperate flashes of another me that doesn’t exist anymore. But this is neither. I’m still a Zorua, though. Fuck me. [They move to the front of the stage] Hey, anyone watching this? No? Typical. Stage lights dim, save a lone spotlight center stage, where Z. was just standing. Z. (turning around): No. [The spotlight reluctantly moves to where Z. is now. Z. turns back around] (Sound Cue #1) Z.: I guess I do remember some things. It’s dumb forum drama, because of course it is, but a forum update made YCM’s mod forum available to the general user base. It got fixed, but basically, any sort of gossip anyone could get their hands on got posted to the miscellaneous forum. The posters got banned and the threads were deleted pretty quickly, but some people’s download buttons were even faster. The voices of the YCM MODERATORS recount their posts from offstage Moderator 1: Oh my God would Zeta just shut up? Moderator 2: Decides they're a they now and makes it their whole personality lmao Moderator 1: Not even that just like... I’ll dock them for calling Summer a bitch ass-cunt or whatever and that’ll put them on their best behavior for a bit but then the warning points go away and they’re back on their bullshit again. Moderator 3: Summer is a bitch ass-cunt to be fair Moderator 1: That’s besides the point.[trails off] Z.: That was a fun two weeks. It all got derailed into some bullshit about mod transparency that went nowhere, and I never got an apology or anything, but I wasn’t really asking for one. The point was, for a hot second there, everyone was on my side. And the thing about people being on your side, they tend to question you a lot less. (Sound Cue #2) The spotlight dims to a barely-noticeable circle on the floor and the back wall of the stage is illuminated. Z.: What now? (Sound Cue #3) The shadow of C-KO appears crossing the back wall from right to left and back again. She is carrying a gramophone. C-ko: Extra! Extra! The CHORUS is represented by more shadows cast on the back wall in the shape of accusatory finger-pointing. C-KO no longer has her gramophone, and her clothing shifts as the accusations continue. This would make sense in, like, a shooting script instead of a stageplay but technically this is neither -- it’s a dream sequence -- so you figure it out. Chorus Girl 1: Aha! You’ve got fox paws for hands. You’re not human, you’re a foxgirl! C-ko: Nope! I’m a human! These are just gloves -- it’s getting kind of cold. Chorus Girl 2: Aha! You’ve got hooves for feet. You’re not human, you’re a horsegirl! C-ko: I see why you’d think that, but these are just very fashionable shoes. They’re all the rage in Paris. Chorus Girl 3: Aha! You’ve got rabbit ears. You’re not human, you’re a bunnygirl! C-ko: No! No! These are just, uh, wearable antennae for my phone so I can get better reception. I promise I’m human! Z: Why do you want to be human so badly? C-ko: [screams] CURTAIN After a dream that felt like it could have lasted either five minutes or nine months, Z. woke up in an entirely new place with no sign of the conflict that had rendered them comatose in the first place. On the one hand, they were glad to not be fighting anymore, especially with the embarrassing showing that had gotten them put to sleep in the first place, but, on the other hand, that Cleffa had something coming to them, and Z. wanted to be the one to do it. There was a zero percent chance that they were ever going to see that particular Cleffa ever again, so their frustration was entirely empty, which really made it all even worse. Their Oran Berry was missing too, a crime that had too many mundane explanations (it fell out somewhere, someone needed it in an emergency, that fucking Cleffa took it) to really blame anyone currently present, so that only compounded everything. “Fuck,” Z. said for want of anything else to say. Almost everyone else was crowding some other Pokémon that was sleeping nearby. Z. couldn’t remember the exact specifics, but they were pretty sure that most anyone would be mad if they woke up to a sudden horde of people clamoring for attention, especially if one of those people looked like he was six people. It was a Jirachi too, so it had the power to back that anger up. Even Es the Rotom had gone over to pester the thing, and Z. had been pretty sure that if any of them were going to wait for them to wake up and cheer when it happened, it was her. Z. huffed and pulled themself to their feet. It felt incredibly natural to do that downward-facing dog to upward-facing dog yoga stretch thing, but it felt weird that it felt natural, if that made sense. Like, it made sense that it felt normal, but- “It doesn’t really matter,” Z. said. It was kind of to that and the previous thought wrapped all into one. Of all the humans-turned-Pokémon, Ears the Noibat had the right idea. If the Jirachi was going to be helpful, it was going to be helpful regardless of whether it was being pestered with an extra meaningless question. Of course, Ears was better at getting a view from higher up, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t do the same thing, but on the ground. “I’m going this way,” Z. said, pointing in the opposite direction the Noibat was looking.
  2. 3 likes
    Chester had Hi'd his last "yah" as he successfully punched the Cleffa, only to be immediately be interrupted by something of an incredible wind storm. The phenomena defied all forms of logic that the Chespin was aware of, and to make matters worse he felt an incredible sense of dread as he was picked up by the wind. Not the regular kind that any normal person would feel being violently rag dolled by a spontaneous raging gale. No this was something more instinctual. Something akin to his very genes telling him that anything to do with wind would be a time for his species. Though, of course, he definitely felt the first kind of dread too. He had his own wind knocked out of him as his back slammed against the wall. Then, being picked up again he was tossed into an entirely different wall, slamming his arm against that. Then a third gale picked up and tossed him once more. He could see his own demise coming as he knew he was going headfirst into a wall, and that typically slamming one's head into something was considered fatal. However, as his head smashed against the rocky surface he felt...nothing? His head felt fully intact and he wasn't even suffering from a headache of some kind. If anything, he felt more sorry for the wall, though these feelings were interrupted once more as the wind continued toss him about like a chew toy. Chester's body ached all over as he awoke to the sound of a gentle wind blowing through the area. Pushing himself off the ground, Chester muttered, "what happened?" Looking around and taking note of the scenery, the boy said, "where...this certainly isn't a cave." The Chespin was shocked by the sudden six voices shouting at him, essentially expressing his own thoughts. Albeit louder. Looking to Hector the Chespin cleared his throat saying, "that is certainly the question of the hour." Everyone's attention was then drawn to the pokemon that, as Marv - someone who had most assuredly always been a Froakie - had pointed out, was the Mythical Pokemon Jirachi. "That would certainly not be the thing I'd have expected to meet here. But," Chester looked back to the rest of the group, taking stock of them and making sure they were alright. As the moderator it was his job to ensure the safety of everyone in the group. Though, as the de facto leader as a result, it was also his job to take charge in the conversation of getting info from the wish granting pokemon. Though it seemed to be asleep and two people were already asking it questions, and as such it would be rude of Chester to interject. Though also the first set of pokemon they met that weren't them were also immediately hostile so Chester wasn't sure if conversing was even in the cards with this pokemon. Though it was also a mythical pokemon and they were not in a cave so perhaps such a thing wasn't a worry he should've been having. Though every time they had come across something new or dangerous thus far that one sided voice would warn them about it, and it certainly wasn't doing such a thing now. The Chespin was lost in thought and decision paralysis for a moment before saying, "alright everyone make sure you aren't injured and keep your hostilities in check until this pokemon wakes up. One question at a time too!" The moderator had almost told everyone to form a single file line to ensure that they each went in a proper order, but stopped himself short before looking at the Jirachi.
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    Had Raki made a list of all the things he could have expected to see as he neared the window, the spectacle he witnessed would have been as far as possible from qualifying for it, not even if someone had warned him in advance. In fact, even after seeing it with his own eyes, it probably wouldn't have made the cut. When he had entered the kitchen, the woman that had been so focused on her work moments before was nowhere to be found. This didn't catch his attention for more than a few moments. The missing knives, even less so. After all, who was he to know what nobles did with their cutlery. As for the missing woman, even if his... "questioning" from before hadn't been enough of an incentive to move into another room, then it was still no surprise that she had fled after a wyvern roared right out of the kitchen's window. Said window, so carelessly swung open, was much more interesting. It helped that Raki was already approaching it. Despite what some of the stories the people shared around at his uncle's village told, a wyvern's cry wasn't nearly enough to throw open doors and the like. Not even Garinphasia's. But wherever that train of thought was going, it ceased to be an issue as soon as he came close enough to peer down towards the street below. "Impossible..." Raki flinched back as if he had just seen Peaches open maws come in from the window, but even that would have made more sense. People... There was no way for a human to be able to do that, was there? He clenched the window frame, leaning forward as he stared in disbelief, blissfully unaware of the presence of the woman right above him. He had met many a wyvern in his young life. He had met many people who handled said wyverns daily, he himself had been one of them. He had yet to see someone capable of lifting one of those scaly beasts by muscle alone. Let alone throw them after that. Raki remained frozen on the window as the scene unfolded, as Edrick and Link dodged the throw, and the man who performed the deed took a bag near him and rushed towards a couple of horses. His muscles remained unwilling to move when the swordsman who he had met a few minutes before struggled to his feet, while the man made his escape with the sack on horseback. His focus was on the wyvern that he had almost been attacked by, thrashing on the ground in pain after having been made to fly against her will, and the crying rider that had rushed to her partner's side. His mind, however, was on Garinphasia. She is... Well outside the village Just as he had asked her Raki didn't want to assume it would have been impossible for her to come to him had he called. She had done it before. But by sheer distance, it functionally was. He would have had no aid were he to find himself in need. That... that was probably for the best. There was an arrow stuck in Peaches chest. Likely to also be that man's doing. An arrow, with that kind of strength behind it... Garinphasia would have not backed down against such an opponent. She just wasn't the type. Would that man be able to juggle her like that too? Surely... Surely not... "GASTON!" That single scream, as Link launched himself in pursuit, shook Raki out of his paralysis. Gaston. Lord Gaston, Hanikap said. He hadn't paid attention, distracted as he was by the event itself, but if that man who had escaped was the one... Raki's hand went to the handle of his axe. This was no time to be lost in thoughts. The man most responsible for what had happened to Timmy was escaping. that was all that he needed to know. "Where did she go? I believe she may be more dangerous than I had assumed." Almost all that he needed to know. The rest of the interrogation had finished while he was busy doing nothing, it seemed. Raki turned towards Gunther and Penelope. "Who?" It took a moment of watching the girl searching the kitchen with her eyes before Raki could guess of whom she may be talking about "If you're talking about the maid, she wasn't here when I arrived." He turned towards the window "However, That Gaston guy just threw a wyvern at your companions, so I think I'm going to go out." With that said, he jumped out the window, onto the street below. Now that he noticed, there was a conspicuous amount of knives on said street. A wild neigh caught his attention. Link was taming one of the horses, or about to be thrown off by it. It was the first one. The swordsman charged in hot pursuit, Raki did not need to guess of whom. Near him, the rider had finally calmed her wyvern, but she seemed to be in a sorry state herself. Raki could understand. If Garinphasia had been wounded beyond his abilities, he doubted he'd have felt much different. Raki made to pursue Link's trail He looked back to the wyvern. Calm as she was, he dared not to approach one that had already found reason to be hostile on the same day, and now she was wounded to boot. The wyvern didn't seem to have any broken bones, as far as he could tell. No part of the wings was bent the wrong way, and she didn't seem to be avoiding putting her weight on any limb. The only doubt was on the chest, but that was probably the arrow shaft still lodged inside. Besides, the rider was another Isaurian. She seemed a nice girl, and she had saved his behind when he had been so careless with peaches before, but the less he had to do with her the better it would have been for him. The arrow didn't look like it had hit a vital organ, but it went in pretty deep. How was it that they treated the fresh arrivals with arrow wounds again? His recent experience was mostly with wounds caused by Isaurian dark magic. He looked back to where the horses once stood. Gaston had long since left. Link was no longer in sight either. Raki really wanted to catch that guy. That guy on a horse. Raki picked up a knife. Clean knife, do not try to shake out the shaft, enlarge the edges... "She's a wyvern, she'll handle it." Raki closed his eyes, trying to recall the other handlers at work, and his few own works on the more surface-level wounds. How deep was it that one had to go? If the heart is... No, before that, how did you prepare a knife properly? He opened his eyes and looked at the blade, dirtied by the fall on the road. Water, fire... was he forgetting something? "We only need to take out that arrow properly." Still, even if he recalled how to perform the operation, one issue remained he may have not been able to solve. He could try what techniques he knew, but... Unless the wyvern decides to allow someone else to do it, he looked at Citron There is only one person who can get close enough to actually operate.
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    Penelope and Gunther “Y-you really won’t toss me outside?” Hanikap whimpered. “It’s so scary out there. Lord Gaston, the scary flying thing, the wolfydog…” He held his head. “I just… Just wanted to be better, is all. In a better situation. I thought, if I followed Lord Gaston, some of what he had would rub off on me.” He licked his lips, slipping back into his accent. “I ain’t meant for things to get this bad. And now I… I just…” The man sniffled. “I jes’ wanna forget this e’er happened!” He glanced between both Penelope and Gunther. “If’n you can promise to protect me afterward, ‘specially from that angry-lookin’ boy just now. I’ll tell ye everyfing I know. But it ain’t much, I tells ya.” Alois First, Edrick ran out of the room and entered the master bedroom to climb down the window there. Then Citron clambered out of the window in the smaller bedroom they stood in, landing on the roof of the dovecote below and leaving Alois alone up top. Edrick’s way was safer. Citron’s way was faster. It did not take a sage to guess which way Alois would choose. He vaulted out of the window to drop directly onto the roof below. Before the fighter could finish the leap to the ground; he saw another person near the roof he stood on. An unfamiliar young woman with her hair tied up in a bonnet climbed up the side of the wall, arms and legs spread wide like a spider. She held up a hand with several kitchen knives fanning out like silver claws before she threw them all at once down on the ground. A brief flash of satisfaction crossed her face when Link shielded his own face, but she spared no further time to gloat. Instead, she took that opportunity to climb directly below where Alois was standing. The woman cast the boy a quick glance but said nothing, swinging into the window like a trapeze artist and closing the door. Raki The first thing Raki saw upon entering the kitchen was the notable lack of the woman, Dille, who was here before. Next was the knife rack lying on its side, empty of knives. Lastly was the window to his left, swung ajar and shaking slightly from the vibrations caused by the motions outside. Were he to look out and up, he might glimpse the same woman Alois had seen, and perhaps recognize her. But the kerfuffle outside the window was more likely to seize his attention. Edrick, Link, and Citron Miscreant (Intro) - Fire Emblem Awakening Edrick was fast catching up with Pylauses Gaston, but the man did not have the look of a wounded deer fleeing from the hounds. He did not snort in fear, his eyes did not roll backward, he did not even gasp for breath. No, instead his eyes were dark and glittering with anticipation. He was the hound. Perhaps that should have been the first sign that something was off. But his blustery demeanor had thrown everybody off. A fool is a fool, and not to be taken seriously. That is what everybody says. He reached Peaches, but instead of balking, he pivoted to let her stand between him and his pursuers, dropping both bow and sack. And then, he grabbed each of her legs, one giant hand per leg, and lifted. Miscreant - Fire Emblem Awakening For a second, the man stopped. It looked as if the weight of the wyvern would be too much. But then he clenched his teeth, his muscles bulging with the effort. Peaches ascended into the air outside of her own volition. Pylauses’s eyes turned bloodshot from the effort as, with one last roar, he held the wyvern above his head, shirt ripping open and falling from his torso in tatters. The group then beheld the full extent of Gaston's strength. He was built like a boulder, his waist showing off a six-pack. The man’s body shook from the effort of holding Peaches up. He roared again, spittle flying from his mouth as his muscles bunched in anticipation. And then, with a savage heave, he threw the wyvern at both Link and Edrick. Even if the two avoided the throw, they would lose precious time in doing so. Time enough for Pylauses to surge forward in this game of hunter and hunted. Gaston did not stop to look and see if Peaches smashed into either of the two. The man, now gasping for breath, picked up both bow and sack and continued to run. It didn’t take long before he reached one of his horses—the lighter, cream-colored one. The silver bay snorted and stepped away as soon as it saw its owner, hoof kicking out. The man growled and bound the sack to the other horse. He vaulted over the side and clumsily planted himself in the saddle. Pylauses backed the horse out of the open stable and whipped the reins forward with one hand, the other still holding the bow. The horse whinnied and raced forward like the wind given physical form. Gaston was getting away. Tsetseg (and Cora) Acantha hurried into her house, and for a long, tense minute, it was just Cora and Tsetseg standing outside. And then the girl exited, a scowl on her face, before hurrying to the back. A few minutes later, she returned atop a handsome chestnut stallion. “Let’s go. Phai will catch up soon.” The redhead matched the others’ speed, and her hands loosely gripped the reins, but the crease in her brows bespoke her impatience. Eventually, Cora’s house came into view again. Only her father, Posostro, stood in front of them now. “Heyo, I see you found Acantha!” He smiled. “The missus went off to gather the rest of the militia. They’ll be guardin’ the other way, in case this is a ruse or summat. So you can have no worries. The village’ll be well-protected.” “Well, I suppose that’s the least she could do, as head of the militia,” Acantha muttered. Posostro laughed. “As sharp-tongued as ever. Yer mother chose well in namin’ ye.” Acantha flushed. “That’s…” She glared. “Never mind. Just hurry and get Abel!” The man chuckled and left, returning soon after with Abel in hand. “Here,” he held her reins out to Cora. “He’s all yours.” “Yeah, yeah, let’s get going already,” Acantha snapped, then turned to Tsetseg. “You’ll slow us down if you remain on foot for much longer. Get on a horse with one of us. Pick whichever!” OOC I'm back!
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    For the second time today Noibat felt herself abruptly coming to consciousness in a place she didn't recognize. For a moment she let hope fill her chest that everything she'd experienced had simply been a nightmare. After all, how could she have possibly turned into a Pokemon and woken up in a cave surrounded by other people that had also turned into Pokemon and also just so happened to frequent the same cringe Pokemon custom card making forum she'd wasted most of her life on? Well unfortunately for her she was still very much a Noibat and surrounded by other people-turned-Pokemon. This time outside at least, but that still didnt change the absurdity of the situation. Adding to all this the confusion surrounding their exit of the cave: flashes of seeing a human figure, the feeling they were missing someone and yet not missing someone, and the fact someone was a frog now who maybe hadn't always been one but that felt weird and wrong. All she could really do in this moment was ping the surroundings with her ears as if trying to cool the processor that was her overwhelmed brain. "Huh?" She mumbled. Hearing outside was a fair bit different. For a moment it almost felt like she was hearing normal again and not instantly perceiving the shape of things around her with her ears. But the sensation didn't last long. Though less pronounced than in the cave, soundwaves still bounced back and she could tell the number of Pokemon directly around her before she finished turning herself about. "Oh great another one..." she complained at the sight of the new, apparently sleeping, arrival. As long as this one didn't want to fight she wasn't going to immediately interact with it. All the more reason not to as the others who had been stirring began talking, to each other and it. A bit too much noise for her taste all at once after waking up with super hearing. Though at least Marv had identified the new Pokemon as Jirachi. Noibat knew that, totally hadn't forgotten it. Still, she instead focused on the sound of gently crashing waves to ground herself and more fully realized what kind of place they were in. "Looks like y'all got things well in hand here." She commented to the queue Chester was trying to form. "If you need anything just shout... no wait don't, just talk I'll hear you anyway. But I'll be up there looking around." Noibat tried pointing to the top of the nearest palm tree with the finger like claws on her right wing, and looked a little annoyed that her entire wing had moved with the motion. Still a bat. Still trying to figure that out. At least she'd mostly gotten a hang of flying in the cave as she took to the air again with little trouble.
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    It was a blur, in more ways than one. Marv heard the howling wind, felt it…it was intense, like he was experiencing a massive tornado or even a hurricane. It came out of nowhere but practically ravaged them all like a wild animal, feral and bloodthirsty. To say Marv's heart was beating miles a minute was an understatement…he honestly felt like he was going to collapse from a heart-attack. Everything else was fuzzy, as his vision played tricks on him…or did it? He could've swore he saw a portal open and…a Pokémon of some sort…and a human? He reached out for it, didn't he? Cause that was -----...he did want to at least make sure that ----- was alright... But was that what he was doing? Then…it all went black for Marv. The wind was the thing that caused Marv to stir, though it was a calm awakening versus the monstrous beast that whisked them from their previous location. No, this seemed more like a parent's tender touch to wake their child. It was something Marv did not mind, as he stirred himself awake. The surroundings seemed more colorful than the stone dungeon that had been their first awakening experience. The hot sun, the soft grass, the cool breeze, a blue sky and a few palm trees stretching above them. It was a beautiful picture that lay before them, at least, from what Marv could see. There wasn't any urban noise, which meant civilization wasn't around much…which was both a plus and a negative. The plus being, it was more peaceful and quiet. The negative being, they didn't know how far civilization was…and they needed that at least, especially if they wanted food. Marv finally began to sit up, no longer wishing to stare up at the blue sky, as he rubbed a hand over his face. He paused, looking at his hand. It was a white hand with blue…that…was right, right? He shuffled himself upward and began to hop…wait…hop? Regardless, he hopped until he found himself a small spot where water was. Looking down, he saw his reflection: a Froakie. He recognized the Kalosian starter, but was he always a-... His eyes went blank, his thoughts began to mist over. It was like he went into a sort of trance-like state. It lasted a bit before finally snapping out of it, though Marv then ended up wondering just one thing. …what…was I just thinking about? Once he got himself situated, he noticed Hector, Es and the aptly named Clobber (he at least remembered the little brawling octopus requested to be named that) looking at a… "Wait…is that…?" Marv muttered, tilting his head, looking at the white and yellow Pokémon. There wasn't any mistake. Once again, he hopped in the direction of the others, trying to make sense of the strange thing. “Hello? Are you awake? Did you bring us here?” “If so! Watch it, b-b-b-buddy! Unlike some of my friends here, I’ve got a br-brain, and can only t-t-t-take so many blows to the noggin!" "Oh yeah? Really coulda fooled me. Surprised you don't think they're dead, too." "Seemed like a bit of an insult…but maybe was meant as a compliment?" Marv shrugged. He looked at the three, before looking at the sleeping Pokémon. "And I'm not sure this little guy did it…unless they wished us out." The Froakie looked at the others, before explaining. "...they did a whole Poll back on the forum. Was a popularity contest…I think…but this little guy popped up. It's Jirachi. Soooo the odds of meeting a Mythical are…kinda high." He glanced at Clobber, seeing his face basically still covered in dirt. "By the way…yooooou want me to clean you up? Got something…right about here…" Marv motioned with his hand over his whole face, showing Clobber where the dirt happened to be.
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    This was just great. Not only was he, apparently all on his own, trying to punch out a floating rock of all things, but now he was being whipped around by some friggin wind. Why was there wind in this place anyway weren't they in a cave? Was this another Pokemon? Did god damn Tornadus decide to pay them a visit? Whatever it was it certainly wasn't anything friendly given it literally threw them against the walls. But then it was all gone. And he found himself once again waking up and on the ground. It was starting to become a habit at this point and Clobber wondered for a moment if he was just going to be in a constant cycle of being knocked out and waking face first in the, literal or figurative, dirt. However this time it was at least softer. Yet to Clobber's already soft body it didn't feel all that much different. It was sunnier too which wasn't necessarily good. Did he have to keep his skin moist like an octopus? Was he going to dry up if he lay out here for long? He didn't really know but he'd prefer not finding out the hard way. Which is why he decided that he probably should stand up. He felt one of his...arms sticking to the ground again but at least this time when he pulled it up it came off easier. Though there now was a clump of dirt attached to the end of it. He looked around at the scenery and found himself out of his element. Why was that? And why did he feel antsy at the lack of sound? There was a vague sense that this wasn't anything like what he was used to but he couldn't dig into it any more than that. It seemed that the others were waking up as well. And two of them immediately launched into action. Well, suppose it was good someone did. After all the floating thing was the only clue they had to what was going on but he wasn't about to bother a Mythical Pokemon when it was sleeping. That was.....Jirachi, right? They had something to do with wishes, he thought he remembered, which sounded like one hell of a lucky encounter unless it was actually incredibly unlucky. Despite intending to hang back Clobber couldn't stop himself from, in his grumpy state of mind, making a quip. “If so! Watch it, b-b-b-buddy! Unlike some of my friends here, I’ve got a br-brain, and can only t-t-t-take so many blows to the noggin!" "Oh yeah? Really coulda fooled me." he grumbled at the hyperactive electric ghost. "Surprised you don't think they're dead, too."
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    BGM: Growing Anxiety - (Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - Explorers of Sky) The fight was raging, and things were looking grim for the group of Pokémon. Z. had fallen asleep, Clobber was overwhelmed, Es was panicking, Marv was attacking, Noibat was flying higher, Chester was defending Cross, Hector was holding up a barrier, and Cross was curled up into a ball. And then the wind picked up. In the heat of battle, it had already stirred through the tunnels, bringing with it an ominous scent and a low whistle. Now the wind charged through the mystery dungeon, growing claws and snarling at the Pokémon within. It howled and ravaged the fighters, tearing their meager possessions away and slamming them into the walls. The dungeon Pokémon vanished in flashes of light. All that remained were the humans, tossed around by the eddies like snowflakes in a winter storm. Cross was the first to leave. Behind him, the group could see a portal, and through it, a bedroom from the human world. The Cubone vanished through the portal and reappeared on the other side as a young boy who stared at his hands in disbelief before bursting into tears. The others had no time to process this, however. The portal snapped shut, sealing like a mouth. The human-Pokémon glowed much like the dungeon Pokémon had earlier. And then they, too, vanished. — BGM: Southern Island - Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX The wind woke the group up first. Not the snarling beast from before, but a tamer, softer creature. It brushed over with a cooling hand and stirred the human-turned-Pokémon from their forced unconsciousness. Hot sunlight lanced down on their bodies, contrasting with the cool air of the mystery dungeon from before. No longer were they lying on hard stone, but on soft, sweet-smelling grass. By the fragrant air and the utter lack of urban noise, it was clear that they were nowhere near civilization. A few scattered palm trees stretched up above their heads toward a spotless blue sky. On one side, the ground turned to sand and slid down into a glittering turquoise sea. The two adjacent sides led to grassland, and on the opposite side stood a small copse of trees. As they inspected their bodies, the Pokémon would find most things about themselves remained the same. Any items or money they found in the dungeon had disappeared, however. And Marv discovered a completely unique transformation in himself. However, the more he or anybody else tried to remember if he had ever been anything but a Froakie, their thoughts would mist over and their eyes would turn blank before snapping out of it, wondering what they had just been thinking about. After gaining their bearings, each of them would immediately notice one thing. A small white-and-yellow Pokémon floated in place nearby. Its head ended in three points, like the top of a star. From each point hung a single teal-colored tag. Two yellow streamers fluttered behind its back. The most remarkable thing about it was its state of slumber. It somehow floated in the air while fast asleep. OOC I'm back! Let me know if you are confused or have any questions about the post.
  9. 1 like
    "By the way…yooooou want me to clean you up? Got something…right about here…" "No, no I do not. I don't want your weird frog bubbles anywhere near me actually." Clobber said, waving one arm, clump of dirt clinging onto it, at the Froakie. Froakie? Yeah, he was a Froakie, why would that give him pause? Besides the obvious weirdness of a talking Froakie who supposedly used to be a person. Eventually he'd have to get over that wouldn't he? "I'd be more worried bout what those guys are up to. What do they think they're doin' over there?" "alright everyone make sure you aren't injured and keep your hostilities in check until this pokemon wakes up. One question at a time too!" Clobber laughed when he realized that no one was listening. Two of the others had just...fucked off somewhere. And then the other two were still crowding around the sleeping Pokemon who.... "Aw, heck." He hadn't been paying attention but it looked like the Jirachi had attacked the annoying ghost, probably cause they were being annoying, which made the former mod soldier-boy...boys get all uppity and decide that this meant that the fight was on. "What a damn idiot, frickin' white knighting dumbass." He grumbled. "Well I ain't gonna save your butt...butts from a freaking legendary Pokemon got that!" He shouted and threw his arms up in the air before moving away from the fighting. His heart thumped as an uncomfortably familiar fear crept in which caused him to quicken his pace away from the battle. He wasn't about to fight for no reason, he had every reason to assume that thing was a lot stronger than them, and he really didn't feel like getting beat up first thing on waking up again. That wasn't his fight ain't no way no how. He noticed the Noibat nearby where he had wandered and awkwardly asked, "See any uh, berries or somethin' up there?"
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    Hector stared at the Jirachi. His initial hope was dashed; if it had already used its wish, then if he remembered right it would not be able to wish them back to their home. The memory was fuzzy but he swore there was some kind of rule about ‘every 10,000 years’ or something. “You can get back to napping soon. Despite what some of us said, we don’t mean any harm. We were just wondering if—wait, what did you say?” Hector had barely processed what the Jirachi had said before the battle instincts of his new body took over. All six tiny orb-shaped soldiers rushed forward and locked their shields together, but it was unnecessary as it turned out. The attack sailed over his head and crashed into the zealous Ghost-type that had threatened it. "Es! Hey, leave them alone!" If he were still a human he would have shoved Jirachi. His new body took that information and ran with it. The troopers surrounded the Brass and he pushed off of their shields with his stout little legs, sailing higher into the air than he had any right to. Hector’s stomach flipped but he did his best to keep focused on the brass. His kaleidoscope visioned faded until he was seeing out of only one pair of eyes—the eyes of the Brass who was currently several feet in the air. Then gravity kicked in and he started to fall. Hector brought both his shields down onto the head of the Jirachi as he did, using all his strength and velocity to try and smash the mythical Pokémon into the ground. It lost maybe an inch of height. Otherwise, it remained asleep. The Brass hit the ground behind Jirachi and bounced. Hector dug his shields into the ground to bring himself to a stop and summoned the rest of the troop to his side. Instantly, his kaleidoscope vision returned. "If you wanna fight, fight me!" That was the best choice. Jirachi was a steel-type. Fighting trumped Steel. Except… wait… in the games, had Jirachi had a second type?
  11. 1 like
    Reinaan had been caught in a dream for what felt like an eternity and yet also a fleeting moment. The images were incoherent and usually featured trees. He'd been around a lot of trees lately so that much made sense. But little else escaped to his conscious mind with him when a sound awoke him. Something like wind rushing past yet also distinct footsteps. A person. Yet as the sleep-addled Draken came to his senses and gathered his surroundings he found very little in the immediate room with him beyond the sapling by which he'd rested. No sign of the other Chosen or their companions. Not even the mounts. But then they'd left them outside hadn't they and this was inside their destination. Cautiously, Reinaan first exited the building altogether where Kloqah and the mule were stationed. They seemed nervous or on edge but of what the boy couldn't be sure. There was no sign of the others out so they must have gone further in. So in the fire chosen returned, careful to steer clear of the sapling this time. He didn't have time to understand if it was what had caused his sudden dreariness or not but now was not the time for a repeat performance. As Reinaan continued deeper inside he heard voices echoing, some familiar and others not. The unfamiliar naturally set him on edge yet as he approached Ryia's voice was what he heard most of. Before long the boy emerged into the room the other chosen and the two elves were having their meeting in. Reinaan had arrived just in time to hear the elven woman reply to Ryia's last question of what they had stolen. "Uh, that's a bit more complicated." the strange woman said, clearly a bit nervous about giving the answer. Reinaan had entered onto the side of the room his allies had been standing, with the two new elves deeper in. His eyes danced quickly from caution to a more relaxed state, keeping him from raising his weapon. The others hadn't seen fit to fight yet and they knew a bit more of what had been going on so he would follow. The elven girl took note of the draken's entrance but wasn't concerned enough to acknowledge him, choosing rather to stick closer to the boy. Said elven boy seemed not to be as immediately present in the conversation as the others but a look of curiosity took over him as he saw Reinaan. He moved to approach but the girl stopped him which elicited a small snort of a chuckle from the draken. "Think I heard enough on the way in to get what's going on but..." Reinaan started, making his presence known if anyone hadn't caught on yet. "What's complicated about stealing something? Either you have it or you know where you put it." He stated as a matter of fact while looking over the group. Still no Damien but everyone else seemed accounted for and mostly in one piece. He looked a bit embarrassed to have fallen asleep as he did and wasn't going to draw attention to his lagging behind himself nor address it if it wasn't brought up. Best to act like he knew what was going on. His only saving grace was Ziiyol hadn't yet chosen to manifest by his side to tease him for it.
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    While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” -Luke 20:45-47 (NIV)Melissa found herself awash with nostalgia. There were many such stores back home on Ambrosia, most of them more Duel-Monsters focused than this one seemed to be what with its figurines and comics and such, but the aesthetic was still all the same. Everything was just a bit cramped and the light was just a bit too artificial. She inhaled through her nose, though, and immediately regretted it. That was a difference. In a world where just about everyone had to visit a store like this at one point in their life or another, everyone at least had the decency to shower first. Not so here. If she had to describe it (and she really didn’t want to think about the smell for longer than it took to get it out of her system), it was like sweat, peaches, and onions. Somehow, the combination of those three things was worse than any of them individually. It was the sort of thing that immediately made Melissa want to turn around and find another store, but something told her that all stores would be like this. This was just how it was here. Also, she was with Fen, and she didn’t want to drag her friend and squad leader around searching for some imagined ideal. This was just something she would have to deal with. Anyway, Fen had asked her a question. “I guess we go to the counter?” Melissa said. “It looks like there are cards there, we can get a closer look at them, or maybe they have packs or starter decks behind the counter.” There was a little rustling from some faraway shelf which Melissa heard but tried to ignore. Talking with whoever was running the shop about recommendations was going to be a hard enough challenge as it was. Misplaced nostalgia, breathing, talking, being a good friend… The obstacles had increased dramatically since Melissa had stepped into the store. Much of that went away, though, when she got a good look at the cards in question. “Oh, this is Duel Monsters,” she said. The way she said it the first time was in a way like she didn’t really believe it, like she hadn’t quite processed what that meant. It took a second utterance for it to actually take hold. “Oh,” she said. “This is Duel Monsters.” “Fen, this is the game I was telling you about,” Melissa said. Even though she was crouched down in front of the case she was visibly bouncing up and down with excitement. All these cards with font sizes that made words barely legible, she could read them. It was like a whole extra language class was unlocked. And this was for a game she barely played! Just being born and raised in a culture that sorted itself primarily through card play was enough. So it was nostalgia again, but it was of a different kind. “Yeah, I can definitely show you how to play this.” Her eyes finally noticed the price tags attached to the singles. “Wait, Graceful Charity costs how much here?” “Excuuuse me.” Melissa shot straight up. It was the same sort of feeling she’d had when Julian surprised her, only this time she’d just managed to keep Zadkiel from appearing and wrecking the store with its size alone. She almost dared not turn around, eventually only doing so out of a sense of politeness. Describing the speaker required processing him for longer than Melissa could stand. He had a hat Melissa couldn’t describe, a sweatshirt with faces on it she definitely didn’t want to think about, a voice that had already had a negative effect on her, and, as he got even closer, she noticed that the store’s pungent odor had gotten even stronger. And yet, he persisted. Worse, he persisted by mangling a perfectly good poem. “And what should my wandering ear but a-hear,” he said, “but the voice of a lovely, female dear,” A snort. He actually snorted. “Or two dears, as the case may be.” He took one final step forward, and Melissa pressed her back against the counter as if it would give her any extra distance between herself and the stench. “I don’t mean any trouble, but did I hear you call the greatest card game of all time ‘Duel Monsters?’” “Um,” Melissa said. She wasn’t sure what else she could say to that. “I’m a nice person by nature,” he said with a leering smile that was anything but nice, “so when I hear a grossly unfactual statement such as that, I can’t help but correct it. It’s only called ‘Duel Monsters’ in the show, you see. All real fans know that in real life it is named after the show itself: ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’” Melissa. Of all the times for the angels to speak up, this was not a great one. We cannot help but notice your heart rate has spiked dramatically. Do you need us to- “No,” Melissa muttered. “I know.” It was unfortunate that she said it out loud because it meant he heard it too. “You know? Well, if you know the objective truth, why would you say otherwise? People might think you’re talking about some other game, like ‘Duel Masters,’ which, as we all know, had to be renamed because of this exact problem. Here:” He pulled a pen and a piece of paper from the pocket of his sweatshirt and scribbled on it. “If you ever want to know more about the greatest game in teh world that is Yu-Gi-Oh! give me a call. We can talk about it among… other things.” “Hey!” It was another voice, this one coming from behind her, and it was mercifully normal-sounding. Another benefit to the new voice, as soon as the man heard it, whatever color his face had instantly disappeared. He flicked the paper Melissa’s way and didn’t even watch to see if she stopped it from fluttering to the ground (she didn’t) as he awkwardly shuffled out of the store and disappeared into the crowd. Melissa exhaled, partly to release all that wound-up tension and un-contort her body and partly because, well, again, that smell. She’d been holding her breath as much as she could. The rescuing voice spoke again, “He’s banned from the store and he knows it. I wasn’t paying attention, sorry.” She turned around to see the speaker behind the counter, a perfectly normal man in his thirties whose most notable features were some particularly wild hair and a name tag that said “Nelson” attached to a black shirt that said COACH in block white letters. “Are you alright?” he said. “Um,” Melissa said. Her heart was still racing, and measured breaths weren’t helping. It was all she could do to manage a “Thank you.” She bent down to pick up the paper now that the guy wasn’t around to see her do it, mostly out of a sense of cleanliness, and she noted the scribble on it. “bradley l braderson” the card read. Then, in brackets, “(the l stands for leigh).” There was a phone number below that. “If you want my advice, you should get rid of that,” Nelson said. “You don’t know where that paper’s been. Hell, give it to me and I’ll burn it for you.” “Thank you,” Melissa said again. “Um, actually, do you know where the restroom on this floor is?”It had been a while since Melissa had had a good scream. As the world came crashing down on her, all she could really do was let it all out. Every so often, she’d hear sounds from outside her stall -- from the rest of the restroom. Most of the time, it was people trying their best to not pay attention, but occasionally she got a knock on her stall asking questions like “Are you alright?” or “Is there anything I can do to help?” Those people were met with a meek “No, thank you.” On one occasion, a woman was like “Hell yeah, let it all out, sister,” which got a half-laugh from Melissa, though it quickly turned into a coughing fit. “You know, I actually thought I was past this,” Melissa said as she finally exited her stall. “I don’t- I guess that I thought I handled being taken from my home okay, and that was the worst thing that could happen to me. Plus, with all the fighting…” The angels, at least, were sympathetic. You have been focused on other things. they said. But after spending time creating a new normal for yourself, it is only natural that old issues would come back to the fore. “I guess,” Melissa said. She turned on the sink and started washing her hands. “Now that I’m thinking about it more, Mauvache did summon us while I was in a restroom, and that wasn’t that long ago.” Also included in her hand-washing procedure was splashing water on her face a few times. You were also in a highly emotional state, having just discovered another thing reminding you of your home. Anyone might have been affected by someone or something disrupting that. “Mm.” Melissa moved on to drying her hands, opting for the automatic towel dispenser over the high-tech air drying machine. “Also, you don’t have to warn me about my heart rate or other things that happen when I’m stressed, you know. I know when it happens. I think being reminded just makes it worse.” You have our apologies. “It’s alright. We’re still working things out.” The last step of this restroom trip was a few deep breaths. Speaking of her heart rate, Melissa had a hand on her heart as she inhaled so she could feel herself returning to normal. “I left Fen alone there,” she said. “I hope she’s okay.”The game store still had a stench to it, but it was the residual kind, where all the clutter made it impossible to aerate properly. It probably wasn’t just Bradley Leigh Braderson that made it smell like that, Melissa realized. It was probably a bunch of different people who either didn’t know their own personal hygiene or didn’t care. It was a little judgemental of her to think that way, she realized, and she made a mental note to remember it in case she ever did find a proper capital C Catholic priest on Prana, but in the moment, she felt like she deserved to feel a little scorn. She shuffled back into the store with a mumbled apology, but she realized she probably should give a proper one not just for herself but for the hobby she was supposed to be introducing. “I’m sorry, Fen,” she said. “My world has people like that too, but everyone plays this game so they’re more of an outlier. I wasn’t really expecting it.” “You’re guardians?” Nelson asked. “Actually, no, I recognize you now that I think about it. I just read a bunch of interviews with Mauvache’s latest crop, and you were in there, I think.” He pointed at Melissa. “I think I’ve seen your picture floating around the mall too. Some amateur photographer is selling prints?” Melissa winced, but she still managed to make a snark. “I think if you tell me that I might have to go hide in the bathroom again,” she said. “I’m especially glad Bradley didn’t recognize us, then.” Nelson laughed. “Well, I’m certainly not going to tell him,” he said. “Honored to have you in the store all the same, though. What can I get for you?” Melissa scanned the wall behind the counter, full of various packs and decks that she didn’t recognize and a few that she did. “I’ll take, uh, that one,” she said, pointing to one of the starter decks. It had a picture of a young woman and a fairy on it, back to back and striking a dramatic pose. “Fen? I’m sure they’re all fine so does any of the key art strike your fancy?”
  13. 1 like
    It was strange. The clarity provided by the blood loss, by the adrenaline, it was… A lot for Marshall to take in, as she steadied herself. Her skull pounded from a lack of fluids; her limbs ached as she willed herself to stay standing, and the massive portions of missing or damaged intestines couldn’t have helped either. And yet, despite everything, she saw the world as clear as ever. Even as her vision hazed, even as her grip on the lance sagged, she remained standing, eyes locked on her opponent, as Abby spoke. In truth, Marshall couldn’t help but oblige Abby; even if she wanted to take the next hit, the target had already been selected. Which made now the perfect time to move. The lance faded from her hands in an instant as their enemy finished its wind-up; and she broke out into a sprint towards it. Her vision blurred into a haze with each labored sprint; each step sending a shockwave of pain through her body as the two abdominal wounds threatened to leak further with each step-- But she kept moving. Even as her balance flickered for an instant, her hearing dimming to fill only with the pounding of her heart-- She kept steady in her sprint. The lance had kept her grounded, but… She couldn’t let it slow her down. She needed to move fast-- And move now. The distance was simultaneously longer than she could have ever expected, and shorter than she thought it would be. Like a blur across the field, she shot forwards with a single-minded goal, and brought both hands to her right side as she closed her eyes; the distance was crossed in a moment, with the armor still recoiling from the throw of the lance in her vision as she opened her eyes. The lance appeared in her hands at just the last moment, and in an instant, she felt the last of the supernatural strength that accompanied an art leave her. It plunged into the armor’s chest with less impact than before, but still enough to stagger the armor; as well as her. Marshall’s grip tightened on the lance as she came to a sudden stop as well; the wind knocked out of her as she struggled still to smile, staring up into the helm of the knight. Her mind slowed for that moment, adrenaline fading as the pain began to catch up to her; just in time for the fist of the armor to do so as well, slamming into the crater the lance had formed previously. An unpleasant squelching accompanied it (and whether that had come from her or the Armor, she couldn’t say) as her grip tightened involuntarily on the lance; lightning surging through her body as every muscle seized. She could hardly feel anything anymore. She used what strength she could muster to slam the lance further in, her legs growing weaker as the lance edged slightly further into the liquid form of the knight; water beginning to spill out all around the lance’s widening base even as she pushed the lance further in. “...Let’s just hope…” she’d smile, as she watched the lance raise its other hand; lightning sparking across its knuckles as it tightened it into a fist, and she closed her eyes. “...They make sure this is only your final stop,” she muttered, throwing her full weight onto the lance, thrashing it around inside of the knight, as--- Everything went dark.
  14. 1 like
    Alois had done one of the few things he did very well. Stare dumbfounded for a brief moment, both as both Citron and Edrick had partook in self defenestration and that Gaston seemed to be far more competent at fighting then he did speaking. He supposed that everyone had to compensate for their incompetence somewhere else he just wished it was in less combat oriented endeavors. All the same, this dumbfoundedness lasted for only a few moments as the situation was most certainly not under control, least of all as knives seemed to fly out towards Link, and he had opted to be a little stupid himself. Paying no heed to the dangers of jumping out a third story window nor any of the group's poor prior experiences with such things, he leaped out of the third story window on the roof of the floor below. Alois paused, again, locking eyes with the assailant that had attacked Link moments ago. "Really?" The boy couldn't help but voice his thoughts seeing the otherwise innocuous maid who, as it turned out, seemed to be something of a trained killer. Before Alois could say anything more about this the woman, in quite the acrobatic feat, had leaped from the roof to the floor down below. Letting out a sigh the boy said, "of course, why wouldn't she be able to do that. Can't just be good at cooking and cleaning no." Alois had never seen the maid before, so for all he knew she was actually terrible at maid duties and was compensating with assassin skills. Shaking his head, the boy then ran over to the edge of the roof, looking down to see that the window that the woman had jump into was already closed. "Tsk." Clicking his tongue at the woman's exceptional speed, while he would've been inclined to go help everyone else he thought a knife tossing maid was something of a hazard to everyone involved. Drawing his axe - pausing for a bit as he heard an unfamiliar yell that belonged to a familiar voice, and seeing a wyvern on the ground when he was pretty sure it was charging when last he looked - Alois decided that his life of crime in this town was phar from over. Bringing the axe down, Alois committed an increasingly familiar act of breaking to then do the usual follow up of entering, clumsily going from the roof through the window below into the room. When he looked up, he saw that there was no maid to be seen. In fact, "oh, for the love of- " The sound of cooing that seemed to be more akin to screeching, followed by wings flapping and the chaos of feathers surrounding the boy. "Who has this many birds?!" Tsetseg had continued following along the members of the militia, feeling a sense of restlessness as she wanted to be sure that they were able to bring the bad man that would push people into a hole were brought to justice. Eventually, though, it had seemed the wait had finally come to an end. While Phai was currently not with them, based on nothing at all Tsetseg had every bit of confidence that the Phar Patrol girl would be able to catch up with them. While both Cora and Acantha had horses they were getting on, Tsetseg was getting ready to take off into a full blown sprint - she thought herself quick on her feet at least. However, at the idea of being able to get a ride on a horse was brought up, both due to a mixture of common sense and the thrill of being on horseback brought Tsetseg to believe that that was the much better idea. "Yeah, yeah! Let's go catch that bad guy!" Tsetseg scrambled onto Cora's horse, a determined look on her face that seemed to be slightly mismatched with the excitement in her voice.
  15. 1 like
    “Ah, there’s that light failure again,” Brian said into his phone. He was glad he kept the flashlight on so he didn’t have to fumble around in the dark. “But I’m still here. I’m alive.” He scanned the area again with the light taking note of his surroundings. Yeah, it was still the same room he was just in, no mystic fakery there. There were urinals and a sink and a - “Jesus Christ.” Where the toilet had been was a ghost. It was the kind of ghost with wet hair that covered her face and stretched all the way to the ground where it mangled together into a heap. It was a sorry wretch of a ghost, all things considered, Brian thought. Still, its sudden appearance had given him a little jump, “I’m not going to say I didn’t believe you before, Carmen, but I found the ghost,” he said. To the ghost, but still with the phone listening in, he said, “Excuse me, can I just…” He extended his arm out with one of the seals in hand and kept going forward, ignoring the nagging feeling in the back of his mind that whatever it was it really ought not to be. If the ghost disappeared again, he’d just stick the seal on the toilet. If it stayed dormant, he’d stick it on its forehead and figure out something from there. He didn’t actually know how the seals were supposed to work. The ghost, though, did neither of those things. It grabbed Brian’s arm with a speed he wasn’t ready for, and its hand was clammy to the touch. “Excuse me, that’s-” Brian grunted. He tried to push forward, just, like, slide down the grip so he could stick the seal on something, but the ghost’s grip was firm enough there to make it kind of a struggle. And it had one free hand too, but it didn’t try to grab Brian with that one. Instead, it reached up to its head area and parted its hair, revealing itself to not only not have a face, but had a void instead of a face, a gaping hole that was impossibly deep for its place in the ghost’s body. It was directing the seal -- and Brian’s arm -- towards that. “Nope. Nope nope nope. No thanks,” Brian said. He yanked his arm back, but it took a few tries before he could get his wrist free. For the second time that night, Brian found himself sprinting for the bathroom door. He spotted Carmen as he came out, hung up the phone, and ran back over. “Okay, new plan. Let’s go back to the van and, uh, see what other stuff Shiki might have left for us.”
  16. 1 like
    It was an ominous and foreboding feeling...the feeling of being watched. He had experienced in his life, sure...especially during his adventures within the Ever, those Undecided always did have a funny way of just appearing out of nowhere. Nevertheless, he kept a vigilant eye on his surroundings for the time being as he made his way to the Arena. However, once he arrived there, he would simply be met with a holographic sign... ARENA TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE "Hmmm, well that's troublesome..." Trevor sighed, seeing the grimoire rising up next to him. "Our third trip to this location and suddenly it's needing maintenance." Quite a mystery. Mayhaps what miss Nabudis said about Mauvache just simply knowing may be the case? "It's a thought...but one that we don't know for sure." he shrugged slightly, preparing to turn immediately on his heel, but he froze. Something caught his eye, something glistening in the sunlight. It was a rainstorm...of...knives. "What in the...?" Trevor clicked his tongue slightly, immediately casting Aerora as a quick wind swept around him and immediately defended him against quite a few of the knives. "And here I was afraid to not get a workout in." he muttered, immediately backing away from his original standing spot. Unfortunately, more knives continued to fall...more accurately, directly at him. Trevor began to grit his teeth somewhat, before having an idea. "Well...I had been wanting to test this one out specifically...MAGNET!" He shouted and threw his hand to the side as a small set of constantly rotating orbs of magic appeared directly to his right and with it, the knives began to gravitate direction towards it. "Perfect! It works like a charm...now, if I were the source of this knife-storm...where would I be?" Trevor began to immediately survey his surroundings. At first he didn't see anything, then he would hear something above. If he looked, which he obviously did, there would be a woman dropping down towards him from the sky. She seemed to be jumping from small round objects that appear right before she landed on them. Each time she landed she'd kick off, they'd break, and she'd land on another a bit further down. The young sorcerer raised an eyebrow, seeing this woman approaching him in quite the flashy display. It was obvious she was a potential user of magic, so this would be interesting. "Impressive trick you've displayed..." Trevor spoke, still staying on the defensive. "I suppose an introduction is in order...miss...?" "Oh, don't you know me? No why would you, we've never met. Isn't that funny? Because for some reason." She jumped from the next disk, vaulting overhead and twirling. "Looking at you makes me kind of upset, like you did something really, really, mean to me in a past life." Before landing a few more knives suddenly appeared in front of her and were shot towards Trevor. "Magnet!" Trevor cast the spell right in the area between him and this mystery woman, attempting to halt the knives. "Perhaps a case of mistaken identity?" he asked, walking away from the Magnet area to look at the woman. "Nevertheless, I suppose I'll introduce myself then. Trevor Masters, apprentice to Balthazar B-..." "Lacie! That's my name! Almost forgot it! But I don't remember the last name right now, maybe it's time to change it again." She tapped a finger to her chin. "Hm. What was I doing...Oh!" More knives, quite charming. Trevor frowned at being interrupted like that, but the name was now out there: Lacie. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly ring a bell... "Well, miss Lacie, whatever you believe me to have done, I can assure you I haven't." he said, nonchalantly firing off a Fira spell to stop the next wave of knives. "Oh, I know. I'm already past that part. I'm just greeting you. What's the saying...'knives to meet you'!" She then began to cackle. "Charming." Trevor sighed. "With the knives present like this, my dear, I feel like you may be trying to end my life. This seems all so sudden...I hardly know you." he said with a sly smirk, as he tipped his hat. "You could at least buy me a drink first." "Well I WAS trying to, but now I'm not! Oh, I've got tea!" She then is holding a cup, and a teapot, and began to pour some liquid into the cup. What even was she? Trevor had to ponder this. Never before, at least not in his recollection, had he ever met a woman of this caliber to the point where she seemed...almost absent minded. Ditzy even, but then again, it was rude to even make such a judgment call on that. "Well then." he said, remaining defensive, but was somewhat more relaxed about the situation. "So pray tell, my dear, why attempt to attack me...meet me...whatever you wish to call this?" "I told you didn't I? I wasn't lying, I'm a lot of things but not a liar!" She takes a sip of the tea, then seemed to remember something. "Oh yeah you wanted some didn't you?" She offered the cup. "I still feel kind of mad when I look at you, but the best people are a little mad I always say." Trevor snapped his fingers and had the cup float his direction, taking it in his hand. "My apologies, never once intended to insinuate you as a 'liar'. But perhaps, like I mentioned earlier, it's a case of mistaken identity. I seem to resemble someone you've met, perhaps" "Nope! I remember all the faces I've seen, especially mine!" She held up a mirror and gasped, "wait, I'm gorgeous!" Trevor blinked a few times, seeing the Cabanomicon rising up once more and writing the following for him to see: Seems you attract all the loons, Masters. He sighed and closed the book. "Thank you for your riveting insight, my leatherbound friend. Not exactly helping." he muttered.
  17. 1 like
    Penelope didn't let it show but she was starting to feel bad for this pitiful creature. She glanced over at Gunther and almost sighed. He, it seemed, didn't have any qualms about letting it show. Gunther started to step closer, to perhaps put a reassuring hand on his shoulder, and Penelope shook her head to stop him. He was scared and he needed to be scared. If he wasn't then he might realize that were they going to actually harm him they'd have done it already. "Go on then, tell me whatever you can." "G-Gaston, he ain't be trustin' me much. Jes' has me doing the odd jobs around." Hanikap sniveled. "I did so much fer 'im, an' he always took me fer granted!" The man sighed. "But I can tells ya what I do be knowin'. 'Specially now that he's left me behind." "He was sent here cuz of some 'Lord' or other nobleman. Said 'e was distantly related to him which made 'im a lord too. I jes' said yes cuz it made 'im happy. He never told me what the lord wanted him t'do, but I'm not stoopid. He kept askin' me t'watch the mayor. Said he wanted t'know if'n there was aught there. Well I was snuck into the house all stealthlike, but then I got turned into a rat. Followed y'all when ya found the secret tunnel, an' saw the fight with that stone wyvern." He shivered. "That thing was right scary. I told Pylauses 'bout it, an' he got all excited, sayin' he knew it! That the mayor was hidin' something all along. See, Lord Pylauses ain't never been invited to the secret meetings the mayor holds, an' me neither, though I've been born and bred here in Phar. I guess the mayor never trusted the likes of me." The man drooped. So there was, at least according to Gaston, some noble involved with this. Meaning they wanted something that this village was keeping hidden? She already had some idea what it could be but, if that was the case, then why would they resort to an idiot like Gaston of all things? "Pylauses, he said tha' the plans could move forward now, and he'd go sendin' off a bird as soon as he could t'report to that lord o' his. He also said he'd report 'bout some princess or other. Er, I think he meant your sister? Wait, does that make you a princess?" Penelope gave a tiny smile. Why yes being sister to a princess meant you were a princess well done. She didn't say anything and Hanikap began to stammer even more and ramble, "Er, beggin' yer pardon, yer Royal Tallness, er, no, Royal High Knees?" Despite the situation Penelope couldn't help herself. She let the man ramble on for a while, coming up with increasingly odd, and unintentionally rude at times, titles for her. Finally Gunther gently tapped her "Er, Penelope...perhaps we should stop him? I worry he'll fall completely apart before he's told us everything at this rate." "Ah, yes, I suppose you're right. Too much fun can be a bad thing. Excuse me, but, you can stop that now. Please continue." "Er, if'n it's all right, then, uhh, well, yer Royalness, er, where was I?" He held his chin while squinting his eyes in thought. "Hmm, oh! Right! So Pylauses was goin' off about how he'd soon be able to end his stint 'ere and go off to bigger an' better things. That the lord would 'commend him to the king fer a knightship--no, lordship. Which I don't get, since he keeps callin' himself a lord an' all. An' then he was singing fer a while, goin' 'Mine, mine, mine!' I jes' let him sing. But then that's when Timmy came by. Pylauses wouldn't 'ear of lettin' him off, said he'd hafta kill the boy. Not sure if'n it was cuz he heard about the plans or heard Gaston's singing. So's I panicked and pushed 'im in the hole." He sighed. "Timmy's always been nice t'me. I didn't want 'im to die. I just did what I thought best. Told Lord Gaston that he weren't able to tell nobody now. An' Gaston were in a hurry anyhow so we just left him behind." Gunther stiffened at the mention of the boy. So this man truly would have killed a child just to prevent even a risk of being found out. It seemed that he wasn't just a fool but also a true villain. Gunther became more and more anxious about Catriona but he knew he couldn't afford to leave Penelope even if the only other person here was perhaps the least threatening person he had ever seen. Penelope for her part was more curious about the 'commend him to the king' part. It seemed ridiculous to think that his actions would be in any way commendable. Perhaps it was just Gaston's foolishness or... "Well, we got back an' Lord Pylauses sent off a bird to the lord. I don't think he expected yer sister t'come here but he was--er, static? He was static 'bout her. Said he'd get a good reward fer sure fer bringin' her to the lord. Sounded like she was e'en more important than his original job or whatnot. So right 'bout now, he's pro'lly plannin' to take her to the lord." Hanikap sniffled. "I asked 'im earlier if'n he was bringin' me too. All that talk o' gold an' riches, but ain't none fer me, I guess. An' here I worked me back off fer 'im too." Hanikap began to grumble which prompted Penelope to ask if that was everything, and if was absolutely certain. "Yeah, 'tis all!" he nodded frantically. "Swear on me mum's grave, an' that's a serious swear." He held his hand up to his heart. "Naow please don't be lettin' tha' scary man at me! He's... scary!" Penelope sighed. "One last thing and I'll be sure to, uh, keep the scary man away. That woman earlier, what does she have to do with all this?" Gunther looked over at Penelope, confused what involvement a simple maid might have in this situation. "What woman? Ya mean Dille?" Hanikap scratched his head. "I ain't be knowin' much 'bout her. She came wiv Pylauses. Guess she was 'is maid or summat? She ain't one fer talkin' though. I tried sayin' hello a few times, but she usually jes' ignored me. Feel bad fer her. She's always workin', always got her head down, never talks to nobody. Some o' the villagers gossip 'bout her. Say it ain't right fer a girl to live alone wiv a man, but I ain't never seen her do nothin' like that. She's a good girl. Jes' 'ere t'do her job." Gunther shook his head, "People do like to talk...If only they could just try and understand..." The answer brought a feeling of sympathy to Gunther. He knew well how rumors like this could spread and how they could affect someone. However Penelope seemed to get something else from it. She straightened suddenly. "Thank you for your help, I'll be sure to let my father know that you did what you could for me. Gunther, come." Gunther was startled by the suddenness. He turned towards Hanikap and gave him a shaky smile. "Just be sure to be careful...who you give your loyalty to, in the future." He then followed Penelope into the hallway. "Did you get what you needed?" "Not entirely. There are some...implications I have to think on. But more importantly, if that woman is someone that that man brought with him..." She burst into the kitchen, where Raki was, and saw that the maid was nowhere to be found. "Where did she go? I believe she may be more dangerous than I had assumed." "How much good do you expect to be without your horse?" Cora's eyes widened at the realization. "O-oh dear, oh gosh, y-yes that...that would be a problem." How had she even walked all this way without thinking about it? As soon as Acantha returned Cora nodded and took off as fast as she could. By the time they reached the house she was breathing heavy and stumbling a bit. She barely registered what her father had said, responding back with a "Oh, good, that's....good." before stumbling her way forward so that when her father brought Abel out she was able to take the reigns. Immediately upon touching them she seemed to relax. She brought a hand to the horse's face and said, "Alright, we got a job to do. Gonna really put ya through it so get ready to go all out." The horse seemed to understand and, as it snorted and stomped its hoof on the ground, Cora could tell he was ready. Upon getting up she looked to Tsetseg. "Come on, we've got a bad guy to catch."
  18. 1 like
    “B-B-Buddy, p-p-please, you c-c-c-can’t fail me now!” a buffered line ran through Es’ vocal processor as the electric-orb fluttered around; moving first from one location to the next, each movement jumpy and contorted; rapid, and unplanned as any movement the Rotom was able to make. Several more pre-determined statements fired out in a predetermined order, as Es herself took a proverbial step back, and let herself drift back into the mental buffer that kept her from the execution line, and seemed to grant her better clarity. Zed wasn’t waking up from anything she could do; so it was more than likely that this magical-sort-of-sleep wasn’t the kind that a simple shout would fix. Her mind continued to race despite this fact; trying to come up with other ways to possibly wake the Zorua up, a quick jolt of electricity straight to their temple was, of course, what came to mind first; and promptly being dashed away. She had already seen what attacking another Pokemon could result in down here, so attackings someone she considered a friend was straight out. Not to mention the fact that there was no guarantee she’d able to get the attack off in the first place. Something in the back of her skull- er- Orb, had bothered her since she had gotten here, and it was manifesting as the lack of true control she had over herself. She had arranged this body into compartments in her mind; the systems functioning more like an array of programs and queues than anything else, and that had helped and even allowed her to function as a Pokemon, but… There was still so much about it she didn’t know. Letting a few pre-determined, worried speeches sound out then was the perfect moment to observe the execution line, and the output log, to see if she could gleam anything about how it ticked, how it functioned, and how she could- Her attention was redirected as she was thrust back into full consciousness, in a single moment. The wind had picked up around her, and her audio-receptors were declaring a howling of winds; warning signs flashed in the corner of her vision, around the ‘screen’ through which she felt as if she perceived all. Another warning flashed as she realized she had been moved-- As she realized she was moving at all, electricity dissipating around her as she was thrown against a wall-- And then another, And another. Like a ball in a machine, they, and all the other Pokémon with them, were being thrown around the room; each impact accompanied by a mental warning she had set-up for herself without noticing, each painful slam accompanied by a new foreign sensation of damage. Her vision blurred. 1080p became 720p, 720p became 480p, and 480p became 360p as she tried to focus; tried to cling to consciousness, and remain in a conscious buffer-- As she tried to keep her systems from rebooting again, as she tried to send electricity back around her body, only to fail-- As for a brief moment, she was shoved back behind her buffer-input; frustration seizing her as she watched everything around her go dark, and even within her mind watched the various logs and queues she had habitually created for herself faltering-- Before she finally, fell into darkness completely, as she fell asleep even beyond that. --- The gentle-breeze was a nice contrast to everything that had preceded life prior. It was able to flow around the smooth, primarily-orb shaped Pokemon, giving her a sense of ease even as her systems slowly began to come online. In retrospect, it made sense that her mind was the first of her systems to become operational; as even during a minor reboot, her mind had stayed active. It only made sense that a total-reboot would have to bring her mind back online, before she could begin to get the rest of her systems in order. She made a few adjustments to the queue this time, though. The darkness of her body’s internal structure was nothing like she’d ever want to see again. Even if she and it were one, in a way, she felt as if she was still stuck inside of it more than that she was it; but perhaps that was just her nature as a Ghost-Type Pokémon. As such, she elected to make the first two systems she brought online her visual monitoring system, as well as the visual representation of the Logs and Queues she had manifested in her mind earlier. Superfluous as they were, the dim light she felt as if they gave off in her mind kept her company in the vast darkness, and to feel their light on her proverbial face… Her vision returned in the same fashion it had prior. The world had appeared pixelated and blocky to her at first, as the resolution steadily improved itself, but to find herself out in the open-- On grass, as the sun beat down upon her body, was a pleasant surprise. She made a move to speak, sending the command outwards, but found it trapped in her buffer as it came online. The command had nowhere to go; as her vocal processor and audio-receivers both had yet to power-on. Visual processing took up more time than the others to bring about. She deleted the exclamation of relief from her buffer as she took in a deep breath; or at least went through the motions of doing so in her mind. She could be patient. She’d have to be. The next system to return to her was that of scent; though, to be honest, she didn’t even realize this body had a sense of smell in the first place. It shouldn’t have surprised her as much as it did, but she wondered idly if she never noticed it due to the constant plasma which coated her body. The thought hung in her mind for a moment, before dissipating once again all at once; as another sense returned with alacrity. Hearing. She heard the crash of distant waves first; then processed the notification hanging in her buffer. The first thing she had actually heard was the tail-end of the Six-In-One: Swiss Army Orb asking someone a question. To be honest, the question itself didn’t matter much; but the fact that they had all made it there together, did. She waited for the rest of her systems to come online as she thought for a moment, making a quick list in the corner of her consciousness as to what would perhaps be a more optimal order, before - finally - she set her systems back to fully online. Plasma sputtered weakly (at first) from her core as it slowly, yet steadily, surged about to coat the orb. As it did so, it lifted her off the ground, white pixelated eyes coming into view as she began to get a good look at her surroundings. For the most part, everything was as she had suspected it to be from her other senses; the warmth of the sun and the blue sky being all she could have seen beforehand. The plasma itself stayed over the orb, pulsating upwards towards the bottom of her core, before in a single, electric moment of movement-- The two habitual wings flickered to life, and she surged forwards, towards the only thing she hadn’t deduced the existence of: A sleeping Pokémon. “Hey! H-h-h-h-hey! Was that y-y-you that whipped up that st-t-t-orm?” she asked, voice stammering with its habitual glitch as she forced the words through the processor despite its’ fervent pleas for her to use the proper syntax. Her body mimicked her voice in this manner; jolting forwards in diagonal patterns as she flew towards the slumbering-Pokemon, zooming with a high speed as she sought to observe the strange being from every angle. She felt like she vaguely knew what it was, but she couldn’t quite place it. “If so! Watch it, b-b-b-buddy! Unlike some of my friends here, I’ve got a br-brain, and can only t-t-t-take so many blows to the noggin!"
  19. 1 like
    The words - or rather instructions - that had been shouted at her echoed around her as she stood, stock-still, watching events unfold in front of her. Despite everything, despite everything, as Citron had turned around to watch Lincoln surge into action-- as she had watched him take knives to the arm, as she had watched Edrick give chase with him, and Peaches continue to try and uphold her duty… She felt powerless, unable to get her legs moving beneath her, unable to move from her spot as she watched everything go wrong; even as the wolf-pup tugged and tore at her dress, trying to bring her to move. “N-No…” she murmured, voice catching in her throat as she brought a shaking hand to her mouth-- As she watched the man they had been chasing lift the Wyvern over his head, tearing his shirt to shreds in the process, as he began to foam at the mouth. For a second, she had hoped this would finally be what did him in; that, in some way, she and Peaches had been helpful, that they would have stopped him. But that second was over far too quickly, as with a strength she couldn’t even begin to fathom, he… Threw Peaches. In one fell swoop, in one motion, hurled the Wyvern forwards, and towards Edrick and Lincoln, as if she was no more than a heavy rock. Citron’s legs began to move before she was even aware of it, breaking from the wolf-pup's hold as the Wyvern soared through the air and over the two men, only to land, hard, on her side behind them with a loud and painful screech. “No!” Citron repeated as what had been a few unsteady steps, turned to a sprint past the two men as they moved, and to the Wyvern’s side, running a hand over the pained lizard’s side. “It’s- It’s okay,” she tried to comfort the Wyvern through her own tears, patting the side of her scales as she tried not to look at the arrow in her chest, blood oozing out from around the scales as she traced a hand over the Wyvern’s side. “It’s going to be okay, they’ll-- I’m sure someone can help me treat you, you’re going to be-” She was cut off, as the Wyvern began to thrash, scales contorting around muscle as the Wyvern began to thrash the wing that was against the ground outwards; trying to push herself into a roll, as she struggled to get up. “Scr… Ree…!” The Wyvern shrieked as loud as she could manage, as she tried to get back to her haunches-- to get back to her feet, as she sought to complete her goal still; heedless of the way the world spun around her, heedless of the way her chest ached, heedless of her own safety, as she had still failed to complete the task given to her- “Stop,” Citron managed to bark out, voice a mix of hoarse from tears, and firm; knowing it was the only way. “You’re done, alright? You- You did well,” she tried to force a smile to her face as she knelt down, and brought both hands to wrap around the Wyvern’s head, as she tried to restrain them. “You’ve done so well-- You just… I just need you to stop, and stay still,” she murmured. “I need you to be okay.” It took a moment. It took a few moments, even. But Peaches followed the order she was given, thrashing body coming to a slow, but steady, stop, as she laid on her side. The pain was clearer to the Wyvern now, as the Adrenaline began to wear off; as Citron did her best to soothe her, and as the pain of defeat sunk into the Wyvern’s pride. Citron could say she had won all she wanted; Citron could say a lot of things, and Peaches would generally understand their meaning. But here… All Peaches could truly understand was that she had failed-- That she was hurt, and to try and help while hurt, would cause Citron more trouble. And that was enough for her to settle for defeat this time, as she closed her eyes, and listened to the girl’s platitudes.
  20. 1 like
    Shields? Locked. Barrier? Erected. Plan? … Right. Hector desperately tried to keep his bodies in sync with each other. The barrier around him was obviously tied to the formation the troop had assumed; threads of red energy flowed from the center of their shields into the air in front of them, overlapping to form one much thicker red beam that the entire barrier had branched out from. Every time one of the Cleffa smacked into it, the force caused the troop to wobble, and when they wobbled the barrier wavered. A hole formed in the front of the barrier after one such attack caused the fourth trooper to fall out of formation. Hector tried to divert his attention to that trooper—his kaleidoscope vision momentarily shifted to only see out of one set of eyes—but trying to maneuver back onto his feet to rejoin rank, he felt extremely sluggish. Not for the first time he realized that his connection to this particular trooper was the weakest. It was an uphill battle every-time he tried to individually direct his fourth body (Hector O as he had taken to calling him). A Cleffa reached through the barrier and struck the Brass on the side of the head. Immediately, Hector’s head exploded with pain. The Brass stumbled and the barrier dissolved. The rest of the troopers sagged and the blue glowing orbs of their eyes dimmed until they were thin horizontal blue lines. Hector would have compared them to powered down robots if he hadn’t still been reeling from the blow. Cleffa surged forward to strike again. He heard something roaring in the distance; wind ruffled the plumage on his helmet, the Cleffa in front of him was ragdolled across the room. Hector tried to regain composure and check on the others. “Chester! Chester, where is Cro—” Everything went black. Hector groaned. All six of him. The echo startled him, and when he opened his eyes, he stumbled and fell back into the sand. His vision was split into six windows; five smaller windows all situated around one much larger and clearer window. What’s going on? What happened? I’m not sick. I can’t afford to be sick. Who would watch—...who? Who would watch who? Hector stared out at the ocean. The sand beneath him, the ebb and flow of the tide, it all felt like it was familiar but he had no idea why. Or where he was. Or what he had been thinking about a few seconds before. Right. He was a Pokémon now. He and several other members from the NCM forum. He had woken up in the body of a Falinks and they had been trying to escape a dungeon. The last thing he remembered was… A sudden panic seized him. Hector forced all of his bodies onto their feet. They leapt up with surprisingly agility and formed a fanned out battle formation, similar to what they had done when battling the Cleffa. "Cross!" he shouted with all of his voices. They merged together into one amplified bark. "Chester! What happened? Where is..." Hector trailed off. The light in the eyes of all but the largest Falinks faded, and even that one had a very far-off look. “Someone. No one, I guess. I could have sworn…” he shook his head, which in actuality was more like ruffling the plumage atop each helmet. “Never mind. Is everyone here?” He looked around and did a head count. They all seemed present though Marv looked… different. The same weird feeling overtook him. Hector thought it best to leave it alone. “Because we have company." Hector moved up to position himself between the group and the floating Pokémon. He thought he recognized it. “Hello? Are you awake? Did you bring us here?”
  21. 1 like
    Link was a few feet behind both Gaston and Edrick when everyone suddenly stopped. He caught up to them a second later to discover the cause—Gaston had grabbed Peaches’ legs and lifted her above his head. The bag! Gaston had dropped it when he had grabbed the wyvern. It was the perfect opportunity to grab it. Yet Link thought of Citron, teary-eyed and begging him to do something to help the wyvern, and he hesitated, torn between darting for the bag and helping Peaches. The moment of indecision meant the choice was made for him. Gaston strained, frothing at the mouth, and launched the wyvern. Link was not sure what Edrick was thinking. The boy could have been attempting to catch Peaches, or cushion her fall, or maybe he was just too stunned by the herculean display of strength to move. The end result was that he was about to be crushed by several hundred pounds of scales. The soldier threw himself forward and sent them both sprawling to the ground with only seconds to spare. Peaches flew over their prone bodies and landed a few feet behind them. Link groaned and rolled off of Edrick. His head throbbed painfully. His shoulder ached. When he pressed his hand to it to relieve the pain, the skin felt more like ground beef than flesh. Even the spots where the knives had bounced off of his mail were starting to hurt. Gotta... get up... Gotta... help Cat... He could see Gaston trying to mount a horse—Epona?—in the distance, but his vision was swimming. The horse kicked at him and snorted and Gaston gave up and jumped on the back of the smaller horse, throwing the sack up into the saddle with him. Link grabbed one of his cheeks and pinched. Hard. The sharp pain cut through the mental fog and he managed to gather his wits and stumble to his feet. BGM "GASTON!" he roared. His anger was back and with it the adrenaline that kept him going. Link stopped only long enough to snatch his sword from the ground where it had fallen and sprinted to where the other horse was still tied up. It regarded him with a snort. Link was once again struck by the resemblance it bore to his Epona. The same distinctly beautiful coloring and the same regal bearing, the same intelligent shine behind the eyes. Link pinched his thigh this time to push down the memories that threatened to sweep him away. "Can you help me catch him?" he said plainly. The horse stared at the soldier and blew his lips. Spittle landed on Link’s face. It wasn’t a no. "I'll give you anything. Apples. Carrots. Sugar cubes." The horse seemed to perk up at one of the words. Link couldn’t tell which. Epona had loved carrots; maybe they shared that too. Unfortunately, the silver bay was not wearing a saddle. Fortunately, Link knew how to ride without one. He reached for the horse’s neck slowly and without any sudden movements. The bay seemed hesitant at first but then lowered his head and allowed Link to pat his neck. Link steeled himself, took a deep breath, and with a grunt of effort, pulled himself onto the silver bay’s back. The reaction was immediate. The bay whinnied and reared back on his hind legs. Link held on for dear life, careful to not pull any hair and mostly relying on the strength of his thighs to keep him mounted, keeping the hand holding his sword well away from the horse. It was a skill he had spent a decade practicing. "Hii-ya!" The horse kicked his front legs in the air for what felt like an eternity but could only have been a few seconds. Link’s thigh muscles burned and his wrist felt like it was going to break off from the strain that he was putting them through after so long, but just when he was going to slip, the horse landed. And then they were off. Link would have whooped with joy if it weren’t for the situation. Instead, he leaned forward and urged the horse to go faster. I won't be too slow. Not this time.
  22. 1 like
    This topic is very interesting and i would like to see it alive again.
  23. 1 like
    First Engage character is now at +10. Do wish Monarch Blade had the slaying effect instead of +3 Spd, but maybe when she gets her refine in 3 years. Now the only game I have left to get a character to +10 from is Mirage Sessions, where it is just really just hope for a stray Tsubasa whenever I pull Blue.
  24. 1 like
    It do be kuru kuru tiemu.
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    Sibyl was never much into organized religion. It wasn't as though she hated the idea of some kind of higher power or thought the entire thing was stupid as a whole. She just hated the idea of having to live by a set of restrictions from the get go that were who knew how old. And she figured that people who were into religion had always used it to find some kind of solace or meaning in existence, some kind of guide or comfort. To the girl with a code to adhere only to the self and to take everything in life as it came to her, she never really saw much purpose in following one. That wasn't to say she disliked everything about religion - she always found the art and iconography of it to be pretty neat. And the stained glass in this building was no exception to that. Eventually, though, she was directed to where she would be meeting with the head lady in the building. Once there, reciprocating friendly greeting with friendly greeting she said, “hey there Angel! Sweet place you got.” The girl at the two globes of light curiously before pulling out the papers she had been sent with. “I’d love to say I was here to chat about that rad glass stuff you got going on downstairs, but I’m mostly just here to drop off some papers for you to read.” Lailah accepted the papers with a smile. "It's always nice to take physical petitions. We've had an online portal for longer than I've been alive but it's much easier to read things when they're right in front of you and not behind a screen." She buffeted the papers and was about to start reading when she added, "And there's no reason we can't talk about Sacred Harp's stained glass afterwards, is there? I'm only visiting so I can't give construction details if that's what you're after but I can talk about the meanings contained therein, if that's useful to you." “Ooooh, true. The glass itself is pretty rad but I’m sure the stories could be some good inspiration. Maybe we could even get a burger or something once we’re done here.” She finally started to read in earnest but didn't get very far before looking back up at Sibyl, seemingly trying to reevaluate her. "The Fates sent you, didn't they? You're part of the Moray Clan?" Sibyl look as if there was no problem with this before saying, “yeah, sure am.” Lailah looked back at the papers and kept talking as she read. "Do you know why I owe them a favor in the first place? Did they tell you that at least? We- I was going through the Old North -- there's a church just on the other side near Clintonville -- and I ended up in the crossfire between Gibbons and the Zodiac. The Old North was up for grabs. Moray Clan wasn't quite the presence it is these days. Anyway, to make a long story short, the Fates saved my life. They took me in, gave me shelter, and staked their own claim on the territory. All they asked was a favor in return." She shook her head. "That was years ago. I almost made a game of trying to think up what they would ask me do. I wasn't sure they even remembered. I suppose I have my answer now." She turned the page and flipped through a few more. "I don't suppose there's a way to negotiate?" she said. "I- this is- I really would rather not." “Ooooh,” the girl said as she was recounted the story. Then when asked she shrugged, “can’t say I was given anything else to offer, and I’m really more the chatting and breaking type then the deal offering so, is what it is. ‘Sides, it’ll probably be fun.” It was then that her conversation was interrupted by two coming heroes. Her expression brightening still she said, "hey there Aeon! Long time no see. And uh," she looked at the other, before just as friendlily saying, "and hey there guy! But oh, heavy stuff you got going here." Looking at Lailah Sibyl said, "I wasn't here to paint but I wouldn't mind sprucing the place up once we're done here too."
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    ←Previous Post Week Sixty-Three -- The Belly of the Beast The interminable stone halls are but an antechamber. The creature is vast beyond measure and must be battled from within. Step over the threshold, and let the terrible truth worm its way into your mind. The best way to describe this mission is to just show you the provisions screen and let you take it all in from there. I know we haven’t done a lot of Long-length dungeons, so if you don’t remember, those gave you two campfire logs to play with. This scenario, the one “Exhausting”-length dungeon in the entire game, gives you four. Does it deserve such a commendation? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, it is designed to be such a marathon. The map is huge, with fights seen nowhere else in the game, and each one will inflict a massive amount of blight damage that we just have to grind through. That’s why we’re packing so many antivenoms and that’s why we’re bringing Paracelsus along even though she’s still only at resolve level four. Having Battlefield Medicine as an option is worth the extra stress damage she’s going to take. The entire party, actually, is designed around one core quality: We want to be able to hit the back row as hard as possible. Boudica the Hellion naturally follows from this, given her Iron Swan ability, and each of the other three, Damian, Hakima, and the aforementioned Paracelsus each have a similarly hard-hitting move. This is the most beast-heavy of the Darkest Dungeon runs, so Elmer also gets a bonus while attacking them, and Damian can act as a backup healer in a pinch. Now, the four campfire logs do provide another interesting mechanical quirk of the run: they take up space. Like the Hands of Glory from the quest before, this run crimps the space available in your pack. I would have loved to bring some holy water, for example, but settled on the extra food to make sure everyone was healed up between fights. I also experienced a slight consequence of not being able to fight my way all the way to the Viscount on our two attempts -- I had to devote a slot to blood to compensate for Damian’s curse. There is one advantage on our side, though: knowledge. The game wants this run to be a marathon, but if you know what you’re doing, you can turn it into a sprint. Let’s look at the map for a second: Our goal is that curio location in the middle of the map. On the surface, it’s not that hard to navigate the labrinthine map and reach the locus beacon in only five fights. The game isn’t going to make it that easy, but we’ll get to that when we get to that. The first fight is just some hounds, anyway. These showed up in the last dungeon as part of one of the Templar fights. They’re threatening, with a few different annoying attacks, but they were in that fight as fodder, basically, to diversify the different Templar encounters. The same is true here. They can barely pull Paracelsus out of position before they get cut, whipped, and bit down. It certainly helps that, with the excess of campfire logs, we’ve already got our buffs set up. And here is the thing I’ve been alluding to for several posts now. The Mammoth Cyst and White Cell Stalk fights. The Mammoth Cyst is Darkest Dungeon’s version of a Beholder, with a bevy of different attacks, all of them devastating, and two actions per round to spend using them. If it blights you, it’s doing it for eight (8!) a turn. When it’s dealing normal damage, it’s attacking for seventeen, and it’s hitting two heroes as it’s doing so. It’s got 25 PROT, so it ignores a quarter of all damage dealt to it, and it can heal itself. When I say this dungeon is a grind, it’s really this fight that is a grind, and there are several on the map. And saying all this still discounts the real problem of the fight, which is the White Cell Stalk. The White Cell Stalk, in comparison to its Mammoth counterpart, is pretty easy to kill. It only has 25 health, one action a turn, and no PROT. It has a unique move, however, called Teleport, which does exactly what it says it does -- it teleports the party out of the fight, to a random point in the dungeon. Sometimes, it will even teleport you to another fight! This is where the grind sets in, you see? Every round, the likelihood of the White Cell Stalk teleporting you away, negating all progress and probably setting your heroes up for another series of fights and hunger checks, only goes up. It’s easy to kill the White Cell Stalk, but the Mammoth Cyst will just summon another one as soon as it gets another action. The one saving grace of the fight is the White Cell will never cast Teleport on its first turn, so you always have time to deal with it. Still, the fight is daunting. There are a few solutions. The first one is to pray. After all, if you’re teleported to a random point in the dungeon, it’s entirely possible you get teleported to a room closer to your destination. I mean, you don’t have great odds and have to deal with the rest of the dungeon in the meantime, but I’ve seen it done. Better, though, is the same solution we’ve been using for any fight with an enemy with multiple attacks per round -- you just have to DoT them out. This is another benefit of our party composition. Each hero can inflict damage over time. What’s the giant ball the size of a cabin going to do, dodge out of the way? There are three fights left on the optimal route through this dungeon. The first is another filler one. Remember, these fights are meant to wear you down as you make your way back to the Mammoth fights that block the way. Still, we haven’t seen an Antibody yet, nor has a Polyp appeared onscreen, so let’s just show it off real quick. Polyps are annoying for the same reasons Hounds are, while the Antibody at the front plays a support role similar to the White Cell Stalk. This one can’t cast Teleport, though, so it’s a bit safer to take out the other enemies first. The real fights are just ahead, though. Oh, you thought we were done with Templars? We didn’t even bring any of those protective relics, but you thought we were done? I mean, this is a watered-down version of those boss fights. It only has one action per round and it can’t cast that backbreaking Revelation attack, but it can still do all the other attacks we were worried about Templars doing. The most stressful part about this fight to me personally was how Boudica could never seem to land a hit on the thing. She’s wearing an accuracy-boosting Focus Ring. I just thought one accuracy trinket was enough. Still, we fought through enough of these in the last dungeon, a watered-down version isn’t going to scare us too hard. Let’s just move on to the final fight, the thing guarding the Locus Beacon: Ah. No matter what you do, you are going to have to fight at least two Mammoth Cysts and run the risk of being sent away and having to grind back. One thing I didn’t mention before was how the game will give you the decency to remember your progress. You don’t have to fight through all 158 of the Cysts HP every time you come crawling back. Still, you’d like to get it all done in one go. The sprint strategy worked, though. We were in a good enough position after keeping our fights to a minimum to manage these two grinds effectively. Boudica got put on Death’s Door at one point, but it wasn’t ever worrisome. She never got a Deathblow check before Paracelsus healed her back up above zero. That leaves just one more dungeon left to complete the game, and the fourth Darkest Dungeon fight is more one long boss fight than an actual slog like the ones that have come before. That being said, there is a small yet urgent matter that I’d like to take care of first… See you next week for that. -r ←Previous Post
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    Things moved fast, a little faster than Edrick had been prepared to deal with. He was expecting the man to do the sensible thing and surrender when he was caught between an armed man and a Wyvern, and yet... well even if this Gaston figure wasn't much of a noble he was certainly tasty in a fight. A shot to the Wyvern's chest, a headbutt to the underside of her jaw, and apparently he had help from somewhere. Someone throwing kitchen knives after them before the "noble" started running. Well at least this was something he could act on! Before Link had even finished shouting for him he was running. Boot-clad feet pounding against the ground as all the complications of the past week melted away from his mind. The fresh wounds on his chest? He might as well not have had them. The stress over being far from home? He forgot it in the moment. Questions about his faith and his place in it? None of that mattered in the face of what was happening right now. He'd been too slow to keep a thief from stealing Elba off his farm. He was not going to be too slow to stop Catriona being kidnapped. "Rapscallion, huh?!" He shouted afterwards as he bolted down the street after the maroon-clad bastard. "I guess you're as bad at judging character as you are with language!" He didn't think that was going to do much, but even the slightest distraction one way or another was hopefully enough for him. And as soon as he managed to get in reach of the older man? Well then he was just going to keep things simple. No stabbing, no sweeping, nothing with the lance at all actually. He just planned to run up and tackle him to the ground.
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    Raki was just slightly less startled than Hanikap as the roar echoed inside the dining hall, even if his reaction was much more subdued in comparison. Less of a "we'll all die" run and more a "who in Inera's name let a new arrival out" turn of the head. Not that he was very happy about being nearby an angry wyvern, especially after what had happened that day, but at the very least the scream wasn't Garinphasia's. Of that much, he was sure. On the other hand, he thought while Hanikap darted away beyond his ability to react, 'I know of only another wyvern in the area.' Worse yet, the roar had sounded... pained. "We should see what's the matter, this could be trouble." Raki was inclined to agree, but... His eyes fixated on the trembling figure of Hanikap, under the kitchen's table. Between Raki's own assault before, and then this, it made for quite the pitiful spectacle. And yet. Raki felt his anger swell again, after the shock of Peaches roar. And yet, this same frightened man was the one responsible fro putting Timmy in danger. By his own admission, and by his own hand. He couldn't just leave. "You two go on then. I...wish to remain here for a bit. I'll be fine on my own don't worry." "I won't leave you here on your own." Raki made to open his mouth. He couldn't go, he had to... to... What did he mean to do? Sure, he had obtained a confession... and that was it. Even without the man hiding under a table, he had not known how to proceed from there. But still, that didn't feel right... there had to be something he could do. What had he come here for? In the end, his plan had begun and ended with confronting the one who hurt Timmy. What then? Tell others? Tell Timmy? Arrest him, somehow? "Very well then, I'll try and make this quick." He wasn't alone in thinking things weren't yet over. He looked at the girl, now going towards the table, and followed behind her knight. One planned to keep up the questioning, and judging from her calm tone and gentle words, she had much clearer ideas on how to go about it, compared to Raki's emotion-driven attempt. The knight, for his part, had no intention of leaving his companion alone. Raki... Raki had little to do in there, but to listen. And he wanted to listen. Looking at the bizarre scene, a young girl talking to a man hidden under a table, it felt wrong to simply leave. He wanted to hear what was said, even though he didn't really know what he wanted, just that he was furious with the man. But even Raki knew that he could only contribute in scaring the man more. He had personally attacked him. Not very helpful with what was being attempted at the moment. "I'll..." He lowered his voice as the turned to Gunther. "I'll go check out what's happening" He then proceeded to see if there was a window in the kitchen, from which he could get a good view of what was outside, before he moved out of the house. The roars seemed to have come from this side of the house, and he wasn't very keen on getting a surprise greeting from the same wyvern, twice in a day.
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    Penelope hadn't expected the young man to be so aggressive. But she couldn't help but approve in this situation. She didn't like violence particularly but, as he hadn't actually hurt him, she figured he could get a pass. Plus it had worked to loosen the man up decently well. He had been close to spilling some secrets it felt. Right before she was about to press for more she heard the noise. A wyvern. As far as she knew the only wyverns belonged to her new companions so this almost certainly boded ill for them. "It's that flying thing again!" he shouted. "It's gonna eat us all!" Hanikap seemed to not react well to the noise and at first Penelope thought any further questioning would be in vain but then a thought came to mind and she almost smiled. "We should see what's the matter, this could be trouble." Gunther said suddenly and she glanced back at him. He wore a worried expression which Penelope wasn't sure was for them or for the wyvern itself. - Gunther hadn't expected the young man to be so aggressive. But he couldn't help but disapprove in this situation. He didn't think that being so violent with the clearly weak-willed man was, well, fair. As silly as that might sound as he knew that the man had been ready to hurt a child.... His conflict ended suddenly as he heard the wyvern. He realized almost immediately it was Peaches and could only imagine it meant there was something going on out there. It was possible someone was attacking the wyvern. In which case.... "We should see what's the matter, this could be trouble." Penelope looked at him and he realized what she was about to say before she said it. "You two go on then. I...wish to remain here for a bit. I'll be fine on my own don't worry." There was no way that Gunther would leave the younger princess in the home of the man who may have already harmed the elder. While he wanted to see what was happening he even more wanted to be sure no harm came to her. Especially after that conversation with Link. He wasn't about to let both of them be endangered in the same day. "I won't leave you here on your own." - Penelope had expected Gunther to protest and protest he did. "I won't leave you here on your own." She wasn't about to leave when she was so close to learning the truth of the situation. Yet she also knew that whatever was happening out there must be important. So she was about to insist that he go but one look at the grim expression that Gunther very likely didn't know he was even wearing stopped her. "Very well then, I'll try and make this quick." She turned back to Hanikap and followed him to the kitchen. Crouching down to get closer to his level she said, "no no don't you worry, I'm sure it won't get inside. And it's not like we would, say, toss you out to it just because you didn't answer our question. On another note, are you sure you can't tell us?"
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