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enchantress
8th February 2009, 4:04 PM
The Lost Cities of Talas
The Archaeology Zone
Long since buried beneath the desert sands, the lost city of Sobek was discovered after a ferocious sandstorm uncovered part of an ancient abode. When archaeologists heard of the discovery they flocked from all over the world to examine the area, eventually unearthing several more vicinities in which the ruined remains of ancient civilisations have been laying undisturbed for thousands of years. Portions of the strange writings and hieroglyphs discovered in these lost cities have been translated, fuelling speculation that the entire of island of Talas is somehow tied in with the heavens. Items, carvings, texts, as well as some rather unsettling discoveries and mysterious events have helped to cement these theories in the minds of some, while others dismiss them as fantasy. Each of the cities are believed to be connected to the others somehow, but there are still missing pieces of a much larger puzzle to be found, leading scholars to believe that there are more cities that have yet to be discovered. Talas has now become a popular archaeological site which attracts scientists, scholars, tourists, and trainers from across the globe.



The Isle of Talas
A desert island so large it's been classified a continent, Talas would be a barren wasteland if not for the Laos River snaking its winding trail from the far north-west corner of the island and throughout the land before rejoining the sea in the south-east province. A mixture of desolate wasteland and tropical jungle, the conditions are so harsh that very few dare to live here. Several nomadic tribes traverse the land, preferring to steer clear of populated areas, though many small villages can be found not too far from the river's edge. Most inhabitants of these villages are quite friendly, but there are the odd settlements whose residents are not at all welcoming, particularly of foreigners. The lost cities aren't the only places of interest in Talas, however, and it's these more isolated locations that have perked the interest of many a curious trainer. Guided tours are offered for those who wish to travel in groups, but the more adventurous trainers prefer to make their own way around.

Areas:
Laos River: A long and winding river lined with tall palm trees snaking its way throughout this vast desert island. Many wild Pokémon can be found basking upon its banks, while families love to sit by the water and watch the barges sailing by.

The Northern Pyramid: A large pyramid built in a massive crater located in the far north of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Earth. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Southern Pyramid: A large pyramid located in one of the most hot and barren parts of the land, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Fire. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Eastern Pyramid: A large pyramid standing atop a high cliff on the eastern-most edge of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Wind. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Western Pyramid: A large pyramid located in the sea one hundred metres off the western coast of Talas, and seemingly dedicated to the God of Water. Only a single corridor appears accessible, as it seems a task needs to be performed in order to enter the vast network of halls and chambers within.

The Sphinx: This Sphinx loves riddles so if you don't like them then this isn't the place for you. Answer the Sphinx's riddle and she will allow you entry. Once inside you will be faced with another twelve riddles. Each time you guess the correct answer you advance to the next stage where you will battle for your right to face another riddle. Make it to the end and you will receive great rewards, if you lose a battle or answer a riddle incorrectly you will find yourself back at the beginning.

Sovereign Valley: A vast network of catacombs where only the most revered of ancient kings and queens were buried. Riches beyond your wildest dreams are rumoured to have been buried with them, and judging from what has been found so far this very well may be the case. All objects discovered have been taken to the Atlas Museum, but if you're lucky you may just stumble upon an undiscovered chamber that hasn't yet been emptied by an excavation crew or ransacked by looters.



Atlas City
A bustling city located alongside the Laos River. While there are several small, stray settlements scattered across the land, Atlas's reputation has spread worldwide since the discovery of the lost city of Sobek less than a mile from its shore. The incredibly large influx of scientists, trainers, and tourists has aided in building Atlas from a humble village into a modern and prosperous city. Walking the streets at night isn't recommended, however, as the sudden prosperity of Atlas City has also attracted many thieves.

Areas:
Port Pearl: A large, bustling port developed to handle the large amount of traffic now navigating the Laos River into Atlas City. Cargo ships, fishing trawlers, ferries, small tourist boats, and even five star cruise liners, all dock here. Café's, restaurants, boutiques, a couple of small inns, and a tour company all line the river banks making it a central hub of activity for the thriving metropolis of Atlas City.

Emporium Hotel: A luxurious five star hotel located in the heart of Atlas City, the Emporium Hotel is fit for royalty. Some even say they've seen royalty of the ancient spiritual kind inhabiting rooms on the thirteenth floor. Perhaps these patrons have had a little too much to drink in the elaborate hotel bar?

The Market: A bustling marketplace. Food, clothing, and knick-knacks can be purchased here, but you'd better be careful. Some of the seedier business owners are renowned for advertising fake items as genuine artefacts. If you're lucky, however, you may just find a gem amongst the junk.

The Museum: Many artefacts from the various dig sites of Talas have ended up here, as well as the skeletons of long extinct Pokémon. At night, strange things are rumoured to occur.

The Library: Scholars who have become obsessed with the lost cities have built this library for those who wish to read up on ancient civilisations. Ancient texts from all over the world have been collated here, the most valuable locked away from the public eye. They're always on the lookout for new and exciting discoveries, so if you happen to come across something on your travels it may be worth your while to pay the scholars a visit.

Perona: The residential district of Atlas City, Perona is a working class settlement originally built to accommodate those who work in the city itself. With Atlas City expanding at a rapid rate, however, the families of the ever-growing workforce have moved here as well. Archaeologists, scientists, and tourists have also settled here, falling in love with the city and wanting to make it a more permanent home. Perona has rapidly developed into a family oriented community, its first school opening recently as the demand for a much needed educational system became a priority.



The Lost City of Sobek
The first of the lost cities to have been unearthed, Sobek is the most extensively examined of the five known ancient civilisations. Despite the fact it's surrounded by desert, a thick, healthy layer of the greenest of grass has grown since Sobek was first uncovered. The dig site is extensive, and even though it is believed this city was the main agricultural centre of Ancient Talas, some of its areas raise questions as to what kind of rituals the people who once dwelt here may have performed. Here you will find many places of interest such as the Pokémon Centre, Research Lab and tourist stalls, as well as several interesting excavation sites to explore.

Areas:
Research Lab: Any fossils unearthed can be taken here for examination. Occasionally one of the professors may have a job opening, so if you're looking for something to do it can't hurt to swing by and see what's available.

Farity's Shrine: A shrine built to honour Farity, the Goddess of Fertility. The ancients believed that Farity's tears could create life where there was none, and some who have visited this shrine will swear blind that miracles have occurred. A statue of Farity herself stands on an alter overlooking the shrine, and it's said that if you're pure of heart you may just see her weep.

Farity's Pond: A large freshwater pond in the centre of the city. How it has miraculously filled with water is still a mystery, some saying Farity herself has imbued it with life. A statue of the Goddess rises from its centre, a Feraligatr, Croconaw, and Totodile protectively surrounding their mistress. The fresh, cool water attracts many wild Pokémon, while people visiting or working in the area like to submerge themselves to cool off under the harsh, desert sun.

The Colosseum: An ancient battle arena, the Colosseum has seen many a warrior fight. It is said that one of the most bloodthirsty battles known to man took place here, the details of which have been lost in time. Nowadays, trainers come here to battle with their Pokémon but it's what lays hidden beneath the arena that makes many a man shudder. The dark and dangerous dungeons have become home to some of the strongest and most bloodthirsty Pokémon alive, so only the bravest of trainers dare to enter its dank and brooding halls.

The Caiman Temple: Built thousands of years ago as a burial tomb for the Pharaoh, the Caiman Temple is filled with many secret passages, dangerous traps, and puzzles designed to protect the Pharaoh's resting place from looters. If this place doesn't kill you, it may just drive you insane.



The Lost City of Solaris
An arid city located far from the banks of the Laos River, very little plant life is found in this harsh and uninviting environment. The ancients who dwelt here appear to have worshipped the sun, and have many drawings and inscriptions depicting flames and violence. Their God, Faros, is shown as being a large, muscular man who radiated intense heat. Texts have been translated to say that when Faros was angry, his body ignited in a raging fire, punishing the insolent in ways that defy the very nature of humanity. Many charred and damaged remains of ancient structures can be found in this city, and only the hardiest of wild Pokémon roam the area.

Areas:
The Pit: A large pit where the skeletal remains of hundreds of people and Pokémon are found. Upon closer examination it seems they died an unnatural death, as many of their bones are broken and charred. Scientists are trying to determined what has killed them, as they feel this information will help to shed light on the city's seemingly violent history.

Sun Dial: A large sun dial located in the very centre of Solaris. Under the rays of the midday sun, it radiates an energy that cause most Pokémon who go near it to become quite violent, often resulting in them turning on their trainers.

The Well: A very, very, very deep well tapping into an underground source of fresh water much needed for a city this far away from the river. Wouldn't want to play around near its edge, because there's no way of knowing what's down there, or even if there's a way out.

The Arena: A large arena made of clay with unfamiliar markings which was apparently the scene of many games. Exactly what the native game or its rules entailed, nobody knows, but considering what little is known about this city many wonder what became of those who were unfortunate enough to lose. These days trainers like to battle with their Pokémon, but there is something about this arena that makes them battle more ferociously than ever before. Perhaps a natural survival instinct? But survival of what? It's only a battle after all...

The Sun Temple: A large temple dedicated to Faros, God of the Sun. Steps surround the temple, at the very top of which rests an alter covered in dark stains believed to be blood. Some say that ritualistic sacrifices were performed here, but what met the requirements for one of these sacrifices is anyone's guess. Human, Pokémon, both? Perhaps some more light will be shed on the matter once the inner temple has been fully explored, but few dare to enter as the terrifying screams of those long since departed can be heard echoing throughout its extensive halls.



The Lost City of Lacuna
Located at the bottom of a deep valley laid out in the shape of a crescent moon, the Laos River provides the surrounding area with a rich source of nutrition. Thick jungle surrounds the ancient city whose inhabitants appear to have worshipped cats. Statues and inscriptions depict a very large, very muscular, panther-like feline as tall as a man whilst on all fours, but whether this creature is an extinct Pokémon or something else is anyone's guess. No references have been found in relation to this mythical beast, leaving many to wonder if it actually existed, or was simply a God worshipped by those who inhabited the city.

Areas:
Burial Ground: Where many ancient Talasians and felines were buried. Several crypts contain the mummified remains of the more prominent citizens, but it's the statues surrounding this burial site that has fear entering the hearts of those who lay eyes upon them. Known only as the "Big Cats", these fearsome sentries stand guard over the burial ground, watching the site in eternal vigilance. Roam the area at night, and you may never see the light of day again...

Pool of Illusion: A small pond, its ink black water smooth as silk. No Pokémon drinks from its water, no human sets foot in it, but visit at midnight under the light of a full moon and some pretty strange events are bound to blow your mind.

The Labyrinth: An underground maze where the bravest warriors were sent in order to prove themselves. It's inhabited by strong Pokémon and an unknown mysterious Pokémon that is stronger than them all. If the warriors made it out they were celebrated as heroes, if not... ;-;

Rapa's Temple: About a quarter of a mile from the ruins of Lacuna is a small island surrounded by water. The wooden bridge leading to it has been deliberately sabotaged so that nobody may cross, while large, shadowy forms can be seen lurking beneath the surface of the water. Skeletal remains of humans - or parts of them - who have tried to access the island can be seen scattered along the shore which causes most to think twice before trying to cross the water. An ancient temple sealed centuries ago is built upon the lone island, its entrance inscribed: "Herein reside the Rapa; Death to those who enter". Is it sealed to keep something in, or to keep people out? Hmm, wonder what's inside?

The Moon Temple: A large temple dedicated to Saros, the God of the Moon. It is said that at various times strange events occur, all of which are related to the moon itself, whether that's during a solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, or under the light of a full moon. Quiet and serene, this temple has an almost magical aura about it, leaving many feeling calm and collected even under the most stressful of circumstances.



The Lost City of Axal
Located at the very peak of a high mountain, the city of Axal was built on the outskirts of a large lake, its residents appearing to have been quite advanced for their time. Those who lived here worshipped the stars and appear to have been a peaceful, scientific race of people. Astronomers have discovered an extremely detailed set of parchments depicting maps of galaxies beyond those discovered by present day science, and are eager to learn more to further their own knowledge. The Axalian calendar has raised much curiosity, as well as concern, for even with today's massive amount of technology it is more accurate than any current day super computer. If the Axalian calendar is to be believed, then doomsday is approaching, for their calendar ends less than a year from today...

Areas:
Axal Field: Upon the northern edge of Lampas Lake is a field that was once used for cattle to graze upon, as well as to cultivate fruits and vegetables for those who lived here. Now there are many trees full of various fruits, apricorns, and berries, but the wild Pokémon who dwell here become pretty irate if you try to take any food for yourself. Better watch out if you're feel those hunger pains, because you might be in for more than you'd bargained for if you try to pick any of these fruits.

Axal Village: Spreading from the eastern most point of Axal and down to the northern edge of the lake is the residential district of Axal City. Many small, ancient abodes can be found here, some with rather interesting inscriptions upon the walls. All parchments found have already been taken to either Atlas City's Museum or Library, but that doesn't mean there's nothing left to find. Some vagrants have set up home here, and aren't too friendly if you attempt to 'trespass' upon what they consider to be their property.

Lampas Lake: The very centre of Axal City and the main source of water for those who once dwelt here, Lampas Lake attracts many wild Pokémon who aren't all that used to seeing trainers. As people have been flocking into the ruined city, however, the Pokémon around here have begun to accept the sudden influx of humans, some of them being quite friendly if you have a little treat for them. At night the lake appears to sparkle as the Chinchou who live here talk to one another, their electrical signals making the lake a very pretty sight to behold as it twinkles just like the night sky.

Shrine of Plasius: An underwater shrine erected in honour of Plasius, the God of the Heavens, this wondrous discovery was made when a wild Chinchou was found floating in Lampas Lake, struggling to free itself of a beautiful golden necklace tied around it. Wondering where the necklace had come from, a diving crew was called in who discovered the shrine at the bottom of the lake. Many artefacts have since been recovered, but the shrine is so deep that you can only visit if you have a Pokémon who knows Dive. How it came to be submerged is a mystery scientists are still trying to solve.

The Celestial Temple: A large temple built to honour Celeste, Goddess of the Heavens. Hundreds of chambers lie within, each dedicated to a specific constellation. The prophets of Rebus believe that one may travel great distances when the planets are aligned, but just how far are they talking?



The Lost City of Rebus
An ancient version of the 'Bermuda Triangle', Rebus is a mysterious city located dead centre of the cities of Solaris, Lacuna, and Axal. The city of prophets, Rebus appears to have been inhabited mainly by those who dabbled in various realms of the occult. Texts reveal that while much legitimacy was given to the Prophecies of Rebus by the civilisations of its era, it was shunned by those who lived in Solaris, most likely due to fear. It is believed its location, whether deliberate or not, imbued the area with special mystical qualities resulting in those born here having the natural ability to see into the future. Only a handful of prophecies have been found since the city was first discovered by modern day explorers, all of which accurately depict cataclysmic events that have taken place during past centuries. The most interesting of stories discovered tells of a horrific curse placed upon the Goddess Farity whose death, as the Goddess of Fertility and the one who injects life to the Island of Talas, will result in the complete annihilation of the Talasian race as the curse spreads into the heart of each city. To save their land and their fellow Goddess, the isle's respective Gods united to save Farity, drawing the curse out of her. It was too late, however, as the curse had already spread across the land and into each city, so they each called upon their powers to contain the curse within special objects which were then hidden away in their respective areas. Not ever wanting the objects to be found, and the curse unleashed before it could be destroyed, they united once again, this time to bury all of their civilisations and the curse along with them before it could spread not just across Talas, but into the world beyond. Their work done for the time being, the Gods then fell into slumber until a cure could be found, their dreams intertwined with each other's while they devise a way in which to break the curse and allow their cities to live again. If this story is to believed, then why are these ancient civilisations still buried? Could it be the curse was never broken?

Areas:
Rebus Village: The City of Rebus mostly consisted of temples built for the prophets, or of temples and shines to honour the God and Goddess of Mystery, so the residential area of the city was very small, consisting of less than thirty abodes because families who were not directly descended from the prophets rarely stayed long. Some strange objects have been unearthed here, many of them hidden in cleverly concealed areas within the various abodes. If you're lucky you may just stumble across one of these hiding places, and if you're even luckier may even find a nice little souvenir to take home with you.

The House of Arctosia: A special school where natural born prophets were separated from the other children of Rebus and sent to learn. The details of their education is unknown, though it is said these pupils were very secretive. Is this because they had no wish to share their knowledge, or because they were being trained in various areas of the occult?

The Temple of Oracles: A meeting place of the Prophets of Rebus. It is said they gathered here whenever a cataclysmic event was prophesised. Unable to prevent these events, all they could do was warn of the oncoming disasters, trying to prevent as many casualties as possible.

The Divination Temple: A small temple made of stone with no inscriptions or markings anywhere inside. An incense holder stands at the front centre of the room, while mats woven from vines are spaced evenly throughout the room. It is said that the prophets used to come here when they felt their powers of foresight fading, meditating for days, and sometimes even weeks, at a time.

The Mystic Temple: A temple built to honour Arctosia, the Goddess of Mystery. Nobody knows what's inside, for only one of those who have entered have ever returned. Terrified out of his mind, and afflicted with some kind of unfathomable disease, his words were gibberish leaving him unable to pass along any information as to what had happened to him. He died shortly after leaving more questions than answers, and those who set out to discover what had caused his dire affliction have never been seen again.

enchantress
8th February 2009, 9:52 PM
This zone will initially be capped at FIVE members. If another ZA is hired, then more people will be able to enter.


Current Updatees

* ZoraJolteon
* Stark
* Hayward
* LordAndrew
* Food Guy

ZoraJolteon
10th February 2009, 7:14 AM
"Doo do do do, do do do. Do do do do." Zora sung to himself, looking forward to his archaeological expedition.
"Ro ro ro ro ro!" came the soft accompaniment from Myria, who he had opted to have partner him for the time being, theorising that his diminutive stature would be of some advantage when exploring. He had buried his thorns in Zora's long hair, and now managed to achieve a sufficient degree of entanglement to keep his own weight supported relatively painlessly as Zora walked along. Gazing across the expansive desert sands, he was pleased the direction of his intended destiation was so easily recognisable, the mountain which hosted the Lost City of Axal clearly visible in the distance.
"I bet that's your kind of place, eh?" he remarked to Myria, looking at the fields of green that bordered the city.
"Lia." came the positive reply.
"Too bad we're going to The Celestial Temple instead then, isn't it?" continued Zora, bracing himself as he felt several thorns scrape across his scalp. With the question of exactly why he felt the need to continue to tease his teammates when he knew that most of them were quite prepared to dish out physical retribution fresh on his mind, he continued on his way towards the temple, eager to investigate whatever was in store.

Stark
10th February 2009, 10:23 PM
The Lost Cities of Talas
The Archaeology Zone

Atlas City
A bustling city located alongside the Laos River. While there are several small, stray settlements scattered across the land, Atlas's reputation has spread worldwide since the discovery of the lost city of Sobek less than a mile from its shore. The incredibly large influx of scientists, trainers, and tourists has aided in building Atlas from a humble village into a modern and prosperous city. Walking the streets at night isn't recommended, however, as the sudden prosperity of Atlas City has also attracted many thieves.

Areas:
Port Pearl: A large, bustling port developed to handle the large amount of traffic now navigating the Laos River into Atlas City. Cargo ships, fishing trawlers, ferries, small tourist boats, and even five star cruise liners, all dock here. Café's, restaurants, boutiques, a couple of small inns, and a tour company all line the river banks making it a central hub of activity for the thriving metropolis of Atlas City.

A lone figure stood on the bow of the boat as the gentle wind of of the ocean blew his blond hair and long red coat out away from the rest of his body. His eyes squinted upon seeing the approaching shoreline and a slight smirk curled his lips as the anticipation of arrival began creeping into him. Archeological digs and endless deserts weren't exactly his favorite places to visit, but Fate had stepped in and put him on a boat to Talas instead of his preferred environmental destination. Not that it mattered. He had found that the more he asked about Talas, the more intrigued he became. Lost cities and forgotten history could prove to be quite interesting, even if it was only for the sake of saying that he had been there and seen it. This was an opportunity he told himself. An opportunity to not only vacation, but to adventure.

The port itself seemed common enough. At least from what he could see. Although it did seem busier than he would have expected. The draw of urban growth and financial opportunity most likely the largest contributing factors. Grabbing his pack from the deck and slinging it over his shoulder, Stark took one last look around the horizon from his spot at the front of the boat. His head tilted slightly with the realization that this was a far larger island than he was lead to believe. Meaning that he was bound to be in for more than just a weekend of sightseeing if he wanted to experience everything.

Finally stepping off the boat, Stark followed what he figured was the flow of people further into the port area where a numbers of small shops, restaurants, and inns lined the bank of the Laos river which in turn emptied into the ocean. His first order of business would be to figure out where he was and where he was going to go. To do that, he would need to find a place that knew the layout of the area. Fortunately, his bright green eyes didn't have to wait long until spying a sign for a tour company.

Smiling he commented to himself, "I would have sufficed with a pokecenter, but I can't complain." With that he made his way toward the Tour Company for some help before beginning his journey.

enchantress
21st February 2009, 3:58 PM
Atlas City

Port Pearl

Stark ~ Soon discovering that Talas is a much larger island than you'd first anticipated, it doesn't take long to realise you're going to need a little help in selecting the best possible areas in which to travel if you're to have any hope of exploring the more interesting aspects of the land during your stay. Scanning the area your eyes pass over the café's, restaurants, boutiques and inns built alongside the Laos River, before eventually homing in on a tour company. Figuring this to be the logical choice when it comes to searching out information regarding tourist destinations, you wander over, glancing briefly at a sign reading, "Talas Adventure Travel" hanging over the door. Once inside, you find yourself standing in the lobby of a surprisingly large tour company that seems to cater to a wide variety of tourism offers. A Celestial Cruise Line booth is to your right for those who wish to travel by water and stop at various locations along the Laos River. Charlie's Charters is to your left if you wish to charter a small plane to take you to the more inaccessible inland regions of the island. There are several other booths as well, including "Drifblim Day Excursions" who offer hot air balloon trips more for sightseeing than for travel, "Arcanine Tours" whose luxurious coaches will take you across the land in comfort, and "'Rough It' Adventures" who offer their camels, horses, and other forms of Pokémon travel for guided tours across the land for those who love camping under the desert stars at night. Posters on the walls depict images of various areas including the pyramids, excavation sites, and lost cities, along with brief descriptions of each of the attractions. While you're taking in all of this, you're suddenly startled by a friendly female voice coming from right behind you, asking, "Can I help you, sir?" Spinning around, you come face to face with a pretty girl of about eighteen whose long black hair is tied in a ponytail draped over her right shoulder. Her olive skin is flawless, while her beautiful hazel eyes sparkle with mischief. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," she apologises with a laugh, before turning to scan her eyes across the various booths in the room. "I saw you standing there looking a little confused, and thought I may be able to help..."



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon ~ Though the Isle of Talas has several areas of interest, the one that has drawn your attention today is the Celestial Temple located on the outskirts of the Lost City of Axal. The trek up the mountainside hasn't been an easy one, thick jungle and humid temperatures making it a long and arduous journey, but you've finally arrived and are thankful for the chance to relax for a few minutes before heading inside. Standing on the thick grass beside Lampas Lake, you look over the elegant, dome topped, black marble structure while Myria tugs impatiently at your hair, urging you to hurry up and get on with it. You don't really need any prompting though, for you're already eagerly awaiting your opportunity to explore the temple and are soon pulling open the large double doors inscribed with strange runic symbols, planets, and stars. Stepping inside, you're surprised to find that you're not swallowed by complete darkness as the doors swing silently shut behind you. Silence immediately envelops you, as though someone has hit a mute button somewhere, for there are absolutely no sounds to be heard from outside at all, only yours and Myria's soft breathing as you stand there allowing a moment for your eyes to adjust to the soft light. A dim, mystical, milky white glow appears to be emanating from the walls and ceiling around you, and considering you're completely cut off from any light source from the outside world, you can't help but wonder how this can even be possible. Looking around you find you're standing in the Celestial Temple's main vestibule with a large statue of a beautiful woman whom you're assuming to be Celeste, Goddess of the Heavens, being the central focal point. There are stairs leading up to a higher level of the temple, another set of stairs leading into the underground area of the temple, as well as three corridors leading into other ground floor areas; one to your left, one to your right, and the other directly opposite the doors through which you've just entered. While you're mulling over which path to take you begin to feel slightly uneasy, as though someone is watching you, and find yourself glancing at the statue now and again as though expecting it to come to life. Myria seems fascinated, taking in her surroundings while waiting for you to make your decision...

-Hayward-
22nd February 2009, 9:18 PM
Tap. Tap. Tap. The Meditite Medeo drummed his foot impatiently on the dusty ground. He hated waiting. Bored, he chose a speckled pebble from the middle of the path and idly flipped it at a nearby tree. The stony missile hit its mark with a barely audible plink!, ricocheted at a crazy angle, and disappeared from view. Medeo spied another pebble on the ground and moodily kicked it at a boulder just a few metres off the path.

Perched atop the enormous rock, the Trainer Benjamin Hale intently studied a map, while the Machop Macheo dozed contentedly in the cool grass at its base. They were at the intersection of two unpaved paths and Ben was trying to figure out which one to follow. With a quizzical look on his face, he dragged a hand through his short brown hair, and turned the map clockwise a quarter-turn. Unsatisfied, he gave it another similar rotation. He frowned, massaged his forehead, and looked up. His grey-green eyes fell on his diminutive companion pacing aimlessly nearby as he said, “I don’t know what to tell you, mate… I think we’re lost.”

Just then, a pathetic whimper came from Medeo’s empty stomach. The little Meditite regarded Ben with a jaundicied eye. “Sorry, mate, I’m hungry, too,” Ben replied sheepishly. “I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a decent bite to eat, but seeing as how I ran into a streak of terrible luck at Jirachi’s Casino… well, we just don’t have the money.” He shrugged, then added jokingly, “Aren’t Meditite supposed to be able to survive on nothing but the spiritual energy of the universe anyway?” Medeo didn’t respond, but folded his arms across his chest and sulked.

Afraid he had unintentionally hurt his little partner’s feelings, Ben tossed the map aside, and quickly scrambled down from his stony seat, nearly stepping on the snoozing Macheo in his haste. Hurrying over to the brooding Meditite, he fished around in the brown messenger bag slung over his shoulder and produced two plump, juicy-looking berries. “Here, eat these,” he said as he handed them to Medeo. “They’re our last ones.” Ben noticed Medeo’s hesitation and said, “It’s alright. Macheo had a few earlier, too.” The famished Meditite gobbled the mouth-watering fruit gratefully.

When he had finished, Ben placed his hands on Medeo’s tiny shoulders, locked gazes with his young friend, and spoke, “Look mate, we knew it wouldn’t be easy when we left home, but we can’t turn back now just because we’re out of money and food. Sure, we rescued Machop and helped capture that lunatic trainer, but we still have a lot of wrongs to make right.” Ashamed at his selfish behavior, Medeo hung his head guiltily as the last few words sunk in, and stared hard at the ground. After a moment, he let out a quiet sigh. Without looking at the teenage trainer, he nodded his understanding, then gazed sullenly at a nearby tree.





The Lost City of Lacuna
Located at the bottom of a deep valley laid out in the shape of a crescent moon, the Laos River provides the surrounding area with a rich source of nutrition. Thick jungle surrounds the ancient city whose inhabitants appear to have worshipped cats. Statues and inscriptions depict a very large, very muscular, panther-like feline as tall as a man whilst on all fours, but whether this creature is an extinct Pokémon or something else is anyone's guess. No references have been found in relation to this mythical beast, leaving many to wonder if it actually existed, or was simply a God worshipped by those who inhabited the city.


Wanting to break the awkward silence, Ben dropped his hands to his side and turned away. Glancing up at the sky, he casually remarked, “You know, according to the map, there’re supposed to be some old ruins around here somewhere… Maybe we can find something worth selling and get a bite to eat.” Medeo perked up slightly at the words “bite to eat”. Seeing that, Ben unclipped a red and white Pokeball from his belt and pointed it in the direction of the still-sleeping Macheo, recalling the Superpower Pokemon. “I think we should head this way,” he said, inclining his head to indicate the direction. Broke and hungry, the black-clad trainer and the small Meditite fell into step beside each other. Lost in their thoughts, they headed towards the valley, hoping to find the ruins; unsure what adventures fate had in store for them…
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LordAndrew
22nd February 2009, 9:29 PM
Taking his hand and moving parts of his hair behind his ear, Andrew took a look into the sky, examining the hazy color of it, noting any visible clouds.

"Why we came here I'll never understand; it's way too hot", he sighed, trudging across the vast land. Every few minutes, Andrew would look back, examining the footprints indented into the virgin sand, only to watch them vanish as the wind slowly carried away his trivial existance upon this land, smiling, continuing forward.

"I have my eyes set on that northmost pyramid. The idea of a place for a god of the earth is quite invigorating, don't you agree, Plusle?", smiling, watching his Plusle skip along the sand, hurrying to keep up. It merely nodded to his notion, with an indifferent demeanor.

"Well, I'm sure Sudowoodo would appreciate such a place, haha", he scoffed, marching on deeper into the desert, setting a course for the Northern Pyramid.

PeeGee
25th February 2009, 12:50 AM
The Lost Cities of Talas
The Archaeology Zone
Long since buried beneath the desert sands, the lost city of Sobek was discovered after a ferocious sandstorm uncovered part of an ancient abode. When archaeologists heard of the discovery they flocked from all over the world to examine the area, eventually unearthing several more vicinities in which the ruined remains of ancient civilisations have been laying undisturbed for thousands of years. Portions of the strange writings and hieroglyphs discovered in these lost cities have been translated, fuelling speculation that the entire of island of Talas is somehow tied in with the heavens. Items, carvings, texts, as well as some rather unsettling discoveries and mysterious events have helped to cement these theories in the minds of some, while others dismiss them as fantasy. Each of the cities are believed to be connected to the others somehow, but there are still missing pieces of a much larger puzzle to be found, leading scholars to believe that there are more cities that have yet to be discovered. Talas has now become a popular archaeological site which attracts scientists, scholars, tourists, and trainers from across the globe.



The Isle of Talas
A desert island so large it's been classified a continent, Talas would be a barren wasteland if not for the Laos River snaking its winding trail from the far north-west corner of the island and throughout the land before rejoining the sea in the south-east province. A mixture of desolate wasteland and tropical jungle, the conditions are so harsh that very few dare to live here. Several nomadic tribes traverse the land, preferring to steer clear of populated areas, though many small villages can be found not too far from the river's edge. Most inhabitants of these villages are quite friendly, but there are the odd settlements whose residents are not at all welcoming, particularly of foreigners. The lost cities aren't the only places of interest in Talas, however, and it's these more isolated locations that have perked the interest of many a curious trainer. Guided tours are offered for those who wish to travel in groups, but the more adventurous trainers prefer to make their own way around.

Areas:

The Sphinx: This Sphinx loves riddles so if you don't like them then this isn't the place for you. Answer the Sphinx's riddle and she will allow you entry. Once inside you will be faced with another twelve riddles. Each time you guess the correct answer you advance to the next stage where you will battle for your right to face another riddle. Make it to the end and you will receive great rewards, if you lose a battle or answer a riddle incorrectly you will find yourself back at the beginning.

A group, consisting of a tall human and two pokemon, walked through the desert area known as 'The Isle of Talas'. The boy, who was of average build and supporting a head of spiky brown hair, walked with an air of confidence. Karmas was excited about finally being able to go on an adventure, his first since beating Graham in the Forest of Adventure. The pokemon behind Karmas, a Pinocchio-look a like pokemon and a large ladybug, looked quite happy, despite the fact that they were out of their regular comfort zones.

"Having fun guys?" Karmas asked Watermelon, his Nuzleaf, and Dot, his Ledian, with a huge smile plastered on his face.

The pair of pokemon let out a couple of cries as they began to dance with each other. Karmas let out a little chuckle as he watched his two pokemon partners play around. But then he saw their destination. The Sphinx, a beautiful creation and Karmas was about to explore it.

"Let's go guys!" exclaimed the trainer, grabbing Watermelon and Dot's hand.

With that Karmas, dragging Watermelon and Dot, ran towards the Sphinx awaiting what was there.

Stark
27th February 2009, 3:02 AM
Atlas City

Port Pearl

Stark ~ Soon discovering that Talas is a much larger island than you'd first anticipated, it doesn't take long to realise you're going to need a little help in selecting the best possible areas in which to travel if you're to have any hope of exploring the more interesting aspects of the land during your stay. Scanning the area your eyes pass over the café's, restaurants, boutiques and inns built alongside the Laos River, before eventually homing in on a tour company. Figuring this to be the logical choice when it comes to searching out information regarding tourist destinations, you wander over, glancing briefly at a sign reading, "Talas Adventure Travel" hanging over the door. Once inside, you find yourself standing in the lobby of a surprisingly large tour company that seems to cater to a wide variety of tourism offers. A Celestial Cruise Line booth is to your right for those who wish to travel by water and stop at various locations along the Laos River. Charlie's Charters is to your left if you wish to charter a small plane to take you to the more inaccessible inland regions of the island. There are several other booths as well, including "Drifblim Day Excursions" who offer hot air balloon trips more for sightseeing than for travel, "Arcanine Tours" whose luxurious coaches will take you across the land in comfort, and "'Rough It' Adventures" who offer their camels, horses, and other forms of Pokémon travel for guided tours across the land for those who love camping under the desert stars at night. Posters on the walls depict images of various areas including the pyramids, excavation sites, and lost cities, along with brief descriptions of each of the attractions. While you're taking in all of this, you're suddenly startled by a friendly female voice coming from right behind you, asking, "Can I help you, sir?" Spinning around, you come face to face with a pretty girl of about eighteen whose long black hair is tied in a ponytail draped over her right shoulder. Her olive skin is flawless, while her beautiful hazel eyes sparkle with mischief. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," she apologises with a laugh, before turning to scan her eyes across the various booths in the room. "I saw you standing there looking a little confused, and thought I may be able to help..."

Stark nearly jumped out of his skin. Lord knows he wanted to when the voice caught him off guard. His first instinct screamed at him to turn and try to defend himself from the intruder whom approached him without his knowledge by trying to get in somekind of fighting stance. Instead he found himself quickly swiveling around and facing one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. His first first thoughts mired in confusion while his mind raced to catch up with what she was saying. Her hazel eyes seemed to draw him in with their beauty. Although he found a gleam in them that led him to believe there was more to her than just a pretty face. Not that pretty was the right word exactly. Her skin was just as flawless as her features. Her dark hair while pulled up in a ponytail still draped over her shoulder giving him the impression that she wasn't nearly as haphazard with her looks as he often was. Then again, had he known he was to be meeting someone like her he might have at least tried to look like he hadn't been traveling for endless weeks on end. As it turned out, he would just have to make the best of the situation.

Swallowing hard Stark put on his best sly half-grin while running a hand along side his head to futily push some of his wayward hair back out of his face. "Ummm... uhh... well..." he found himself tongue tied as his glance went to the floor in order to get himself together. It never seemed to fail. Everytime he was around a girl he found attractive he became confused and brought out an uncommon shyness within him. His hand clenched as he dug deep to find the courage to pull himself together and at least look at the girl.

"Of all the travel centers in all the world, I had to walk into yours," he said quietly as he once more looked her in the eyes, "To be honest, I sure hope you can help me. I just arrived, not that you probably couldn't tell that just by looking at me, and well I've never been here. I want to see everything but I don't know where to start. I mean you have so many options here. Although I do think I will skip the Celestial Cruise for the time being. Last time I was on a cruise, well it's a long story. Needless to say it didn't go as smoothly as we all hoped. Still, it was one of the best times I've had in my journey. I'm rambling aren't I?"

Without giving the girl a chance to answer Stark continued his babbling, "Please don't answer that. I mean it's not that I don't want you to talk or anything. I do. I can't imagine not wanting to talk to you." He paused for a second and rubbed his eyes and mouth with his hand, "Look, I'm not very good at this, but you're a very attractive young lady and well, seeing as how I'm new here and all maybe you could take me on a tour of the city this evening. We could start by going to a good restaurant and then take a walk to see the sights. Whaddya say? I'm Stark by the way."

enchantress
4th March 2009, 12:38 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Northern Pyramid

LordAndrew ~ Making your way across the vast isle of Talas toward the Northern Pyramid with the hot desert sun beating down upon you, you can't help but be excited by the prospect of seeing the ancient structure for yourself. Plusle appears indifferent, however, as it's all he can do to keep up with you at the moment as the sand dunes are turning your little adventure into quite a tiring trek, especially for him. Eventually finding yourself standing at the mouth of a gaping crater, you stare at the mammoth Northern Pyramid in awe. Its upper most point is so high that it extends beyond the top of the crater, and you find yourself craning your neck to get a better look. Making your way down the steep, sandy slope, you reach the base of the pyramid and wander around the entire perimeter before walking along the path leading to the entrance. Once there, you find a solid sandstone door which appears to be at least half a metre thick. Breaking through it will be an impossible task so you're not even going to try, but what catches your attention are the three crevasses (http://www.upnetwork.net/fb/zones/images/pyramidnorthsymbol.gif) in the door laid out in the shape of a triangle with a mark in the middle, above which is an inscription that reads:


To walk these labyrinthine halls
First you must open my sealed door,
Four tasks you must perform for me
Or to your entrance I'll not agree,
At the top place a part of a living type
Who is made of the earth where things grow ripe,
To the left I'll need the desert sand
Specially treated to boost the earth type's hand,
To the right a symbol of abilities power
Where those not ground will surely cower,
Once the three are all aligned
You must then make them shine,
So call upon your hidden power
And I'll grant you entry to my forbidden tower.

So it seems that in order to enter the Northern Pyramid which has been built to worship the God of the Earth, you must first collect three items and then 'activate' them in order to open the door. Wondering if it's worth the trouble, you're mulling over the words when you hear a grunt behind you. Turning, you see a rather irate Geodude sitting on the sand, staring angrily at you. It doesn't appear too pleased with your presence and punches the ground in warning, indicating you'd better leave now or you're in for a fight...


The Sphinx

Food Guy ~ Walking through the desert with Watermelon and Dot in tow, you're really looking forward to unravelling the mysteries of the Sphinx. She is said to be quite the trickster, and willing to put any who challenge her to the test by physically and mentally wearing them down. You're fairly confident in your abilities to outwit her, however, and upon reaching your destination stare up at the beautiful creation in wonder. The monolithic sandstone statue must be at least one hundred and fifty metres long, twelve metres wide, and forty metres tall. Her feline body is reclining elegantly in the desert sand, her human head poised in eternal vigilance as her eyes gaze out across the land, and while you take the time to examine her you hear an angelic female voice address you.

"Welcome Karmas," says the intriguing voice. "You have come here for a challenge, and I am here to provide you with not one, but twelve. If you succeed you will be rewarded, if not you'll find yourself back at the beginning."

Looking up at her you see no sign of movement, wondering how it is that she can speak, but her voice is so mesmerising that all thoughts of 'how' soon fade into insignificance. You've come here for a challenge, and the Sphinx has accepted. Now it's time to crank your brain into gear because if the rumours are true then she's not going to make it easy, especially the further you come to reaching your goal.

"Twelve challenges you'll encounter within my frame, but before you can enter you must face an additional challenge," the Sphinx continues. "Answer this riddle and your adventure begins, fail and you'll not know the excitement within. Are you ready, Karmas?"

Before you can answer yes or no, the Sphinx is rattling off the riddle you'll need to solve in order to gain entry, so listening intently you try to make sense of the challenge she's put before you.

"Radon, Holmium, Yttrium, and Rhodium are symbols of what make me. Join them together, mix them around, and you'll see that I am from the ground. What am I?"



Atlas City

Port Pearl

Stark ~ The more uncomfortable you become, the wider the girl smiles. Her eyes are twinkling while you stumble over your words, giving you the distinct impression the beauty standing before you has become quite accustomed to this kind of response from the men she's met. "I'm Carolina, and you're quite a handsome young man yourself," she replies with a cheeky grin, reaching out to shake your hand. "I don't normally mix business with pleasure, but I don't mind making an exception for you. In fact," she continues, looking at her watch, "I'm about to finish my shift, so we can head over to Atlas City now if you like. I live in Perona and need to go home to change into something more appropriate for our date, and can show you some sights on the way. I'll be back in a tic!"

A few minutes later Carolina is by your side as you walk along the streets leading into Atlas City, her bubbly personality winning you over more and more with each passing minute. She points out the Library, Museum, and Emporium Hotel before walking into the Marketplace which is a bustling hive of activities. "You're going to need somewhere to stay while you're here," Carolina says, smiling, "so if you're not already booked into a hotel the Emporium is quite impressive. They even say the thirteenth floor is haunted by kings and queens of the past so if you're lucky you might run into a ghost." She laughs at this, obviously thinking the stories to be nothing but the overactive imaginings of hotel patrons who had spent a little too long drinking in the hotel's bar, but just the thought of there being a haunted hotel here in Atlas City is something you find rather intriguing.

While you're wandering through the marketplace Carolina wraps her arm through yours, a gesture indicating just how comfortable she feels in your presence despite the fact you barely know one another. "So where shall we eat tonight?" Carolina asks, reminding you of the fact you'd invited her to dinner. "I love food so much!" she says, plucking a plump strawberry from a fruit stall she's standing beside and flicking a coin to its owner. Taking a bite, she smiles and places the other half of the strawberry to your lips, smiling while watching you shyly bite the other half before continuing to wind her way casually throughout the mass of people and stalls in the area. "There are restaurants for every occasion in Atlas City," she continues, "Italian, Oriental, Seafood, you name it, we have it. Some are more elaborate than others, but all are very nice. We can talk about the sites to see in Talas, and the best way to travel to each location, and then tomorrow we can draw up a travel plan to make sure you see everything the land has to offer, but for now I must head home. "We'll meet in Atlas, just outside of the Emporium at around eight o'clock," she says, leaning forward to kiss your cheek before turning around and bouncing off down the street leading into Perona, the residential district of Atlas City.

Completely floored by the energetic, bubbly, and divinely beautiful Carolina, you can't help but stare after her as she walks along the street. You're amazed by how quickly you're building a friendship with her, but at the same time can't help but feel it's a little strange that she's put so much trust into a total stranger so quickly. You're distracted from your thoughts, however, when you notice a man emerge from a lane just behind Carolina after she passes by. He appears to be in his early twenties, his skin the same olive hue as Carolina's, is about 5'8" with a lean, yet athletic build, and is wearing casual black trousers and white shirt. His shoulder length black hair is messy, but it's the way his eyes are focused only on Carolina, and the way he stumbles back into the shadow of a doorway when she turns to wave to you that causes your breath to catch in your throat. After she turns and continues on her way home, the man looks in your direction, trying to locate the person she'd waved to, but you're quick to blend in with the crowd, losing yourself in plain sight. He then hurries after her, and as she turns a corner and is lost from sight feel a lump of fear lodge itself in the pit of your stomach as he disappears around the corner after her...



The Lost City of Lacuna

Rapa's Temple

Hayward ~ Lost, destitute, hungry, tired, and very hot under the blistering desert sun, all you can do is try to reason with Medeo who appears to want to be anywhere but here. Tossing him a couple of berries to placate him for the time being, you figure you can't be too far from the ruins of one of the lost cities of Talas even though your examination of the land's map hasn't helped much in your efforts to pinpoint your exact location. Deciding that poking around in the ruins may prove fruitful, especially if you're able to sell an artefact or two to make up for the money you've lost gambling, you head out into the desert in search of a little something that will hopefully fatten your wallet in the forseeable future. After wandering idly for another half hour or so you eventually find yourselves standing alongside the Laos River and take a few moments to cool off in the refreshing water before following it to see where it leads. A short while later you're descending into a deep valley, and as the terrain changes from rock and sand to lush green foliage, Medeo starts to perk up because wherever there is plant life there is sure to be food. The chatter of wild birds can be heard in the trees above, while the occasional rustling of foliage tells you there are other Pokémon around as well who are preferring to stay out of sight of the strangers passing though their land, but when you eventually emerge from the jungle surrounds to find a temple built upon a small island not too far from the river, you finally know exactly where you are. You'd read a brief description of the Rapa's Temple in which it was stated that the site is situated about a quarter of a mile from the ruins of Lacuna, and considering the fact this island temple is surrounded by water then you reason that you must be close to the lost city of Lacuna. The wooden bridge that once spanned the 'moat' leading to the island is broken, so the only way to get to it is to swim, but you also remember reading that this temple has been sealed for a very long time; nobody has ever been inside of it so you're not sure if you really want to be wasting time looking for inaccessible treasures when Lacuna itself may very well provide you with something worth your while. Medeo taps your leg, nodding warily toward the mutilated skeletal remains of a human partially submerged in the water before looking up at you with concern. It certainly can't hurt to explore the area, but then again, the ruins of Lacuna aren't that far away so perhaps the city itself may be the safer option...

Stark
4th March 2009, 9:47 PM
The Isle of Talas

Atlas City

Port Pearl

Stark ~ The more uncomfortable you become, the wider the girl smiles. Her eyes are twinkling while you stumble over your words, giving you the distinct impression the beauty standing before you has become quite accustomed to this kind of response from the men she's met. "I'm Carolina, and you're quite a handsome young man yourself," she replies with a cheeky grin, reaching out to shake your hand. "I don't normally mix business with pleasure, but I don't mind making an exception for you. In fact," she continues, looking at her watch, "I'm about to finish my shift, so we can head over to Atlas City now if you like. I live in Perona and need to go home to change into something more appropriate for our date, and can show you some sights on the way. I'll be back in a tic!"

A few minutes later Carolina is by your side as you walk along the streets leading into Atlas City, her bubbly personality winning you over more and more with each passing minute. She points out the Library, Museum, and Emporium Hotel before walking into the Marketplace which is a bustling hive of activities. "You're going to need somewhere to stay while you're here," Carolina says, smiling, "so if you're not already booked into a hotel the Emporium is quite impressive. They even say the thirteenth floor is haunted by kings and queens of the past so if you're lucky you might run into a ghost." She laughs at this, obviously thinking the stories to be nothing but the overactive imaginings of hotel patrons who had spent a little too long drinking in the hotel's bar, but just the thought of there being a haunted hotel here in Atlas City is something you find rather intriguing.

While you're wandering through the marketplace Carolina wraps her arm through yours, a gesture indicating just how comfortable she feels in your presence despite the fact you barely know one another. "So where shall we eat tonight?" Carolina asks, reminding you of the fact you'd invited her to dinner. "I love food so much!" she says, plucking a plump strawberry from a fruit stall she's standing beside and flicking a coin to its owner. Taking a bite, she smiles and places the other half of the strawberry to your lips, smiling while watching you shyly bite the other half before continuing to wind her way casually throughout the mass of people and stalls in the area. "There are restaurants for every occasion in Atlas City," she continues, "Italian, Oriental, Seafood, you name it, we have it. Some are more elaborate than others, but all are very nice. We can talk about the sites to see in Talas, and the best way to travel to each location, and then tomorrow we can draw up a travel plan to make sure you see everything the land has to offer, but for now I must head home. "We'll meet in Atlas, just outside of the Emporium at around eight o'clock," she says, leaning forward to kiss your cheek before turning around and bouncing off down the street leading into Perona, the residential district of Atlas City.

Completely floored by the energetic, bubbly, and divinely beautiful Carolina, you can't help but stare after her as she walks along the street. You're amazed by how quickly you're building a friendship with her, but at the same time can't help but feel it's a little strange that she's put so much trust into a total stranger so quickly. You're distracted from your thoughts, however, when you notice a man emerge from a lane just behind Carolina after she passes by. He appears to be in his early twenties, his skin the same olive hue as Carolina's, is about 5'8" with a lean, yet athletic build, and is wearing casual black trousers and white shirt. His shoulder length black hair is messy, but it's the way his eyes are focused only on Carolina, and the way he stumbles back into the shadow of a doorway when she turns to wave to you that causes your breath to catch in your throat. After she turns and continues on her way home, the man looks in your direction, trying to locate the person she'd waved to, but you're quick to blend in with the crowd, losing yourself in plain sight. He then hurries after her, and as she turns a corner and is lost from sight feel a lump of fear lodge itself in the pit of your stomach as he disappears around the corner after her...

Stark was beside himself. For a moment he wasn't even sure how to respond when she introduced herself to him. The fact that she had called him handsome only furthered to throw him a off despite it's ego building result. Smiling he took her hand and introduced himself, "I'm... ahh... I mean... I'm Stark." Carolina, as she had called herself, had once more surprised him by accepting his offer of a date. He really didn't expect her to say yes, but he wasn't going to complain. Afterall, seeing the city with someone is far more enjoyable than seeing it alone. Not to mention seeing it with someone as seemingly enjoyable and beautiful as Carolina meant it would be a trip to remember for a long time. He had spent so much time wandering with just his pokemon that the change of pace of human companionship was a refreshing change. He, of course, loved his pokemon and wouldn't give them up or their time together for the world, but here was an opportunity for him to relax and enjoy himself without having to think about training. For once he felt he could be a little selfish in his indulgence. Besides, she had a great name he thought as she disappeared for a few seconds. His hands moved behind his back as he began to rock on his heels taking another look around the travel agency while he waited. There was so much to do in this land of Talas. Originally, he had been worried that coming here may have been a mistake, but after meeting this girl, he was sure that this might very well be the greatest adventure of his life.

It wasn't long before the trainer found himself walking side by side with Carolina as she pointed out some of the sights of Atlas. The Library, the museum, even the Emporium hotel.

"You're going to need somewhere to stay while you're here," Carolina said, smiling, "so if you're not already booked into a hotel the Emporium is quite impressive. They even say the thirteenth floor is haunted by kings and queens of the past so if you're lucky you might run into a ghost."

Apparently haunted by ghosts or something. "Well, then I guess I'll just have to stay off of that floor if I can help it huh?" he responded with a warm smile, "I mean it'd be a shame if I missed out on our date because of a few spooks." He had known about ghost pokemon, but had never really been able to wrap his head around the idea of human ghosts and spirits staying in their haunts. Superstitions often led to wild stories of the supernatural when a logical conclusion couldn't be figured out. That wasn't to say he didn't believe in ghosts. Just that seeing was believing. Still, the idea of staying in a haunted hotel was intriguing. One that he would have to follow up on later.

Carolina's personality somehow was able to get him to let his guard down and relax. There was just something about her outgoing bubbly personality that caused him to feel that warm inner glow of happiness that comes when a person can just be themselves. It had been some time since he had felt this way. And with a stranger no less. Normally he found himself rather shy and quiet around those he didn't know. Carolina, however, had him talking and not caring about anything in the world other than the two of them. When she wrapped her arm in his he felt a strange tingle course through his body. For a second he just wanted to hold her close and never let her go. His feelings were quickly interrupted when she asked him where to go to eat? The sights and smells of the marketplace soon reminded him that he hadn't eaten yet. Not that he could right now. His mind and stomach were on different levels. Before he could answer, he found himself entranced as she took a bite of a plump juicy strawberry only to offer him the second bite by holding it up to his lips. Stark's eyes went a little wide as he fought against any instincts to decline her offer or run off. Smiling, he awkwardly took a bite thanking the heavens that he did. The berry was amazingly sweet. He closed his eyes for a second to savor the taste and wonder if he was dreaming all of this.

"There are restaurants for every occasion in Atlas City," she continued, "Italian, Oriental, Seafood, you name it, we have it. Some are more elaborate than others, but all are very nice. We can talk about the sites to see in Talas, and the best way to travel to each location, and then tomorrow we can draw up a travel plan to make sure you see everything the land has to offer, but for now I must head home. We'll meet in Atlas, just outside of the Emporium at around eight o'clock."

"Sounds good," Stark replied resisting the urge to draw her near, "I'll figure out what kind of food we should get. And who knows, maybe I'll have a surprise or two for you."

Stark watched as Carolina walked away. His thoughts on nothing other than how fortunate he had been to meet her. How great she had been. How odd it was that they seemed to click so well having only known each other for a very short time. He lifted his arm up and checked the poketech watch he wore on his wrist from his ill fated trip to Midnight Island. "Eight o'clock," he mumbled to himself, "I've got time." He once again looked up to watch Carolina depart only to see a young man of about the same age as him step out behind her and start following her. His face turned steely as he took a few steps after them only to stop when Carolina turned back and waved to him. The stranger pursuing her ducking into a doorway. With a smile Stark waved back to Carolina as if nothing was wrong, but the moment she turned his face went deadly serious once more. Not wanting to give himself away too soon he turned slightly and looked at his poketech once more. Or at least pretended to look at it. His eyes focused on the stranger. The one searching for whoever Carolina had been waving at. Somehow amidst the crowd, the man was unable to tell that it was Stark waving back at Carolina. A slight smirk crossed the trainer's lips as his ruse to hide in plain sight had succeeded. unfortunately, that was of little comfort as the man soon disappeared around the same corner Carolina had turned.

"What was that about?" Stark asked no one in particular as a feeling of fear and concern over his new friend grew. He didn't know the man, nor did he know if was worrying about nothing, but the way the guy seemed to be stalking her sent up a red flag as far as he was concerned. There were a million different answers, but only one truth. And he wasn;t going to learn it by just standing around jumping to conclusions. Taking a few quick steps that eventually turned into a full blown run, the trainer stopped at the corner debating whether or not to remain stealthy and wait for the perfect opportunity to see what was going on. The decision was short as he felt the crunch of time weighing in on him. Cloak and dagger, hide and seek. These games could be played another time. For now he needed to follow his instincts and those instincts told him that he had to make sure Carolina was safe. Rounding the corner at a fast walk he stopped and searched for any sign of the girl he had come to care so much about in such a short time.

-Hayward-
5th March 2009, 5:04 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Lost City of Lacuna

Rapa's Temple

Hayward ~ Lost, destitute, hungry, tired, and very hot under the blistering desert sun, all you can do is try to reason with Medeo who appears to want to be anywhere but here. Tossing him a couple of berries to placate him for the time being, you figure you can't be too far from the ruins of one of the lost cities of Talas even though your examination of the land's map hasn't helped much in your efforts to pinpoint your exact location. Deciding that poking around in the ruins may prove fruitful, especially if you're able to sell an artefact or two to make up for the money you've lost gambling, you head out into the desert in search of a little something that will hopefully fatten your wallet in the forseeable future. After wandering idly for another half hour or so you eventually find yourselves standing alongside the Laos River and take a few moments to cool off in the refreshing water before following it to see where it leads. A short while later you're descending into a deep valley, and as the terrain changes from rock and sand to lush green foliage, Medeo starts to perk up because wherever there is plant life there is sure to be food. The chatter of wild birds can be heard in the trees above, while the occasional rustling of foliage tells you there are other Pokémon around as well who are preferring to stay out of sight of the strangers passing though their land, but when you eventually emerge from the jungle surrounds to find a temple built upon a small island not too far from the river, you finally know exactly where you are. You'd read a brief description of the Rapa's Temple in which it was stated that the site is situated about a quarter of a mile from the ruins of Lacuna, and considering the fact this island temple is surrounded by water then you reason that you must be close to the lost city of Lacuna. The wooden bridge that once spanned the 'moat' leading to the island is broken, so the only way to get to it is to swim, but you also remember reading that this temple has been sealed for a very long time; nobody has ever been inside of it so you're not sure if you really want to be wasting time looking for inaccessible treasures when Lacuna itself may very well provide you with something worth your while. Medeo taps your leg, nodding warily toward the mutilated skeletal remains of a human partially submerged in the water before looking up at you with concern. It certainly can't hurt to explore the area, but then again, the ruins of Lacuna aren't that far away so perhaps the city itself may be the safer option...

The golden orb of the sun had reached the zenith of its daily journey across the desert sky. With a ferocity bordering on persecution, it beat down mercilessly upon the lost and weary travelers. Ben removed his jacket and shirt and stuffed them into his messenger bag, opting to go shirtless; while Medeo tried in vain to shield his onion-shaped head with his tiny hands. In a silence that spoke more than words, the penniless, pathetic pair soldiered on; not entirely sure if the rumors they had heard about the nearby ruins were even true, knowing only that they were in desperate need of food and money. Having not begun this trip in best of spirits, they marched glumly across the desert. Leading the way, the trainer Ben Hale was beginning to wonder if searching for the lost cities of Talas had been such a good idea after all. His usually amiable Meditite partner Medeo wore a sullen expression, and still sulking, followed behind him at a short distance. After roughly thirty minutes of directionless wandering, with nothing to show for their labor, Ben had just begun to despair, when suddenly he spied something shimmering in the distance.

“Hey! Look at that, mate!” Ben croaked out in a dry, raspy voice. As Medeo hurried to his side, Ben pointed at what he had seen. “It looks like mirage, but it could be water. We better check it out.” Curious, the duo rushed to investigate. The closer they came, the more certain they were that it was not a cruel desert illusion, but a real, flowing river. “This must be the River Laos!” The teenage trainer exclaimed, recalling what he had learned from the map. “It’s the island’s major waterway. Let’s take a short break and then see where it leads.” Medeo heartily agreed, and waded out into shallows of the river. Ben stripped down to his boxers; leaving his trousers, running shoes, and messenger bag on the bank, and joined Medeo in the cool water. Whether it was simply the refreshing coolness or some mystical restorative effect of the ancient River, they didn’t know; but as they floated leisurely on their on their backs and stared at the sky, the two friends actually felt their spirits lifting.

Their peaceful break was short-lived; Ben signaled to Medeo and the duo reluctantly exited the river. Letting the warmth of the sun embrace them, they sat on the bank for a moment, drying off. Deciding to do a bit of scouting, Medeo disappeared off down the bank a short ways, while Ben pulled on his pants, slipped into his sneakers, and slung his messenger bag over his thin, shirtless frame. As Ben finished dressing, the diminutive Meditite jogged up. Ben noticed that Medeo wore a slightly more cheerful expression as he motioned excitedly for his trainer to follow him. The two companions set off at a trot, keeping the river to their side as they followed its course. After only a short while, they came to a deeply-forested vale. Medeo smiled and pointed, and Ben realized that this had been the source of his partner’s excitement earlier. Ben grinned in return, and still following the river, they descended into the lush valley.

The further they advanced into the valley, the greener their surroundings became. As they entered the jungle, they had observed from the ridge, they heard birdsong in the vast canopy stretching above their heads, and noticed the slight rustle of the foliage along the path. The plants grew in thick clusters, and their intertwining branches and leaves made it impossible for Ben and Medeo to catch a glimpse of any of the jungle’s bashful inhabitants hiding in the undergrowth. Smiling hungrily, Medeo’s eyes widened at the sight of all the mouth-watering fruit hanging freely from the branches of the trees. He stopped to pick a few of the jungle's ripest offerings. Ben kept walking, but cautioned him. “Careful mate. You never know when you might actually be grabbing a Tropius’s neck.” Medeo looked around suspciously, quickly popped his pickings into his mouth, and hurried to rejoin Ben. The trainer’s concerns were unrealized however, and he and the Meditite crossed the jungle without incident.

Still following the River Laos, Ben and Medeo emerged from the tropical forest, and found that the waterway now ringed a small island, upon which sat an ancient temple. Ben bolted in surprise at their find; he knew what it was and realized almost immediately what it meant. “That’s Rapa’s Temple, mate!” he exclaimed, nodding toward the stately structure. “The Lacuna Ruins are less than half-a-kilometre from here.” As he surveyed their surroundings, Ben’s grey-green eyes fell on the ruined remains of a dilapidated wooden bridge. They would have to find another way across. Suddenly, he felt a sharp tug on his pant leg. Glancing down, he noticed the hesitant look on his little companion’s face. “What’s wrong?” he asked. Medeo pointed at something, and Ben was shocked to see the decaying corpse of a human half-submerged in the water.

Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, the teenage trainer considered their options. He knew if they wanted to explore the temple, they would have swim for the island. While he was curious about what kind of valuable relics the majestic building might contain, something about the water surrounding the temple filled him with unease. On top of that, he recalled reading that the temple itself had been sealed for quite a while. If they were able to cross the moat, there was no guarantee that would even be able to find an entrance. He was fairly certain that no one had ever been inside; if they had, they hadn’t come out alive. Ben knew it wouldn’t hurt to explore the area, but they were so close to the ruins of Lacuna City that he decided it would be wise not to waste the time chasing a treasure that was probably unattainable anyway.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this place, mate.” Ben finally remarked. “Something about that water… Lacuna’s not that far away. Let’s head there.” Medeo nodded, and they were off. Choosing the safer of the two options, the teenage trainer and the small Meditite set their face toward the Lacuna Ruins…

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Shadowshocker
12th March 2009, 5:04 PM
ZA Shadow, reporting for duty in lieu of Tess. Here's to a series of exciting tales and tribulations, gentlemen!



Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With concerns for Carolina running through your mind, you turn past the corner where Carolina and the stranger went past, into a separate street that while still populated with tourists and locals moving about, gives off a different vibe from the bustling, wide open area of the marketplace. You realise with a start that you're beginning to delve into the seedier areas of the commercial region, and with your heart beating adrenalin through your body you reflexively raise a hand to touch the place where Carolina had kissed you earlier. This is certainly no place for a girl like Carolina, you think, and given that thought you continue your pursuit of the two, though guided more by instinct than anything else. Fleeting figures pass you by as you run, deeper amongst the alleys and structures, until you find yourself in a most quiet area in the market. Abandoned stalls lie against the edges of the streets, litter flies up and rides along the whispering breezes, and against the setting sun the few functioning lights flicker dysfunctionally to form dark silhouettes on the ground. Even the air itself seems to carry an aura of simmering conflict, as though at any point in time the shadows themselves might leap out and mug you.

"Why are you here?!" All of a sudden, you recognise Carolina's voice in the vicinity, clearly distressed and frustrated. "Why did you follow me?!"

"You know why I'm here, Lina." Another voice, whom you can only assume to belong to the man you saw earlier, comes gruff and questioning. "Why do you keep doing this? Doing this to yourself?"

"Don't you get it?" Carolina is heard again, exasperation distinct in her retort. "There's no other way out for us, Lawrence! You know as well as I do that we can't survive otherwise!"

"I don't want you getting involved!" roars the other person. "Especially not like this! Have you forgotten --"

"I have NOT forgotten!" screams Carolina. "You bring that up every time we argue! But what does it matter? I don't see YOU ever helping out!"

Feeling you've heard enough, you run in the direction where the voices are coming from, rounding a few more passageways before finally curving about a dead end where Carolina and the man known as Lawrence stand, with Lawrence cornering Carolina with his arms akimbo. Both their faces are flushed from their heated debate, but a surge of rage seems to burst from within you at the mystery man. How dare he harass Carolina like that?

"Oh, Stark!" Suddenly noticing your presence, Carolina darts from behind Lawrence, running behind you to cower. "You came just in time, Stark! This stalker won't stop following me no matter what I do!"

"Stalker?" Lawrence narrows his eyes at the two of you, before his lips curl into a snarl. "Look, man," he says, addressing you, "There's no need for anyone else to get involved. This is our business; no room for nosey-parkers like you to butt in. I handle this, with her alone."

"Help me, Stark!" pleads Carolina.

Multiple thoughts are running through your brain. Carolina seems desperate, it's true, and the scenario seems rather clear-cut... or does something lie behind the expressions of your newfound acquaintances? What will you choose to do?



The Lost City of Lacuna

The Ruins of Lacuna

Hayward
Feeling safer with facing the ruins of Lacuna, you and Medeo make your way from the murky depths surrounding Rapa's Temple, heading through the jungle foliage in what you hope is the right direction. It doesn't take long before you are graced with the sight of what appears to be houses beyond the vegetation, and as you rustle past the final few bits of plant you behold the remains of Lacuna in all their glory... that is, as far as the ruins go. Some brick houses of mud still stand, resilient against the test of time, while elsewhere piles of eroded debris dot the landscape. Fronds of jungle leaves scatter about the ground along with remains of pottery and other remnants of stones, and only the rustling of the surrounding jungle echoes about the area. Above all, nothing of value seems to be present, and you note this fact with disappointment. Your preliminary analysis certainly isn't positive, and you start to wonder if your journey was fruitful at all.

Walking amongst the houses, you take your time leisurely, looking about the emptied community for signs of anything that might be of interest, but what stands out to you from the ambience of the city is that it seems abandoned. With no signs to suggest a hostile takeover or a coordinated deconstruction for nomadic movement, you have this nagging feeling that the city's inhabitants just upped and left their settlement. But if so, for what reason?

"Medi!" Without you noticing where you've been walking, Medeo's excited cry suddenly grabs your attention. Looking ahead, you realise you are in some form of forum or town square, where a squat conical rock stands in the centre of a clearing. What does catch your intrigue at first is the sunlight glinting off something embedded in the rock, prompting you to run forward and investigate. As you near, the glint reveals itself to be a Moon Stone, partly stuck in the stone, and as you wrap your hand around it to try and prise it out you find the attempt useless. Sighing, you inspect the rock more closely, noticing against the moss and lichens growing on it strange symbols appear to have been etched into the rock's surface. You brush off some of the miniature plants, placing a hand to what you think is the leftmost symbol, when all of a sudden a strange illuminescence overtakes the hieroglyph you just made contact with. The peculiar glow spills over to the symbol immediately on the right, then the next, and the next. Soon enough the rows of ancient text have all taken on the same bizarre light, and before you can try to understand what this all means you feel a disembodied thought suddenly run through your brain:


Rapa and Saros, of dark and of light,
Together controlled the moon and its might.
The tides did flow, they ebbed and they waved,
In the valley of sands, a people they saved.
Lacuna both grew in size and in life,
But could not escape the celestial strife.
Rapa and Saros, of distant extremes,
Were insistent that each alone reigned supreme.
A battle was waged, Lacuna was torn
Between the two deities Lacuna had sworn.
The factions did clash, no victor apparent,
And Lacuna was left, abandoned and barren.
But legends speak of a one chosen who might,
Awaken the glow and the factions, unite...

As the poem runs through its final lines you feel the sensation of being thrown backward, and when you finally return back to reality you find Medeo kneeling concernedly, next to your form lying on the ground. Picking yourself up, you notice that not only are the symbols STILL glowing, but the Moon Stone has also started to take on a most mystical, mesmerising glow. Somehow you feel inexplicably drawn to it, and even as you look at the now rather extraordinary evolution stone you feel the words of the poem pulse through your mind...

What will you do?

-Hayward-
13th March 2009, 5:44 AM
ZA Shadow, reporting for duty in lieu of Tess. Here's to a series of exciting tales and tribulations, gentlemen!





The Lost City of Lacuna

The Ruins of Lacuna

Hayward
Feeling safer with facing the ruins of Lacuna, you and Medeo make your way from the murky depths surrounding Rapa's Temple, heading through the jungle foliage in what you hope is the right direction. It doesn't take long before you are graced with the sight of what appears to be houses beyond the vegetation, and as you rustle past the final few bits of plant you behold the remains of Lacuna in all their glory... that is, as far as the ruins go. Some brick houses of mud still stand, resilient against the test of time, while elsewhere piles of eroded debris dot the landscape. Fronds of jungle leaves scatter about the ground along with remains of pottery and other remnants of stones, and only the rustling of the surrounding jungle echoes about the area. Above all, nothing of value seems to be present, and you note this fact with disappointment. Your preliminary analysis certainly isn't positive, and you start to wonder if your journey was fruitful at all.

Walking amongst the houses, you take your time leisurely, looking about the emptied community for signs of anything that might be of interest, but what stands out to you from the ambience of the city is that it seems abandoned. With no signs to suggest a hostile takeover or a coordinated deconstruction for nomadic movement, you have this nagging feeling that the city's inhabitants just upped and left their settlement. But if so, for what reason?

"Medi!" Without you noticing where you've been walking, Medeo's excited cry suddenly grabs your attention. Looking ahead, you realise you are in some form of forum or town square, where a squat conical rock stands in the centre of a clearing. What does catch your intrigue at first is the sunlight glinting off something embedded in the rock, prompting you to run forward and investigate. As you near, the glint reveals itself to be a Moon Stone, partly stuck in the stone, and as you wrap your hand around it to try and prise it out you find the attempt useless. Sighing, you inspect the rock more closely, noticing against the moss and lichens growing on it strange symbols appear to have been etched into the rock's surface. You brush off some of the miniature plants, placing a hand to what you think is the leftmost symbol, when all of a sudden a strange illuminescence overtakes the hieroglyph you just made contact with. The peculiar glow spills over to the symbol immediately on the right, then the next, and the next. Soon enough the rows of ancient text have all taken on the same bizarre light, and before you can try to understand what this all means you feel a disembodied thought suddenly run through your brain:


Rapa and Saros, of dark and of light,
Together controlled the moon and its might.
The tides did flow, they ebbed and they waved,
In the valley of sands, a people they saved.
Lacuna both grew in size and in life,
But could not escape the celestial strife.
Rapa and Saros, of distant extremes,
Were insistent that each alone reigned supreme.
A battle was waged, Lacuna was torn
Between the two deities Lacuna had sworn.
The factions did clash, no victor apparent,
And Lacuna was left, abandoned and barren.
But legends speak of a one chosen who might,
Awaken the glow and the factions, unite...

As the poem runs through its final lines you feel the sensation of being thrown backward, and when you finally return back to reality you find Medeo kneeling concernedly, next to your form lying on the ground. Picking yourself up, you notice that not only are the symbols STILL glowing, but the Moon Stone has also started to take on a most mystical, mesmerising glow. Somehow you feel inexplicably drawn to it, and even as you look at the now rather extraordinary evolution stone you feel the words of the poem pulse through your mind...

What will you do?


*OOC = Thanks Shadow for continuing the adventure. *salutes*

Pushing the last bits of emerald, leafy foliage that had overgrown the path aside, the trainer Benjamin Hale let out a grateful sigh as his grey-green eyes fell on the ruins of Lacuna City. Having abandoned his map a while ago, the teenage trainer had opted to rely on his instincts to lead him in the right direction. As he gazed on the remnants of the once great city, he realized that they had not disappointed him. Only moments ago, he and his traveling companion, the reckless Meditite Medeo, had stood on a bank opposite Rapa’s Temple and decided to forgo roving through through its abandoned corridors and press on in search of what they had felt would be the safer option. Broke and hungry, the duo had decided that, while ransacking Rapa’s Temple might provide them with some valuable artifacts to sell, the moat surrounding the ancient sanctuary had seemed less than inviting; the sight of floating, half-rotten corpses had filled them both with unease, and they had set off in haste for Lacuna City.


* * *

Not wanting to miss any partially concealed priceless antiquity, Ben and Medeo strolled leisurely from dilapidated mud-brick house to dilapidated mud-brick house. From time to time, Medeo would stoop down and turn over one of the many scattered jungle fronds that littered the leaf-strewn way, making sure they were not hiding any antique relic. Ben was careful to examine every piece of pottery or fragment of stone, noting that while they bore the telltale signature of master craftsmen, as tradable commodities went, they would fetch them very little in the marketplaces. Disappointment began to rise within the hearts of the searchers as their efforts to unearth anything of value continued to prove unfruitful.

The gentle rustle of the leafy jungle canopy as the wind playfully tickled its branches was only sound Ben and Medeo heard as their trek through the city continued. Other than the soft padding of their feet, and the rhythmic rise-and-fall of their breathing, the city was eerily silent. As the penniless pair made their way deeper and deeper into Lacuna City, it became more apparent to them that it had been quite some time since the city had been inhabited. Ben noted that the buildings showed no signs of any unnatural damage; only that which had been wrought by the passage of time. Continuing on, an unshakable feeling nagged at Ben that the people of Lacuna had just up and left their settlement. While Ben wasn’t entirely sure of the reason, he made up his mind to find out. Perhaps treasure hunting would have to wait.

Lost in thought, Ben was abruptly brought back to reality by Medeo’s sudden cry of ”Medii!” Ben regarded his diminutive partner with a quizzical look. The Yoga Pokemon pointed excitedly at a short, cone-shaped stone edifice, standing imperiously in the centre of what appeared to be the town square. As Ben wondered at the meaning of the rock’s significance, he noticed the dazzling glint of something shiny as it reflected the sunlight. Curious, he turned to Medeo and remarked, “Let’s check it out, mate.” Medeo nodded and the two trotted forward to examine the mysterious monument.

Approaching the stony structure, Ben bolted in surprise as he recognized that the glimmering object was none other than a Moon Stone. Finally, he thought, something they could sell. The evolution-inducing rock had been imbedded in the conical edifice, and as he cautiously reached his right hand toward it, Ben momentarily wondered why it had been placed there. Medeo watched as Ben’s fingers wrapped gently around the Moon Stone. The teenage trainer grinned at his little friend, then counted to three silently in his head. Unfortunately, the Moon Stone was stuck fast and wouldn’t budge. Ben let out a frustrated sigh; and sat down with his back to the rock. Dragging a hand through his short brown-hair, he considered their next course of action. Lacuna City had certainly not been kind to them so far.

As Ben sat there, suddenly an idea came to him and he jumped up, facing the cone-shaped rock. Almost at once, he began a careful examination of its stony façade. Closely inspecting it, he noticed that beneath the overgrown mosses and lichens there were what appeared to be ancient symbols carved into it long ago. Wanting to get a better look at the aged markings, Ben began brushing off the obstructive plants. When all the symbols at last were visible, Ben placed a hand on left most hieroglyph, and traced it with a finger. At that moment, the figure suddenly began to give off a curious, brilliant radiance. Ben bolted in shock as the glow didn’t stop with the first symbol, but seemed to spread; illuminating the entire line of faded text. As Ben stood there gaping at the glowing symbols, suddenly an enigmatic, faraway-sounding voice filled his head:


Rapa and Saros, of dark and of light,
Together controlled the moon and its might.
The tides did flow, they ebbed and they waved,
In the valley of sands, a people they saved.
Lacuna both grew in size and in life,
But could not escape the celestial strife.
Rapa and Saros, of distant extremes,
Were insistent that each alone reigned supreme.
A battle was waged, Lacuna was torn
Between the two deities Lacuna had sworn.
The factions did clash, no victor apparent,
And Lacuna was left, abandoned and barren.
But legends speak of a one chosen who might,
Awaken the glow and the factions, unite...

As the last line of the poem had been intoned, Ben felt himself being thrown backwards to the ground. Lying there in a semi-concious state, Ben’s mind raced at the revelation the poem had given him. It was on account of the battle between the deities, Rapa and Saros, that the once-thriving community of Lacuna now lay barren and desolate. Realization dawned on him, and everything suddenly become much clearer. Just then, tiny hands shook him awake. As Ben groggily came to, he noticed the concerned expression on Medeo’s little face. Still slightly dazed, Ben sat up and gently massaged his forehead. After a moment, he rose to his feet, brushing the dust off the messenger bag he had slung across his naked torso. Glancing at the conical stone, he noticed that while he had been temporarily knocked out, the glow from the symbols had not diminished, and now, the Moon Stone too, had begun to give off a curious glimmer of its own. Somewhat mesmerised by the Moon Stone's hypnotic aura, the final lines of the poem echoed in Ben’s head, and he was filled with the overwhelming urge to touch the evolutionary rock once again. Awaken the glow and the factions, unite… As he warily reached forward his hand for a second time and grasped the dazzling Moon Stone, it seemed to the Ben that the glow had indeed been awakened.

Apparently, the only thing that remained for the teenage Trainer and the small Meditite to do now was wait and see what would happen next…


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PeeGee
14th March 2009, 2:14 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy ~ Walking through the desert with Watermelon and Dot in tow, you're really looking forward to unravelling the mysteries of the Sphinx. She is said to be quite the trickster, and willing to put any who challenge her to the test by physically and mentally wearing them down. You're fairly confident in your abilities to outwit her, however, and upon reaching your destination stare up at the beautiful creation in wonder. The monolithic sandstone statue must be at least one hundred and fifty metres long, twelve metres wide, and forty metres tall. Her feline body is reclining elegantly in the desert sand, her human head poised in eternal vigilance as her eyes gaze out across the land, and while you take the time to examine her you hear an angelic female voice address you.

"Welcome Karmas," says the intriguing voice. "You have come here for a challenge, and I am here to provide you with not one, but twelve. If you succeed you will be rewarded, if not you'll find yourself back at the beginning."

Looking up at her you see no sign of movement, wondering how it is that she can speak, but her voice is so mesmerising that all thoughts of 'how' soon fade into insignificance. You've come here for a challenge, and the Sphinx has accepted. Now it's time to crank your brain into gear because if the rumours are true then she's not going to make it easy, especially the further you come to reaching your goal.

"Twelve challenges you'll encounter within my frame, but before you can enter you must face an additional challenge," the Sphinx continues. "Answer this riddle and your adventure begins, fail and you'll not know the excitement within. Are you ready, Karmas?"

Before you can answer yes or no, the Sphinx is rattling off the riddle you'll need to solve in order to gain entry, so listening intently you try to make sense of the challenge she's put before you.

"Radon, Holmium, Yttrium, and Rhodium are symbols of what make me. Join them together, mix them around, and you'll see that I am from the ground. What am I?"

Karmas still couldn't believe how big the Sphinx was. The monolith was absolutely huge, he just never thought that the Sphinx would look almost alive.

As Karmas, Dot and Watermelon examined the Sphinx an almost angelic voice called out, "Welcome Karmas, you have come here for a challenge, and I am here to provide you with not one, but twelve. If you succeed you will be rewarded, if not you'll find yourself back at the beginning."

The voice surprised the trio, there was no way that she could have talked yet she did. But her mesmerizing voice soon pushed away those thoughts from their heads.

"Twelve challenges you'll encounter within my frame, but before you can enter you must face an additional challenge," the Sphinx continues. "Answer this riddle and your adventure begins, fail and you'll not know the excitement within. Are you ready, Karmas?"

But before Karmas could even move the Sphinx started to say his riddle.

"Radon, Holmium, Yttrium, and Rhodium are symbols of what make me. Join them together, mix them around, and you'll see that I am from the ground. What am I?"

Karmas listened to the riddle, and was honestly confused. He turned towards Dot, the genius of his team, and could immediately see that she was thinking. The bug started to draw in the sand with one of her fingers, her hand at almost breakneck speed. Karmas and Watermelon watched in amazement at the speed in which Dot was trying to figure out the riddle. Finally she stopped and showed Karmas what she had figured out. Written in the sand was the word 'Rhyhorn'.

"Are you sure that this is the answer?" asked Karmas.

The ladybug nodded her head as she rubbed her now-sore finger.

"Okay then," started Karmas. "Oh Might Sphinx, may the answer to your riddle be Rhyhorn?"

After Karmas said what he thought was the trio stood in silence, waiting to see if they were right or not.

ZoraJolteon
14th March 2009, 7:22 AM
ZoraJolteon ~ Though the Isle of Talas has several areas of interest, the one that has drawn your attention today is the Celestial Temple located on the outskirts of the Lost City of Axal. The trek up the mountainside hasn't been an easy one, thick jungle and humid temperatures making it a long and arduous journey, but you've finally arrived and are thankful for the chance to relax for a few minutes before heading inside. Standing on the thick grass beside Lampas Lake, you look over the elegant, dome topped, black marble structure while Myria tugs impatiently at your hair, urging you to hurry up and get on with it. You don't really need any prompting though, for you're already eagerly awaiting your opportunity to explore the temple and are soon pulling open the large double doors inscribed with strange runic symbols, planets, and stars. Stepping inside, you're surprised to find that you're not swallowed by complete darkness as the doors swing silently shut behind you. Silence immediately envelops you, as though someone has hit a mute button somewhere, for there are absolutely no sounds to be heard from outside at all, only yours and Myria's soft breathing as you stand there allowing a moment for your eyes to adjust to the soft light. A dim, mystical, milky white glow appears to be emanating from the walls and ceiling around you, and considering you're completely cut off from any light source from the outside world, you can't help but wonder how this can even be possible. Looking around you find you're standing in the Celestial Temple's main vestibule with a large statue of a beautiful woman whom you're assuming to be Celeste, Goddess of the Heavens, being the central focal point. There are stairs leading up to a higher level of the temple, another set of stairs leading into the underground area of the temple, as well as three corridors leading into other ground floor areas; one to your left, one to your right, and the other directly opposite the doors through which you've just entered. While you're mulling over which path to take you begin to feel slightly uneasy, as though someone is watching you, and find yourself glancing at the statue now and again as though expecting it to come to life. Myria seems fascinated, taking in her surroundings while waiting for you to make your decision...

"Wow." Zora muttered, under his breath, as he gazed around the temple's interior. In an attempt to reassure himself, he began to reason aloud. "Silly statue. Why would you want to look at me. You're a goddess, omniscience is a given." Stopping, his ears perked up as he strained to determine if there had been any kind of response to his comments, but heard only the rustle of Myria repositioning himself. "Destination?" Zora asked, wondering if Myria's different senses would be picking up anything that was beyond human limits.
"Ro!" he yelled, enthusiastically, as Zora felt the left bloom detatch itself from his scalp and he heard a faint woosh, a single purple needle racing through the air above him until it collided with the wall of the staircase leading downwards, plinking a few times as it bounced down the passageway and out of sight.
"And do you actually think Poison Sting is the most appropriate way of stating a direction?" Zora chided.
"Lia.", came the sound which Zora recognised to be a cheeky affirmative response.
"Well, if we incur the wrath of the gods, I'm making sure they know it's your fault." he countered, as he began to descent the staircase. "Of course, they'll know that already, omniscience and wotnot."

Shadowshocker
14th March 2009, 9:29 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
Choosing to trust your Ledian, you state what you believe to be the answer in a clear voice. For a while nothing seems to happen, and you almost start worrying if your judgement was erroneous and if you might be denied entry. However, a feeling of warmth suddenly surges through your body, seeming to calm your fears as it soaks you fully in kindling heat.

"That is correct, young one," booms the voice of the Sphinx, almost smiling as it tingles through your brain. "It seems your wisdom extends from beyond your physical self, Karmas. You will require this, and more, if you wish to conquer the obstacles inside. I wish you the best of luck, Trainer..."

With those final words, a gleaming rectangle of light bursts from the Sphinx's abdomen, causing you and your Pokémon to temporarily shield your eyes from the illuminescence. You hear the sound of shifting stone, and when all is clear for you to place your arms down you notice a doorway at the foot of the Sphinx's gut where the glimmer of light was earlier. Heart in your mouths, you advance towards the stony passage, ancient air and darkness catching you in an ambient grasp that has not been felt for goodness knows how long. Making your way down the stairway revealed to you, you spend a few minutes of reality but an hour of experience while Dot and Watermelon guide you as best they can, being nocturnal animals and possessing the power of night vision.

Soon enough (well, perhaps not so much to you, that is) you feel that your feet can no longer go any deeper, and as if echoing this small torches in the walls around you suddenly ignite, granting you proper vision in the new chamber you find yourself in. Ornate symbols and paintings decorate the stone surfaces, telling of legends and events from days long past, and you almost wish you had an interpreter handy as the beauty of the hieroglyphs captivates you.

"Oh boy! An adventurer!" Another voice suddenly pipes up, and the three of you turn to see a Baltoy whiz in from another doorway opposite from you. Bobbing excitedly as it floats, Baltoy makes a few rounds orbiting about you, gleefully inspecting you and your Pokémon.

"We haven't had anyone visit since... since... well, I'm not even sure anyone's visited," it chirps. "But if you're here it means only one thing... we're going to have some fun together! Yay!" Amusedly you watch Baltoy as it spins dizzily about for a few more moments before it straightens itself, floating steadily in one spot in front of you.

"Well, we're wasting time. Here's your first riddle, and it's about machines! I love playing with machines, don't you?" Pausing seemingly to concentrate for a while, Baltoy proceeds to reveal the riddle in a deep, thoughtful tone:


Nightmare, Substitute, Overheat. They point to a Pokémon that has no feet.

"Do you know what it is?" asks the Baltoy, its playful demeanour returning. What do you think the answer is this time?



The Lost City of Lacuna

The Ruins of Lacuna

Hayward
Unable to resist the shining stone, you extend your hand and grip the Moon Stone once more, and as your palm fully brushes against the mineral you are shocked to find lines of the light running across your fingers, snaking up your arm and wrapping around your body. Out of reflexes you attempt to release your grip, but even as you try you discover that your hand has inexplicably gained rigor mortis, and as the lines of light go down your legs you find them rooted to the spot as well. All this happens while the stone and symbols glow with even greater intensity, forming a ring of light at the edge of your vision and slowly but surely enveloping everything in sight. The last thing you remember is Medeo crying out for you as your world, your senses, your consciousness white out completely...


***

"Hayward? Hayward!"

Roused by the sound of someone calling your name, even though the voice hardly sounds familiar, you blink your eyes open with a start.

"You're awake!" cries the voice, and you instantly feel as though you've been caught in a hug, the figure of a stranger pressed against you. Readjusting yourself, you're shocked to be in the arms of a strange girl about your age, with tanned complexion, silver hair and deep blue eyes, but what stands out most is her brown tunic and pants made out of simple knitted cloth, decorated with beads, leaves and feathers. Looking all around you notice that you're in one of the houses you saw earlier, but this one seems to be filled with pottery, crude weaponry, leaves and branches lashed to make furniture. For a moment you fear for Medeo, not knowing where he is, but a quick glance at your belt shows that all your relevant PokéBalls are occupied, much to your relief.

"Well, of course he's awake, Ikira," remarks another unknown voice, this one male and gruff. As Ikira releases you from her hold you turn to see the voice's owner: a similarly tanned and attired teenage boy who could be your senior by a year or two, sporting spiky red hair and piercing green irises. "It'd take more than falling asleep to put Hayward out of commission," he smirks, and for a moment you aren't sure if he's appraising or detracting you. Questions are buzzing about your brain at all this, but before you can even think of asking any the boy appears to size you up with a frown. "And just WHAT is that you're wearing?"

"Oh, give it a rest, Kiru," scolds Ikira. "Every now and then you tease Hayward for his fashion sense. There's nothing wrong if he wants to accessorise a bit!"

"I hardly call that 'a bit'. He looks like a girl with all that nonsense he carries. And what's with the clothes?" Kiru continues. "I've never seen anything like this before. The people could mistake him for an invader or a spy, and with tensions running so high lately you'd think Hayward would be more careful."

"Come on, Kiru! Anyone can tell it's Hayward with that tattoo on his forearm," Ikira chides. "Anyway, weren't we all going to discuss the big event tonight?"

"True enough. Tonight is the night where the citizens determine the true sovereign over the city," nods Kiru. "The populace is going to gather in the two temples, before we all congregate in the forum... At least, that's what I know. The adults are hiding the other details from us, though they've told us we're old enough to be eligible, and to bring our Pokémon along."

"Yep yep!" affirms Ikira. "And I've already decided where we're going! We're going to the Moon Temple!"

"The Moon Temple? Ikira, just because your father is a priest there..."

"And he expects me to be there! Is there something wrong with that?" retorts the girl. "I don't see what YOU see in those creepy practitioners of Rapa anyway. What's so great about them?"

"Haven't you noticed, Ikira? The Moon Temple is losing power. Every disaster that's happened since last month, the Moon Priests haven't been able to predict or prevent a single one. The Rapa Temple's been responsible for our people since then," Kiru points out. "It's the dawn of a new age, Ikira."

"But... but..." Stumped for a reply, Ikira pouts after some thought, her fists balled like a child throwing a tantrum as she indignantly stares at Kiru.

"Well, it's your call, Hawyard," says Kiru, addressing you this time. "You'll decide where we should go."

Your confusion and queries aren't being answered, but for now it probably seems best for you to play along. Turns out you'll be heading for a temple after all, but which will it be?



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
As you and Myria gingerly trot down the staircase leading downwards, you can only hope that Myria's uncovention hasn't determined some omnipresent fate you'll have to deal with later. Following the spiral formation where the Poison Sting must have gone, you make a pair of rounds further down until you find yourself in a circular chamber with three passageways leading further into this basement level. Glancing, you spot Myria's missile point aligned towards one of them, and without any intervention from your side you feel Myria tugging at your hair, clearly insistent you follow the path that she has chosen.

Little consideration given to other options, you find yourself going down the hallway, still accompanied by the strange illuminescence the walls have taken since the moment you entered the temple, and with every step you take you can almost swear that the glow has started to slowly, but surely intensify. While your mind dwells on this you suddenly notice that the passageway has ended, leaving you in a sizeable room decorated with marble pillars, reflecting the mysterious light onto the statue of a Tauros in the middle. Going ahead, you find that the statue in fact has been placed on a stand, marked with a plaque bearing the following words:


Suruta, the Bull
Guardian of Ground

While you're wondering what all this could mean, a voice suddenly booms through the chamber. "Surutan! Your presence is approved!"

Almost jumping from the abruptness of it all, you feel apprehension take you as the voice continues, "Fear not, Surutan. You who have been born under the constellation of Suruta need not be afraid. That you would come across my chamber, first of all the twelve in the Zodiac, is no accident. You have gained favour from Celeste herself, to be led to the chamber that blessed your birth. Celeste smiles upon you, young Surutan, for power is to be had if you would embark on the challenge to prove yourself against the might of the Zodiac. However, you first must undergo my test... you must defeat me if you are to continue on your quest, should you choose to embark on it."

Looks like you've been invited on a marathon of twelve battles, the conditions granted from Celeste no less. What will you choose to do?

-Hayward-
15th March 2009, 11:33 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Lost City of Lacuna

The Ruins of Lacuna

Hayward
Unable to resist the shining stone, you extend your hand and grip the Moon Stone once more, and as your palm fully brushes against the mineral you are shocked to find lines of the light running across your fingers, snaking up your arm and wrapping around your body. Out of reflexes you attempt to release your grip, but even as you try you discover that your hand has inexplicably gained rigor mortis, and as the lines of light go down your legs you find them rooted to the spot as well. All this happens while the stone and symbols glow with even greater intensity, forming a ring of light at the edge of your vision and slowly but surely enveloping everything in sight. The last thing you remember is Medeo crying out for you as your world, your senses, your consciousness white out completely...


***

"Ben? Ben!"

Roused by the sound of someone calling your name, even though the voice hardly sounds familiar, you blink your eyes open with a start.

"You're awake!" cries the voice, and you instantly feel as though you've been caught in a hug, the figure of a stranger pressed against you. Readjusting yourself, you're shocked to be in the arms of a strange girl about your age, with tanned complexion, silver hair and deep blue eyes, but what stands out most is her brown tunic and pants made out of simple knitted cloth, decorated with beads, leaves and feathers. Looking all around you notice that you're in one of the houses you saw earlier, but this one seems to be filled with pottery, crude weaponry, leaves and branches lashed to make furniture. For a moment you fear for Medeo, not knowing where he is, but a quick glance at your belt shows that all your relevant PokéBalls are occupied, much to your relief.

"Well, of course he's awake, Ikira," remarks another unknown voice, this one male and gruff. As Ikira releases you from her hold you turn to see the voice's owner: a similarly tanned and attired teenage boy who could be your senior by a year or two, sporting spiky red hair and piercing green irises. "It'd take more than falling asleep to put Ben out of commission," he smirks, and for a moment you aren't sure if he's appraising or detracting you. Questions are buzzing about your brain at all this, but before you can even think of asking any the boy appears to size you up with a frown. "And just WHAT is that you're wearing?"

"Oh, give it a rest, Kiru," scolds Ikira. "Every now and then you tease Ben for his fashion sense. There's nothing wrong if he wants to accessorise a bit!"

"I hardly call that 'a bit'. He looks like a girl with all that nonsense he carries. And what's with the clothes?" Kiru continues. "I've never seen anything like this before. The people could mistake him for an invader or a spy, and with tensions running so high lately you'd think Hayward would be more careful."

"Come on, Kiru! Anyone can tell it's Ben with that tattoo on his forearm," Ikira chides. "Anyway, weren't we all going to discuss the big event tonight?"

"True enough. Tonight is the night where the citizens determine the true sovereign over the city," nods Kiru. "The populace is going to gather in the two temples, before we all congregate in the forum... At least, that's what I know. The adults are hiding the other details from us, though they've told us we're old enough to be eligible, and to bring our Pokémon along."

"Yep yep!" affirms Ikira. "And I've already decided where we're going! We're going to the Moon Temple!"

"The Moon Temple? Ikira, just because your father is a priest there..."

"And he expects me to be there! Is there something wrong with that?" retorts the girl. "I don't see what YOU see in those creepy practitioners of Rapa anyway. What's so great about them?"

"Haven't you noticed, Ikira? The Moon Temple is losing power. Every disaster that's happened since last month, the Moon Priests haven't been able to predict or prevent a single one. The Rapa Temple's been responsible for our people since then," Kiru points out. "It's the dawn of a new age, Ikira."

"But... but..." Stumped for a reply, Ikira pouts after some thought, her fists balled like a child throwing a tantrum as she indignantly stares at Kiru.

"Well, it's your call, Ben," says Kiru, addressing you this time. "You'll decide where we should go."

Your confusion and queries aren't being answered, but for now it probably seems best for you to play along. Turns out you'll be heading for a temple after all, but which will it be?




"Ben? Ben!"

With a start, Ben’s grey-green eyes blinked open; the sound of an unfamiliar voice calling his name having roused him from sleep.

"You're awake!" the unknown speaker cried. Instantly, Ben felt himself lost in the warm embrace of another figure. As the soft skin of whomever-had-been-calling-him brushed against his shirtless torso, Ben shifted awkwardly in attempt to get a better view of the voice’s owner, and just exactly who was hugging him now. The teenage trainer bolted in shock as he realized it was none other than a tan, silver-haired girl about his own age. Her deep blue eyes regarded him tenderly and Ben immediately noticed that she was dressed in simply-made, brown-colored clothing; adorned with a variety of beads, leaves, and feathers. Scanning the room, Ben felt that there was something vaguely familiar about it. After only a moment of consideration, he recognized it as one of those he and Medeo had searched earlier; the only difference being that scattered amongst the simple furnishings were the basic tools, weapons, and utensils necessary for the tasks of everyday life. Medeo! The name flashed in his mind like lightning brightening an empty field. What had happened to him?! Panic momentarily flooded Ben as the thought came to him that he no idea what had become of his diminutive companion. He glanced instinctively at his belt, and let out a grateful sigh as he spied the spherical forms of three miniature Pokeballs; one shiny silver, one with a pink heart, and one half-red, half-green. The blinking light near the round, toggle switch of each ball let him know they were occupied.

"Well, of course he's awake, Ikira," Remarked another voice Ben didn’t recognize. Unlike the first voice, this one was gruff, and unmistakably male. As Ikira released Ben, he turned to see another, slightly older, tan teenager, wearing garments nearly identical to those of the silver-haired girl. The boy smirked, “It'd take more than falling asleep to put Ben out of commission." Not sure whether that statement was a compliment or a taunt, Ben’s mind raced with questions about what exactly was going on, but before he could ask a single one, the spiky, red-haired boy frowned. "And just WHAT is that you're wearing?"

If Ben had been worried about Medeo’s condition, all fears were put to rest as he felt the tiny Meditite’s metallic Steel Ball rock back-and-forth on his belt. Inside the artificial atmosphere of the silver capture capsule, Medeo had heard Kiru’s question, and doubled over with laughter.

"Oh, give it a rest, Kiru," Ikira scolded the red-haired boy. "Every now and then you tease Ben for his fashion sense. There's nothing wrong if he wants to accessorise a bit!" Medeo’s Steel ball continued to wriggle on Ben’s belt as the Yoga Pokemon fell over hooting uncontrollably at Ikira’s comment.

"I hardly call that 'a bit'. He looks like a girl with all that nonsense he carries. And what's with the clothes?" Kiru continued. "I've never seen anything like this before. The people could mistake him for an invader or a spy, and with tensions running so high lately you'd think Ben would be more careful." By now, Medeo was rolling around in a fit of hysterics inside the Steel Ball, and Ben had to grip it firmly just to keep it from coming unclipped from his belt.

"Come on, Kiru! Anyone can tell it's Ben with that tattoo on his forearm," Ikira chided the boy. As Ben glanced down absentmindedly at the slightly faded ink symbols stretching from wrist-to-elbow on the inside of his right forearm, Ikira continued, "Anyway, weren't we all going to discuss the big event tonight?"

"True enough. Tonight is the night where the citizens determine the true sovereign over the city," Kiru nodded. "The populace is going to gather in the two temples, before we all congregate in the forum... At least, that's what I know. The adults are hiding the other details from us, though they've told us we're old enough to be eligible, and to bring our Pokémon along."

"Yep yep!" Ikira affirmed. "And I've already decided where we're going! We're going to the Moon Temple!"

"The Moon Temple? Ikira, just because your father is a priest there..." Kiru began, but his response was cut short by the silver-haired girl’s quick retort.

"And he expects me to be there! Is there something wrong with that?” she said. “I don't see what YOU see in those creepy practitioners of Rapa anyway. What's so great about them?"

"Haven't you noticed, Ikira? The Moon Temple is losing power. Every disaster that's happened since last month, the Moon Priests haven't been able to predict or prevent a single one. The Rapa Temple's been responsible for our people since then," Kiru pointed out. "It's the dawn of a new age, Ikira."

Stumped, the silver-haired girl could do nothing but stammer in reply, "But... but..." Unable to think up a good counter-argument after a moment of thought, Ikira pouted; clenching her fists and staring indignantly at Kiru. Suddenly the red-haired boy turned to Ben.

"Well, it's your call, Ben," he said. "You'll decide where we should go."

Ben dragged a hand through his short brown hair and thought hard about the events of the last little while. Clearly the Moon Stone he had touched just before losing consciousness had contained some kind of mystical energy. He figured when he had grabbed the glowing stone, it must have opened something like a portal in time, and somehow magicked him and his Pokemon companions back into the past. It was obvious that he was in Lacuna, but when? Judging by the room he was in, and the conversation of Kiru and Ikira, he suspected it was probably sometime around the height of their settlement; before it had been left in the condition in which he and Medeo had found it. As he considered all these things, the rhyme echoed in his mind once again…


Rapa and Saros, of dark and of light,
Together controlled the moon and its might.
The tides did flow, they ebbed and they waved,
In the valley of sands, a people they saved.
Lacuna both grew in size and in life,
But could not escape the celestial strife.
Rapa and Saros, of distant extremes,
Were insistent that each alone reigned supreme.
A battle was waged, Lacuna was torn
Between the two deities Lacuna had sworn.
The factions did clash, no victor apparent,
And Lacuna was left, abandoned and barren.
But legends speak of a one chosen who might,
Awaken the glow and the factions, unite...

The words of the poem swirled around his head and mixed with the conversation of Ikira and Kiru. Two deities. Rapa and Saros. Rapa’s Temple and the Moon Temple. Distant extremes. Insistent that each alone reigned supreme. Could not escape. Strife. A battle was waged. Lacuna was torn. No victor apparent. Abandoned and barren.

Suddenly everything became clear to Ben. He was living history. Somehow, someway, he had traveled through a passage in time, and now had the unique opportunity to save the lives of countless people, and undo what had been done in Lacuna. He wondered if the events of tonight were related to do with battle that tore apart Lacuna all those many years ago and left it abandoned and barren. Ben had a strong feeling they did as he thought about what Kiru and Ikira had said about 'determining the true sovereign' and how emotionally each had debated; and they seemed to be friends. It wasn’t hard for Ben to imagine that animosity or violence over the two temples would only naturally arise between enemies or groups of people with competing political agendas.

Legends speak of a one chosen who might, awaken the glow and the factions, unite… The words came rushing back to the teenage trainer. Whether he, Benjamin Hale, was the one chosen referred to in the rhyme, Ben wasn’t sure, nor he did he have any plan at this point for uniting the factions, but he did strongly suspect the events of tonight would play a role in what happened to Lacuna. Figuring that, no matter what, he didn’t have much time, he decided he would play along for now, and hope that fate continued to guide him in the right direction. He had to at least try.

Ben turned to Ikira and asked, “Your father is going to be looking for you tonight at the Moon Temple, right? I think we should head there first, maybe he can tell us more about what the adults are planning.” Realizing that maybe Kiru could help him speak to someone at Rapa's Temple, and not wanting to alienate him right away, he regarded the spiky, red-haired boy and swiftly added, "But when we're done at the Moon Temple, maybe there will be enough time for the public forum meeting for us to head to Rapa's Temple, too."

Aware of the fact that he probably would stand out in his futuristic garb, a thought suddenly popped into Ben's head and he remarked, “Uhh… one more thing before we go... Does anyone have an extra set of clothes I can borrow?”

__________________
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Shadowshocker
16th March 2009, 4:35 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
"I don't think you understand, Ben," frowns Kiru. "This is determine where our loyalties lie in Lacuna. Either to Saros or to Rapa. There's no possibility for a middle ground."

"He's right, Ben," informs Ikira. "But if he's coming to Saros' Temple, that's two against one! We're going to Saros' Temple for sure!" Grinning at you, Ikira clasps your hand firmly before sticking her tongue out at Kiru in mock victory, much to the latter's annoyance.

"It's just like you to do things without thinking, Ikira. Just because your father expected you, you're going to the Moon Temple?" Kiru asks in near exasperation. "Well, that's your business. I'm headed for Rapa's Temple, with or without you."

"Kiru, wait!" Shouting after her friend, Ikira is too late to stop Kiru from taking his leave and going out of the house, determined to going on seperate ways. "Ooooooh! Why won't that buffoon just listen?!" she half-screams, stomping the ground frustratedly, and you can't help but feel a twinge of guilt at Kiru's departure.

"There's just no convincing him when he's like this," sighs Ikira eventually. "But at least you're going with me, Ben. I don't know what I'd do, going alone like this." At this remark Ikira looks down at the dirt ground, her fingers shyly moving against yours.

"Well, for now, perhaps we should go for a change of clothing and get there before the Temple gets too crowded," suggests Ikira. "You know how my father is... if we're not dressed for the occasion, he gets rather nitpicky about it."


***

Some time later, you find yourself going along a dirt path paved towards the Moon Temple. In Lacuna's time what vegetation that existed had been cut away to make for transportational infrastructure, and you note that it is a far cry from what you had encountered in present day, back in your time period. As of now, both you and Ikira are dressed in white, lightweight ceremonial robes, decked with just the right about of decoration -- a claw-shaped obsidian pendant for you, and a bead necklace and bracelet for Ikira. Luckily for you, Ikira ignored the futuristic look of your clothes and PokéBalls unquestioningly, and for now your PokéBalls lie in a tote bag made out of fibres. A similar one hangs across Ikira's torso as the girl merrily skips along the path with you behind, wondering how you're going to reconcile with Kiru amongst other things. Sooner than you realise it, you reach the cornerstone on which the Moon Temple was built, feeling its magical aura seep into the vicinity, and at the steps stands a figure dressed in regal-looking garb.

"Father!" Calling happily, Ikira bounds forward, catching the man in a tight hug.

"Now, now, Ikira. You know we must observe proper decorum when in the Moon Temple. Saros is watching," coaxes the man, but briefly returns the embrace all the same. "I am known as Priest Mensa within these walls, and you must address me as such."

"Alright, Priest Mensa," replies Ikira, but not without a giggle.

"I see Ben has accompanied you in joining the cause of Saros," smiles Mensa. "But what of Kiru?"

"..." Speechless, Ikira stands before her father, her lack of an answer responding for her.

"...I see. So the boy took to the side of Rapa," mutters the priest, looking in the direction where Rapa's Temple would have stood, and you hear the bitterness and pity deep in his voice. "He should heed the legends of old, Kiru, but I pray that he realises the consequences of his brash decisions before it's too late. The three of you have been friends since young and I do not wish to see you separated... Shall I tell you the legend of Saros and Rapa, Ben?"

"Fa - I mean, Priest Mensa! I'm sure Ben already knows the legend like the back of his hands," Ikira whines. "You tell it to us whenever you get the chance!"

"Ah, but surely a refresher wouldn't hurt," Mensa smiles again, stroking his priest's beard as he speaks. "The heart falters easily in times of darkness, and now, perhap, could not possibly be a more opportune time to fortify the soul. Don't you agree, Ben?"

It's time for another round of decision-making. Mensa might hold the key to helping you understanding whatever that is going on, but judging from Ikira's expression you might be risking a long earful of sermon. If you could slip away, perhaps you could explore the Temple and find your answer there.

What will you do?

PeeGee
18th March 2009, 11:29 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
Choosing to trust your Ledian, you state what you believe to be the answer in a clear voice. For a while nothing seems to happen, and you almost start worrying if your judgement was erroneous and if you might be denied entry. However, a feeling of warmth suddenly surges through your body, seeming to calm your fears as it soaks you fully in kindling heat.

"That is correct, young one," booms the voice of the Sphinx, almost smiling as it tingles through your brain. "It seems your wisdom extends from beyond your physical self, Karmas. You will require this, and more, if you wish to conquer the obstacles inside. I wish you the best of luck, Trainer..."

With those final words, a gleaming rectangle of light bursts from the Sphinx's abdomen, causing you and your Pokémon to temporarily shield your eyes from the illuminescence. You hear the sound of shifting stone, and when all is clear for you to place your arms down you notice a doorway at the foot of the Sphinx's gut where the glimmer of light was earlier. Heart in your mouths, you advance towards the stony passage, ancient air and darkness catching you in an ambient grasp that has not been felt for goodness knows how long. Making your way down the stairway revealed to you, you spend a few minutes of reality but an hour of experience while Dot and Watermelon guide you as best they can, being nocturnal animals and possessing the power of night vision.

Soon enough (well, perhaps not so much to you, that is) you feel that your feet can no longer go any deeper, and as if echoing this small torches in the walls around you suddenly ignite, granting you proper vision in the new chamber you find yourself in. Ornate symbols and paintings decorate the stone surfaces, telling of legends and events from days long past, and you almost wish you had an interpreter handy as the beauty of the hieroglyphs captivates you.

"Oh boy! An adventurer!" Another voice suddenly pipes up, and the three of you turn to see a Baltoy whiz in from another doorway opposite from you. Bobbing excitedly as it floats, Baltoy makes a few rounds orbiting about you, gleefully inspecting you and your Pokémon.

"We haven't had anyone visit since... since... well, I'm not even sure anyone's visited," it chirps. "But if you're here it means only one thing... we're going to have some fun together! Yay!" Amusedly you watch Baltoy as it spins dizzily about for a few more moments before it straightens itself, floating steadily in one spot in front of you.

"Well, we're wasting time. Here's your first riddle, and it's about machines! I love playing with machines, don't you?" Pausing seemingly to concentrate for a while, Baltoy proceeds to reveal the riddle in a deep, thoughtful tone:


Nightmare, Substitute, Overheat. They point to a Pokémon that has no feet.

"Do you know what it is?" asks the Baltoy, its playful demeanour returning. What do you think the answer is this time?

The trio of trainer and pokemon stood in complete silence, all of them waiting to see if the answer to the riddle was right. Finally, though the Sphinx answered.

"That is correct, young one," booms the voice of the Sphinx, almost smiling as it tingles through your brain. "It seems your wisdom extends from beyond your physical self, Karmas. You will require this, and more, if you wish to conquer the obstacles inside. I wish you the best of luck, Trainer..."

As the Sphinx finished her words a rectangle of light burst out of her abdomen, accompanied by the sound of rock moving. When the light died down the was a door way at the foot of her stomach. Karmas, Dot and Watermelon walked through the doorway and down a large set of stairs, led by the nocturnal Watermelon.

Soon they had reached the end of the stairs, and as they did a series of torches lit up, lighting the way for them.

"Oh boy, an adventurer!"

Karmas turned around and saw a Baltoy speeding towards the trio. The Baltoy was clearly excited, as it orbited around the trio several times, inspecting them.

"We haven't had anyone visit since... since... well, I'm not even sure anyone's visited," it chirped. "But if you're here it means only one thing... we're going to have some fun together! Yay!" Amusedly Karmas watched Baltoy as it span dizzily about for a few more moments before it straightened itself, floating steadily in one spot in front of Karmas.

"Well, we're wasting time. Here's your first riddle, and it's about machines! I love playing with machines, don't you?" Pausing seemingly to concentrate for a while, Baltoy proceeded to reveal the riddle in a deep, thoughtful tone:

Nightmare, Substitute, Overheat. They point to a Pokémon that has no feet.

"Do you know what it is?" asked the Baltoy, its playful demeanor returning.

Karmas stood there for a moment, wondering what on earth the Baltoy was talking about he realized something.

"Substitute, Nightmare and Overheat were, in Substitute and Nightmare's case, or are, in Overheat's case, TM 50!" exclaimed Karmas. "And I'm guessing that the 50th pokemon in the pokedex is the answer to this riddle!"

Watermelon and Dot looked at Karmas in amazement, they weren't expecting their trainer to get the answer that quickly.

"And the 50th pokemon in the 'dex is Diglett so that's the answer!" finished Karmas.

Shadowshocker
18th March 2009, 2:46 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
"Ooooh, well done! You've got it!" cheers Baltoy, clapping its clay arms together like an excited child. "That was some good thinking! You'll need that if you want to clear the other riddles inside, but first... this way, please!"

As Baltoy disappears into the passage ahead, you start moving to follow it, Watermelon and Dot next to you. With each measure of distance you move deeper into the hallway small torches lining the walls light up, illuminating the way in front where Baltoy is merrily bobbing ahead, gaining speed even while you chase after it. At the corners of your vision you spot that this hall is no less ornate than the room you were in earlier, but you maintain focus on the main mission at hand. For all you knew the way ahead could be labyrinthesque and the last thing you'd want is to lose your way inside this ancient monument.

By the time you see a clearing of light ahead, Baltoy already seems to have disappeared, leaving you and your Pokémon apparently alone in a larger room about the size of a typical battle arena, filled with sand from all four corners. Ahead you barely spot the edges of a rocky slab door cut into the opposite wall, but with no clear opening mechanism. Out of curiousity you start making your way across the silicon oxide deposits, but nearly halfway across the room you feel a slight rumble in the sand beneath your feet, and a small brown head pops out of the grainy floor a moment later.

"Diglett!" it says, eyeing you in fascination, and with a start you realise that you'll have to battle your way through in order to gain permission to the next riddle. What will you do now?

Stark
18th March 2009, 9:45 PM
ZA Shadow, reporting for duty in lieu of Tess. Here's to a series of exciting tales and tribulations, gentlemen!



Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With concerns for Carolina running through your mind, you turn past the corner where Carolina and the stranger went past, into a separate street that while still populated with tourists and locals moving about, gives off a different vibe from the bustling, wide open area of the marketplace. You realise with a start that you're beginning to delve into the seedier areas of the commercial region, and with your heart beating adrenalin through your body you reflexively raise a hand to touch the place where Carolina had kissed you earlier. This is certainly no place for a girl like Carolina, you think, and given that thought you continue your pursuit of the two, though guided more by instinct than anything else. Fleeting figures pass you by as you run, deeper amongst the alleys and structures, until you find yourself in a most quiet area in the market. Abandoned stalls lie against the edges of the streets, litter flies up and rides along the whispering breezes, and against the setting sun the few functioning lights flicker dysfunctionally to form dark silhouettes on the ground. Even the air itself seems to carry an aura of simmering conflict, as though at any point in time the shadows themselves might leap out and mug you.

"Why are you here?!" All of a sudden, you recognise Carolina's voice in the vicinity, clearly distressed and frustrated. "Why did you follow me?!"

"You know why I'm here, Lina." Another voice, whom you can only assume to belong to the man you saw earlier, comes gruff and questioning. "Why do you keep doing this? Doing this to yourself?"

"Don't you get it?" Carolina is heard again, exasperation distinct in her retort. "There's no other way out for us, Lawrence! You know as well as I do that we can't survive otherwise!"

"I don't want you getting involved!" roars the other person. "Especially not like this! Have you forgotten --"

"I have NOT forgotten!" screams Carolina. "You bring that up every time we argue! But what does it matter? I don't see YOU ever helping out!"

Feeling you've heard enough, you run in the direction where the voices are coming from, rounding a few more passageways before finally curving about a dead end where Carolina and the man known as Lawrence stand, with Lawrence cornering Carolina with his arms akimbo. Both their faces are flushed from their heated debate, but a surge of rage seems to burst from within you at the mystery man. How dare he harass Carolina like that?

"Oh, Stark!" Suddenly noticing your presence, Carolina darts from behind Lawrence, running behind you to cower. "You came just in time, Stark! This stalker won't stop following me no matter what I do!"

"Stalker?" Lawrence narrows his eyes at the two of you, before his lips curl into a snarl. "Look, man," he says, addressing you, "There's no need for anyone else to get involved. This is our business; no room for nosey-parkers like you to butt in. I handle this, with her alone."

"Help me, Stark!" pleads Carolina.

Multiple thoughts are running through your brain. Carolina seems desperate, it's true, and the scenario seems rather clear-cut... or does something lie behind the expressions of your newfound acquaintances? What will you choose to do?

OOC: Thanks for taking over. I'm looking forward to it.

"I don't think so," Stark sternly said to Lawrence jutting his arm out to the side of his body blocking Carolina from the other man as if to say if you want her you're going to have to go through me. He didn't know what was going on, but one thing was apparent. Carolina was in trouble and while he barely knew the young lady, he was the type of person who always helped those in trouble when he could. Especially damsels in distress. His legs soon spread about shoulder width apart as he leaned forward while his right hand swooshed back his long coat behind him as it reached for a small red and white orb attached to his belt. His eyes narrowed and all focus fell upon Lawrence.

The man had not exactly made a good first impression on Stark. Not only because of the arguing with Carolina, but also the way he stalked her through the streets before finally talking to her. Friends... No. Normal people didn't do that. Regardless, the familiarity Carolina had with him meant there was obviously something more going on than met the eye. Some skeleton in the closet looking for a way out. The answer to what was happening lying just beyond reach in the dark. Whatever the case may have been, Stark remained resolute in granting Carolina's request for assistance.

"Now then, I'd prefer not to have this end in mindless violence, so what say someone explain to me just what's going on," he seriously said with a slight tilt of the head.

-Hayward-
19th March 2009, 4:40 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
"I don't think you understand, Ben," frowns Kiru. "This is determine to where our loyalties lie in Lacuna. Either to Saros or to Rapa. There's no possibility for a middle ground."

"He's right, Ben," informs Ikira. "But if he's coming to Saros' Temple, that's two against one! We're going to Saros' Temple for sure!" Grinning at you, Ikira clasps your hand firmly before sticking her tongue out at Kiru in mock victory, much to the latter's annoyance.

"It's just like you to do things without thinking, Ikira. Just because your father expected you, you're going to the Moon Temple?" Kiru asks in near exasperation. "Well, that's your business. I'm headed for Rapa's Temple, with or without you."

"Kiru, wait!" Shouting after her friend, Ikira is too late to stop Kiru from taking his leave and going out of the house, determined to going on seperate ways. "Ooooooh! Why won't that buffoon just listen?!" she half-screams, stomping the ground frustratedly, and you can't help but feel a twinge of guilt at Kiru's departure.

"There's just no convincing him when he's like this," sighs Ikira eventually. "But at least you're going with me, Ben. I don't know what I'd do, going alone like this." At this remark Ikira looks down at the dirt ground, her fingers shyly moving against yours.

"Well, for now, perhaps we should go for a change of clothing and get there before the Temple gets too crowded," suggests Ikira. "You know how my father is... if we're not dressed for the occasion, he gets rather nitpicky about it."


***

Some time later, you find yourself going along a dirt path paved towards the Moon Temple. In Lacuna's time what vegetation that existed had been cut away to make for transportational infrastructure, and you note that it is a far cry from what you had encountered in present day, back in your time period. As of now, both you and Ikira are dressed in white, lightweight ceremonial robes, decked with just the right about of decoration -- a claw-shaped obsidian pendant for you, and a bead necklace and bracelet for Ikira. Luckily for you, Ikira ignored the futuristic look of your clothes and PokéBalls unquestioningly, and for now your PokéBalls lie in a tote bag made out of fibres. A similar one hangs across Ikira's torso as the girl merrily skips along the path with you behind, wondering how you're going to reconcile with Kiru amongst other things. Sooner than you realise it, you reach the cornerstone on which the Moon Temple was built, feeling its magical aura seep into the vicinity, and at the steps stands a figure dressed in regal-looking garb.

"Father!" Calling happily, Ikira bounds forward, catching the man in a tight hug.

"Now, now, Ikira. You know we must observe proper decorum when in the Moon Temple. Saros is watching," coaxes the man, but briefly returns the embrace all the same. "I am known as Priest Mensa within these walls, and you must address me as such."

"Alright, Priest Mensa," replies Ikira, but not without a giggle.

"I see Ben has accompanied you in joining the cause of Saros," smiles Mensa. "But what of Kiru?"

"..." Speechless, Ikira stands before her father, her lack of an answer responding for her.

"...I see. So the boy took to the side of Rapa," mutters the priest, looking in the direction where Rapa's Temple would have stood, and you hear the bitterness and pity deep in his voice. "He should heed the legends of old, Kiru, but I pray that he realises the consequences of his brash decisions before it's too late. The three of you have been friends since young and I do not wish to see you separated... Shall I tell you the legend of Saros and Rapa, Ben?"

"Fa - I mean, Priest Mensa! I'm sure Ben already knows the legend like the back of his hands," Ikira whines. "You tell it to us whenever you get the chance!"

"Ah, but surely a refresher wouldn't hurt," Mensa smiles again, stroking his priest's beard as he speaks. "The heart falters easily in times of darkness, and now, perhap, could not possibly be a more opportune time to fortify the soul. Don't you agree, Ben?"

It's time for another round of decision-making. Mensa might hold the key to helping you understanding whatever that is going on, but judging from Ikira's expression you might be risking a long earful of sermon. If you could slip away, perhaps you could explore the Temple and find your answer there.

What will you do?



"I don't think you understand, Ben," Kiru frowned. "This is to determine where our loyalties lie in Lacuna. Either to Saros or to Rapa. There's no possibility for a middle ground."

"He's right, Ben," Ikira agreed. "But if he's coming to Saros' Temple, that's two against one! We're going to Saros' Temple for sure!" Ikira grinned at Ben and clasped his hand firmly. In mock victory, she stuck her tongue out at the spiky, red-haired boy, who Ben noticed looked fairly annoyed.

"It's just like you to do things without thinking, Ikira. Just because your father expected you, you're going to the Moon Temple?" asked Kiru exasperatedly. "Well, that's your business. I'm headed for Rapa's Temple, with or without you."

"Kiru, wait!" Ikira shouted after her irritated friend. Resolved on going his own way, the spiky, red-haired boy, rapidly left the house. "Ooooooh! Why won't that buffoon just listen?!" Ikira half-screamed, stomping the ground in frustration. Watching the scene through his grey-green eyes, Ben couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty for the part he had played in Kiru’s decision.

"There's just no convincing him when he's like this," Ikira sighed after a moment. "But at least you're going with me, Ben. I don't know what I'd do, going alone like this." Ben felt Ikira’s fingers timidly moving against his own, as the silver-haired girl cast her gaze to the ground.

"Well, for now, perhaps we should go for a change of clothing and get there before the Temple gets too crowded," Ikira suggested. "You know how my father is... if we're not dressed for the occasion, he gets rather nitpicky about it."


* * *

Ben looked at the outfit that had been handed to him by Ikira - a simple, lightweight ceremonial robe, and a claw shaped pendant made of obsidian - and felt sincerely grateful that the silver-haired girl hadn’t asked any questions about his modern clothes. Glad for a moment of privacy, he unclipped a metallic Steel Ball from his belt and pressed the round trigger switch. A brilliant scarlet light lit appeared, followed by a small Meditite. “Sorry I couldn’t get you out of there earlier, mate.” Ben apologized, knowing full well his tiny partner’s distaste for that particular mode of travel. Medeo wore a slightly irritated expression. “Look, mate,” Ben continued. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but somehow when I grabbed that Moon Stone the second time, we wound up in ancient Lacuna.” The quick-witted Meditite nodded to show that he had come to the same conclusion, having followed the prior conversation of the three teens from inside his Steel Ball.

“I’m not sure, but I think fate has sent us here so that we can help these people somehow. I’m going to the Moon Temple with Ikira in a bit to meet her father and see what I can find out.” Ever-eager for action, Medeo nodded enthusiastically that he liked that plan.

“Sorry, mate,” Ben replied, seeing his diminutive companion’s look. “The Moon Temple is one of their most sacred places. I don’t know how the people of Lacuna will react to seeing you just walking around with us inside there.” Medeo frowned mightily and Ben quickly added, “but I promise at the first sign of danger, I’ll let you know.” The Yoga Pokemon looked doubtful. “You have my word, mate.” Ben assured his little friend.

Medeo sighed and hung his tiny, onion-shaped head sadly. He realized that Ben was right and knew arguing wouldn’t solve anything. After a moment he glanced ruefully at Ben, slowly nodding that he was ready. Ben pointed the Steel Ball at Medeo, and in a flash of scarlet radiance, the doleful Meditite disappeared. Ben knew his partner hated being cooped up, but didn’t feel there was any other choice at the moment. He quickly pulled on the white robe and the claw-shaped pendant, then stuffed all of his belongings into the fibre tote bag Ikira had loaned him. Slinging the simple pack over his shoulder, he rejoined the silver-haired girl, and they set out for the Moon Temple.


* * *

As Ben and Ikira made their way down the dirt paved path leading to the Moon Temple, a feeling of guilt nagged at the back of Ben’s mind as he thought about their parting with Kiru. Even though Ben wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, it was clear that Kiru and Ikira shared some sort of a past, and Ben hoped that there would be an opportunity to make things right with the boy. As they continued on, Ben noted with astonishment just how radically different Lacuna City had looked in its prime. Ben noticed that even the overhanging branches had been clipped back to make a clear avenue for travel, transportation, and trade. When he thought back to the desolation and barrenness of the ruins in the present day, Ben resolved even more firmly to try to find a way to help prevent the conflict he felt was sure to arise.

The white-robed pair approached the cornerstone of the majestic Moon Temple, and Ben couldn’t help but feel excited as a mystical sensation washed over him like a flood, warming him in its magical embrace. Surveying the stately structure, his grey-green eyes fell on a lone figure waiting at the steps. Befitting his position, the man wore the fanciest looking garments Ben had ever seen, and Ben wondered if he might not be Ikira’s father. Ben didn’t have to wait long to find out his answer.

"Father!" Ikira called happily. Bounding forward, she hugged the man tightly.

"Now, now, Ikira. You know we must observe proper decorum when in the Moon Temple. Saros is watching," her father coaxed. Nevertheless, he briefly returned the embrace and continued, "I am known as Priest Mensa within these walls, and you must address me as such."

"Alright, Priest Mensa,” Ikira giggled.

"I see Ben has accompanied you in joining the cause of Saros," Mensa smiled at the teenage trainer. "But what of Kiru?"

"..." Ikira regarded her father sadly. Ben noticed that for what seemed like the first time that day, the normally garrulous girl was lost for words. However, her silence, and the look on her face, spoke louder than words ever could.

"...I see. So the boy took to the side of Rapa," Mensa muttered, gazing off thoughtfully into the distance. Ben thought he detected a faint trace of bitterness mixed with pity in the old man’s words. "He should heed the legends of old, Kiru, but I pray that he realises the consequences of his brash decisions before it's too late. The three of you have been friends since young and I do not wish to see you separated... Shall I tell you the legend of Saros and Rapa, Ben?"

"Fa - I mean, Priest Mensa! I'm sure Ben already knows the legend like the back of his hands," moaned Ikira. "You tell it to us whenever you get the chance!"

"Ah, but surely a refresher wouldn't hurt," replied Mensa. Smiling, the priest stroked his beard and spoke again, "The heart falters easily in times of darkness, and now, perhap, could not possibly be a more opportune time to fortify the soul. Don't you agree, Ben?"

“It [I]is one of my favorites,” Ben quickly replied. “And no one tells it quite like you, sir.” The teenage trainer had followed the conversation with great interest, hoping to pick up any useful scrap of information. Seeing Ikira’s reaction to her father’s suggestion, Ben supposed the tale of Rapa and Saros would be a long one, and impatient to get on with the exploring the Temple, half-considered trying to slip away. He realized though, Priest Mensa’s knowledge could be invaluable to helping him figure out a plan to hopefully prevent the desolation of Lacuna. Glancing at the silver-haired girl, Ben grinned sheepishly and shrugged, “I guess one more time couldn’t hurt…”


__________________
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PeeGee
20th March 2009, 12:23 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
"Ooooh, well done! You've got it!" cheers Baltoy, clapping its clay arms together like an excited child. "That was some good thinking! You'll need that if you want to clear the other riddles inside, but first... this way, please!"

As Baltoy disappears into the passage ahead, you start moving to follow it, Watermelon and Dot next to you. With each measure of distance you move deeper into the hallway small torches lining the walls light up, illuminating the way in front where Baltoy is merrily bobbing ahead, gaining speed even while you chase after it. At the corners of your vision you spot that this hall is no less ornate than the room you were in earlier, but you maintain focus on the main mission at hand. For all you knew the way ahead could be labyrinthesque and the last thing you'd want is to lose your way inside this ancient monument.

By the time you see a clearing of light ahead, Baltoy already seems to have disappeared, leaving you and your Pokémon apparently alone in a larger room about the size of a typical battle arena, filled with sand from all four corners. Ahead you barely spot the edges of a rocky slab door cut into the opposite wall, but with no clear opening mechanism. Out of curiousity you start making your way across the silicon oxide deposits, but nearly halfway across the room you feel a slight rumble in the sand beneath your feet, and a small brown head pops out of the grainy floor a moment later.

"Diglett!" it says, eyeing you in fascination, and with a start you realise that you'll have to battle your way through in order to gain permission to the next riddle. What will you do now?

"Ooooh, well done! You've got it!" cheers Baltoy, clapping its clay arms together like an excited child. "That was some good thinking! You'll need that if you want to clear the other riddles inside, but first... this way, please!"

Baltoy disappeared into the passage ahead, Karmas, Dot and Watermelon having to run, or fly in Dot's case, to keep up with the small pokemon. As he ran down the hallway Karmas noticed that it was just as ornate as the hallway that he met Baltoy in, but he didn't wish to lose the pokemon; for all he knew, Karmas might have been running into a large labyrinth.

Finally Karmas came to a clearing of light, with the Baltoy nowhere to be seen. The room was large, about the size of a regular battling field and was filled by sand from all four corners. Karmas looked around the room some more and was able to spot the faint outline of a rocky slab door but, as far as he could see, there was no way to open it.

Curiously, Karmas walked towards the door and when he was about halfway across the room he thought he felt a slight rumble at his feet. Karmas looked around in surprise but couldn't see anything that could have caused it, until a small brown head popped out of the grainy floor.

"Diglett!" it says, eyeing Karmas in fascination.

It didn't take Karmas long to figure out that he needed to fight his way out of the room and gain permission to the next riddle.

"Okay Watermelon," said Karmas, "It's your time to shine."

The Nuzleaf jumped out in front of his trainer and took on a fighting stance. Karmas figured that since Watermelon was a Grass type that he would be a good pokemon to verse a Diglett, which was a ground type.

"Watermelon, I want you to start off with an Aqua Ring attack, followed by a Razor Leaf. If the Diglett attacks you I want you to counter it with a Nature Power attack!" ordered Karmas.

Shadowshocker
21st March 2009, 7:39 AM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
"It's him, Stark!" cries Carolina again, clinging to you like a daughter to her mother. "He's been following me wherever I go for the past few months, and I don't know why! You've got to stop him!"

"So you've got another unwitting victim under your belt, have you, Carolina?" Lawrence growls as he frowns. "And it didn't take long for you to convince him either, I see. The guy's smitten with you, and completely immune to reason."

"You can't listen to him, Stark..." Wrapping her arms around you, Carolina starts to whisper in your ear, clearly upping the ante as you feel her breath and voice, warm against your lobe. "But you're going to defend me, aren't you? Aren't you?"

"That's enough, Carolina." From out of nowhere Lawrence produces a PokéBall in his right hand, matching your own prepared orb in your palm. "You won't be getting away this time. Once I've dealt with him, you're next. There won't be any escape for you."

"We'll see about that!" laughs Carolina with much gaiety, and you feel her press against your back; her delicate fingers briefly brushing along your waist.

"Raticate, stand by!" Lawrence declares, flinging his containment sphere to the ground to reveal his selection: a brown-furred rodent on its hind legs, its whiskers bristling aggressively and its alarmingly large buck teeth clacking together, glaring at you all the while. Looks like your questions haven't been answered, and won't be for a while; Pokémon battle now being the only viable method of bringing any message across to anyone relevant.

What will you do?



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
Sending out your Nuzleaf to deal with this first of physical challenges, Watermelon wastes no time in applying the first half of his name. Circles of watery power start to form about him, creating series of Aqua Rings to soak him in recovery as the battle continues. Before he can proceed with his next move, however, Diglett comes bobbing through the sands, knocking into Watermelon's foot in a surprising tripping strike. Too Astonished to react, Watermelon topples over his brown lower limbs, falling to the sands with a soft but gritty thump.

"Diglett! Diglett!" Appearing pleased at its proverbial handiwork, Diglett begins to make happy noises before charging back in, Scratching Watermelon across the face, much to the Nuzleaf's irritation. Snarling, Watermelon starts charging Nature Power through his body, before slamming down onto the ground, drawing the sand's power to unleash a ferocious Earthquake through the field. Not having expected this turn of events, Diglett yelps as the gaiakinetic pulses echo through all eight inches of its small body, thoroughly shaking it to the core. As you try to regain your footing, not having immunity to Watermelon's attack, Diglett surprises you yet again as it pops down into the sand, leaving a hole as proof of its Dig manouvre -- at this point, Diglett could reappear anywhere, and you would have no way of knowing where it might appear; for certain, this might not be as easy a first confrontation as you might have supposed.

What will you do now?

Shadowshocker
21st March 2009, 7:40 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
"Very well, Ben." His hand going to his shining beard once again, you watch as Mensa closes his eyes, his brow deeply furrowed in reminescing. "No one truly knows where Saros and Rapa came from, but legend has it that they were borne from the moon, after the planets and the world were formed."

"The moon?" Ikira asks, though from a glance in her direction you can tell out of her feigned interest that she's simply saying this as if on cue; unsurprising considering her experience with her father's tale.

"Yes, Ikira. Saros and Rapa represent the phases of the moon, when it is full, new or somewhere in between," nods Mensa with a smile. "As the moon ebbs and flows between its phases, so does the waters flowing through Lacuna flow. We have much to thank the moon for, and as a result, we likewise have much to thank Saros and Rapa for."

"But then, why are we even deciding who should lead the city of Lacuna?" questions Ikira, and this time you can tell she's genuinely curious, as are you. "Doesn't the legend say that both Saros and Rapa were responsible for Lacuna's prosperity?"

"As does the moon and tide follow their cycles, so do the blessings of the moon, dear child," Mensa explains. "Prosperity and disaster, darkness and light, the full moon and the new moon. None can exist without the existence of the other. However... in recent times, we have been experiencing more frequent disasters and cataclysms," frowns the priest. "Sandstorms, wild Pokémon onslaughts, even the Laos River has been flooding more frequently and strongly than it should be. We're not even in the flooding season yet." Thinking back to the verbal exchanges between Kiru and Ikira earlier, you recall that something along those lines certainly has been mentioned.

"The priority of a city's leaders is, regardless of what may come, to protect its people and safeguard their interests," sighs Mensa. "Unfortunately, ashamed as I am to admit it, we have not been able to do so for the past few weeks."

"Is that why..."

"You are correct, Ikira. Where we have failed, the practitioners of Rapa have been successfully predicting all these negative events. Usually we would be both shouldering the city's governance; specifically, they would be handling the markets and defence aspects, while we championed diplomacy and order... but since we have not been able to secure order, the temple of Rapa has been stepping in." A displeased look now darkens Mensa's expression, and you can tell he's not very happy at the apparent intervention. "For the past few days the citizens have been in heated debate, deciding that only one temple may truly lead the city... and tonight, the people will decide, once and for all."

"I see." Gazing listlessly at nothing in particular, trouble starts to cloud Ikira's face. "What do you think, Priest Mensa?"

"I cannot say for certain, Ikira. As practitioners of Saros, we believe in peace, order and rejuvenation... but we can't simply let the members of Rapa do as they please." Deeply frowning as he says this, you notice Mensa now looks the most serious he's looked yet. "I can't shake off this feeling... that things are going to take an extremely dark turn. The very existence of Lacuna will be at stake tonight, and with this division amongst us... I fear for the worst, my children."

Stroking his beard in deep, troubled silence, Mensa closes his eyes, at which Ikira beckons to you to go with her. Running along the marbled hallway, Ikira leads you into a junction in the temple where it leads on into three different areas.

"So... what do you think, Ben? Do you think that's why they asked us to bring our Pokémon?" she asks you. "Do we have to fight it out?... I don't think I'd like to fight anyone in Lacuna. Especially not Kiru; he's tough." The silver-haired girl pauses at this, though from her expression you can tell Kiru's supposed battle aptitude isn't quite why Ikira's uncomfortable with the thought of fighting him.

"If anything, maybe we should have some battle practice. There's an arena in the temple for practicing; the priests do say that battling is a time to pacify the heart for bonding with your Pokémon, and if we're battling tonight we could use the workout," suggests Ikira, brightening up. "I'm sure Debra and Medeo would benefit from the practice, and we could always heal them in the Healing Grounds later. What do you say?"

It seems whoever the Ben Ikira really knows is, he seems to be a perfect parallel to you in your time. For now, though, nothing else seems to be of much priority, and if Ikira's guess is true you might be needing all the battle experience you can get.

What will you do?

PeeGee
21st March 2009, 9:12 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx
Sending out your Nuzleaf to deal with this first of physical challenges, Watermelon wastes no time in applying the first half of his name. Circles of watery power start to form about him, creating series of Aqua Rings to soak him in recovery as the battle continues. Before he can proceed with his next move, however, Diglett comes bobbing through the sands, knocking into Watermelon's foot in a surprising tripping strike. Too Astonished to react, Watermelon topples over his brown lower limbs, falling to the sands with a soft but gritty thump.

"Diglett! Diglett!" Appearing pleased at its proverbial handiwork, Diglett begins to make happy noises before charging back in, Scratching Watermelon across the face, much to the Nuzleaf's irritation. Snarling, Watermelon starts charging Nature Power through his body, before slamming down onto the ground, drawing the sand's power to unleash a ferocious Earthquake through the field. Not having expected this turn of events, Diglett yelps as the gaiakinetic pulses echo through all eight inches of its small body, thoroughly shaking it to the core. As you try to regain your footing, not having immunity to Watermelon's attack, Diglett surprises you yet again as it pops down into the sand, leaving a hole as proof of its Dig maneuver -- at this point, Diglett could reappear anywhere, and you would have no way of knowing where it might appear; for certain, this might not be as easy a first confrontation as you might have supposed.

What will you do now?

Watermelon wasted no time, immediately covering himself with his Aqua Ring attack. As he prepared to shoot off a Razor Leaf attack the Diglett bobbed through the sand and knocked into Watermelon's foot, knocking the humanoid pokemon over due to him being Astonished. Watermelon came down quick and hard. Diglett let off a couple of happy cries before it charged towards Watermelon, Scratching him across the face.

A snarling Watermelon began to charge the energy of his Nature Power before slamming his hands into the ground. To both his and Karmas' surprise the attack turned int an Earthquake which appeared to have shaken Diglett nearly to its core. The attack ended up knocking Karmas off his feet, but the trainer still managed to keep his attention on the battle as the small Diglett popped underground.

"Okay Watermelon," started Karmas. "This is obviously a little tougher than we would have expected, but we can pull through still. The Diglett is obviously using a Dig attack so we need to counter it."

Karmas stood in thought for a couple of seconds while he tried to think of a plan. Dot tapped him on the shoulder and whispered into his ear.

"That's a great idea Dot!" exclaimed Karmas. "Okay Watermelon, start off by using Nature Power, then use Blizzard when it pops back up. Then try to finish it off with a Seed Bomb!"

Watermelon nodded as Karmas braced himself for Watermelon's attack.

-Hayward-
21st March 2009, 5:41 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
"Very well, Ben." His hand going to his shining beard once again, you watch as Mensa closes his eyes, his brow deeply furrowed in reminescing. "No one truly knows where Saros and Rapa came from, but legend has it that they were borne from the moon, after the planets and the world were formed."

"The moon?" Ikira asks, though from a glance in her direction you can tell out of her feigned interest that she's simply saying this as if on cue; unsurprising considering her experience with her father's tale.

"Yes, Ikira. Saros and Rapa represent the phases of the moon, when it is full, new or somewhere in between," nods Mensa with a smile. "As the moon ebbs and flows between its phases, so does the waters flowing through Lacuna flow. We have much to thank the moon for, and as a result, we likewise have much to thank Saros and Rapa for."

"But then, why are we even deciding who should lead the city of Lacuna?" questions Ikira, and this time you can tell she's genuinely curious, as are you. "Doesn't the legend say that both Saros and Rapa were responsible for Lacuna's prosperity?"

"As does the moon and tide follow their cycles, so do the blessings of the moon, dear child," Mensa explains. "Prosperity and disaster, darkness and light, the full moon and the new moon. None can exist without the existence of the other. However... in recent times, we have been experiencing more frequent disasters and cataclysms," frowns the priest. "Sandstorms, wild Pokémon onslaughts, even the Laos River has been flooding more frequently and strongly than it should be. We're not even in the flooding season yet." Thinking back to the verbal exchanges between Kiru and Ikira earlier, you recall that something along those lines certainly has been mentioned.

"The priority of a city's leaders is, regardless of what may come, to protect its people and safeguard their interests," sighs Mensa. "Unfortunately, ashamed as I am to admit it, we have not been able to do so for the past few weeks."

"Is that why..."

"You are correct, Ikira. Where we have failed, the practitioners of Rapa have been successfully predicting all these negative events. Usually we would be both shouldering the city's governance; specifically, they would be handling the markets and defence aspects, while we championed diplomacy and order... but since we have not been able to secure order, the temple of Rapa has been stepping in." A displeased look now darkens Mensa's expression, and you can tell he's not very happy at the apparent intervention. "For the past few days the citizens have been in heated debate, deciding that only one temple may truly lead the city... and tonight, the people will decide, once and for all."

"I see." Gazing listlessly at nothing in particular, trouble starts to cloud Ikira's face. "What do you think, Priest Mensa?"

"I cannot say for certain, Ikira. As practitioners of Saros, we believe in peace, order and rejuvenation... but we can't simply let the members of Rapa do as they please." Deeply frowning as he says this, you notice Mensa now looks the most serious he's looked yet. "I can't shake off this feeling... that things are going to take an extremely dark turn. The very existence of Lacuna will be at stake tonight, and with this division amongst us... I fear for the worst, my children."

Stroking his beard in deep, troubled silence, Mensa closes his eyes, at which Ikira beckons to you to go with her. Running along the marbled hallway, Ikira leads you into a junction in the temple where it leads on into three different areas.

"So... what do you think, Ben? Do you think that's why they asked us to bring our Pokémon?" she asks you. "Do we have to fight it out?... I don't think I'd like to fight anyone in Lacuna. Especially not Kiru; he's tough." The silver-haired girl pauses at this, though from her expression you can tell Kiru's supposed battle aptitude isn't quite why Ikira's uncomfortable with the thought of fighting him.

"If anything, maybe we should have some battle practice. There's an arena in the temple for practicing; the priests do say that battling is a time to pacify the heart for bonding with your Pokémon, and if we're battling tonight we could use the workout," suggests Ikira, brightening up. "I'm sure Debra and Medeo would benefit from the practice, and we could always heal them in the Healing Grounds later. What do you say?"

It seems whoever the Ben Ikira really knows is, he seems to be a perfect parallel to you in your time. For now, though, nothing else seems to be of much priority, and if Ikira's guess is true you might be needing all the battle experience you can get.

What will you do?





"Very well, Ben." Mensa replied, closing his eyes. Brow furrowed deeply in concentration, he stroked his beard and continued, "No one truly knows where Saros and Rapa came from, but legend has it that they were borne from the moon, after the planets and the world were formed."

"The moon?" asked Ikira. Ben threw a sideways glance in the silver-haired girl’s direction and noticed by the disinterested expression on her face that her comment had clearly been rehearsed.

"Yes, Ikira. Saros and Rapa represent the phases of the moon, when it is full, new or somewhere in between," Mensa nodded, smiling. "As the moon ebbs and flows between its phases, so does the waters flowing through Lacuna flow. We have much to thank the moon for, and as a result, we likewise have much to thank Saros and Rapa for."

"But then, why are we even deciding who should lead the city of Lacuna?" Ikira questioned. Once more, Ben quickly glanced at the teenager. Unlike before though, this time she appeared to be sincerely interested. "Doesn't the legend say that both Saros and Rapa were responsible for Lacuna's prosperity?"

"As does the moon and tide follow their cycles, so do the blessings of the moon, dear child," explained Mensa. "Prosperity and disaster, darkness and light, the full moon and the new moon. None can exist without the existence of the other. However... in recent times, we have been experiencing more frequent disasters and cataclysms," the priest frowned. "Sandstorms, wild Pokémon onslaughts, even the Laos River has been flooding more frequently and strongly than it should be. We're not even in the flooding season yet." Ben’s mind raced at the words of Ikira’s father. Clearly this was what Ikira and Kiru had been referring to in their debate earlier.

"The priority of a city's leaders is, regardless of what may come, to protect its people and safeguard their interests," Mensa sighed. "Unfortunately, ashamed as I am to admit it, we have not been able to do so for the past few weeks."

"Is that why..." Even as the silver-haired girl spoke, Ben guessed what her father’s answer would be.

"You are correct, Ikira. Where we have failed, the practitioners of Rapa have been successfully predicting all these negative events. Usually we would be both shouldering the city's governance; specifically, they would be handling the markets and defence aspects, while we championed diplomacy and order... but since we have not been able to secure order, the temple of Rapa has been stepping in." At these words, Ben noticed a look of grim displeasure cross the face of the wizened priest. Obviously, he was not in favor of the Rapa followers’ intervention, and Ben wondered what they had done, or were going to do, that was so upsetting. "For the past few days the citizens have been in heated debate, deciding that only one temple may truly lead the city... and tonight, the people will decide, once and for all."

"I see." Ikira responded. The silver-haired girl wore a troubled look as she stared absentmindedly off into the distance, and continued, "What do you think, Priest Mensa?"

"I cannot say for certain, Ikira. As practitioners of Saros, we believe in peace, order and rejuvenation... but we can't simply let the members of Rapa do as they please." Mensa said, frowning mightily. When he spoke again, Ben realized that the Priest was wearing the most solemn look he had yet seen. "I can't shake off this feeling... that things are going to take an extremely dark turn. The very existence of Lacuna will be at stake tonight, and with this division amongst us... I fear for the worst, my children."

Lost in thought, Mensa closed his eyes and contemplatively stroked his beard. Suddenly Ikira motioned to Ben to follow her, and set off down the marbled hallway at a jog. After a few moments, she stopped at the intersection of three passageways. Trotting up, Ben noticed that each way lead to a different area of the Temple.

"So... what do you think, Ben? Do you think that's why they asked us to bring our Pokémon?" Ikira asked. "Do we have to fight it out?... I don't think I'd like to fight anyone in Lacuna. Especially not Kiru; he's tough." Reading the look on her face, Ben could tell that Kiru’s battling ability wasn’t the real reason she didn’t want to fight him, and once again felt a twinge of guilt at having split up their friendship.

"If anything, maybe we should have some battle practice. There's an arena in the temple for practicing; the priests do say that battling is a time to pacify the heart for bonding with your Pokémon, and if we're battling tonight we could use the workout," Ikira suggested, cheering up. "I'm sure Debra and Medeo would benefit from the practice, and we could always heal them in the Healing Grounds later. What do you say?"

At the girl’s suggestion of working out, Medeo’s metallic Steel Ball suddenly began to wiggle back-and-forth excitedly in Ben’s fibre tote bag. The diminutive Meditite clearly wanted the chance to prove himself in the practice match against the silver-haired girl’s Pokemon. Ben grinned to himself, as he realized that at this point, Medeo was simply bored with being cooped up and would have welcomed any excuse to be liberated from his makeshift prison.

While the miniature, silver capture capsule continued to shake from side-to-side in an irritated fashion in his satchel, Ben dragged a hand through his short, brown hair, and considered their options. He now knew that the reason for the division in Lacuna had to do with the recent influx of natural disasters. The followers of Saros had not been able to adequately foresee the impending calamities. In response, the acolytes of Rapa had intervened. For a moment, he wondered if the practitioners of Rapa might be staging the disturbances in order to discredit the disciples of Saros, or gain clout in the settlement’s political realm. Only time would prove whether or not Ben’s hunch was true or not; in the meantime, all he could do was wait, and try to ready himself for whatever fate sent his way. Recalling the Priest’s grim proclamation that "the very existence of Lacuna will be at stake tonight…", he had guessed that a battle for the city was on the horizon. Like the silver-haired girl, he recognized the benefits that a bit of exercise would provide. Not only that, but he knew that Medeo was starting to get antsy.

As he noticed the look on the girl's face as she waited for him to make his decision, it seemed to Ben that whoever Ikira had mistaken him for, must be his perfect parallel. Ben knew that if he wanted to help Lacuna, he would have to continue to pretend to be this ancient doppleganger, so as not to draw an unnecessary attention to himself. Grinning at the silver-haired girl, he nodded his approval, finally answering, “A practice battle sounds great. Lead on.”


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Shadowshocker
22nd March 2009, 4:15 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With Diglett stuck underground, Dot offers her advice for your subsequent battle decision, which you then relay to Watermelon in turn. Taking advantage of his opponent's status, Watermelon calls on Nature's Power to once again send an Earthquake rumbling through the sands, leaving you once again wobbling for balance as the groundbreaking force ripples through the room. A shrill screaming is heard from beneath the sands as your Nuzleaf performs his task, and soon after the quaking ceases Diglett comes Digging back up, jutting into Watermelon's foot and causing him to fall over. While your Pokémon picks himself up, you note that Diglett looks considerably much more shaken than ever; its brief trip beneath the sandy surface having proved twice as deadly for the mole Pokémon.

Wasting no time Watermelon draws in a huge breath, his internal systems working at the wind to turn it freezing cold, which the acorn humanoid blasts out in the form of a chilling Blizzard. As the snow and frost screams over the ground a thin layer of ice starts forming even as the attack makes brief contact, and the moment it washes over Diglett you hear the the little Ground-type give off another piteous squeal. When the attack has cleared you notice that Watermelon's technique has caused the sand to freeze over, locking Diglett in place. Desperately Diglett tries to send a Magnitude through the solidified water; unfortunately it ends up only ranking a 4 on the scale, and barely manages to crack its icy imprisonment. Being of the Grass-type Watermelon dismisses this earthly attack with a sniff before hocking up a storm of Seed Bombs to rain botanic pain onto Diglett, clods of dirt and sand flying up as the exploding orbs make their mark. A final, high-pitched yell echoes through the chamber, and when the battlefield has resumed normal visibility conditions you spot Diglett's battered form slinking down into the sands, from which it does not resurface. Level-up for Watermelon.

A twinge of remorse pulses softly through you for your onslaught on Diglett, but you still have far more challenging issues to attend to. With this in mind you continue towards the opposite passageway, moving onward to the next riddle. Observing your surroundings, you notice that this passage is much like the one Baltoy led you through, and before you realise it you find yourself in a room much like the one where you found Baltoy, where a Meditite sits in the lotus position.

"I see you have conquered the first riddle, in addition to the Sphinx's question," it says in a serene female voice. "That is most commendable... however, if you do not keep your mind focused and your wits sharp, you will most certainly fall. An understanding of the world, be it Pokémon or people, logic or tactics, is key to overcoming the challenges that await you. Everything in this world has its other, keeping our universe in perfect balance."

As she speaks, a group of ten orbs start gathering about Meditite, orbiting her form for a few moments before falling to the floor in front of you, forming ten stony discs with words written upon them.

"From my Hidden Power I have generated your next task... you must, from the words you see on the tiles, group them into pairs," instructs Meditite. "Be warned; if you were to make an error in your judgement, regardless of your magnitude of mistakes, you will be returned outside the Sphinx, and your journey rendered fruitless."

Picking up the discs, you notice that the series of phrases comprise the following: Amnesia, Double Team, Fake Tears, Growl, Iron Defence, Meditate, Rock Polish, Scary Face, Screech, Sweet Scent. What do you think the answer could be?


The Lost City of Lacuna[/center]

The Moon Temple

Hayward
"Alright! I knew you'd like the idea!" squeals Ikira, catching you by the hand and leading you through the left passageway, your footsteps echoing through the marble surfaces. For a moment you worry if Ikira's enthusiastic advances may be causing disruption, but even as the two of you make your way along you've not seen anyone else aside from some pillars and statues, as though standing guard over the establishment. Feline creatures of stone and glyphs of a beaked, moon-like creature gaze down at you imperiously, but even in their stony stares you feel a certain sense of kinship, as though their very presence emanated an aura of protection that could nullify all threats and negativity. An odd sense of peace and happiness soaks in your mind while Ikira continues to lead you through the Temple hallway.

"Well, here we are!" Ikira declares, prompting you to halt your dashing and look ahead. A large, circular hall stands in front of you, reaching up into a clear dome about sixty feet high through which the sunlight pours in. Opposite, a similar doorway leads towards another passageway, from which you can see a faint cyan aura.

"We can heal our Pokémon in the Healing Grounds, through that passage," Ikira explains. "But for now, let's get in place first."

Beckoning you to a spot nearer to the other hallway, Ikira stands at the equidistant point between the earlier doorway and the centre of the room. "We'll be able to use the entire room to battle, but we can't touch the dome... My father told me once of how it broke in a battle once, and it wasn't pretty," she remarks as you take your position. "Debra, let's do this!"

Flinging a PokéBall to the ground, Ikira smiles as the orb's contents materialise into a yellow fox-like creature padded with brown armour, in a seated position with its clawed limbs left lazily to its sides. "Aaaaabra..." she whispers.

"You make the first move, Ben!" calls Ikira. The ball's in your court now...

-Hayward-
22nd March 2009, 7:28 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
"Alright! I knew you'd like the idea!" squeals Ikira, catching you by the hand and leading you through the left passageway, your footsteps echoing through the marble surfaces. For a moment you worry if Ikira's enthusiastic advances may be causing disruption, but even as the two of you make your way along you've not seen anyone else aside from some pillars and statues, as though standing guard over the establishment. Feline creatures of stone and glyphs of a beaked, moon-like creature gaze down at you imperiously, but even in their stony stares you feel a certain sense of kinship, as though their very presence emanated an aura of protection that could nullify all threats and negativity. An odd sense of peace and happiness soaks in your mind while Ikira continues to lead you through the Temple hallway.

"Well, here we are!" Ikira declares, prompting you to halt your dashing and look ahead. A large, circular hall stands in front of you, reaching up into a clear dome about sixty feet high through which the sunlight pours in. Opposite, a similar doorway leads towards another passageway, from which you can see a faint cyan aura.

"We can heal our Pokémon in the Healing Grounds, through that passage," Ikira explains. "But for now, let's get in place first."

Beckoning you to a spot nearer to the other hallway, Ikira stands at the equidistant point between the earlier doorway and the centre of the room. "We'll be able to use the entire room to battle, but we can't touch the dome... My father told me once of how it broke in a battle once, and it wasn't pretty," she remarks as you take your position. "Debra, let's do this!"

Flinging a PokéBall to the ground, Ikira smiles as the orb's contents materialise into a yellow fox-like creature padded with brown armour, in a seated position with its clawed limbs left lazily to its sides. "Aaaaabra..." she whispers.

"You make the first move, Ben!" calls Ikira. The ball's in your court now...


"Alright! I knew you'd like the idea!" Ikira squealed, tightly clasping hold of Ben’s hand and half-dragging him down the marbled passageway to the left. The pounding of their footstrikes rang in Ben’s ears as the pair hurried down the hall, and Ben momentarily wondered if the silver-haired girl’s excitement hadn’t run away with her. Clearly an activity as ill-mannered as running in the hallways would draw frowns from any austere worshipper at the sacred Moon Temple. However, they didn't encounter a single soul as they continued on, and the natural peace and tranquility of the serene sanctuary settled on Ben. The teenage trainer let go of his concern and took the opportunity to marvel at the great carved-granite guardians and amazing architecture of the magnificent structure. He was glad he had chosen to come with Ikira to the Moon Temple. It almost felt to him as if he belonged here.

"Well, here we are!" declared Ikira suddenly, and Ben skidded to a halt, narrowly avoiding crashing into the back of the silver-haired girl. As his grey-green eyes surveyed the sunlit, circular arena he found himself in, he glanced at the transparent, domed ceiling enclosing and gaped at its sheer enormity.

"We can heal our Pokémon in the Healing Grounds, through that passage," explained Ikira, referring to the doorway on the opposite side of the battlefield. Glancing in the indicated direction, Ben noticed a dim azure glow faintly illuminating the doorway, and nodded. Ikira continued, "But for now, let's get in place first."

Ikira chose a spot about a quarter of the way across the arena, and motioned for Ben to do the same, explaining, "We'll be able to use the entire room to battle, but we can't touch the dome... My father told me once of how it broke in a battle once, and it wasn't pretty.” As Ben positioned himself, she flung a Pokeball to the ground, exclaiming, "Debra, let's do this!" The yellow, vulpine-like Psi Pokemon instantly appeared on the battlefield, softly cooing, ”Aaaaabra…”. Ikira smiled calling out, "You make the first move, Ben!"

Ben reached into the fibre tote bag slung across his shoulder and grabbed the metallic Steel Ball containing the Meditite Medeo. The customized capture capsule rocked back-and-forth excitedly in his palm, as he withdrew his hand. Pressing the round trigger switch in the center of the silver sphere, a brilliant scarlet light appeared, followed by a small Meditite. The moment that the Meditite Medeo emerged from his temporary prison, he made an exaggerated show of reaching over to touch his toes, running in place, and doing jumping jacks. Unimpressed by this ostentatious display, Ben calmly waited for his tiny partner to finish his theatrics before issuing instructions. “Ready, mate? Ikira’s going to let us make the first move, so hit Debra with a FAKE OUT (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9501221&postcount=862”) attack. While she’s stunned, hit her with a THUNDERPUNCH (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9229119&postcount=796”).” The Yoga Pokemon nodded his understanding and Ben continued, “Look sharp, keep your cool, and be ready to defend with DETECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml”).” Medeo fixed his steely gaze on the lethargic Abra and adopted the Savage Butterfree Antagonism offensive kung fu stance, readying himself for the first round…


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Shadowshocker
24th March 2009, 2:18 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
Assuming his battle stance, Medeo is quick to make use of the priority advantage he has been given. Darting forward in a series of fast steps, Medeo brings his round palms back before swinging them into Debra's face in an attempt to Fake her Out, but the Meditite is soon surprised as Debra throws herself forward, slamming into Medeo's forehead in a shimmering Zen Headbutt.

"You're forgetting, Ben," Ikira calls, concern mixed with a little snarkiness as Medeo stumbles backwards. "Debra's Inner Focus prevents any flinching! Debra, Signal Beam!"

As you take in the implications of this revelation, Medeo dives back in time before the rainbow-coloured laser fired from Debra's claws can make contact; the beam of insectoid potential flickering towards you and dissipating before it comes within range. Having managed to Detect the attack, Medeo gets back to his feet and charges towards Debra once more, bringing down a blistering Thunderpunch to Debra's noggin. The tables are briefly turned as Debra wobbles on her feet, trying her best to regain balance and tripping back several steps in quick succession. With their commands both exhausted for the moment both Psychic humanoids glare at each other; battle and victory taking priority over any sentiments that might have existed. While Debra's attack was stronger, Medeo's naturally boosted Pure Power lent a much needed aid in dealing damage, though for now both of them look fit enough to continue for quite a while.

"Not bad at all, Ben, but it's not going to be that easy!" yells Ikira with a mischevous grin on her face. "Debra, go for Energy Ball, and Ice Punch! Teleport if Medeo comes for you!"

-Hayward-
24th March 2009, 10:24 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
Assuming his battle stance, Medeo is quick to make use of the priority advantage he has been given. Darting forward in a series of fast steps, Medeo brings his round palms back before swinging them into Debra's face in an attempt to Fake her Out, but the Meditite is soon surprised as Debra throws herself forward, slamming into Medeo's forehead in a shimmering Zen Headbutt.

"You're forgetting, Ben," Ikira calls, concern mixed with a little snarkiness as Medeo stumbles backwards. "Debra's Inner Focus prevents any flinching! Debra, Signal Beam!"

As you take in the implications of this revelation, Medeo dives back in time before the rainbow-coloured laser fired from Debra's claws can make contact; the beam of insectoid potential flickering towards you and dissipating before it comes within range. Having managed to Detect the attack, Medeo gets back to his feet and charges towards Debra once more, bringing down a blistering Thunderpunch to Debra's noggin. The tables are briefly turned as Debra wobbles on her feet, trying her best to regain balance and tripping back several steps in quick succession. With their commands both exhausted for the moment both Psychic humanoids glare at each other; battle and victory taking priority over any sentiments that might have existed. While Debra's attack was stronger, Medeo's naturally boosted Pure Power lent a much needed aid in dealing damage, though for now both of them look fit enough to continue for quite a while.

"Not bad at all, Ben, but it's not going to be that easy!" yells Ikira with a mischevous grin on her face. "Debra, go for Energy Ball, and Ice Punch! Teleport if Medeo comes for you!"



On a sunlit battlefield, in the immense, domed Moon Temple arena, the Meditite Medeo received his isntructions with a nod and eagerly scampered forward, fully prepared to deliver the first attack. The trainer Benjamin Hale watched as Medeo misleadingly swung his tiny palms backwards, then as quick as a shockwave, brought them around again, connecting with Debra’s face, trying to Fake Out the Abra. Ben bolted in shock as Ikira’s partner, rather than being stunned by the sneaky strike, retaliated immediately with a teeth-rattling Zen Headbutt.

“You’re forgetting, Ben,” Ikira sang out condescendingly, as Ben watched Medeo massage his throbbing forehead. He could tell Ikira was surprised he had neglected to take such a basic factor as Abra’s Natural Ability into account when strategising. “Debra’s Inner Focus prevents any flinching! Debra, Signal Beam!” the silver-haired girl exclaimed. Detecting the attack, Medeo instinctively somersaulted backwards, narrowly avoiding the multi-hued energy blast as it whistled past and dissolved just metres away from Ben’s position. Ben let out a grateful sigh as the Signal Beam failed to find its mark, and silently berated himself for not being more thorough in his preparations. He hadn’t been careful, and it had almost cost them; he’d have to be more cautious in the future.

Medeo was on his feet in an instant and threw a jaundicied look over his tiny shoulder at Ben. Grinning sheepishly, the teenage trainer shrugged and apologized, “Sorry, mate. Guess I forgot about Inner Focus! We can still win this though, just keep your cool!” Medeo shook his onion-shaped head from side-to-side in disgust at his trainer’s rookie mistake, then turned his steely gaze to the vulpine Abra once again. Channeling his annoyance into an energy he could use, the little Yoga Pokemon hurtled headlong at Debra as a gleaming, electric aura surrounded his clenched right hand.

Ben watched with astonishment as the determined Meditite delivered a devastating Thunderpunch to the brow of the Psi Pokemon with all the force of a charging Tauros, causing it to stagger backwards several paces. “That was brilliant, mate!” Ben praised his diminutive companion. Adrenaline coursing through his veins, Medeo let out an exuberant shout of “Medii!” in response.

"Not bad at all, Ben, but it's not going to be that easy!" Ikira yelled, smiling mischievously. "Debra, go for Energy Ball, and Ice Punch! Teleport if Medeo comes for you!"

“Look sharp now, mate!” Ben cautioned the small Meditite. “Surround yourself with an AQUA RING (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9416997&postcount=6”) right away, then MEDITATE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml”) and BIDE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml”) your time while Debra attacks!” Eyes still blazing fervently at Debra, Medeo nodded his understanding and prepared himself for the next round of battle…


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Shadowshocker
25th March 2009, 3:03 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
The both of you quickly issuing your commands, Debra and Medeo move on to the next phases of their combat sequences. As Debra begins to focus botanic power between her hands, Medeo concentrates on tapping into what aquatic ability he has. Blips of water energy begin to surround his lithe form, glowing with a similar cyan glow like you saw from the passageway leading to the Healing Grounds. As they orbit about Medeo, the Aquatic pulses soon flow into Rings, bathing Medeo in their gentle illuminescence. This, however, doesn't prepare Medeo for the Energy Ball Debra hurls subsequently, the Grass-typed explosive blowing up in Medeo's face. Rubbing his bruised complexion, Medeo sits on the floor in a lotus position to Meditate for rounds to come, focusing his mental powers to boost those of his muscles.

Sensing her chance, Debra begins charging, her fist brimming with the power of Ice, and just as Medeo completes his reflection on world affairs a freezing Punch comes his way, knocking him flat on his back. Feeling the sting of the ice fresh on his unseen nose, Medeo unhappily resumes his yoga stance in order to Bide through future attacks. Having no more opposing techniques to absorb, Medeo simply sits where he is, the aura of Bide briefly overridden for a moment as the Aqua Ring does its work, returning an appreciated fraction of Medeo's health back to him. Having taken no damage, Debra is in noticeably better shape, but Medeo's investments this round may turn the tables around.

What will you do?

Stark
25th March 2009, 3:25 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
"It's him, Stark!" cries Carolina again, clinging to you like a daughter to her mother. "He's been following me wherever I go for the past few months, and I don't know why! You've got to stop him!"

"So you've got another unwitting victim under your belt, have you, Carolina?" Lawrence growls as he frowns. "And it didn't take long for you to convince him either, I see. The guy's smitten with you, and completely immune to reason."

"You can't listen to him, Stark..." Wrapping her arms around you, Carolina starts to whisper in your ear, clearly upping the ante as you feel her breath and voice, warm against your lobe. "But you're going to defend me, aren't you? Aren't you?"

"That's enough, Carolina." From out of nowhere Lawrence produces a PokéBall in his right hand, matching your own prepared orb in your palm. "You won't be getting away this time. Once I've dealt with him, you're next. There won't be any escape for you."

"We'll see about that!" laughs Carolina with much gaiety, and you feel her press against your back; her delicate fingers briefly brushing along your waist.

"Raticate, stand by!" Lawrence declares, flinging his containment sphere to the ground to reveal his selection: a brown-furred rodent on its hind legs, its whiskers bristling aggressively and its alarmingly large buck teeth clacking together, glaring at you all the while. Looks like your questions haven't been answered, and won't be for a while; Pokémon battle now being the only viable method of bringing any message across to anyone relevant.

What will you do?


For the first time since meeting her, Stark felt as if he was being used. Lawrence's words screaming out over Carolina's subtle and sensual use of body and intonation had him wondering if he were merely a puppet whose strings would be cut the moment he was no longer useful. Still, better to find the answers with Carolina than with an unstable Lawrence. Afterall, the other man's threats and ultimatums left Stark little choice. It was fight or lose everything and personally, he wasn't much into giving up things he had worked hard for. In this case Carolina's friendship.

"A giant rat huh?" Stark commented, "Seems appropriate enough. They say there are some trainers that very closely resemble their partners. Of course if I were to say that about you, I'd be insulting your Raticate."

It was risky. He didn't know how strong Lawrence or his Raticate were, but the way he saw it, if he infuriated them enough they might make a mistake early and they could end the violence before it spiraled out of control and someone got seriously hurt.

"Alright Houndour let's do it," the red coated trainer said as he tossed the pokeball in his hand out onto the ground only to watch it explode into a flash of brilliant light revealing a black and brown puppy growling at the Raticate in front of her.

Stark stood up straight and offered his hand to Carolina giving her a quick warm smile and nod to know it would be okay to take it. The young woman's touch had already had his heart pounding. Having her by his side could only help reinforce his confidence. This wasn't just a trainer battle. This was a battle full of consequences if they lost. There was no do-over after some more training. The future of a girl depended on the outcome of this battle.

"Houndour use Smog and follow it up with a Fire Spin!" Stark shouted to his partner before turning to Carolina and softly adding, "Don't worry. I won't let anything happen to you. I promise."

Shadowshocker
26th March 2009, 2:44 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With no turning back for any of you, you quickly issue your orders to Houndour, who sneers at Raticate disdainfully in spite of the difference in size as Carolina giggles behind you. Lawrence's lip appears to curl up a little at your sheer defiance, but whether it's over your remark or his determination you can't quite tell, nor are you too concerned about it. Taking a deep breath Houndour releases a cloud of thick, toxic Smog from her mouth, which wafts menacingly over to Raticate while the Dark canine watches smugly. For a moment as Lawrence and Raticate remain silent you almost expect this encounter to be a walkover, but this hypothesis is soon disproved.

"Raticate, use Swords Dance!" declares Lawrence, at which the whiskered mouse stands on one feet, spinning upon the spot as gracefully as a buck-toothed ball of fur can manage. Pushed apart by the miniature tornado, the gas cloud dissipates like dust mites fed through a paper shredder until its entirety has dissolved into the troposphere. "And Hyper Fang!"

"Rrrrraticate!" Launching itself at Houndour, you wince as Raticate nearly literally takes a piece out of your Pokémon, its large fangs ramming deep into her chest. In retaliation, Houndour makes use of the close range to launch a point-blank Fire Spin, catching the offensive rat in a vortex of towering flame. Screeching as it falls back, Raticate tries to roll about to put the fire out without much success, and you briefly hear Caroline coo in wonder at your Houndour's apparent strength.

"Keep calm, Raticate!" Lawrence orders. "Use Flame Wheel to counter!"

"RrrrraaaaAAAT!" Even as it squeaks loudly above the raging fire, you hear Raticate stop in its interjection, prompting you to ponder over what Lawrence could be planning this time. The answer comes as a surprise as the bottom of the inferno around Raticate suddenly gives way, unravelling from the foot like a fraying rope and running to the top, revealing Raticate spinning on the spot while surrounded in its own fire. A moment of thought makes you realise that Raticate must have countered Houndour's attack by working against the Fire Spin in the opposite direction, thus wearing out the technique.

"Raticate, take that Houndour down with a Quick Attack! Then Cut it down to size!" calls Lawrence as Raticate stops its Flame Wheel and recovers, glaring at Houndour with a murderous gleam in its eye. Now things have gone personal, it seems...

-Hayward-
26th March 2009, 10:38 PM
*OOC: Hmmm… Not sure how I missed this yesterday… Sorry Shadow, my reply would have been up a day ago, had I seen it then… Oh well, thanks for all the speedy updates!



The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
The both of you quickly issuing your commands, Debra and Medeo move on to the next phases of their combat sequences. As Debra begins to focus botanic power between her hands, Medeo concentrates on tapping into what aquatic ability he has. Blips of water energy begin to surround his lithe form, glowing with a similar cyan glow like you saw from the passageway leading to the Healing Grounds. As they orbit about Medeo, the Aquatic pulses soon flow into Rings, bathing Medeo in their gentle illuminescence. This, however, doesn't prepare Medeo for the Energy Ball Debra hurls subsequently, the Grass-typed explosive blowing up in Medeo's face. Rubbing his bruised complexion, Medeo sits on the floor in a lotus position to Meditate for rounds to come, focusing his mental powers to boost those of his muscles.

Sensing her chance, Debra begins charging, her fist brimming with the power of Ice, and just as Medeo completes his reflection on world affairs a freezing Punch comes his way, knocking him flat on his back. Feeling the sting of the ice fresh on his unseen nose, Medeo unhappily resumes his yoga stance in order to Bide through future attacks. Having no more opposing techniques to absorb, Medeo simply sits where he is, the aura of Bide briefly overridden for a moment as the Aqua Ring does its work, returning an appreciated fraction of Medeo's health back to him. Having taken no damage, Debra is in noticeably better shape, but Medeo's investments this round may turn the tables around.

What will you do?




On a sunlit battlefield in the Moon Temple’s cavernous coliseum, Ben watched as his tiny partner closed his eyes and reached out to their surroundings with his highly-attuned senses. In an effort to provide himself with a stable source of health replenishment for the remainder of battle, Medeo summoned the water molecules from out of the surrounding atmosphere. The microscopic droplets of water encircled the Yoga Pokemon’s thin frame in a cyan halo, condensing into liquid form. While Medeo was preparing, Ikira’s Abra Debra, fired off a Ball of floral-infused Energy that exploded violently in the small Meditite’s face. Wincing in pain, Medeo rubbed his throbbing, onion-shaped head and eased himself to the ground, adopting the Meditation pose known as the Lotad Position.

Ben watched as Debra spied Medeo shut his eyes and enter a state of quiet contemplation. A frosty aura materialised around the little Abra’s clenched hand as she hurtled headlong towards the Meditating Meditite with a speed that betrayed her species’ characteristic sluggishness. Medeo’s eyes snapped open just in time to see the incoming Ice Punch Debra delivered to his face. As the powerful strike hit its mark, Medeo was forcibly thrown to the ground. Grimacing in pain, the unlucky Meditite sat up glumly, awaiting any other attacks the Abra might have planned. But no further onslaught ever came. Taking advantage of the momentary lapse in fighting, Medeo gratefully allowed the therapeutic benefits of the Aqua Ring to slightly soothe his aching injuries.

Seeing the doleful look on his diminutive companion’s face, Ben offered some encouragement. “We can still win, mate! Just keep your cool.” Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, he thought hard to come up with a strategy. Things hadn’t gone how he planned and Debra was clearly in better shape. Hopefully the preparations they had made this round would set them up for the future ones. After a moment of further consideration, Ben issued his instructions. “Let Debra make the first move this time, mate - brace yourself and take one more offensive attack! Unleash your stored energy, then hit her with a triple DRAIN PUNCH (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9527081&postcount=144)!”


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Shadowshocker
27th March 2009, 3:00 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
Unable to move in his state of biding, Medeo can do little more than acknowledge your commands and brace himself for the pain sure to come. At the same time, Ikira frowns in thought at your Meditite's current situation.

"If we attack Medeo, we'll take twice the damage we deal to him. But if we don't attack, we'll just be wasting time!" she murmurs to herself in deliberation, before snapping her fingers. "We need to take Medeo out before he has the chance to release his Bide, Debra! Go for Iron Tail, then Shadow Ball!"

"Aaaaabra." Fully aware of what her mistress is saying, Debra jumps forward in an agile somersault, her tail gaining the texture, appearance and tenacity of steel, bringing it down onto Medeo who can only grunt at the inflicted damage; his biding aura glowing with noticeably greater intensity. Taking a few steps back to leave a wide enough berth, Debra proceeds to pull some shadows together into a tight orb form, and as it grows steadily larger you begin to worry for Medeo and if he might be able to take the attack. By the point her Shadow Ball has grown to a diameter about three-fifths her height, Debra tosses the chaos bomb at Medeo, albeit a little shakily, but the attack makes its mark in the end, swallowing up the Meditate Pokémon in an explosion of ghostly power. Your eyes gape as Medeo is clouded in a shroud of dark fog, and even Ikira and Debra almost look concerned that they may have gone overboard.

The answer arrives as the necromantic mist alleviates, revealing Medeo surrounded in a crimson glow now almost blinding to look at. Rising to his feet, Medeo glares at the heavily shocked Ikira and Debra, before releasing the aura in the form of a blistering laser. A piercing searing noise is heard as the Bide slams into Debra full-bodiedly, and against the sounds of battle you hear Ikira give a shrill cry of terror at Debra undergoing twice the agony Medeo had to go through. Even as she lies painfully on the hall floor, Medeo doesn't let up on his attacks, jumping in quickly to deal Drain Punch after Drain Punch onto Debra; the Abra's natural resistance offset by Medeo's pure strength and amplified offensive power. With a third green glowing knuckle sandwich, Medeo sends Debra skidding across the marble to Ikira's feet, at which the girl gently picks up the Psi Pokémon. Wounds and bruises are distinct on both your Pokémon, but with the equaliser round Medeo has had it's fair to say that Medeo's got a considerable lead, backed up by the restored health.

"Debra? Are you alright?" whispers Ikira. "Can you go on?"

"Aaaaa..." Stroking her mistress' arm softly with her paw, Debra gives what appears to be a nod.

"Okay. If you're sure..." Placing her Pokémon on the ground in standing position, Ikira looks at you with a determined smile on her face. "That was strong, Ben. I didn't know Medeo could use Drain Punch! In fact... I think we'll borrow it for a while if you don't mind, hee hee! Debra, Mimic Medeo's Drain Punch, then use it twice on him!"

-Hayward-
28th March 2009, 1:38 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
Unable to move in his state of biding, Medeo can do little more than acknowledge your commands and brace himself for the pain sure to come. At the same time, Ikira frowns in thought at your Meditite's current situation.

"If we attack Medeo, we'll take twice the damage we deal to him. But if we don't attack, we'll just be wasting time!" she murmurs to herself in deliberation, before snapping her fingers. "We need to take Medeo out before he has the chance to release his Bide, Debra! Go for Iron Tail, then Shadow Ball!"

"Aaaaabra." Fully aware of what her mistress is saying, Debra jumps forward in an agile somersault, her tail gaining the texture, appearance and tenacity of steel, bringing it down onto Medeo who can only grunt at the inflicted damage; his biding aura glowing with noticeably greater intensity. Taking a few steps back to leave a wide enough berth, Debra proceeds to pull some shadows together into a tight orb form, and as it grows steadily larger you begin to worry for Medeo and if he might be able to take the attack. By the point her Shadow Ball has grown to a diameter about three-fifths her height, Debra tosses the chaos bomb at Medeo, albeit a little shakily, but the attack makes its mark in the end, swallowing up the Meditate Pokémon in an explosion of ghostly power. Your eyes gape as Medeo is clouded in a shroud of dark fog, and even Ikira and Debra almost look concerned that they may have gone overboard.

The answer arrives as the necromantic mist alleviates, revealing Medeo surrounded in a crimson glow now almost blinding to look at. Rising to his feet, Medeo glares at the heavily shocked Ikira and Debra, before releasing the aura in the form of a blistering laser. A piercing searing noise is heard as the Bide slams into Debra full-bodiedly, and against the sounds of battle you hear Ikira give a shrill cry of terror at Debra undergoing twice the agony Medeo had to go through. Even as she lies painfully on the hall floor, Medeo doesn't let up on his attacks, jumping in quickly to deal Drain Punch after Drain Punch onto Debra; the Abra's natural resistance offset by Medeo's pure strength and amplified offensive power. With a third green glowing knuckle sandwich, Medeo sends Debra skidding across the marble to Ikira's feet, at which the girl gently picks up the Psi Pokémon. Wounds and bruises are distinct on both your Pokémon, but with the equaliser round Medeo has had it's fair to say that Medeo's got a considerable lead, backed up by the restored health.

"Debra? Are you alright?" whispers Ikira. "Can you go on?"

"Aaaaa..." Stroking her mistress' arm softly with her paw, Debra gives what appears to be a nod.

"Okay. If you're sure..." Placing her Pokémon on the ground in standing position, Ikira looks at you with a determined smile on her face. "That was strong, Ben. I didn't know Medeo could use Drain Punch! In fact... I think we'll borrow it for a while if you don't mind, hee hee! Debra, Mimic Medeo's Drain Punch, then use it twice on him!"



Resigning himself to the fact that he was in for another round of pain, the Meditite Medeo nodded resolutely at Ben’s instruction to stay patient and called upon his extensive psychic training to quiet his restless spirit.

"If we attack Medeo, we'll take twice the damage we deal to him. But if we don't attack, we'll just be wasting time!" Ikira murmured, frowning. After a moment of contemplation she snapped her fingers and relayed her next orders to the Abra Debra. "We need to take Medeo out before he has the chance to release his Bide, Debra! Go for Iron Tail, then Shadow Ball!"

"Aaaaabra," the little Abra agreed, moving to attack. Deftly flipping, Debra dealt Medeo a harsh blow with her Tail, stiffened to hit with the force of solid Iron. Ben winced as his diminutive companion absorbed the full brunt of Debra’s onslaught head-on. Surrounded by a faint crimson aura, Medeo grunted painfully, but continued Biding his time as the golden Psi Pokemon retreated to safety and fired a Ball of ethereal energy at him that exploded violently on impact. Gaping, Ben watched as his tiny friend was engulfed in the swirling, Shadowy aftermath. On the other side of the battlefield, Debra and Ikira looked on, faces full of worry.

After a moment, the ghostly cloud dissipated, and Ben bolted in surprise to see that the brightness of the glow emanating from Medeo earlier had grown considerably in intensity. Unable to look directly at the brilliantly shining Meditite, Ben shielded his grey-green eyes and momentarily averted his gaze. Suddenly Medeo rose, glaring at Debra and Ikira. He slowly extended his arm, hand upturned, palm facing out, and released his stored energy. The retaliatory blast rocketed across the arena, striking the golden psychic-type squarely. Debra fell to the ground and Ikira let out an agonized wail. A greenish glow surrounded Medeo’s clenched fist as he hurried over to the prone Abra and dealt it a trio of pummeling blows. The last punch he delivered sent Debra sliding across the tiled ground, and she finally came to rest at Ikira’s feet. The silver-haired girl tenderly picked up her wounded Pokemon, lovingly cradling it in her arms.

"Debra? Are you alright?" she whispered. "Can you go on?"

"Aaaaa..." Debra replied, nodding briefly and gently rubbing Ikira’s arm. "Okay. If you're sure..." she responded hesitantly, setting the wounded Psi Pokemon on the ground.

While Ikira checked on Debra’s status, Ben turned to his own diminutive companion. Covered in bruises and breathing heavily, the small Meditite gently massaged his aching, onion-shaped head. Ben let out a grateful sigh, thankful that Medeo’s Drain Punch barrage had done the trick; they were in better shape than Debra now. Suddenly Ben glimpsed a slight smile of self-satisfaction cross the Yoga Pokemon’s tiny lips. Medeo had given a good account of himself, and he knew it; he had kept his cool despite the fierce beating the Abra had given him. Pride welled within Ben as he thought of how disciplined the usually reckless Meditite had been. “Great job, mate!” he praised the adamant little fighter. “But don’t get cocky. We haven’t won yet.”

The silver-haired girl regarded Ben with a determined look and smiled. "That was strong, Ben. I didn't know Medeo could use Drain Punch! In fact... I think we'll borrow it for a while if you don't mind, hee hee! Debra, Mimic Medeo's Drain Punch, then use it twice on him!"

As he heard Ikira’s commands, Ben dragged a hand through his short brown hair and thought hard to come up with a plan. After three rounds of Medeo getting pounded on, Ben wasn’t about to relinquish their slight lead. They would have to be careful. “Look sharp, mate,” he cautioned his tiny partner. Medeo instinctively adopted the Heavenly Dragonite Reistance kung fu stance, and Ben continued, “Time to defend now. Debra’s going to Mimic your Drain Punch technique, so try to DETECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml“) her first attack and dodge, then PROTECT (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6“) yourself from the second one. Keep your cool and hit her with a FIRE PUNCH (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9229119&postcount=796”). Let’s try to finish things off!” Medeo nodded his understanding. With his steely gaze still fixed on Debra, he quickly prepared himself for the next round…


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PeeGee
28th March 2009, 7:18 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With Diglett stuck underground, Dot offers her advice for your subsequent battle decision, which you then relay to Watermelon in turn. Taking advantage of his opponent's status, Watermelon calls on Nature's Power to once again send an Earthquake rumbling through the sands, leaving you once again wobbling for balance as the groundbreaking force ripples through the room. A shrill screaming is heard from beneath the sands as your Nuzleaf performs his task, and soon after the quaking ceases Diglett comes Digging back up, jutting into Watermelon's foot and causing him to fall over. While your Pokémon picks himself up, you note that Diglett looks considerably much more shaken than ever; its brief trip beneath the sandy surface having proved twice as deadly for the mole Pokémon.

Wasting no time Watermelon draws in a huge breath, his internal systems working at the wind to turn it freezing cold, which the acorn humanoid blasts out in the form of a chilling Blizzard. As the snow and frost screams over the ground a thin layer of ice starts forming even as the attack makes brief contact, and the moment it washes over Diglett you hear the the little Ground-type give off another piteous squeal. When the attack has cleared you notice that Watermelon's technique has caused the sand to freeze over, locking Diglett in place. Desperately Diglett tries to send a Magnitude through the solidified water; unfortunately it ends up only ranking a 4 on the scale, and barely manages to crack its icy imprisonment. Being of the Grass-type Watermelon dismisses this earthly attack with a sniff before hocking up a storm of Seed Bombs to rain botanic pain onto Diglett, clods of dirt and sand flying up as the exploding orbs make their mark. A final, high-pitched yell echoes through the chamber, and when the battlefield has resumed normal visibility conditions you spot Diglett's battered form slinking down into the sands, from which it does not resurface. Level-up for Watermelon.

A twinge of remorse pulses softly through you for your onslaught on Diglett, but you still have far more challenging issues to attend to. With this in mind you continue towards the opposite passageway, moving onward to the next riddle. Observing your surroundings, you notice that this passage is much like the one Baltoy led you through, and before you realise it you find yourself in a room much like the one where you found Baltoy, where a Meditite sits in the lotus position.

"I see you have conquered the first riddle, in addition to the Sphinx's question," it says in a serene female voice. "That is most commendable... however, if you do not keep your mind focused and your wits sharp, you will most certainly fall. An understanding of the world, be it Pokémon or people, logic or tactics, is key to overcoming the challenges that await you. Everything in this world has its other, keeping our universe in perfect balance."

As she speaks, a group of ten orbs start gathering about Meditite, orbiting her form for a few moments before falling to the floor in front of you, forming ten stony discs with words written upon them.

"From my Hidden Power I have generated your next task... you must, from the words you see on the tiles, group them into pairs," instructs Meditite. "Be warned; if you were to make an error in your judgement, regardless of your magnitude of mistakes, you will be returned outside the Sphinx, and your journey rendered fruitless."

Picking up the discs, you notice that the series of phrases comprise the following: Amnesia, Double Team, Fake Tears, Growl, Iron Defence, Meditate, Rock Polish, Scary Face, Screech, Sweet Scent. What do you think the answer could be?

As the Diglett was underground Watermelon harnessed the energy of his Nature Power and unleashed an Earthquake. As the attack was executed Karmas could hear a shrill scream coming from beneath the sands, and as soon as Watermelon had finished the Diglett rose from the sand, using its Dig attack on Watermelon's foot, once again tripping him. As Watermelon pushed himself back up Karmas noticed that the Diglett looked very shaken up.

With no hesitation Watermelon blew out a huge Blizzard at Diglett. The attack made a layer of ice form on the floor of the room, causing Diglett to get locked into place. The desperate mole pokemon attempted to send a Magnitude through the ice, but it only reached a four and barely even cracked the ice. The attack didn't even phase Watermelon, who then hocked up a storm of Seed Bombs. They slammed into Diglett, raising clods of dirt and sand as they hit the pokemon. There was a high-pitched yell and then the dirt and sand cleared. Once it had cleared Karmas saw the battered Diglett slink down into the sand.

Karmas felt sad for the Diglett but he had much more pressing issues at hand. With that thought in his mind the trainer continued towards the passageway in front of him, ready for the next riddle. As Karmas walked down the passageway he noticed that it looked a lot like the one that he walked down previously. Before he knew it Karmas found himself in a room similar to the one with Baltoy in it, except this one had a Meditite in it.

"I see you have conquered the first riddle, in addition to the Sphinx's question," it said in a serene female voice. "That is most commendable... however, if you do not keep your mind focused and your wits sharp, you will most certainly fall. An understanding of the world, be it Pokémon or people, logic or tactics, is key to overcoming the challenges that await you. Everything in this world has its other, keeping our universe in perfect balance."

As she spoke, a group of ten orbs start gathering about Meditite, orbiting her form for a few moments before they fell to the floor in front of Karmas, forming ten stony discs with words written upon them.

"From my Hidden Power I have generated your next task... you must, from the words you see on the tiles, group them into pairs," instructed Meditite. "Be warned; if you were to make an error in your judgment, regardless of your magnitude of mistakes, you will be returned outside the Sphinx, and your journey rendered fruitless."

Picking up the discs, Karmas noticed that the series of phrases comprised the following: Amnesia, Double Team, Fake Tears, Growl, Iron Defence, Meditate, Rock Polish, Scary Face, Screech, Sweet Scent.

What could these mean? thought Karmas. Well the Meditite was talking about balance. Maybe it means pairs that balance each other out, or in other words, cancel out each other!

"Eureka!" yelled out Karmas, surprising Dot and Watermelon.

Karmas placed Amnesia with Fake Tears, Double Team with Sweet Scent, Meditate with Growl, Iron Defence with Screech, and Rock Polish with Scary Face.

"So did I get it right?" Karmas asked the Meditite.

Shadowshocker
29th March 2009, 11:47 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
With victory nearly in sight and a slim line between it and losing, you declare your orders to what you believe is likely the final commands you'll need to give for this match. As Debra's eyes glint intuitively while she taps the power of her short-term memory to Mimic Medeo's attack, the Meditite in question positions himself to prepare for the coming attack. Sure enough Debra comes charging, her fist glowing green with the power of her briefly mastered Drain Punch, only for Medeo's eyes to glow in time, allowing him to Detect the attack and step to the side before it can connect.

Mildly annoyed as her attack fades, Debra brings her other hand up for a second Drain Punch, recharging the chartreuse parasitic power before bringing it forward, just in time to clash with Medeo's Protective barrier. Somewhat furiously, Debra pushes against Medeo's energy screen, at which Medeo reciprocates by pushing her backwards as well; both Pokémon staking all their strength the show of power. Eventually, however, Medeo flings Debra back with a upward heave of his arms, causing Debra to fall to her back and her technique to dissipate. As she hits the ground, Medeo releases his shield before lunging forward himself with a fistful of Fire. The moment the Punch strikes Debra by her cheek the Abra gives a drawn, shrill cry, and she completely collapses, in no condition to continue. Level up for Medeo.

As you move over to check on Medeo, you notice that Ikira has done the same thing, going up to Debra's limp form and gently cradling Debra in her arms with a doleful look on her face you can't help but feel sorry for. After noting Medeo's battered but otherwise conscious and healthy state, you look over to Ikira to see if she's alright, but she returns your gaze with a smiling one of her own.

"You gave it your all, didn't you Ben?" she says. "You've become so strong... you're not the weak Ben I used to know. I've got a lot to learn from you... and Debra, too." Lifting up Debra like a baby, Ikira nods towards the Healing Grounds. "It's time we prepared for tonight," notes the girl, and as she walks forward you recall Medeo to his Steel Ball so he needn't expend energy walking, before following Ikira into the cyan passageway. Going about a gradually curving path, you soon find yourself in another circular room, this one about double the size of a Lacunan mud house. In the centre of the chamber lies a pool of twenty metres in diameter, displaying a fountain in the shape of a graceful, crescent Pokémon you can't quite identify. Softly Ikira brings Debra to the edge of the fountain and places her at the water's edge in a sitting position, keeping her head above water. Releasing Medeo you proceed to follow Ikira's lead, and for a while the both of you watch on as the two Psychic humanoid Pokémon soak in the healing glow.

"...That's odd," remarks Ikira after a while. "Their injuries don't seem to be alleviating... look, you can still see where Medeo hit her with the Fire Punch," she points while frowning.

"Ben! Ikira!" The sound of Priest Mensa's voice wafts in behind you, and soon enough he graces you with his presence. "Ah, here you are. Our supporters have gathered, and the hour is soon upon us. We must gather, children..."

"Priest Mensa!" Ikira stands up, facing her father. "The Healing Fountain of Saros... it's not working!"

"What? That's impossible!" Quickly going over to your Pokémon, Mensa makes note of your Pokémon's conditions. "How long have they been exposed?"

"For about five minutes, Priest Mensa."

"Five minutes?" Deeply frowning Mensa strokes his chin in confused thought. "That certainly is troubling, to say the least. At your Pokémon's level, it should have taken less than a minute for their wounds to become healed... I presume you trained in the Battling Hall?"

"Yes, Priest Mensa."

"Hmmm." Continuing to ponder for a few more moments, Mensa heaves a sigh as he offers his answer. "I'm afraid I'm at a loss for ideas, children. This is the first time something like this has happened, and yet the Healing Waters are continuing to glow... I can't imagine what could possibly have happened. Even if a Rapa practitioner should attempt to sabotage the Healing Fountain, it simply wouldn't be within their capabilities... This is an extremely serious matter, indeed."

"What can we do, Priest Mensa?"

"I'm afraid there is nothing we can presently do, my child. Our presence is required in the City's Forum, and we can't delay attending the congregation. The future of Lacuna is going to be decided tonight, and while this would certainly warrant the concern of our leaders, I'm afraid the agenda tonight cannot be altered." Wringing his hands, Mensa places a comforting hand on his daughter's shoulder. "But fret not, Ikira. As she stands guard over the fountain, surely Saros watches over us. Whatever happens, she will certainly see us through... Now, you must retreat your Pokémon, and join the rest of our group."


***

As it turns out, the number of supporters certainly come in no small number; about two hundred citizens at your estimate, with you, Ikira and Mensa included. Together you walk along the roads of Lacuna, all united by similar clothing and thoughts of loyalty in your mind -- well, perhaps excepting you. Your questions have not yet been quite adequately answered, and a new one has just arrived. Lost in your thinking, you move with the crowd until a halt brings your mind back to reality: you find yourself in the main forum of the city where you had touched the mystical Moon Stone; the very stone which now stands in the middle of the plaza in its stony pedestal, albeit without its hieroglyphs as far as you can see. Five elderly men, commanding and regal in their appearance, stand around the stone, and on the other side you see the practitioners of Rapa, dressed in tattered, black hooded cloaks; a most sinister sight to behold.

"Citizens of Lacuna!" calls one of the elders. "Tonight, we decide which deity to forever swear our allegiance to, in these times of chaos and disaster. We decide which of Saros and Rapa --" At this, you hear the sounds of jeering and insults from both sides, though the elder speaking continues unperturbed, "-- will continue to provide us with the security and prosperity we have enjoyed, but are soon to lose. Tonight we come together in the sacred covenant of Pokémon battle, and by their judgement and blessing we shall see which of the two's forces wins out. Each citizen is to find another of the opposing party and do battle, under the surveillance of us and the committee, in a 1-on-1 Pokémon battle. The results shall then be tallied, and we will see whose blessings and protection reign supreme above the other. Take heed, citizens; we do not tolerate cheating in any form whatsoever. Both Saros and Rapa watch from above, and anyone found guilty of sabotage will surely be severely dealt with. Battle shall commence the moment the sun dips beyond the horizon. Citizens, may Saros and Rapa watch over us!"

Waves of people begin moving about you at the closing statement, jostling you about as the others waste no time in finding partners. After some bumping around, you find yourself face to face with a cloaked Rapa supporter -- her lithe frame wraith-like, her hair blood-red, and her ultramarine eyes piercing. Abruptly you hear the sounds of battle cries -- without you noticing, the call for combat has begun, and against the heated hollers you detect the sounds of PokéBalls popping open and Pokémon roaring with their owners.

"Renalex! Get him!" sneers the young woman you're against, summoning her partner for the battle with a swipe of her sleeved arm. A grey canine appears, growling at you with its fangs bared and fur bristling. With Medeo out for the count at the moment, looks like you'll need to depend on someone else..."



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
As you proceed to pair the discs in a suspected pattern, Meditite looks on with much interest as you do so, and when the time comes for you to present your completed handiwork she gazes thoughtfully at the arrangements, before a gentle smile graces her face.

"You're a quick one, aren't you? Being able to pick up subtle information will be invaluable to your quest," she says. "You must be capable of dealing with unexpected changes; as your next challenge will test of you."

Standing up from her lotus position, Meditite heads into the passage ahead, and with this second example no stranger to you, you quickly proceed on with Dot and Watermelon. Once again the new passage lights up in torches as you advance, and as much as you feel somewhat nervous with the lack of a guide you're not too surprise to find no sign of Meditite as you run. Soon enough you halt at the doorway leading into another battle room; this one with a dirt floor laid ahead of you instead this time. A small figure scuttles towards you, and upon closer inspection you note it to be a lavender, segmented bug with large teal eyes and dangerous-looking claws and stinger.

"Sko-rupi!" it squeaks, and before you can do much else Skorupi pokes its left arm with its right claw, and to your amazement the little scorpion's claws grow slightly longer and sharper before your very eyes from the applied Acupressure. This is going to be more interesting, challenging encounter...

-Hayward-
30th March 2009, 5:24 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

The Moon Temple

Hayward
With victory nearly in sight and a slim line between it and losing, you declare your orders to what you believe is likely the final commands you'll need to give for this match. As Debra's eyes glint intuitively while she taps the power of her short-term memory to Mimic Medeo's attack, the Meditite in question positions himself to prepare for the coming attack. Sure enough Debra comes charging, her fist glowing green with the power of her briefly mastered Drain Punch, only for Medeo's eyes to glow in time, allowing him to Detect the attack and step to the side before it can connect.

Mildly annoyed as her attack fades, Debra brings her other hand up for a second Drain Punch, recharging the chartreuse parasitic power before bringing it forward, just in time to clash with Medeo's Protective barrier. Somewhat furiously, Debra pushes against Medeo's energy screen, at which Medeo reciprocates by pushing her backwards as well; both Pokémon staking all their strength the show of power. Eventually, however, Medeo flings Debra back with a upward heave of his arms, causing Debra to fall to her back and her technique to dissipate. As she hits the ground, Medeo releases his shield before lunging forward himself with a fistful of Fire. The moment the Punch strikes Debra by her cheek the Abra gives a drawn, shrill cry, and she completely collapses, in no condition to continue. Level up for Medeo.

As you move over to check on Medeo, you notice that Ikira has done the same thing, going up to Debra's limp form and gently cradling Debra in her arms with a doleful look on her face you can't help but feel sorry for. After noting Medeo's battered but otherwise conscious and healthy state, you look over to Ikira to see if she's alright, but she returns your gaze with a smiling one of her own.

"You gave it your all, didn't you Ben?" she says. "You've become so strong... you're not the weak Ben I used to know. I've got a lot to learn from you... and Debra, too." Lifting up Debra like a baby, Ikira nods towards the Healing Grounds. "It's time we prepared for tonight," notes the girl, and as she walks forward you recall Medeo to his Steel Ball so he needn't expend energy walking, before following Ikira into the cyan passageway. Going about a gradually curving path, you soon find yourself in another circular room, this one about double the size of a Lacunan mud house. In the centre of the chamber lies a pool of twenty metres in diameter, displaying a fountain in the shape of a graceful, crescent Pokémon you can't quite identify. Softly Ikira brings Debra to the edge of the fountain and places her at the water's edge in a sitting position, keeping her head above water. Releasing Medeo you proceed to follow Ikira's lead, and for a while the both of you watch on as the two Psychic humanoid Pokémon soak in the healing glow.

"...That's odd," remarks Ikira after a while. "Their injuries don't seem to be alleviating... look, you can still see where Medeo hit her with the Fire Punch," she points while frowning.

"Ben! Ikira!" The sound of Priest Mensa's voice wafts in behind you, and soon enough he graces you with his presence. "Ah, here you are. Our supporters have gathered, and the hour is soon upon us. We must gather, children..."

"Priest Mensa!" Ikira stands up, facing her father. "The Healing Fountain of Saros... it's not working!"

"What? That's impossible!" Quickly going over to your Pokémon, Mensa makes note of your Pokémon's conditions. "How long have they been exposed?"

"For about five minutes, Priest Mensa."

"Five minutes?" Deeply frowning Mensa strokes his chin in confused thought. "That certainly is troubling, to say the least. At your Pokémon's level, it should have taken less than a minute for their wounds to become healed... I presume you trained in the Battling Hall?"

"Yes, Priest Mensa."

"Hmmm." Continuing to ponder for a few more moments, Mensa heaves a sigh as he offers his answer. "I'm afraid I'm at a loss for ideas, children. This is the first time something like this has happened, and yet the Healing Waters are continuing to glow... I can't imagine what could possibly have happened. Even if a Rapa practitioner should attempt to sabotage the Healing Fountain, it simply wouldn't be within their capabilities... This is an extremely serious matter, indeed."

"What can we do, Priest Mensa?"

"I'm afraid there is nothing we can presently do, my child. Our presence is required in the City's Forum, and we can't delay attending the congregation. The future of Lacuna is going to be decided tonight, and while this would certainly warrant the concern of our leaders, I'm afraid the agenda tonight cannot be altered." Wringing his hands, Mensa places a comforting hand on his daughter's shoulder. "But fret not, Ikira. As she stands guard over the fountain, surely Saros watches over us. Whatever happens, she will certainly see us through... Now, you must retreat your Pokémon, and join the rest of our group."


***

As it turns out, the number of supporters certainly come in no small number; about two hundred citizens at your estimate, with you, Ikira and Mensa included. Together you walk along the roads of Lacuna, all united by similar clothing and thoughts of loyalty in your mind -- well, perhaps excepting you. Your questions have not yet been quite adequately answered, and a new one has just arrived. Lost in your thinking, you move with the crowd until a halt brings your mind back to reality: you find yourself in the main forum of the city where you had touched the mystical Moon Stone; the very stone which now stands in the middle of the plaza in its stony pedestal, albeit without its hieroglyphs as far as you can see. Five elderly men, commanding and regal in their appearance, stand around the stone, and on the other side you see the practitioners of Rapa, dressed in tattered, black hooded cloaks; a most sinister sight to behold.

"Citizens of Lacuna!" calls one of the elders. "Tonight, we decide which deity to forever swear our allegiance to, in these times of chaos and disaster. We decide which of Saros and Rapa --" At this, you hear the sounds of jeering and insults from both sides, though the elder speaking continues unperturbed, "-- will continue to provide us with the security and prosperity we have enjoyed, but are soon to lose. Tonight we come together in the sacred covenant of Pokémon battle, and by their judgement and blessing we shall see which of the two's forces wins out. Each citizen is to find another of the opposing party and do battle, under the surveillance of us and the committee, in a 1-on-1 Pokémon battle. The results shall then be tallied, and we will see whose blessings and protection reign supreme above the other. Take heed, citizens; we do not tolerate cheating in any form whatsoever. Both Saros and Rapa watch from above, and anyone found guilty of sabotage will surely be severely dealt with. Battle shall commence the moment the sun dips beyond the horizon. Citizens, may Saros and Rapa watch over us!"

Waves of people begin moving about you at the closing statement, jostling you about as the others waste no time in finding partners. After some bumping around, you find yourself face to face with a cloaked Rapa supporter -- her lithe frame wraith-like, her hair blood-red, and her ultramarine eyes piercing. Abruptly you hear the sounds of battle cries -- without you noticing, the call for combat has begun, and against the heated hollers you detect the sounds of PokéBalls popping open and Pokémon roaring with their owners.

"Renalex! Get him!" sneers the young woman you're against, summoning her partner for the battle with a swipe of her sleeved arm. A grey canine appears, growling at you with its fangs bared and fur bristling. With Medeo out for the count at the moment, looks like you'll need to depend on someone else..."



Ben watched as the Abra Debra Mimicked his own Meditite partner’s Drain Punch technique, then charged at Medeo, her clenched hand surrounded in a faint green aura. The little Meditite Detected the incoming strike and dodged it, deftly sidestepping the swinging Abra. Slightly irritated, Debra recovered quickly and threw her other glowing fist at Medeo in another Drain Punch attack. Medeo quickly Protected himself by creating an energy shield, and Debra’s second attack also failed to do any damage. The two tenacious Psychics struggled for a moment, locked in combat, until Medeo overpowered Debra and tossed her to the ground, before dealing her the finishing blow, a Fire Punch to the cheek.

When Ben heard Debra’s pained cry and saw her collapse for good, he knew Medeo had won the practice match. As Ikira rushed to her fallen friend’s side, Ben walked over to check on Medeo. Other than a few minor bruises, the Meditite appeared to be in pretty good shape, and Ben congratulated his tiny comrade on a hard fought victory. “Brilliant bit of battling, mate. How’re you feeling?” Medeo nodded a few times and beamed back at the teenager. Ben turned to look at Ikira and see how Debra was doing, but when he saw the sad look on the silver-haired girl’s face, and the head of the badly injured Abra cradled gently in her arms, he was filled with feelings of guilt.

Ben was just about to open his mouth and apologize when Ikira caught his gaze and smiled. "You gave it your all, didn't you Ben?" she asked. Ben nodded and the silver-haired girl continued, "You've become so strong... you're not the weak Ben I used to know. I've got a lot to learn from you... and Debra, too." She lifted Debra up and nodded in the direction of the Temple’s Healing Grounds. "It's time we prepared for tonight," she remarked and started down the cyan passage. Tired from the battle, Medeo only protested mildly when Ben offered to Return him to his Steel Ball until they made it to the remedial chamber.

In silence, Ben followed Ikira along the slightly bending path that led to the Healing Grounds. As they entered the chamber, Ben spied a fountain topped with a statute of an elegant looking Pokemon he had never seen before. Surrounding the fountain was a small pool. After Ikira placed Debra into the therapeutic water, Ben released Medeo and watched as the Yoga Pokemon slowly clambered into the pool beside the Abra.

After a while, Ikira spoke. "...That's odd," she said. Frowning, she pointed at Debra’s cheek. "Their injuries don't seem to be alleviating... look, you can still see where Medeo hit her with the Fire Punch.”

"Ben! Ikira!" Ben heard Ikira’s father’s voice before he saw the old man. "Ah, here you are. Our supporters have gathered, and the hour is soon upon us. We must gather, children..."

"Priest Mensa!" Ikira stood and stared hard at her father. "The Healing Fountain of Saros... it's not working!"

"What? That's impossible!" The bearded Priest quickly inspected Debra and Medeo before continuing. "How long have they been exposed?"

"For about five minutes, Priest Mensa." Ikira replied and Ben nodded his head.

"Five minutes?" The Priest stroked his chin and thought hard about his daughter’s discovery. "That certainly is troubling, to say the least. At your Pokémon's level, it should have taken less than a minute for their wounds to become healed... I presume you trained in the Battling Hall?"

"Yes, Priest Mensa." Ikira responded and Ben nodded again.

"Hmmm." The Priest was silent for a few moments more, then answered, "I'm afraid I'm at a loss for ideas, children. This is the first time something like this has happened, and yet the Healing Waters are continuing to glow... I can't imagine what could possibly have happened. Even if a Rapa practitioner should attempt to sabotage the Healing Fountain, it simply wouldn't be within their capabilities... This is an extremely serious matter, indeed."

"What can we do, Priest Mensa?" The silver-haired girl asked her father.

"I'm afraid there is nothing we can presently do, my child. Our presence is required in the City's Forum, and we can't delay attending the congregation. The future of Lacuna is going to be decided tonight, and while this would certainly warrant the concern of our leaders, I'm afraid the agenda tonight cannot be altered." Priest Mensa said, wringing his hands. He placed a hand on Ikira’s shoulder and spoke again, "But fret not, Ikira. As she stands guard over the fountain, surely Saros watches over us. Whatever happens, she will certainly see us through... Now, you must retreat your Pokémon, and join the rest of our group."

At the Priest’s words, Ben turned to Medeo and shrugged. The Meditite held up his tiny hands, palms forward and waved them from side-to-side in objection. “Sorry, mate.” Ben replied. “But, it’s just until someone can figure out what’s going on around here. You still need to rest. If we get into any kind of trouble, I promise I’ll let you know.” He pressed the round trigger switch, and Medeo disappeared in a flash of scarlet.


* * *

As Ben followed Ikira and Priest Mensa along the roads of Lacuna to the main public forum, he couldn’t help but be surprised at the number of citizens that had turned out to show their support. His mind still raced with unanswered questions, and he remained lost in thought until the throng abruptly stopped in front of the Moon Stone statute. Ben bolted in surprise when he saw the conical stone edifice again, and he noticed right away that the only difference was the absence of the ancient carvings. Circling the stone were five wizened men, who Ben figured must be town elders. As he continued to survey his surroundings, he spied an ominous group of people clad in tattered, black-hooded cloaks, that he knew at once must be Rapa’s followers.

"Citizens of Lacuna!" one of the elders called out. "Tonight, we decide which deity to forever swear our allegiance to, in these times of chaos and disaster. We decide which of Saros and Rapa --" As the man spoke Ben heard taunts and jeers coming from both groups of people, but the speaker ignored them all and continued, "-- will continue to provide us with the security and prosperity we have enjoyed, but are soon to lose. Tonight we come together in the sacred covenant of Pokémon battle, and by their judgement and blessing we shall see which of the two's forces wins out. Each citizen is to find another of the opposing party and do battle, under the surveillance of us and the committee, in a 1-on-1 Pokémon battle. The results shall then be tallied, and we will see whose blessings and protection reign supreme above the other. Take heed, citizens; we do not tolerate cheating in any form whatsoever. Both Saros and Rapa watch from above, and anyone found guilty of sabotage will surely be severely dealt with. Battle shall commence the moment the sun dips beyond the horizon. Citizens, may Saros and Rapa watch over us!"

The public forum was alive with the movement of the crowd bumping and jostling in an effort to find suitable opponents. One thin, sneering female follower of Rapa with bright red hair and piercing blue eyes spied Ben and hollered, "Renalex! Get him!" In the blink of an eye, her Pokemon, a grey canine, appeared in front of Ben, teeth barred and fangs glinting. Instinctively, Ben reached into the fibre tote bag slung across his shoulder for Medeo’s Steel Ball, but recalling that his partner had not fully recuperated from their earlier battle, he hesitated for a moment. He sure didn’t like the thought of entering into such an important battle without his strongest and most experienced partner, and he knew Medeo wouldn’t like it either, but he didn’t think he had any other choice. Just then a thought came to Ben as he remembered that he still had some unused Sacred Ash. He was half-tempted to use it right then and there, but wavered, deciding to save it, along with Medeo, as his back-up plan. Instead of pulling out Medeo’s metallic silver Pokeball, he withdrew the half-red, half-green one belonging to the Pineco Forteo.

He pressed the round trigger switch in the center of the festive capture capsule, and a flash of scarlet light suddenly appeared, followed by a brief shower of snowflakes, and finally a small grey Pineco. “Ready, mate?” Ben asked the Bagworm Pokemon. Forteo resolutely nodded his head signaling that he was ready, before quickly spinning around on his bottom spike to face the snarling, howling canine. Ben wasted no time in issuing his combat instructions, “RAPID SPIN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) three times. Let’s see how well they can fight when they're dizzy!”



* as a reference - level 12 male meditite now level 13 *
__________________
fb (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9144120&postcount=1”)

Shadowshocker
31st March 2009, 1:40 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
With the sounds of battle bordering on war going on all around you, concentrating on your current conflict is difficult at best, but even so you release Forteo the Pineco in response to the Rapa girl's Poochyena. At once Forteo goes into Rapid Spin mode, rotating quickly on his sharp rear like a top and sidewinding into Renalex, causing the puppy with shorter fangs to growl gruffly.

"Is that all it can do?" sneers the enemy. "Renalex, Howl! Then take it into a Tackle!"

Firmly standing her ground, Renalex takes a glance at the moon above you, revealed against the continuously darkening sky, before releasing a piercing baying sound that involuntarily sends a shudder up your spine. For a moment Forteo appears to falter in his spinning, but it doesn't take long for him to regain his Rapid momentum and slam into Renalex for a second shot. However, this gives the Dark-typed dog a chance to give Forteo a forward slam of her own, sending your Pineco skidding across the dirt. It takes Forteo a bit longer to get back on his bottom this time, and having undergone two bouts of spinning he's looking dizzy himself.

"Now, Renalex! Fire Fang!" shouts the young woman, and to your horror the female Poochyena's teeth start bristling with flames even as she stands before you. Lunging at Forteo she clamps her jaws down hard, and you hear the sound of bark cracking against Forteo's pained cry. As Renalex backs away you notice that while Forteo wasn't burned from the assault, his wide eyes suggest that Renalex's crunching has caused him to flinch. That third Rapid Spin won't be happening, it seems, and unless you pick up the pace there might not be another opportunity...

Stark
1st April 2009, 9:27 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With no turning back for any of you, you quickly issue your orders to Houndour, who sneers at Raticate disdainfully in spite of the difference in size as Carolina giggles behind you. Lawrence's lip appears to curl up a little at your sheer defiance, but whether it's over your remark or his determination you can't quite tell, nor are you too concerned about it. Taking a deep breath Houndour releases a cloud of thick, toxic Smog from her mouth, which wafts menacingly over to Raticate while the Dark canine watches smugly. For a moment as Lawrence and Raticate remain silent you almost expect this encounter to be a walkover, but this hypothesis is soon disproved.

"Raticate, use Swords Dance!" declares Lawrence, at which the whiskered mouse stands on one feet, spinning upon the spot as gracefully as a buck-toothed ball of fur can manage. Pushed apart by the miniature tornado, the gas cloud dissipates like dust mites fed through a paper shredder until its entirety has dissolved into the troposphere. "And Hyper Fang!"

"Rrrrraticate!" Launching itself at Houndour, you wince as Raticate nearly literally takes a piece out of your Pokémon, its large fangs ramming deep into her chest. In retaliation, Houndour makes use of the close range to launch a point-blank Fire Spin, catching the offensive rat in a vortex of towering flame. Screeching as it falls back, Raticate tries to roll about to put the fire out without much success, and you briefly hear Caroline coo in wonder at your Houndour's apparent strength.

"Keep calm, Raticate!" Lawrence orders. "Use Flame Wheel to counter!"

"RrrrraaaaAAAT!" Even as it squeaks loudly above the raging fire, you hear Raticate stop in its interjection, prompting you to ponder over what Lawrence could be planning this time. The answer comes as a surprise as the bottom of the inferno around Raticate suddenly gives way, unravelling from the foot like a fraying rope and running to the top, revealing Raticate spinning on the spot while surrounded in its own fire. A moment of thought makes you realise that Raticate must have countered Houndour's attack by working against the Fire Spin in the opposite direction, thus wearing out the technique.

"Raticate, take that Houndour down with a Quick Attack! Then Cut it down to size!" calls Lawrence as Raticate stops its Flame Wheel and recovers, glaring at Houndour with a murderous gleam in its eye. Now things have gone personal, it seems...

"Houndour Counter and Bite it while it's close to you!" Stark shouted out to his partner. This wasn't what he wanted. A battle with an obsessed man and his well trained Raticate. All he wanted was to go on a date with a beautiful woman and maybe see where that led to. Regardless, he was in it now. There was no turning back and even less room for failure.

The raticate's use of moves to counter other moves was clever and clearly Lawrence was not the type of man who used his pokemon as mere tools. Training like that took work and practice. Stark felt his teeth tighten down. Houndour had taken a bad hit and while physically it didn't affect Stark, emotionally he felt the blow as much as Houndour did. Had they been able to contain the raticate in the fire spin they might have had time to figure out a more peaceful way out of this, but the look on Raticate's face showed that there was no quitting until someone lie unable to move or even six feet under. It was a little tough to tell.

"Carolina," he mumbled to himself as a reminder as to why he was fighting in the first place. Her perfume was intoxicating. Were she not so close he may not have even noticed it, but as it was he couldn't ignore it. Even if he did stop Lawrence and his raticate, would she tell him what was going on? Could she? Stark pushed the stray thoughts from his mind.

"One thing at a time," he told himself as he carefully watched the scene before him, "Houndour as soon as you get a good shot Fire Blast!"

PeeGee
2nd April 2009, 12:18 PM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
As you proceed to pair the discs in a suspected pattern, Meditite looks on with much interest as you do so, and when the time comes for you to present your completed handiwork she gazes thoughtfully at the arrangements, before a gentle smile graces her face.

"You're a quick one, aren't you? Being able to pick up subtle information will be invaluable to your quest," she says. "You must be capable of dealing with unexpected changes; as your next challenge will test of you."

Standing up from her lotus position, Meditite heads into the passage ahead, and with this second example no stranger to you, you quickly proceed on with Dot and Watermelon. Once again the new passage lights up in torches as you advance, and as much as you feel somewhat nervous with the lack of a guide you're not too surprise to find no sign of Meditite as you run. Soon enough you halt at the doorway leading into another battle room; this one with a dirt floor laid ahead of you instead this time. A small figure scuttles towards you, and upon closer inspection you note it to be a lavender, segmented bug with large teal eyes and dangerous-looking claws and stinger.

"Sko-rupi!" it squeaks, and before you can do much else Skorupi pokes its left arm with its right claw, and to your amazement the little scorpion's claws grow slightly longer and sharper before your very eyes from the applied Acupressure. This is going to be more interesting, challenging encounter...

"You're a quick one, aren't you? Being able to pick up subtle information will be invaluable to your quest," Meditite said. "You must be capable of dealing with unexpected changes; as your next challenge will test of you."

The fighting type pokemon stood up from her lotus position and headed into the passage ahead of her. That was no surprise to Karmas, having experienced it before with Baltoy, and he walked on with Dot and Watermelon. Like the passages before, torches lit up as the group walked on, but Karmas couldn't help but feel a tad bit nervous at his lack of a guide, and he wasn't surprised when he couldn't see any sign of Meditite. Soon Karmas came to a doorway that led into another battle room. This time the room had a dirt floor.

A small figure scuttleed towards Karmas, and upon closer inspection he noted that the pokemon was a lavender, segmented bug with large teal eyes and dangerous-looking claws and stinger.

"Sko-rupi!" it squeaked, and before Karmas could do anything Skorupi poked its left arm with its right claw, and to the trainer's amazement the little scorpion's claws grew slightly longer and sharper before his very eyes from the applied Acupressure.

"Well this is going to be a bit more of a challenge," muttered Karmas. "Well, its your time to shine Dot."

The ladybug flew forwards and prepared to fight.

"Okay, start off with a Supersonic followed up by a Mach Punch and Comet Punch!" ordered Karmas.

Shadowshocker
3rd April 2009, 2:55 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With the situation becoming trickier and trickier than it first seemed, you quickly call a fresh set of commands from Houndour, in time as Raticate's Quick Attack comes in at nearly lightning-speed. Ramming himself fully into Houndour, Raticate is soon surprised as the underworld canine slams into him at twice the strength, surrounded by the red aura of the Counter she managed to barely succeed in establishing. As Houndour smirks at her opponent, Raticate glares back with no less ferocity than before, raising a sharpened claw to Cut to Houndour's chase. The hit comes across Houndour's skull-shaped protrusion on the forehead, causing her to grunt as she feels the raking through the calcite formation, but the close range leaves her an opening to Bite Raticate on the ear. Not having expected an attack on a rather delicate portion of its anatomy, Raticate releases another series of shrieks while Houndour hangs on, to the point where Houndour finally lets go; bright red dots a clear signature of her handiwork.

Rubbing its ear in a bid to soothe the pain, Raticate fails to notice Houndour's subsequent attack; a sizeable Fire Blast that has even Lawrence reflexively raising his arms to shield himself. Cinders spread as the Asian character of pure flame takes Raticate by storm, and the loudest you've heard from the buck-toothed rodent rips about the alleyway, echoed by the walls. As the fires clear you half expect Raticate to be down and out, but in spite of your expectations and a distinct burn along its chest, if anything Raticate seems only more willing to fight; its fur standing up most alarmingly. A sense of dread fills you as you realise Raticate must be showing off its Guts ability. Looks like things have just kicked up another notch on the difficulty scale...



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Musing on the upgrade in difficulty between battle challenges, you delegate your Ledian to active stations along with her first mission orders. Flapping her wings at Supersonic speed, Dot succeeds in releasing a sound wave at obfusticating frequency that washes over Skorupi, who immediately starts ambling about with proverbial spirals in its eyes. Keeping up with her swift routine, Dot proceeds on to throw a Punch at Mach speed, a brief explosion of air erupting from Dot's attacking hand, but the hit appears to smack against Skorupi's body with as much effect as a puff of air -- Skorupi's venomous insectoid affinity rendering the attack severely weakened. Wildly waving its claws, Skorupi begins firing a Poison Sting around, but its state of addlement results in the toxic needles flying willy-nilly, managing to strike anywhere but Dot and her teammates -- dodges, instinctively executed by you and your Pokémon, aiding the lack of damage inflicted.

Zooming back into the fray, Dot continues by executing her Comet Punch technique, landing a series of quick blows onto the enemy's back, careful to avoid making contact with Skorupi's tail, but as the last knuckle sandwich flings Skorupi backwards you notice the confusion beaten out of its eyes. Springing at Dot with surprising acrobatics, Skorupi succeeds in landing a Bite on Dot's left foot, prompting the Ledian to attempt shaking off the poisonous irritant, which she does after a few good moments of violent tossing. Not quite done with Dot, you watch as Skorupi shoots a Leer at Dot's pained gaze, causing her to shudder briefly as her arms droop a little. This little bugger's a feisty one, to be sure...

-Hayward-
4th April 2009, 7:38 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
With the sounds of battle bordering on war going on all around you, concentrating on your current conflict is difficult at best, but even so you release Forteo the Pineco in response to the Rapa girl's Poochyena. At once Forteo goes into Rapid Spin mode, rotating quickly on his sharp rear like a top and sidewinding into Renalex, causing the puppy with shorter fangs to growl gruffly.

"Is that all it can do?" sneers the enemy. "Renalex, Howl! Then take it into a Tackle!"

Firmly standing her ground, Renalex takes a glance at the moon above you, revealed against the continuously darkening sky, before releasing a piercing baying sound that involuntarily sends a shudder up your spine. For a moment Forteo appears to falter in his spinning, but it doesn't take long for him to regain his Rapid momentum and slam into Renalex for a second shot. However, this gives the Dark-typed dog a chance to give Forteo a forward slam of her own, sending your Pineco skidding across the dirt. It takes Forteo a bit longer to get back on his bottom this time, and having undergone two bouts of spinning he's looking dizzy himself.

"Now, Renalex! Fire Fang!" shouts the young woman, and to your horror the female Poochyena's teeth start bristling with flames even as she stands before you. Lunging at Forteo she clamps her jaws down hard, and you hear the sound of bark cracking against Forteo's pained cry. As Renalex backs away you notice that while Forteo wasn't burned from the assault, his wide eyes suggest that Renalex's crunching has caused him to flinch. That third Rapid Spin won't be happening, it seems, and unless you pick up the pace there might not be another opportunity...


In the public forum of the ancient civilization of Lacuna, the trainer Benjamin Hale watched as the events of the battle unfolded before his grey-green eyes. His initial strategy of trying to confuse the Poochyena Renalex by making her dizzy had not worked, and he winced as the monochromatic wolfpup sank it's fiery fangs into the body of his Pineco partner Forteo. Their hooded opponent continued to mock; taunting because her Pokemon had only suffered minor damage, while Forteo had been on the receiving end of two vicious strikes.

Ben knew that the little Bagworm Pokemon had taken the worst of the fighting up to this point. Unless they tried something different, Forteo might not last much longer. Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, Ben thought hard to come up with a new battleplan. After a moment of consideration, the teenage trainer wasted no time issuing instructions to his tiny, insectoid companion. “Forteo, quick TAKE DOWN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) Renalex, then TACKLE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) her again! Be ready to PROTECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) yourself if she tries to attack back! Hang in there, mate, we’re not beat yet!”


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Shadowshocker
6th April 2009, 1:32 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
As other battles continue raging around you, you try your best to focus on your own situation and attempt to turn the tables around. Renalex is already bounding forward for another Tackle, but Forteo is poised to Take Down the opposing Poochyena, jetting into her legs with his tough cranial spike painfully poking into her torso. Wheezing from the surprise attack, Renalex paws backward a little from the discomfort, but as a result of Forteo's angle in assault the Pineco doesn't escape completely unscathed from the exchange.

"Grrrr... Renalex, Fire Fang again!" hisses the Rapa practitioner, and Renalex seems only too glad for a second course of barbecued pine cone. However, even as she lunges with teeth ablaze, her inflamed incisors are caught in Forteo's Protect shielding, holding the canine harmlessly away from your own Pokémon. Taking a brief moment to give a wooden smirk at Renalex, Forteo dissipates his barrier to land a Tackle of his own to the Poochyena's gut, once again causing her to yelp from the unpleasant piercing sensation.

"Get up, Renalex!" barks the enemy trainer, as the canine rolls about the ground in a bid to regain original quadrupedal position. "Sand-Attack, now!"

"Poo-chYEN!" Performing a roundabout turn, Renalex starts kicking up the dirt now behind her, and while Forteo's Bug-type is usually tolerable against Ground techniques the disruptive attack does its job; Forteo crying out in annoyance at the grit all about his body. Instinctively the Pineco tries to shake off as much as sand as he can, but you can tell there are still some particles in his eyes he can't quite get rid of...

"Now that's better." Remarking smugly, the Rapan woman points ahead with a sharpened fingernail. "Howl to the moon once again, Renalex, then Bite down hard!"

Stark
6th April 2009, 9:28 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
With the situation becoming trickier and trickier than it first seemed, you quickly call a fresh set of commands from Houndour, in time as Raticate's Quick Attack comes in at nearly lightning-speed. Ramming himself fully into Houndour, Raticate is soon surprised as the underworld canine slams into him at twice the strength, surrounded by the red aura of the Counter she managed to barely succeed in establishing. As Houndour smirks at her opponent, Raticate glares back with no less ferocity than before, raising a sharpened claw to Cut to Houndour's chase. The hit comes across Houndour's skull-shaped protrusion on the forehead, causing her to grunt as she feels the raking through the calcite formation, but the close range leaves her an opening to Bite Raticate on the ear. Not having expected an attack on a rather delicate portion of its anatomy, Raticate releases another series of shrieks while Houndour hangs on, to the point where Houndour finally lets go; bright red dots a clear signature of her handiwork.

Rubbing its ear in a bid to soothe the pain, Raticate fails to notice Houndour's subsequent attack; a sizeable Fire Blast that has even Lawrence reflexively raising his arms to shield himself. Cinders spread as the Asian character of pure flame takes Raticate by storm, and the loudest you've heard from the buck-toothed rodent rips about the alleyway, echoed by the walls. As the fires clear you half expect Raticate to be down and out, but in spite of your expectations and a distinct burn along its chest, if anything Raticate seems only more willing to fight; its fur standing up most alarmingly. A sense of dread fills you as you realise Raticate must be showing off its Guts ability. Looks like things have just kicked up another notch on the difficulty scale...

Stark's eyes went wide with surprise. Lawrence's Raticate was proving to be a tough opponent alright. Picking a fight was maybe not the best idea. While Houndour would undoubtedly fight to protect Stark with her life, the trainer had no intention of letting things go that far. There were really only two options left open to them. Continue to fight and hopefully defeat the surprisingly strong Raticate or flee and hope that they can get away cleanly.

While the second option had some merit and overall was probably the smarter choice overall, It just didn't seem to be the feasible one at this point. Lawrence had been able to track Carolina down before. Running now would only delay another inevitable confrontation. Better to stop him now if he could. Part of him wondered if this really was the best way to solve the problem. Whatever problem that may be. So far neither Carolina nor Lawrence had been very forthcoming with information pertaining to their circumstances. All of which left Stark feeling as if he had stumbled his way into something that might not have been any of his business. Then again he could hardly turn down a request for help from someone like Carolina. It just wasn't in his nature.

"Houndour! Hang in there girl! Don't let him intimidate you. Yeah he's tough, but you can beat him. Believe it," Stark encouraged his partner, "Leer him down. Then hit it with a Dark Pulse before rushing in and sinking in a Thunder Fang."

Having given Houndour an attack plan Stark turned his head slightly to the side so that he could see both the battle and Carolina's face peripherally and asked, "Just how tough is this Raticate?"

-Hayward-
8th April 2009, 4:56 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
As other battles continue raging around you, you try your best to focus on your own situation and attempt to turn the tables around. Renalex is already bounding forward for another Tackle, but Forteo is poised to Take Down the opposing Poochyena, jetting into her legs with his tough cranial spike painfully poking into her torso. Wheezing from the surprise attack, Renalex paws backward a little from the discomfort, but as a result of Forteo's angle in assault the Pineco doesn't escape completely unscathed from the exchange.

"Grrrr... Renalex, Fire Fang again!" hisses the Rapa practitioner, and Renalex seems only too glad for a second course of barbecued pine cone. However, even as she lunges with teeth ablaze, her inflamed incisors are caught in Forteo's Protect shielding, holding the canine harmlessly away from your own Pokémon. Taking a brief moment to give a wooden smirk at Renalex, Forteo dissipates his barrier to land a Tackle of his own to the Poochyena's gut, once again causing her to yelp from the unpleasant piercing sensation.

"Get up, Renalex!" barks the enemy trainer, as the canine rolls about the ground in a bid to regain original quadrupedal position. "Sand-Attack, now!"

"Poo-chYEN!" Performing a roundabout turn, Renalex starts kicking up the dirt now behind her, and while Forteo's Bug-type is usually tolerable against Ground techniques the disruptive attack does its job; Forteo crying out in annoyance at the grit all about his body. Instinctively the Pineco tries to shake off as much as sand as he can, but you can tell there are still some particles in his eyes he can't quite get rid of...

"Now that's better." Remarking smugly, the Rapan woman points ahead with a sharpened fingernail. "Howl to the moon once again, Renalex, then Bite down hard!"



"Now that's better." The Rapan woman remarked smugly, pointing ahead with a sharpened fingernail. "Howl to the moon once again, Renalex, then Bite down hard!"

As the wraith-like Rapa disciple finished issuing her commands, Ben wasted no time in getting to work on his own strategy. Dragging a hand through his short, brown hair, the teenage trainer thought hard to come up with a plan. After only a moment of consideration, he nodded in satisfaction, and hurried to relay his instructions. “Forteo! Quick! Try to clear your vision by RAPIDly SPINning (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) that sand out of your eyes! When you’re close enough not to miss Renelax, BUG BITE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) her on the soft part of the neck! If that works, mate, give her another BUG BITE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)!”

Pausing for a moment, Ben briefly reflected on the words of the wizened Priest Mensa. The outcome of this encounter could ultimately determine the fate of Lacuna. Ben knew that he had to stop his adversary acolyte, no matter what. Comparing the two battling Pokemon up to this point, he realized that Forteo had taken quite a bit more damage than Renelax. He wasn’t sure how much longer his Pinceo partner would last. Thinking quickly he decided on a Plan-B, failsafe option for Forteo to carry out should things begin to get ugly before they could get in that second Bug Bite. As Ben watched his diminutive companion courageously staring down the malicious, snarling Poochyena he quickly added, “Alright mate, here’s our fallback plan -- I need you to be ready for a Last Stand SELFDESTRUCT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) so you can take Renelax with you kamikaze-style if you feel like you just can’t go on any longer, or if it looks like Renelax is about knock you out!” Ben knew it was risky, but they had to make sure that their black-robed opponent didn’t win.


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Shadowshocker
8th April 2009, 2:56 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Peering behind you enough to briefly extend your field of vision, you halt midway in your question when you realise that Carolina isn't within that relevant area. As a matter of fact, your senses have not been sending back messages of Carolina's presence for quite a while, but the sounds of Houndour barking and Raticate screeching soon pull your attention back where it's most needed. Arcing her spine to assume a more intimidating stance, Houndour aims a Leer into Raticate's eyes, but in the overgrown rodent's rage it's impossible to tell if it got through at all.

"Shred it, Raticate! Facade!"

Taking on a yellow aura, Raticate tears at Houndour with unbridled anger; his technique boosted by his offensive power and glaring injury. Crashing into your Pokémon like a bullet train, Raticate gives your canine girl a taste of what he's had to go through, and Houndour is sent tumbling to your feet from the force. Whimpering from the pain, Houndour scrabbles back to her four feet, glaring daggers at her foe but not without some wince out of agony. Another screech is heard as Raticate comes with his Hyper Fangs glinting against the light; however a quickly deployed Dark Pulse from Houndour's maw soon puts the brown mouse away in mid-flight, leaving the turn to Raticate to play rolling to his trainer's feet. Much like Houndour just did Raticate regains his composure, but even as his teeth clacks alarmingly you see a nervous twitch mixed in with his stare; evidently, Houndour's attack left a big enough impression for Raticate to be flinched by it.

At the sight of her opponent's temporal inactivity, Houndour wastes no time as she goes forward, heading straight at Raticate's torso region with a Thunder Fang crackling in the works. A buzzing sound as fangs meet with fur, joined by another blood-curling yelp, before Raticate begins Flailing about to toss Houndour off. The Dark Pokémon takes a number of scratches and bites before she is finally wrenched from Raticate's form. As both Pokémon face each other wounded and panting, this battle as it stands could go either way, depending on who manages to land the finishing blow.

"Raticate, Dig your way out of this for a while!" shouts Lawrence, undoubtedly aware of the decisive scenario as you are...



The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
The sounds about you increase in volume and intensity as surely, the battles underway get more dire and emotions get further strained, neither side willing to back down. For most, failure is most decisively not the option, and no one is prepared to be a holder of that title. Further unease grips your thoughts as you spy some of the Pokémon battles beginning to spill into fisticuffs, while others result in exchanges so violent you turn away wincing. Nevertheless, until you can deal with your current situation there is little else in your priority list at the moment. Revolving for a moment to take his aim, Forteo squints against the throbbing sensations in his eyes as Renalex looks upwards at the silver celestial orb above, but even as she starts to execute her second Howl Forteo comes in with his Rapid Spin, slamming into the Poochyena's jaw while he tries blinking away the sand in conjunction to oscillating the particles away. Amidst all this, Forteo plants his face into Renalex's fur, and a moment later you hear the sound of bark creaking. Yelpingly, Renalex tears away from Forteo's Bug Bite, losing several strands of her dark fur in the process, clearly disturbed by how an apparently mouthless creature can carry out a Bug Bite. As Forteo appears to blink away the last of the sands, Renalex cowers behind the cloak of her none-too-pleased trainer.

"Renalex! Get back in there!" the young woman half barks, half snarls. "Pin it to the ground with your Tackle! I mean NOW!"

While you watch, you notice the girl's cloak shift back, before a lunge has Renalex tumbling forward; it looks much like the Rapan kicked her Poochyena to prove her point. Briefly glancing sorely at her owner, Renalex turns back to Forteo, snarling in defiance as she comes charging. Prepared for this, Forteo goes ahead; the act of dealing super-effective damage having boosted his confidence a good amount. As Poochyena dives, Forteo bounds up slightly to deliver another Bug Bite to his opponent, this time on her forehead. More yelping is heard as Renalex runs about in circles, trying her darnedest to break off the pine cone now afflicting her head, and if not for the Lacunan situation the sight might have been almost hilarious. On the other side Renalex's trainer stamps her feet in utter disbelief and rage at her Pokémon, but if one thing is for sure, Renalex seems to have lost sight, track, or motivation of the battle. A decisive move might be all it takes for you to clinch victory here...

-Hayward-
10th April 2009, 4:47 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
The sounds about you increase in volume and intensity as surely, the battles underway get more dire and emotions get further strained, neither side willing to back down. For most, failure is most decisively not the option, and no one is prepared to be a holder of that title. Further unease grips your thoughts as you spy some of the Pokémon battles beginning to spill into fisticuffs, while others result in exchanges so violent you turn away wincing. Nevertheless, until you can deal with your current situation there is little else in your priority list at the moment. Revolving for a moment to take his aim, Forteo squints against the throbbing sensations in his eyes as Renalex looks upwards at the silver celestial orb above, but even as she starts to execute her second Howl Forteo comes in with his Rapid Spin, slamming into the Poochyena's jaw while he tries blinking away the sand in conjunction to oscillating the particles away. Amidst all this, Forteo plants his face into Renalex's fur, and a moment later you hear the sound of bark creaking. Yelpingly, Renalex tears away from Forteo's Bug Bite, losing several strands of her dark fur in the process, clearly disturbed by how an apparently mouthless creature can carry out a Bug Bite. As Forteo appears to blink away the last of the sands, Renalex cowers behind the cloak of her none-too-pleased trainer.

"Renalex! Get back in there!" the young woman half barks, half snarls. "Pin it to the ground with your Tackle! I mean NOW!"

While you watch, you notice the girl's cloak shift back, before a lunge has Renalex tumbling forward; it looks much like the Rapan kicked her Poochyena to prove her point. Briefly glancing sorely at her owner, Renalex turns back to Forteo, snarling in defiance as she comes charging. Prepared for this, Forteo goes ahead; the act of dealing super-effective damage having boosted his confidence a good amount. As Poochyena dives, Forteo bounds up slightly to deliver another Bug Bite to his opponent, this time on her forehead. More yelping is heard as Renalex runs about in circles, trying her darnedest to break off the pine cone now afflicting her head, and if not for the Lacunan situation the sight might have been almost hilarious. On the other side Renalex's trainer stamps her feet in utter disbelief and rage at her Pokémon, but if one thing is for sure, Renalex seems to have lost sight, track, or motivation of the battle. A decisive move might be all it takes for you to clinch victory here...


Deep within the heart of Lacuna City, the trainer Benjamin Hale stood in the crowded Public Forum, somehow magicked out of the future to this ancient civilization by the power of the glowing Moon Stone, marveling at how noisy the surrounding skirmishes had become. Surveying the nearby match-ups with his grey-green eyes, Ben spied two trainers resort to a fist fight in order to decide the outcome of their battle, and he bolted in shock at violent things had become. Shaking his head from side-to-side and massaging his temples, Ben quickly cleared his thoughts and shifted his attention back to the situation at hand. He knew there would be time to figure out the state of affairs in the divided society later. For now, he and the Pineco Forteo had more pressing matters to attend to.

Eyes narrowed to slits in an effort to see better and ease his pain, Forteo Rapidly Spun across the battlefield and collided with Renelax as she cocked her head back and Howled to the moon. How the squinting Bagworm ever found the Poochyena, Ben wasn’t sure, but find her Forteo did; delivering a stunning blow in the process. As Forteo rammed into Renelax, he quickly buried his woody face into her furry neck. Before the monochromatic wolfpup could completely recover from the effects of the Pineco’s dizzying onslaught, Forteo dealt her a stinging Bug Bite. With a piteous cry, Renelax tore free from Forteo’s clenched jaw and scampered to safety. The last iotas of sand were whirled out of the Bagworm Pokemon’s eyes as he revolved merrily on his bottomspike, temporarily celebrating. From the sidelines, Ben breathed out a grateful sigh that his tiny partner could once again see clearly.

Whimpering painfully, Renelax wasted no time in scrambling behind the long, flowing garment of his black-clad trainer. "Renalex! Get back in there! Pin it to the ground with your Tackle! I mean NOW!" the female Rapa follower half-barked, half-snarled as she cruelly kicked the little Poochyena forward. Snarling, Renelax rushed at Forteo. Ben cheered as the Pineco dodged nimbly and delivered another super-effective Bug Bite to the head of the surprised Poochyena. Wearing an anguished expression, Poochyena raced around the little, makeshift battlefield, trying to shake off her tormentor. As Ben watched Renelax’s aggravated trainer stamp her foot, he realized that just like her Poochyena, she was beginning to lose her cool.

Ben’s stomach lurched as he recalled how the hooded woman had cruelly treated her Pokemon, and the spiteful glance Renelax had given her in return. From the moment he laid eyes on the cloaked Rapan, Ben had sensed a sinister vibe that had filled him with unease. Now he knew what had caused it. She was a bully, plain and simple. Ben wondered if the rest of Rapa’s followers were anything like her. He suspected they were, and felt sincerely glad he had chosen to side with Ikira and the disciples of Sauros. Ikira! For the first time since the battle had started, Ben wondered what had become of her. He figured she was probably somewhere close, facing off against a fellow follower of Rapa. Wherever she was, he hoped she was okay. Silently, Ben recommitted himself to doing whatever it took to stop the cruel Rapans.

Dragging a hand through his short, brown hair Ben thought hard to come up with a plan. The woman and her partner were visibly frustrated, and he could tell that he and Forteo had them on the ropes. He didn’t think that it would take much to finish Renelax off, especially if the woman’s anger got the best of her, and caused her to make a foolish mistake. After a moment of consideration, Ben issued his instructions to the patiently-waiting Forteo. “Okay, mate,” he began. “Brilliant work so far. Let’s see if we can finish them off now. Wait for Renelax to make the first move, then dodge with RAPID SPIN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)! After that, hopefully one more BUG BITE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) will do it!”

While Forteo fixed Renelax with a determined look, Ben suddenly felt sorry for the Bite Pokemon. Having been kicked once already this battle, he sereiously doubted that was the first abuse the Poochyena had ever received. At that moment a thought flashed in Ben’s mind. “One more thing, mate!” he hollered to Forteo. “I want you to be ready to defend Renelax with PROTECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) if her trainer tries to beat her again!” Ben was determined to prevent any more ill-treatment to the poor Poochyena. Surprised at this new direction Forteo turned a curious expression to Ben, but the teenage trainer just nodded and Forteo quickly prepared himself to attack.

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PeeGee
10th April 2009, 8:37 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Musing on the upgrade in difficulty between battle challenges, you delegate your Ledian to active stations along with her first mission orders. Flapping her wings at Supersonic speed, Dot succeeds in releasing a sound wave at obfusticating frequency that washes over Skorupi, who immediately starts ambling about with proverbial spirals in its eyes. Keeping up with her swift routine, Dot proceeds on to throw a Punch at Mach speed, a brief explosion of air erupting from Dot's attacking hand, but the hit appears to smack against Skorupi's body with as much effect as a puff of air -- Skorupi's venomous insectoid affinity rendering the attack severely weakened. Wildly waving its claws, Skorupi begins firing a Poison Sting around, but its state of addlement results in the toxic needles flying willy-nilly, managing to strike anywhere but Dot and her teammates -- dodges, instinctively executed by you and your Pokémon, aiding the lack of damage inflicted.

Zooming back into the fray, Dot continues by executing her Comet Punch technique, landing a series of quick blows onto the enemy's back, careful to avoid making contact with Skorupi's tail, but as the last knuckle sandwich flings Skorupi backwards you notice the confusion beaten out of its eyes. Springing at Dot with surprising acrobatics, Skorupi succeeds in landing a Bite on Dot's left foot, prompting the Ledian to attempt shaking off the poisonous irritant, which she does after a few good moments of violent tossing. Not quite done with Dot, you watch as Skorupi shoots a Leer at Dot's pained gaze, causing her to shudder briefly as her arms droop a little. This little bugger's a feisty one, to be sure...

Karmas observed the battle, hoping that Dot had the power to win. Dot had started flapping her wings and soon enough she released a sound wave at Skorupi, which was successful in confusing the pokemon. Not even pausing a little the ladybug pokemon threw a punch towards her opponent, sending out a brief explosion of air. Skorupi, however, just brushed the attack off due to its poison affiliation. The Skorupi began to fire Poison Stings, but due to its confusion sent them flying everywhere, Dot, Watermelon and Karmas easily dodging all of them.

Dot continued the battle by successfully executing a Comet Punch, hitting her opponent several times in the back, taking careful attention to stay clear of Skorupi's stinger. As Dot landed her last attack she noticed that Skorupi no longer looked confused, which was justified when it sprang at Dot and landed a Bite on Dot's left foot. The Ledian let out a small scream of pain and started to rapidly shake her leg, in an attempt to shake off the scorpion pokemon that was latched onto her foot. Soon Skorupi was shook off, but it wasn't finished with her yet, shooting a Leer at Dot.

"Are you alright Dot?" asked Karmas.

The ladybug nodded her head, wincing as her foot moved slightly.

"Okay then," started Karmas. "Start off with a Safeguard to prevent poisoning, then use a double shot of Comet Punch!"

Dot nodded her head before she started up her Safeguard attack.

Shadowshocker
11th April 2009, 7:22 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Multiple concerns are running through you, but there is little else you can do unless you deal with Renalex and her trainer; the former still trying to tear Forteo off her head. Eventually Renalex succeeds, flinging Forteo into the air with a vigorous shake of her neck, but Forteo is ready in softening the blow of being a living projectile by kicking up a Rapid Spin, transferring gravitational momentum to land acutely on the dirt.

"Finish it, Renalex!" declares the cloaked girl. "Fire Fang, and finish it this time!"

Once again with her teeth blazing with flame, Renalex makes her feral way towards your Pineco, but the determined Bug-type is ready and waiting. Still oscillating regularly on the tip of his behind, Forteo darts to the side as Renalex comes snapping, making an arc about a metre in radius as he spins out of the blast zone. Grinding to a brief stop as he prepares to change direction, he rams back into Renalex with full force, slamming a final Bug Bite to the Dark-type's side. Another howl is heard from Renalex, not of the technique variety, and as she keels over on the ground it's distinct that the Poochyena can't possibly continue her assault. Level up for Forteo.

"Keh!" Spitting onto the dirt, the enemy trainer flourishes a PokéBall from her long, jagged sleeve, withdrawing Renalex into her containment orb without much further ado -- thankfully for Renalex's sake, you briefly note. "You win this round, kid. Things won't be so pleasant for you next time we -- KAAAGH!"

Whatever you expected out of the girl in the cloak, it certainly isn't doubling over in apparent pain. As she claws the dirt grunting and groaning in agonising struggle, you almost reach out to support her before series of equally chilling screams reach your ears. All around you, Pokémon and trainers, Rapans and Sarosans alike have hit the floor in various displays of what appear to be bizarre epileptic movements, and even as the seconds pass you witness more citizens of Lacuna succumb to the strange phenomenon. Bodies collapse, joining the symphony of pain wracking the community, and as another cloaked figure and robed acolyte fall next to you fear like nothing you've ever experience grips you. You are at a distinct loss as of what to do, but nothing prepares what happens next: before you've noticed it you suddenly discover each person in the forum start to take on a peculiar aura of their own, and for some reason it seems to be colour-coordinated: each Lacunan dressed in Saros' religious clothing has been taken over by a chartreuse light while every citizen clad in Rapa's cloaks has started sporting a crimson glow.

As you watch on, completely flabbergasted, the auras begin to swirl like smoke from a fire, in patterns not unlike blood pumped from a heart and pushed into vessels. A soft, united groan seems to be issued, and you feel this coming not from the individuals strewn about you, but seemingly from the core, the heart of Lacuna itself. Even as you play the part of the audience the members of the court suddenly start levitating off ground level, gently floating into the sky like flower petals into the wind, pushed to the external circumference. Before long a formation is created above you; a pair of glowing arcs composed by Lacuna's citizens, red on one side and green on the other. At the centre of it all, however, floats a pair of two people from each side facing each other, and straining to see who they are you are shocked to recognise three of them -- Kiru and Renalex's trainer on one end, while Ikira and a boy you don't recognise stand against them; the latter with slightly spiked blue hair and light brown eyes. What separates them clearly from the others, however, isn't just their positioning: while the other Lacunas float with their backs bent over like lurching zombies, the four adolescents in the centre of it all each bear glassy expressions on their faces as they stare squarely at their apparent opposition. Before you can figure out what this all means, however, the two-toned auras appear to gather above the people of Lacuna, congregating in two separate masses of colour. As they twist and turn you notice them forming distinct shapes, and with a sickening lurch you seem to recognise the one forming out of the green mists: the curves resembling arcs and cresents; the sharp, shapely formation surrounding the graceful form. On the other side the vermillion gases start twisting into a cloak-like shape, creating the figure of a wraithly being, tattered zigzags at the bottom and smoky pillars adorning the top. Even as you feel the breath being squeezed out of you to the tip of your tongue, you can't help but devote full attention to the now distinct shapes above it all, and with a jolt you recognise the figure from the green as the entity that had stood guard over the Moon Temple's healing fountain. She -- at least, you're most certain this creature must be a she -- floats opposite her apparent foe; a monster somehow demonic in appearance with a red, jagged jaw formation and spiralling cloud-like head.

"It's been far too long," you hear a baritone saying, and somehow you realise that it's the dark creature speaking, though his mouth doesn't seem to be moving. "You've held your reign over these fools for so long, and the moment that something starts swinging towards my favour... trust you to have tried pulling something like this off."

"You flatter me." The curvy creature seems to speak this time, in a serene mezzo-soprano, but through her calm voice you sense a powerful urge of aggression. "You're one to talk yourself. Did you think no one would notice your trick with the healing fountain?"

"Ha! Solrock calling the Lunatone Rock-typed," sneers the entity in black. "All I've done is try to even the odds. A far cry from what you've tried to pull against me, all these years, all this time."

"Enough." You feel an energy ripple as the calm, crescent creature says this. "Nothing can save you now. We end this battle, tonight!"

"Save? As if I needed saving from the likes of you." Gathering a pulsing wave of grievous power in his claws, the dark monster glares angrily at his opponent, shining energy focusing in front of her as well. "Prepare yourself!"

"PSYCHIC!"

"DARK PULSE!"

Instinctively you try to call out, to scream out to the collection of individuals above you, but even as you try and the energy blasts collide, a wave of white seems to override everything, much like when you had touched the Moon Stone in the forum which had started this entire debacle. Your body lies suspended in light, but somehow you feel as though a tsunami had just come over you, overwhelming you in its full magnitude and petrifying the very life force within you. Little else but fear and uncertainty grips your mind, and just as you almost feel forces of insanity overcome you completely the colour appears to return to the world. You are left within the forum as you had been earlier, but this time the reincarnation of the plaza is completely empty, save for you. A strange atmosphere has set in the courtyard bathed in the indigo of night, and the whole landscape almost feels dreamlike.

"Benjamin Hale."

A third voice of unknown identity echoes through every fibre of your body, deep and booming, and even as your mind wonders a dazzling starburst appears ahead of you, warping into a quadruped form. Niggles at your mind suggest that this isn't the first time you've seen this new creature, and then it hits you -- it has long been said that a strange, panther-like creature was a source of Lacunan worship since the civilisation began, millenia ago. It is difficult against the glow, but you recognise the being as the white, unidentifiable statue that you had seen lining the halls of the Moon Temple. While its depictions were about the size of a full grown man, the real thing seems to be at least ten feet tall, and an unusual series of arcs appear to form about its stomach.

"Benjamin Hale," the voice repeats, and you know that unquestioningly, the creature is addressing you. "That you are here tonight is no coincidence. You alone bear the weight of restoring the balance within Lacuna. You have seen much, but you have yet to see everything... And, I am afraid there is still much, much to see.

"You might already have realised this, Benjamin Hale... the secret to Lacuna lies in its history," continues the entity. "You understand how Saros and Rapa have sought to seek control over the other, and the conflict has culminated in the tragedy you saw tonight. Unless something is done to reunite the key, Lacuna will be lost here, tonight. Forever within the sands, never to be heard of again until long past its time. Until your time, Benjamin.

"There is little else I can reveal at this point. You are the only one who can reunite Lacuna as the world knows it, and seek its salvation deep within the two temples. That of Saros, and Rapa," adds the shining being. "However, if you were to wish to return to your own time, you only need to state so, and it will be done. Until now you have only borne witness to events long before your time, and there is nothing to be done when it comes to the natural ends of worlds. But whatever your decision, Benjamin Hale... make it with conviction. Either to return to the sanctuary of your own world, or seek the unknown within the Rapa's Temple first, or the Moon Temple. Out of three, you must choose."

It seems the weight of this world, rather literally, has been placed upon your shoulders. What will you choose to do?



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Noting the dangers of falling under status conditions, you command Dot to kick in her Safeguard, to which the Ledian gladly complies. A shimmering series of energy rings rise up from below Dot's shadow, surrounding her insectine form and giving her a faint glow. This, however, leaves Skorupi free to perform its next move; a Pin Missile storm fired from the tips of its claws and stinger. The needles of Bug-type power smash against Dot, but the painful jabbing aside you notice that little detriment has been apparently inflicted upon your Pokémon.

Slightly miffed at the sneaky manouvre of her foe, Dot proceeds to go on with her turn, arms swinging in for a Comet Punch hurricane. The blows come raining down onto Skorupi, battering it like hailstones, but a yelp from Dot catches your attention: seemingly, as she swung a knuckle at it, Skorupi dove in for a timely Bite to Dot's hand, crushing down like a man-trap. Screaming in sharp agony, Dot flails as best she can to get the irritating insect off, eventually bumping it repeatedly against the ground to shake off Skorupi. Clutching her hand in apparent fear, Dot trembles as she massages her hurt arm ruefully, and you notice a couple of things: the first being Dot's painfully flinched expression, and the second being the oddly severe injury dealt to her hand -- even given the scenario it looks far too strong for a Skorupi bite. Possibly... could it be Skorupi's Sniper ability, you wonder, but Skorupi is making hay while the sun shines. A jab in its arms again with a second bout of Acupressure, and you somehow sense that with this poke, Skorupi's eyesight seems to have become sharper, as though its accuracy took a boost this time...

-Hayward-
12th April 2009, 5:46 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Multiple concerns are running through you, but there is little else you can do unless you deal with Renalex and her trainer; the former still trying to tear Forteo off her head. Eventually Renalex succeeds, flinging Forteo into the air with a vigorous shake of her neck, but Forteo is ready in softening the blow of being a living projectile by kicking up a Rapid Spin, transferring gravitational momentum to land acutely on the dirt.

"Finish it, Renalex!" declares the cloaked girl. "Fire Fang, and finish it this time!"

Once again with her teeth blazing with flame, Renalex makes her feral way towards your Pineco, but the determined Bug-type is ready and waiting. Still oscillating regularly on the tip of his behind, Forteo darts to the side as Renalex comes snapping, making an arc about a metre in radius as he spins out of the blast zone. Grinding to a brief stop as he prepares to change direction, he rams back into Renalex with full force, slamming a final Bug Bite to the Dark-type's side. Another howl is heard from Renalex, not of the technique variety, and as she keels over on the ground it's distinct that the Poochyena can't possibly continue her assault. Level up for Forteo.

"Keh!" Spitting onto the dirt, the enemy trainer flourishes a PokéBall from her long, jagged sleeve, withdrawing Renalex into her containment orb without much further ado -- thankfully for Renalex's sake, you briefly note. "You win this round, kid. Things won't be so pleasant for you next time we -- KAAAGH!"

Whatever you expected out of the girl in the cloak, it certainly isn't doubling over in apparent pain. As she claws the dirt grunting and groaning in agonising struggle, you almost reach out to support her before series of equally chilling screams reach your ears. All around you, Pokémon and trainers, Rapans and Sarosans alike have hit the floor in various displays of what appear to be bizarre epileptic movements, and even as the seconds pass you witness more citizens of Lacuna succumb to the strange phenomenon. Bodies collapse, joining the symphony of pain wracking the community, and as another cloaked figure and robed acolyte fall next to you fear like nothing you've ever experience grips you. You are at a distinct loss as of what to do, but nothing prepares what happens next: before you've noticed it you suddenly discover each person in the forum start to take on a peculiar aura of their own, and for some reason it seems to be colour-coordinated: each Lacunan dressed in Saros' religious clothing has been taken over by a chartreuse light while every citizen clad in Rapa's cloaks has started sporting a crimson glow.

As you watch on, completely flabbergasted, the auras begin to swirl like smoke from a fire, in patterns not unlike blood pumped from a heart and pushed into vessels. A soft, united groan seems to be issued, and you feel this coming not from the individuals strewn about you, but seemingly from the core, the heart of Lacuna itself. Even as you play the part of the audience the members of the court suddenly start levitating off ground level, gently floating into the sky like flower petals into the wind, pushed to the external circumference. Before long a formation is created above you; a pair of glowing arcs composed by Lacuna's citizens, red on one side and green on the other. At the centre of it all, however, floats a pair of two people from each side facing each other, and straining to see who they are you are shocked to recognise three of them -- Kiru and Renalex's trainer on one end, while Ikira and a boy you don't recognise stand against them; the latter with slightly spiked blue hair and light brown eyes. What separates them clearly from the others, however, isn't just their positioning: while the other Lacunas float with their backs bent over like lurching zombies, the four adolescents in the centre of it all each bear glassy expressions on their faces as they stare squarely at their apparent opposition. Before you can figure out what this all means, however, the two-toned auras appear to gather above the people of Lacuna, congregating in two separate masses of colour. As they twist and turn you notice them forming distinct shapes, and with a sickening lurch you seem to recognise the one forming out of the green mists: the curves resembling arcs and cresents; the sharp, shapely formation surrounding the graceful form. On the other side the vermillion gases start twisting into a cloak-like shape, creating the figure of a wraithly being, tattered zigzags at the bottom and smoky pillars adorning the top. Even as you feel the breath being squeezed out of you to the tip of your tongue, you can't help but devote full attention to the now distinct shapes above it all, and with a jolt you recognise the figure from the green as the entity that had stood guard over the Moon Temple's healing fountain. She -- at least, you're most certain this creature must be a she -- floats opposite her apparent foe; a monster somehow demonic in appearance with a red, jagged jaw formation and spiralling cloud-like head.

"It's been far too long," you hear a baritone saying, and somehow you realise that it's the dark creature speaking, though his mouth doesn't seem to be moving. "You've held your reign over these fools for so long, and the moment that something starts swinging towards my favour... trust you to have tried pulling something like this off."

"You flatter me." The curvy creature seems to speak this time, in a serene mezzo-soprano, but through her calm voice you sense a powerful urge of aggression. "You're one to talk yourself. Did you think no one would notice your trick with the healing fountain?"

"Ha! Solrock calling the Lunatone Rock-typed," sneers the entity in black. "All I've done is try to even the odds. A far cry from what you've tried to pull against me, all these years, all this time."

"Enough." You feel an energy ripple as the calm, crescent creature says this. "Nothing can save you now. We end this battle, tonight!"

"Save? As if I needed saving from the likes of you." Gathering a pulsing wave of grievous power in his claws, the dark monster glares angrily at his opponent, shining energy focusing in front of her as well. "Prepare yourself!"

"PSYCHIC!"

"DARK PULSE!"

Instinctively you try to call out, to scream out to the collection of individuals above you, but even as you try and the energy blasts collide, a wave of white seems to override everything, much like when you had touched the Moon Stone in the forum which had started this entire debacle. Your body lies suspended in light, but somehow you feel as though a tsunami had just come over you, overwhelming you in its full magnitude and petrifying the very life force within you. Little else but fear and uncertainty grips your mind, and just as you almost feel forces of insanity overcome you completely the colour appears to return to the world. You are left within the forum as you had been earlier, but this time the reincarnation of the plaza is completely empty, save for you. A strange atmosphere has set in the courtyard bathed in the indigo of night, and the whole landscape almost feels dreamlike.

"Benjamin Hale."

A third voice of unknown identity echoes through every fibre of your body, deep and booming, and even as your mind wonders a dazzling starburst appears ahead of you, warping into a quadruped form. Niggles at your mind suggest that this isn't the first time you've seen this new creature, and then it hits you -- it has long been said that a strange, panther-like creature was a source of Lacunan worship since the civilisation began, millenia ago. It is difficult against the glow, but you recognise the being as the white, unidentifiable statue that you had seen lining the halls of the Moon Temple. While its depictions were about the size of a full grown man, the real thing seems to be at least ten feet tall, and an unusual series of arcs appear to form about its stomach.

"Benjamin Hale," the voice repeats, and you know that unquestioningly, the creature is addressing you. "That you are here tonight is no coincidence. You alone bear the weight of restoring the balance within Lacuna. You have seen much, but you have yet to see everything... And, I am afraid there is still much, much to see.

"You might already have realised this, Benjamin Hale... the secret to Lacuna lies in its history," continues the entity. "You understand how Saros and Rapa have sought to seek control over the other, and the conflict has culminated in the tragedy you saw tonight. Unless something is done to reunite the key, Lacuna will be lost here, tonight. Forever within the sands, never to be heard of again until long past its time. Until your time, Benjamin.

"There is little else I can reveal at this point. You are the only one who can reunite Lacuna as the world knows it, and seek its salvation deep within the two temples. That of Saros, and Rapa," adds the shining being. "However, if you were to wish to return to your own time, you only need to state so, and it will be done. Until now you have only borne witness to events long before your time, and there is nothing to be done when it comes to the natural ends of worlds. But whatever your decision, Benjamin Hale... make it with conviction. Either to return to the sanctuary of your own world, or seek the unknown within the Rapa's Temple first, or the Moon Temple. Out of three, you must choose."

It seems the weight of this world, rather literally, has been placed upon your shoulders. What will you choose to do?



Ben’s mind raced as he stood facing the thin, hooded Rapan woman and her Poochyena, Renelax. He had no idea where Ikira and Priest Mensa were, or how they were faring. On top of that, he still felt a twinge of guilt as he recalled their parting with Kiru. Then there was the impending civil unrest to deal with as well. Clearing his mind, Ben pushed his worries aside temporarily and refocused on the task at hand. Renelax had succeeded in dislodging Forteo, launching him across the battlefield like a woody missile. However, by Rapidly Spinning, Forteo was able to cushion his landing.

"Finish it, Renalex!" the cloaked girl delcared. "Fire Fang, and finish it this time!"

Renelax’s incisors began to emanate a fiery aura as she charged wildly towards Forteo. Ben realized that with the order for a Fire Fang, the acolyte of Rapa was going for their proverbial jugular, literally, pyro-manically. Still revolving on his bottomspike, Forteo wore a resolute expression as the Bite Pokemon suddenly lunged at him. At the last second though, the little bagworm zigzagged out of harm’s way. Looping around, he delivered a stinging Bug Bite to the monochromatic wolfpup’s furry hide. As Renelax let out a pained wail and toppled over, Ben knew that Forteo had won. As the tiny pinecone merrily rotated in a celebration of victory, Ben let out a cheer and danced around. After another happy moment, Ben turned a satisfied grin to Forteo, recalled the Bagworm Pokemon, and stuffed his Christmas Ball back into the fibre tote bag slung over his shoulder.

"Keh!" Ben’s adversary spat onto the ground and producing her own Pokeball from within one of the sleeves of her dark, sweeping garment. Ben let out a grateful breath as the Rapan disciple recalled the fainted Poochyena, sparing it further abuse. "You win this round, kid. Things won't be so pleasant for you next time we -- KAAAGH!"

Suddenly the Rapan follower clutched her sides and doubled over in pain. A look of concern spread across Ben’s face as he watched the Rapan girl convulse violently on the dusty ground. Even though she had been his enemy only moments ago, Ben was sincerely worried, and he cautiously reached out a hand, afraid the epileptic attack might be something more severe. Before he could touch her however, the cacophonous sound of pained screams rent the air, and Ben bolted in shock to see the public forum filled with Rapans, Saurosan, and Pokemon alike in the throes of similar, agonising seizures. Struck numb by what he was witnessing, Ben was frozen to the spot as he watched the citizens of Lacuna suffering directly in front of his grey-green eyes. Without warning, the followers of Rapa and Sauros began to emit unique glows, crimson and chartreuse respectively.

Ben was completely beside himself with surprise as the glows suddenly whirled and swirled together into two separate cloud-like masses in the sky. At that instant, what felt like a groan rose from the heart of the city and washed over Ben. Eyes wide with surprise, he continued to watch the miraculous events play out in the ancient city. It seemed to Ben that the entire population of Lacuna had fallen under some kind of enchantment, as all around him, the still-convulsing bodies of Rapa and Sauros followers alike began to levitate; congregating in the sky. Gradually, Ben felt his own feet leave the ground; the same magical force apparently summoning him upward into the sky, as well. As he joined the crowd of suspended, corpse-like bodies in sky, Ben spied Kiru and Renelax’s trainer, along with Ikira and blue-haired boy, isolated in the center of the mob. The two different-hued clouds continued to congeal on opposite sides of the heavens, and Ben gaped as he saw two stikingly-opposite beings materialise out of the them. One black and ragged, the other serene and crescent-shaped.

So unbelievable were the events of the past few moments that Ben wasn’t sure that any of it, including the Pokemon in front of him, were even real. Maybe he was dreaming. Maybe he was hallucinating. Maybe it was a nightmare. One minute he had been guiding his Pineco partner Forteo to victory, the next he was floating in midair; suspended between earth and sky. Ben felt as though he had lived a thousand years in an instant. It seemed too amazing to be true, and yet, unmistakably, it was happening.

"It's been far too long," Ben heard the dark creature say, despite it not moving its mouth. "You've held your reign over these fools for so long, and the moment that something starts swinging towards my favour... trust you to have tried pulling something like this off."

"You flatter me." The crescent being replied, and Ben sensed that it was ready to fight, despite its melodious voice. "You're one to talk yourself. Did you think no one would notice your trick with the healing fountain?"

"Ha! Solrock calling the Lunatone Rock-typed," The first creature sneered. "All I've done is try to even the odds. A far cry from what you've tried to pull against me, all these years, all this time."

"Enough." The second being replied, and Ben felt the atmosphere around him bristling. "Nothing can save you now. We end this battle, tonight!"

"Save? As if I needed saving from the likes of you." The dark monster snarled, readying itself to attack. Ben quickly glanced at the shimmery creature and noticed that she, too, was moving to stike. He had a bad feeling about this. "Prepare yourself!"

"PSYCHIC!"

"DARK PULSE!"

Reflexively, Ben opened his mouth to warn the Lacunas, but no sound came. The energy blasts collided in a brilliant flash, and as the resultant energy shockwave washed over him like a flood, his world went white. Feelings of alarm and terror filled Ben as he was no longer able to tell if he was even alive. And then suddenly, he found himself on the ground in the Lacuna public forum once again. The only difference, he noticed was that, now the city was deserted, as it had been when he and Medeo had explored it in the present. Ben felt like he was watching a bad dream he couldn’t wake up from. Suddenly he heard a disembodied voice, ringing in his head, calling his name.

"Benjamin Hale."

As the speaker became visible, Ben found himself with the most awe-inspiring Pokemon he had ever met. Like the lavender, crescent-shaped Pokemon of the fountain, Ben realized he had seen it before. Suddenly it came to him, its image had adorned the halls and walls of the Moon Temple. This was the beloved Pokemon their Legends had spoken of. Ben bowed respectfully to the majestic monster.

"Benjamin Hale," repeated the voice, and Ben knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the being was speaking to him. "That you are here tonight is no coincidence. You alone bear the weight of restoring the balance within Lacuna. You have seen much, but you have yet to see everything... And, I am afraid there is still much, much to see.

"You might already have realised this, Benjamin Hale... the secret to Lacuna lies in its history," the being continued. "You understand how Saros and Rapa have sought to seek control over the other, and the conflict has culminated in the tragedy you saw tonight. Unless something is done to reunite the key, Lacuna will be lost here, tonight. Forever within the sands, never to be heard of again until long past its time. Until your time, Benjamin.

"There is little else I can reveal at this point. You are the only one who can reunite Lacuna as the world knows it, and seek its salvation deep within the two temples. That of Saros, and Rapa," the shining being added. "However, if you were to wish to return to your own time, you only need to state so, and it will be done. Until now you have only borne witness to events long before your time, and there is nothing to be done when it comes to the natural ends of worlds. But whatever your decision, Benjamin Hale... make it with conviction. Either to return to the sanctuary of your own world, or seek the unknown within the Rapa's Temple first, or the Moon Temple. Out of three, you must choose."

When he had finally overcome his initial feelings of astonishment and fright, and had once again found his voice he was at a loss for what to say. Hundreds of questions swirled around inside his head like a murky whirlpool. There were so many things he wanted to ask; so many answers he wanted to know. However, the only words that came were, “But I don’t understand…Why me?!” Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, Ben thought hard to figure out why the celestial creature would want him. As his mind momentarily drifted to the diverse collection of multi-colored Pokeballs in his loaned bag, he thought fondly of the Pokemon they contained -- Medeo, Hyneo, Eoneo, and Forteo -- and he asked the mystical being, “Are you sure you have the right person? I used to be in a gang. My friends and I aren’t very strong and we certainly don’t have any special skills. And I’m out of money. Don’t you want a trainer who’s a bit more experienced?”

Pausing briefly, Ben considered his options: return to the familiarity of his own time, or blindly search Sauros’s Shrine and ransack Rapa’s Temple. What he could do to help, Ben hadn’t a clue, and he momentarily contemplated returning to the safety and security of the present. But then when he thought of Ikira and Kiru, of Priest Mensa and all the innocent people of Lacuna who hadn’t been able to make any choice, he realized he couldn’t do nothing. Ben fixed his grey-green eyes on the ethereal entity before him and resolutely nodded. “But, if you’re absolutely certain You have the right person, then I better not waste any more time.” he said. “I’ll start at Sauros’s Temple. I’ve already been there once and know a little of the layout. It’s just that I don’t remember seeing any keys.”

Suddenly Ben had an idea. “I’m sure I’m going to need help -- will you come with me?” he asked hesitantly. “If not, can you please give me something to aid me in my quest, or at least just tell me more about what I’m looking for...”




*level 17 male pineco is now level 18*

____________________________
fb (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9144120&postcount=1”)

Shadowshocker
12th April 2009, 8:09 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Conscience gets a better hold of you in your deliberation, but doubt and fear continue to linger in your mind. There is no doubt that the task you are about to embark on is daunting, to say the least, and that not all of your questions have been answered does little to calm the apprehension racing in your heart. You implore the seemingly omniscient creature for assistance, and as you finish your sentence you feel a sudden sense of warmth flow from the entity's shining aura. Looking up at its unreadable face you can almost swear that this unknown being is smiling at you.

"You have spoken bravely, Benjamin Hale. You have chosen to fight for the well-being of others above yourself; a most commendable characteristic," it says. "I sense the hesitation in you, Benjamin Hale; however I am afraid I cannot be of direct assistance and intervention in your task. Forces are working against each other, to tear each other apart as you have so witnessed. To prevent this calamity I will have to call upon all vestiges of my power; a task that however cannot be accomplished without your help, young one.

"The order of the Temples you visit will not be critical, but it is imperative you overcome the obstacles in each and bring back the keys to this location. You will understand what is meant by this, Benjamin, but I must warn you that the keys will not come willingly," advises the quadruped. "That said... there are a few things I can do for you."

With a start you feel the PokéBalls in your satchel start clicking together, bumping about like crisps in a packet, and as you open the bag you note that they've taken on a shine of their very own. Astounded, you watch on for the next few seconds as the glow eventually vanishes.

"Your invaluable comrades have been restored fully for the task you have been entrusted," explains the guardian, and no sooner than it finishes its statement a swirl of light and darkness appears in your left hand. Bringing your palm closer to your face, you watch the energies twist and merge, forming a flat disc with one half white and the other black. Even as you watch, you discover that the arc dividing the two colours is not immobile; it moves from side to side, switching the disc between light and dark presenting an excellent mimicry of the phases of the moon.

"This Lunar Amulet will be your tool in handling the keys. Once the keys have been sufficiently subdued, present the Lunar Amulet. The Amulet will do the rest," the creature adds. "As for the identity of these keys, they will make themselves known. You will know what to do, Benjamin... and above all, do not fret about your own ability."

This final piece of advice ringing in your head, the celestial entity vanishes in a starburst of glittering energy, leaving you alone in the forum once more.


***

Rushing alone through Lacuna is one thing, but having to do it in the apparent dead of night with a mission of life and death to perform is quite another. The streets, the paths of Lacuna appear deserted even as you race along their routes, but your mind remains frantic and active. A profound sense of despair and loss hangs about the area, accentuating the deserted state of it all, and somehow this spurs your run faster than ever. With your memory working into overdrive, you make your way along the road you briefly recall leads to the Moon Temple, and as you round the bend that reveals the religious building you are shocked once again at the sight. A beam of light, seemingly originated from the full moon above you, dazzles the entire establishment in faint blue, melded with spirals of the green energy you remember possessing the crescent deity and her Lacunan underlings.

Drawn by the mystic, blended glows, you race your way up the staircase leading into the first hallway, running through the marble chambers deeply etched by the glittering green, almost taking on a feathery texture of its own. Somehow guided by your subconscious you pass through the junction earlier, skipping the leftbound passage leading to the practice arena and simply going ahead through the central hall. Reaching the end of the arched tunnel, you find yourself in what must be the central chamber of the Moon Temple where citizens of Lacuna must have come to witness the priests and their sermons. The blue light you saw outside graces the very centre of the huge, circular stadiumesque room through a stained glass roof; a platform not so different from the practice arena in dimensions -- roughly a hundred metres in diameter. Most of note, however, is the presence of two figures on the platform, and as you run closer you realise that it's Ikira and the unknown boy you saw earlier next to her. Your presence does not go unnoticed as both young Lacunans turn to look at you; their countenances as expressionless and glassy as you last saw them.

"..." Wordlessly, Ikira and her apparent partner draw PokéBalls from their sides, flinging them in a spookily coordinated flourish, revealing a Clefairy and Roselia onto the floor before you...

-Hayward-
13th April 2009, 2:27 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Conscience gets a better hold of you in your deliberation, but doubt and fear continue to linger in your mind. There is no doubt that the task you are about to embark on is daunting, to say the least, and that not all of your questions have been answered does little to calm the apprehension racing in your heart. You implore the seemingly omniscient creature for assistance, and as you finish your sentence you feel a sudden sense of warmth flow from the entity's shining aura. Looking up at its unreadable face you can almost swear that this unknown being is smiling at you.

"You have spoken bravely, Benjamin Hale. You have chosen to fight for the well-being of others above yourself; a most commendable characteristic," it says. "I sense the hesitation in you, Benjamin Hale; however I am afraid I cannot be of direct assistance and intervention in your task. Forces are working against each other, to tear each other apart as you have so witnessed. To prevent this calamity I will have to call upon all vestiges of my power; a task that however cannot be accomplished without your help, young one.

"The order of the Temples you visit will not be critical, but it is imperative you overcome the obstacles in each and bring back the keys to this location. You will understand what is meant by this, Benjamin, but I must warn you that the keys will not come willingly," advises the quadruped. "That said... there are a few things I can do for you."

With a start you feel the PokéBalls in your satchel start clicking together, bumping about like crisps in a packet, and as you open the bag you note that they've taken on a shine of their very own. Astounded, you watch on for the next few seconds as the glow eventually vanishes.

"Your invaluable comrades have been restored fully for the task you have been entrusted," explains the guardian, and no sooner than it finishes its statement a swirl of light and darkness appears in your left hand. Bringing your palm closer to your face, you watch the energies twist and merge, forming a flat disc with one half white and the other black. Even as you watch, you discover that the arc dividing the two colours is not immobile; it moves from side to side, switching the disc between light and dark presenting an excellent mimicry of the phases of the moon.

"This Lunar Amulet will be your tool in handling the keys. Once the keys have been sufficiently subdued, present the Lunar Amulet. The Amulet will do the rest," the creature adds. "As for the identity of these keys, they will make themselves known. You will know what to do, Benjamin... and above all, do not fret about your own ability."

This final piece of advice ringing in your head, the celestial entity vanishes in a starburst of glittering energy, leaving you alone in the forum once more.


***

Rushing alone through Lacuna is one thing, but having to do it in the apparent dead of night with a mission of life and death to perform is quite another. The streets, the paths of Lacuna appear deserted even as you race along their routes, but your mind remains frantic and active. A profound sense of despair and loss hangs about the area, accentuating the deserted state of it all, and somehow this spurs your run faster than ever. With your memory working into overdrive, you make your way along the road you briefly recall leads to the Moon Temple, and as you round the bend that reveals the religious building you are shocked once again at the sight. A beam of light, seemingly originated from the full moon above you, dazzles the entire establishment in faint blue, melded with spirals of the green energy you remember possessing the crescent deity and her Lacunan underlings.

Drawn by the mystic, blended glows, you race your way up the staircase leading into the first hallway, running through the marble chambers deeply etched by the glittering green, almost taking on a feathery texture of its own. Somehow guided by your subconscious you pass through the junction earlier, skipping the leftbound passage leading to the practice arena and simply going ahead through the central hall. Reaching the end of the arched tunnel, you find yourself in what must be the central chamber of the Moon Temple where citizens of Lacuna must have come to witness the priests and their sermons. The blue light you saw outside graces the very centre of the huge, circular stadiumesque room through a stained glass roof; a platform not so different from the practice arena in dimensions -- roughly a hundred metres in diameter. Most of note, however, is the presence of two figures on the platform, and as you run closer you realise that it's Ikira and the unknown boy you saw earlier next to her. Your presence does not go unnoticed as both young Lacunans turn to look at you; their countenances as expressionless and glassy as you last saw them.

"..." Wordlessly, Ikira and her apparent partner draw PokéBalls from their sides, flinging them in a spookily coordinated flourish, revealing a Clefairy and Roselia onto the floor before you...




As Ben hesitantly finished his request, he sensed a sudden, yet unexplainable warmth begin to radiate from the Legendary Pokemon in front of him. His spirits lifted slightly as the feeling washed over him and suddenly filled him with confidence. Glancing at the awe-inspiring monster, he thought he could detect the faintest trace of a smile spread across its pale, gleaming face.

"You have spoken bravely, Benjamin Hale. You have chosen to fight for the well-being of others above yourself; a most commendable characteristic," the shimmering entity said. Hearing this remark, Ben felt sincerely grateful for the creature’s trust in him. However it didn’t change the fact that he didn’t feel particularly qualified. The radiant being continued, "I sense the hesitation in you, Benjamin Hale; however I am afraid I cannot be of direct assistance and intervention in your task. Forces are working against each other, to tear each other apart as you have so witnessed. To prevent this calamity I will have to call upon all vestiges of my power; a task that however cannot be accomplished without your help, young one.”

"The order of the Temples you visit will not be critical, but it is imperative you overcome the obstacles in each and bring back the keys to this location. You will understand what is meant by this, Benjamin, but I must warn you that the keys will not come willingly," the wise quadruped cautioned and Ben nodded, signaling that he had suspected as much. "That said... there are a few things I can do for you."

At that moment, Ben felt the Pokeballs in his fibre tote bag begin to bump and jostle into each other. He quickly peered into the borrowed pack and bolted with surprise when he spied his various capture capsules emitting a peculiar glow. Eyes wide, Ben watched them bump and wriggle for a few moments, until the aura eventually faded and disappeared.

"Your invaluable comrades have been restored fully for the task you have been entrusted," the regal guardian explained. Ben bowed respectfully in appreciation As he righted himself, a mixture of light and dark began to swirl above his left hand. He brought his glowing palm closer to his face, and stared at the congealing energy masses. They wasted no time in solidifying into a disc shaped object that seemed to Ben to be alive; the black and white portions mimicking the ever-changing phases of the moon.

"This Lunar Amulet will be your tool in handling the keys. Once the keys have been sufficiently subdued, present the Lunar Amulet. The Amulet will do the rest," added the dazzling creature and Ben stared at the proffered gift, half-wondering, half-marveling at the trinkets significance. "As for the identity of these keys, they will make themselves known. You will know what to do, Benjamin... and above all, do not fret about your own ability."

As the celestial creature vanished in a brilliant display of light and energy, Ben found himself alone once again in the silent, deserted public forum of ancient Lacnua City. For a moment he stood there unmoving in the nightdarkness. His mind raced as he reflected on the Legendary Pokemon’s counsel and instructions. Sighing quietly, he stared absentmindedly at the ground. After a moment he lifted his hand once again and gazed at the Lunar Amulet. Slipping its loop over his head, he let the amulet fall to his chest. It gave off a tiny, melancholy clink as it knocked against the obsidian claw pendant Ikira had given him earlier, and Ben once again felt the magnitude of this weighty mission.

He had genuinely hoped the mystical being would have agreed to go with him. Clearly it had been a powerful creature and undoubtedly would have been a valuable partner. Deep down inside though, he felt that he had known all along that this task was something he had to do alone. The ethereal entity had said he would know what to do, he would just have to trust that. Just as the feelings of worry and concern started to flood through once again, his thoughts drifted to his Pokemon companions -- now fighting fit in their Pokeballs -- and the bond he shared each of them. His spirits lifted as he realized that he wouldn’t have to do this alone after all. Grinning, he set off at a light trot for the Moon Temple, the pokeballs containing his friends clicking in his bag with each step he took.


* * *

In the dead of night a solitary figure raced through the deserted streets of the ancient city of Lacuna, silent except for the sound of his own footfalls and the accompanying clink of the Pokeballs in his borrowed bag. As he passed empty mud-brick house after empty mud-brick house, the Trainer Benjamin Hale felt the sorrow and loss that hung over the once-thriving civilization like a thick fog. Having drawn strength from the bond of his Pokemon comrades, Ben tried desperately to push the thoughts of sadness and hopelessness away. Resolved now to the fact that he was going to see his appointed task through to completion, no matter the cost, he picked up his pace, opting instead to push himself to run faster in an effort to reach the Moon Temple that much quicker.

How he ever found the majestic Moon Temple on his own, with little light to see by, on his first attempt, he never figured out. Ben had never been one to believe in coincidences so he simply chalked it up to the Legendary Pokemon’s prophetic words that ”…you will know what to do, Benjamin.” He stopped abruptly as he rounded the bend leading to the Sauros’ shrine, because his grey-green eyes suddenly fell on a shaft of pale light bathing the stately structure in a faint blue hue. Mixed with the blue light, he saw traces of green, and his mind immediately flashed back to the aura that had emanated from the crescenty creature he had encounter earlier.

As he scrambled up the stairs leading to the inner sanctum, it seemed to him that the light was beckoning him, guiding him on, illuminating his path. He quickly raced down the familiar, marbled hallways, everything in the building awash in the glimmering green. When he finally arrived at the junction, he bypassed the hallway to the training grounds, and continued straight ahead, all the while wondering just what he would find at its end. As he neared the arched doorway he slowed down a bit, and entered the cavernous room at a trot.

As he surveyed what he suspected must be the Moon Temple’s central chamber with his grey-green eyes, he realized that this must be the place the Lacunas congregate to hear the teaching and instruction of their religious guides. Continuing to scan the room, he suddenly bolted in shock when he spied a pair of figures in the room. These were the first two living things he had seen since the disappearance of all the Lacunas a while ago. He rubbed his eyes, wanting to be sure he wasn’t seeing things or just imagining them. There was no mistaking that they were real however, and as they turned to face him, Ben received his biggest shock yet, when they revealed themselves to be none other than the blue-haired boy and Ikira herself. Ben noticed immediately that something was different about them. The two people that stood in front of him now wore blank expressions on their faces, and moved with the halting, faltering-shuffling movements of zombies. He watched wide-eyed as they, silently and simultaneously, sent out their Pokemon. From the aggressive stances the Clefairy and Roselia took, Ben could tell they clearly were looking to battle.

Ben wasted no time in pulling out two Pokeballs of his own. The unmistakable metallic Steel Ball of the Meditite Medeo, and the Pineco Forteo’s festive half-green, half-red Christmas ball. Pressing the round trigger switches in the center of each sphere, he released his companions. “Look sharp, mates.” he cautioned, and out of the corner of his eye he noticed that Medeo gave a little start at seeing the zombie-like Ikira. To his credit, the Yoga Pokemon recovered quickly and adopted the Gyarados Sweeps His Tail defensive kung fu posture.

“Keep your cool, Medeo.” Ben advised. “Something’s happened to our friend. We’ve got to try to help her. Ready?” he asked the little Pineco and lithe Meditite. Forteo spun around merrily, while Medeo nodded solemnly. Both fixed their opponents with steely gazes. Dragging a hand through his short, brown hair Ben thought hard to come up with a strategy. After a moment of consideration, he issued his instructions. “Teamwork, now mates. Medeo try to FAKE OUT Roselia. Forteo, try to take advantage of the temporary stunning Medeo creates -- be ready to back him up with two quick BUG BITES to Roselia. Medeo, wait until you get a clean shot, then hit Clefairy with an ENERGY BALL. Both of you be ready to defend with PROTECT. Be on your guard, especially if Clefairy tries to use Follow Me.”

___________________________________________
fb (“”)

Shadowshocker
13th April 2009, 1:56 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
With your purpose quickly ascertained, you promptly release fighters of your own in swift response with orders on the side; Medeo taking a moment to get over the surprise of facing Ikira. Seconds tick by tersely as the four Pokémon glare each other down, before Medeo charges in first for a quick Fake Out, slapping Roselia by the side of his head. The shorter-cloaked thorn tumbles to the ground, but other than a soft grunt it appears as unfeeling as its trainer. Clefairy, in the meantime, begins to Growl at your Pokémon; her voice laced with rough decibels, causing them to briefly shudder. Hopping into the fray, Forteo goes in for a Bug Bite onto Roselia, tasting plant juice as his hidden teeth come down, but you notice that somehow the impact appears to be reduced.

Suddenly flinging Forteo off with surprising strength, Roselia brings a blade of Grass to his mouth, gently blowing to create a calming Whistle tune as Clefairy rolls up in a Defence Curl. Instantly Forteo and Medeo start to get wobbly on their lower limbs, and even as Medeo tries forming an Energy Ball between his palms sleep inevitably creeps into his eyelids, and he fumbles the botanic bomb halfway through, releasing it as he collapses to the ground snoring away. The viridian orb goes flying, slamming into the balled fairy, drawing a muffled squeak out of her as she reveals herself. Tottering forward, you're shocked as Clefairy begins a Wake-Up Slap on your snoozing Meditite; her palm going back and forth as she smacks Medeo silly on the face. It only takes the first instance of impact for Medeo to awaken, though Clefairy continues the onslaught of abusing his cheeks before delivering a final palm thrust, tossing Medeo back from the force. Sorely, Medeo massages his face where Clefairy has left her red handprints, but with no other moves to withstand against he can only gaze at his opponent with a pained look in his eye. With Medeo taught a rather stingy lesson and Forteo still sleeping, things don't seem to be going so well for you...

PeeGee
14th April 2009, 7:11 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Noting the dangers of falling under status conditions, you command Dot to kick in her Safeguard, to which the Ledian gladly complies. A shimmering series of energy rings rise up from below Dot's shadow, surrounding her insectine form and giving her a faint glow. This, however, leaves Skorupi free to perform its next move; a Pin Missile storm fired from the tips of its claws and stinger. The needles of Bug-type power smash against Dot, but the painful jabbing aside you notice that little detriment has been apparently inflicted upon your Pokémon.

Slightly miffed at the sneaky manouvre of her foe, Dot proceeds to go on with her turn, arms swinging in for a Comet Punch hurricane. The blows come raining down onto Skorupi, battering it like hailstones, but a yelp from Dot catches your attention: seemingly, as she swung a knuckle at it, Skorupi dove in for a timely Bite to Dot's hand, crushing down like a man-trap. Screaming in sharp agony, Dot flails as best she can to get the irritating insect off, eventually bumping it repeatedly against the ground to shake off Skorupi. Clutching her hand in apparent fear, Dot trembles as she massages her hurt arm ruefully, and you notice a couple of things: the first being Dot's painfully flinched expression, and the second being the oddly severe injury dealt to her hand -- even given the scenario it looks far too strong for a Skorupi bite. Possibly... could it be Skorupi's Sniper ability, you wonder, but Skorupi is making hay while the sun shines. A jab in its arms again with a second bout of Acupressure, and you somehow sense that with this poke, Skorupi's eyesight seems to have become sharper, as though its accuracy took a boost this time...

Dot fired up her Safeguard, resulting in a series of rings surrounding her body and giving her a faint glow. But this gave the Skorupi an opening to attack, which it took. A storm of pins shot out of the poison/dark type's claws and stinger as it executed its Pin Missle attack. As they rained down upon Dot they did nothing more than one of her earlier attacks against Skorupi.

Dot glared at her opponent, miffed that it took an opening to attack her (even though she would have done the same), before she zoomed towards Skorupi. She swung her fists at it, starting her Comet Punch[/B} attack, and started to pummel it. But suddenly Karmas heard a yelp of pain.

What was that? he thought until he saw Dot.

Once again Skorupi was latched onto a part of Dot's body, but this time it was one of her fists. The ladybug pokemon was screaming her head off, resorting to hitting Skorupi against the ground to get it off. Soon, though, it detached itself and Karmas noticed two things about Dot. The first was that she had an expression on her face that suggested [B]flinching, and the second thing was the injury that had been dealt to Dot. It seemed to be a lot worse than it should have been.

Maybe the Skorupi has Sniper as its ability? wondered Karmas.

As Karmas was thinking he noticed that Skorupi had applied another Acupressure attack on itself, and this time it seemed that its accuracy had also increased.

"Okay Dot, you can still win this!" called out Karmas. "You just need to attack it from afar."

Dot turned and looked at her trainer with a look that suggested 'Why didn't you think of that earlier?'

"Alrighty then," started Karmas, "Start off with Reflect, follow it up with a Supersonic and then finish it off with a Silver Wind

Shadowshocker
14th April 2009, 2:39 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Looking at you briefly with a mildly annoyed expression on her face, Dot starts focusing psychic power through her palms, shaking a little as the energy goes through her pained hand, but summoning up a panel of Reflect all the same. The technique comes just in time as Skorupi fires another Poison Sting from its mouth; the toxic needles colliding with Dot's protective screen before falling to the floor in little clatters. Glaring at the rather infuriating bug, Dot's wings begin beating up a second Supersonic, causing confusing waves to echo about the chamber once more. This catches the little scorpion unawares once more, and it doesn't take long for spirals to set into its eyes once more.

Smirking slightly at her befuddled opponent, Dot begins another round of flapping her wings, but this time she focuses on releasing insectoid energy from them instead of sound waves. A glittery gust of Silver Wind flies from beneath her chitin guards, arcing into a pair of zephyrs, slicing over Skorupi and... upon further inspection, not really seeming to deal effective damage. However, a glance towards Dot reveals that some of the energies she released appear to have surrounded her, and even as you watch on she appears to have a spring in her flight, and her body seems to have become slightly stronger while Skorupi claws itself in utter obfustication...

Stark
14th April 2009, 4:23 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Peering behind you enough to briefly extend your field of vision, you halt midway in your question when you realise that Carolina isn't within that relevant area. As a matter of fact, your senses have not been sending back messages of Carolina's presence for quite a while, but the sounds of Houndour barking and Raticate screeching soon pull your attention back where it's most needed. Arcing her spine to assume a more intimidating stance, Houndour aims a Leer into Raticate's eyes, but in the overgrown rodent's rage it's impossible to tell if it got through at all.

"Shred it, Raticate! Facade!"

Taking on a yellow aura, Raticate tears at Houndour with unbridled anger; his technique boosted by his offensive power and glaring injury. Crashing into your Pokémon like a bullet train, Raticate gives your canine girl a taste of what he's had to go through, and Houndour is sent tumbling to your feet from the force. Whimpering from the pain, Houndour scrabbles back to her four feet, glaring daggers at her foe but not without some wince out of agony. Another screech is heard as Raticate comes with his Hyper Fangs glinting against the light; however a quickly deployed Dark Pulse from Houndour's maw soon puts the brown mouse away in mid-flight, leaving the turn to Raticate to play rolling to his trainer's feet. Much like Houndour just did Raticate regains his composure, but even as his teeth clacks alarmingly you see a nervous twitch mixed in with his stare; evidently, Houndour's attack left a big enough impression for Raticate to be flinched by it.

At the sight of her opponent's temporal inactivity, Houndour wastes no time as she goes forward, heading straight at Raticate's torso region with a Thunder Fang crackling in the works. A buzzing sound as fangs meet with fur, joined by another blood-curling yelp, before Raticate begins Flailing about to toss Houndour off. The Dark Pokémon takes a number of scratches and bites before she is finally wrenched from Raticate's form. As both Pokémon face each other wounded and panting, this battle as it stands could go either way, depending on who manages to land the finishing blow.

"Raticate, Dig your way out of this for a while!" shouts Lawrence, undoubtedly aware of the decisive scenario as you are...

Stark's hand clenched into a tight fist. Carolina had disappeared. Lawrence was intent on defeating him. And the psychotic looking Raticate had went underground. Things had gone from bad to worse far quicker than Stark would have hoped. He looked at Houdour. Her breathing labored as the toll of the battle was showing. She wouldn't be able to continue much longer and right now she was at a disadvantage. Raticate was no where to be seen and Houndour couldn't exactly fly up in the air to avoid an attack from below. Still, there had to be a way to find the rodent.

"Houndour! Use Odor Slueth to try to sniff out Raticate's location as best you can," Stark called out to his partner. He wasn't sure how well it would work, but if it gave them even a little warning, perhaps Houndour could avoid taking a battle ending hit, "Once you see it use Counter to teach it a lesson. Then try to finish it off with a Shadow Ball!"

Stark could feel the muscles in his body tense up as the closing moments of the battle drew closer. This was it. Either he would be victorious and finally get some answers or he would be left to hang his head and slink away in shame. Of course, defeating Lawrence didn't guarantee answers, but it would put him in a much better position to find them. Regardless, all he could do now was wait with bated breath as the closing moments of the battle ensued.

PeeGee
15th April 2009, 8:56 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Looking at you briefly with a mildly annoyed expression on her face, Dot starts focusing psychic power through her palms, shaking a little as the energy goes through her pained hand, but summoning up a panel of Reflect all the same. The technique comes just in time as Skorupi fires another Poison Sting from its mouth; the toxic needles colliding with Dot's protective screen before falling to the floor in little clatters. Glaring at the rather infuriating bug, Dot's wings begin beating up a second Supersonic, causing confusing waves to echo about the chamber once more. This catches the little scorpion unawares once more, and it doesn't take long for spirals to set into its eyes once more.

Smirking slightly at her befuddled opponent, Dot begins another round of flapping her wings, but this time she focuses on releasing insectoid energy from them instead of sound waves. A glittery gust of Silver Wind flies from beneath her chitin guards, arcing into a pair of zephyrs, slicing over Skorupi and... upon further inspection, not really seeming to deal effective damage. However, a glance towards Dot reveals that some of the energies she released appear to have surrounded her, and even as you watch on she appears to have a spring in her flight, and her body seems to have become slightly stronger while Skorupi claws itself in utter obfustication...

Dot closed her eyes and started to focus psychic energy through her palms, wincing as the energy passed through her injured hand. Dot threw her hands forward and a barrier was summoned in front of her. she executed this just in time, for Skorupi had fired another Poison Sting attack out of its mouth. The needles smashed into Dot's barrier and just fell to the ground. Dot glared at Skorupi before she started to beat her wings. The Ledian's Supersonic attack was successful, proven when spiral once again formed in Skorupi's eyes.

Dot smirked at her opponent before she started to flap her wings again, but this time she was interested in releasing insectoid energy rather than sound waves. A silvery powder began to gust out from underneath Dot's chitin guards and headed towards Skorupi, arcing into a pair of zephyrs along the way. They sliced into Skorupi, but upon closer inspection it did little damage, but Dot seemed to be surrounded by some of the energies that she released. The ladybug pokemon seemed to be springier and she just looked stronger, while Skorupi was clawing itself in confusion.

"Yes," said Karmas as he looked at Dot, "Using Silver Wind may bot have done much damage to Skorupi but it raised her stats!"

Watermelon, who was at his trainer's side, looked at Karmas, impatient for the battle to end so that they could move on.

"Wait," said Karmas before he gave Dot her orders. "Dot, use Tackle, and then give it a double dose of Comet Punch!"

Shadowshocker
17th April 2009, 3:30 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Keen to continue your pursuit of the Sphinx's wealth, you order a fresh set of commands for Dot, who eagerly dives in with her boosted agility. Making contact before Skorupi can react at all, Dot executes a forward Tackle that promptly sends Skorupi rolling back through the dirt. Somehow managing to right itself, the desert scorpion shakes its head vigorously, but from the way it unsteadily totters it's obvious that confusion is still plaguing its little head. Not wanting to give Skorupi any chance of recovery, Dot flitters over to the smaller insect and begins hammering its back with a furious Comet Punch, literally raining blows on the hapless arachnid. Under Dot's administering it doesn't take long for pronounced bruises to appear on Skorupi, though as Dot raises her four hands to pause for breath Skorupi surprises the lot of you, jumping up and landing a Bite on Ledian's upper right hand this time. Shrieking at the unexpected affront, Dot promptly drives her inflicted fist into the ground; this second Comet Punch jarring Skorupi's head against the packed sediments and handily, holding the bug in place as Dot's other knuckles start wildly pummelling her opponent in a bid to force the living montrap to let go. As this rather brutal display of power goes on, you and Watermelon can't help but sweatdrop a little as Dot continues with an almost animalistic expression on her face, desperate to get Skorupi off her hand. By the time Skorupi finally gives up the struggle, the rest of its body is distinctly in an equally battered state, and with a crinkly groan it keels over. Level up for Dot. Ruefully massaging her pained knuckle, Dot shoots a last glare at the unconscious foe before flying back to you, and in your pressing need to move on you quickly advance through the passage ahead.

Another uneventful series of dashing through the inside of the Sphinx ensues, though this time you have a nagging feeling that somehow, the air has gotten a little staler and your echoing footsteps have turned ominous in timbre, and an impression of doubt begins floating in your mind -- the Sphinx certainly didn't seem as big on the outside. While your mind deliberates over this oddity, an alert shout from your Pokémon has you suddenly screeching to a halt: without you noticing you've reached the third chamber, nearly crashing into a waiting purple creature in the process. As you steady yourself the Pokémon opens its crystalline eyes, before its mouth widens into a sharp-toothed grin.

"Weh-heh-heh! Not too quick on the draw, are we?" cackles the Sableye. "You'll need to be a lot more watchful, though I'll give you that half the people who visit don't reach me. Whether you'll get past me... now, that's another story altogether, isn't it? Weh-heh-heh!" Pausing to chuckle to himself for a few more moments, under the somewhat irked gazes of Dot and Watermelon, the Darkness Pokémon finally stands up straight, thumping himself on the chest while clearing his throat. "Ahem. In any case, here's my riddle for you:

"My first is a person you'd see when you're sick,
My second a sound you might make when in pain.
My third is a letter you give when asleep,
Add up the clues and the answer is plain.

"So, howzabout it? Betcha can't solve this one!" Sableye grins smugly. Might you be able to prove him wrong?

ZoraJolteon
18th April 2009, 9:58 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
As you and Myria gingerly trot down the staircase leading downwards, you can only hope that Myria's uncovention hasn't determined some omnipresent fate you'll have to deal with later. Following the spiral formation where the Poison Sting must have gone, you make a pair of rounds further down until you find yourself in a circular chamber with three passageways leading further into this basement level. Glancing, you spot Myria's missile point aligned towards one of them, and without any intervention from your side you feel Myria tugging at your hair, clearly insistent you follow the path that she has chosen.

Little consideration given to other options, you find yourself going down the hallway, still accompanied by the strange illuminescence the walls have taken since the moment you entered the temple, and with every step you take you can almost swear that the glow has started to slowly, but surely intensify. While your mind dwells on this you suddenly notice that the passageway has ended, leaving you in a sizeable room decorated with marble pillars, reflecting the mysterious light onto the statue of a Tauros in the middle. Going ahead, you find that the statue in fact has been placed on a stand, marked with a plaque bearing the following words:


Suruta, the Bull
Guardian of Ground

While you're wondering what all this could mean, a voice suddenly booms through the chamber. "Surutan! Your presence is approved!"

Almost jumping from the abruptness of it all, you feel apprehension take you as the voice continues, "Fear not, Surutan. You who have been born under the constellation of Suruta need not be afraid. That you would come across my chamber, first of all the twelve in the Zodiac, is no accident. You have gained favour from Celeste herself, to be led to the chamber that blessed your birth. Celeste smiles upon you, young Surutan, for power is to be had if you would embark on the challenge to prove yourself against the might of the Zodiac. However, you first must undergo my test... you must defeat me if you are to continue on your quest, should you choose to embark on it."

Looks like you've been invited on a marathon of twelve battles, the conditions granted from Celeste no less. What will you choose to do?

"Which one of us do you think he's talking to?" Zora said with a smirk to Myria, whose Birthday fell mearly a week after his own. As Zora lifted an arm up in front of his face, Myria carefully untanged himself and turned around, climbing down onto Zora's outstretched palm as he faced his trainer, raising his blooms in an 'I dunno lol' expression. "So." Zora continued, "Looks like we've got some serious battling ahead of us. I wonder what our opponents will be like. The species seems obvious enough, but any additional factors... Oh well. We'll play it safe to begin with. Lets hope a Stun Spore is working as intended. That should buy you time to agument your abilities with Growth, then we'll go from there." Moving his arm further in front of him, Zora watched Myria leap out of his palm, showing off with a complex little twirl as he somersaulted down onto the ground, landing in a combat-ready stance.
"Lia!" he cried, ready to fight.
"Suruta, we accept your test and are ready to participate." Zora announced to the room, earger to see what came next.

Shadowshocker
19th April 2009, 12:51 PM
First off, an apology to Stark for failing to notice his reply, as Food Guy had pushed it to another page and I didn't think to check back. Sorry about that!


Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Both of you terse with the rather definite nearing of the battle's conclusion, you're at least determined not to leave this battlefield a loser, and neither is Houndour. Pressing her nose against the ground, Houndour goes into her Odour Sleuth mode, relying on her keen nose to hone in on Raticate's underground location. A moment later, you see Houndour suddenly kick in the familiar crimson glow of Counter, just as Raticate comes bursting through the floor; his teeth clacking rapidly as their sharpness rips through the packed dirt, paving and other paraphernalia. Tumbling into Houndour like a cannonball, it takes a while for Raticate's Dig to kick in his damage before Houndour's rebound technique sends him diving at the ground with twice the velocity and pain.

Noting Raticate's discoordinated state, Houndour starts focusing a Shadow Ball between her jaws; the orb of ghostly power growing from the size of a gobstopper to that of an orange, soon developing to basketball and pumpkin levels. Pushed on by her anger at the rodent enemy, Houndour rears her head, chucking the bomb with all her might, which explodes against Raticate at Lawrence's feet before either of you can react.

A squall of otherworldly zephyrs bursts upon the Shadow Ball's impact, shrouding the alleyway in darkness, and as the winds tear at your form you briefly wonder if Houndour might have overdone it; you can't see even inches in front of you. All of a sudden, a swiping motion passes you, almost ripping against your clothes, followed by a merry giggle sounding about you. Gropingly you try to feel your way about the alley, panic suddenly seizing you as you realise your proverbial blindness in the spooky mist.

"NO!" Piercing the scenario, you hear Lawrence suddenly scream out, just as the shadowed wind starts to dissipate, but even as you squint through the fading opaqueness you sense that something is very, very wrong. Raticate remains lying on the ground where he was predictably knocked out; however the one responsible for his defeat is nowhere to be seen. Frantically you scan the entire alleyway, but Houndour is nowhere in sight, and neither is Carolina.

"I can't BELIEVE I let that happen! AGAIN!" Wrenching his hands in anguish, Lawrence surprises you with his sudden emotional display, but somehow you have a feeling it's not about his loss at your hands.

"She got away! For the damning FIFTEENTH TIME!" he howls, and you're shocked to see Lawrence face the wall, beginning to pound his right hand against the dead end; his fist clenched so hard you can almost swear to see the knuckles, and the impact at which he punches the wall is most cringeworthy.

"STUPID!" bellows Lawrence, speaking to himself more than anyone else, "STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID!"

It's clear that the battle's resolution hasn't answered any of the questions you have, and worse of all one of your comrades has now gone missing in action...



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
"You have chosen bravely, Surutan. As befits one born under the Bull!" booms the disembodied voice while Myria assumes his battle positions. "Trust in your strength, and victory shall not elude you!"

Having a good idea of what Pokémon you have been tasked to defeat, you prepare yourself for the predictable Wild Bull stampede to come. What you might not have expected, however, is for the Tauros statue to suddenly glow with a lightly blinding aura; the illuminescence lasting a few seconds before dissipating. At this, the statue begins pawing the stand with its right hoof, and it promptly dawns on you that while you're definitely fighting a Tauros, it seems you'll be taking on the actual statue that embodies the celestial entity. As the entirety of Suruta's statue comes alive, rearing on its hind legs while it bellows with its three tails whipping snappily. At the sight, Myria appears to shudder, and as you watch his little body shake in what looks like fear you deduce the Wild Bull's Intimidate ability kick in at the start of the battle.

Roaring to the ceiling, the Tauros thunders down the pedestal on which it stood a few moments earlier, bringing itself into a Take Down at Myria. Quickly, the Thorn Pokémon starts whipping up his purple and black blossoms, spraying liberal amounts of Stun Spore as quickly as he can muster, forming a veritable cloud in front of him despite his diminuitive size. Unable to halt or change direction in time, Tauros runs through the collection of paralytic powder, and as you and Myria dive to the side you see the avatar Suruta's lips curl in affliction before it crashes resoundingly into the wall where you had been standing near only seconds ago. Sweating slightly, you watch Suruta pull himself from the wall, chunks of polished stone crumbling to the floor from the points of the Normal-type statue's impact, and while this happens Myria begins to execute his Growth technique, gaining a couple of inches and an increase in special attack power.

Snorting while it turns to you, Suruta begins raising his Tails, but instead of targeting Myria you're astonished to find the Bull Whipping himself instead. A state of unease fills you, and this is confirmed with a quick check to your PokéDex: habitually, Tauros whip themselves with their tails in order to heighten their willpower to fight. Both of you are getting souped up for this battle, but exactly how will you hold your own from now on?...

PeeGee
20th April 2009, 12:52 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Keen to continue your pursuit of the Sphinx's wealth, you order a fresh set of commands for Dot, who eagerly dives in with her boosted agility. Making contact before Skorupi can react at all, Dot executes a forward Tackle that promptly sends Skorupi rolling back through the dirt. Somehow managing to right itself, the desert scorpion shakes its head vigorously, but from the way it unsteadily totters it's obvious that confusion is still plaguing its little head. Not wanting to give Skorupi any chance of recovery, Dot flitters over to the smaller insect and begins hammering its back with a furious Comet Punch, literally raining blows on the hapless arachnid. Under Dot's administering it doesn't take long for pronounced bruises to appear on Skorupi, though as Dot raises her four hands to pause for breath Skorupi surprises the lot of you, jumping up and landing a Bite on Ledian's upper right hand this time. Shrieking at the unexpected affront, Dot promptly drives her inflicted fist into the ground; this second Comet Punch jarring Skorupi's head against the packed sediments and handily, holding the bug in place as Dot's other knuckles start wildly pummelling her opponent in a bid to force the living montrap to let go. As this rather brutal display of power goes on, you and Watermelon can't help but sweatdrop a little as Dot continues with an almost animalistic expression on her face, desperate to get Skorupi off her hand. By the time Skorupi finally gives up the struggle, the rest of its body is distinctly in an equally battered state, and with a crinkly groan it keels over. Level up for Dot. Ruefully massaging her pained knuckle, Dot shoots a last glare at the unconscious foe before flying back to you, and in your pressing need to move on you quickly advance through the passage ahead.

Another uneventful series of dashing through the inside of the Sphinx ensues, though this time you have a nagging feeling that somehow, the air has gotten a little staler and your echoing footsteps have turned ominous in timbre, and an impression of doubt begins floating in your mind -- the Sphinx certainly didn't seem as big on the outside. While your mind deliberates over this oddity, an alert shout from your Pokémon has you suddenly screeching to a halt: without you noticing you've reached the third chamber, nearly crashing into a waiting purple creature in the process. As you steady yourself the Pokémon opens its crystalline eyes, before its mouth widens into a sharp-toothed grin.

"Weh-heh-heh! Not too quick on the draw, are we?" cackles the Sableye. "You'll need to be a lot more watchful, though I'll give you that half the people who visit don't reach me. Whether you'll get past me... now, that's another story altogether, isn't it? Weh-heh-heh!" Pausing to chuckle to himself for a few more moments, under the somewhat irked gazes of Dot and Watermelon, the Darkness Pokémon finally stands up straight, thumping himself on the chest while clearing his throat. "Ahem. In any case, here's my riddle for you:

"My first is a person you'd see when you're sick,
My second a sound you might make when in pain.
My third is a letter you give when asleep,
Add up the clues and the answer is plain.

"So, howzabout it? Betcha can't solve this one!" Sableye grins smugly. Might you be able to prove him wrong?

Dot zoomed towards Skorupi, even faster than normal thanks to her increased agility. Before it could even react, Dot executed a Tackle that sent the poison/dark type rolling through the dirt. Skorupi righted itself, but it was still conflicted by confusion, obvious due to the fact that it looked drunk. Not giving her opponent any chance of recovery, Dot flew over to Skorupi and began to furiously hammer into its back with her Comet Punch. Soon bruises began to form and Dot paused to take a breath, but when she did do Skorupi surprised everyone by jumping up and Biting Dot's upper right hand. Dot shrieked once again at the pain from having the scorpion latching onto her hand. She slammed her fist into the ground, starting another Comet Punch, effectively holding Skorupi's head in place while Dot hammered her other three fists into its body. As Dot continued her onslaught Karmas and Watermelon couldn't help but but sweat drop as an animalistic expression formed on her face. Finally the Skorupi gave up the struggle and keeled over. Dot glared one last time at her ex-opponent before she flew back to her trainer, massaging her sore hand, and the trio started to walk through the passage that was before them.

The walk was pretty uneventful, being like every other passageway so far. But this time Karmas couldn't help but think that air was getting staler and that his footsteps were starting to sound ominous. The Sphinx didn't seem to be the size that it was on the outside. Karmas was pondering over this when he was brought back to reality by a shout from Watermelon, causing him to nearly crash into a purple creature. As Karmas steadied himself he noticed that he had gone into the next chamber without realising it. Karmas looked towards the creature that he had nearly run into and as he did it opened its crystalline eyes and its mouth widened into a sharp toothed grin.

"Weh-heh-heh! Not too quick on the draw, are we?" cackled the Sableye. "You'll need to be a lot more watchful, though I'll give you that half the people who visit don't reach me. Whether you'll get past me... now, that's another story altogether, isn't it? Weh-heh-heh!" Pausing to chuckle to himself for a few more moments, under the somewhat irked gazes of Dot and Watermelon, the Darkness Pokémon finally stood up straight, thumping himself on the chest while clearing his throat. "Ahem. In any case, here's my riddle for you:

"My first is a person you'd see when you're sick,
My second a sound you might make when in pain.
My third is a letter you give when asleep,
Add up the clues and the answer is plain.

"So, howzabout it? Betcha can't solve this one!" Sableye grinned smugly.

Karmas thought about the riddle for a little while.

"Okay," he muttered. "A person you'd see when you're sick is a doctor. A sound you might make when you're in pain is ow. And a letter you give when asleep is z. Doctor ow z. Doctor-ow-z. That sounds like..."

The trainer turned towards the Sableye before confidently announcing his answer.

"Is the answer to the riddle Drowzee?"

-Hayward-
20th April 2009, 1:06 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
With your purpose quickly ascertained, you promptly release fighters of your own in swift response with orders on the side; Medeo taking a moment to get over the surprise of facing Ikira. Seconds tick by tersely as the four Pokémon glare each other down, before Medeo charges in first for a quick Fake Out, slapping Roselia by the side of his head. The shorter-cloaked thorn tumbles to the ground, but other than a soft grunt it appears as unfeeling as its trainer. Clefairy, in the meantime, begins to Growl at your Pokémon; her voice laced with rough decibels, causing them to briefly shudder. Hopping into the fray, Forteo goes in for a Bug Bite onto Roselia, tasting plant juice as his hidden teeth come down, but you notice that somehow the impact appears to be reduced.

Suddenly flinging Forteo off with surprising strength, Roselia brings a blade of Grass to his mouth, gently blowing to create a calming Whistle tune as Clefairy rolls up in a Defence Curl. Instantly Forteo and Medeo start to get wobbly on their lower limbs, and even as Medeo tries forming an Energy Ball between his palms sleep inevitably creeps into his eyelids, and he fumbles the botanic bomb halfway through, releasing it as he collapses to the ground snoring away. The viridian orb goes flying, slamming into the balled fairy, drawing a muffled squeak out of her as she reveals herself. Tottering forward, you're shocked as Clefairy begins a Wake-Up Slap on your snoozing Meditite; her palm going back and forth as she smacks Medeo silly on the face. It only takes the first instance of impact for Medeo to awaken, though Clefairy continues the onslaught of abusing his cheeks before delivering a final palm thrust, tossing Medeo back from the force. Sorely, Medeo massages his face where Clefairy has left her red handprints, but with no other moves to withstand against he can only gaze at his opponent with a pained look in his eye. With Medeo taught a rather stingy lesson and Forteo still sleeping, things don't seem to be going so well for you...

Having issued his instructions, the Trainer Benjamin Hale watched as Medeo darted across the raised platform and slapped their adversary’s Roselia on the side of the head. Momentarily Faked Out, the Thorn-covered Pokemon tottered and toppled to the floor with a dull thud. Medeo stared wide-eyed as Roselia’s lifeless expression remained unchanged, and Ben bolted in astonishment at the realization that their opponent appeared to feel no pain. Like trainer, like Pokemon, Ben thought to himself ruefully. It seemed to Ben that Roselia also displayed no emotion and had most likely been bewitched as well. Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, he thought to himself that this turn of events could make things much more difficult. He didn’t have much to time to think about it however. Just then a loud noise from the battlefield brought his attention back to the escalating fight.

Clefairy suddenly let out a menacing Growl that sent shivers down the spine of Ben and his two little partners. As the echo of the Fairy Pokemon’s attack reverberated around the chamber, Medeo nimbly scampered back to Ben’s side of the battlefield holding his tiny hands to his ears; a futile attempt to block out the intimidating sound. Meanwhile, Forteo wasted no time in taking full advantage of Roselia’s temporarily stunned condition. Moving in, he delivered a vicious Bug Bite to the Flower-festooned Pokemon. In retaliation, Roselia simply tossed Forteo across the room, and Ben bolted in surprise at such an alarming display of strength. Bracing itself for any incoming attacks, Clefairy Defensively Curled into a ball, while Roselia Whistled a Grass-aided tune that caused both Forteo and Medeo to get drowsy and fall asleep; but not before the Meditite had launched an Energy Ball that exploded on contact with its rolled-up Clefairy target. Unperturbed, the Fairy Pokemon untucked itself, waddled over to Medeo, and dealt him a number of stinging, retaliatory Wake Up Slaps that startled the Yoga Pokemon into consciousness once again.



* * *


In the main chamber of the Magnificent Moon Temple, the Meditite Medeo tenderly rubbed his reddened cheeks and regarded Clefairy with a pained look in his eyes. Taking stock of the situation, he turned his attention to his still-snoozing comrade. He jogged over to Forteo’s side and gently rocked him back-and-forth on his bottomspike, but the Pineco didn’t stir. Medeo threw a quick glance over his shoulder at Ben and shrugged. Pressing his two tiny palms together, he raised them to the side of his head, pantomiming sleep.

Ben calmly watched Medeo’s charades through his grey-green eyes. He nodded at the Meditite, then lifted a hand to his temple and massaged his forehead while thinking hard to come up with a plan. He had no idea how long Forteo would be out. Hopefully not long. Unfortunately, he hadn’t brought anything along with him from the future that could awaken the woody Pineco. He would just have to rely on Medeo until Forteo woke up. While Ben wasn’t too crazy about that option, he didn’t think he had any other choice. Ben grinned as he thought that at least the ever-ready-for-a-challenge Medeo would relish it. The small Meditite clearly held a type-advantage against both of the foe Pokemon and had mastered a number of techniques that could score super-effective damage on either of them. Ben knew it was just up to him to devise a strategy that would make full use of their advantages. He decided he would try to exploit Medeo’s natural speed and agility. Since the Thorny Pokemon had already taken two hits, Ben decided to concentrate on it first.

“D’you think you can hold on ‘til Forteo wakes up, mate?!” Anticipating the answer he asked the question anyway. Medeo regarded Ben with an indignant expression on his face that Ben interpreted as “Are you joking?!”

“Alright then, look sharp --” Ben directed his diminutive companion, “Don’t get cocky and keep your cool! Watch out for Clefairy’s Follow Me trick! DOUBLE TEAM (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28) to dodge, then keep working on Roselia! Go with a double PSYCHIC (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6) blast!” Medeo nodded and fixed his opponent with a determined stare.

Ben turned to the sleeping pinecone. “FORTEO! WAKE UP, MATE!” he hollered in a big booming voice. “You can sleep when the fight’s over! If you can hear me, when you’re awake, RAPID SPIN (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml) over to Roselia, and do a TACKLE (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml) into TAKE DOWN (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml)!” As he finished issuing his instructions, Ben sincerely hoped that Forteo would come around soon. A type-advantage was nice, but it would be a lot nicer if it weren’t 2-on-1...

_____________________________________
fb (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9144120&postcount=1”)

Shadowshocker
20th April 2009, 2:28 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
As you proudly declare what you believe to be the answer, Sableye's legs appears to waver while his grin performs a one-eighty.

"I don't believe it!" he says, clutching the sides of his head. "You actually solved it! I had to spend three years thinking up that one!" Beginning to pace in his flustering, Sableye seems unable to handle how quickly his riddle has been broken, drawing coordinated smirks out of both Dot and Watermelon. "Oh, well. Rules are rules." Dusting his claws, Sableye beckons to you to follow it before disappearing into the stone doorway ahead, and following his lead you continue onwards with your Pokémon aside you. About five metres on, however, leads you to a staircase heading downwards, and you realise the probable answer to the query you had earlier: the Sphinx was probably constructed or created with an objective of tiring out wannabe explorers in mind, likely to dissuade the undetermined or weak from ever landing a hand on the monument's riches. The thought has your mind drifting towards your team -- having faced two battles with no opportunity of recovery, and with a prospect of ten more guaranteed battles ahead of you, it's certainly a warrant for concern.

You are ripped from your thought processes, once again, as your foot hits the final stair beneath you, leading into another battle chamber: this one darkened, yet illuminated by strange purple fire and cloaked with violet fog by the floor. As you step into the hall you feel a strange sense of pleasantry take you, as though you just stepped into a realistic representation of a dream. Just as you almost feel like falling asleep, however, you spot a glinting figure in the centre of the clay floor; long-nosed and gesticulating, the pinkish Drowzee smiles at you, and in that silent stare you feel as though volumes were just spoken in the Hypnosis Pokémon's quietude. Unless you deal with this new foe, you won't take long to fall under its spell...




The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
With one of your team presently disabled, the pressure is clear on Medeo to stay alive while Forteo runs through the duration of his sleeping. Tapping into one of his disciplines, Medeo calls on the powers of Double Team, forming a pair of identical Meditite next to him, sharing wounds and expressions. Getting together in perfect coordination, the Medeo trio gather in preparation of what is to come, and indeed Clefairy comes running with her arms raised again. A Doubleslap comes against one of the Meditite, and a brief wave of relief washes over you as the first swipe from Clefairy dissipates what turns out to be one of Medeo's shadow fakes, causing a look of confusion to cloud the Fairy Pokémon's face.

Meanwhile, Roselia reveals himself from your boundary of attention, having apparently received about three centimetres in Growth while you weren't watching him, and before you can react in accordance the Grass-type sends a small storm of Magical Leaf at Medeo. Unable to withstand the homing attack, Medeo is flung backward as the charged leaves batter against his real form; the other Medeo fading as the lighting trick is seen through, but not before Medeo raises his palm to aim a Psychic blast at the offending Thorn. A sheen of shimmering energy rips from Medeo's fingertips, slamming back into Roselia who squeals in response, likewise thrown back from the super-effective technique.

Rising to his feet, Medeo charges up another Psychic pulse in his hands, but a sideways glance confirms what you've been concerned over since this battle began: a Follow Me display from Clefairy as the excitable Normal-type balances on her toe, waving her other hand in a beckoning fashion. Straining with the distraction manouvre, Medeo appears to struggle visibly before his palm can take no more, releasing its gathered energy into a swerving arc that blasts into Clefairy, throwing it into midair like a rag doll.

Panting from the exertion, Medeo glares determinedly at both his opponents; Forteo apparently having slept through the entire exchange. While your Meditite seems to be fine so far, you know only so well that he won't last forever against two foes...

PeeGee
20th April 2009, 10:55 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
As you proudly declare what you believe to be the answer, Sableye's legs appears to waver while his grin performs a one-eighty.

"I don't believe it!" he says, clutching the sides of his head. "You actually solved it! I had to spend three years thinking up that one!" Beginning to pace in his flustering, Sableye seems unable to handle how quickly his riddle has been broken, drawing coordinated smirks out of both Dot and Watermelon. "Oh, well. Rules are rules." Dusting his claws, Sableye beckons to you to follow it before disappearing into the stone doorway ahead, and following his lead you continue onwards with your Pokémon aside you. About five metres on, however, leads you to a staircase heading downwards, and you realise the probable answer to the query you had earlier: the Sphinx was probably constructed or created with an objective of tiring out wannabe explorers in mind, likely to dissuade the undetermined or weak from ever landing a hand on the monument's riches. The thought has your mind drifting towards your team -- having faced two battles with no opportunity of recovery, and with a prospect of ten more guaranteed battles ahead of you, it's certainly a warrant for concern.

You are ripped from your thought processes, once again, as your foot hits the final stair beneath you, leading into another battle chamber: this one darkened, yet illuminated by strange purple fire and cloaked with violet fog by the floor. As you step into the hall you feel a strange sense of pleasantry take you, as though you just stepped into a realistic representation of a dream. Just as you almost feel like falling asleep, however, you spot a glinting figure in the centre of the clay floor; long-nosed and gesticulating, the pinkish Drowzee smiles at you, and in that silent stare you feel as though volumes were just spoken in the Hypnosis Pokémon's quietude. Unless you deal with this new foe, you won't take long to fall under its spell...

After Karmas declared his answer the Sableye's grin turned upside down.

"I don't believe it!" he said, clutching the sides of his head. "You actually solved it! I had to spend three years thinking up that one!" Beginning to pace in his flustering, Sableye seemed unable to handle how quickly his riddle had been broken, drawing coordinated smirks out of both Dot and Watermelon. "Oh, well. Rules are rules."

Sableye dusted off his claws before he beckoned for Karmas to follow him. The ghost disappeared through the stone doorway ahead and Karmas quickly followed suit. After walking about five metres the trainer found himself at a staircase that led downwards. As he walked down Karmas realised the answer to his previous mental query. The Sphinx was most likely created with an objective to tire out any wannabe explorers so that they didn't get to lay a hand on the treasures within. That thought made Karmas' focus drift towards his team, they had already battled twice and they still had ten battles ahead, and with no chance of recovery it worried the trainer.

Once again he was brought back to reality, but this time it was because he had hit the final step, which lead to another battle chamber. As Karmas stepped into the hall a sudden feeling of pleasantry hit him as if he were in a dream. Karmas felt like he just had to go to sleep when he saw a glinting figure in the distance. Long-nosed and gesticulating, the pinkish Drowzee smiled at the trainer, and in that silent stare he felt as though volumes were just spoken in the Hypnosis Pokémon's quietude. Unless he dealt with this new foe, Karmas wouldn't take long to fall under its spell.

A Drowzee eh, thought Karmas Now there's a pokemon that I'm interested in catching

"Okay Watermelon, you're a dark-type so you should have little trouble with this psychic-type," said Karmas. "So use a Growth then hit it with two Dark Pulses!"

As Watermelon ran towards Drowzee, Karmas pulled out a Pokeball (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?p=9265954#post9265954) (7 of 10) and waited to see if he could get a chance to capture it.

Stark
21st April 2009, 3:02 AM
First off, an apology to Stark for failing to notice his reply, as Food Guy had pushed it to another page and I didn't think to check back. Sorry about that!


Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Both of you terse with the rather definite nearing of the battle's conclusion, you're at least determined not to leave this battlefield a loser, and neither is Houndour. Pressing her nose against the ground, Houndour goes into her Odour Sleuth mode, relying on her keen nose to hone in on Raticate's underground location. A moment later, you see Houndour suddenly kick in the familiar crimson glow of Counter, just as Raticate comes bursting through the floor; his teeth clacking rapidly as their sharpness rips through the packed dirt, paving and other paraphernalia. Tumbling into Houndour like a cannonball, it takes a while for Raticate's Dig to kick in his damage before Houndour's rebound technique sends him diving at the ground with twice the velocity and pain.

Noting Raticate's discoordinated state, Houndour starts focusing a Shadow Ball between her jaws; the orb of ghostly power growing from the size of a gobstopper to that of an orange, soon developing to basketball and pumpkin levels. Pushed on by her anger at the rodent enemy, Houndour rears her head, chucking the bomb with all her might, which explodes against Raticate at Lawrence's feet before either of you can react.

A squall of otherworldly zephyrs bursts upon the Shadow Ball's impact, shrouding the alleyway in darkness, and as the winds tear at your form you briefly wonder if Houndour might have overdone it; you can't see even inches in front of you. All of a sudden, a swiping motion passes you, almost ripping against your clothes, followed by a merry giggle sounding about you. Gropingly you try to feel your way about the alley, panic suddenly seizing you as you realise your proverbial blindness in the spooky mist.

"NO!" Piercing the scenario, you hear Lawrence suddenly scream out, just as the shadowed wind starts to dissipate, but even as you squint through the fading opaqueness you sense that something is very, very wrong. Raticate remains lying on the ground where he was predictably knocked out; however the one responsible for his defeat is nowhere to be seen. Frantically you scan the entire alleyway, but Houndour is nowhere in sight, and neither is Carolina.

"I can't BELIEVE I let that happen! AGAIN!" Wrenching his hands in anguish, Lawrence surprises you with his sudden emotional display, but somehow you have a feeling it's not about his loss at your hands.

"She got away! For the damning FIFTEENTH TIME!" he howls, and you're shocked to see Lawrence face the wall, beginning to pound his right hand against the dead end; his fist clenched so hard you can almost swear to see the knuckles, and the impact at which he punches the wall is most cringeworthy.

"STUPID!" bellows Lawrence, speaking to himself more than anyone else, "STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID!"

It's clear that the battle's resolution hasn't answered any of the questions you have, and worse of all one of your comrades has now gone missing in action...

Stark couldn't shake the chill running through his bones. Lawrence's pounding at the wall not helping put him at ease. Nor the fact that Houndour was missing. His eyes went wide as he looked everywhere for a sign of his dark puppy to avail. Anger surged through his body as the frustration of the events of the day came to a forefront. He had come as a tourist and had gotten a date or so he thought only to now find himself standing in an alley with a man who seemed even more distraught than him. Whatever the ghostly aura in the alley was, he was fairly certain it wasn't completely due to houndour. She was strong, but not that strong. Besides there was that giggling and the disappearance of his partner. Regardless, he was no longer here for a vacation. Then again, maybe that was the point. Maybe he wasn't supposed to be here as a tourist. Maybe he was here to help someone who needed it. Whether that was Carolina as he first thought or the man standing in front of him. Whatever the reason, Lawrence held the answers he needed and one way or another he would give them up. Stark's hands clenched into fists and soon released simultaneously with a deep breath as he kept his temper in check. Somewhat that was.

With long strides he walked up to Lawrence and reached out to try to grab the man, "Dammit! Snap out of it! You're Raticate is lying helpless over there and your standing here taking out your frustrations on a wall?!" he scowled at the man, "It's time we talk. You know what's going on here. Somehow you're involved with all of this and now I am too. Way I see it, that means we can either work together or I can try to beat the information out of you. Not something I really want to do since it won't accomplish anything other than both of us ending up ridiculously tired and ****** off. Besides, together we can accomplish anything we set our minds to."

Stark stepped back from the man and walked over to the brave Raticate on the ground where he began to pet the tired creature along its neck and shoulders as he kindly said with an intensity in his eyes that divulged the seriousness he felt, "So talk to me Lawrence. Tell me what's going on. Tell me about Carolina."

Shadowshocker
21st April 2009, 2:54 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
For a considerable while, Lawrence appears surprised by your response and display of concern, causing awkward silence to fill the alley while you continue gazing at him with quiet intensity, before he raises his head and draws a long sigh.

"You're the first person I've come across to ask about Carolina the way you have," he remarks, weariness distinct in his now mellowed tenor, "It'll be a long story, however; most of which I still don't know the details of... And it seems that night has come upon us earlier than we realised." Looking past the now activated street lamps, you notice as well that the sky has turned dark violet, and even the shadows around you appear to have taken on a sinister presence with the tropospheric change.

"These streets won't be safe at this time, even for experienced trainers -- the thieves here have their own backhanded ways of disabling their targets. Come with me; there's a shortcut from here to my place," beckons Lawrence as he recalls Raticate to its PokéBall, and with little other choice you follow Lawrence as he moves out of the alley. Making various turns and crosses along the paths, Lawrence pauses every now and then to glance around warily, ensuring the clarity of the coast before daring to move on. Soon enough Lawrence comes to a considerably battered door along a line of what appear to be abandoned shophouses, and the young man makes a couple more glances before rapping gently but sharply against the panel.

"Password? Password?" calls a deep, gruff voice from behind.

"I hear someone's been practicing their mimicry skills," Lawrence chuckles, knowingly to himself. "It is not always raining when the Grumpig squeals."

"Lawrence! Lawrence!" A pair of excited voices start to cheer as the door flies back, revealing a Chatot and a boy of about age nine looking excitedly at the older male in question. "Who's that?! Who's that?!" Chatot starts cawing, addressing your presence.

"Calm down, Chatot. He's a friend of ours," explains Lawrence smilingly as he brings you in with him, and as the door shuts behind you two you take a look at the inside of the building -- clearly, it's even more dilapidated than the exterior, looking as though it hasn't been used in years. Webs line the ceiling and corners, while dark grey smudges dot the walls, made stark by a single flickering light bulb dangling from above. Just as you get a general idea of how dank Lawrence's apparent lodging appears to be, you hear another bout of joyous interjection: from the staircase and what you assume to be a kitchen doorway come rushing down a gaggle of young children and Pokémon, grouped in pairs much like the shophouse's own security system duo. Soon enough you and Lawrence are surrounded by the young excitable crowd, and while you try to maintain your balance you're shocked to notice how most of the children are wearing tattered, patched clothes; some of their gear so worn even their patches have new patches sewn over.

"Everyone, I'd like you to meet Stark. He's a new friend of mine," Lawrence introduces you, once he's got the youngsters to quieten down. "Say hello to Stark, everyone."

"Hello, Stark!" greets the kids in unison, with the Pokémon crying out in their own language to give you the warmest welcome they can manage.

"Big Brother Lawrence?" asks a girl, holding a Chingling in her little arms. "Did you see Big Sister Carolina today?"

The mention of Carolina has Lawrence heave a sigh and scratch his hair, and at once you see a collective gaze of apprehension wash over the youthful congregation. "I'm sorry, everyone," admits Lawrence as he shakes his head. "I saw Carolina today, but... I wasn't able to get her to come back."

"Awwww..." Once again, the children all react as one, bowing their heads in distinct disappointment, and even the Pokémon carrying sad expressions on their various faces.

"Don't worry, everyone. I'm sure we'll be able to ask Carolina to come back to us," promises Lawrence. "And, with luck, Stark may be able to help us out." This bit of news, in addition to startling you, has the effect of exciting the kids once more as they happily cheer with their Pokémon companions.

"Start dinner without me, everyone. I need to talk to Stark for a while. Don't let anyone in; I'll handle the door," states the young man. At once the children and Pokémon go into a flurry of activity -- some start grabbing plates and utensils out of old cabinets placed in convenient spots, while others head to the kitchen in little droves and return with trays of their final meal for the day. While the tots pass by you, happily chattering amongst themselves, you feel your heart sink another notch -- the dinner, on first glance, seems to consist of purely of leftover Berries -- some of them half eaten with evident bite marks, while others look as though they can't possibly be any fresher than four or five days.

"You see for yourself," Lawrence murmurs to you sadly, jolting you from your quiet observations. "The slums are no place to raise Atlas' orphans, but people rarely ever come to the slums except the unwitting and unaware, and hardly anyone knows we even live here behind these walls. This is one part of Atlas nobody ever really sees."

Leading you quietly into a room on the ground level, Lawrence locks the door behind you, inviting you to sit on a worn, yet sturdy chair. "I kept two of these in case we ever had visitors," he says, pulling up a chair of his own. Once you're seated as comfortably as you can, Lawrence gently cracks his knuckles as he begins his tale.

"Not everyone who comes to Atlas comes for tourism," sighs Lawrence. "As moderinsation moved in, we were slowly evacuated from the villages where we used to live. Most of them sought fortunes far away, while others came here to work for local industries. Out of the ones who came to Atlas, though, few ever managed to make ends meet, and the ones who did eventually left for greener pastures. My family came some years ago, but a lack of vacancy forced us to take up shop here -- in the seedier parts of the marketplace.

"Even then it still wasn't so bad; some tourists, intrigued by the bazaar's variety, would pop by and look at the jewellery we made, and other trinkets we fashioned out of local items. However, the landlords were the ones who truly made the situation unbearable, with their unregulated rental demands and deadlines. We saw many a family be driven out or pressured to extremes; some parents were forced to send their children for begging or manual labour, while others surrendered themselves as collateral so their children still had somewhere to go." Biting his lip at this mention, Lawrence continues with a choke in his voice. "In time, though, even these kids were thrown out, with nowhere else to call home, and no parents to turn to. Some of them were so young, they had barely started walking when they were abandoned." A lengthy pause follows, before Lawrence adds on another remark; this one so quiet and intense you can barely believe it coming from him:

"...It was five years ago when Carolina and I had our parents taken from us."

Shifting nervously in your seat, you feel a surge of compassion for the young man, whom only an hour or so ago you confronted and battled in an alley.

"With us as the eldest in the area, Carolina suggested that we band the other abandoned kids together and eke out a life of our own. Though it was difficult, somehow, we scraped by -- gathering leftovers, recycling trash, any odd job we could ever get our hands on to support the children," Lawrence goes on. "But about a year ago Carolina was approached, she told me, by a budding tourism organisation that was looking for young women as tour guides. Since then she's been staying away from here, usually for days on end, before returning with her hair dishevelled, eyebags on her face, and her clothes an absolute mess." Shaking his head at this, Lawrence cracks his knuckles again in his passive frustration. "I suspected something was wrong, but each time I tried to confront her about it she always avoided the issue, and we'd usually end up arguing with no resolution... much like what you saw earlier. A couple of months later we started hearing rumours about Pokémon disappearances after trainers went on a date with an attractive tour guide... and I'm pretty sure you know the rest. No one had any idea it could have been Carolina performing the thefts, but I found her out one night when she returned with spare, occupied PokéBalls by her waist. She's never come back since then.

"As you've noticed, I've attempted to track her down, and convince her to give up the job. But somehow she's picked up the skills of a master thief; maybe even on par with phantom thieves of yore," adds Lawrence. "Though why she's started stealing Pokémon is something I've never managed to figure out. She comes and goes like a wraith; usually her victims don't realise that their Pokémon have gone missing until they're outside Atlas' limits, from what I've heard. And I haven't the slightest idea where she might be taking them... if there is a clue, it probably lies in the city somewhere. But I can't spend long hours away from here, and not every day either -- someone needs to watch over the kids," he sighs.

"I know we didn't come off to a great start, Stark. And I know there's little but my word you have to go by," he addresses you. "But there's little time we can afford. By a few days your Houndour might have been whisked off to another faraway land, or kept locked up somewhere for who knows what nefarious purposes, and Carolina's trail might already be long gone. I need to get to the bottom of this mystery. For everyone's sakes. And I know I can't go this alone."

Looking to you with sincerity and desperation both in his eyes, Lawrence extends a hand to you. It's true that there's still a lot you don't know about the case, and about Lawrence and Carolina, but if you walk out on Lawrence's offer there's little chance of you ever seeing Houndour again...



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Noticing the opponent's species and elemental type, you promptly deploy Watermelon to handle the mental trickster. A hand goes to your inventory, plucking out a PokéBall for timely usage should the opportunity arise, but even as you raise the orb you feel a shiver run through your arm.

"Karmas!" calls the voice of the Sphinx, warm but this time laced with the aura of caution. "Do not stray from your objective, young one. Fall not to the distractions that lie in your way; lest lose your path towards your true goal!"

As your limb continues to tremble, you realise that attempting to capture the Drowzee, wanted and shiny as it is, won't be an appreciated gesture within the walls of the Sphinx. Meanwhile, already focused on creaming this brand new opposition, Watermelon sends a Nasty Plot running through his brain, which Drowzee seems to meet with another inscrutable grin, as a swirling spiral seems to hover about its head. Consulting your PokéDex, you're somewhat dismayed to discover that Drowzee had executed a Psych Up in response; your investment required of Watermelon seems to have just made this match that much harder.

Glaring at his foe's unreadable expression, Watermelon taps into his inherited powers of nastiness; a Dark Pulse bursting from the equidistant point between his hands and flying towards the Psychic-type in a torrent of violent purple rings. The series of malicious power cannonballs into Drowzee's gut, sending it tumbling along the ground, but it doesn't take long for Drowzee to recover. All at once, Drowzee begins to yell in an unintelligible babble, at which you glance to Watermelon in confusion. Your Nuzleaf matches your own lack of immediate understanding, but even as you exchange glares you realise Watermelon is a lot more concerned at something else; try as he might he can't seem to get his second Dark Pulse going. Snapping from realisation, you conclude with a jolt that Drowzee just committed Watermelon to the effects of a Torment, thus preventing Watermelon from repeating his techniques immediately.

Too shocked to react and with no other commands to perform, Watermelon fails to notice the Gas wafting towards him, a different hue from the sleepy clouds about you, and by the time you realise it there is nothing you can do as your Grass-type doubles over; his face pained with the effects of Poison. It seems that with the riddles, even the battles have started to toughen up as well...

-Hayward-
22nd April 2009, 3:47 AM
The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
With one of your team presently disabled, the pressure is clear on Medeo to stay alive while Forteo runs through the duration of his sleeping. Tapping into one of his disciplines, Medeo calls on the powers of Double Team, forming a pair of identical Meditite next to him, sharing wounds and expressions. Getting together in perfect coordination, the Medeo trio gather in preparation of what is to come, and indeed Clefairy comes running with her arms raised again. A Doubleslap comes against one of the Meditite, and a brief wave of relief washes over you as the first swipe from Clefairy dissipates what turns out to be one of Medeo's shadow fakes, causing a look of confusion to cloud the Fairy Pokémon's face.

Meanwhile, Roselia reveals himself from your boundary of attention, having apparently received about three centimetres in Growth while you weren't watching him, and before you can react in accordance the Grass-type sends a small storm of Magical Leaf at Medeo. Unable to withstand the homing attack, Medeo is flung backward as the charged leaves batter against his real form; the other Medeo fading as the lighting trick is seen through, but not before Medeo raises his palm to aim a Psychic blast at the offending Thorn. A sheen of shimmering energy rips from Medeo's fingertips, slamming back into Roselia who squeals in response, likewise thrown back from the super-effective technique.

Rising to his feet, Medeo charges up another Psychic pulse in his hands, but a sideways glance confirms what you've been concerned over since this battle began: a Follow Me display from Clefairy as the excitable Normal-type balances on her toe, waving her other hand in a beckoning fashion. Straining with the distraction manouvre, Medeo appears to struggle visibly before his palm can take no more, releasing its gathered energy into a swerving arc that blasts into Clefairy, throwing it into midair like a rag doll.

Panting from the exertion, Medeo glares determinedly at both his opponents; Forteo apparently having slept through the entire exchange. While your Meditite seems to be fine so far, you know only so well that he won't last forever against two foes...



On the raised podium battlefield in Lacuna City’s majestic Moon Temple, the little Meditite Medeo bent at the waist and rested his tiny hands on his knees. Doubled over, the faintest traces of fatigue were beginning to show as he inhaled deeply, trying desperately to catch his breath. After a moment, he righted himself and took one massive gulp of air before fixing their zombie-like opponents with his steely gaze. Ben spied the determined look on the face of his diminutive companion and offered a few words of encouragement. “Brilliant work so far, mate! Hang in there just a bit more. It can’t be long now -- Forteo’ll wake up soon!” Medeo nodded resolutely and Ben threw a quick glance at the napping Pineco. “You hear me, mate? Wake up soon.” he murmured uncertainly, in a voice just loud enough that Medeo couldn’t overhear.

Something had been bothering Ben since the beginning of the battle, and as he finished imploring the woody Pineco to wake up, he suddenly realized what it was. Not once had he heard Ikira or the blue-haired boy give their Pokemon any battle orders. Yet, Roselia and Clefairy fought on. He wondered if the glossy-eyed trainers were somehow communicating telepathically with their Pokemon. If so, maybe he could gain an advantage by severing or disrupting the mental link. Ben shook his head from side-to-side. Not a good idea. Suppose he did something to permanently damage his opponents minds? As he considered this, he vaguely remembered hearing about a place in a faraway region where Pokemon were left to battle each other on their own, with no directions from their trainers. It must certainly be a true test of a Pokemon’s skill, he thought, as a Pokemon’s nature probably dictated what type of attack they would choose, and would most likely change when the fighter’s health began to drop. How Roselia and Clefairy knew what attacks to use, Ben didn’t know, but he resolved to watch this round closely to see if he could pick up any hints about where they came up with their attacks. Either way it was a mystery; and maybe he would never find out the answer. He only knew that they had a battle to win, a key to find, and a civilization to save.

Turning back to the small Meditite, Ben wasted no time in issuing his instructions. “Try to blind Clefairy with FLASH (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28”), then use TELEPORT (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28”) to dodge any incoming attacks from Roselia. See if you can reappear behind Roselia and hit him with a surprise PSYCHO CUT (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9501221&postcount=862”).” The plan was a risky one. Timing would be everything, but if Medeo pulled it off, maybe he could escape the round relatively unscathed. Ben figured the ‘attack avoidance strategy’ combined with the ‘sneak attack’ was their best option until Forteo came around.

To be on the safe side, Ben reminded his still-snoozing pinecone partner what the plan was in case he awoke. “Forteo! When you wake up, RAPID SPIN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) over to Roselia, then go with TACKLE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) into TAKEDOWN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)!”


_______________________________
fb (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthread.php?t=372642”)

ZoraJolteon
22nd April 2009, 4:46 AM
ZoraJolteon
"You have chosen bravely, Surutan. As befits one born under the Bull!" booms the disembodied voice while Myria assumes his battle positions. "Trust in your strength, and victory shall not elude you!"

Having a good idea of what Pokémon you have been tasked to defeat, you prepare yourself for the predictable Wild Bull stampede to come. What you might not have expected, however, is for the Tauros statue to suddenly glow with a lightly blinding aura; the illuminescence lasting a few seconds before dissipating. At this, the statue begins pawing the stand with its right hoof, and it promptly dawns on you that while you're definitely fighting a Tauros, it seems you'll be taking on the actual statue that embodies the celestial entity. As the entirety of Suruta's statue comes alive, rearing on its hind legs while it bellows with its three tails whipping snappily. At the sight, Myria appears to shudder, and as you watch his little body shake in what looks like fear you deduce the Wild Bull's Intimidate ability kick in at the start of the battle.

Roaring to the ceiling, the Tauros thunders down the pedestal on which it stood a few moments earlier, bringing itself into a Take Down at Myria. Quickly, the Thorn Pokémon starts whipping up his purple and black blossoms, spraying liberal amounts of Stun Spore as quickly as he can muster, forming a veritable cloud in front of him despite his diminuitive size. Unable to halt or change direction in time, Tauros runs through the collection of paralytic powder, and as you and Myria dive to the side you see the avatar Suruta's lips curl in affliction before it crashes resoundingly into the wall where you had been standing near only seconds ago. Sweating slightly, you watch Suruta pull himself from the wall, chunks of polished stone crumbling to the floor from the points of the Normal-type statue's impact, and while this happens Myria begins to execute his Growth technique, gaining a couple of inches and an increase in special attack power.

Snorting while it turns to you, Suruta begins raising his Tails, but instead of targeting Myria you're astonished to find the Bull Whipping himself instead. A state of unease fills you, and this is confirmed with a quick check to your PokéDex: habitually, Tauros whip themselves with their tails in order to heighten their willpower to fight. Both of you are getting souped up for this battle, but exactly how will you hold your own from now on?...

'An animated statue.' Zora thought to himself. 'That places something of a restriction on some of our movepool, I doubt Myria could Cut through him. Although obviously he's at least vulnerable to Stun Spore, I don't think it's worth the risk of having to find out through experience if he has an immunity to being Poisoned.' Turning his focus to the immediate events of the battle, Zora called out his first command to Myria. "Darling?" he yelled, as Myria turned to look at him over his shoulder, ready to accept his next set of commands. "We don't want that nasty bull getting itself too pumped up, do we? Show him just how Charming you can be to calm him down a little, then we can get our offensive up and running. I think that a Petal Dance would be a good first assault to try and use against our foe!"

Shadowshocker
22nd April 2009, 4:27 PM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Trying to match the considerably overwhelming odds as best you can, you issue further orders to Medeo, as well as the still snoozing Medeo in preparation. Not wanting to give the twosome any chances to gang up on him properly, Medeo quickly assumes position, his palm shining with energy once more. It doesn't take long for the light to focus, and in a moment a brilliant Flash emerges from the Meditite's fingertips, enveloping both Clefairy and Roselia in its blinding light. Temporarily deprived of their vision, the two Fairyshape Pokémon run about in uncoordinated rounds before bumping into each other with a thud, falling backwards to the ground. You are surprised to see both Pokémon appear to tear up a little, before a combined Uproar has you pressing your hands to your ears; Clefairy and Roselia's crying echoing about the huge hall.

Gritting his teeth against the sound waves going all around him, Medeo concentrates his powers into a Teleport across to where Roselia is while the little bouquet continues to bawl; his right index and middle fingers pressed together as he reappears. A burst of Psycho power rises from Medeo's fingers like the flame from a blowtorch, and in a diving movement he executes a Cutting motion against Roselia, flinging the Grass-type over to Forteo -- who, as you just come to realise, has become awakened from the sound attack that is still on going with Clefairy pushing her vocal cords. Looking rather miffed at the musical affront Roselia performed earlier, Forteo promptly digs into his opponent in a grinding Rapid Spin; scratching into the leafy cloak with his rough studs. Veering off into an arc, Forteo rights himself before altering his velocity forward into a Tackle, catapulting into Roselia like a rugby ball and beaning him across the face, but even as the Pineco skids to a halt it doesn't take long for him to come rushing back. White light flows from behind Forteo as he Takes Roselia Down, this time throwing Roselia into the walls of the nearby stands. The male flower impacts against the stone in a splatter of petals, dizzily attempting to get back on his feet, but it only takes a second before Roselia crumples to the ground.

Both Medeo and Forteo exchange pleased grins at this, but suddenly Forteo appears to cringe as leafy tendrils suddenly begin curling and weaving between his bark -- somehow, while he was charging back at forth at Roselia earlier, Roselia must have planted a Leech Seed on Forteo given the close contact. A few blips of green energy waft up from Forteo as he shudders, floating over to Clefairy as the remaining relevant recipient, who has ceased her wailing and has now taken to waggling her fingers again. Somehow, this time even you feel like moving along with her rhythm, swaying side to side in line with Clefairy. All of a sudden, Clefairy's nails glow like twinkling stars, and a moment later the aura takes up the whole of Clefairy's left hand, which she balls into a fist. Running towards Forteo, Clefairy launches the unexpecting Bug-type into a Sky Uppercut granted by her Metronome; the technique giving Forteo an aerial tour of the hall from five metres before he soon comes crashing down. Picking himself up painfully, Forteo bounds over to Medeo as his comrade glares angrily at the fairy that simply won't give up. Shockingly, Clefairy once again starts to wave her fingers, and as you feel the synchrony start to sink in you know this match could go anywhere, given the unpredictable nature of Metronome...



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
While the reanimated Tauros statue continues to apply the unique method of pumping up his statistics, Myria begins to apply some of the skills he's come to pick up himself, beginning to flaunt his sepia flowers in a Charming manner. Though the Roselia's size makes it hard for Suruta to immediately catch on, as the bull's eyes gaze downwards the sight of Myria strutting his stuff has a prompt effect on the Tauros; causing him to pause in his whipping and paw cautiously towards your Roselia. By the time Suruta has neared close enough, Myria suddenly performs a backflip, launching a veritable whirlwind of Petals out of his spinning blossoms that start to Dance about the moving statue.

Not having anticipated this sort of technique, Suruta grunts and bellows out of instinct; his hooves thundering against the ground while you and Myria step back to a safer distance. Somehow, even as the pieces of botany tear against Suruta's skin, you find that they don't appear to be doing added damage against an opponent of supposedly geological composition. You realise after some thought that in spite of the unique circumstances, you must be still fighting an otherwise normal Pokémon battle, and the standard mechanics of element still apply.

Snorting while he shakes off the swarm of petals, Suruta rounds briefly along a bit of the room's circumference before turning to charge at Myria; this time with his disc-tipped skull taking on a strange blue aura. While you dive to the side in time, Myria doesn't quite have the advantage of covering distances, and before he can get out of the way quickly enough Suruta has already picked him up with a Zen Headbutt and tossed him aside, flinging Myria against the pedestal where the statue originally stood. Painfully Myria stands to his feet, not down yet but having taken a rather significant strike nonetheless. You'll need to strike harder and faster if you want to stand a greater chance of victory...

-Hayward-
24th April 2009, 4:38 AM
The Lost City of Lacuna

Lacuna City

Hayward
Trying to match the considerably overwhelming odds as best you can, you issue further orders to Medeo, as well as the still snoozing Medeo in preparation. Not wanting to give the twosome any chances to gang up on him properly, Medeo quickly assumes position, his palm shining with energy once more. It doesn't take long for the light to focus, and in a moment a brilliant Flash emerges from the Meditite's fingertips, enveloping both Clefairy and Roselia in its blinding light. Temporarily deprived of their vision, the two Fairyshape Pokémon run about in uncoordinated rounds before bumping into each other with a thud, falling backwards to the ground. You are surprised to see both Pokémon appear to tear up a little, before a combined Uproar has you pressing your hands to your ears; Clefairy and Roselia's crying echoing about the huge hall.

Gritting his teeth against the sound waves going all around him, Medeo concentrates his powers into a Teleport across to where Roselia is while the little bouquet continues to bawl; his right index and middle fingers pressed together as he reappears. A burst of Psycho power rises from Medeo's fingers like the flame from a blowtorch, and in a diving movement he executes a Cutting motion against Roselia, flinging the Grass-type over to Forteo -- who, as you just come to realise, has become awakened from the sound attack that is still on going with Clefairy pushing her vocal cords. Looking rather miffed at the musical affront Roselia performed earlier, Forteo promptly digs into his opponent in a grinding Rapid Spin; scratching into the leafy cloak with his rough studs. Veering off into an arc, Forteo rights himself before altering his velocity forward into a Tackle, catapulting into Roselia like a rugby ball and beaning him across the face, but even as the Pineco skids to a halt it doesn't take long for him to come rushing back. White light flows from behind Forteo as he Takes Roselia Down, this time throwing Roselia into the walls of the nearby stands. The male flower impacts against the stone in a splatter of petals, dizzily attempting to get back on his feet, but it only takes a second before Roselia crumples to the ground.

Both Medeo and Forteo exchange pleased grins at this, but suddenly Forteo appears to cringe as leafy tendrils suddenly begin curling and weaving between his bark -- somehow, while he was charging back at forth at Roselia earlier, Roselia must have planted a Leech Seed on Forteo given the close contact. A few blips of green energy waft up from Forteo as he shudders, floating over to Clefairy as the remaining relevant recipient, who has ceased her wailing and has now taken to waggling her fingers again. Somehow, this time even you feel like moving along with her rhythm, swaying side to side in line with Clefairy. All of a sudden, Clefairy's nails glow like twinkling stars, and a moment later the aura takes up the whole of Clefairy's left hand, which she balls into a fist. Running towards Forteo, Clefairy launches the unexpecting Bug-type into a Sky Uppercut granted by her Metronome; the technique giving Forteo an aerial tour of the hall from five metres before he soon comes crashing down. Picking himself up painfully, Forteo bounds over to Medeo as his comrade glares angrily at the fairy that simply won't give up. Shockingly, Clefairy once again starts to wave her fingers, and as you feel the synchrony start to sink in you know this match could go anywhere, given the unpredictable nature of Metronome...


Seeing the Clefairy waggling her fingers to-and-fro, Ben wasted no time in barking out instructions to his two tiny comrades. “MEDEO! FORTEO! Look sharp, mates!” he hollered. “Wait for Clefairy to make the first move, then both of you use PRO (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6”)TECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)! There’s no telling what Clefairy is going to do, so we have to be ready for anything!”

Surveying the raised-podium battlefield with his grey-green eyes, Ben breathed out a grateful sigh that they had finally taken care of Roselia. Now if only they could get Clefairy to throw in the towel, too. Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, the teenage trainer considered their options and thought hard to come up with a strategy. The eager Meditite had expended more energy, valiantly battling solo while Forteo slept, and needed a break from the front-line fighting. But, if he used Medeo in a supportive role, Ben knew could still take full-advantage of the his diminutive companion’s offensive capabilities, while the defensive-minded Pineco engaged Clefairy in close combat. After only a moment of consideration, he settled on tactics that would coordinate Forteo’s melee combat with ranged support from Medeo.

Ben glanced quickly at Forteo, and felt grateful he had adopted the little pinecone before coming to Lacuna City. He was proving to be an invaluable partner. “RAPID SPIN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)” to get rid of Roselia’s Leech Seed, mate!” Ben directed the Bagworm Pokemon. “Then attack up close using BUG BITE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”)!” Beaming, Forteo revolved around once on his bottomspike and merrily swayed from side-to-side.

Turning his attention to the small Meditite beside Forteo, Ben continued outlining their battleplan. “Medeo, I want you to provide Forteo with some long-range support!” he explained. “Go with a PSYCHIC (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6”) blast and a VACUUM WAVE (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9432764&postcount=842“)!” The yoga Pokemon nodded coolly and fixed Clefairy with a resolute gaze.

With Forteo awake now and Roselia out of the picture, Ben hoped that the tide of battle would finally begin to turn in their favor…



_______________________
fb (“”)

Shadowshocker
24th April 2009, 4:10 PM
The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Determined to give it their all and bring the remaining opponent down, Medeo and Forteo watch Clefairy carefully while her fingers keep on ticking. As the glow overtakes her body, both your Pokémon kick in their Protective abilities, each summoning a green spherical force field to withstand any offence that comes their way. The three of you look on while Clefairy continues shining like a clear rainbow, before forming a Barrier of her own in front of her, indication of her own increased defences. With the passing of Clefairy's technique, your Meditite and Pineco feel their own protection fizzling out without having properly kicked in for usage, shaking their heads as the feeling wears off. Gritting expressions at Clefairy, Forteo is first to move, charging in a Rapid Spin; his intense speed tearing up the vines holding his health hostage. Rattling into Clefairy by the side, he relentlessly batters the pink fairy, nudging her in place against her responsive flailing as Medeo aims a third Psychic blast from another angle. The focused spectrum of mental power curves to smash into its target while leaving Forteo unharmed, causing Clefairy to once again flop about the deck not unlike the doll modelled after it.

Weakly getting to her little feet, Clefairy barely attempts a few steps forward before Medeo lobs a Vacuum Wave her way; the priority technique slapping into her face and knocking her next to Forteo, who crunches a chunk out of Clefairy with his vermicious Bug Bite. Surrounded by damage all around, Clefairy tears her arm free from Forteo's unseen teeth, stepping unsteadily for a while before her pain and exhaustion synapses finally kick in fully, leaving her just fit enough to trip over her own feet, landing facefirst and failing to recover. Level up for Medeo and Forteo.

Heaving noticeably after the battle, Medeo and Forteo look to you with tired grins on their faces, but what immediately catches your attention next is the forms of Ikira and her male battle partner, both of whom have, throughout the entire exchange, somehow not issued orders to their Pokémon. The scenario of their defeat appears to trigger the same green glow earlier to surround their bodies, and before you can say anything else the pair abruptly collapse onto their knees, falling to the ground like stringless marionettes.

Alarmed, you make your way over, checking on their conditions, but aside from the glow fiercely burning about them their countenances are as lifeless as ever, albeit looking a little pained, likely from their defeat. A sickening lurch moves through you as you have a hunch just what the celestial quadruped meant by keys -- chances are, they're the ones lying comatose in front of you...

-Hayward-
25th April 2009, 4:38 AM
The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Determined to give it their all and bring the remaining opponent down, Medeo and Forteo watch Clefairy carefully while her fingers keep on ticking. As the glow overtakes her body, both your Pokémon kick in their Protective abilities, each summoning a green spherical force field to withstand any offence that comes their way. The three of you look on while Clefairy continues shining like a clear rainbow, before forming a Barrier of her own in front of her, indication of her own increased defences. With the passing of Clefairy's technique, your Meditite and Pineco feel their own protection fizzling out without having properly kicked in for usage, shaking their heads as the feeling wears off. Gritting expressions at Clefairy, Forteo is first to move, charging in a Rapid Spin; his intense speed tearing up the vines holding his health hostage. Rattling into Clefairy by the side, he relentlessly batters the pink fairy, nudging her in place against her responsive flailing as Medeo aims a third Psychic blast from another angle. The focused spectrum of mental power curves to smash into its target while leaving Forteo unharmed, causing Clefairy to once again flop about the deck not unlike the doll modelled after it.

Weakly getting to her little feet, Clefairy barely attempts a few steps forward before Medeo lobs a Vacuum Wave her way; the priority technique slapping into her face and knocking her next to Forteo, who crunches a chunk out of Clefairy with his vermicious Bug Bite. Surrounded by damage all around, Clefairy tears her arm free from Forteo's unseen teeth, stepping unsteadily for a while before her pain and exhaustion synapses finally kick in fully, leaving her just fit enough to trip over her own feet, landing facefirst and failing to recover. Level up for Medeo and Forteo.

Heaving noticeably after the battle, Medeo and Forteo look to you with tired grins on their faces, but what immediately catches your attention next is the forms of Ikira and her male battle partner, both of whom have, throughout the entire exchange, somehow not issued orders to their Pokémon. The scenario of their defeat appears to trigger the same green glow earlier to surround their bodies, and before you can say anything else the pair abruptly collapse onto their knees, falling to the ground like stringless marionettes.

Alarmed, you make your way over, checking on their conditions, but aside from the glow fiercely burning about them their countenances are as lifeless as ever, albeit looking a little pained, likely from their defeat. A sickening lurch moves through you as you have a hunch just what the celestial quadruped meant by keys -- chances are, they're the ones lying comatose in front of you...

Grey-green eyes narrowed in anticipation, Ben watched as the events of the battle rapidly spiraled to a climax. His strategy was working; Medeo’s cover-fire, combined with Forteo’s in-your-face fighting-style, was beginning to overwhelm Clefairy. Unable to even get off an attack, the chubby pink Fairy weakly toppled to the floor in defeat and Ben breathed out a grateful sigh that the battle was finally over.

As Clefairy went down, Medeo immediately turned to Ben. The Meditite’s little chest rose and fell as he took deep panting breaths, trying to get his wind back. A look of satisfaction spread across his tiny face. Forteo beamed cheerfully beside him. “Brilliant work, mates!” Ben praised his friends before returning their grins. The trio let out a shout and danced around happily. Their joyful celebration was short lived however, as just then, Ikira and the blue-haired boy unexpectedly crumpled to the ground. The green aura Ben had seen earlier had returned and mysteriously bathed the bodies of the two fallen trainers in its eerie light.

Ben bolted in shock at what he saw and rushed to the side of the comatose twosome. Medeo was beside his trainer in an instant, while Forteo bounded over and joined them surprisingly quickly. As he knelt before the lifeless forms of the duo, Ben studied their expressions. Something wasn’t right. Other than the slight hint of pain he guessed had been brought on by the battle, he was unable to detect any emotion. The trio gazed in silence at the limp bodies of the prone pair for a few more moments until curiosity finally got the better of Medeo. Slowly reaching out his tiny hand, the impatient Meditite extended a finger, and hesitantly prodded the blue-haired boy’s arm. When nothing happened, the Yoga Pokemon turned to Ben and shrugged apologetically. Forteo simply regarded Ben with a look of utter bafflement on his woody face. This was all beyond him.

Like lightning illuminating the sky above an empty field, a thought suddenly flashed across Ben’s mind. Perhaps the two motionless figures in front of them were what the celestial Pokemon had meant by keys. Ben had a bad feeling that was the case, and he quickly reasoned that they would probably find Kiru and the female Disciple waiting for them at Rapa’s Temple. At least one of the obstacles to saving Lacuna had been overcome; he knew what the keys were… or rather who. But what now? The celestial Pokemon had told him that when he found the keys he would know what to do. Dragging a hand through his short brown hair he thought hard to come up with a plan, but nothing came to him. If only the majestic quadruped had given him more to go on…

Feeling helpless and not knowing what else to do, Ben carefully lifted Ikira’s head off the hard, marble ground. Cradling it gently in his arms, he anxiously stared into her wide sightless eyes, searching for any sign of life. “Ikira…?” he asked uncertainly. “Are you…okay?”


for reference:

*level 20 male Pineco is now level 21*

*level 24 male Meditite is now level 25 - Meditite learned Calm Mind (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml”)*


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PeeGee
25th April 2009, 9:45 AM
[
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Noticing the opponent's species and elemental type, you promptly deploy Watermelon to handle the mental trickster. A hand goes to your inventory, plucking out a PokéBall for timely usage should the opportunity arise, but even as you raise the orb you feel a shiver run through your arm.

"Karmas!" calls the voice of the Sphinx, warm but this time laced with the aura of caution. "Do not stray from your objective, young one. Fall not to the distractions that lie in your way; lest lose your path towards your true goal!"

As your limb continues to tremble, you realise that attempting to capture the Drowzee, wanted and shiny as it is, won't be an appreciated gesture within the walls of the Sphinx. Meanwhile, already focused on creaming this brand new opposition, Watermelon sends a Nasty Plot running through his brain, which Drowzee seems to meet with another inscrutable grin, as a swirling spiral seems to hover about its head. Consulting your PokéDex, you're somewhat dismayed to discover that Drowzee had executed a Psych Up in response; your investment required of Watermelon seems to have just made this match that much harder.

Glaring at his foe's unreadable expression, Watermelon taps into his inherited powers of nastiness; a Dark Pulse bursting from the equidistant point between his hands and flying towards the Psychic-type in a torrent of violent purple rings. The series of malicious power cannonballs into Drowzee's gut, sending it tumbling along the ground, but it doesn't take long for Drowzee to recover. All at once, Drowzee begins to yell in an unintelligible babble, at which you glance to Watermelon in confusion. Your Nuzleaf matches your own lack of immediate understanding, but even as you exchange glares you realise Watermelon is a lot more concerned at something else; try as he might he can't seem to get his second Dark Pulse going. Snapping from realisation, you conclude with a jolt that Drowzee just committed Watermelon to the effects of a Torment, thus preventing Watermelon from repeating his techniques immediately.

Too shocked to react and with no other commands to perform, Watermelon fails to notice the Gas wafting towards him, a different hue from the sleepy clouds about you, and by the time you realise it there is nothing you can do as your Grass-type doubles over; his face pained with the effects of Poison. It seems that with the riddles, even the battles have started to toughen up as well...

As Karmas raised his arm, he felt a chill go through it.

"Karmas!" called the voice of the Sphinx, warm but this time laced with the aura of caution. "Do not stray from your objective, young one. Fall not to the distractions that lie in your way; lest lose your path towards your true goal!"

Upon hearing that Karmas realised that even though he wished to capture the shiny Drowzee, it wasn't an action that wouldn't be appreciated within the walls of the Sphinx. Meanwhile Watermelon was focused on defeating his new foe. He sent a Nasty Plot (I actually used Growth but I guess that they do the same thing) through his body, and Drowzee responded by smiling, as a swirling spiral appeared to hover around its head. This action confused Karmas, so after a quick check of his PokeDex he discovered that the Drowzee had used Psych Up, which let Drowzee copy Watermelon's gain.

Watermelon glared at his psychic type opponent before he tapped into his inherited powers of nastiness, releasing a Dark Pulse from between his hands,sending a series of pulsating rings towards Drowzee. The rings slammed into Drowzee's stomach sending it along the ground, though it didn't take very long to recover. Suddenly Drowzee began to yell out incoherent babble, which made Karmas look at Watermelon in confusion. Watermelon had the same look of confusion on on his face, but as the pair exchanged glances Karmas thought that his Nuzleaf was concentrating on something else. Watermelon tried and tried again to execute a Dark Pulse but was unable, then sudden realisation hit Karmas. The Drowzee must have executed a Torment, which meant that Watermelon could no longer repeat his attacks.

In shock, and unable to attack, Watermelon didn't notice a Gas that was floating towards him. It was different colour to the stuff in the room and before Karmas realised that it was different, there was nothing he could have done, while Watermelon doubled over; his face showing pain made by the effects of Poison.

"It's alright Watermelon!" shouted out Karmas.

The grass-type tried to right himself and was able to after a struggle with himself. He gave a defiant glare towards Drowzee before he looked at his trainer for his commands.

"Watermelon start off with a Aqua Ring, followed by a Dark Pulse then finish it off with a Faint Attack!" commanded Karmas.

Shadowshocker
25th April 2009, 10:17 AM
The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Holding Ikira in your hands, your concerned gaze meets Ikira's spiritless sight, unease filling you as you find no method to ascertain her state of body and mind. With the way her body seems surrounded by fluorescent green, you're not even sure if she's breathing. Momentarily, however, your attention is briefly seized by a glint of light contrast against everything else, and as your eyes peer down you realise that the Lunar Amulet has started to vibrate slightly, apparently from the pure white light shining from its circular surface. Unconsciously raising a hand to hold the amulet amongst your fingers, you suddenly jerk as Ikira's green aura starts to swirl and intensify; energy zephyrs of the strange shade spinning out her and cloaking her form.

Rendered speechless by the display, you can only watch while Ikira's features eventually disappear amongst the singular shroud of colour, as though -- in fact, you suspect that it isn't a dream sequence -- she was being transformed into the very energy mass before you. To your side, you notice that the other Saros boy has also been replaced by another glowing pile of cloudy power. Abruptly rising from your hand, the Lunar Amulet shines the brightest you've ever seen it, and at this the pair of green energy masses suddenly curl up into miniature cyclones, irradiating peculiar light of their own as they arc towards the moon-inspired artifact about your neck. Feeling the string tug into your skin slightly, you gaze in awe and shock as the green gas dives into the amulet like water down a sink; your hair waving from the moving winds generated by the flowing energies. Medeo and Forteo stare up at you, not knowing how to react as the remaining puffs of green vanish through the disc, causing you to lurch back shortly as the pulling on your neck ceases. Hand shaking, you pick up the Lunar Amulet again for another look; while nothing else seems different you notice that some of the white glow generated by the Amulet earlier is now causing the white part of the changing image to faintly shine. Glancing back to Medeo and Forteo, you share their sudden shocked expressions as they find their injuries and exhaustion alleviating from the same glow that earlier recharged them, which quickly dims out of sight once apparent optimal state has been attained.

Uneasily you press the Amulet to your chest. There's no question as to what it was meant by keys, but this resolution still leaves more queries behind than ones answered -- including a good number which you find you're not sure if you've the heart to answer. However, the lack of resolution also means that there isn't any choice beyond heading for Rapa's Temple, the first destination you had in mind when you started this journey. Silently hoping you're doing the right thing, you return Medeo and Forteo to their respective PokéBalls before making your urgent departure from the Moon Temple.


***

In normal circumstances, you probably wouldn't have dreamed of running through the forests of Lacuna, especially not in such dark, nightly conditions. Nonetheless, you find yourself racing through the route you just barely recall in your mind, from centuries in the future that is your present, spooked out more by how relentlessly quiet everything is. It's as though the very life of Lacuna was sucked out of the ancient civilisation, and with this pounding through your brain you forcibly accelerate your advance, breaking into the parameters of Rapa's Temple. Astonishingly, you find that in addition to the blue atmospheric light shining on the other religious establishment and the red glow emanating from the temple's silhouette, the bridge you had seen broken in the present appears in front of you without so much as a scratch, and the deep blue waters of the lake glimmer in reflection of the shining spectrums. The temple must have sustained further damage in the time that passed between your past and present coordinates in space-time, you realise. Shaking all other distractions from your head, you thunder over the wooden structure, dashing up the steps leading into Rapa's Temple in accordance to the crimson swirls leading you, as did the chartreuse ones before.

While Rapa's Temple is likewise built out of stone as is Saros', the differences between the two locations is rather stark. The workmanship of Rapa's Temple is a lot grittier; the walls' bricklaying distinct like that of an average brick wall you might see in a city in your time. Sharp, piercing paintings adorn the surfaces, of the holy creature you earlier saw, the wraithlike form who floated above the forum, and the same moon-resembling Pokémon, alongside what appear to be stories of legend and history. Lichens and webs line the stone, and while the place doesn't look like it's in dilapidation you can't help wonder what it is that Rapa's practitioners could be doing. Had you gone with Kiru instead of Ikira, you might have caught a glimpse into Rapa's world, but for now there seems to be no chance of that.

Led on by the red energy, you reach another gigantic chamber after a small labyrinth of going through passages; this one with stone platforms in the shape of a PokéBall's outlines, above a deep pool of water with its surface at least five metres below from where you stand. Where the PokéBall's proverbial release switch might have been is another staircased stand like in the Moon Temple's main hall, and as you guessed earlier Kiru and the girl you earlier battled in the forum are already waiting. Staring ahead as you near them, as unresponsive as Ikira and the other boy when you entered the Moon Temple, the two Rapan adolescents flourish a pair of PokéBalls from their cloaks; a Murkrow and Totodile bursting from the capture orbs...

-Hayward-
26th April 2009, 6:26 AM
The Moon Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Holding Ikira in your hands, your concerned gaze meets Ikira's spiritless sight, unease filling you as you find no method to ascertain her state of body and mind. With the way her body seems surrounded by fluorescent green, you're not even sure if she's breathing. Momentarily, however, your attention is briefly seized by a glint of light contrast against everything else, and as your eyes peer down you realise that the Lunar Amulet has started to vibrate slightly, apparently from the pure white light shining from its circular surface. Unconsciously raising a hand to hold the amulet amongst your fingers, you suddenly jerk as Ikira's green aura starts to swirl and intensify; energy zephyrs of the strange shade spinning out her and cloaking her form.

Rendered speechless by the display, you can only watch while Ikira's features eventually disappear amongst the singular shroud of colour, as though -- in fact, you suspect that it isn't a dream sequence -- she was being transformed into the very energy mass before you. To your side, you notice that the other Saros boy has also been replaced by another glowing pile of cloudy power. Abruptly rising from your hand, the Lunar Amulet shines the brightest you've ever seen it, and at this the pair of green energy masses suddenly curl up into miniature cyclones, irradiating peculiar light of their own as they arc towards the moon-inspired artifact about your neck. Feeling the string tug into your skin slightly, you gaze in awe and shock as the green gas dives into the amulet like water down a sink; your hair waving from the moving winds generated by the flowing energies. Medeo and Forteo stare up at you, not knowing how to react as the remaining puffs of green vanish through the disc, causing you to lurch back shortly as the pulling on your neck ceases. Hand shaking, you pick up the Lunar Amulet again for another look; while nothing else seems different you notice that some of the white glow generated by the Amulet earlier is now causing the white part of the changing image to faintly shine. Glancing back to Medeo and Forteo, you share their sudden shocked expressions as they find their injuries and exhaustion alleviating from the same glow that earlier recharged them, which quickly dims out of sight once apparent optimal state has been attained.

Uneasily you press the Amulet to your chest. There's no question as to what it was meant by keys, but this resolution still leaves more queries behind than ones answered -- including a good number which you find you're not sure if you've the heart to answer. However, the lack of resolution also means that there isn't any choice beyond heading for Rapa's Temple, the first destination you had in mind when you started this journey. Silently hoping you're doing the right thing, you return Medeo and Forteo to their respective PokéBalls before making your urgent departure from the Moon Temple.


***

In normal circumstances, you probably wouldn't have dreamed of running through the forests of Lacuna, especially not in such dark, nightly conditions. Nonetheless, you find yourself racing through the route you just barely recall in your mind, from centuries in the future that is your present, spooked out more by how relentlessly quiet everything is. It's as though the very life of Lacuna was sucked out of the ancient civilisation, and with this pounding through your brain you forcibly accelerate your advance, breaking into the parameters of Rapa's Temple. Astonishingly, you find that in addition to the blue atmospheric light shining on the other religious establishment and the red glow emanating from the temple's silhouette, the bridge you had seen broken in the present appears in front of you without so much as a scratch, and the deep blue waters of the lake glimmer in reflection of the shining spectrums. The temple must have sustained further damage in the time that passed between your past and present coordinates in space-time, you realise. Shaking all other distractions from your head, you thunder over the wooden structure, dashing up the steps leading into Rapa's Temple in accordance to the crimson swirls leading you, as did the chartreuse ones before.

While Rapa's Temple is likewise built out of stone as is Saros', the differences between the two locations is rather stark. The workmanship of Rapa's Temple is a lot grittier; the walls' bricklaying distinct like that of an average brick wall you might see in a city in your time. Sharp, piercing paintings adorn the surfaces, of the holy creature you earlier saw, the wraithlike form who floated above the forum, and the same moon-resembling Pokémon, alongside what appear to be stories of legend and history. Lichens and webs line the stone, and while the place doesn't look like it's in dilapidation you can't help wonder what it is that Rapa's practitioners could be doing. Had you gone with Kiru instead of Ikira, you might have caught a glimpse into Rapa's world, but for now there seems to be no chance of that.

Led on by the red energy, you reach another gigantic chamber after a small labyrinth of going through passages; this one with stone platforms in the shape of a PokéBall's outlines, above a deep pool of water with its surface at least five metres below from where you stand. Where the PokéBall's proverbial release switch might have been is another staircased stand like in the Moon Temple's main hall, and as you guessed earlier Kiru and the girl you earlier battled in the forum are already waiting. Staring ahead as you near them, as unresponsive as Ikira and the other boy when you entered the Moon Temple, the two Rapan adolescents flourish a pair of PokéBalls from their cloaks; a Murkrow and Totodile bursting from the capture orbs...



Ikira? Ben asked hesitantly. Are you…okay?

No sooner had he asked the question than he noticed a faint trace of light mingling with the eerie green aura of the comatose girl he gently cradled in his arms. Glancing down at his chest, he bolted in shock as he discovered that the twinkle was coming from none other than the medallion he had looped around his neck. The Lunar Amulet! Of course! In all the excitement of the battle against Ikira and her partner, he had completely forgotten the gift the dazzling Pokemon had bestowed upon him. Instinctively, he reached for the two-tone trinket. As he held it in the palm of his hand, Ben bolted again when he saw the iridescent emerald glows surrounding Ikira and her partner intensify to a blinding degree. Right before his grey-green eyes, the fallen trainers dematerialised, while Ben opened and closed his mouth a few times to say something, but no words would come out. At his side, eyes wide and mouths agape, his Pokemon partners also stared disbelievingly at the amazing sight directly in front of them. In the blink of an eye, the lifeless trainers were swallowed up by the Lunar Amulet in a tornado of light and energy.

The Lunar Amulet fell to his chest and Ben half-expected it to feel heavier. It didn’t. Unsteadily, he grasped the mystical artifact for the second time and noticed that the only difference was that now, the white portion looked nearly radiant. Out of the corner of his eye, Ben spied the same restorative light he had seen earlier wash over Medeo and Forteo. The pair wore shocked expressions at the first sensation of healing, but once they had realized that their fitness had been restored, they shared a satisfied smile. Questions swirled inside Ben’s head as he let go of the amulet and reached into his borrowed, fibre totebag. There was no time to answer them now he knew. His curiosity would just have to wait. It was clear to him what he had to do. Aiming the exhumed Pokeballs at his two tiny comrades, he returned them and set off at a trot for Rapa’s Temple.

Ben pushed aside leafy foliage as he raced headlong through the nightdark jungle along a path he was surprised he remembered, having only traveled it once before arriving in ancient Lacuna. Along the way, it struck him as odd that he hadn’t heard the usual chirping of Bug-types hiding in the grass, nor the characteristic rustle of nocturnal Pokemon out on their midnight hunts. There wasn’t even a breeze. All around him, emptiness and stillness reigned, and Ben was shocked at how lifeless this once-thriving civilization had become. Shaking his head he tried to rid himself of the desperation beginning to creep in and picked up his pace.

Illuminated by a scarlet glow, the massive stone temple suddenly came into view, and Ben was startled to see that the bridge, dilapidated in the future, was in perfect condition in the past. He rushed right across the wooden structure without pausing to admire its ancient craftsmanship however, and in his haste, took the steps to the inner sanctum three at a time. Sprinting down the lichen-lined central corridor, he vaguely noticed the cobwebs, furnishings, and folklore carvings that adorned the brick walls. The read beam of light directed him to a cavernous chamber housing a round, raised platform above a dark pool of water. Ben glanced quickly into its depths, but was unable to see the bottom. Looking to the platform, he saw what he had expected to find here all along, Kiru and the female disciple; wearing emotionless expressions. In front of them a Totodile and Murkrow had already adopted fighting stances.

Having anticipated this meeting, Ben wasn’t in the least bit surprised and wasted no time in sending out his own companions. “Look sharp, mates!” he warned, releasing the Meditite and Pineco onto the field of battle. “Team work now -- Medeo, BULK UP (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28”) and go after Murkrow with ICE PUNCH (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9229119&postcount=796”)! Be ready to dodge at any moment with DOUBLE TEAM (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28”) if one of them tries to attack you!” he instructed. Turning to the Bagworm Pokemon, Ben continued. “Forteo, RAPID SPIN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) into Totodile right away, then BIDE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) your time until one of them comes after you!”

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Shadowshocker
26th April 2009, 8:09 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Cringing lightly from the toxins running about his systems, Watermelon manages to call up another Aqua Ring for the match; the globulous arcs of healing water reappearing around him to soothe his damage over time. While this happens, however, Drowzee comes scampering towards your Nuzleaf, its rotund gut wobbling as it does so, and before Watermelon can respond in time the Hypnosis Pokémon catapults itself into a full-bodied Headbutt into Watermelon by the nose, knocking the Grass-type backwards by a good bit. Scrambling to his feet in rage at the attack on his sensitive organ, Watermelon blasts another Dark Pulse in Drowzee's direction, once again unleashing an explosion of the amplified negative energy that has the Psychic-type flopping against the floor.

The sight of Drowzee in more pain than him draws a satisfied sneer from Watermelon, and with a dark aura now surrounding his body he charges forward, ready to deliver what both of you believe is the final coup de gracé for certain. However, as your Nuzleaf draws near Drowzee makes a sudden recovery, pushing a fist forward that shines with green energy, Punching Watermelon in the stomach. Feeling some of his health Drain from the point of contact, Watermelon falters briefly before resuming his onslaught, slamming a Faint Attack into Drowzee and tossing it aside.

Barely able to support itself, Drowzee gives up trying to get on its feet; instead floundering on its belly to realign itself to face you and Watermelon, having retained a shred of health due to its siphoning attack earlier. Waving its arms, Drowzee starts to murmur another series of incoherent babbles, this time with its eyes glinting slightly. Even as you stand, Watermelon suddenly feels heavy on his legs; his eyelids and leaf drooping as his sense of balance begins to waver. Soon enough the effects of Drowzee's Hypnosis and the sleepiness gas about you kick in, causing Watermelon to keel over, fast asleep. Spectrums of blue and purple wash over his form as the Aqua Ring and poison perform their handiwork, and while this happens Drowzee brings its hands forward, beginning to form a ghostly orb between them...


Rapa's Temple[/center]

Lacuna City

Hayward
With your purpose ascertained, you release Medeo and Forteo to do battle once more, giving them commands as Murkrow and Totodile note your own readiness for combat. Sizing up his targeted foe, Medeo heaves up one of his Bulk Up manouvres, toughening up his muscles while Forteo promptly Rapid Spins his way into Totodile. Swooping up into the sky, Murkrow glares down at your Humanshaped Pokémon, before surprising you as the greater-crested raven spews forth a cloud of Haze from his beak, surrounding Medeo in a shroud of dangerously low visibility. As this happens, Totodile manages to kick Forteo a short distance away, enough for it to cast an angry Leer in Forteo's direction, causing the Pineco to tremble lightly.

Gritting his teeth through the darkness, Medeo taps into the keener sides of his senses, all the while focusing Ice-type energy into his left fist, preparing himself for the Darkness Pokémon sure to come flying out of the fog. Sure enough, he turns and aims his Punch in a suspected direction, just as Murkrow comes diving down for a Wing Attack, swinging his right flight appendage while he nears. Knuckle meets wing as the two Pokémon clash, both of them tumbling back soon afterwards as the colliding energies explode between them. Rolling along the relatively thin path to reduce the impact of falling, Medeo steps up to his nimble feet, glaring back at Murkrow while he sets up a Double Team. This time, a trio of Meditite appear behind him, all posed in active formation while Murkrow caws in frustration. The blackbird's eyes turn a furious purple as a Night Shade rips from his irises, striking the furthest Medeo and dispelling the fake into anti-matter particles.

Meanwhile, having put distance between itself and Forteo, Totodile is quick to deal with its new foe, landing a Bite onto Forteo's woody exterior with its sharp jaw. Crying out, Forteo takes a few moments before managing to struggle free, spinning on his bottom as he kicks in his Bide technique, glowing a gentle red of his own against the vermillion aura of the temple. Leaping into the air Totodile's Fangs begin to glow with the power of Ice; twin zigzags of freezing energy tearing towards your Pineco and carving against his epidermis, pushing him dangerously close to the edge and missing it by mere centimetres. Barely able to move as he winces from the damage, Forteo manages a couple of hops as far as the Biding aura can allow him. For now it seems neither side is holding an explicit advantage, but with the field on the Rapans' side this balance could be soon ripped apart...

-Hayward-
26th April 2009, 4:58 PM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
With your purpose ascertained, you release Medeo and Forteo to do battle once more, giving them commands as Murkrow and Totodile note your own readiness for combat. Sizing up his targeted foe, Medeo heaves up one of his Bulk Up manouvres, toughening up his muscles while Forteo promptly Rapid Spins his way into Totodile. Swooping up into the sky, Murkrow glares down at your Humanshaped Pokémon, before surprising you as the greater-crested raven spews forth a cloud of Haze from his beak, surrounding Medeo in a shroud of dangerously low visibility. As this happens, Totodile manages to kick Forteo a short distance away, enough for it to cast an angry Leer in Forteo's direction, causing the Pineco to tremble lightly.

Gritting his teeth through the darkness, Medeo taps into the keener sides of his senses, all the while focusing Ice-type energy into his left fist, preparing himself for the Darkness Pokémon sure to come flying out of the fog. Sure enough, he turns and aims his Punch in a suspected direction, just as Murkrow comes diving down for a Wing Attack, swinging his right flight appendage while he nears. Knuckle meets wing as the two Pokémon clash, both of them tumbling back soon afterwards as the colliding energies explode between them. Rolling along the relatively thin path to reduce the impact of falling, Medeo steps up to his nimble feet, glaring back at Murkrow while he sets up a Double Team. This time, a trio of Meditite appear behind him, all posed in active formation while Murkrow caws in frustration. The blackbird's eyes turn a furious purple as a Night Shade rips from his irises, striking the furthest Medeo and dispelling the fake into anti-matter particles.

Meanwhile, having put distance between itself and Forteo, Totodile is quick to deal with its new foe, landing a Bite onto Forteo's woody exterior with its sharp jaw. Crying out, Forteo takes a few moments before managing to struggle free, spinning on his bottom as he kicks in his Bide technique, glowing a gentle red of his own against the vermillion aura of the temple. Leaping into the air Totodile's Fangs begin to glow with the power of Ice; twin zigzags of freezing energy tearing towards your Pineco and carving against his epidermis, pushing him dangerously close to the edge and missing it by mere centimetres. Barely able to move as he winces from the damage, Forteo manages a couple of hops as far as the Biding aura can allow him. For now it seems neither side is holding an explicit advantage, but with the field on the Rapans' side this balance could be soon ripped apart...

While things hadn’t gone poorly for Ben and his comrades during the first round, they hadn’t gone particularly well either. Medeo had been dealt a super-effective hit, but backed by his twin clones, still looked pretty fit. Forteo on the other hand, had been the victim of two vicious strikes, and teetered near the brink of the pool, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to unleash his stored energy. The Rapans, however, were fighting on familiar turf and held the home-field advantage. Ben was afraid that a long, drawn out battle would undoubtedly favor their adversaries.

Wasting no time, Ben barked out instructions to his two tiny companions. “Quick, Medeo! Forteo could use your help against Totodile, and your clones might buy you some time! Lay down some rapid cover-fire with an ENERGY BALL (“www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6”)!” he directed the Yoga Pokemon. Medeo nodded his understanding and Ben continued, grey-green eyes narrowed in concentration. “After that, go for Murkrow again -- this time with a RETURN (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9416997&postcount=6”), but be ready to defend yourself the second you DETECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/307.shtml”) any more incoming aerial attacks!”

“Hang in there a little longer, Forteo!” Ben encouraged the patient pinecone. “After you release your stored energy, hit Totodile with a full-body TACKLE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”), then BUG BITE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) it while it’s still on the ground!”
________________
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Shadowshocker
27th April 2009, 3:53 PM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Noting Pineco's precarious positioning, the three Medeos appear to nod at your emergency orders, charging up an Energy Ball from between their palms as quickly as they can manage, thrusting the trick set of botanic bombshells over to Totodile as the Big Jaw Pokémon comes dashing in with mouth wide open for a Bite. The attack comes in time as Totodile is smacked on the jaw from the side, causing it to swerve around somewhat comically before falling over, mere steps away from nudging Forteo over the edge. Relieved for his teammate, Medeo heaves a short sigh, but Murkrow isn't yet willing to let up. Spewing forth another bout of Haze, this time more focused than the last attempt; the dark mist sweeping over Medeo as he and his clones try to withstand the billowing zephyrs. What Medeo doesn't expect, however, is for his remaining two clones to suddenly vanish, and even as he watches Medeos 2 and 3 fade away he feels his muscles start to loosen, as though regaining their original state of strength.

Glaring as the Haze passes, Medeo grits his teeth in anticipation for what's to come, but instead of an aerial attack coming for him a Water Gun comes flying from his front, dousing him with a torrent of liquid and catching him unaware. Spluttering from the surprise strike, Medeo fails to notice the zooming figure of Murkrow heading in and before a recovery can be carried out, Murkrow's Assurance comes crashing in; its effects doubled by the damage shot over by Totodile moments ago. Skidding across the ground Medeo pants while Totodile and Murkrow loom in, raring to land more attacks on Medeo when a laser of translucent red comes cannonballing into Totodile, knocking it face forward to Medeo and Murkrow's surprise. From behind, Forteo comes bounding after the release of his Bide, smacking into Totodile with a Tackle, and while Murkrow is momentarily distracted Medeo leaps up to deliver a Return into Murkrow's face. While Medeo's non-existent level in Beauty Points result in little damage, the feisty Meditite's power is what sends Murkrow flying as he spirals into higher air, before coming back down for a Peck, but this time Medeo is ready and manages to Detect the attack, sidestepping it to allow Murkrow to sweep by harmlessly. Meanwhile, struggling from Forteo's Bug Bite on its hand, Totodile Flailingly tries to extract the knid-like Pokémon from its upper limb, swinging the Bug-type about dangerously like a toy, before finally managing to wrench Forteo off. The Pineco swings through the air, landing on its head against the stairs on which Riku and the Rapan girl stand like statues, taking a while before managing to turn himself right-side up. Seems that your foes this time are trying to match you move for move here...

-Hayward-
29th April 2009, 4:51 AM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Noting Pineco's precarious positioning, the three Medeos appear to nod at your emergency orders, charging up an Energy Ball from between their palms as quickly as they can manage, thrusting the trick set of botanic bombshells over to Totodile as the Big Jaw Pokémon comes dashing in with mouth wide open for a Bite. The attack comes in time as Totodile is smacked on the jaw from the side, causing it to swerve around somewhat comically before falling over, mere steps away from nudging Forteo over the edge. Relieved for his teammate, Medeo heaves a short sigh, but Murkrow isn't yet willing to let up. Spewing forth another bout of Haze, this time more focused than the last attempt; the dark mist sweeping over Medeo as he and his clones try to withstand the billowing zephyrs. What Medeo doesn't expect, however, is for his remaining two clones to suddenly vanish, and even as he watches Medeos 2 and 3 fade away he feels his muscles start to loosen, as though regaining their original state of strength.

Glaring as the Haze passes, Medeo grits his teeth in anticipation for what's to come, but instead of an aerial attack coming for him a Water Gun comes flying from his front, dousing him with a torrent of liquid and catching him unaware. Spluttering from the surprise strike, Medeo fails to notice the zooming figure of Murkrow heading in and before a recovery can be carried out, Murkrow's Assurance comes crashing in; its effects doubled by the damage shot over by Totodile moments ago. Skidding across the ground Medeo pants while Totodile and Murkrow loom in, raring to land more attacks on Medeo when a laser of translucent red comes cannonballing into Totodile, knocking it face forward to Medeo and Murkrow's surprise. From behind, Forteo comes bounding after the release of his Bide, smacking into Totodile with a Tackle, and while Murkrow is momentarily distracted Medeo leaps up to deliver a Return into Murkrow's face. While Medeo's non-existent level in Beauty Points result in little damage, the feisty Meditite's power is what sends Murkrow flying as he spirals into higher air, before coming back down for a Peck, but this time Medeo is ready and manages to Detect the attack, sidestepping it to allow Murkrow to sweep by harmlessly. Meanwhile, struggling from Forteo's Bug Bite on its hand, Totodile Flailingly tries to extract the knid-like Pokémon from its upper limb, swinging the Bug-type about dangerously like a toy, before finally managing to wrench Forteo off. The Pineco swings through the air, landing on its head against the stairs on which Riku and the Rapan girl stand like statues, taking a while before managing to turn himself right-side up. Seems that your foes this time are trying to match you move for move here...

In Rapa’s temple in the ancient civilization of Lacuna, the trainer Benjamin Hale felt like screaming. First Ikira and her partner, now Kiru and his. Frustration rose in Ben and threatened to bubble over, as he thought how difficult it was to strategise against opponents who never gave battle commands; who never said anything It seemed that every move he tried, his adversaries always had the perfect counterattack. The fate of Lacuna rested with him, though. He realized that he couldn’t let his feelings get the better of him. He had to keep his cool. Letting out a deep sigh, Ben cleared his mind of his irritations and refocused on the battle unfolding in front of his grey-green eyes.

For a moment, he wrestled in his mind with the idea of following the Rapan Disciples’ lead, and just let his Pokemon fight without his directions. He knew it would be a sign of the faith that he had in his comrades, and would show Medeo and Forteo that he trusted them, yet the Meditite and Pineco had no experience in unguided battling, and Ben didn’t feel that now was the best time to find out how they would handle it. Dragging a hand through his short brown hair, he thought hard to come up with a plan. Their opponents were fighting unconventionally, maybe it was time for him to try a new strategy. He surveyed the room again. As his grey-green eyes fell on the pool below the suspended podium, he suddenly had an idea. It might take a round or two to enact, but if Medeo and Forteo could last that long, maybe they could use the pool to their advantage.

“Alright mates, watch yourselves and be ready to defend at any moment with PRO (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9568566&postcount=6”)TECT (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) if either of you get into trouble this round!” Ben warned his companions. Medeo nodded while Forteo spun around dizzily in acknowledgement. Ben went on, “Forteo, TACKLE (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) Totodile, then try to TAKE DOWN (“http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml”) Murkrow into the pool with you, hopefully the water will ease some of the recoil damage!”

Turning to the Yoga Pokemon, Ben instructed, “Medeo, use your SECRET POWER (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28”) to help Forteo drive Murkrow into the pool!” Once again Medeo nodded his understanding, and Ben issued further instructions to the small Meditite. “After that, I want you to dive into the pool and join Forteo. Make an AQUA RING (“http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9416997&postcount=6”) out of the water droplets to restore some of your energy!”

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Shadowshocker
29th April 2009, 3:04 PM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Gritting your teeth while trying to maintain what edge you still possess in the match, you relay further commands to your own twosome in a bid to regain the advantage over the silent Rapan pair. Dedicatedly, Forteo performs a Tackle towards Totodile, pushing off the pedestal to bean into the small reptile's stomach, while Medeo leaps into the air while shining with Secret Power, kicking into Murkrow while in mid-flight. Squawking, Murkrow tries to make for a comeback, but as the remnants of Medeo's aura sink into the avian's skin you notice Murkrow's wings begin to tense up, almost as though in paralysis. Wincing slightly as Totodile lands a Scratch on him, Forteo goes into his ballistic mode once more; jumping into the air to Take Down Murkrow even as it struggles, landing on the bird's head and bringing himself along with it, plummeting into the depths of the pooling waters five metres below where you stand. Jolted by concern you peer over the edge anxiously as Medeo follows Forteo's lead, performing a three-point dive into the deep moat, and from your vantage point you can briefly see Murkrow flailing and cawing wildly; its unaquatic anatomy and impeded movement endangering it heavily as Forteo and Medeo tread water as best they can.

Tapping into the waters around him, Medeo begins to concentrate, forming some of the dark, yet clear liquid about into Aqua Rings to restore health in passing time, but before you realise it Totodile has lunged past you, heading straight for your Meditite. Unable to shout a warning in time you can only watch as Totodile's Dive smacks Medeo straight on the tip of his head, plunging both of them into a frothing wave. Heart-stopping moments pass as Medeo and Totodile finally recover; the former spluttering from the surprise attack while Forteo glares at the offending croc. Snapping its jaws, Totodile appears to wave its arms, and before you know it the surface of the water starts to rise towards you, much to your surprise, and instinctively you fall to the floor as the water arcs into a wave, crashing down all about you in a tremendous splash.

Picking yourself up from Totodile's Surf, you almost dare not to observe what's happened to your Pokémon when you sight a pair of familiar barriers surrounding your Pokémon; as the last of the water drips down the Protect spheres the safety shields dissipate into fragmented energy, revealing Medeo and Forteo to be unharmed by the wave. Murkrow, even Totodile stands nonchalantly nearby, is clearly in less-than-favourable condition: having dealt with paralysis and nearly drowning, the barely breathing Murkrow doesn't look as though it can handle much more of the action you've been dispensing...

-Hayward-
3rd May 2009, 12:42 AM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Gritting your teeth while trying to maintain what edge you still possess in the match, you relay further commands to your own twosome in a bid to regain the advantage over the silent Rapan pair. Dedicatedly, Forteo performs a Tackle towards Totodile, pushing off the pedestal to bean into the small reptile's stomach, while Medeo leaps into the air while shining with Secret Power, kicking into Murkrow while in mid-flight. Squawking, Murkrow tries to make for a comeback, but as the remnants of Medeo's aura sink into the avian's skin you notice Murkrow's wings begin to tense up, almost as though in paralysis. Wincing slightly as Totodile lands a Scratch on him, Forteo goes into his ballistic mode once more; jumping into the air to Take Down Murkrow even as it struggles, landing on the bird's head and bringing himself along with it, plummeting into the depths of the pooling waters five metres below where you stand. Jolted by concern you peer over the edge anxiously as Medeo follows Forteo's lead, performing a three-point dive into the deep moat, and from your vantage point you can briefly see Murkrow flailing and cawing wildly; its unaquatic anatomy and impeded movement endangering it heavily as Forteo and Medeo tread water as best they can.

Tapping into the waters around him, Medeo begins to concentrate, forming some of the dark, yet clear liquid about into Aqua Rings to restore health in passing time, but before you realise it Totodile has lunged past you, heading straight for your Meditite. Unable to shout a warning in time you can only watch as Totodile's Dive smacks Medeo straight on the tip of his head, plunging both of them into a frothing wave. Heart-stopping moments pass as Medeo and Totodile finally recover; the former spluttering from the surprise attack while Forteo glares at the offending croc. Snapping its jaws, Totodile appears to wave its arms, and before you know it the surface of the water starts to rise towards you, much to your surprise, and instinctively you fall to the floor as the water arcs into a wave, crashing down all about you in a tremendous splash.

Picking yourself up from Totodile's Surf, you almost dare not to observe what's happened to your Pokémon when you sight a pair of familiar barriers surrounding your Pokémon; as the last of the water drips down the Protect spheres the safety shields dissipate into fragmented energy, revealing Medeo and Forteo to be unharmed by the wave. Murkrow, even Totodile stands nonchalantly nearby, is clearly in less-than-favourable condition: having dealt with paralysis and nearly drowning, the barely breathing Murkrow doesn't look as though it can handle much more of the action you've been dispensing...




Water dripped from Ben’s white, ceremonial robe as the tidal wave finally subsided. “You alright, mates?!” he asked hesitantly. Medeo and Forteo smiled at him in response, as their energy shields dissolved into nothingness. Ben let out a grateful breath as he stood and glanced toward their opponents. Of the two zombie-like Pokemon, Totodile appeared the fittest, coolly awaiting the next round. Murkrow, however, was a different story. It looked to Ben like a Magikarp’s Splash would be enough to take down the darkbird.

Now was the time to try to finish things off. Medeo and Forteo looked at Ben expectantly, awaiting their orders. Wasting no time, Ben quickly called out instructions to his tiny comrades. “Teamwork now!” he hollered. “Medeo, pick up Forteo and FLING (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28) him at Murkrow. Forteo, while you’re flying through the air, RAPID SPIN (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml) to increase your momentum and TAKE DOWN (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml) Murkrow once and for all. Medeo, go after Totodile with an ENERGY BALL (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9608323&postcount=28) and THUNDER PUNCH (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9229119&postcount=796). Forteo, if Totodile is still standing after Medeo attacks, help out with a BUG BITE (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml).” Medeo and Forteo signaled their understanding and readied themselves to battle.

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fb (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9144120&postcount=1)

PeeGee
3rd May 2009, 4:40 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Cringing lightly from the toxins running about his systems, Watermelon manages to call up another Aqua Ring for the match; the globulous arcs of healing water reappearing around him to soothe his damage over time. While this happens, however, Drowzee comes scampering towards your Nuzleaf, its rotund gut wobbling as it does so, and before Watermelon can respond in time the Hypnosis Pokémon catapults itself into a full-bodied Headbutt into Watermelon by the nose, knocking the Grass-type backwards by a good bit. Scrambling to his feet in rage at the attack on his sensitive organ, Watermelon blasts another Dark Pulse in Drowzee's direction, once again unleashing an explosion of the amplified negative energy that has the Psychic-type flopping against the floor.

The sight of Drowzee in more pain than him draws a satisfied sneer from Watermelon, and with a dark aura now surrounding his body he charges forward, ready to deliver what both of you believe is the final coup de gracé for certain. However, as your Nuzleaf draws near Drowzee makes a sudden recovery, pushing a fist forward that shines with green energy, Punching Watermelon in the stomach. Feeling some of his health Drain from the point of contact, Watermelon falters briefly before resuming his onslaught, slamming a Faint Attack into Drowzee and tossing it aside.

Barely able to support itself, Drowzee gives up trying to get on its feet; instead floundering on its belly to realign itself to face you and Watermelon, having retained a shred of health due to its siphoning attack earlier. Waving its arms, Drowzee starts to murmur another series of incoherent babbles, this time with its eyes glinting slightly. Even as you stand, Watermelon suddenly feels heavy on his legs; his eyelids and leaf drooping as his sense of balance begins to waver. Soon enough the effects of Drowzee's Hypnosis and the sleepiness gas about you kick in, causing Watermelon to keel over, fast asleep. Spectrums of blue and purple wash over his form as the Aqua Ring and poison perform their handiwork, and while this happens Drowzee brings its hands forward, beginning to form a ghostly orb between them...

As he cringed, Watermelon summoned up globulous arcs of water, water that would heal him over time. As Watermelon executed his Aqua Ring attack, Drowzee scampered towards the Nuzleaf, and before Watermelon could do anything, it catapulted itself into him for a full-bodied Headbutt straight to the nose and sent him backwards. After he scrambled to his feet, enraged that Drowzee attacked his nose, Watermelon shot out a Dark Pulse towards Drowzee, which sent the psychic-type to the floor.

Watermelon sneered at the pokemon on the floor before he charged forward, a dark aura surrounding him, ready to deal what both he and Karmas thought would be the final blow. But when Watermelon drew towards Drowzee it suddenly punched him in the stomach. As Watermelon felt some of his energy being drained away by the punch he faltered briefly, before he finished executing his Faint Attack, which ended up tossing the psychic-type aside.

With so much damage done to it, Drowzee was having trouble supporting itself. It finally decided to forget trying to get up on its feet and instead flounder on its stomach until it was facing Karmas and Watermelon's direction. Drowzee started to wave its arms and murmured more babbling, but this time its eyes were glinting. Soon Watermelon started to feel drowsy, both his eyes and leaf drooping as he started to stumble about; his sense of balance wavering. Soon the effects of Drowzee's Hypnosis kicked in and Watermelon fell to the ground, sound asleep. Blue and purple washed over the Nuzleaf's body as Aqua Ring and poison took effect, and while this happened Drowzee held its hands over Watermelon, a ghostly orb beginning to form in them.

"No!" screamed Karmas. "There's is no way that I'm letting you attack Watermelon while he's down!"

The trainer unclipped one of pokeballs on his belt and pressed the centre button. It opened up and the sleeping and poison form of Watermelon was sucked in.

"Okay, Dot!" said Karmas. "Get in there! Finish it off with two or three Silver Winds. That should take care of it!"

Shadowshocker
3rd May 2009, 10:34 AM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
The sight of Murkrow's state of batterment seems to renew confidence in the three of you, and quickly another plan of battle is formulated. With his hands swirling in Dark energy, Medeo picks up his bark-encased teammate before Flinging the living grenade at Murkrow like a sportsman lobbing a Rapidly Spinning football. In his ever-faithful fashion of oscillation, Forteo crashes into Murkrow, sending them both flying into the pedestal staircase. A somewhat sickening crack accompanies Murkrow's breathless caw as his body is slammed between wood and stone, and as Forteo totters away it's clear that Murkrow has been Taken Down for good as far as the current battle is concerned. Medeo grins encouragingly at Forteo for the display of teamwork, but a glint of metallic energy and a swipe to the Meditite's face informs you that the showdown isn't quite over.

Rubbing his face where Totodile's Metal Claw had landed, Medeo is quick to toss up an Energy Ball between his hands, and with insufficient reaction time Totodile takes a left jaw as the Grass-type bomb explodes against its lower mandible. Unsteadily managing to balance itself, Totodile starts to focus Ice in his claw, and Medeo starts to match knuckle for knuckle with Thunder in his fist. As the manifestation of energies complete and both Pokémon lunge at each other, the forces of their Punches clash in mid-air, resulting in a miniature boom that throws both Totodile and Medeo backwards. Grunting both Pokémon try to recover, but even as Medeo gets to his second foot a strangled cry is heard from Totodile along with a familiar crunching noise, and as the crocodile falls back to the floor you see Forteo behind, having apparently executed his Bug Bite in time. In a heap of bruised blueness, Totodile attempts to support itself with its shaking claws, but the accumulated damage from the previous clashes proves too much for the Water-type to bear, and it finally collapses with a thump. Level up for Medeo and Forteo.

"..." As you meet the gazes of the Rapans, you feel as though their wordless, motionless eyes seem to be frowning with the way they bore into you, and as the crimson mist starts surrounding them again both Riku and the girl slink to the floor in a series of crumpling movements. Your lip purses slightly at the sight of the two teens, but you know with a niggling feeling that little else matters at this point except what you've been tasked to perform...



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With Watermelon out for the relevant count and an attack coming straight for him, you quickly retrieve the afflicted Nuzleaf and deploy Dot to do battle in his stead. Spurred on by the urgency in your voice and the situation of her comrade, Dot beats up a Silver Wind from her wings, sending spirals of insectoid zephyrs to meet the Shadow Ball Drowzee grinningly releases. The slicing winds meet the focused bomb of otherworldly air in the middle, cutting into the orb and launching a miniature explosion of furious winds. Taking the chance, Dot valiantly charges into the swirling gasses, her wings shining again with more brimming power, and as you squint into the floating miasma you see a brief storm of glinting particles followed by a yelp from Drowzee.

Almost as soon as the cry is heard, you notice the mists begin to fade -- of sleep, poison, bug and ghost, revealing the eerie purple walls of the third battle chamber, and Dot flitting above the form of the defeated Drowzee. Ahead, a stone slab slides open to show the way ahead, and casting one final look at the alternately coloured Pokémon you join Dot in going down the advancing passage.

A linear charge, lit up by the familiar torches of the Sphinx, soon brings up you the fourth chamber for your riddle, and upon entering the room you notice a rather grumpy-looking Graveler poring over a stone slab.

"You've come, have you?" he says gruffly, briefly glancing at you before returning his attention back to his tablet. "You look like you've done a marathon up Mount Coronet and back, kid. If three riddles is all it takes to wear you out, you might want to consider bailing yourself out now. I hear that victims who fall in the battle sequences end up rather... well, let's just say we couldn't find a small enough sarcophagus to shove them in.

"Just as well you're here, anyway -- I've got your riddle right here, but the blasted thing seems to be broken," Graveler grumbles. "You would have to decipher the Pokémon's identity by the clues describing it left on the stone tablet, but Baltoy and Sableye managed to break the bloomin' thing here and there. As though having to withstand wear and tear for centuries wasn't enough!" huffs the impatient rock.

"Still, if you manage to get the correct answer, the passage should unlock itself. I don't think I need to tell you what'll happen if you don't get this one," he informs, stepping aside to reveal the stone in question. Indeed, in addition to the severe erosion, some of the rock has clearly chipped off in layers and pieces, leaving only the following disjointed words:


...Poisonp...fini...
Even...does not m...
...rge ho... night, the...
...ap...pla...pr...toxi...der.

Little else remains of the clue for your fourth question, but can you decipher the answer from what's left?

-Hayward-
3rd May 2009, 4:40 PM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
The sight of Murkrow's state of batterment seems to renew confidence in the three of you, and quickly another plan of battle is formulated. With his hands swirling in Dark energy, Medeo picks up his bark-encased teammate before Flinging the living grenade at Murkrow like a sportsman lobbing a Rapidly Spinning football. In his ever-faithful fashion of oscillation, Forteo crashes into Murkrow, sending them both flying into the pedestal staircase. A somewhat sickening crack accompanies Murkrow's breathless caw as his body is slammed between wood and stone, and as Forteo totters away it's clear that Murkrow has been Taken Down for good as far as the current battle is concerned. Medeo grins encouragingly at Forteo for the display of teamwork, but a glint of metallic energy and a swipe to the Meditite's face informs you that the showdown isn't quite over.

Rubbing his face where Totodile's Metal Claw had landed, Medeo is quick to toss up an Energy Ball between his hands, and with insufficient reaction time Totodile takes a left jaw as the Grass-type bomb explodes against its lower mandible. Unsteadily managing to balance itself, Totodile starts to focus Ice in his claw, and Medeo starts to match knuckle for knuckle with Thunder in his fist. As the manifestation of energies complete and both Pokémon lunge at each other, the forces of their Punches clash in mid-air, resulting in a miniature boom that throws both Totodile and Medeo backwards. Grunting both Pokémon try to recover, but even as Medeo gets to his second foot a strangled cry is heard from Totodile along with a familiar crunching noise, and as the crocodile falls back to the floor you see Forteo behind, having apparently executed his Bug Bite in time. In a heap of bruised blueness, Totodile attempts to support itself with its shaking claws, but the accumulated damage from the previous clashes proves too much for the Water-type to bear, and it finally collapses with a thump. Level up for Medeo and Forteo.

"..." As you meet the gazes of the Rapans, you feel as though their wordless, motionless eyes seem to be frowning with the way they bore into you, and as the crimson mist starts surrounding them again both Riku and the girl slink to the floor in a series of crumpling movements. Your lip purses slightly at the sight of the two teens, but you know with a niggling feeling that little else matters at this point except what you've been tasked to perform...


Unable to battle further, Totodile slumped over, joining the already knocked-out Murkrow, in lying motionless on the raise podium floor. Ben turned to Medeo and Forteo. “Brilliant bit of battling, mates!” he praised his hard-working friends. Forteo swayed merrily from side-to-side and beamed back at him, while Medeo simply nodded his head coolly. “I’m sure both of you could use a breather,” he remarked as he reached into the loaned fibre-tote bag slung over his shoulder. Pulling out two different-colored Pokeballs, he pointed the metallic, steel colored one in Medeo’s direction and the festive, half-red, half-green one at Forteo. “Return,” Ben said as he simultaneously pressed the round toggle switches in the center of both spheres. A sudden flash of scarlet lit the room as Ben’s two tiny comrades dematerialised, and were recalled to the artificial atmosphere of their capture capsules. He quickly stuffed the Pokeballs back into the bag, and turned his attention to the unspeaking disciples of Rapa.

“…”

As his grey-green eyes met the unblinking ones of the silent Rapans, Ben could tell that behind their expressionless faces, they were inwardly condemning him for the decision he had made to accept the Celestial Pokemon’s mission to try to reunite the fractured Lacunan civilization. Ben, however, wasn’t bothered in the least by their opinion of his choice. He had resolved long ago not to worry about what people thought of him. The way he saw it, he didn’t have any other options. There was a job to be done, and the quicker it was over and things returned to normal, the better it would be for everyone.

The staring contest didn’t last for long. A red aura suddenly surrounded Kiru and his companion, and the two began to twitch uncontrollably . Pity filled Ben while he watched as the supernatural seizures overtook the duo and brought them to ground. Even after all that had happened, they still seemed so angry. “Just relax… It’s for your own good,” he remarked calmly. Recalling the events of Saros’s Temple, and anticipating what was to come, he tightly grasped the black-and-white amulet around his neck and held it out over the convulsing bodies of the two dark-robed trainers…


* for reference: level 26 male meditite is now level 27 *

* for reference: level 22 male pineco is now level 23 - pineco learned natural gift (http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-dp/204.shtml)*

_________________
fb (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=9144120&postcount=1)

Shadowshocker
4th May 2009, 3:40 PM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Tersely extending the amulet over the two fallen teenagers, you are no longer surprised by the sight of Kiru and the girl melting into the vermillion fog surrounding them, eventually rendered into gaseous form as they spiral towards your sacred trinket. Rumbling as the mists permeate the discus, it doesn't take long for the amulet to rattle strongly at its stage of completion, and as you bring the circle to your eyes for closer inspection you notice that now the dark side of the moon pattern has started to emanate a peculiar miasma of its own, appearing darker as if to match the gleaming white area. Determinedly, you clutch the amulet tightly in your palm, convinced that whatever happens now, you've completed the mission that was set for you, and you do an about-turn to make way for the Lacuna forum.


***

While it's your only your third time through the local forests, and only the second in near pitch-black conditions, the pulse of your heart pumping strongly through you seems to shut down all other forms of distraction and fear. Every fibre of your body is focused on getting to the town centre as soon as possible, where you might finally solve the mystery plaguing the ancient city as far as your own time. A wave of wind seems to wash over you as you finally break through the parameters of the forum; your senses seeming to kick up another notch as they begin to perceive what you can only explain as a strong foreboding of awareness. Coming to a halt at the very epicentre of the open space, you glance down at the Lunar Amulet around your neck -- as though reacting to the target location, the patterns on the flat disc have started to switch between its lunar phases faster than ever, accelerating to the point that the entire object is a blur.

Without warning the discus rips free from the confines of the string about your throat, spinning into the air much like an ordinary coin, except the metallic pecuniary you're familiar with usually doesn't spew out two-toned smoke. The four spirals of coloured gases merge into two, and you sharply remember the bizarre phenomenon you had witnessed only hours ago in this very forum. Sure enough, the masses of mist begin to congeal into the two celestial forms that had earlier clashed in mid-air, and as they fully materialise you notice from their expressions that neither of them has expected this outcome any more than you.

"What is the meaning of this?!" snarls the dark spellcaster. "I was supposed to be readying the troops to do battle... This is more your handiwork, isn't it?!"

"For one, I hardly have hands!" the other entity snaps. "And for two, I should ask you the same question!"

"That's enough, Darkrai, Cresselia. From the both of you." The sound of a third supernatural, yet familiar voice seems to immediately calm your heart as another beam of radiant light descends from the sky, forming a mass of glittering sparkles above you all, and sure enough you recognise the very deity who had sent you on your rescue operation.

"Arceus!" exclaims the crescent creature, before she appears to frown deeply. "You would side... with the likes of him?!"

"Side with me, she says!" retorts the wraith as his smoky hood strongly wavers. "After what she's done to --"

"You two know only so well that I side with no one but the truth." Speaking with no less majesty than before, the quadruped addresses the angry pair before it, but this time you can't help detect a hint of severity in its voice. "Both of you have played these humans, treating them little more than pawns in your games of domination and superiority. You were both meant as symbols, representatives of balance that Lacuna embodies, and now your internal conflict has come to the point that it endangers Lacuna itself!"

"It wasn't me!" Cresselia insists. "He started the whole thing, with his ritualistic --"

"I started it?!" growls Darkrai. "If anyone started this pitiful excuse of a disaster, it's --"

"I said..." As the one known as Arceus rears its head, you somehow know instantly something big is going to happen, but little else prepares you for the following events. "ENOUGH!"

With that final word booming across the sinister atmosphere, you instantly note a peculiar sound reaching your ears, seemingly emanating from Arceus itself. A shiver develops through your body as the music continues; its melancholy, soft yet piercing tone rippling fear in every cell of your body, speaking clearly of untimely death, of innocence lost. Before you know it Darkrai and Cresselia both howl in unison at the sky, clawing desperately for non-existent supports to grab onto, before they crumble to the ground in comatose positions. Breathing heavily you look to the sacred being, not having expected this sort of terrible power.

"You need not worry, Benjamin Hale. My Perish Song was not directed at anyone other than the intended recipients," Arceus explains kindly. "[B]These two will not stay like this forever; it would take more than a fainting episode to end the stuff of legends." As it speaks, you realise that the one of Origin has began descending its way towards you, for a closer face-to-face conversation, and you feel its radiant warmth surround you in brilliance.

"I sense the queries you have within you, Benjamin Hale, and you have a most deserved right to understand," continues Arceus. "Lacuna was, as you might have heard, a community founded with balance in mind. As the moon experiences both light and darkness, so does the city built in its image, and prospers under its light. Cresselia and Darkrai were sent to assist in Lacuna's natural cycle of existence, and as they supported the citizens from behind the scenes, the people came to respect and worship them. Unfortunately, as you see, this led to the harsh competition that culminated in the clash you witnessed.

"I knew, at once, I had to intervene, yet I could not do so without putting the Lacunans at risk, or alternatively subdue one of the two and fail to win over the other. I needed the assistance of someone who had ties through time and space to Lacuna; someone who would be able to bring together the 'keys', whose identity you came to figure out," it adds. "You turned out to be that individual, Benjamin Hale -- millenia ago, a person named Ben much like you lived in this community, sharing a bond of friendship with Ikira of Saros and Kiru of Rapa. With this affinity, you would also be best to seek out their doubles in Lacuna -- for each entity, there lives another emulating their differences; yet without one the other cannot survive. The keys were separate in Rapa and Saros' domains, and only through overcoming them could they be united. It is for this reason that you were chosen, Benjamin Hale, and you carried out your duty with exceptional skill. Now, thanks to your admirable courage and dedication, Lacuna may progress in the way that I had intended, and at this, Benjamin Hale, I bid you farewell."

Not having said a word through this encounter, the news of your sudden departure has you gazing into the eyes of Arceus imploringly -- if anything, you haven't had the chance to say goodbye to the acquaintances you made in this time, but it's too late as a white light emanating from the holy creature consumes you, whiting out your senses like they were at the start of your adventure in time...


***

"Hey, kid! Kid! Wake up!"

The sounds of a girl's voice and the sensation of someone slapping you awake has your eyelids flying open as your vision clears. How long has it been since you were out? And who is this figure crouched above you?...

"...Ikira?" you croak; your voice weaker than you had imagined it would be.

"Ikira? Who's Ikira?" laughs the female, and you slowly realise this voice is different from the Lacunan girl you crossed paths with in the past, as the features above you steady into a face framed with black hair and holding a pair of soft brown eyes. "I'm the great archaeologist, Gisaki Rifiyu!"

"I'm not surprised he's confused, Gisaki, the way you slapped him silly," remarks a nearby male, shaking his head of blue, neck-length hair. "Any more, and you might have readied him enough to be shoved into an exhibit."

"Aw, c'mon, Noel!" Gisaki whines.

"Alright, you two. That's no way to behave around someone who just recovered," chides a third voice, and its owner -- a young woman in her mid-twenties with pink hair, brown eyes and sporting an explorer's outfit much like the young ones walks towards you, kneeling to look you in the face. "I'm Ms. Theria. Are you alright, dear?" Still not too ready for long speech, you settle for nodding in response.

"That's good to hear. I wish we could offer more assistance, but I'm afraid we're rather busy," nods Ms. Theria. "We're on the verge of making new discoveries about the Lacunan civilisation; it seems to have been much more advanced than what we first thought. The first investigation team will be arriving in about an hour's time, and the place will need to be cordoned off for our investigations, but there'll be a supply truck moving back and forth to keep the team prepared. Perhaps you could hitch a ride from them if you'd like, but we must be going. Come along, you two."

As the trio of archaeologists take their leave, you sit up properly for a note of where you are. Catching a sight of the Moon Stone you had touched at the start of your adventure, you realise with a jump that sure enough, you've returned back to your own time -- except, this time, the streets seem to be paved with proper stone and mineral as opposed to dirt, and instead of dilapidated houses the structures about you seem in much better shape -- as though they were simply preserved in sand and sediment, a far cry from the crumbling village you had seen when you first came by.

Did your adventure truly happen though, you ask yourself, and as if in response to your query you feel a strip of warmth at your neck, and bending down you see the black string that held the Lunar Amulet still around your vocal chords. A soft vibration pulses through your bag, alerting you not only to the fact that your normal attire has magically reappeared, but also that something new must have found its way into your inventory. Opening up the haversack and checking its contents, you're astonished to find a new Nugget, a Moon Stone, as well as a shining, pink plate with the following inscribed on its surface in tiny lettering:

When the universe was created, its shards became this Plate. The power of defeated giants infuses this Plate. Two beings of time and space set free from the Original One. Three beings were born to bind time and space. Two make matter and three make spirit, shaping the world. The Original One breathed alone before the universe came. The powers of Plates are shared among Pokémon. The rightful bearer of a Plate draws from the Plate it holds.

Marvelling at the gifts you're certain must have come from Arceus, it might go without saying that your trip to Lacuna has proven its worth after all. Not only that, you've gone on the epic trip of a lifetime, fostered ever closer bonds with your Pokémon, and saved an entire civilisation from an unwarranted tragedy. Picking your items up and standing on your feet, you feel a new surge of confidence rush through you, as though the world was at your fingertips and no accomplishment seemed too far to reach...

And in the worlds of Fizzy Bubbles, you feel that this might very well ring true.

Note: Upon replying to this update, you will be free to leave the Lost Cities of Talas for new adventures elsewhere. It's been a considerable ride of an adventure, and I hope you enjoyed it yourself as much as I did writing it.
*end transmission*

Stark
6th May 2009, 5:36 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
For a considerable while, Lawrence appears surprised by your response and display of concern, causing awkward silence to fill the alley while you continue gazing at him with quiet intensity, before he raises his head and draws a long sigh.

"You're the first person I've come across to ask about Carolina the way you have," he remarks, weariness distinct in his now mellowed tenor, "It'll be a long story, however; most of which I still don't know the details of... And it seems that night has come upon us earlier than we realised." Looking past the now activated street lamps, you notice as well that the sky has turned dark violet, and even the shadows around you appear to have taken on a sinister presence with the tropospheric change.

"These streets won't be safe at this time, even for experienced trainers -- the thieves here have their own backhanded ways of disabling their targets. Come with me; there's a shortcut from here to my place," beckons Lawrence as he recalls Raticate to its PokéBall, and with little other choice you follow Lawrence as he moves out of the alley. Making various turns and crosses along the paths, Lawrence pauses every now and then to glance around warily, ensuring the clarity of the coast before daring to move on. Soon enough Lawrence comes to a considerably battered door along a line of what appear to be abandoned shophouses, and the young man makes a couple more glances before rapping gently but sharply against the panel.

"Password? Password?" calls a deep, gruff voice from behind.

"I hear someone's been practicing their mimicry skills," Lawrence chuckles, knowingly to himself. "It is not always raining when the Grumpig squeals."

"Lawrence! Lawrence!" A pair of excited voices start to cheer as the door flies back, revealing a Chatot and a boy of about age nine looking excitedly at the older male in question. "Who's that?! Who's that?!" Chatot starts cawing, addressing your presence.

"Calm down, Chatot. He's a friend of ours," explains Lawrence smilingly as he brings you in with him, and as the door shuts behind you two you take a look at the inside of the building -- clearly, it's even more dilapidated than the exterior, looking as though it hasn't been used in years. Webs line the ceiling and corners, while dark grey smudges dot the walls, made stark by a single flickering light bulb dangling from above. Just as you get a general idea of how dank Lawrence's apparent lodging appears to be, you hear another bout of joyous interjection: from the staircase and what you assume to be a kitchen doorway come rushing down a gaggle of young children and Pokémon, grouped in pairs much like the shophouse's own security system duo. Soon enough you and Lawrence are surrounded by the young excitable crowd, and while you try to maintain your balance you're shocked to notice how most of the children are wearing tattered, patched clothes; some of their gear so worn even their patches have new patches sewn over.

"Everyone, I'd like you to meet Stark. He's a new friend of mine," Lawrence introduces you, once he's got the youngsters to quieten down. "Say hello to Stark, everyone."

"Hello, Stark!" greets the kids in unison, with the Pokémon crying out in their own language to give you the warmest welcome they can manage.

"Big Brother Lawrence?" asks a girl, holding a Chingling in her little arms. "Did you see Big Sister Carolina today?"

The mention of Carolina has Lawrence heave a sigh and scratch his hair, and at once you see a collective gaze of apprehension wash over the youthful congregation. "I'm sorry, everyone," admits Lawrence as he shakes his head. "I saw Carolina today, but... I wasn't able to get her to come back."

"Awwww..." Once again, the children all react as one, bowing their heads in distinct disappointment, and even the Pokémon carrying sad expressions on their various faces.

"Don't worry, everyone. I'm sure we'll be able to ask Carolina to come back to us," promises Lawrence. "And, with luck, Stark may be able to help us out." This bit of news, in addition to startling you, has the effect of exciting the kids once more as they happily cheer with their Pokémon companions.

"Start dinner without me, everyone. I need to talk to Stark for a while. Don't let anyone in; I'll handle the door," states the young man. At once the children and Pokémon go into a flurry of activity -- some start grabbing plates and utensils out of old cabinets placed in convenient spots, while others head to the kitchen in little droves and return with trays of their final meal for the day. While the tots pass by you, happily chattering amongst themselves, you feel your heart sink another notch -- the dinner, on first glance, seems to consist of purely of leftover Berries -- some of them half eaten with evident bite marks, while others look as though they can't possibly be any fresher than four or five days.

"You see for yourself," Lawrence murmurs to you sadly, jolting you from your quiet observations. "The slums are no place to raise Atlas' orphans, but people rarely ever come to the slums except the unwitting and unaware, and hardly anyone knows we even live here behind these walls. This is one part of Atlas nobody ever really sees."

Leading you quietly into a room on the ground level, Lawrence locks the door behind you, inviting you to sit on a worn, yet sturdy chair. "I kept two of these in case we ever had visitors," he says, pulling up a chair of his own. Once you're seated as comfortably as you can, Lawrence gently cracks his knuckles as he begins his tale.

"Not everyone who comes to Atlas comes for tourism," sighs Lawrence. "As moderinsation moved in, we were slowly evacuated from the villages where we used to live. Most of them sought fortunes far away, while others came here to work for local industries. Out of the ones who came to Atlas, though, few ever managed to make ends meet, and the ones who did eventually left for greener pastures. My family came some years ago, but a lack of vacancy forced us to take up shop here -- in the seedier parts of the marketplace.

"Even then it still wasn't so bad; some tourists, intrigued by the bazaar's variety, would pop by and look at the jewellery we made, and other trinkets we fashioned out of local items. However, the landlords were the ones who truly made the situation unbearable, with their unregulated rental demands and deadlines. We saw many a family be driven out or pressured to extremes; some parents were forced to send their children for begging or manual labour, while others surrendered themselves as collateral so their children still had somewhere to go." Biting his lip at this mention, Lawrence continues with a choke in his voice. "In time, though, even these kids were thrown out, with nowhere else to call home, and no parents to turn to. Some of them were so young, they had barely started walking when they were abandoned." A lengthy pause follows, before Lawrence adds on another remark; this one so quiet and intense you can barely believe it coming from him:

"...It was five years ago when Carolina and I had our parents taken from us."

Shifting nervously in your seat, you feel a surge of compassion for the young man, whom only an hour or so ago you confronted and battled in an alley.

"With us as the eldest in the area, Carolina suggested that we band the other abandoned kids together and eke out a life of our own. Though it was difficult, somehow, we scraped by -- gathering leftovers, recycling trash, any odd job we could ever get our hands on to support the children," Lawrence goes on. "But about a year ago Carolina was approached, she told me, by a budding tourism organisation that was looking for young women as tour guides. Since then she's been staying away from here, usually for days on end, before returning with her hair dishevelled, eyebags on her face, and her clothes an absolute mess." Shaking his head at this, Lawrence cracks his knuckles again in his passive frustration. "I suspected something was wrong, but each time I tried to confront her about it she always avoided the issue, and we'd usually end up arguing with no resolution... much like what you saw earlier. A couple of months later we started hearing rumours about Pokémon disappearances after trainers went on a date with an attractive tour guide... and I'm pretty sure you know the rest. No one had any idea it could have been Carolina performing the thefts, but I found her out one night when she returned with spare, occupied PokéBalls by her waist. She's never come back since then.

"As you've noticed, I've attempted to track her down, and convince her to give up the job. But somehow she's picked up the skills of a master thief; maybe even on par with phantom thieves of yore," adds Lawrence. "Though why she's started stealing Pokémon is something I've never managed to figure out. She comes and goes like a wraith; usually her victims don't realise that their Pokémon have gone missing until they're outside Atlas' limits, from what I've heard. And I haven't the slightest idea where she might be taking them... if there is a clue, it probably lies in the city somewhere. But I can't spend long hours away from here, and not every day either -- someone needs to watch over the kids," he sighs.

"I know we didn't come off to a great start, Stark. And I know there's little but my word you have to go by," he addresses you. "But there's little time we can afford. By a few days your Houndour might have been whisked off to another faraway land, or kept locked up somewhere for who knows what nefarious purposes, and Carolina's trail might already be long gone. I need to get to the bottom of this mystery. For everyone's sakes. And I know I can't go this alone."

Looking to you with sincerity and desperation both in his eyes, Lawrence extends a hand to you. It's true that there's still a lot you don't know about the case, and about Lawrence and Carolina, but if you walk out on Lawrence's offer there's little chance of you ever seeing Houndour again..."You don't have to," Stark responded to the man sincerely. The past few minutes had been full of surprises. From Carolina and Houndour disappearing to Lawrence suddenly becoming a friend and ally. Sure this wasn't the best neighborhood in Atlas, but sometimes people had to live where they could to survive. From the beginning it seemed as though there was something secret going on. The sliding slit in the door with the password to allow entrance almost had him wondering if he was going to some kind of ultra secret card game. Of course nothing could have prepared him for the sight he saw once he entered.

A ragtag group of orphans with their pokemon partners had gathered. The excitement in their eyes at Lawrence's return seemingly giving them hope even in these desolate surroundings. Stark's heart had sank and he almost felt guilty for thinking Lawrence was some kind of thug upon first meeting. The man had obviously gone above and beyond himself to help those who needed help. Something Stark himself had always tried to strive for. He couldn't help, but smile when the children and their pokemon greeted him in unison. "Hello everyone," was all he could say in return even though he had so much more he wanted to say. It was still too much of an emotional impact for him to think straight yet. With a few more minutes he might have come up with something more, but as it was one of the children asked about Carolina and once more Stark felt guilt wash over him as the collective "awws" of disappointment filled the air. Then again, it didn't really last long as Lawrence had basically volunteered him to help them find Carolina again. for a moment Stark had looked at Lawrence with a 'what did you just get me involved in' look, but it quickly changed to a warm smile as the cheers from the kids won him over.

With the children soon busy making dinner of what little they had, Lawrence had lead Stark aside to explain the situation. Still, Stark couldn't keep his eyes from wandering to the food, if one could call it that, being prepared. leftover berries, some half eaten, was not a meal for young children. It wasn't right. Life may not have been fair, but to put children through these kid of circumstances was just cruel. They were fortunate to have Lawrence. That was for certain.

They had entered another room and Lawrence had locked the door behind them and waits for Stark to sit on one of the few pieces of furniture he'd seen in the place. Once the other man had taken a seat he began to explain how Carolina was his sister. How they had moved here years ago with their family only to be pushed out when tourism started to take hold. How his parents had passed away leaving he and Carolina to fend for themselves on the increasingly more dangerous streets of Atlas. How they brought together the younger kids of the city who were alone and created their own family. And finally, how Carolina suddenly changed after going to work for one of the tourist agencies.

There was something disturbing about how abrupt the change in Carolina had been. How could a person that grew up with such compassion suddenly turn her back on everything and everyone she cared about for so long to become a thief? Stark silently cursed himself for falling into her trap. And because of his foolishness, he found himself in a position in which he may never see his beloved Houndour again.

Finding himself back in the present again after sifting through everything that had happened, Stark felt his hands tightening into fists as the frustration of the events finally hit home. He stood up, rubbing his chin with his hand before finally turning around to face Lawrence, "We have to save them. Carolina and my Houndour. I made a date with her for tonight at 8:00 at one of the hotels. If I hurry, I might be able to get there in time. If luck is on our side and I play dumb, I might be able to find out more about what's going on with her. If she doesn't show up I'll hit up the travel agency again. You've said that she baits trainers like myself into traps of battle in order to steal their pokemon so I'll have to be on my guard, but now that I know, maybe I can break the cycle somehow."

Stark reached into his pocket and pulled out a beautiful ocean colored SS Tidal coin case, "You're first priority is to get something good for the kids to eat. Clean them up, whatever it takes. Bring a little hope and joy to them," he reached in and pulled out a pile of coins, "It's not much, but it should help you for a little bit. And I will not take no for an answer on this. Don't let your pride stop you from letting me help you and the kids."

Stark set the 2000 (http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/showpost.php?p=823022&postcount=19) coins on the chair he was sitting on, then looked to the door and back at Lawrence again, "I better get going. I'll be back as soon as I can to let you know what happened."

PeeGee
7th May 2009, 7:01 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With Watermelon out for the relevant count and an attack coming straight for him, you quickly retrieve the afflicted Nuzleaf and deploy Dot to do battle in his stead. Spurred on by the urgency in your voice and the situation of her comrade, Dot beats up a Silver Wind from her wings, sending spirals of insectoid zephyrs to meet the Shadow Ball Drowzee grinningly releases. The slicing winds meet the focused bomb of otherworldly air in the middle, cutting into the orb and launching a miniature explosion of furious winds. Taking the chance, Dot valiantly charges into the swirling gasses, her wings shining again with more brimming power, and as you squint into the floating miasma you see a brief storm of glinting particles followed by a yelp from Drowzee.

Almost as soon as the cry is heard, you notice the mists begin to fade -- of sleep, poison, bug and ghost, revealing the eerie purple walls of the third battle chamber, and Dot flitting above the form of the defeated Drowzee. Ahead, a stone slab slides open to show the way ahead, and casting one final look at the alternately coloured Pokémon you join Dot in going down the advancing passage.

A linear charge, lit up by the familiar torches of the Sphinx, soon brings up you the fourth chamber for your riddle, and upon entering the room you notice a rather grumpy-looking Graveler poring over a stone slab.

"You've come, have you?" he says gruffly, briefly glancing at you before returning his attention back to his tablet. "You look like you've done a marathon up Mount Coronet and back, kid. If three riddles is all it takes to wear you out, you might want to consider bailing yourself out now. I hear that victims who fall in the battle sequences end up rather... well, let's just say we couldn't find a small enough sarcophagus to shove them in.

"Just as well you're here, anyway -- I've got your riddle right here, but the blasted thing seems to be broken," Graveler grumbles. "You would have to decipher the Pokémon's identity by the clues describing it left on the stone tablet, but Baltoy and Sableye managed to break the bloomin' thing here and there. As though having to withstand wear and tear for centuries wasn't enough!" huffs the impatient rock.

"Still, if you manage to get the correct answer, the passage should unlock itself. I don't think I need to tell you what'll happen if you don't get this one," he informs, stepping aside to reveal the stone in question. Indeed, in addition to the severe erosion, some of the rock has clearly chipped off in layers and pieces, leaving only the following disjointed words:


...Poisonp...fini...
Even...does not m...
...rge ho... night, the...
...ap...pla...pr...toxi...der.

Little else remains of the clue for your fourth question, but can you decipher the answer from what's left?

Spurred up, Dot was quick and ruthless in executing her first Silver Wind. Spirals of zephyrs collided with the Shadow Ball that the enemy Drowzee had formed in his hands, cutting through the ball with ease and causing a miniature explosion of wind. Dot took the opportunity to fly into the winds, and as Karmas squinted he saw a small storm of zephyrs, and then a loud yelp from the Drowzee.

As soon as the trainer heard the yelp he noticed that the gas, which comprised of poison, sleeping, bug and ghostly gas, began to clear up, revealing the purple walls of the battle chamber and a triumphant Dot flying above the unmoving form of Drowzee.

"Good job," congratulated Karmas, Dot's second battle a lot better than the first one that she undertook.

The bug gave a big smile before she started to fly down the next passageway. As Karmas walked over to join his pokemon he took one last glance at the shiny Drowzee, and tried to put the fact that he wasn't allowed to catch a shiny pokemon out of his head.

Soon Karmas and Dot ended up in the fourth chamber, this time it was inhabited by a grumpy looking Graveler in front of a stone tablet.

"You've come, have you?" he said gruffly, briefly glancing at Karmas before returning his attention back to his tablet. "You look like you've done a marathon up Mount Coronet and back, kid. If three riddles is all it takes to wear you out, you might want to consider bailing yourself out now. I hear that victims who fall in the battle sequences end up rather... well, let's just say we couldn't find a small enough sarcophagus to shove them in.

"Just as well you're here, anyway -- I've got your riddle right here, but the blasted thing seems to be broken," Graveler grumbled. "You would have to decipher the Pokémon's identity by the clues describing it left on the stone tablet, but Baltoy and Sableye managed to break the bloomin' thing here and there. As though having to withstand wear and tear for centuries wasn't enough!" huffs the impatient rock.

"Still, if you manage to get the correct answer, the passage should unlock itself. I don't think I need to tell you what'll happen if you don't get this one," he informed, stepping aside to reveal the stone in question. Indeed, in addition to the severe erosion, some of the rock has clearly chipped off in layers and pieces, leaving only the following disjointed words:

...Poisonp...fini...
Even...does not m...
...rge ho... night, the...
...ap...pla...pr...toxi...der.

Karmas looked at the stone tablet for a couple minutes and thought about what it could be.

"It sounds like it's describing a pokemon, doesn't it?" Karmas asked Dot.

The ladybug nodded her head in agreement and started to think about what it could be.

Well I reckon it has to either be a poison or grass type thought Karmas But that first word is definitely poison powder.

Nearly as soon as he finished thinking those thoughts, Karmas got what he thought was the answer. He turned towards the Graveler and confidentially said the answer.

"Is the answer by any chance Weepingbell?"

Shadowshocker
7th May 2009, 3:25 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Staring at the money you've left on the chair, Lawrence stands to meet your posture, his expression meeting your frown as you make your resolve clear. As his irises veer downwards, you can tell the young man is distinctly struggling -- whether it's from surprise at your gesture, or from going against his assumed principles, you're not sure, but at this point you wouldn't put it past Lawrence if he started to tear up.

"...Alright. I'll see if I can't obtain more substantial staples for the long run," he nods. "You should be heading for your meeting with Carolina, too. I can't promise she'll be there, not after what's happened; there's a good chance she'll be suspicious considering that your Houndour clearly went missing with her... You'll need a map to get back to the city centre, too." Foisting about his grubby pockets, Lawrence produces an equally old-looking piece of paper, though the bulk of the diagrams and text is still legible, and you notice he's marked out a clear path from your current location to the intended destination.

"Good luck, Stark," says Lawrence as you turn to leave. "And... thanks. For everything."


***

Considering what Lawrence told you, you feel somewhat relieved to find yourself near the entrance of Emporium Hotel without so much as a scratch, watching people move in and out, locals and tourists alike. What concerns you, though, is not only how Carolina isn't amongst the moving crowd, but also the fact that it's an hour past the rendezvous time between you and Carolina. Your heart sinks as you wonder if Lawrence's assumption for the worst has already come true; if it has you know it means only bad news for your chances of locating your kidnapped Pokémon. Feeling urgency, anger and distress surge through you, a decision is hastily made and before you know it you walk through the flow of human traffic, heading towards the glass doors of the hotel.

As you enter the prestigious establishment of temporary lodging, a fresh wave of gently scented air-conditioning greets you before the sight of the richly carpeted main lobby halts a heartbeat from you. Compared to what you've seen in the Marketplace and the rest of Atlas so far, this is a considerable lap of luxury -- furniture fashioned from deep mahogany and polished to a respectable gleam, ornamental decoration in the form of bejewelled, regal artifacts, and a general ambience of homeliness and class amidst intrigue and suggestion stands about you, almost like a dream sequence.

"Stark!" A familiar voice whispers sharply, and turning around you find Lawrence standing behind you. "I've managed to secure some supplies for the children in the night market. It should last them for about half a week or so, and I've securely locked them in... I had a hunch I'd find you in here. I suppose Carolina was nowhere to be seen?" Upon your affirmation, Lawrence sighs, running a hand through his dark hair.

"There's no telling where she might be, though I highly doubt she's out of Atlas... and I can't shake this feeling that there was a reason why she got you to meet her at Emporium specifically. It's not much to go on, but so long as we're here, we could ask around," mutters Lawrence as he ponders. "The receptionists might have something to say, or we could approach the bar on the ground level. It won't be safe or practical to attempt a search through the upper levels at this point."

What will you choose to do?



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Before Graveler can say anything in response, the tablet's letterings appear to take on a glow as you complete your confident query, and even as the three of you watch astounded the words begin to reform in lines of light, scorching back where their respective surfaces had eroded away, finishing the list of descriptions. Further in front you see another stony slab of door slide upwards, releasing a puff of stale air along with the passage ahead.

"Hmmm! Seems that you've got quite the brain after all, it seems," remarks Graveler, sporting a respected smirk this time as his auxiliary hands scratch his chin. "Well, time's a wastin', kiddo. Your next opponent awaits you!"

Wrapping his limbs about him, Graveler trundles about the tablet, disappearing into the darkness where you know you won't be seeing him for quite a while. Thrilled to continue, Dot follows the Rock-type into the passage with you alongside her, through another tunnel of self-lighting torches and intricate hieroglyphs. What you don't expect at the end of this line, though, is for the next battle chamber to not only have a floor lined with grass, but also to have several trees dotted around the area -- a rather stark impossibility, considering the conditions underground and apparent void of ample sunlight. As you're mulling this peculiarity over, however, you soon find that your presence has not gone unnoticed...

"Bell. Belel." Hopping over with its mouth drooling even as it goes, a wide-eyed Weepinbell heads for you, eager to kick off your fourth battle. What will you do now?

PeeGee
8th May 2009, 3:17 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Before Graveler can say anything in response, the tablet's letterings appear to take on a glow as you complete your confident query, and even as the three of you watch astounded the words begin to reform in lines of light, scorching back where their respective surfaces had eroded away, finishing the list of descriptions. Further in front you see another stony slab of door slide upwards, releasing a puff of stale air along with the passage ahead.

"Hmmm! Seems that you've got quite the brain after all, it seems," remarks Graveler, sporting a respected smirk this time as his auxiliary hands scratch his chin. "Well, time's a wastin', kiddo. Your next opponent awaits you!"

Wrapping his limbs about him, Graveler trundles about the tablet, disappearing into the darkness where you know you won't be seeing him for quite a while. Thrilled to continue, Dot follows the Rock-type into the passage with you alongside her, through another tunnel of self-lighting torches and intricate hieroglyphs. What you don't expect at the end of this line, though, is for the next battle chamber to not only have a floor lined with grass, but also to have several trees dotted around the area -- a rather stark impossibility, considering the conditions underground and apparent void of ample sunlight. As you're mulling this peculiarity over, however, you soon find that your presence has not gone unnoticed...

"Bell. Belel." Hopping over with its mouth drooling even as it goes, a wide-eyed Weepinbell heads for you, eager to kick off your fourth battle. What will you do now?

Before it was possible for Graveler could say anything, the letters upon the tablet began to glow. Karmas and the two pokemon watched in astonishment as the glowing words began to reform on the tablet in magnificent lines of light. One by one the words were scorched back onto the tablet, finishing the list of descriptions. Further in front of the trio, yet another stone slab door opened up, not only showing the passage ahead, but also letting out a puff of stale air.


"Hmmm! Seems that you've got quite the brain after all, it seems," remarked Graveler, sporting a respected smirk this time as his auxiliary hands scratch his chin. "Well, time's a wastin', kiddo. Your next opponent awaits you!"

Wrapping his limbs around himself, the Graveler disappeared into the darkness, Karmas uncertain that they would ever see him again. While the trainer was a but hesitant to enter the darkness, Dot was ecstatic about continuing on, quickly flying into the passage. Once again as Karmas walked down the passage way the torches light themselves up and there was the same stuff on the walls. But what Karmas didn't expect was that at the end of the passage was that the battle chamber would have grass growing on the floor and several trees dotted around it.

Trees, and grass! thought Karmas That isn't possible! How does fresh air get down here? And there is no sun?

As Karmas pondered over how this field could exist, he saw something out of the corner of his eye.

"Bell. Belel." Hopping over with its mouth drooling even as it goes, a wide-eyed Weepinbell headed for Karmas, eager to kick off his fourth battle.

Karmas looked at Dot and motioned towards the Weepingbell. Dot nodded and flew out to confront the grass type.

"Okay Dot, lets do this. Start off by using Safeguard, then use a Silver Wind. If it uses an attack that you don't think you can handle, use Detect. If not use Psybeam!" ordered Karmas.

Shadowshocker
8th May 2009, 3:33 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Flitting about Weepinbell as it stares back at her with seemingly aimless eyes, your Ledian begins with a show of her naturally defensive powers, glinting all over in a spherical shield of Safeguard to protect her from nasty status effects. What neither of you expects, though, is for Weepinbell to loll backwards with its mouth closed, before hocking a putrid mass of sludge at Dot, coating her in the thoroughly disgusting muck. As the tingling Gastro Acid drips off Dot, the ladybird can't help but shudder while the vile chemicals ooze against her skin, but other than trauma you notice that actual damage doesn't seem to have been inflicted on Dot. Shaking herself dry Dot fires a furious Silver Wind towards Weepinbell; the sharp zephyrs battering against its wobbling botanic form, causing it to tumble back slightly.

Wobbling back to face its opponent, Weepinbell suddenly extends the hook-like vine atop its head, but instead of attacking Weepinbell ends up curling its botanic appendage to Tickle Dot under her wings, much to your surprise and Dot's unwitting laughter. Still, as her physical aspects are slightly compromised, she still manages to gather some of her mental ability into her antennae; the resulting accumulation blasting outward in the form of a Psybeam, nailing Weepinbell right in the middle of its eyes. The impact of this attack sends Weepinbell reeling properly this time, but not before its Vine recoils in a Whipping motion, scoring a faint slice of sharp pain against the side of Dot's head, which she massages ruefully before glaring back her foe. The game is starting to rise to another level...

PeeGee
9th May 2009, 7:36 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Flitting about Weepinbell as it stares back at her with seemingly aimless eyes, your Ledian begins with a show of her naturally defensive powers, glinting all over in a spherical shield of Safeguard to protect her from nasty status effects. What neither of you expects, though, is for Weepinbell to loll backwards with its mouth closed, before hocking a putrid mass of sludge at Dot, coating her in the thoroughly disgusting muck. As the tingling Gastro Acid drips off Dot, the ladybird can't help but shudder while the vile chemicals ooze against her skin, but other than trauma you notice that actual damage doesn't seem to have been inflicted on Dot. Shaking herself dry Dot fires a furious Silver Wind towards Weepinbell; the sharp zephyrs battering against its wobbling botanic form, causing it to tumble back slightly.

Wobbling back to face its opponent, Weepinbell suddenly extends the hook-like vine atop its head, but instead of attacking Weepinbell ends up curling its botanic appendage to Tickle Dot under her wings, much to your surprise and Dot's unwitting laughter. Still, as her physical aspects are slightly compromised, she still manages to gather some of her mental ability into her antennae; the resulting accumulation blasting outward in the form of a Psybeam, nailing Weepinbell right in the middle of its eyes. The impact of this attack sends Weepinbell reeling properly this time, but not before its Vine recoils in a Whipping motion, scoring a faint slice of sharp pain against the side of Dot's head, which she massages ruefully before glaring back her foe. The game is starting to rise to another level...

As Weepinbell looked at Dot with vacant-looking eyes, the ladybug demonstrated her defensive abilities by firing up her Safeguard, creating a glinting shield to protect herself from status effects. What neither Karmas or Dot expected for Weepinbell to do was for it to hock up a huge mass of sludge at Dot. As the Gastro Acid dripped off of Dot, she shuddered, but apart from that Karmas couldn't see any signs of actual damage. However, Dot didn't exactly like being covered in acid, which mad her use her Silver Wind with a bit more ferocity than she normally would have. The zephyrs burst from Dot and slammed into Weepinbell's wobbling body, making it tumble back slightly.

As it wobbled so it could face Dot, Weepinbell extended the hook on top of its head, but instead of attacking, like one would think it would, instead it started to Tickle Dot underneath her wings, which surprised Karmas and the now laughing Dot. Even though she was laughing and therefore slightly compromised at the moment, Dot managed to focus some of her mental energy into her antennae, promptly sending out a Psybeam which hit Weepinbell right between the eyes. Weepinbell was sent reeling, but not before its Vine recoiled in a Whipping motion, leaving a slice of sharp pain on the side of Dot's head. The Ledian massaged the side of her face before she glared ruefully at Weepinbell, a sign that she was started to get more than a tad bit annoyed.

"Don't worry Dot!" called out Karmas, "Whatever that Weepinbell chucks at you, won't be enough to get the better of you!"

Dot turned towards her trainer and nodded her head, a sign that she already knew that.

"Well then start off with a Supersonic, then use Silver Wind and finish it up with a Comet Punch!" ordered Karmas.

Shadowshocker
10th May 2009, 11:18 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Glaring at Weepinbell as she pants, Dot performs an aerial swoop above the carnivorous flower; her wings beating up a Supersonic sound wave as you cover your ears in self-protection. As the high-pitched oscillations echo through the chamber, you notice Weepinbell's eyes start to move about erratically, yet somehow still maintaining its considerably dull expression. Mulling over its mental state, Weepinbell pauses long enough for Dot to fling over another set of Silver Wind spirals, which buffet about the dizzy plant without much other effect. Lumbering, Weepinbell appears to belch out a cloud of yellowish powder, but as the Stun Spore wafts over to Dot the barrier of Safeguard from earlier kicks in, preventing the paralytic particles from doing their work.

Diving through the dissipating cloud of spores, Dot goes back to work with a Comet Punch ready and waiting, slamming into Weepinbell as she rams her fists against the bulbous creature, but her weakened blows indicate that Weepinbell's earlier Tickle clearly had some effect on her strength. As you think this over, Dot's surprised squeals alerts your attention to Weepinbell's extended vine now Wrapping about her limbs; the confusion having apparently been beaten out of the dozy flytrapper. Struggling against her restraints Dot tries her best to free herself, but her weakened status of compromised physicality and consecutive battles, in addition to her thorough bindings, are rendering her incapable of freeing herself. Unless you look for another alternative Dot might soon have the very life squeezed out of her...

Stark
12th May 2009, 12:50 AM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Staring at the money you've left on the chair, Lawrence stands to meet your posture, his expression meeting your frown as you make your resolve clear. As his irises veer downwards, you can tell the young man is distinctly struggling -- whether it's from surprise at your gesture, or from going against his assumed principles, you're not sure, but at this point you wouldn't put it past Lawrence if he started to tear up.

"...Alright. I'll see if I can't obtain more substantial staples for the long run," he nods. "You should be heading for your meeting with Carolina, too. I can't promise she'll be there, not after what's happened; there's a good chance she'll be suspicious considering that your Houndour clearly went missing with her... You'll need a map to get back to the city centre, too." Foisting about his grubby pockets, Lawrence produces an equally old-looking piece of paper, though the bulk of the diagrams and text is still legible, and you notice he's marked out a clear path from your current location to the intended destination.

"Good luck, Stark," says Lawrence as you turn to leave. "And... thanks. For everything."


***

Considering what Lawrence told you, you feel somewhat relieved to find yourself near the entrance of Emporium Hotel without so much as a scratch, watching people move in and out, locals and tourists alike. What concerns you, though, is not only how Carolina isn't amongst the moving crowd, but also the fact that it's an hour past the rendezvous time between you and Carolina. Your heart sinks as you wonder if Lawrence's assumption for the worst has already come true; if it has you know it means only bad news for your chances of locating your kidnapped Pokémon. Feeling urgency, anger and distress surge through you, a decision is hastily made and before you know it you walk through the flow of human traffic, heading towards the glass doors of the hotel.

As you enter the prestigious establishment of temporary lodging, a fresh wave of gently scented air-conditioning greets you before the sight of the richly carpeted main lobby halts a heartbeat from you. Compared to what you've seen in the Marketplace and the rest of Atlas so far, this is a considerable lap of luxury -- furniture fashioned from deep mahogany and polished to a respectable gleam, ornamental decoration in the form of bejewelled, regal artifacts, and a general ambience of homeliness and class amidst intrigue and suggestion stands about you, almost like a dream sequence.

"Stark!" A familiar voice whispers sharply, and turning around you find Lawrence standing behind you. "I've managed to secure some supplies for the children in the night market. It should last them for about half a week or so, and I've securely locked them in... I had a hunch I'd find you in here. I suppose Carolina was nowhere to be seen?" Upon your affirmation, Lawrence sighs, running a hand through his dark hair.

"There's no telling where she might be, though I highly doubt she's out of Atlas... and I can't shake this feeling that there was a reason why she got you to meet her at Emporium specifically. It's not much to go on, but so long as we're here, we could ask around," mutters Lawrence as he ponders. "The receptionists might have something to say, or we could approach the bar on the ground level. It won't be safe or practical to attempt a search through the upper levels at this point."

What will you choose to do?
"I didn't exactly bring a fedora, but if we're going to do some investigating, I suppose we could start with the closest source of information," Stark replied. To be honest he was a little surprised that Lawrence had come. Then again, for everything Lawrence had invested in getting his sister back, one couldn't really blame him. It was just unfortunate that Carolina hadn't shown up for the 'date'. Not that it was going to be much of a date considering what had happened. The thought that Stark might just be a magnet for 'crazy women' didn't escape his notice either. Especially considering the way some of his past encounters with members of the fairer sex had played out.

All in all the Emporium was a far cry from the slums of Atlas. Money and elegance wrapped up in a nice shiny lobby for the tourists hiding the seedier parts of the city. Normally, Stark would have found himself in awe of the hotel. However, after seeing how Lawrence and the other kids lived he just couldn't feel comfortable regardless of having already spent a good hour or more sitting around waiting. In a way Lawrence showing up was just the kind of sign he needed to find a direction to go. Had he not shown up, Stark most assuredly would have went to the place he first met Carolina only meet another dead end. At least this way, he would actually feel like he was doing something, even if it didn't produce any positive results.

"I'll go talk to the receptionist, maybe rent a room for the night for us to use if need be. You should probably try to keep a low profile, just in case Carolina does decide to show up. We wouldn't want her to see you and run off before we get a chance get to the bottom of this," Stark said to his new compatriot, "If I can't get a bearing out of the receptionist we'll head over to the bar and hit up the bartender for some info and maybe even a drink."

With that said Stark walked over to the receptionist, grabbed a few coins out of his SS Tidal coin case, and lay his arms cross-wise on the counter leaning in slightly. Smiling he said, "Excuse me. My name is Stark and I was planning to check in when I got a little distracted earlier this evening. Anyway, I was supposed to meet a girl here. A beautiful girl. You couldn't miss her. Anyway, I was wondering if maybe she might have left a message for me. Her name is Carolina. Maybe you know her." Stark flashed the small handful of coins at the receptionist just long enough for them to see them as he finished his sentence hoping that money was as good a motivating factor in this hotel as it seemed to be in many other hotels he had visited in the past.

Shadowshocker
12th May 2009, 2:42 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Dressed in a sleek black uniform with gold highlights along the collar and cuffs, the receptionist listens to your queries with an attentive smile -- or it might have been part of her job scope; you can't tell. Her expression appears benign enough, but when you notice that your trick with coins fails to bring out any change in her composure you almost start wondering if this girl is even human.

"Carolina? I'm sorry, sir; none of the ladies who works here goes by the name of Carolina," she answers politely. "Could you describe the lady in question with more detail?"

Briefly you spend the next minute describing Carolina's appearance, trying to recall from your memory as much as possible, with Lawrence filling in some of the gaps that you fail to notice.

"...I'm afraid I can't help you, kind sirs. This is the first time I've heard of this Carolina person," says the receptionist, and by this time her unchanging countenance is starting to unnerve you slightly. "Perhaps you'd like to make a reservation and begin your search tomorrow? All sorts of people come by the Emporium Hotel and the city of Atlas."

"Thanks, but not for now," Lawrence cuts in, catching your shoulder before giving you a short, firm tug away from the counter; clearly annoyed by the sheer lack of help the receptionist offered. "Looks like we'll need to hit the bar," he mutters such that only you are within relevant earshot, "And I can't say I like having to handle with bar-types. You never know what might happen when people have a drop too much."

At this, you note that the young man seems somewhat bitter, but considering his experience with the darker sides of Atlas it's possibly not so surprising. A pair of obsidian statues, in the form of regally-sculpted Persian, stand guard in front of the doorway leading into the bar: a little watering hole nestled in the far corner of the ground level. Traditional torches burning with mildly fragrant incense line the walls, and multi-coloured smoke lit by modern disco lights slowly wafts out into the hall before dissipating, and customers sit around the various round tables, talking and drinking their troubles and weariness away.

"Come on." Beckoning at you with a look of caution, Lawrence leads you past the statues into the dreamy darkness, headed straight for the bar where a surly-looking bartender awaits. Mindless giggles and raucous laughter interjects into the air at brief intervals, and somehow you start thinking to yourself that the less time you spend in here, the better.

"Ah, customers!" grunts the balding, stubbled bartender, noting you as the two of you sit on adjacent swiveling chairs. "What'll it be, gentlemen?"

Stark
12th May 2009, 5:10 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Dressed in a sleek black uniform with gold highlights along the collar and cuffs, the receptionist listens to your queries with an attentive smile -- or it might have been part of her job scope; you can't tell. Her expression appears benign enough, but when you notice that your trick with coins fails to bring out any change in her composure you almost start wondering if this girl is even human.

"Carolina? I'm sorry, sir; none of the ladies who works here goes by the name of Carolina," she answers politely. "Could you describe the lady in question with more detail?"

Briefly you spend the next minute describing Carolina's appearance, trying to recall from your memory as much as possible, with Lawrence filling in some of the gaps that you fail to notice.

"...I'm afraid I can't help you, kind sirs. This is the first time I've heard of this Carolina person," says the receptionist, and by this time her unchanging countenance is starting to unnerve you slightly. "Perhaps you'd like to make a reservation and begin your search tomorrow? All sorts of people come by the Emporium Hotel and the city of Atlas."

"Thanks, but not for now," Lawrence cuts in, catching your shoulder before giving you a short, firm tug away from the counter; clearly annoyed by the sheer lack of help the receptionist offered. "Looks like we'll need to hit the bar," he mutters such that only you are within relevant earshot, "And I can't say I like having to handle with bar-types. You never know what might happen when people have a drop too much."

At this, you note that the young man seems somewhat bitter, but considering his experience with the darker sides of Atlas it's possibly not so surprising. A pair of obsidian statues, in the form of regally-sculpted Persian, stand guard in front of the doorway leading into the bar: a little watering hole nestled in the far corner of the ground level. Traditional torches burning with mildly fragrant incense line the walls, and multi-coloured smoke lit by modern disco lights slowly wafts out into the hall before dissipating, and customers sit around the various round tables, talking and drinking their troubles and weariness away.

"Come on." Beckoning at you with a look of caution, Lawrence leads you past the statues into the dreamy darkness, headed straight for the bar where a surly-looking bartender awaits. Mindless giggles and raucous laughter interjects into the air at brief intervals, and somehow you start thinking to yourself that the less time you spend in here, the better.

"Ah, customers!" grunts the balding, stubbled bartender, noting you as the two of you sit on adjacent swiveling chairs. "What'll it be, gentlemen?"
"Well normally I'd go with rum, but since we're new here why not try the house specialty? So let's go with bartender's choice," Stark replied to the balding man. The frustration of getting no where with the receptionist was not lost on him. However, the way that Lawrence had lost his temper concerned him a little. His hot headedness was bound to burn them down the road if they didn't find a way to keep it in check. Afterall, that was part of the reason he first battled Lawrence. Had the man been calm, rational, and talked about it, they probably could have avoided their current predicament.

For a hotel bar, the place had a far more dangerous feel to it than he had expected. Not that it was a bad thing. Typically, it meant that the people in the place were the type to pay attention to what was going on around them as opposed to just letting life pass them by while they walked around in their own little world. With a few choice words they might be able to find the information they were looking for. Of course, figuring out those few choice words was another matter entirely considering their failure with the receptionist.

"I can't believe she still hasn't shown up," Stark said just loud enough to be overheard by most of the patrons as he gave Lawrence a quick wink to let him know he was looking to get some kind of rise out of someone, "It's dangerous out there at night. You don't think something might have happened to her? No. It couldn't have. She's not that careless."

"Hey bartender!" he called out to the man behind the bar, "My girlfriend didn't happen to stop in here earlier did she? Oh wait. You probably wouldn't know who she was unless I described her. Sorry about that. I'm just really starting to get worried, ya know. I mean she's all alone and an hour late now. Maybe you've seen her. She's beautiful. And I mean knockout beautiful with soft olive skin and long raven hair. Her name's Carolina."

PeeGee
13th May 2009, 6:46 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
Glaring at Weepinbell as she pants, Dot performs an aerial swoop above the carnivorous flower; her wings beating up a Supersonic sound wave as you cover your ears in self-protection. As the high-pitched oscillations echo through the chamber, you notice Weepinbell's eyes start to move about erratically, yet somehow still maintaining its considerably dull expression. Mulling over its mental state, Weepinbell pauses long enough for Dot to fling over another set of Silver Wind spirals, which buffet about the dizzy plant without much other effect. Lumbering, Weepinbell appears to belch out a cloud of yellowish powder, but as the Stun Spore wafts over to Dot the barrier of Safeguard from earlier kicks in, preventing the paralytic particles from doing their work.

Diving through the dissipating cloud of spores, Dot goes back to work with a Comet Punch ready and waiting, slamming into Weepinbell as she rams her fists against the bulbous creature, but her weakened blows indicate that Weepinbell's earlier Tickle clearly had some effect on her strength. As you think this over, Dot's surprised squeals alerts your attention to Weepinbell's extended vine now Wrapping about her limbs; the confusion having apparently been beaten out of the dozy flytrapper. Struggling against her restraints Dot tries her best to free herself, but her weakened status of compromised physicality and consecutive battles, in addition to her thorough bindings, are rendering her incapable of freeing herself. Unless you look for another alternative Dot might soon have the very life squeezed out of her...

As she panted and glared at the same time, Dot swooped above Weepinbell; her beating wings creating a Supersonic while Karmas covered his ears for protection. As it echoed through the chamber Karmas noticed that Weepinbell's eyes were starting to move around erratically, yet it still managed to keep the blank look on its face. As Weepinbell mulled over its state of confusion, Dot was able to let loose with a Silver Wind, the zephyrs buffeting the grass-type pokemon. Weepinbell belched out a cloud of yellow powder, but the Stun Powder simply wafted over Dot, who was being kept safe by her Safeguard.

Dot dived through the cloud, her Comet Punch ready. Dot slammed into Weepinbell as she laid into it with her fists, but her weak blows indicated that the Tickle had done its job. Karmas thought about this for a moment, but his attention was taken by Dot when she let out a squeal. When Karmas looked he saw that Weepinbell had been able to Wrap up Dot with its vine. Dot tried to free herself from her restraints, but in her weakened state from previous battles and attacks, she was unable to. Karmas had to find a way to get her out, any way would do for him.

Oh, no thought Karmas What am I going to do?

He glanced at Dot, who was still fighting against the Weepinbell's vine, even though it was pointless.

Her arms are completely useless, and she doesn't know any moves that she can use with feet pondered the trainer Which just leaves her mouth.

"Wait a minute!" suddenly cried out Karmas. "Dot, use Bug Bite. If that frees you, use a Psybeam and then Silver Wind. If not use another Bug Bite and just Psybeam!"

Shadowshocker
13th May 2009, 3:40 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
"Carolina?" A slurred voice is heard from behind you, and before Lawrence can shoot you with a "what do you think you're doing?!" look, both your attentions have already been directed to the lumbering person at your back. "Did you shay Carolina?" drawls the tourist. "And she's -- haec! -- your girlfriend?"

"The gentleman said no such thing," says the bartender curtly, much to your surprise. "I think you've had a drop too much, good sir."

"Non -- hic! -- shensh!" Gesticulating somewhat unsteadily, the woozy visitor lumbers towards you with unstable gait. "He menshuned Carolina, and boy, I got me a pone to -- hoccp! -- bick with that..."

"I've told you, sir," the bartender repeats, this time with a cloudy quality to his baritone. "There's no one by the name of Carolina around here. You must have been mistaken."

"Mish... hic!... taken..."

"Now, why don't you go back to your seat, good sir." Nodding kindly, the bartender gestures towards the tourist's original location, at which the punch-drunk person mumbles something incoherent before shuffling back to his seat -- all the while with the two of you looking flabbergasted at how quickly the source of likely trouble was subdued.

"Heh heh! No need to look so frightened, gentlemen. I'm not going to eat you." With the bartender beckoning you with an assuring voice, you swivel back to face the now-smiling man. "Every now and then some trouble pops up, so I have my little team help me out." Motioning to his side, he directs you to a bunch of Exeggcute you hadn't noticed on the counter, who have begun to leap up and down excitedly at having being spotted. "They use a touch of Hypnosis to calm down any guests on the verge of causing a ruckus. Saves us the cost of having to hire bouncers. But that was some bold move there, kid," notes the burly man, glancing at you. "It takes someone with guts to bring up that name, so I've heard these days."

"Then you know who Carolina is?" says Lawrence, leaning forward such that he barely needs to speak above a hiss. "You know where she is?"

"Victims of her too, are you?" Shaking his head, the bartender hands a pair of polished mugs to the cheery eggs, who immediately start using their psychic powers to assist in the drink-making. "Though we tend to know her as "the Whisper" these days. She's that good a master thief; comes and goes as like a whisper in the wind."

"Then you know where she is?" Lawrence asks, leaning even further and gazing at the bartender with such intensity, you almost swear he could burn holes from his vision alone.

"Whoa, whoa. Calm down, kiddo." Gently patting Lawrence on the shoulder, the bartender glances about briefly before going on. "You're not the only one who's looking for her; I'm sure you noticed. But that's about all I can tell you. She comes and goes without notice, and no one's ever managed to catch her in the act."

"Until today... sort of," you think to yourself.

"What I can tell you, though... somehow, there is one thing that stands out through all this." Coughing slightly, the bartender casts a few more furtive looks to the sides, before leaning in closer such that you're all almost huddling. "I'm guessing that she told you about the thirteenth floor?"

At this remark, your eyelids fly wide open more than they've ever done. "What's that got to do with anything?" questions Lawrence.

"It's a bit of a long shot, I don't mind admitting. But your friend here seems to confirm her modus operandi, anyway," mutters the bartender. "Now, I've been at this job for some time. You tend to meet a lot of people who'll tell you their troubles after a glass or two. From what I understand, the one similarity between the Whisper's attacks... is that she always mentions the 13th floor."

"That's it? That's what stands out?" repeats the Atlas local next to you, skepticism distinct in his tone. "That's what the tourism board tells everyone!"

"Yeah, I know. They mention the 13th floor of Emporium Hotel to draw in the tourists looking for a spirit and a scare," the bartender nods. "This wouldn't be an issue... if not for the fact there is no 13th floor."

"What?!" Lawrence exclaims, almost a little too loudly. "But the Emporium is twenty storeys high!"

"No, no... that's not quite what I meant. Some hotels don't use the number 13 in numerating their hotels; instead they skip from the 12th to the 14th. It's superstition," explains the bartender, just as the Exeggcute nudge two cups of Pecha cocktail next to you. "The management made that decision about a year ago."

"A year ago..." Frowning, you see Lawrence make the connection you established -- the time period seems to match the point in time when Carolina's behaviour supposedly changed.

"Since then all the numbers have been altered from the twelfth floor onwards, and all incorrect references were likewise altered. It's strange that anyone would still mention the numerical 13th floor," adds the bartender. "Now, I might be reading too far into this, but just so you know, there's little else I can tell you about her... Right then, gentlemen, enjoy your drinks. This one's on the house!"

Turning back to handle other duties, the bartender leaves you with your drinks, and a piece of information you're not quite sure what to make of. It certainly seems like a long stretch, but it does seem to be your only available lead...



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With her main methods of attacking under proverbial lock and key, Dot ends up having to resort to her mouth to get things done; raising her head high as she can before coming back down with the sharpest Bug Bite she can manage. A jolt of agony seems to shoot through the extended tendril, albeit taking a few seconds before Weepinbell's eyes seem to widen slightly from the sensation, and to your shock the pitcher plant begins to throttle Dot while smacking her against the ground in a painful series of Vine Whip.

Valiantly, Dot executes a few more moments of desperate struggle, but with her insectoid abilities locked down from Weepinbell's earlier Gastro Acid, her natural powers don't seem to kick in. Angrily and painfully she executes another Bug Bite, this one managing to convince the Grass/Poison-type to relent, releasing your Ledian in an upwards swing as the vine retracts. This gives Dot enough time to ready herself, firing another Psybeam from the tips of her antenna, but her weariness is showing as the attack wavers slightly. Still, its aim manages to remain true, socking into Weepinbell as it dizzily recoils from the mental blast, spinning about before collapsing onto its back. From its completely aimless gaze and pooling acid saliva, it's rather distinct that the carnivorous pitcher is no longer capable of continuing the fight. Level up for Dot.

Tired but smiling, Dot flitters her way down to you, landing on your shoulders with her arms holding onto your neck. Patting her on her white hands, you opt to do the proceeding this time, leaving the fourth chamber behind as you run on, while making sure that Dot is safely supported on your back. It just takes a bit longer for you to reach the fifth riddling chamber, where a smiling Chansey is waiting.

"You've made it! I'm so happy for you!" she cheers, clapping her little hands together. "You must be exhausted after all those battles. Here!"

Picking up the egg in her pocket, she motions towards you to touch the white ellipsoidesque object, and as you do you feel a kindred warmth emanate from inside the egg, almost like the healing lights you would normally see in a Pokémon Centre. A surprised cry is heard from Dot, and when you turn to look at her you find that she seems to have recovered fully from her wounds and exhaustion.

"My Softboiled should have healed your team to full health," Chansey explains. "You'll need it to get through the rest of the battles! But to get through here, I need you to show me exactly what this tablet tells you to!"

Producing a small stony slab from behind her, Chansey passes the piece of rock to you, which upon first inspection appears completely blank but even as you watch, lines start to form on the smooth surface, almost as if they were responding to your contact...

Linked to the 127th one in deed, not by name but in sound.
A glare to lower the fence,
A speedy charge offence.
A skill to form a set,
A move we don't know yet.

Can you puzzle out what you need to do this time?

Stark
14th May 2009, 4:00 AM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
"Carolina?" A slurred voice is heard from behind you, and before Lawrence can shoot you with a "what do you think you're doing?!" look, both your attentions have already been directed to the lumbering person at your back. "Did you shay Carolina?" drawls the tourist. "And she's -- haec! -- your girlfriend?"

"The gentleman said no such thing," says the bartender curtly, much to your surprise. "I think you've had a drop too much, good sir."

"Non -- hic! -- shensh!" Gesticulating somewhat unsteadily, the woozy visitor lumbers towards you with unstable gait. "He menshuned Carolina, and boy, I got me a pone to -- hoccp! -- bick with that..."

"I've told you, sir," the bartender repeats, this time with a cloudy quality to his baritone. "There's no one by the name of Carolina around here. You must have been mistaken."

"Mish... hic!... taken..."

"Now, why don't you go back to your seat, good sir." Nodding kindly, the bartender gestures towards the tourist's original location, at which the punch-drunk person mumbles something incoherent before shuffling back to his seat -- all the while with the two of you looking flabbergasted at how quickly the source of likely trouble was subdued.

"Heh heh! No need to look so frightened, gentlemen. I'm not going to eat you." With the bartender beckoning you with an assuring voice, you swivel back to face the now-smiling man. "Every now and then some trouble pops up, so I have my little team help me out." Motioning to his side, he directs you to a bunch of Exeggcute you hadn't noticed on the counter, who have begun to leap up and down excitedly at having being spotted. "They use a touch of Hypnosis to calm down any guests on the verge of causing a ruckus. Saves us the cost of having to hire bouncers. But that was some bold move there, kid," notes the burly man, glancing at you. "It takes someone with guts to bring up that name, so I've heard these days."

"Then you know who Carolina is?" says Lawrence, leaning forward such that he barely needs to speak above a hiss. "You know where she is?"

"Victims of her too, are you?" Shaking his head, the bartender hands a pair of polished mugs to the cheery eggs, who immediately start using their psychic powers to assist in the drink-making. "Though we tend to know her as "the Whisper" these days. She's that good a master thief; comes and goes as like a whisper in the wind."

"Then you know where she is?" Lawrence asks, leaning even further and gazing at the bartender with such intensity, you almost swear he could burn holes from his vision alone.

"Whoa, whoa. Calm down, kiddo." Gently patting Lawrence on the shoulder, the bartender glances about briefly before going on. "You're not the only one who's looking for her; I'm sure you noticed. But that's about all I can tell you. She comes and goes without notice, and no one's ever managed to catch her in the act."

"Until today... sort of," you think to yourself.

"What I can tell you, though... somehow, there is one thing that stands out through all this." Coughing slightly, the bartender casts a few more furtive looks to the sides, before leaning in closer such that you're all almost huddling. "I'm guessing that she told you about the thirteenth floor?"

At this remark, your eyelids fly wide open more than they've ever done. "What's that got to do with anything?" questions Lawrence.

"It's a bit of a long shot, I don't mind admitting. But your friend here seems to confirm her modus operandi, anyway," mutters the bartender. "Now, I've been at this job for some time. You tend to meet a lot of people who'll tell you their troubles after a glass or two. From what I understand, the one similarity between the Whisper's attacks... is that she always mentions the 13th floor."

"That's it? That's what stands out?" repeats the Atlas local next to you, skepticism distinct in his tone. "That's what the tourism board tells everyone!"

"Yeah, I know. They mention the 13th floor of Emporium Hotel to draw in the tourists looking for a spirit and a scare," the bartender nods. "This wouldn't be an issue... if not for the fact there is no 13th floor."

"What?!" Lawrence exclaims, almost a little too loudly. "But the Emporium is twenty storeys high!"

"No, no... that's not quite what I meant. Some hotels don't use the number 13 in numerating their hotels; instead they skip from the 12th to the 14th. It's superstition," explains the bartender, just as the Exeggcute nudge two cups of Pecha cocktail next to you. "The management made that decision about a year ago."

"A year ago..." Frowning, you see Lawrence make the connection you established -- the time period seems to match the point in time when Carolina's behaviour supposedly changed.

"Since then all the numbers have been altered from the twelfth floor onwards, and all incorrect references were likewise altered. It's strange that anyone would still mention the numerical 13th floor," adds the bartender. "Now, I might be reading too far into this, but just so you know, there's little else I can tell you about her... Right then, gentlemen, enjoy your drinks. This one's on the house!"

Turning back to handle other duties, the bartender leaves you with your drinks, and a piece of information you're not quite sure what to make of. It certainly seems like a long stretch, but it does seem to be your only available lead...
"The Whisper...." Stark said softly as he mulled over all of the information he'd just received, "You know one of these days I should get myself a cool nickname." He winked in Lawrence's general direction to let the man know he was kidding. While this probably wasn't the best time to be joking around, Lawrence was so uptight that Stark needed to do it just to break the tension and keep himself from falling into the overly dark and driven demeanor that Lawrence was trapped in. From the beginning, Stark's greatest asset had always been his determination, but with that trait came certain pitfalls that he had learned to try to avoid. One of which was losing his focus and not thinking things out. Tunnel vision would get them no where.

His eyes wandered to the exeggcute sitting on the bar and he smiled. It was a brilliant way of keeping problems at a minimum. And while clever and somewhat distracting, Stark found no inspiration on their next move by looking to them. At least not directly. He swiveled in his seat and took a healthy drink of the beverage provided to him. His eyes scrunched as he found it to be a little stronger than expected. Good, but unexpected. Like Carolina.

"So the hotel has no thirteenth floor, yet Carolina distinctly told me that there was one and that it was haunted. The tourism board tends to send people here with the promise of spirits and scares, yet when they arrive..." Stark began talking his thoughts out. For some reason he found it a little easier to concentrate on the details talking them out, "When Houndour used her Shadow Ball, the attack was far more powerful than anything she could have mustered. Unless she's even stronger than I figured. I think her attack was augmented somehow. Or maybe even combined with another attack. I had this feeling when we were in the alley. I can't explain it exactly, but it wasn't natural. More like supernatural. If this hotel does house some spooks... If we were smart we'd go outside and count the floors to see if there is maybe a hidden floor, but seeing as how I'm a little impatient and time is not exactly our ally, I think our best course of action is to head up to the fourteenth floor and have a look around. Afterall, the fourteenth floor technically is the thirteenth floor. If we can't find anything there, we'll move down to the twelfth floor and see what we can find there. Make no mistake, I completely understand that every second we waste counts. If Carolina is here, or if we can find a clue to her whereabouts, we need to go with what we have for information."

Standing up, Stark tossed a couple of coins (http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/showpost.php?p=823022&postcount=19) on the bar, "Hey thanks for the drink," he called out to the bartender. Turning back to Lawrence he added, "Let's go. We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

Shadowshocker
14th May 2009, 3:19 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Moving away from the bar, the two of you shift through the wafting smoke, eventually reaching the outside of the sector and back in the main lobby.

"Hmmmm... Even if we were to move upwards by the stairs or elevator, there's no way we can make our way up. We don't have identification to show that we're legitimate guests," mutters Lawrence as he thinks. "We need some form of distraction... Aha."

As you watch on in bewilderment, Lawrence picks up the sole PokéBall attached to his waist, and seems to whisper a series of hushed instructions at the switch before nodding at you. "Just stay close and follow my lead," he says, flicking the PokéBall behind his legs and stealthily depositing its contents. From behind your collective legs you spot a brown ball of fuzz roll between the decorations and furniture, but before you can pay further attention you have your wrist tugged by Lawrence in the direction of the lifts.

"KYAAAAAH!! It's a wild Raticate!" you hear a woman scream, and you realise what Lawrence must have meant by a distraction. Several guards, dressed in navy blue uniforms, run out from practically nowhere as lady tourists and hotel workers alike shriekingly try to evade the scuttling rodent. As Lawrence jabs the "up" button of the lifts you see some brief flashes of white light as trainers send out Pokémon of their own, but amidst the chaos you can tell that Raticate, with lots of stealth experience up its proverbial sleeve, is proving far to fast to handle, let alone catch.

"Go! Go!" Urging you as a pair of doors slide open, Lawrence pushes you into the vacant transport pod, ramming the button with the number 14 neatly imprinted on. "Raticate, return!"

With skill you're rather impressed with, but not quite so surprised over, Lawrence flips his PokéBall open, releasing a crimson bolt of energy that neatly catches Raticate from afar even as the doors begin to close, returning back to the containment device in a split second just as the intricately plated metal panels slam shut. You feel the floor beneath you surge as the mechanisms begin to kick in, starting to raise to higher levels as an digital indicator shows you.

"We should be able to perform some investigations before they know what's up," breathes Lawrence, but no sooner than he says that a jerk abruptly shakes the lift as it comes to a jarring halt, buffeting you slightly as it does so.

"What's wrong? Did they already catch on?" shouts the young man as he looks up, and as you join him you find to your horror that the indicator lights have blanked out. Growlingly Lawrence tries pressing the number 14 button again, but as he does so repeatedly you notice that along the panel of twin columns of numbered buttons and symbolled ones below, one of the unnumbered buttons is strangely blank... or is it? Even as you watch on markings seem to appear along the plastic surface, and as the lines thicken and become clearer you can't believe your eyes.

"Wha..." Having noticed the phenomenon, Lawrence likewise looks downwards at the sight that has stolen your speech, and his own voice seems to disappear at once as well -- for the lines on the strange button have formed the number 13: that of the mystery floor.

"Is this..." Sweating as he looks towards you, Lawrence looks equally in disbelief as you are. Your suspicions of something supernatural seem to have been affirmed, but it's precisely that point which makes this entire endeavour take a newer, sinister turn. You might take another step closer to finding Carolina and Houndour, or it might take you past a point of no return...

What will you do?

ZoraJolteon
14th May 2009, 5:01 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
While the reanimated Tauros statue continues to apply the unique method of pumping up his statistics, Myria begins to apply some of the skills he's come to pick up himself, beginning to flaunt his sepia flowers in a Charming manner. Though the Roselia's size makes it hard for Suruta to immediately catch on, as the bull's eyes gaze downwards the sight of Myria strutting his stuff has a prompt effect on the Tauros; causing him to pause in his whipping and paw cautiously towards your Roselia. By the time Suruta has neared close enough, Myria suddenly performs a backflip, launching a veritable whirlwind of Petals out of his spinning blossoms that start to Dance about the moving statue.

Not having anticipated this sort of technique, Suruta grunts and bellows out of instinct; his hooves thundering against the ground while you and Myria step back to a safer distance. Somehow, even as the pieces of botany tear against Suruta's skin, you find that they don't appear to be doing added damage against an opponent of supposedly geological composition. You realise after some thought that in spite of the unique circumstances, you must be still fighting an otherwise normal Pokémon battle, and the standard mechanics of element still apply.

Snorting while he shakes off the swarm of petals, Suruta rounds briefly along a bit of the room's circumference before turning to charge at Myria; this time with his disc-tipped skull taking on a strange blue aura. While you dive to the side in time, Myria doesn't quite have the advantage of covering distances, and before he can get out of the way quickly enough Suruta has already picked him up with a Zen Headbutt and tossed him aside, flinging Myria against the pedestal where the statue originally stood. Painfully Myria stands to his feet, not down yet but having taken a rather significant strike nonetheless. You'll need to strike harder and faster if you want to stand a greater chance of victory...


Snarling under his breath as Zora watched his companion recover from the powerful attack, he mulled over the best course of action to respond with. Tauros' strength lay mainly with its physical attacks, and if weakening their raw power through Charm hadn't been sufficient, perhaps he could make them more easily avoidable...
"OK Myria!" he ordered. "Lets choke this beast on your Cotton Spores! Then dish out some proper retribution..."
Zora paused for a moment to consider what attack would be suitable. Giga Drain would help recover some of the HP Myria had lost, but it also wouldn't inflict that much damage to Tauros. Then there was Extrasensory, or continuing with Petal Dance, or...
"Oh, sod it." he announced. "Lets just go with Leaf Storm."

Stark
14th May 2009, 9:28 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Moving away from the bar, the two of you shift through the wafting smoke, eventually reaching the outside of the sector and back in the main lobby.

"Hmmmm... Even if we were to move upwards by the stairs or elevator, there's no way we can make our way up. We don't have identification to show that we're legitimate guests," mutters Lawrence as he thinks. "We need some form of distraction... Aha."

As you watch on in bewilderment, Lawrence picks up the sole PokéBall attached to his waist, and seems to whisper a series of hushed instructions at the switch before nodding at you. "Just stay close and follow my lead," he says, flicking the PokéBall behind his legs and stealthily depositing its contents. From behind your collective legs you spot a brown ball of fuzz roll between the decorations and furniture, but before you can pay further attention you have your wrist tugged by Lawrence in the direction of the lifts.

"KYAAAAAH!! It's a wild Raticate!" you hear a woman scream, and you realise what Lawrence must have meant by a distraction. Several guards, dressed in navy blue uniforms, run out from practically nowhere as lady tourists and hotel workers alike shriekingly try to evade the scuttling rodent. As Lawrence jabs the "up" button of the lifts you see some brief flashes of white light as trainers send out Pokémon of their own, but amidst the chaos you can tell that Raticate, with lots of stealth experience up its proverbial sleeve, is proving far to fast to handle, let alone catch.

"Go! Go!" Urging you as a pair of doors slide open, Lawrence pushes you into the vacant transport pod, ramming the button with the number 14 neatly imprinted on. "Raticate, return!"

With skill you're rather impressed with, but not quite so surprised over, Lawrence flips his PokéBall open, releasing a crimson bolt of energy that neatly catches Raticate from afar even as the doors begin to close, returning back to the containment device in a split second just as the intricately plated metal panels slam shut. You feel the floor beneath you surge as the mechanisms begin to kick in, starting to raise to higher levels as an digital indicator shows you.

"We should be able to perform some investigations before they know what's up," breathes Lawrence, but no sooner than he says that a jerk abruptly shakes the lift as it comes to a jarring halt, buffeting you slightly as it does so.

"What's wrong? Did they already catch on?" shouts the young man as he looks up, and as you join him you find to your horror that the indicator lights have blanked out. Growlingly Lawrence tries pressing the number 14 button again, but as he does so repeatedly you notice that along the panel of twin columns of numbered buttons and symbolled ones below, one of the unnumbered buttons is strangely blank... or is it? Even as you watch on markings seem to appear along the plastic surface, and as the lines thicken and become clearer you can't believe your eyes.

"Wha..." Having noticed the phenomenon, Lawrence likewise looks downwards at the sight that has stolen your speech, and his own voice seems to disappear at once as well -- for the lines on the strange button have formed the number 13: that of the mystery floor.

"Is this..." Sweating as he looks towards you, Lawrence looks equally in disbelief as you are. Your suspicions of something supernatural seem to have been affirmed, but it's precisely that point which makes this entire endeavour take a newer, sinister turn. You might take another step closer to finding Carolina and Houndour, or it might take you past a point of no return...

What will you do?
"Yeah... this is it," Stark responded feeling his throat dry up. A shiver ran up his spine. The odd events of the elevator ride sending a chill through him. If anything, there was no turning back now. no matter how much he may have wanted to. Still, for Houdnour and Carolina's sake there was no choice. If it was otherworldly factors guiding the road ahead, he would need to stay sharp. The last thing he wanted was to find himself trapped somewhere with no escape. Or an even worse fate. His hands clenched tight. This was it. All in. Do or die. Well maybe do or die wasn't the best choice of phrases. With a surprisingly shaky hand Stark reached out and pushed the button to the thirteenth floor.

"We'll get through this," he reassured Lawrence although it was more to reassure himself that what they were about to do was the correct choice, "We'll get through this and before you know it, Carolina will be back to her old self."

Stark shifted nervously on the balls of his feet. His mind raced for something other to think about than the unexpected, "You know that was some pretty quick thinking back there," he said to Lawrence, "Letting Raticate distract everyone while we took the elevator. I'll have to remember that trick in the future."

His hand instinctively ran across the pokeballs at his belt. He hadn't really faced off with ghosts before. He knew a few tricks for battling ghost pokemon, but all things considered, he wasn't sure that would be enough. A few deep breaths relaxed him and helped to clear his mind and focus on his senses. While the ever present agitation of the situation would likely remain for a while at least it wouldn't overpower him. It was a simple instinct of fight or flee, and while his body wanted him to flee, his mind knew that fighting was the only option they could follow if they ever wanted to see their loved ones again. He grasped a pokeball in his hand and expanded it, looking once more to Lawrence.

"I don't know what's waiting for us, but I plan to be prepared for anything," he said hoping he sounded braver than he was feeling.

Shadowshocker
15th May 2009, 5:02 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
A surge of power -- rather, a mist of energy -- seems to permeate your finger as it presses the spooky button, and just as you remove your finger from it you feel the elevator slowly rise up as it did before, but this time a grave miasma appears to have seized the metal box in sinister grasp, giving it an aura more resembling the inside of a coffin than a lift. The indicator lights, now a vividly violent lavender as opposed to its original generic red, form the subsequent numbers as you move slowly up the floors, each number taking an eternity to change: 9... 10... 11...

12...

The doors open up with a deathly hiss, as the 2 turns into a 3, revealing nothing but darkness ahead of you. Tensing your knuckles you take a step out into the black, holding onto the lift's doorframe just in case. You are promptly surprised, however, as your foot seems to rest on an invisible floor, and carefully you ease yourself out such that you're completely outside the elevator, standing in -- on the darkness. It doesn't take long for Lawrence to join you, and once he's ascertained that at least, your positions are safe, he brings his hands to cup around his mouth.

"CAROLINA!" he screams, his voice not even seeming to echo, as though the darkness soaked up his volume like water through a sponge. "CAROLINA! WHERE ARE YOU?!"

"Oh ho ho ho ho." A deep, yet wraithlike voice booms through the empty void, stunning the both of you. "So nice of you to join us..."

"Who are you?! Where is my sister?" roars Lawrence; his eyes darting everywhere to catch a glimpse of the mystery presence.

"Now, now. Good things will come to those who wait," chides the voice, eliciting a snarling growl from the young man beside you. "I think you two have interfered far enough as it is, don't you? Everything will happen in due time... but if you don't wish to wait any longer, that too is fine... the outcome will not change."

As you are left to ponder what this means, a pair of shimmering forms suddenly appear some ten metres ahead of you, and as they materialise you can scarcely believe your eyes; the same for Lawrence as he gazes upon the familiar figure.

"Carolina?!" Scarcely getting the name past his lips, Lawrence runs forward to meet his sister, but even as you chase after him you can't shake the feeling that things are either too easy, or something is horribly, horribly amiss...

"Flamethrower."

The command, though coming as a whisper, sounds akin to the swishing sound of a falling guillotine, and before you know it a pillar of flame slams into Lawrence full-bodiedly, raising an agonised howl from him as you grind to a shocked halt. As the fires dissipate into wisps, you run over to Lawrence, lying on the black with patches scorched through his clothes and burns on his exposed skin. You bite your lip as you witness his condition, but a gaze towards Carolina disturbs you even more than you ever were in this adventure: alongside Carolina is a familiar Houndour, flickers of heat still tingling through her fangs, and both females look back at you with indifferent gazes, though their irises blaze with the same purple you saw in the elevator. Something supernatural is definitely in action here, but unless you get past the ghostly mystery surrounding these two you're not likely going to get any further...

-Hayward-
16th May 2009, 1:06 AM
Rapa's Temple

Lacuna City

Hayward
Tersely extending the amulet over the two fallen teenagers, you are no longer surprised by the sight of Kiru and the girl melting into the vermillion fog surrounding them, eventually rendered into gaseous form as they spiral towards your sacred trinket. Rumbling as the mists permeate the discus, it doesn't take long for the amulet to rattle strongly at its stage of completion, and as you bring the circle to your eyes for closer inspection you notice that now the dark side of the moon pattern has started to emanate a peculiar miasma of its own, appearing darker as if to match the gleaming white area. Determinedly, you clutch the amulet tightly in your palm, convinced that whatever happens now, you've completed the mission that was set for you, and you do an about-turn to make way for the Lacuna forum.


***

While it's your only your third time through the local forests, and only the second in near pitch-black conditions, the pulse of your heart pumping strongly through you seems to shut down all other forms of distraction and fear. Every fibre of your body is focused on getting to the town centre as soon as possible, where you might finally solve the mystery plaguing the ancient city as far as your own time. A wave of wind seems to wash over you as you finally break through the parameters of the forum; your senses seeming to kick up another notch as they begin to perceive what you can only explain as a strong foreboding of awareness. Coming to a halt at the very epicentre of the open space, you glance down at the Lunar Amulet around your neck -- as though reacting to the target location, the patterns on the flat disc have started to switch between its lunar phases faster than ever, accelerating to the point that the entire object is a blur.

Without warning the discus rips free from the confines of the string about your throat, spinning into the air much like an ordinary coin, except the metallic pecuniary you're familiar with usually doesn't spew out two-toned smoke. The four spirals of coloured gases merge into two, and you sharply remember the bizarre phenomenon you had witnessed only hours ago in this very forum. Sure enough, the masses of mist begin to congeal into the two celestial forms that had earlier clashed in mid-air, and as they fully materialise you notice from their expressions that neither of them has expected this outcome any more than you.

"What is the meaning of this?!" snarls the dark spellcaster. "I was supposed to be readying the troops to do battle... This is more your handiwork, isn't it?!"

"For one, I hardly have hands!" the other entity snaps. "And for two, I should ask you the same question!"

"That's enough, Darkrai, Cresselia. From the both of you." The sound of a third supernatural, yet familiar voice seems to immediately calm your heart as another beam of radiant light descends from the sky, forming a mass of glittering sparkles above you all, and sure enough you recognise the very deity who had sent you on your rescue operation.

"Arceus!" exclaims the crescent creature, before she appears to frown deeply. "You would side... with the likes of him?!"

"Side with me, she says!" retorts the wraith as his smoky hood strongly wavers. "After what she's done to --"

"You two know only so well that I side with no one but the truth." Speaking with no less majesty than before, the quadruped addresses the angry pair before it, but this time you can't help detect a hint of severity in its voice. "Both of you have played these humans, treating them little more than pawns in your games of domination and superiority. You were both meant as symbols, representatives of balance that Lacuna embodies, and now your internal conflict has come to the point that it endangers Lacuna itself!"

"It wasn't me!" Cresselia insists. "He started the whole thing, with his ritualistic --"

"I started it?!" growls Darkrai. "If anyone started this pitiful excuse of a disaster, it's --"

"I said..." As the one known as Arceus rears its head, you somehow know instantly something big is going to happen, but little else prepares you for the following events. "ENOUGH!"

With that final word booming across the sinister atmosphere, you instantly note a peculiar sound reaching your ears, seemingly emanating from Arceus itself. A shiver develops through your body as the music continues; its melancholy, soft yet piercing tone rippling fear in every cell of your body, speaking clearly of untimely death, of innocence lost. Before you know it Darkrai and Cresselia both howl in unison at the sky, clawing desperately for non-existent supports to grab onto, before they crumble to the ground in comatose positions. Breathing heavily you look to the sacred being, not having expected this sort of terrible power.

"You need not worry, Benjamin Hale. My Perish Song was not directed at anyone other than the intended recipients," Arceus explains kindly. "[B]These two will not stay like this forever; it would take more than a fainting episode to end the stuff of legends." As it speaks, you realise that the one of Origin has began descending its way towards you, for a closer face-to-face conversation, and you feel its radiant warmth surround you in brilliance.

"I sense the queries you have within you, Benjamin Hale, and you have a most deserved right to understand," continues Arceus. "Lacuna was, as you might have heard, a community founded with balance in mind. As the moon experiences both light and darkness, so does the city built in its image, and prospers under its light. Cresselia and Darkrai were sent to assist in Lacuna's natural cycle of existence, and as they supported the citizens from behind the scenes, the people came to respect and worship them. Unfortunately, as you see, this led to the harsh competition that culminated in the clash you witnessed.

"I knew, at once, I had to intervene, yet I could not do so without putting the Lacunans at risk, or alternatively subdue one of the two and fail to win over the other. I needed the assistance of someone who had ties through time and space to Lacuna; someone who would be able to bring together the 'keys', whose identity you came to figure out," it adds. "You turned out to be that individual, Benjamin Hale -- millenia ago, a person named Ben much like you lived in this community, sharing a bond of friendship with Ikira of Saros and Kiru of Rapa. With this affinity, you would also be best to seek out their doubles in Lacuna -- for each entity, there lives another emulating their differences; yet without one the other cannot survive. The keys were separate in Rapa and Saros' domains, and only through overcoming them could they be united. It is for this reason that you were chosen, Benjamin Hale, and you carried out your duty with exceptional skill. Now, thanks to your admirable courage and dedication, Lacuna may progress in the way that I had intended, and at this, Benjamin Hale, I bid you farewell."

Not having said a word through this encounter, the news of your sudden departure has you gazing into the eyes of Arceus imploringly -- if anything, you haven't had the chance to say goodbye to the acquaintances you made in this time, but it's too late as a white light emanating from the holy creature consumes you, whiting out your senses like they were at the start of your adventure in time...


***

"Hey, kid! Kid! Wake up!"

The sounds of a girl's voice and the sensation of someone slapping you awake has your eyelids flying open as your vision clears. How long has it been since you were out? And who is this figure crouched above you?...

"...Ikira?" you croak; your voice weaker than you had imagined it would be.

"Ikira? Who's Ikira?" laughs the female, and you slowly realise this voice is different from the Lacunan girl you crossed paths with in the past, as the features above you steady into a face framed with black hair and holding a pair of soft brown eyes. "I'm the great archaeologist, Gisaki Rifiyu!"

"I'm not surprised he's confused, Gisaki, the way you slapped him silly," remarks a nearby male, shaking his head of blue, neck-length hair. "Any more, and you might have readied him enough to be shoved into an exhibit."

"Aw, c'mon, Noel!" Gisaki whines.

"Alright, you two. That's no way to behave around someone who just recovered," chides a third voice, and its owner -- a young woman in her mid-twenties with pink hair, brown eyes and sporting an explorer's outfit much like the young ones walks towards you, kneeling to look you in the face. "I'm Ms. Theria. Are you alright, dear?" Still not too ready for long speech, you settle for nodding in response.

"That's good to hear. I wish we could offer more assistance, but I'm afraid we're rather busy," nods Ms. Theria. "We're on the verge of making new discoveries about the Lacunan civilisation; it seems to have been much more advanced than what we first thought. The first investigation team will be arriving in about an hour's time, and the place will need to be cordoned off for our investigations, but there'll be a supply truck moving back and forth to keep the team prepared. Perhaps you could hitch a ride from them if you'd like, but we must be going. Come along, you two."

As the trio of archaeologists take their leave, you sit up properly for a note of where you are. Catching a sight of the Moon Stone you had touched at the start of your adventure, you realise with a jump that sure enough, you've returned back to your own time -- except, this time, the streets seem to be paved with proper stone and mineral as opposed to dirt, and instead of dilapidated houses the structures about you seem in much better shape -- as though they were simply preserved in sand and sediment, a far cry from the crumbling village you had seen when you first came by.

Did your adventure truly happen though, you ask yourself, and as if in response to your query you feel a strip of warmth at your neck, and bending down you see the black string that held the Lunar Amulet still around your vocal chords. A soft vibration pulses through your bag, alerting you not only to the fact that your normal attire has magically reappeared, but also that something new must have found its way into your inventory. Opening up the haversack and checking its contents, you're astonished to find a new Nugget, a Moon Stone, as well as a shining, pink plate with the following inscribed on its surface in tiny lettering:

When the universe was created, its shards became this Plate. The power of defeated giants infuses this Plate. Two beings of time and space set free from the Original One. Three beings were born to bind time and space. Two make matter and three make spirit, shaping the world. The Original One breathed alone before the universe came. The powers of Plates are shared among Pokémon. The rightful bearer of a Plate draws from the Plate it holds.

Marvelling at the gifts you're certain must have come from Arceus, it might go without saying that your trip to Lacuna has proven its worth after all. Not only that, you've gone on the epic trip of a lifetime, fostered ever closer bonds with your Pokémon, and saved an entire civilisation from an unwarranted tragedy. Picking your items up and standing on your feet, you feel a new surge of confidence rush through you, as though the world was at your fingertips and no accomplishment seemed too far to reach...

And in the worlds of Fizzy Bubbles, you feel that this might very well ring true.

Note: Upon replying to this update, you will be free to leave the Lost Cities of Talas for new adventures elsewhere. It's been a considerable ride of an adventure, and I hope you enjoyed it yourself as much as I did writing it.
*end transmission*

As the three archaeologists turned to leave, Ben quickly sat up and brushed himself off. He bid the scientists farewell and watched as they departed. Scanning his surroundings with his grey-green eyes, he bolted in surprise at the much-improved condition of the ancient, adjacent buildings. He could have sworn they were nothing but ruins. Shaking his head in disbelief he muttered, “Was it all a dream…?” Before he could wonder anymore however, he felt a faint trace of string around his neck. Grasping it carefully in his fingers, he discovered that it was the unmistakable cord from the Lunar Amulet. A memento of the adventure of a lifetime. “So it did happen after all…” he mused.

How his present-day clothes had returned he didn't know. He hadn't had time to change or even collect his belongings, yet the white ceremonial robe and fibre tote bag Ikira had loaned to him were gone. For a moment, panic flooded Ben as he thought that maybe his Pokemon companions had been left behind as well, but a quick check of his brown, canvas messenger bag revealed that they were all present and accounted for. Mixed in with his meagre possessions, Ben was startled to discover a Moon Stone, a Nugget, and a shimmering, pink plate with a curious message. As Ben read the tiny words inscribed on the mysterious relic, he concluded that the gifts must certainly have come from Arceus. Silently thanking the Original One for his generosity, Ben rose to his feet and felt a sudden surge of confidence rush through him. With the help of his Pokemon, he had saved an entire civilization from complete destruction and now no challenge seemed too difficult.

“What now?” he asked himself as his gaze fell on the town's empty buildings. He felt sorry that he had not had the chance to say goodbye to Ikira and Kiru properly before he left. It would have been nice to explain himself. For a moment, Ben considered lingering in Lacuna to find, as Arceus had said, their present-day counterparts. But after a moment of silent thought, he shrugged and decided to catch a ride from the supply truck. “Maybe some other time…” he thought. “Maybe some other time…”


- For point of reference: collecting 1 Moon Stone, 1 Nugget, and 1 Mind Plate

- Many thanks to Shadowshocker for the great adventure: time-traveling, Cressalia, Darkrai, Arceus - It was a truly unforgettable second journey. *bows respectfully*

Stark
16th May 2009, 1:11 AM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
A surge of power -- rather, a mist of energy -- seems to permeate your finger as it presses the spooky button, and just as you remove your finger from it you feel the elevator slowly rise up as it did before, but this time a grave miasma appears to have seized the metal box in sinister grasp, giving it an aura more resembling the inside of a coffin than a lift. The indicator lights, now a vividly violent lavender as opposed to its original generic red, form the subsequent numbers as you move slowly up the floors, each number taking an eternity to change: 9... 10... 11...

12...

The doors open up with a deathly hiss, as the 2 turns into a 3, revealing nothing but darkness ahead of you. Tensing your knuckles you take a step out into the black, holding onto the lift's doorframe just in case. You are promptly surprised, however, as your foot seems to rest on an invisible floor, and carefully you ease yourself out such that you're completely outside the elevator, standing in -- on the darkness. It doesn't take long for Lawrence to join you, and once he's ascertained that at least, your positions are safe, he brings his hands to cup around his mouth.

"CAROLINA!" he screams, his voice not even seeming to echo, as though the darkness soaked up his volume like water through a sponge. "CAROLINA! WHERE ARE YOU?!"

"Oh ho ho ho ho." A deep, yet wraithlike voice booms through the empty void, stunning the both of you. "So nice of you to join us..."

"Who are you?! Where is my sister?" roars Lawrence; his eyes darting everywhere to catch a glimpse of the mystery presence.

"Now, now. Good things will come to those who wait," chides the voice, eliciting a snarling growl from the young man beside you. "I think you two have interfered far enough as it is, don't you? Everything will happen in due time... but if you don't wish to wait any longer, that too is fine... the outcome will not change."

As you are left to ponder what this means, a pair of shimmering forms suddenly appear some ten metres ahead of you, and as they materialise you can scarcely believe your eyes; the same for Lawrence as he gazes upon the familiar figure.

"Carolina?!" Scarcely getting the name past his lips, Lawrence runs forward to meet his sister, but even as you chase after him you can't shake the feeling that things are either too easy, or something is horribly, horribly amiss...

"Flamethrower."

The command, though coming as a whisper, sounds akin to the swishing sound of a falling guillotine, and before you know it a pillar of flame slams into Lawrence full-bodiedly, raising an agonised howl from him as you grind to a shocked halt. As the fires dissipate into wisps, you run over to Lawrence, lying on the black with patches scorched through his clothes and burns on his exposed skin. You bite your lip as you witness his condition, but a gaze towards Carolina disturbs you even more than you ever were in this adventure: alongside Carolina is a familiar Houndour, flickers of heat still tingling through her fangs, and both females look back at you with indifferent gazes, though their irises blaze with the same purple you saw in the elevator. Something supernatural is definitely in action here, but unless you get past the ghostly mystery surrounding these two you're not likely going to get any further...

This was bad. As if it wasn't bad in the first place, but this was truly bad. From the moment he pressed the button and felt his skin crawl he knew that would get worse before they got better. He just didn't realize how much worse. Now he knew. The darkness had surrounded them completely. Stark's nerves were on end even as he pressed forward intent on rescuing Carolina and Houndour. Lawrence's shouts being engulfed into the darkness didn't exactly help either. Wherever they were, it wasn't Kansas that was for sure. His eyes sharply shot from side to side as if to see something that wasn't there. Pursing his lips, Stark took a few steps forward only to stop upon hearing...

"Oh ho ho ho ho." A deep, yet wraithlike voice boomed through the empty void, stunning the both of you. "So nice of you to join us..."

"Ohh... that doesn't sound ominous now does it?" Stark sarcastically commented to himself as a way to keep himself calm. Before he could say another word Lawrence was shouting at it. The thought that Lawrence's demands were probably not the best approach in this situation crossed his mind, but it was far too late to do anything about it now.

"Now, now. Good things will come to those who wait," chided the voice, eliciting a snarling growl from the young man standing beside Stark. "I think you two have interfered far enough as it is, don't you? Everything will happen in due time... but if you don't wish to wait any longer, that too is fine... the outcome will not change."

"That does not sound good for us," Stark once more commented quietly as he tried to understand what the voice meant. What outcome did it expect to play out? There were still too many questions and not enough answers. Stark's grip on the pokeball in his hand tightened. Something wasn't right. Something....

His thoughts were quickly disrupted by the sight of two forms. By the time he had recognized the first, Lawrence was calling her name. "Carolina?!" Scarcely getting the name past his lips, Lawrence ran forward to meet his sister, but even as Stark chased after him something in the back of his mind kept telling him that something was wrong. What that something was, he didn't have time to think about as a stream of flames hit Lawrence square in the chest knocking the man to the ground. Without a thought, Stark knelt down next to him and did his best to help extinguish the embers. His eyes narrowed even as his brow furrowed. Turning back to their attackers he found his expression changing from calm and determined to horror as the sight of Houndour standing next to Carolina, flames still lit in her mouth, looked back at him.

"No....." he gasped at the sight of his beloved pokemon cursed with the same purple glow in her eyes that was found within the elevator, "Houndour..... what happened to you?"

Rising up Stark felt a mix of horrified anger mixed with his determination to save his partner overcome him. His breathing increased in pace as his teeth tightened along with the scowl on his face. Raising the pokeball in his hand he released Luxray in a flash of brilliant white light that contrasted sharply with the surroundings, "Luxray. Throw up a Light Screen! and do whatever it takes to keep it up until I tell you to drop it," he called out to his lioness. If anything, maybe he could talk things out. Buy some time to figure out what happened and find a way to reverse it.

"What have you done to them?!" he shouted out into the darkness. His eyes quickly returned to Carolina and Houndour as he pleaded, "Houndour. It's me. Stark. You know me, girl. Let me help you. We can beat this. You and I. Together. You too Carolina. You don't have to do this."

PeeGee
16th May 2009, 3:16 AM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
With her main methods of attacking under proverbial lock and key, Dot ends up having to resort to her mouth to get things done; raising her head high as she can before coming back down with the sharpest Bug Bite she can manage. A jolt of agony seems to shoot through the extended tendril, albeit taking a few seconds before Weepinbell's eyes seem to widen slightly from the sensation, and to your shock the pitcher plant begins to throttle Dot while smacking her against the ground in a painful series of Vine Whip.

Valiantly, Dot executes a few more moments of desperate struggle, but with her insectoid abilities locked down from Weepinbell's earlier Gastro Acid, her natural powers don't seem to kick in. Angrily and painfully she executes another Bug Bite, this one managing to convince the Grass/Poison-type to relent, releasing your Ledian in an upwards swing as the vine retracts. This gives Dot enough time to ready herself, firing another Psybeam from the tips of her antenna, but her weariness is showing as the attack wavers slightly. Still, its aim manages to remain true, socking into Weepinbell as it dizzily recoils from the mental blast, spinning about before collapsing onto its back. From its completely aimless gaze and pooling acid saliva, it's rather distinct that the carnivorous pitcher is no longer capable of continuing the fight. Level up for Dot.

Tired but smiling, Dot flitters her way down to you, landing on your shoulders with her arms holding onto your neck. Patting her on her white hands, you opt to do the proceeding this time, leaving the fourth chamber behind as you run on, while making sure that Dot is safely supported on your back. It just takes a bit longer for you to reach the fifth riddling chamber, where a smiling Chansey is waiting.

"You've made it! I'm so happy for you!" she cheers, clapping her little hands together. "You must be exhausted after all those battles. Here!"

Picking up the egg in her pocket, she motions towards you to touch the white ellipsoidesque object, and as you do you feel a kindred warmth emanate from inside the egg, almost like the healing lights you would normally see in a Pokémon Centre. A surprised cry is heard from Dot, and when you turn to look at her you find that she seems to have recovered fully from her wounds and exhaustion.

"My Softboiled should have healed your team to full health," Chansey explains. "You'll need it to get through the rest of the battles! But to get through here, I need you to show me exactly what this tablet tells you to!"

Producing a small stony slab from behind her, Chansey passes the piece of rock to you, which upon first inspection appears completely blank but even as you watch, lines start to form on the smooth surface, almost as if they were responding to your contact...

Linked to the 127th one in deed, not by name but in sound.
A glare to lower the fence,
A speedy charge offence.
A skill to form a set,
A move we don't know yet.

Can you puzzle out what you need to do this time?

Dot raised her head before she brought it back down, biting into Weepinbell's vine. It took a little while for the grass-type to register that it had been bitten but once it had, it began to throttle Dot and smashed her against the ground with a Vine Whip.

Dot continued to struggle against the Weepingbell, waiting for her Swarm ability to kick in. But Weepinbell's earlier Gastro Acid had stopped it from working. Dot angrily bit down again, this time making Weepinbell let go of the Ledian, but still throwing her up as it did so. Doing this allowed Dot to ready herself, a Psybeam firing from her antennae. Her weariness showed when the attack wavered a little but the beam still managed to hit Weepinbell, making the grass-type recoil dizzily before it collapsed. Looking at the non-moving figure of Weepinbell, Karmas could tell that it wasn't going to be able to battle anymore.

A very tired but still smiling Dot flew down onto Karmas shoulder's and wrapped her arms around his neck. He patted her hands, deciding to let Dot rest on his shoulders while he walked. This time to get to the next chamber took a little longer than normal usual. Upon entering the chamber he saw a smiling Chansey.

"You've made it! I'm so happy for you!" she cheered, clapping her little hands together. "You must be exhausted after all those battles. Here!"

The Chansey picked up the egg from her pocket and motioned for Karmas to touch it. As Karmas did he felt a warmth from the egg and then he heard a surprised cry from Dot. Looking at his bug pokemon Karmas saw that she was fully healed.

"My Softboiled should have healed your team to full health," Chansey explained. "You'll need it to get through the rest of the battles! But to get through here, I need you to show me exactly what this tablet tells you to!"

Producing a small stony slab from behind her, Chansey passed the piece of rock to Karmas, which upon first inspection appeared completely blank but even as Karmas watched, lines started to form on the smooth surface, almost as if they were responding to Karmas' contact...

Linked to the 127th one in deed, not by name but in sound.
A glare to lower the fence,
A speedy charge offence.
A skill to form a set,
A move we don't know yet.

Karmas read the rock several times before he attempted to solve the riddle.

"Okay, I've thought about this for a while and the answer that I keep coming up with a Gliscor," said Karmas to Chansey.

After that Karmas gripped Dot's hand and wished that he was right.

Shadowshocker
19th May 2009, 3:22 PM
Atlas City

The Market

Stark
Your words come frantic, and as she surmises the situation Luxray gives a low growl at the apparent sight of one of her comrades going renegade, but even the electric lion's Intimidate seems to have no distinct effect on Carolina or Houndour. If anything, the appearance of another of your Pokémon seems to arouse something stronger in your present opponents; the flames burning with greater intensity in their cloaked irises. In the blink of a second Carolina's eyelids arc into a frown, and instantly you feel your senses buzz like a Combee swarm on the rampage. Hearing another whisper you instinctively shield Lawrence from the expected assault, but as the series of Sludge Bombs fly at you Luxray activates her Light Screen technique, erecting a protective barrier against which the poisonous projectiles explode relatively harmlessly against.

"Ugh..." Clutching onto your hand for support, Lawrence barely manages to pull himself up to a supported lying position. "Lina... it's me, Lawrence... don't you recognise me? I... I'm here to help you..."

At Lawrence's pained pleading, you notice that Carolina's left eye seems to twitch for a moment -- or did it? It passed by so quickly you're not sure if it even happened. Taking a deep Howl that chills and unnerves you to the very bone, Houndour follows the technique with a bound in the air, and before Luxray can react accordingly the pawful of Rock Smash comes crashing down on Luxray's forehead. With a snarl, Luxray swings her head and tosses off Houndour, the latter performing a backflip and perfect three-point landing you've never seen her perform before.

"There's no doubt about it. Whatever we're facing, it's controlling the both of them," grimaces Lawrence. "I don't want to do this, but -- uargh!"

Falling onto his back, Lawrence cringes from the agony of his injuries, and it seems that with your ally currently indisposed, it's up to you to do the inevitable. Like it or not, unless you apprehend your friends, you're not going to get much farther at all...



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
You state what you believe to be the answer, and as Chansey's mouth extends into a shocked gape you realise with a sick lurch that somehow, you've quite likely erred in your judgement. The floor suddenly seems to give way beneath you, and before you know it you find yourself falling down a trapdoor; Dot clutching onto you for dear life and squealing as Chansey peers over the square gap you've gone through, her face quickly diminishing in size to the point that there's nothing around you but stone and darkness, with no apparent end in sight. Placing a hand on Dot's arm you feel panic hold you; what's going to happen now that you've failed in completing the set of tasks laid out for you?

The answer comes abruptly, when you least expect it, as the exit slide suddenly arcs along horizontally, and you spot what seems to be a rectangle of light. Accelerating onwards, you are overwhelmed by the brilliant shine, and before you realise that you've arrived outside you are unceremoniously dumped onto the sands with a solid thump. Wincing, you barely manage to pick yourself up when you notice the Sphinx's mouth closing with a stony, sliding noise: apparently the exit from which you fell, impossible as it seems.

"It is a pity, but it seems the challenges within were too much for you, young one," sighs the Sphinx before her voice recovers its majesty. "However, one should not let temporary adversity stand in the way of progress, Karmas. You will be permitted to enter the chambers again, but you must clear a full set of twelve tasks in addition to my own should you choose to do so, or you may opt to leave my grounds. In light of your accomplishments inside, so far, I reward thee."

From beneath the sand you're astonished to see a lumpy satchet lift up from beneath the silica, revealing itself to be a bag full of Soft Sand; your prize as apparent consolation for clearing four riddles out of twelve. Will you, though, choose to go again or opt to call it a day?

PeeGee
19th May 2009, 11:56 PM
[center]The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

Food Guy
You state what you believe to be the answer, and as Chansey's mouth extends into a shocked gape you realise with a sick lurch that somehow, you've quite likely erred in your judgement. The floor suddenly seems to give way beneath you, and before you know it you find yourself falling down a trapdoor; Dot clutching onto you for dear life and squealing as Chansey peers over the square gap you've gone through, her face quickly diminishing in size to the point that there's nothing around you but stone and darkness, with no apparent end in sight. Placing a hand on Dot's arm you feel panic hold you; what's going to happen now that you've failed in completing the set of tasks laid out for you?

The answer comes abruptly, when you least expect it, as the exit slide suddenly arcs along horizontally, and you spot what seems to be a rectangle of light. Accelerating onwards, you are overwhelmed by the brilliant shine, and before you realise that you've arrived outside you are unceremoniously dumped onto the sands with a solid thump. Wincing, you barely manage to pick yourself up when you notice the Sphinx's mouth closing with a stony, sliding noise: apparently the exit from which you fell, impossible as it seems.

"It is a pity, but it seems the challenges within were too much for you, young one," sighs the Sphinx before her voice recovers its majesty. "However, one should not let temporary adversity stand in the way of progress, Karmas. You will be permitted to enter the chambers again, but you must clear a full set of twelve tasks in addition to my own should you choose to do so, or you may opt to leave my grounds. In light of your accomplishments inside, so far, I reward thee."

From beneath the sand you're astonished to see a lumpy satchet lift up from beneath the silica, revealing itself to be a bag full of Soft Sand; your prize as apparent consolation for clearing four riddles out of twelve. Will you, though, choose to go again or opt to call it a day?

As Karmas said his answer, Chansey's face turned into one of shock. Karmas looked at the pokemon for a couple of seconds before he realised that he must have answered wrong. The floor suddenly gave out from underneath the trainer's feet and he started falling down a trap door; Dot holding onto the trainer for dear life. As Karmas fell he started to panic as he wondered what was going to happen to him and his pokemon.

But his answer was answered as the hole became horizontal and Karmas saw a rectangle of light. As he accelerated towards the light, it became overwhelming and before he knew it, the trainer was dumped onto the sands with a solid thump. As Karmas picked himself up, he saw the Sphinx's rocky mouth close; which apparently was the exit in which Karmas had fallen out of.


"It is a pity, but it seems the challenges within were too much for you, young one," sighed the Sphinx before her voice recovered its majesty. "However, one should not let temporary adversity stand in the way of progress, Karmas. You will be permitted to enter the chambers again, but you must clear a full set of twelve tasks in addition to my own should you choose to do so, or you may opt to leave my grounds. In light of your accomplishments inside, so far, I reward thee."

Karmas watched in amazement as a lumpy sachet floated up out of the ground, revealing itself to be a bag of Soft Sand. Karmas took the bag and took one last look at the Sphinx and started to walk away with Dot by his side. He may have not been able to complete the Sphinx this time but one of these days Karmas would come back and make it into the centre of the Sphinx.

Thanks for the adventure Shadowshocker. I might return to Talas for an adventure at a later date, but for the moment I've had my fill of it.

Treepandaone
21st May 2009, 10:54 AM
Whoo! Thanks to Tess (thanks tess) I am able to adventure. Thanks for taking me on Shadow.



The Lost Cities of Talas
The Lost City of Sobek
The first of the lost cities to have been unearthed, Sobek is the most extensively examined of the five known ancient civilisations. Despite the fact it's surrounded by desert, a thick, healthy layer of the greenest of grass has grown since Sobek was first uncovered. The dig site is extensive, and even though it is believed this city was the main agricultural centre of Ancient Talas, some of its areas raise questions as to what kind of rituals the people who once dwelt here may have performed. Here you will find many places of interest such as the Pokémon Centre, Research Lab and tourist stalls, as well as several interesting excavation sites to explore.

Areas:
Research Lab: Any fossils unearthed can be taken here for examination. Occasionally one of the professors may have a job opening, so if you're looking for something to do it can't hurt to swing by and see what's available.

Sat on a giant rock, the beginner trainer, Matthew Brown was having a rest from the days travels, flicking open his Pokédex in search of the map feature. Matthew looked down as the golden hub of the pokedex created a small glint as it refracted the sunlight, as he studied the map with great enjoyment. Noticing the flickering dot, Matthew followed the path with his finger as it lead to his preferred destination, nodding gently as he felt more confident about the journey.

Matthew looked at the path he was following, the broad road leading to Talas, the beginner trainer wondered what new adventures awaited him at his destination. Matthew had heard rumors about the area almost everywhere, consulting his Pokédex about its vast wealth of diverse cultures, habitats, people, and most importantly, Pokémon.

In his hood, a small white cloud-like creature slumbered away, basking in the warmth of the fluffy jumper on the cloudless day. Remembering back to the day that Matthew had received his casino prize and partner Pokémon as a Castform, he smiled as he looks upon the resting Pokemon. Now, it would be his partner Pokémon for this new journey to this new land of Talas.

Among the rumors that Matthew had heard, was that of a research lab, proficient in all kinds of rare and ancient pokémon, and the opportunity of a job, even just for a day would give him a great feeling of satisfaction and development. Awaking in the commotion, Castform sluggishly got up and begun to move toward Matthew’s shoulder to see what was so amazing. Not seeing the weather Pokémon on the move, Matthew’s hand trod extremely close to Castform's body, trying to wake it, but a quick nuzzle from Castform informed Matthew that he was already up. Matthew scratched the back of Castform’s neck, the small weather pokémon rubbing back as the cool breeze swirling his hair.

Noting his Pokémon was awake, Matthew quickly scrambled down the rock, jumping back onto the open road as dust rose in a bombshell effect at the trainer’s heavy landing. As the dust settled, Matthew stuck out his chest, took a deep breath, and set off once more. Matthew took in the sights and the sounds of the new place, as he set off once more with promise of exploration and adventure from the ancient land.

Shadowshocker
22nd May 2009, 2:17 PM
A couple things to mention: With their states of sheer inactivity, the adventure of LordAndrew has been discontinued, and the same will apply for ZoraJolteon without a new reply in a week. On a lighter note, Here's welcoming Treepandaone, the newest member to set foot in the Cities of Talas!


The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
Trekking along the sands you and Nimbus head for your intended destination: the Lost City of Sobek where scientists researching the ancient civilsation have set up a considerable base of operations, almost as if it had the aim of usurping the present-day city of Atlas in function. Sand makes an abrupt break into patches of grass, and noting this change you briefly gaze behind you in wonderment at the change in terrain. Heading further into the green landscape, tents of other Trainers camping out can be seen, before you spot the looming figures of several establishments constructed out of brick and steel; the ever-familiar Pokémon Centre with its ever-familiar logo, some shops selling Trainer supplies and trinkets probably designed according to Sobek fashion. The building of your interest, though, lies a distance away from several deep trenches ahead cut out for excavation: the Research Laboratory, where perhaps you might find some profitable experience. Beckoning to your Castform, you proceed towards the scientific establishment; the crystal-clear doors sliding open upon sensing your presence.

A fresh, inviting wave of air-conditioning greets you as you step onto polished tiles, and you instantly gaze about in wonderment at the laboratory's interior. Pipes and chambers softly glow with stasis liquid flowing inside them while a plethora of processors hum and whiz in their endless calculations. Impressive sets of chemistry and observational equipment lie across the shiny workstations, alongside personal computers you're sure are nothing less than the latest models. What somewhat surprises you, though, is the apparent lack of personnel manning their stations, but as you move deeper amongst the desks you spot a solitary figure working at what appears to be an electronic microscope uplinked to a computer.

"Hmmm... Aha... But... hmmm." The figure mutters to himself, deeply engrossed at whatever it is he's viewing through his eyepiece, and it isn't until you and Nimbus are but two metres next to him that he detects that he isn't alone.

"Whoa!" Jumping slightly at the sight of you, the dark-haired young man nearly flings his glasses off in surprise before he coughs and manages to compose himself. "Ah, a Trainer! I wasn't expecting anyone to be around at this time, but it seems that I've come across a problem and could use the help. I'm Glenn, by the way -- Glenn Nade," he introduces, shaking you by the hand.

"I think it goes without saying you know what we do here at the Sobek Research Lab," Glenn continues. "Recently, I've had a couple of acquaintances -- rather, close friends of mine, working for another company based far away from here -- send me some samples of a peculiar mineral, which I've been studying. According to them, even the slightest amounts of this mineral could instantly replicate the DNA of Pokémon at exceedingly fast rates, causing growth spurts and sharp increases in a Pokémon's aptitude, even reanimating ancient fossils.

"Of course, this is all extremely revolutionary information, more so since my friends told me that they had, in fact, witnessed the mineral's properties in action -- the trouble was, it caused giant Pokémon rampages in the wildlife there, and there were various incidents. As a matter of fact, they're still clearing things up after the last major incident," he adds, tugging his collar a little, "Which is why they've asked me to help out in furthering research on the strange crystalline minerals." Standing aside, Glenn offers you a look into the eyepiece, through which you see beautiful fragments of the mineral; each with the appearance of pure, gleaming ice, almost exuding a faint aura of their own.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any fossil samples left we can experiment on. The message my friends gave me stated that overexposure to the crystal could result in disastrous consequences, and it is therefore imperative we experiment on fossil DNA. Trouble is, we don't have any left and the others have gone for a field study, leaving me behind to man the labs," sighs Glenn. "This is where I'd like you to come in, Trainer, if you're not minding. I need you to go into the grounds of Sobek and see if you can't find any fossils to bring back. What do you say?"

Indeed; what do you say?

Shadowshocker
24th May 2009, 2:56 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Juggling several options in your head you eventually decide on slowing Suruta down for an opportunity to let the damage really fly, and Myria promptly responds as he spins up a mass of Cotton Spore; the small cloud soon turning into a sizeable miasma. The flurry of puffy seeds manages to catch the statue as he comes, and you hear a confused thundering of hooves as the entire of the Tauros statue is enveloped in the floating mess of plant particles -- a considerably impressive accomplishment for Myria, considering the difference in size. A loud bellow follows a series of frustrated snorts, before Suruta eventually is seen bursting from the surrounding spores; his head bowed in a blind Horn Attack, missing your Roselia by metres. A CRUNCH fills the air as the momentum drives him hornfirst into stone, and by the sounds of his pawing and snorting it becomes apparent that the Bull has jammed himself solidly in the chamber's walls.

Noting this tactical opening Myria raises his thorned head while lowering his floral arms, and as he does so blips of botanic power start rising out of nowhere around him; more forming and rising in erratic spirals as the seconds tick by, swirling together in a pretty display yet blazing with devastating potential. With a flourish of his flowers, Myria sends the Leaf Storm spiralling towards Suruta, filling the room with a whoosh of wind as the Wild Bull's behind is peppered with the Grass-type squall. Violently, Suruta Thrashes about from the pain in his backside, and you hear the sound of crumbling as Suruta wrenches himself from the wall, tearing out chunks of stone in the process. You watch the glaring eyes now burn with visible bloodlust as the hooves pound the floor dangerously, and turning to Myria you notice him panting; the technique having notably drained a fraction of his attack capabilities.

What will you do now?

Treepandaone
27th May 2009, 5:04 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
Trekking along the sands you and Nimbus head for your intended destination: the Lost City of Sobek where scientists researching the ancient civilsation have set up a considerable base of operations, almost as if it had the aim of usurping the present-day city of Atlas in function. Sand makes an abrupt break into patches of grass, and noting this change you briefly gaze behind you in wonderment at the change in terrain. Heading further into the green landscape, tents of other Trainers camping out can be seen, before you spot the looming figures of several establishments constructed out of brick and steel; the ever-familiar Pokémon Centre with its ever-familiar logo, some shops selling Trainer supplies and trinkets probably designed according to Sobek fashion. The building of your interest, though, lies a distance away from several deep trenches ahead cut out for excavation: the Research Laboratory, where perhaps you might find some profitable experience. Beckoning to your Castform, you proceed towards the scientific establishment; the crystal-clear doors sliding open upon sensing your presence.

A fresh, inviting wave of air-conditioning greets you as you step onto polished tiles, and you instantly gaze about in wonderment at the laboratory's interior. Pipes and chambers softly glow with stasis liquid flowing inside them while a plethora of processors hum and whiz in their endless calculations. Impressive sets of chemistry and observational equipment lie across the shiny workstations, alongside personal computers you're sure are nothing less than the latest models. What somewhat surprises you, though, is the apparent lack of personnel manning their stations, but as you move deeper amongst the desks you spot a solitary figure working at what appears to be an electronic microscope uplinked to a computer.

"Hmmm... Aha... But... hmmm." The figure mutters to himself, deeply engrossed at whatever it is he's viewing through his eyepiece, and it isn't until you and Nimbus are but two metres next to him that he detects that he isn't alone.

"Whoa!" Jumping slightly at the sight of you, the dark-haired young man nearly flings his glasses off in surprise before he coughs and manages to compose himself. "Ah, a Trainer! I wasn't expecting anyone to be around at this time, but it seems that I've come across a problem and could use the help. I'm Glenn, by the way -- Glenn Nade," he introduces, shaking you by the hand.

"I think it goes without saying you know what we do here at the Sobek Research Lab," Glenn continues. "Recently, I've had a couple of acquaintances -- rather, close friends of mine, working for another company based far away from here -- send me some samples of a peculiar mineral, which I've been studying. According to them, even the slightest amounts of this mineral could instantly replicate the DNA of Pokémon at exceedingly fast rates, causing growth spurts and sharp increases in a Pokémon's aptitude, even reanimating ancient fossils.

"Of course, this is all extremely revolutionary information, more so since my friends told me that they had, in fact, witnessed the mineral's properties in action -- the trouble was, it caused giant Pokémon rampages in the wildlife there, and there were various incidents. As a matter of fact, they're still clearing things up after the last major incident," he adds, tugging his collar a little, "Which is why they've asked me to help out in furthering research on the strange crystalline minerals." Standing aside, Glenn offers you a look into the eyepiece, through which you see beautiful fragments of the mineral; each with the appearance of pure, gleaming ice, almost exuding a faint aura of their own.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any fossil samples left we can experiment on. The message my friends gave me stated that overexposure to the crystal could result in disastrous consequences, and it is therefore imperative we experiment on fossil DNA. Trouble is, we don't have any left and the others have gone for a field study, leaving me behind to man the labs," sighs Glenn. "This is where I'd like you to come in, Trainer, if you're not minding. I need you to go into the grounds of Sobek and see if you can't find any fossils to bring back. What do you say?"

Indeed; what do you say?

Matthew carried Nimbus in his arms as he set off for the lost city of Sobek, the sands underneath his feet were soft, depressed under his feet. The forest area was a vibrant place, colour streaming off in every direction from the old and the new, trees combined as Matthew gasped in awe at the old lands, how persevered it was in beauty. Matthew looked on ahead once more, no sign of the scientists home appeared apparent but the feeling was there, his heart quickening at the thought of the research conducted on the ancient city. As Matthew looked down, he saw the sand quickly change to green, lush grass, the change in scenery fascinating him, the terrain able to change in an instant had his mind in wonderment, the technological advances of what they could do filled his mind. Shaking the thoughts quickly, Matthew headed further into the terrain, he noticed the tents of other Pokémon trainers had him jolt still, wondering if he should take time out to have a couple of quick battles. As he stood there, he felt nimbus break from his arms, pulling him gently away from the trainers, the small weather pokémon more interested in the cities research facilities. Chuckling, Matthew conformed to the Pokémon’s will as he set off once more, the looming steel of the familiar Pokémon center passing him by. Walking further he saw the Marketplace, one of the points of interest he thought of going to as the shops selling trinkets designed according to Sobek fashion. Ignoring it from fear of distraction, Matthew looked far ahead, the research facility lying deep near trenches cut for excavation.

As Matthew arrived at the research facility, he found the crystal clear doors slide open at his arrival, Castform zipping around his head in excitement. Matthew stepped through the doors, a wave a of cold air refreshing relief from the boiling outside welcoming him as he stepped further inside the research facility, the polished tiles gleaming. Looking around, Matthew gasped, the interior a haven science, Pipes and chambers softly glowing as the stasis liquid flowed from within. Glancing through the facility once more, Matthew was greeted by Impressive sets of chemistry and observational equipment, each being the latest and best of their respective brands, but as Matthew looked harder, he was surprised at the lack of people there, wondering through the lab until he saw one solitary figure working, an electronic microscope uplinked to a computer.

"Hmmm... Aha... But... hmmm."

Matthew approached the man, completely unaware of his presence until he and nimbus stood a few meters away from him, the man appearing deeply engrossed in his work. As he looked up, Matthew’s eyes widened in shock as the man jumped. Matthew noticed the dark haired man nearly fling off his glasses in surprise, the young man coughing and composing himself as Matthew smiled.

"Ah, a Trainer! I wasn't expecting anyone to be around at this time, but it seems that I've come across a problem and could use the help. I'm Glenn, by the way -- Glenn Nade,"Matthew beamed at the man, shaking his hand as he looked further at the scientists abode

“I’m Matthew. Matthew Brown.” Matthew said, introducing himself.

"I think it goes without saying you know what we do here at the Sobek Research Lab," the man continued, Matthew nodding in understaning. “Recently, I've had a couple of acquaintances -- rather, close friends of mine, working for another company based far away from here -- send me some samples of a peculiar mineral, which I've been studying. According to them, even the slightest amounts of this mineral could instantly replicate the DNA of Pokémon at exceedingly fast rates, causing growth spurts and sharp increases in a Pokémon's aptitude, even reanimating ancient fossils.” Matthew nodded once more, his mind wondering off to imagine the fossil Pokémon, snapping back into reality as the man continued.

"Of course, this is all extremely revolutionary information, more so since my friends told me that they had, in fact, witnessed the mineral's properties in action -- the trouble was, it caused giant Pokémon rampages in the wildlife there, and there were various incidents. As a matter of fact, they're still clearing things up after the last major incident," Matthew’s eyes widened, the thought of that much Power in a pokémon fascinated him. "Which is why they've asked me to help out in furthering research on the strange crystalline minerals."

Matthew nodded as Glen offered him a look in the microscope. Bending down, Matthew looked in awe at the fragments of the mineral, the gleam and natural beauty protruding from something as simple as he saw the pure gleaming ice characteristics of the mineral almost produce a faint aura.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any fossil samples left we can experiment on. The message my friends gave me stated that overexposure to the crystal could result in disastrous consequences, and it is therefore imperative we experiment on fossil DNA. Trouble is, we don't have any left and the others have gone for a field study, leaving me behind to man the labs," Matthew saw the man sign, stroking his beard as the thought of the men leaving filled his questions as why there we so few people. "This is where I'd like you to come in, Trainer, if you're not minding. I need you to go into the grounds of Sobek and see if you can't find any fossils to bring back. What do you say?"

Matthew’s eyes widened once more, nodding as he thought of the help he would be giving.

“I would be glad to help”

Grabbing a Pokéball from his belt he looked down. Running toward the doors, Matthew felt the crystal slide open once more as he threw his Pokéball into the open space, his Rhyhorn bursting out of the Pokéball with a massive roar, stretching his muscles before looking at his trainer.

“Ok Rhyhorn. We’re going to sobek to find some fossils!”

Jumping on Rhyhorn’s back, Matthew felt Nimbus settle in his hood, the warm fluff of the cotton being the perfect place for the weather pokémon. With that, Matthew set off, the gentle thump of Rhyhorn’s feet stamping on the floor.

ZoraJolteon
28th May 2009, 7:09 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Juggling several options in your head you eventually decide on slowing Suruta down for an opportunity to let the damage really fly, and Myria promptly responds as he spins up a mass of Cotton Spore; the small cloud soon turning into a sizeable miasma. The flurry of puffy seeds manages to catch the statue as he comes, and you hear a confused thundering of hooves as the entire of the Tauros statue is enveloped in the floating mess of plant particles -- a considerably impressive accomplishment for Myria, considering the difference in size. A loud bellow follows a series of frustrated snorts, before Suruta eventually is seen bursting from the surrounding spores; his head bowed in a blind Horn Attack, missing your Roselia by metres. A CRUNCH fills the air as the momentum drives him hornfirst into stone, and by the sounds of his pawing and snorting it becomes apparent that the Bull has jammed himself solidly in the chamber's walls.

Noting this tactical opening Myria raises his thorned head while lowering his floral arms, and as he does so blips of botanic power start rising out of nowhere around him; more forming and rising in erratic spirals as the seconds tick by, swirling together in a pretty display yet blazing with devastating potential. With a flourish of his flowers, Myria sends the Leaf Storm spiralling towards Suruta, filling the room with a whoosh of wind as the Wild Bull's behind is peppered with the Grass-type squall. Violently, Suruta Thrashes about from the pain in his backside, and you hear the sound of crumbling as Suruta wrenches himself from the wall, tearing out chunks of stone in the process. You watch the glaring eyes now burn with visible bloodlust as the hooves pound the floor dangerously, and turning to Myria you notice him panting; the technique having notably drained a fraction of his attack capabilities.

What will you do now?

"Nice going Myria!" Zora congratulated his Pokémon, impressed with the significant damage he had inflicted upon the opposition. "Okey dokey then." he continued, having already taken the time to fully think through his next set of attacks following the rather impulsive decision to carve away his companion's stats with that Leaf Storm technique. "Your Special Attack might have dropped, but we've got a new trick up your sleeve to handle that. Pump yourself up with a Swords Dance, then let rip with some Seed Bombs!"

Shadowshocker
28th May 2009, 2:14 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
"Oh, wait! Hold up!" Just as Rhydon nearly brings you out of the laboratory, the frantic cries of Glenn catch your attention in time for you to turn around, noting the scientist running towards you.

"I think you ought to know," Glenn continues breathlessly, "I'm afraid it's not quite proper or safe to go about Sobek willy-nilly. There are some locations where excavation is still ongoing and are sealed off to the public, and other parts that haven't yet been explored and might be life-threatening.

"Theoretically, however, there are a couple of places that could prove promising. Farity's Pond was mentioned by some archives to be the resting place where the goddess Farity watched over extinct Pokémon who fell in an ancient plague. It's likely a myth, although preliminary tests have found traces of fossil in the water -- if you have a Pokémon who can use Dive, it might prove a worthy experience," suggests Glenn. "The other place I'd recommend would be the Colosseum. Chances are, there'll be remains of ancient Pokémon there from those times, although you're not so likely to find intact specimens; those would be most preferable. The place has also been reported to be home to some of the most feral of local Pokémon, but it's still an option above..." At this, you notice Glenn shudder, and the scientist's subsequent silence gives you the idea that if another choice exists, it's not somewhere you'd be advised to try.

"Well, Matthew, that's the best of what I can tell you. Good luck; I hope to hear from you soon," he smiles, as Rhyperbeam turns to transport you out of the laboratory. With the ground shaking slightly as Rhyperbeam stomps onto the grass, you feel the sunlight beat down onto your sleeves while you ponder where you'd stand the best chance of fulfilling your mission requirements. As it is, a handy signpost in a bit of clearing ahead indicates in brightly yet neatly painted arrows the directions to the various locations in present-day Sobek: Farity's Pond, Farity's Shrine, the Colosseum, and Caiman's Temple.

Where will you choose to go?



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Opting to go for another approach so as to factor in Myria's lowered special attack statistics, you issue fresh orders to your shiny Roselia who nods in response. Bringing up his arms gracefully he starts a Swords Dance, and though one might not have realised it simply by looking at the balletesque display Myria feels the power flowing through him. In this time, though, Suruta comes charging as the period of Thrash continues, and while the both of you manage to sidestep the attack as the statue thunders by Myria still gets stomped underhoof in the Tauros' blind flailing.

Tottering from the heavy impact as Suruta ends up slamming into the wall again, Myria tries his best to right himself before swinging his flowers about, power accumulating in them as he does so. Leaping into the air Myria launches his Seed Bombs; the barrage of botanic explosives ripping free from the red and blue petals, raining damage unto the reanimated monument. Much to your surprise Suruta shakes his head, pummeling his horns against the bit of wall he last landed himself in, and you soon realise that the confusion after-effect of Thrash must be kicking in. With the damage you've been doing, this might be the opportunity you need to end this battle...

Treepandaone
28th May 2009, 7:47 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
"Oh, wait! Hold up!" Just as Rhydon nearly brings you out of the laboratory, the frantic cries of Glenn catch your attention in time for you to turn around, noting the scientist running towards you.

"I think you ought to know," Glenn continues breathlessly, "I'm afraid it's not quite proper or safe to go about Sobek willy-nilly. There are some locations where excavation is still ongoing and are sealed off to the public, and other parts that haven't yet been explored and might be life-threatening.

"Theoretically, however, there are a couple of places that could prove promising. Farity's Pond was mentioned by some archives to be the resting place where the goddess Farity watched over extinct Pokémon who fell in an ancient plague. It's likely a myth, although preliminary tests have found traces of fossil in the water -- if you have a Pokémon who can use Dive, it might prove a worthy experience," suggests Glenn. "The other place I'd recommend would be the Colosseum. Chances are, there'll be remains of ancient Pokémon there from those times, although you're not so likely to find intact specimens; those would be most preferable. The place has also been reported to be home to some of the most feral of local Pokémon, but it's still an option above..." At this, you notice Glenn shudder, and the scientist's subsequent silence gives you the idea that if another choice exists, it's not somewhere you'd be advised to try.

"Well, Matthew, that's the best of what I can tell you. Good luck; I hope to hear from you soon," he smiles, as Rhyperbeam turns to transport you out of the laboratory. With the ground shaking slightly as Rhyperbeam stomps onto the grass, you feel the sunlight beat down onto your sleeves while you ponder where you'd stand the best chance of fulfilling your mission requirements. As it is, a handy signpost in a bit of clearing ahead indicates in brightly yet neatly painted arrows the directions to the various locations in present-day Sobek: Farity's Pond, Farity's Shrine, the Colosseum, and Caiman's Temple.

Where will you choose to go?

"Oh, wait! Hold up!"

As Matthew climbed aboard his Pokémon he was stopped just before going out of the door, turning around in surprise, Matthew found himself face-to-face with the scientist once more. Tilting his head in wonder, Matthew proceeded to give the floor to the man, the flustered look on his face becoming quite concerning for the trainer.

"I think you ought to know," Matthew looked at Glen on the edge of his seat, the news important. "I'm afraid it's not quite proper or safe to go about Sobek willy-nilly. There are some locations where excavation is still ongoing and are sealed off to the public, and other parts that haven't yet been explored and might be life-threatening.” Matthew’s face fell at the news, forgetting all about the Pokémon’s rampage had limited his places to go as he stroked his beard.

"Theoretically, however, there are a couple of places that could prove promising. Farity's Pond was mentioned by some archives to be the resting place where the goddess Farity watched over extinct Pokémon who fell in an ancient plague. It's likely a myth, although preliminary tests have found traces of fossil in the water -- if you have a Pokémon who can use Dive, it might prove a worthy experience,"

Matthew looked down at his belt, each Pokéball holding one of his team members but under inspection he shook his head, with no water pokémon present on his team meant he couldn’t dive down to the deep depths. Thinking for a second, Matthew decided that the Farity Pond seemed out of the equation. Looking back with an awkard smile, Matthew noted for the scientist to continue.

"The other place I'd recommend would be the Colosseum. Chances are, there'll be remains of ancient Pokémon there from those times, although you're not so likely to find intact specimens; those would be most preferable. The place has also been reported to be home to some of the most feral of local Pokémon, but it's still an option above..."

As the scientist shuddered, he saw there was another choice, but the acquisition shown had Matthew curious. Twiddling his thumbs he tapped his head gently, thinking between the two thoughts before looking down, his Pokémon his most prized companions, their life being too risky to try the third suggestion, the option too explainable for words.

“We’ll go to the Colosseum!” Matthew said, tapping on Rhyhorn’s head as he felt the rock pokémon jerk forward, ready to leave.

"Well, Matthew, that's the best of what I can tell you. Good luck; I hope to hear from you soon," Matthew looked at the scientist as he departed, the large rock giant’s feet stomping on the grassy landscape as he felt the sunlight beat down on him, pondering on the mission success.

Shadowshocker
30th May 2009, 6:59 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
Going in the direction of the Colosseum indicated by the respective arrow, Rhyperbeam trudges on bringing you and Nimbus steps closer to your selected destination. As you move on in the blazing sunlight beating down on you, you notice that as you advance the grass seems to thin out, and by the time the Laboratory is almost out of sight the vegetation has given way to dust and rock.

A good ten minutes of tank-like, yet steady trekking onwards later, you see the looming Colosseum -- a structure about three generic storeys high, surrounded by doorways and stairwells guarded with pillars; half of the ancient structure having apparently collapsed from the ravages of time, leaving behind a gap in the building that looks like a giant took a bite out of it. Dismounting from Rhyperbeam, you lead the path ahead into one of the many archways, moving into the abandoned sands of the arena floor. While the shifting silica betrays little of the vicious, violent past, having shifted for countless times over the years, you can still see the scars and stains on the crumbling walls, almost screaming out in petrified, silent agony as you look around the landscape.

Before you can do much else, however, you hear a furious rattling of chains, followed by an explosion of dust and rock ahead as something busts through one of the ancient hatches. A Machamp, bearing festering wounds and deep gashes, howls at you with a look of distinct pain and anger before charging...

Treepandaone
31st May 2009, 1:05 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
Going in the direction of the Colosseum indicated by the respective arrow, Rhyperbeam trudges on bringing you and Nimbus steps closer to your selected destination. As you move on in the blazing sunlight beating down on you, you notice that as you advance the grass seems to thin out, and by the time the Laboratory is almost out of sight the vegetation has given way to dust and rock.

A good ten minutes of tank-like, yet steady trekking onwards later, you see the looming Colosseum -- a structure about three generic storeys high, surrounded by doorways and stairwells guarded with pillars; half of the ancient structure having apparently collapsed from the ravages of time, leaving behind a gap in the building that looks like a giant took a bite out of it. Dismounting from Rhyperbeam, you lead the path ahead into one of the many archways, moving into the abandoned sands of the arena floor. While the shifting silica betrays little of the vicious, violent past, having shifted for countless times over the years, you can still see the scars and stains on the crumbling walls, almost screaming out in petrified, silent agony as you look around the landscape.

Before you can do much else, however, you hear a furious rattling of chains, followed by an explosion of dust and rock ahead as something busts through one of the ancient hatches. A Machamp, bearing festering wounds and deep gashes, howls at you with a look of distinct pain and anger before charging...

As Matthew stopped at the arrows, he found himself perplexed as to which direction he should take, with the words of the scientist still ringing in his ears, he chose the coliseum, with the rumors of strong pokémon not only firing up his appetite for adventure but also sending a slight tingle down his spine. As he head toward the path he lost himself in thought, the hypnotic pounding of the rock giants feet fueling his passion, the pokémon on the brink of evolution as Matthew remembered the Pokédex entry for evolving. Matthew leaned back, forgetting the Castform in his hood as he sat up instantly at the thought before finding the weather Pokémon bustled in his lap, chuckling at the situation and stroking Castform. Withdrawing a Pokéball from his belt, Matthew clicked the middle button, the ball enlarging in his hand before swallowing Nimbus.

“I may call upon you later my friend, but until then, rest safely.”

As the journey continued, Matthew looked around at his surroundings, the lush, rolling plains of grass thinning out as the laboratory’s view grew deeper and deeper from sight, the haven of technology seemingly vanished from the picture as he became more surrounded with nature, its glorious appearance overflowing in the outer reaches of Sobek, the bubbling atmosphere amplified by the reincarnation of the lost cities into a wondrous, admirable sanctum for all things green and silver, merging steel with plants. As the minutes wore on, Matthew found the green disappear slowly to make way for dust and rock, the feeling itself giving him little imagination to compare against as the adventure continued.

Matthew jolted upright, the journey nearing complete as he found his eyes adjusting to the setting, the tank like walking had forced him into a small nap on the rock Pokémon’s back as he felt rejuvenated by the short rest. Rubbing his eyes gently and stretching, Matthew looked ahead as the coliseum loomed into view, the three generic stories of rock and stone imposing its dominance as even its study walls, doorways and pillars unable to beat time itself as the ravages of age see the coliseum broken and bruised, Matthew tilting his head in such a position it looked like a giant bite had been taken out of it.

Dismounting his Pokémon, Matthew rubbed the rocky exterior of RhyperBeam, the pokémon having done a good job of escorting the trainer to his destination as he smiled, still looking round at the coliseum before spotting a path. Following it, Matthew found it lead up to one of the many archways of the old and broken building, moving to the abandoned sands of the coliseum floor, the rumours of a violent and bloody past seemingly apparent from the shifting over the countless years that proceed it, the scars and stains on the crumbling walls still apparent after the long years. Before he could do much else, however, Matthew suddenly heard the rustling of chains. Standing dead still he felt his ears prick up as he turned to face the origin before suddenly shielding his face as an explosion of rock surrounded him, the noise so loud forcing Matthew to cover his ears with his free hand. Composing himself back to his position, Matthew stared at a Machamp, the Pokémon bearing wounds and gashes of horrible deceit as it howled. Matthew’s eyes widened as the Machamp began to charge as Matthew looked to Rhyhorn for his support.

“Rhyhorn, trip him up with an Earthquake, his momentum should allow you to get in a Mega Kick. After that, try a Submission.”

Matthew shuddered at the thought of unnecessary violence as he turned to the Machamp.

“Machamp, stop. We are only here to collect fossils. I can help you, I have healing aids with me.”

ZoraJolteon
1st June 2009, 7:36 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Opting to go for another approach so as to factor in Myria's lowered special attack statistics, you issue fresh orders to your shiny Roselia who nods in response. Bringing up his arms gracefully he starts a Swords Dance, and though one might not have realised it simply by looking at the balletesque display Myria feels the power flowing through him. In this time, though, Suruta comes charging as the period of Thrash continues, and while the both of you manage to sidestep the attack as the statue thunders by Myria still gets stomped underhoof in the Tauros' blind flailing.

Tottering from the heavy impact as Suruta ends up slamming into the wall again, Myria tries his best to right himself before swinging his flowers about, power accumulating in them as he does so. Leaping into the air Myria launches his Seed Bombs; the barrage of botanic explosives ripping free from the red and blue petals, raining damage unto the reanimated monument. Much to your surprise Suruta shakes his head, pummeling his horns against the bit of wall he last landed himself in, and you soon realise that the confusion after-effect of Thrash must be kicking in. With the damage you've been doing, this might be the opportunity you need to end this battle...

'OK then.' Zora thought to himself, as he once more rolled over Myria's movepool in his mind. 'No need to debilitate Tauros with any more attacks if it's already confused itself, and Swords Dance is in effect, so we might as well make good use of it. What with Myria's vast repository of physical attacks and all.'
"Get in close with Double-Edge!" he called out to his Pokémon for his first attack. "Then it's time to finish him! Another volley of zero range Seed Bombs!"

Shadowshocker
1st June 2009, 2:55 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
You shudder at the prospect of having to fight in spite of your relatively peaceful mission specs, but even as you try to pacify the raging Superpower Pokémon it's distinct that your words are falling on proverbial ears, considering Machamp doesn't have any visible aural receptors. Immediately Rhyperbeam raises himself back on his stubby legs as far as he can allow himself, letting gravity and mass kick in for a resounding Earthquake. Promptly you feel the sand below you shake like a mass of gelatin; the tectonic waves rumbling through the loose silica oxide, reverberated by the circular construction around you. Grunting in surprise, Machamp ends up tripping over its other foot in a preparation for a Low Kick, and it tumbles across the sand where Rhyperbeam is readying his next move. Although he knows the move, Rhyperbeam's lower limb structure makes the usage of Mega Kick a little awkward, but valiantly he charges forth with one foot glowing and delivers it into Machamp's face.

Roused by the brutal intervention, Machamp scrambles to its feet in a roar, and you're horrified by how its face now bears a pair of bloodless punctures; undoubtedly inflicted when your Rhyhorn smashed his rock-hard foot there. Baring its teeth Machamp casts a Leer onto Rhyperbeam; its new injuries adding to the Fighting-type's scary visuals. A visible shiver goes through your Pokémon before he lunges forward as far and high as is possible, trying to bring Machamp into Submission, but the spiky rhino ends up poking his horn where Machamp's bellybutton might have been. The four muscular arms quickly surround Rhyperbeam's sides, and there is little else you can do but watch as Machamp flips the lighter contestant and flings him down in a Vital Throw, landing Rhyperbeam on his back. Painfully falling to his side, Rhyperbeam barely manages to struggling back to a standing position; as of now, things look pretty even, but faced with such relentless opposition this balance might not last long...



The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Noting the foe's present state of disarray, you quickly go for the option of leveraging on Myria's respectable repertoire of hand-to-flower combat. Speeding forward in a trail of Normal-type energy, Myria goes into Double-Edge mode as he leaps, ramming his thorned head straight into Suruta's backside as though the statue were but biotic flesh. The effect this has on the reanimated Tauros is belligerently loud and long, and while you're not sure if the Poison Point ability of Myria's species has triggered (matter of fact, you're not even too sure which ability Myria has affinity for), it's certainly no joking matter to have a living pincushion embedded in one's posterior. Another agonised roar; another shower of marble and construction adhesive, as the whites of the Wild Bull's eyes roll in its Rage. It's all you can do to make timely dodges as the Guardian of Ground goes into a frenzy around the chamber, with Myria still lodged in his rump.

Barely able to cling on much longer, Myria presses his flowers against the flesh, letting fly a close range demonstration of his Seed Bomb; the proximity of the explosive manoeuvre not only strong enough to send your autumny Roselia flying, but also to nudge Suruta just enough such that he trips over his own hooves, coming to the floor in a winceworthy crash and clatter. Panting heavily, Myria looks to you before the both of you glance at Suruta, and half a minute passes in such silence before you're convinced that Suruta can continue battling no longer. Level up for Myria.

"Ha ha... Ha ha ha ha!"

For a moment you are startled by the booming voice, but the tone it possesses is a hearty one, not one of aggression.

"I expected no less from a Surutan. Your power extends beyond your physical form and its limitations, as is the nature of true strength," continues Suruta, now, having miraculously got to his hooves, apparently no worse than before he began the fight against you. "You have the acceptance of Celeste, young Surutan, as well as my blessings, to go forth and conquer the Zodiac. Your purpose, should you succeed in fulfilling it, will prove an experience of experiences. Farewell and good luck, young one..."

A blink of your eyes, and you're astonished to find the chamber of Suruta restored to its prior pristine state, with no damage on the walls and debris littering the floor. Scooping up Myria you somewhat confusedly walk out of the room, headed back to the stairway where the steps, as well as remaining two passages, lie. Where will you choose to go now?

ZoraJolteon
5th June 2009, 11:01 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Noting the foe's present state of disarray, you quickly go for the option of leveraging on Myria's respectable repertoire of hand-to-flower combat. Speeding forward in a trail of Normal-type energy, Myria goes into Double-Edge mode as he leaps, ramming his thorned head straight into Suruta's backside as though the statue were but biotic flesh. The effect this has on the reanimated Tauros is belligerently loud and long, and while you're not sure if the Poison Point ability of Myria's species has triggered (matter of fact, you're not even too sure which ability Myria has affinity for), it's certainly no joking matter to have a living pincushion embedded in one's posterior. Another agonised roar; another shower of marble and construction adhesive, as the whites of the Wild Bull's eyes roll in its Rage. It's all you can do to make timely dodges as the Guardian of Ground goes into a frenzy around the chamber, with Myria still lodged in his rump.

Barely able to cling on much longer, Myria presses his flowers against the flesh, letting fly a close range demonstration of his Seed Bomb; the proximity of the explosive manoeuvre not only strong enough to send your autumny Roselia flying, but also to nudge Suruta just enough such that he trips over his own hooves, coming to the floor in a winceworthy crash and clatter. Panting heavily, Myria looks to you before the both of you glance at Suruta, and half a minute passes in such silence before you're convinced that Suruta can continue battling no longer. Level up for Myria.

"Ha ha... Ha ha ha ha!"

For a moment you are startled by the booming voice, but the tone it possesses is a hearty one, not one of aggression.

"I expected no less from a Surutan. Your power extends beyond your physical form and its limitations, as is the nature of true strength," continues Suruta, now, having miraculously got to his hooves, apparently no worse than before he began the fight against you. "You have the acceptance of Celeste, young Surutan, as well as my blessings, to go forth and conquer the Zodiac. Your purpose, should you succeed in fulfilling it, will prove an experience of experiences. Farewell and good luck, young one..."

A blink of your eyes, and you're astonished to find the chamber of Suruta restored to its prior pristine state, with no damage on the walls and debris littering the floor. Scooping up Myria you somewhat confusedly walk out of the room, headed back to the stairway where the steps, as well as remaining two passages, lie. Where will you choose to go now?


"Awesome job Myria!" Zora congratulated his Pokémon, kneeling down and placing his hand on the ground to save Myria the effort of having to leap up, given his exhaustion from the battle. "Need a rest?" Zora asked.
"Ro." was the defiant response, Myria nodding his head in refusal, promting Zora to lift him up higher, Myria grabbing hold of Zora's hair again, the sound of his heavy breathing all Zora could hear as he tried to get his bearings again, climbing the stairs out of the basement and stepping into the main entryway.
"We've been to the underground chamber, so I guess now it's appropriate for us to go to the highest chamber." Zora rationalised.
"Lia." Myria said, which Zora took to mean that was fine with his companion, as he headed towards the staircase that would take him even higher up inside the temple.

Shadowshocker
6th June 2009, 6:03 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Having explored one of the chambers below, you decide that going to the top this time would be a fitting plan, and going up the spiral steps you can't help but briefly glance back at the remaining two passages. Will you need to make a trip back down? Pushing this thought aside, you reach the main entrance chamber where you were only a half hour or so ago, only this time the temple seems to have taken on a peculiar presence, as though countless eyes are watching you in spite of you seemingly being the only occupant within the hallowed walls. Has the sanctum become isolated in light of your challenge? This ponderance lingers a little longer in your mind as you scale the other staircase, leading upwards into the higher floor. Upon reaching another main chamber much like the one downstairs you find that while the stairs seem to extend to a higher sort of attic, a shining seal on the star-shaped trapdoor strongly suggests that you can't quite visit this area yet.

Selecting one of the three upper hallways, you make your way with Myria in anticipation of what's to come. In a chamber much like the one where you found Suruta, another pedestal presents its shining statues of a heavily segmented, jagged arthropod, bearing dangerous-looking fangs and claws.

Ocorpis, the Scorpion
Guardian of Poison

"So, decided to skip the others first and look for me, did you?" A sneering voice emanates from the chamber itself, making you tense in expectant antipication. "Suruta's witnessed that so-called strength of yours... let's see if you can walk the talk!"

In a spookily fluid movement, the Drapion emblem curls his clawed arms, bearing them at you in an aggressive pose. What will you do now?

Treepandaone
6th June 2009, 9:09 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
You shudder at the prospect of having to fight in spite of your relatively peaceful mission specs, but even as you try to pacify the raging Superpower Pokémon it's distinct that your words are falling on proverbial ears, considering Machamp doesn't have any visible aural receptors. Immediately Rhyperbeam raises himself back on his stubby legs as far as he can allow himself, letting gravity and mass kick in for a resounding Earthquake. Promptly you feel the sand below you shake like a mass of gelatin; the tectonic waves rumbling through the loose silica oxide, reverberated by the circular construction around you. Grunting in surprise, Machamp ends up tripping over its other foot in a preparation for a Low Kick, and it tumbles across the sand where Rhyperbeam is readying his next move. Although he knows the move, Rhyperbeam's lower limb structure makes the usage of Mega Kick a little awkward, but valiantly he charges forth with one foot glowing and delivers it into Machamp's face.

Roused by the brutal intervention, Machamp scrambles to its feet in a roar, and you're horrified by how its face now bears a pair of bloodless punctures; undoubtedly inflicted when your Rhyhorn smashed his rock-hard foot there. Baring its teeth Machamp casts a Leer onto Rhyperbeam; its new injuries adding to the Fighting-type's scary visuals. A visible shiver goes through your Pokémon before he lunges forward as far and high as is possible, trying to bring Machamp into Submission, but the spiky rhino ends up poking his horn where Machamp's bellybutton might have been. The four muscular arms quickly surround Rhyperbeam's sides, and there is little else you can do but watch as Machamp flips the lighter contestant and flings him down in a Vital Throw, landing Rhyperbeam on his back. Painfully falling to his side, Rhyperbeam barely manages to struggling back to a standing position; as of now, things look pretty even, but faced with such relentless opposition this balance might not last long...

Matthew looked at the Machamp in front of him, its bulging muscles and scars amplified the pain on its body, its past seemingly poor. As Matthew tried to calm down the four armed pokémon, he found the words simply bounce off, the Machamp unable to hear, the raging Superpower Pokémon having no visible aural receptors. Matthew shook his head, the treatment of the Pokémon making him feel slightly guilty. As Machamp ran at him, he looked at Rhyhorn, the rock Pokémon willing to defend him at any cost.

Matthew smiled at RhyperBeam, the Pokémon carefully rising to its feet, stretching its rock form. A roar swept across the island as Rhyhorn opened its mouth, revealing two rows of teeth as strong as its hide. The Pokémon then waved its stone tail and flexed its fingers, stomping the ground, making it quake. Matthew felt the sand below him shake like a mass of gelatin; the tectonic waves rumbling through the loose silica oxide, reverberated by the circular construction around him as he saw the Machamp fall over, the four armed pokémon grunting in surprise as the planned low kick failed. With the Machamp on the floor, Matthew watched as Rhyhorn valiantly charged forth with one foot glowing, delivering it into Machamp's face.

Matthew shuddered as he saw the Machamp raise with a roar, the fearsome Machamp’s face bearing more bloodless punctures; undoubtedly inflicted when his Rhyhorn smashed him. Matthew shivered a little as the Machamp stared down Rhyhorn, casting a Leer; its new injuries adding to the Fighting-type's scary visuals. With the leer over, Matthew watched as Rhyhorn tried to put Machamp into submission, the spiky rhino poking his horn into the machamp’s belly button, but as he did so, Matthew saw the Machamp’s arms surround Rhyhorn, the muscley pokémon throwing Rhyhorn onto his back. Matthew winced as Rhyhorn struggled to get to his feet, but as he did, Matthew’s expression changed to shock as he glowed white, the Pokémon engulfed into a bright light, growing in size upwards. Matthew opened his Pokédex for information, the computer generated voice telling him of the evolution process. Matthew’s face beamed as he saw the Pokémon evolve into a larger beast, the pokémon standing in front of him only ever seen once; at a bar.

Rhydon, the Drill Pokémon. Its brain developed after it stood up on its hind legs. Its drill horn bores tunnels through solid rock.

Matthew stared at the Rhydon, the faithful pokémon his very first, given to him after it saved him from Team Rocket in viridian city. The Pokémon choosing to evolve to help him in the fight.

“Thank you my friend. Use Poison Jab, then hit him with a Body slam. Finish the round with a Hammer Arm.

Shadowshocker
7th June 2009, 11:03 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Rising to a higher level to meet this threat, Rhyperbeam stands proudly on his hind legs with clenched arms and spinning drill, and with your blessings in orders he lunges. The enemy Machamp is surprised long enough for the newly evolved Drill Pokémon to drive in his Poison Jab, and though the four-armed fighter tries to push the assault away the momentum of Rhyperbeam and his elongated, tainted weapon renders these efforts futile. For the second time in this exchange Machamp crashes to the floor, revealing a sizeable rupture where Rhyperbeam's last move landed. A sickening lurch goes through you subconsciously as you notice that while no blood or tissue of any sort appears to be flowing, there's a hint of off-white that suspiciously looks like bone, but as you think this Machamp scoops up some of the sand around it with two arms; the other two supporting itself as it flings the material at your Rhydon in a makeshift Mud-Slap.

Growling at the unwelcome sensation in his eyes, Rhyperbeam shakes his head violently as a couple tears drop from the irritation, yet almost immediately afterwards he performs a three-point jump and landing onto Machamp, Body Slamming the life out of him. You briefly wonder how is it that Rhyperbeam could aim so quickly after being temporarily blinded, and it's a few seconds later when you realise that Machamp's ability must have been No Guard, noting an environment where attacks have guaranteed probabilities of hitting in exchange for an inability to rely on evasiveness. Your thoughts are quickly disrupted, however, as Machamp lifts Rhyperbeam and slams him to the ground in an exactment of Revenge, before it cringes and collapses with its arms supporting its bulk; the sudden impact of Rhyperbeam crashing onto its body must have resulted in a spell of paralysis for Machamp. Seizing this chance, Rhyperbeam slams his Arm onto Machamp's back like a Hammer, causing the Fighting-type to crumble to the sand with a grunt. Shifting backwards Rhyperbeam grins from his handiwork, clutching his tired limb from the exertion, but a few moments later Machamp painstakingly picks itself up, straining distinctly in the process, and ends up glaring squarely at the pair of you. Looks like this isn't quite over yet...

Treepandaone
7th June 2009, 1:33 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Rising to a higher level to meet this threat, Rhyperbeam stands proudly on his hind legs with clenched arms and spinning drill, and with your blessings in orders he lunges. The enemy Machamp is surprised long enough for the newly evolved Drill Pokémon to drive in his Poison Jab, and though the four-armed fighter tries to push the assault away the momentum of Rhyperbeam and his elongated, tainted weapon renders these efforts futile. For the second time in this exchange Machamp crashes to the floor, revealing a sizeable rupture where Rhyperbeam's last move landed. A sickening lurch goes through you subconsciously as you notice that while no blood or tissue of any sort appears to be flowing, there's a hint of off-white that suspiciously looks like bone, but as you think this Machamp scoops up some of the sand around it with two arms; the other two supporting itself as it flings the material at your Rhydon in a makeshift Mud-Slap.

Growling at the unwelcome sensation in his eyes, Rhyperbeam shakes his head violently as a couple tears drop from the irritation, yet almost immediately afterwards he performs a three-point jump and landing onto Machamp, Body Slamming the life out of him. You briefly wonder how is it that Rhyperbeam could aim so quickly after being temporarily blinded, and it's a few seconds later when you realise that Machamp's ability must have been No Guard, noting an environment where attacks have guaranteed probabilities of hitting in exchange for an inability to rely on evasiveness. Your thoughts are quickly disrupted, however, as Machamp lifts Rhyperbeam and slams him to the ground in an exactment of Revenge, before it cringes and collapses with its arms supporting its bulk; the sudden impact of Rhyperbeam crashing onto its body must have resulted in a spell of paralysis for Machamp. Seizing this chance, Rhyperbeam slams his Arm onto Machamp's back like a Hammer, causing the Fighting-type to crumble to the sand with a grunt. Shifting backwards Rhyperbeam grins from his handiwork, clutching his tired limb from the exertion, but a few moments later Machamp painstakingly picks itself up, straining distinctly in the process, and ends up glaring squarely at the pair of you. Looks like this isn't quite over yet...

Matthew stared at his companion; the rocky exterior and tallness of his Pokémon almost double the trainer’s size as he looked up with a sparkle in his eyes. With the bulging muscles of the rock beast and the newly found confidence, Matthew was assured in his Pokémon’s ability, cheering him on as he watched Rhydon take on the Machamp once more, the rock hard teeth showing as he began the round with a loud roar, sending Matthew’s heart into more admiration. Rhydon stood on its hind legs, clenched arms and spinning drill as he went into battle.

Matthew looked across to the Machamp, its facial expression the same as Matthew’s as Rhydon kept running forward, the loud thumps of its feet pounding across the ground. Machamp stood breathless until he noticed the jab incoming, trying to punch it away but with the Rhydon’s new found braveness, he swatted away the resistances, crashing to the floor once more with a sickening thud, a sizeable rupture visible from Matthew’s viewpoint as he keeled over, the thought of the injuries making him queasy. Matthew looked back at the wound hesitantly, surprised to see that the Pokémon had no tissue or blood, a small white tint suggested to the trainer that it was pure bone. Shaking his head from the though and looking back to the battle, Matthew noticed the pokémon scoop his arms as he got back up, the dauntlessness of the four armed powerhouse apparent as he used the dusty mud from the coliseum floor to form a makeshift mudslap, the begrimed Machamp upbringing had it to have no battle morals, the underhandedness of the Pokémon as he used all what was around him. Matthew looked to the eye of his newly evolved Rhydon, the Pokémon shaking his head at the uncanny material a few tear drops falling from his face in irritation as he did so, as Matthew looked on, fists clenched.

As he did so, however, Matthew was stunned to see a three-point jump of Rhydon’s hit, body slamming the wind out of Machamp. Looking to his Pokédex for guidance, Matthew was met by the computer voice once more.

No guard - The accuracy of all moves known by all Pokémon on the field raises to 100%

Matthew was soon disrupted by the cry of his Pokémon, his head suddenly jolting up to see the bulging Machamp regain revenge to the Rhydon, but his face rose in inquisition as the Machamp sparked yellow, the paralysis of a sudden move of the falling beast opened up opportunity for the rock Pokémon. As Rhydon got back up, Matthew watched on as he slammed his arm down with a hammer, causing the fighter to crumble into the sand. Rhydon grinned at his handiwork and looked just as shocked as Matthew as he saw the Pokémon get back up once more, straining as he did so as he looked into Rhydon’s eyes once more. Matthew turned to his Pokémon with slight sorrow in his eyes, knowing it was just survival for both of them, however he was confident in his Pokémon’s ability.

“Horn Drill. If it’s still standing use Iron Tail and Dragon Claw.”

Shadowshocker
8th June 2009, 2:37 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Left with little choice besides pushing on, you try to take further advantage of the enhanced battle conditions, sending in Rhyperbeam with a Horn Drill furiously spinning at a dangerous velocity. As your Rhydon draws near however, a barely visible, translucent dome appears around Machamp, Protecting the musclebound fighter before your Pokémon can turn it into yoghurt swirl. Shuddering from the jarring interference of the barrier, Rhyperbeam stumbles backwards as the barrier fades away, revealing Machamp while it cracks its knuckles with such volume you almost feel that it had actually injured itself.

Grunting, Rhyperbeam proceeds to amplify metallic energy in his Tail, turning it tough and hard as Iron before swinging it at Machamp, but to your surprise Machamp's four hands start to take on the same glow before they reach out in time, catching Rhyperbeam's appendage before it smashes its face in. As Machamp struggles, you realise that the priority modifier of Bullet Punch must have allowed Machamp to override the difference in speed and match attack for attack with Rhyperbeam. For what feels like hours the two brawlers push their steel-clad weaponry against each other, neither willing to compromise an inch, before a sudden spasmodic jerk along Machamp's lower arms gives Rhyperbeam the opening he needs, flooring Machamp like a deadly steel trap. As Rhyperbeam lifts his heavy tail you find that while a valley-like depression has been left along Machamp's body the Fighting-type is still defiant.

A roar from Rhyperbeam graces the air as he piledrives a Dragon Claw onto Machamp, but the usage of the same speed-handicapped limb after one count of Hammer Arm grants your opponent enough of a reprieve to bring up a Karate Chop in a bid to stop the technique, blocking the mystically charged attack with its wrist. With only one forelimb supporting, however, it doesn't take long for Machamp's resistance to break, but what you don't expect is the manner in which this occurs. An equally aghast expression is sported by Rhyperbeam as Machamp's upper left arm ruptures free from its socket, apparently worn from the constant pressure exerted on it by Machamp's attempts to defend itself, leaving your Rhydon's fist to drive itself deep into Machamp's chest with a noise you're now certain is the sound of breaking -- no, crumbling bones. Horror-stricken, Rhyperbeam pulls back as his eyes briefly dart to his claw, almost in shock at what he's just done, and you feel your stomach churn as Machamp pulls itself to its feet with its three remaining arms. The gaping hole in its own stomach is clear now, with splinters and fragments of rib falling from the bloodless wound, and with a hissy growl Machamp glares at you with the most dangerous look you've seen it show. This battle isn't about mere bragging rights any longer, if it wasn't already distinct enough; it's either you and Rhyperbeam, or the seemingly violence-possessed Machamp...

Treepandaone
9th June 2009, 11:46 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Left with little choice besides pushing on, you try to take further advantage of the enhanced battle conditions, sending in Rhyperbeam with a Horn Drill furiously spinning at a dangerous velocity. As your Rhydon draws near however, a barely visible, translucent dome appears around Machamp, Protecting the musclebound fighter before your Pokémon can turn it into yoghurt swirl. Shuddering from the jarring interference of the barrier, Rhyperbeam stumbles backwards as the barrier fades away, revealing Machamp while it cracks its knuckles with such volume you almost feel that it had actually injured itself.

Grunting, Rhyperbeam proceeds to amplify metallic energy in his Tail, turning it tough and hard as Iron before swinging it at Machamp, but to your surprise Machamp's four hands start to take on the same glow before they reach out in time, catching Rhyperbeam's appendage before it smashes its face in. As Machamp struggles, you realise that the priority modifier of Bullet Punch must have allowed Machamp to override the difference in speed and match attack for attack with Rhyperbeam. For what feels like hours the two brawlers push their steel-clad weaponry against each other, neither willing to compromise an inch, before a sudden spasmodic jerk along Machamp's lower arms gives Rhyperbeam the opening he needs, flooring Machamp like a deadly steel trap. As Rhyperbeam lifts his heavy tail you find that while a valley-like depression has been left along Machamp's body the Fighting-type is still defiant.

A roar from Rhyperbeam graces the air as he piledrives a Dragon Claw onto Machamp, but the usage of the same speed-handicapped limb after one count of Hammer Arm grants your opponent enough of a reprieve to bring up a Karate Chop in a bid to stop the technique, blocking the mystically charged attack with its wrist. With only one forelimb supporting, however, it doesn't take long for Machamp's resistance to break, but what you don't expect is the manner in which this occurs. An equally aghast expression is sported by Rhyperbeam as Machamp's upper left arm ruptures free from its socket, apparently worn from the constant pressure exerted on it by Machamp's attempts to defend itself, leaving your Rhydon's fist to drive itself deep into Machamp's chest with a noise you're now certain is the sound of breaking -- no, crumbling bones. Horror-stricken, Rhyperbeam pulls back as his eyes briefly dart to his claw, almost in shock at what he's just done, and you feel your stomach churn as Machamp pulls itself to its feet with its three remaining arms. The gaping hole in its own stomach is clear now, with splinters and fragments of rib falling from the bloodless wound, and with a hissy growl Machamp glares at you with the most dangerous look you've seen it show. This battle isn't about mere bragging rights any longer, if it wasn't already distinct enough; it's either you and Rhyperbeam, or the seemingly violence-possessed Machamp...

Matthew shivered a little, drawing his hooded jacket around himself even tighter as his piercing blue eyes surveyed the grotesque pokémon before him, the skin of the Machamp; torn and bloodless as Matthew held back the urge to be sick. His eyes tried to dart away, to avoid looking at the Machamp but he could not, his mind fixated upon staring on the creature, its distinguishing features not ones of pride of beauty but of disgust and horror.Matthew’s eyes followed Machamp’s gaze back to Rhydon, the pokémon precociously staring right back, ready to move at the slight hint of attack. As Matthew looked at Rhydon he saw that the battle had worn the Pokémon thin, its heavy breathing apparent as he thought of a strategy to overcome the Machamp.

Matthew turned his head and nodded, flashing a smile to Rhydon as the large rock monster walked into battle, its tree-trunk legs groaning under the hardened exterior as the two Pokémon faced off, The Pokémon never ceased to amaze him with its determination. Trying to use the battlefield to his advantage, Matthew watched as Rhydon span its massive horn counter clockwise, the horn’s speed increasing to a level of degree that would cause serious injury, but as he did so, Matthew saw a fine barrier of protection surround the Machamp, saving him from the attack.

Grunting with impatience, Matthew saw Rhydon send metal energy into his tail, turning its hardened steel as he swung it at Machamp only to see the four armed monstrosity fill his hands with steel, using its bullet like speed to catch the massive tail and hold it in place. After what felt like hours of constant forcing of strength, Matthew gagged as he saw the Machamp’s arm jerk out of place, snapping as the Machamp fell. Rhydon, as persistent as ever, carried on the assault as he used a Dragon Claw to attack the fallen Machamp, but with the hammer arm’s speed reduction, Matthew saw the Machamp fight back with a karate chop, only for it to fail with only one arm supporting it. As the dragon claw hit, Matthew heard a crumbling noise, snapping his head up to see what was the recipient.

Matthew observed the situation, the machamp was holding his ground, however Matthew was horrified to see a gaping hole in the Machamp’s stomach, splinters and fragments of rib falling from the bloodless wound. Matthew looked up at Rhydon; his aggressive nature and bloodlust attitude hadn’t prepared him for the sight, the Machamp rising to its feet with a violent look in its eyes.

“What? What are you?” Matthew addressed the Machamp, stuttering as he turned back to Rhydon. “Rhydon, we need to finish his before it gets out of hand. Start by trapping Machamp in a Rock Tomb., then use Fissure. If it’s still up, use Body Slam.”

Shadowshocker
9th June 2009, 3:32 PM
OOC: If Matthew has had prior archaeological experience, let me know and I'll have it edited in.


The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Possibly more alarmed than you've ever been, at least as far as this adventure has developed, you issue swift commands to Rhyperbeam who is only too happy to comply for riddance of this menace. Tapping into his Rock-type side Rhyperbeam brings up a Tomb of stones, rising from the ground to form a conical lockdown about Machamp's waist. While the technique fails to damage the Fighting-type Pokémon much compared to the earlier assaults rained upon it, they serve their purpose of bogging the behemoth down even further rather excellently. Grunting Machamp tries to properly get a grip on the rocks with his remaining three arms, apparently intent on freeing himself from the irritiating imprisonment, and with the way it twists and turns as far as the stones allow you can almost see it tearing itself in half from the effort and continuing to fight on as if nothing happened.

Rhyperbeam seems to be aware of this as well and, equally not wishing to witness any more horrific sights, rams the ground with the force of a Fissure. The effect is instantaneous much like the earlier Earthquake, but as the ground shakes harder than ever what you hadn't bargained for is the shifting sands to suddenly give way under you. Already weakened by the ravages of time, Rhyperbeam's attack becomes the heavy straw that breaks the Camerupt's back, and before you know it your feet feel as though they were standing on air as the tectonic technique rips open a crevice in the ground. Clutching at air, you look back in horror as Rhyperbeam matches your gaze with shocked concern, before the gap widens and he tumbles after you as well.

Another fleeting moment that passes like ages follows, interrupted by a solid, powerful impact against your back, followed by a monstrous thud as Rhyperbeam falls but a few metres away from you. While the height wasn't enough of a difference to kill from gravitational forces, it goes without saying that the experience has not been pleasant. Before you can pick yourself up to flick away the dust and sand, though, a familiar-looking Machamp crashes into the floor further away, only to be joined by the set of rocks Rhyperbeam called on earlier as they fall onto it like blades of guillotines. Body bits and swatches of skin and bone rise in the air as your foe is crushed, the sounds of severe damage echoing in the near-darkness, and you find a strong urge to hurl as a right hand spirals towards you and lands at a proximity of several yards from you, severed from the wrist. It doesn't take the mind of a scientist to see that your opponent lies defeated, ultimately in more ways than one. Level-up for Rhyperbeam.

Feeling rather ill, you try taking a closer inspection of the area -- clearly, this must have been the dungeon where the participants were held before their fights, but what unnerves you is the intense amount of pain that seems to cloak the darkness like a fog, more so than what you felt from Machamp. Skeletons, some jumbled and others broken, lie strewn all around you; too difficult to discern their original organisms by first glance. As your eyes get used to the only light streaming down from above, you barely make out the grey shades of walls, lined with the cruel arcs of weapons leaving their marks. Or were those left behind by those destined to fight in the arena, driven insane by bloodlust and neverending violence? You're almost certain that was the likely scenario, especially since some of the skeletons appear to face the wall with barely recognisable forelimbs outstretched. Deeply scarring pain was felt here, and you're next to reliving this, centuries into its future just by standing amongst the dead.

It takes a little while longer before thoughts begin returning to your transfixed mind. You're in need of a fossil, preferably an intact one, but there is the issue of you having little prior experience with archaeology besides the problem of the vandalised bone orchard. Somehow you find yourself still lingering on the marks left in the wall; is it your imagination, or are the scars actually calling to you for a closer look? After the fight with the undead Machamp anything could be possible, but there's also the niggling conundrum of how you're going to escape from this dome of death...

ZoraJolteon
10th June 2009, 4:32 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Having explored one of the chambers below, you decide that going to the top this time would be a fitting plan, and going up the spiral steps you can't help but briefly glance back at the remaining two passages. Will you need to make a trip back down? Pushing this thought aside, you reach the main entrance chamber where you were only a half hour or so ago, only this time the temple seems to have taken on a peculiar presence, as though countless eyes are watching you in spite of you seemingly being the only occupant within the hallowed walls. Has the sanctum become isolated in light of your challenge? This ponderance lingers a little longer in your mind as you scale the other staircase, leading upwards into the higher floor. Upon reaching another main chamber much like the one downstairs you find that while the stairs seem to extend to a higher sort of attic, a shining seal on the star-shaped trapdoor strongly suggests that you can't quite visit this area yet.

Selecting one of the three upper hallways, you make your way with Myria in anticipation of what's to come. In a chamber much like the one where you found Suruta, another pedestal presents its shining statues of a heavily segmented, jagged arthropod, bearing dangerous-looking fangs and claws.

Ocorpis, the Scorpion
Guardian of Poison

"So, decided to skip the others first and look for me, did you?" A sneering voice emanates from the chamber itself, making you tense in expectant antipication. "Suruta's witnessed that so-called strength of yours... let's see if you can walk the talk!"

In a spookily fluid movement, the Drapion emblem curls his clawed arms, bearing them at you in an aggressive pose. What will you do now?


"Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you then." Zora apologised, taking a Pokéball from his belt and tossing it in front of him. "It's sort of hard to walk with no legs, and talking's problematic too when you're trying to make telepathic contact with a Dark type."
"Bal-Toy." his Pokémon vocalised, as it formed in front of him.
"Ready for battle?"
{Prepared to initialise attacks. Which techniques?} Baltoy's thoughts echoed inside Zora's head.
"Hmm. I think we'll start with a Cosmic Power, then follow on with Earth Power."

Shadowshocker
10th June 2009, 2:16 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Compared to your serene countenance, Ocorpis continues to glare at you even while you send out your chosen battler this time. "Smart talking isn't going to save you!" he growls as Baltoy communicates with you on the mental frequency, snapping his claws in a most alarming fashion. It's clear that this guardian is a lot less sociable than the first one you faced, but Baltoy seems unperturbed by the aggressive display. Playing on its apparent extra-terrestrial origins, Baltoy activates a glowing Cosmic Power that glitters about its body like falling stardust, amplifying its defensive capabilities.

"Two can play at that game!" huffs Ocorpis, jabbing himself in the shoulder, and from the epicentre of impact you find a lustrous sheen start to emanate, coating the ogre scorpion's body like a fine layer of polish. Unfazed by the Acupressure the Drapion demonstrated, Baltoy starts switching over to a different aura of yellow this time, and before the part Poison-type realises what the other living statue has done the floor below erupts with Earth Power. With no boost in defences against the non-physical spectrum, Ocorpis feels the full extent of the attack rippling through each segment of his body, and much like Suruta did he roars from the unwelcome discomfort.

"Grah!" Righting himself as the shaking fades, Ocorpis tosses a glare at you, sharp as his fangs and claws. "You're going to regret that!"

As the Drapion suddenly rushes towards you at a speed much faster than you'd expect from a bulky arachnid, Ocorpis' Fangs take on a hue of shining cyan, crashing down onto Baltoy with the power of Ice lacing them. You hear a telepathic interjection from Baltoy before it manages to wriggle free from the crushing maw of the scorpion, but not without a layer of ice caking its lower body, though not on a significant enough scale to warrant an actual classfication of freeze. With Ocorpis seeming to match you move for move, this doesn't seem it'll be any easier than the last battle...

Treepandaone
10th June 2009, 5:48 PM
OOC: If Matthew has had prior archaeological experience, let me know and I'll have it edited in.


The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Possibly more alarmed than you've ever been, at least as far as this adventure has developed, you issue swift commands to Rhyperbeam who is only too happy to comply for riddance of this menace. Tapping into his Rock-type side Rhyperbeam brings up a Tomb of stones, rising from the ground to form a conical lockdown about Machamp's waist. While the technique fails to damage the Fighting-type Pokémon much compared to the earlier assaults rained upon it, they serve their purpose of bogging the behemoth down even further rather excellently. Grunting Machamp tries to properly get a grip on the rocks with his remaining three arms, apparently intent on freeing himself from the irritiating imprisonment, and with the way it twists and turns as far as the stones allow you can almost see it tearing itself in half from the effort and continuing to fight on as if nothing happened.

Rhyperbeam seems to be aware of this as well and, equally not wishing to witness any more horrific sights, rams the ground with the force of a Fissure. The effect is instantaneous much like the earlier Earthquake, but as the ground shakes harder than ever what you hadn't bargained for is the shifting sands to suddenly give way under you. Already weakened by the ravages of time, Rhyperbeam's attack becomes the heavy straw that breaks the Camerupt's back, and before you know it your feet feel as though they were standing on air as the tectonic technique rips open a crevice in the ground. Clutching at air, you look back in horror as Rhyperbeam matches your gaze with shocked concern, before the gap widens and he tumbles after you as well.

Another fleeting moment that passes like ages follows, interrupted by a solid, powerful impact against your back, followed by a monstrous thud as Rhyperbeam falls but a few metres away from you. While the height wasn't enough of a difference to kill from gravitational forces, it goes without saying that the experience has not been pleasant. Before you can pick yourself up to flick away the dust and sand, though, a familiar-looking Machamp crashes into the floor further away, only to be joined by the set of rocks Rhyperbeam called on earlier as they fall onto it like blades of guillotines. Body bits and swatches of skin and bone rise in the air as your foe is crushed, the sounds of severe damage echoing in the near-darkness, and you find a strong urge to hurl as a right hand spirals towards you and lands at a proximity of several yards from you, severed from the wrist. It doesn't take the mind of a scientist to see that your opponent lies defeated, ultimately in more ways than one. Level-up for Rhyperbeam.

Feeling rather ill, you try taking a closer inspection of the area -- clearly, this must have been the dungeon where the participants were held before their fights, but what unnerves you is the intense amount of pain that seems to cloak the darkness like a fog, more so than what you felt from Machamp. Skeletons, some jumbled and others broken, lie strewn all around you; too difficult to discern their original organisms by first glance. As your eyes get used to the only light streaming down from above, you barely make out the grey shades of walls, lined with the cruel arcs of weapons leaving their marks. Or were those left behind by those destined to fight in the arena, driven insane by bloodlust and neverending violence? You're almost certain that was the likely scenario, especially since some of the skeletons appear to face the wall with barely recognisable forelimbs outstretched. Deeply scarring pain was felt here, and you're next to reliving this, centuries into its future just by standing amongst the dead.

It takes a little while longer before thoughts begin returning to your transfixed mind. You're in need of a fossil, preferably an intact one, but there is the issue of you having little prior experience with archaeology besides the problem of the vandalised bone orchard. Somehow you find yourself still lingering on the marks left in the wall; is it your imagination, or are the scars actually calling to you for a closer look? After the fight with the undead Machamp anything could be possible, but there's also the niggling conundrum of how you're going to escape from this dome of death...

OoC: No, he hasn't had any. And just for reference; Rhydon is now level 53.

As he eagerly watched his chosen Pokémon and the actions of the Machamp getting more and more aggressive, Matthew knew that he’d have to push to knock out the machamp, the battle turning uglier than it needed to be. But his concerns were stifled by his anticipation, floating round in his head, along with nervousness and pride, the Rhydon in front of him still fighting for him with little hesitation in doing so; faithful until the end.

Watching with his fists clenched, Matthew watched his Pokémon call up rocks from the ground, trapping Machamp in a tomb, the damage done was very little compared to what he had been doing before. Stroking the tuft upon his chin, Matthew saw the Rhydon’s attack serve its purpose, the lockdown of the fighting Pokémon making his defeat obtainable if the Rhydon took the chance at hand, Matthew giving the orders with a nod as he saw his giant Rhydon roar in acknowledgment. As Matthew turned back to the Machamp, he saw the Machamp trying to get rid of the rocks, his three remaining arms struggling, intent of freeing himself of his imprisonment, the aggression of the Machamp making itself tear itself in half trying to free itself.

Matthew looked away toward Rhydon, the huge rock Pokémon also expressing his wish to put the Machamp out of its misery, making a swift counter, once again swinging his pointed tail to strike the ground from above, the fissure technique expelling with a tremendous crack, the ground shaking once more as Matthew stuck out his arms awkwardly, trying to navigate the force and stay on his feet. As he watched the crack in the ground get larger, Matthew’s eyes widened, the time ravaged ground tearing in half as he the gap widening, sending him down to the floor and through it.

As Matthew met the ground with force, he felt the wind was knocked from his lungs as he came plummeting to the hard floor, subject to the fissures assault on the tectonic plates. Sitting up slowly, he rubbed his hand on his back in a painfull movement, wincing as the pain shot up, a moment’s notice of shock sent down his system. As he did, he looked up, eyes widening once again as he saw the monstrous weight of the Rhydon fall meters away from his. Wiping a bead of sweat from his brow, Matthew thanked Arcues that RhyperBeam had not landed on him, the new weighty pokémon would have crushed his bones. As Matthew rose slowly from the ground, rubbing his backside, he looked upward, the distance of the fall not as large as he had first thought. Rubbing the dust and sand from his clothing, Matthew jumped backwards, the Machamp from before landing on the floor to be followed by bits of rocks, cutting into his body like blades. As Matthew protected his eyes from skin and bone, Matthew saw the right hand of the beast spiral towards him. Holding his stomach with illness Matthew kicked the hand away to the side, walking up to his Rhydon as he rose, knowing the Machamp was defeated. As Rhydon rose to its feet, Matthew found the Pokémon feel more powerful, the defeat of the Machamp giving him a level up.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Matthew turned to take closer inspection of the area, the feeling of sickness rising once more as he saw the dungeon like qualities of the room. As Matthew racked his brains, he came up with the synopsis that the place was created to hold the participants before a fight. Shivering, Matthew felt the room clouded in a fog of pain, skeletons of pokémon lying around, too difficult to decipher from first glance. As his eyes settled from the low light streaming from above, Matthew saw the walls with scraps upon them, wondering upon the origins of the marks, discarding them for a moment. Looking back on the skeletons, he saw most of them facing the wall, barely recognisable forelimbs outstretched. Shedding a small tear, Matthew wiped it off with the sleeve of his jumper, reliving the pain from past generations.

Returning from his daydreams of suffering past, Matthew looked around, realizing that he needed a fossil for the professor, an intact one being preferred, but with no archeological experiences, Matthew wondered how he would get one. Looking around for ideas, Matthew felt himself being pulled towards the walls once more, the marks on the wall sparking a curiosity in his mind as he walked over to them, trying to get a better look. Returning Rhydon to his Pokéball for a nice rest, Matthew thanked him for his service, pocketing him.

Shadowshocker
11th June 2009, 2:35 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Your interest momentarily piqued by the markings littering the walls like ancient graffiti, you trudge amongst the bones towards the scars in stone, careful not to break anything underfoot just in case it might be one of the fossils you're looking for. Once you're close enough to place a hand onto the walls, you briefly shiver from the cold, lifeless texture of the rock as you squint against the darkness. A majority of the marks seem to be straightly cut in, lacking any finesse that a scribe might have had, but considering the condition that the possible authors were in at the time it seems only reasonable. Your fingers briefly pass over the dips in the stone, another shudder going through you as you feel how deep the cuts have been made. For someone or something to have carved into the surface so terribly you can only imagine the pain that was experienced here, physical and mental alike.

As you make your way past heaps of bone and scores of lines, your fingers suddenly feel a series of depressions into the stone, unlike the erratic patterns you've been feeling until now. A wave of certainty goes through you, and you focus your sight further on the wall, noticing that instead of mere scars dragged into the wall lines of text have been carved in, reading like the entry of a diary:

They have placed me amongst the dead. The prospects of escape seem impossible now, and all hope seems to be completely snuffed out. Many others around me have already fallen victim to the mental torment of this chamber; some driven to cannibalism to survive, others to inconsolable states of negativity, but most certainly all insane.

I found the body of my dear friend; merely one of many others who had fallen before him. It was through tremendous effort and chance that I located him, and while I had thirsted to see him one last time after he was taken, it brought me no end of sorrow to see him. I had not wished to meet him again this way; I had imagined him to have surpassed the ordeals of the arena when he was taken from our cell to fight for his freedom. It seems such was not the case, and he forfeited his life to the arena, with me soon to join him.

Of course, I will continue to fight on, but I feel the end drawing ever nearer.

It seems a shame, but I find that I can no longer continue.

Kneeling down as you read the last of the words, your eyes peer further downwards, surprising yourself to see the apparent writer lying sprawled on the floor. Looking closer at the crescentesque dome, the malnourished spinal structure, and the dulled scythes, it takes you a while to realise that you're looking at the fossil of a Kabutops -- and, it seems, one in near perfect condition with only some of the minor joints and bones missing. It doesn't seem that you'll find another specimen as good as this one, but a niggle of paranoia makes itself known in your head. It wouldn't be a good thing if a resurrected Kabutops went on a rampage, even if it was alone, most certainly.

What will you do?

Treepandaone
13th June 2009, 11:25 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Your interest momentarily piqued by the markings littering the walls like ancient graffiti, you trudge amongst the bones towards the scars in stone, careful not to break anything underfoot just in case it might be one of the fossils you're looking for. Once you're close enough to place a hand onto the walls, you briefly shiver from the cold, lifeless texture of the rock as you squint against the darkness. A majority of the marks seem to be straightly cut in, lacking any finesse that a scribe might have had, but considering the condition that the possible authors were in at the time it seems only reasonable. Your fingers briefly pass over the dips in the stone, another shudder going through you as you feel how deep the cuts have been made. For someone or something to have carved into the surface so terribly you can only imagine the pain that was experienced here, physical and mental alike.

As you make your way past heaps of bone and scores of lines, your fingers suddenly feel a series of depressions into the stone, unlike the erratic patterns you've been feeling until now. A wave of certainty goes through you, and you focus your sight further on the wall, noticing that instead of mere scars dragged into the wall lines of text have been carved in, reading like the entry of a diary:

They have placed me amongst the dead. The prospects of escape seem impossible now, and all hope seems to be completely snuffed out. Many others around me have already fallen victim to the mental torment of this chamber; some driven to cannibalism to survive, others to inconsolable states of negativity, but most certainly all insane.

I found the body of my dear friend; merely one of many others who had fallen before him. It was through tremendous effort and chance that I located him, and while I had thirsted to see him one last time after he was taken, it brought me no end of sorrow to see him. I had not wished to meet him again this way; I had imagined him to have surpassed the ordeals of the arena when he was taken from our cell to fight for his freedom. It seems such was not the case, and he forfeited his life to the arena, with me soon to join him.

Of course, I will continue to fight on, but I feel the end drawing ever nearer.

It seems a shame, but I find that I can no longer continue.

Kneeling down as you read the last of the words, your eyes peer further downwards, surprising yourself to see the apparent writer lying sprawled on the floor. Looking closer at the crescentesque dome, the malnourished spinal structure, and the dulled scythes, it takes you a while to realise that you're looking at the fossil of a Kabutops -- and, it seems, one in near perfect condition with only some of the minor joints and bones missing. It doesn't seem that you'll find another specimen as good as this one, but a niggle of paranoia makes itself known in your head. It wouldn't be a good thing if a resurrected Kabutops went on a rampage, even if it was alone, most certainly.

What will you do?

Matthew ran his fingers down the cracks, his tongue stroking the bottom of his lip subconsciously, anxiety freezing him in place, encaptured by the mysterious scratches on the wall, each one a piece of the puzzle as the ancient graffiti. Looking down, Matthew scanned the floor below him, the tinted white bones each holding some promise to a fossil for the professor, his clumsy feet trying to avoid breaking the precious remnants of history. With no luck, Matthew turned his head back to the wall, tracing his finger across the wall with a shudder, the coldness of death and misery reenacting century’s of torture and pain. Squinting at the wall, Matthew saw the marks lacking in finesse, considering the conditions the author may have had to write the marks in. As his fingers briefly passed over the dips in the stone, Matthew shuddered once more, feeling how deep the cuts were made, imagining the pain that the author had, physically and mentally.

The culmination of enclosed heat and steady adrenaline formed a rather startling bead of sweat to trickle down his brow, a distraction that provoked him to wipe the bead with his sleeve before carrying on. With his fingers running down the wall gently, Matthew stopped suddenly, his fingers meeting scrapes and cuts of linear patterns, unlike the erratic patterns of the past scribes. Squinting deeper at the wall, Matthew read the scars like a diary, text scratched into the wall.

They have placed me amongst the dead. The prospects of escape seem impossible now, and all hope seems to be completely snuffed out. Many others around me have already fallen victim to the mental torment of this chamber; some driven to cannibalism to survive, others to inconsolable states of negativity, but most certainly all insane.

I found the body of my dear friend; merely one of many others who had fallen before him. It was through tremendous effort and chance that I located him, and while I had thirsted to see him one last time after he was taken, it brought me no end of sorrow to see him. I had not wished to meet him again this way; I had imagined him to have surpassed the ordeals of the arena when he was taken from our cell to fight for his freedom. It seems such was not the case, and he forfeited his life to the arena, with me soon to join him.

Of course, I will continue to fight on, but I feel the end drawing ever nearer.

It seems a shame, but I find that I can no longer continue.

Matthew got engrossed in the story, reading the story aloud to himself, feeling the story replayed as it was. Kneeling as he finished the last sentence, Matthew jumped upwards in surprise, scrambling to his feet as he saw some bones on the floor, figuring it was the apparent writer of the story. Looking closer at the crescentesque dome, the malnourished spinal structure and the dulled scythes, Matthew noticed the fossil was of a Kabutops, a pokémon he had heard a lot about, the fossil seemingly perfect condition with only minor joints and bones missing. Stroking his chin gently, Matthew wondered if the Kabutops would be worth taking, a niggling feeling of paranoia seeped into his head, the resurrected Kabutops could cause massive havoc in the city. After a few minutes of back and forth discussion with himself, Matthew decided to take the fossil, noting to make sure the professor kept it in a secure center.

Grabbing a Pokéball from his belt, Matthew spun the red and white ball as it flicked from his finger, the ball splitting in two to reveal his own fossil Pokémon; Dom. With the release of the aerodactyl, Matthew glazed in a serious tone, nodding to the flying pokémon as it cleaned its wing.

“Ok Dom, I’m going to grab this fossil and head back to the lab, I’ll need your assistance”.

With the cry of the Aerodactyl for a positive response, Matthew grabbed the fossils, ready to strap it to his pokémon and return to the scientist.

Shadowshocker
14th June 2009, 3:10 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Releasing your own fossil to aid in the transportation of your selected quarry back to the base of operations, you arrange the fossilised Kabutops on Dom in its original position, careful not to let the aged but still sharp scythes to cut either of you. The lack of handy ropes or similar fibres to secure the skeleton leaves you to use the Escape Rope in your backpack as a temporary measure, and once the bundle of bones has been adequately lashed you signal to your Aerodactyl to scoop you up by the shoulders. Sending up dust clouds as he flaps his wings, Dom flies you up through the darkness towards the fissure Rhyperbeam had created, bathing you in light beating down on you from the sun. You issue directions to the ancient dragon, and while Dom doesn't quite have much in the way of experience his prehistoric capabilities grant him enough stamina to suspend you and the fossil a number of metres above ground level, letting him ferry you for the return trip.


***

While Aerodactyl normally boast significantly higher speed statistics, it has to be said that being the most rookie member of your team Dom isn't quite built for long-term flight yet. Panting as he drops you outside the laboratory, Dom half crashes to the ground from his weariness, prompting you to return him to his PokéBall for much required rest and carry the fossil yourself. The clear doors of the research facility greet you again with their air-conditioning on the side, and walking back to where you originally found Glenn you see the scientist still looking over his crystalline specimens.

"...Oh, Matthew? Back so soon?" he calls as he turns around, having noticed you by the footsteps. "Sounds and looks to me your expedition was a success! That's a most excellent example of a fossilised Kabutops from what I've seen," smiles Glenn. "Where did you find this one?"

You give Glenn your reply, much to the latter's apparent surprise.

"The Colosseum, you say? I have to admit, I never knew such intact specimens could be found there, considering the circumstances. Then again, we're not actually scheduled to excavate that area yet, but these findings could certainly warrant priority over that sector," muses the scientist, mostly to himself. "Well, I've wasted enough time with my babbling -- let's see what we can do with this."

Supporting you in carrying the fossil, Glenn escorts you to one of the various corners of the laboratory, bringing you in front of a machine much like a containment chamber with reinforced doors. "You might already know this, but this is one of the resurrection machines we use, standard issue through the continents. We haven't actually had the chance to use them, though; these machines use up a considerable amount of power and we have barely enough electricity to get by normal duties here in this outpost. If the crystals work, one major development will be saving us high energy costs in our research, and we won't need to have these guys on permanent standby."

Once the sliding doors have been activated open, together Glenn and you place the Kabutops in the centre of the chamber in a seated position, before Glenn shuts them again. You spot Glenn rushing back to his workstation, peering over his microscope again and fiddling about before he starts walking towards you with a small petri dish.

"If my theory is correct, these crystals should allow not only reanimate fossils, but also facilitate growth and repairing processes," he continues on in scientific drones. "This should make up for the deformities and missing parts of anatomy in this specimen. If the test proves successful, we should be able to progress on to cloning full living Pokémon out of even minute traces of DNA."

With no relevant experience of your own, all you can do is watch as Glenn deposits the petri dish inside a slot not unlike the sort for PokéDexes linked to the usual videophones, and after a few tapped buttons on the chamber's control panel you see a display of what seems to be a heavily magnified picture of the fragments on the green display monitor. A confirmation code is pressed in, and with a cautious hand Mark turns a noticeable dial next to an energy level indicator, which starts to light up like a carnival game as the display monitor turns a hue of cyan.

"This dial regulates the power that goes into the machine's mechanisms," Glenn briefly explains. "We just need a reading enough to resurrect this Kabutops, and... did you say something?"

The question startles you, but before you can respond you hear the word "Power..." in a faint whisper, and a voice that sounds ominously not like Glenn's. You open your mouth to answer, but for a second time you find yourself interrupted as the control box suddenly crackles with a wave of purple lightning.

"What in the--?!" Shock seizing him as it has with you, Glenn desperately hits the button labelled "Abort", but the machine proves unresponsive to his commands, and before long you discover that the entire chamber has started to fizzle with the same shaded electricity.

"NO! GET BACK!"

Reflexively pushing you by the shoulders, Glenn sends you stumbling by a few metres before the continued momentum from disrupted balance carries you further, depositing you in a thump on the tiled floor just as the machine seems to erupt with a thick cloud of fog. You instinctively call out to Glenn, just as you feel a chilling wave of emotion ripple through your mind that seems sinisterly familiar.

"Power..." The whisper earlier -- now grown in volume, sounding more like a chant -- catches your attention, drawing it to a faint silhouette etched in the smoke. You briefly catch signs of Glenn's figure shadowed against the gas, but for some reason you notice that the shadow seems somewhat thinner on one side, looking a lot more bony and a lot less clothed...

"Glenn? GLENN!" Another voice, that of a shrill female, only adds to the disruption and chaos, and as if hoisted on a hook you turn your head around to see a group of other people, dressed in clothing more suited for the outside environment but still bearing the same scientific air about them as Glenn had. As if noticing your attention on them, the group turns their eyes on you; the widest-eyed stare coming from a young woman with her long black hair in a pink scrunchie, and her mouth half-open as if about to scream...

SP-Eevee
15th June 2009, 6:23 PM
The Lost Cities of Talas
The Archaeology Zone
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx: This Sphinx loves riddles so if you don't like them then this isn't the place for you. Answer the Sphinx's riddle and she will allow you entry. Once inside you will be faced with another twelve riddles. Each time you guess the correct answer you advance to the next stage where you will battle for your right to face another riddle. Make it to the end and you will receive great rewards, if you lose a battle or answer a riddle incorrectly you will find yourself back at the beginning.
((Ooc: At first I wasn't sure where to go but when I looked at the description for the Sphinx I knew this'd be awesome, hope this is ok, short intro is short.))

Though a begining trainer Kelly, a young fair-haired teen hailing from Johto, the girl was determined to make her mark on the world. How, she did not know. She thought back, trying to recall what exactly had drawn her towards this particular place on the Isle of Talas. It had been rumours that had piqued her interest in the first place, curiosity seemed to be the driving factor in almost everything she did. In any case, she was getting closer now, with three Pokeballs on her belt she felt a sense of confidence not present in her first adventure, whatever awaited them at the Sphinx statue it was fast approaching. Claus, the only one out of his Pokeball at present, bounded forward recklessly, the bold Vulpix was in a world of his own, eager to get into any scrapes he could, or start them would be a far more accurate statement.

Kelly doubted that he would enjoy the area they now headed ever closer for. "Riddles... hrm" she mumbled, recalling a few of the passing rumours she'd been told when she had taken her first step on the island. She didn't mind riddles to be honest, if anything it would be an interesting change from the battles and looming threats of explosives her last adventure in the Arcane Realm had brought to her.

Noticing the sudden change of surroundings she called out to her Pokemon, "Slow down, we're nearly there and... you're going the wrong way..." The fox looked over his shoulder and shot his trainer a glare causing her to sigh heavily. Disgruntled from being torn back into reality the small fox cub copied his trainer's sigh and trotted back to where she waited. Looking forward it seems they were here, at least, close enough. Making their way forward Kelly just hoped she was prepared for whatever was about to happen. At least Claus seemed overly confident for the both of them.

Shadowshocker
16th June 2009, 4:27 PM
Here's welcoming SP-Eevee to the Lost Cities of Talas. Enjoy your stay!


The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Drawn to this neck of the proverbial woods in the worlds of Fizzy Bubbles, you find yourself and Claus beholding the Sphinx in all her mysterious, eminent glory. For the most part you were attracted to this place by intrigue and word-of-mouth above anything else, and while you can't quite boast the bravado that your Vulpix is exhibiting you're noticeably less nervous than you were when you had just begun your journeys.

"Welcome, Kelly."

Though you've already heard tales about the Sphinx, it doesn't quite prepare you for the warm, omniscient voice that seems to echo through every fibre of your being. You reflexively shudder at this; Claus glancing at you with a gaze that almost looks like a smirk.

"Fret not, young Trainer. Only the foolish have reason to fear what lies inside, and yet the foolish fear nothing." The voice, upon further listening, almost has a smile to its tonality, and you look up at the Sphinx's unmoving mouth, yet expectant of the words coming from her. "You will find that your skills as a Trainer will be severely tested; not merely your battle instincts but also your ability to tap into the powers of your own mind. Triumph, and your rewards shall be great, but falter and find your efforts redundant. Do you understand?"

Much as the Sphinx sounds kind in her advice, there's no denying that she still sounds deadly serious. You attempt at offering a weak smile as Claus paws the sand impatiently.

"I see your partner seems to have answered strongly for the both of you," muses the Sphinx gently. "To go further within the hallowed chambers you must first pass one of my own riddles, and I have just the one for you.

"It takes an hour for five Bidoof to construct five dams. How long would it take for a hundred Bidoof to construct a hundred dams?"

Do you know the answer?

ZoraJolteon
17th June 2009, 9:51 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Compared to your serene countenance, Ocorpis continues to glare at you even while you send out your chosen battler this time. "Smart talking isn't going to save you!" he growls as Baltoy communicates with you on the mental frequency, snapping his claws in a most alarming fashion. It's clear that this guardian is a lot less sociable than the first one you faced, but Baltoy seems unperturbed by the aggressive display. Playing on its apparent extra-terrestrial origins, Baltoy activates a glowing Cosmic Power that glitters about its body like falling stardust, amplifying its defensive capabilities.

"Two can play at that game!" huffs Ocorpis, jabbing himself in the shoulder, and from the epicentre of impact you find a lustrous sheen start to emanate, coating the ogre scorpion's body like a fine layer of polish. Unfazed by the Acupressure the Drapion demonstrated, Baltoy starts switching over to a different aura of yellow this time, and before the part Poison-type realises what the other living statue has done the floor below erupts with Earth Power. With no boost in defences against the non-physical spectrum, Ocorpis feels the full extent of the attack rippling through each segment of his body, and much like Suruta did he roars from the unwelcome discomfort.

"Grah!" Righting himself as the shaking fades, Ocorpis tosses a glare at you, sharp as his fangs and claws. "You're going to regret that!"

As the Drapion suddenly rushes towards you at a speed much faster than you'd expect from a bulky arachnid, Ocorpis' Fangs take on a hue of shining cyan, crashing down onto Baltoy with the power of Ice lacing them. You hear a telepathic interjection from Baltoy before it manages to wriggle free from the crushing maw of the scorpion, but not without a layer of ice caking its lower body, though not on a significant enough scale to warrant an actual classfication of freeze. With Ocorpis seeming to match you move for move, this doesn't seem it'll be any easier than the last battle...

"Well well then." Zora said as he watched the Drapion respond to Baltoy's previous set of attacks. "If we're going to be parroting each other, why don't we unleash a cryogenic attack of our own."
{Utilise technique #058 - trainer designation ICE BEAM} Baltoy told him, waiting for its master's approval of its assumed command.
"Yes indeed." Zora told it. "And after that, since I like beams, lets try following up with another one. Blast it with your Signal Beam attack."

Treepandaone
17th June 2009, 12:45 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
Releasing your own fossil to aid in the transportation of your selected quarry back to the base of operations, you arrange the fossilised Kabutops on Dom in its original position, careful not to let the aged but still sharp scythes to cut either of you. The lack of handy ropes or similar fibres to secure the skeleton leaves you to use the Escape Rope in your backpack as a temporary measure, and once the bundle of bones has been adequately lashed you signal to your Aerodactyl to scoop you up by the shoulders. Sending up dust clouds as he flaps his wings, Dom flies you up through the darkness towards the fissure Rhyperbeam had created, bathing you in light beating down on you from the sun. You issue directions to the ancient dragon, and while Dom doesn't quite have much in the way of experience his prehistoric capabilities grant him enough stamina to suspend you and the fossil a number of metres above ground level, letting him ferry you for the return trip.


***

While Aerodactyl normally boast significantly higher speed statistics, it has to be said that being the most rookie member of your team Dom isn't quite built for long-term flight yet. Panting as he drops you outside the laboratory, Dom half crashes to the ground from his weariness, prompting you to return him to his PokéBall for much required rest and carry the fossil yourself. The clear doors of the research facility greet you again with their air-conditioning on the side, and walking back to where you originally found Glenn you see the scientist still looking over his crystalline specimens.

"...Oh, Matthew? Back so soon?" he calls as he turns around, having noticed you by the footsteps. "Sounds and looks to me your expedition was a success! That's a most excellent example of a fossilised Kabutops from what I've seen," smiles Glenn. "Where did you find this one?"

You give Glenn your reply, much to the latter's apparent surprise.

"The Colosseum, you say? I have to admit, I never knew such intact specimens could be found there, considering the circumstances. Then again, we're not actually scheduled to excavate that area yet, but these findings could certainly warrant priority over that sector," muses the scientist, mostly to himself. "Well, I've wasted enough time with my babbling -- let's see what we can do with this."

Supporting you in carrying the fossil, Glenn escorts you to one of the various corners of the laboratory, bringing you in front of a machine much like a containment chamber with reinforced doors. "You might already know this, but this is one of the resurrection machines we use, standard issue through the continents. We haven't actually had the chance to use them, though; these machines use up a considerable amount of power and we have barely enough electricity to get by normal duties here in this outpost. If the crystals work, one major development will be saving us high energy costs in our research, and we won't need to have these guys on permanent standby."

Once the sliding doors have been activated open, together Glenn and you place the Kabutops in the centre of the chamber in a seated position, before Glenn shuts them again. You spot Glenn rushing back to his workstation, peering over his microscope again and fiddling about before he starts walking towards you with a small petri dish.

"If my theory is correct, these crystals should allow not only reanimate fossils, but also facilitate growth and repairing processes," he continues on in scientific drones. "This should make up for the deformities and missing parts of anatomy in this specimen. If the test proves successful, we should be able to progress on to cloning full living Pokémon out of even minute traces of DNA."

With no relevant experience of your own, all you can do is watch as Glenn deposits the petri dish inside a slot not unlike the sort for PokéDexes linked to the usual videophones, and after a few tapped buttons on the chamber's control panel you see a display of what seems to be a heavily magnified picture of the fragments on the green display monitor. A confirmation code is pressed in, and with a cautious hand Mark turns a noticeable dial next to an energy level indicator, which starts to light up like a carnival game as the display monitor turns a hue of cyan.

"This dial regulates the power that goes into the machine's mechanisms," Glenn briefly explains. "We just need a reading enough to resurrect this Kabutops, and... did you say something?"

The question startles you, but before you can respond you hear the word "Power..." in a faint whisper, and a voice that sounds ominously not like Glenn's. You open your mouth to answer, but for a second time you find yourself interrupted as the control box suddenly crackles with a wave of purple lightning.

"What in the--?!" Shock seizing him as it has with you, Glenn desperately hits the button labelled "Abort", but the machine proves unresponsive to his commands, and before long you discover that the entire chamber has started to fizzle with the same shaded electricity.

"NO! GET BACK!"

Reflexively pushing you by the shoulders, Glenn sends you stumbling by a few metres before the continued momentum from disrupted balance carries you further, depositing you in a thump on the tiled floor just as the machine seems to erupt with a thick cloud of fog. You instinctively call out to Glenn, just as you feel a chilling wave of emotion ripple through your mind that seems sinisterly familiar.

"Power..." The whisper earlier -- now grown in volume, sounding more like a chant -- catches your attention, drawing it to a faint silhouette etched in the smoke. You briefly catch signs of Glenn's figure shadowed against the gas, but for some reason you notice that the shadow seems somewhat thinner on one side, looking a lot more bony and a lot less clothed...

"Glenn? GLENN!" Another voice, that of a shrill female, only adds to the disruption and chaos, and as if hoisted on a hook you turn your head around to see a group of other people, dressed in clothing more suited for the outside environment but still bearing the same scientific air about them as Glenn had. As if noticing your attention on them, the group turns their eyes on you; the widest-eyed stare coming from a young woman with her long black hair in a pink scrunchie, and her mouth half-open as if about to scream...

Awesome update shadow, i'm really enjoying this one ^.^

Matthew ran his hand through his hair at the release of his Aerodactyl, the Pokémon his newest member of the team, fitting in quite well with its surroundings. With the order, Matthew scuttled through his bag like a Rattata, looking for materials to strap the fossil onto his Pokemons back. As his fingers drifted among the rough bumpy texture of the escape rope, Matthew smiled, remembering a valuable lesson from the past, his father teaching him to use his surroundings to his advantage. Grabbing the fossil in haste, Matthew carefully placed the fossil on Dom’s back, the flying pokémon twitching a little in anticipation as he felt the sharp scythes of the Kabutops sit upright, Matthew hesitantly placing them in a safe position. As Matthew put his hand upright, Matthew felt the Aerodactyl scoop him up by the shoulders, praising him for the recognition of the taught signal, a valuable asset that Matthew trained his Pokémon with in case of an emergency.

Covering his eyes gently Matthew saw the dust fly up from the ground as Dom took off through the fissure made earlier. Matthew felt the light embrace his body as it swallowed him, his eyes settling to the light as he gave his orders. As Dom responded, Matthew felt the fossil weigh down on his new pokémon, the inexperience of flight a causing factor as the prehistoric pokémon suspended the fossil above the ground by a few meters as Matthew smiled gently.

After a few minutes, Matthew saw Dom begin to pant heavily, the dissimilar concept of flying with weight on his back meant that Dom had to pause outside the laboratory, Matthew thanking him for his services as he drew him back to his Pokéball as the pokémon half crashed to the floor, his stamina shot. Picking up the fossil in his hands, Matthew carried the fossil back to the lab’s doors, the familiar doors swooshing open to reveal Glen once more, examining samples of the crystal.

"...Oh, Matthew? Back so soon?” Matthew looked up as he was greeted by the scientist, smiling as his footsteps gave away his position. "Sounds and looks to me your expedition was a success! That's a most excellent example of a fossilised Kabutops from what I've seen, Where did you find this one?"

“The collusuem” Matthew replied as the scientist expressed his surprise

"The Colosseum, you say? I have to admit, I never knew such intact specimens could be found there, considering the circumstances. Then again, we're not actually scheduled to excavate that area yet, but these findings could certainly warrant priority over that sector, , I've wasted enough time with my babbling -- let's see what we can do with this."

Matthew chuckled to himself as the scientist rambled to himself before he felt the fossil weight lifted slightly, Glen moving across to support him as they carried the fossil away, Matthew lead blindingly to one of the corners of the laboratory, bringing him to a machine that looked like a containment chamber with reinforced doors.

"You might already know this, but this is one of the resurrection machines we use, standard issue through the continents. We haven't actually had the chance to use them, though; these machines use up a considerable amount of power and we have barely enough electricity to get by normal duties here in this outpost. If the crystals work, one major development will be saving us high energy costs in our research, and we won't need to have these guys on permanent standby."

Matthew rubbed his chin lightly, learning about the machine having never heard of it before, the piece of electrical equipment a fascinating study with Glen as an informative host. As he daydreamed, Matthew was interrupted by the sliding doors being activated, Matthew putting the fossil inside the machine as Glen shut the door behind them. Twitching his head, Matthew saw Glen run back to his workstation, peering over his microscope before turning back to him as he walked forward, Matthew curious to see what the scientist planned to do with the Petri dish in his hand.

"If my theory is correct, these crystals should allow not only reanimate fossils, but also facilitate growth and repairing processes, this should make up for the deformities and missing parts of anatomy in this specimen. If the test proves successful, we should be able to progress on to cloning full living Pokémon out of even minute traces of DNA."

Matthew nodded half-heartedly, understanding but at the same time slightly confused. With no experience in the machinery, Matthew stood and watched as he saw Glen deposit the Petri dish into a slot reminding him of a Pokédex, linking to an usual videophones. After a loud tapping of the buttons, Matthew saw a display of a heavily magnified fragment on the green display monitor as Glen typed in the conformation code, dialing buttons as an energy level indicator light up.

"This dial regulates the power that goes into the machine's mechanisms, we just need a reading enough to resurrect this Kabutops, and... did you say something?"

Matthew shook his head, shocked at the question as he began to speak, the ‘N’ coming out but stopped instantaneously as the word Power rung round his ears in a faint whisper. As Matthew tried to open his mouth, he was interrupted again by the control box suddenly crackling with a wave of purple lightning.

“That power level has to be over nine thousand” Matthew said as he stood gob smacked at the machine.

"What in the--?!" Matthew and Glen stood together as the shock seized him, Glen desperately pushing a button with the words “Abort” printed on it. Looking down in desperation, Matthew saw the computer unresponsive as it fizzled with energy.

"NO! GET BACK!"

Matthew felt a painful sensation overtake his body. His shoulders felt numb as it spread through his limbs like wildfire. His legs fell to its influence before his arms and torso succumbed to the numbness. Matthew’s eyes flickered around, noticing he was no longer standing on the ground, the scientist pushing in by the shoulders.

“GLEN?” Matthew called as the scientist as chilling wave of emotion rippled through his mind that, the sinisterly familiarity easily recognizable. “GLEN!”

"Power..."

Matthew snapped his head with reflex, the whisper growing in volume as it began to sound like a chant, catching his attention, drawing it to a faint silhouette etched in the smoke. Looking around frantically, Matthew spotted the scientist’s figure shadowed in the gas, looking thinner on one side.

“GLEN?!” Matthew called before it was followed by another

"Glenn? GLENN!"

Looking around Matthew saw a group of other people dressed in scientific clothing. Matthew looked as they turned their attention on him, the widest-eyed stare coming from a young woman with her long black hair in a pink scrunchie.

“No time to wait, Glen needs our help.” Matthew said as he stood up, not knowing what to do “He was testing out some crystals he got from a buddy on a kabutops fossil I found and the machine went haywire, I need your help. I don’t know what to do” Matthew explained in a hurry as he glanced back at the smoke, then back towards the group.

SP-Eevee
17th June 2009, 1:16 PM
Here's welcoming SP-Eevee to the Lost Cities of Talas. Enjoy your stay!


The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Drawn to this neck of the proverbial woods in the worlds of Fizzy Bubbles, you find yourself and Claus beholding the Sphinx in all her mysterious, eminent glory. For the most part you were attracted to this place by intrigue and word-of-mouth above anything else, and while you can't quite boast the bravado that your Vulpix is exhibiting you're noticeably less nervous than you were when you had just begun your journeys.

"Welcome, Kelly."

Though you've already heard tales about the Sphinx, it doesn't quite prepare you for the warm, omniscient voice that seems to echo through every fibre of your being. You reflexively shudder at this; Claus glancing at you with a gaze that almost looks like a smirk.

"Fret not, young Trainer. Only the foolish have reason to fear what lies inside, and yet the foolish fear nothing." The voice, upon further listening, almost has a smile to its tonality, and you look up at the Sphinx's unmoving mouth, yet expectant of the words coming from her. "You will find that your skills as a Trainer will be severely tested; not merely your battle instincts but also your ability to tap into the powers of your own mind. Triumph, and your rewards shall be great, but falter and find your efforts redundant. Do you understand?"

Much as the Sphinx sounds kind in her advice, there's no denying that she still sounds deadly serious. You attempt at offering a weak smile as Claus paws the sand impatiently.

"I see your partner seems to have answered strongly for the both of you," muses the Sphinx gently. "To go further within the hallowed chambers you must first pass one of my own riddles, and I have just the one for you.

"It takes an hour for five Bidoof to construct five dams. How long would it take for a hundred Bidoof to construct a hundred dams?"

Do you know the answer?


Though with an increased amount of vigor the girl certainly didn't expect what came next.

"Welcome, Kelly."

The feminine voice echoed forward from the statue, catching both Kelly and Claus offguard. Though the vulpine quickly recovered from the sudden voice Kelly certainly didn't take it so well. Panicking, a sense of nervousness returning, she quickly glanced around the area for the source of the voice before finally realising. It was the Sphinx, the creature she had sought to visit. Even though the knowledge of the cat-like statue remained in the back of her mind it still hadn't eased the surprise she felt when the feline began to talk.

"Fret not, young Trainer. Only the foolish have reason to fear what lies inside, and yet the foolish fear nothing." Even as the words continued to echo forward the rigidly carved stone features of the Sphinx's face remained motionless. It was a strange sensation, knowing that the words were being produced by something that remained so still. It was, of course, a statue but this further knowledge still didn't help shake off the uneasy feeling.

All the same, the voice continued,"You will find that your skills as a Trainer will be severely tested; not merely your battle instincts but also your ability to tap into the powers of your own mind. Triumph, and your rewards shall be great, but falter and find your efforts redundant. Do you understand?" It seemed surreal, the tone was serious and straightforward, a respectful one that deserved an honest answer. Was she really ready? Well, she hadn't exactly come all this way for nothing... but then again...

"I see your partner seems to have answered strongly for the both of you," the Sphinx continued. Glancing down at her 'partner' she realised what the Sphinx has meant. The small restless vulpine had chosen to paw the sandy grow impatiently, like an agitated Tarous ready to charge forward at any moment. Well, that did make things alot easier. She gave the statue her own reply in the form of a semi-confident nod. "To go further within the hallowed chambers you must first pass one of my own riddles, and I have just the one for you."

She glanced round nervously, maybe she wasn't as confident as she thought. She had known before she came here that there would be riddles to be solved, that is, if the gossip was anything to go by which at this point it was. Though she felt confident in such problem solving she felt a certain amount of pressure being face-to-face to the Sphinx even if it never did move once.

"It takes an hour for five Bidoof to construct five dams. How long would it take for a hundred Bidoof to construct a hundred dams?"

It seemed simple enough, five Bidoofs would take one hour to build five dams so one-hundred Bidoofs building one-hundred dams would take alot longer... right? Thinking over the puzzle she soon realised a fatal flaw in her logic.

"If five Bidoof can build five dams in one hour that would mean one Bidoof could built one dam in one hour too. If there were one-hundred Bidoof's building one-hundred dams it should mean it should take the same amount of time. Since one Bidoof makes one dam each in one hour so one-hundred should have no trouble making one-hundred in an hour! So, that means, it should take one hour for a hundred Bidoof's to build a hundred dams... so my final anwser... is one hour..."

Kelly took a deep breath, all she could do was wait for the Sphinx to anwser...

Shadowshocker
19th June 2009, 2:36 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Deciding to continue in a game of matching, you order Baltoy its next set of orders to which it responds in its usual sophisticated manner. As Ocorpis draws near with its mouth wide open, sizzling with dark power, Baltoy aims its Ice Beam right at the centre of the ogre scorpion's mouth, blasting him backwards as his mouth is completely frozen over from the inside. Barely supporting itself with his four stubby feet, Ocorpis glares at Baltoy at the failure of its Crunch attempt, emitting unintelligible noises as the ice prevents even easy words from being communicated.

Performing a little victory spin, Baltoy's slitted eyes dip into a small frown as it focuses another variety of energy into the horn atop its head, firing the result as a Signal Beam which strikes the Guardian of Poison below its supposed chin. The attack on a vulnerable area does not go unnoticed as Ocorpis makes a noise that sounds a bit like a gag, but as it recovers and glares daggers at the both of you, you have a feeling that it's not going to be a lot easier now you've disabled Ocorpis' mandibular usage. Raising his vicious claws, Ocorpis forms insectoid energy of his own, sharpening the claw tips and firing a wave of Pin Missile at you and Baltoy. Most of the storm ends up embedding itself in the walls behind you, but in spite of its smaller size Baltoy still gets struck by a good enough number of the needles to spiral a little downwards like a crashing plane.

As Baltoy rights itself you return your attention back to Ocorpis, and much to your surprise you see water dripping from his frozen jaws, and even a couple of steam wisps. It seems that a Fire Fang will be the next technique to strike you in the future...



The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
You quickly run through the situation for the scientists, but what catches their attention is the mantra of "Power" being chanted with its sinister tonality. A couple of them gulp in distinct apprehension, while the apparent leader -- the young woman with the scrunchie -- clears her throat solemnly.

"I'll need you to answer a few questions later, but for now..." Tossing a PokéBall from one of her coat pockets, she cries, "Maya, use Defog!"

"YANYAN!" Bursting from its confinement in a humming sound wave, the clear-winged dragonfly wastes no time in her orders. Waves of energy slice through the choking smoke, cutting through the gases and separating it, but it only takes a few seconds for you to suddenly wish that the fog wasn't lifted, if only to avoid the shocking sight before you. Half of Glenn appears to be in a kneeling position -- specifically, his left half; the other portion looking most grotesque. Where his right arm should have been you see a most grievous scythe-like appendage, and two sharp toes appear to poke from Glenn's right shoe. Most horrifying of all is the scientist's face; the forehead obscured by a quasi-triangular plate while the right side extends to form a familiar skull shape.

"I see times have changed," speaks Glenn, in a voice you recall is nothing like his; seemingly replaced by the strange unknown voice as Glenn's remaining human eye flickers with a brief crackle of violet. "No matter. With this temporary body I will soon regain my original power, and all of Sobek; nay, Talas shall bow before my might as it once did."

"Who the... WHAT is that?" trembles one of the scientists, and you find yourself taking a step backwards as well.

"I don't know. That's not Glenn speaking, that's for sure." Glaring, the lady scientist points an accusing finger at the possessed amalgamation. "What have you done to Glenn?!"

"Ah, more meddlers I see. Meddlers I dealt with; meddlers I shall deal with today," sneers the voice. "You will find your resistance and questioning to be fruitless, child. Once I inevitably regain my true power I will see to it that your existence is rendered most tormentous. Remember the name...

"Caiman."

Another explosion, much louder and sharper than the last one, coupled by a crippling screeching noise, rips through the laboratory -- soon followed by a chain reaction that sends everyone flying out of the laboratory, through the vacant doorway ripped of its doors, the latter lying in a minefield of powdered shards.

"Metal Sound and Ancientpower... Damn..." Grimly the lady picks you up by the shoulders, as the other scientists support each other, Maya flying about her head in alarm.

"The lab! The lab!" "What do we do, Tina?!"

"We need to evacuate; that above all else," declares the young woman, amidst the frantic cries of some. "Given the current circumstances we can't mount a successful defence. I will hold --"

"No, Tina. You can't possibly hold... that thing back. You're doubly disadvantaged against a Rock-type," says one of the others; an older man with a mild stubble and neatly parted hair. "Leave it to me and Mynah to slow him down."

"...Alright," Tina relents. "Don't get yourselves in trouble that you can avoid, now." Looking at you, Tina gazes you in the eye with an expression that you're not quite sure if it's determination or fear.

"I don't know who you are, but above anything, I'm sorry you had to be dragged into this," states Tina curtly. "But I've a feeling if anyone can help us now, it's you. Call it intuition, but right now we need to get everyone out of the blast radius of disaster in the least possible time. Can you help us out here?"



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
After some internal mulling and debating you present your answer to the Sphinx, with a considerable amount of working shown, apprehensive at what might come. What if your answer proved to be incorrect; would you be prohibited from access to the chambers of the living monument?

"You have thought and answered well, young Trainer," replies the Sphinx serenely, and you feel an instant weight lifted off your shoulders. "So long as you keep your mind clear and focused, you will penetrate the darkness of the unknown. Fret not, and trust on your own abilities; they will doubtlessly carry you far."

With these words of wisdom the Sphinx turns silent once again, and with a slicing, grating noise a slab of stone seems to lift itself into a higher position, revealing a stairway already illuminated by the soft glow of orange flame. Gingerly you proceed with Claus, moving over to the enigmatic passage and going down its steps; a feeling of worry still unbanishable from your mind. This isn't quite the experience as described by the last person to attempt plumbing the Sphinx's depths. Was the inside of the Sphinx designed to change completely with each visit?

Before you know it you find yourself and Claus standing in an antechamber, about the size of a small bedroom. Contrary to what you've heard, no Pokémon appears to be present to greet you, but the only way ahead is blocked by a stone door you have a distinct feeling can't be broken by brute force. Walking closer to the sealed slab you find that the centre of the door has a message etched into it:


If:
Noctowl = 461
Skorupi = 154
Weedle = 310
What Pokémon corresponds to 250?

Below the riddle lies ten square slots, and as you notice this Claus paws at your shoes, alerting you to a supply of tiles bearing the twenty-six alphabetical Unown. It seems that you need to use the tiles to place your answer in, but do you know what answer you should be looking for?

Arc_Angel
20th June 2009, 1:17 PM
The Lost Cities of Talas

The Lost City of Rebus
An ancient version of the 'Bermuda Triangle', Rebus is a mysterious city located dead centre of the cities of Solaris, Lacuna, and Axal. The city of prophets, Rebus appears to have been inhabited mainly by those who dabbled in various realms of the occult. Texts reveal that while much legitimacy was given to the Prophecies of Rebus by the civilisations of its era, it was shunned by those who lived in Solaris, most likely due to fear. It is believed its location, whether deliberate or not, imbued the area with special mystical qualities resulting in those born here having the natural ability to see into the future. Only a handful of prophecies have been found since the city was first discovered by modern day explorers, all of which accurately depict cataclysmic events that have taken place during past centuries. The most interesting of stories discovered tells of a horrific curse placed upon the Goddess Farity whose death, as the Goddess of Fertility and the one who injects life to the Island of Talas, will result in the complete annihilation of the Talasian race as the curse spreads into the heart of each city. To save their land and their fellow Goddess, the isle's respective Gods united to save Farity, drawing the curse out of her. It was too late, however, as the curse had already spread across the land and into each city, so they each called upon their powers to contain the curse within special objects which were then hidden away in their respective areas. Not ever wanting the objects to be found, and the curse unleashed before it could be destroyed, they united once again, this time to bury all of their civilisations and the curse along with them before it could spread not just across Talas, but into the world beyond. Their work done for the time being, the Gods then fell into slumber until a cure could be found, their dreams intertwined with each other's while they devise a way in which to break the curse and allow their cities to live again. If this story is to believed, then why are these ancient civilisations still buried? Could it be the curse was never broken?

Areas:
Rebus Village: The City of Rebus mostly consisted of temples built for the prophets, or of temples and shines to honour the God and Goddess of Mystery, so the residential area of the city was very small, consisting of less than thirty abodes because families who were not directly descended from the prophets rarely stayed long. Some strange objects have been unearthed here, many of them hidden in cleverly concealed areas within the various abodes. If you're lucky you may just stumble across one of these hiding places, and if you're even luckier may even find a nice little souvenir to take home with you.

Stacey couldn't remember how she had found herself upon this strange deserted town but that fact didn't worry her. She quite often let her feet take her to where ever they wanted, more often than not her soul was drawn to the energies of the worlds and towns she wandered to and her body was only to ready to comply. She had heard about Talas in her travels from varying sources, the sound of an island where most of its cities were dedicated to archeological studies spoke to the scientist in her, even if it was a small part. As her mind caught up to her body she took in the place she was drawn to and gave a wry smile, she should have known. Before her was a small mass of ruins and delapitated homes abandoned centuries ago. The villages a dark forgotten arua to it and she breathed in the dusty air and let out a light sigh, she always could sense out the darker recesses of the world and she had found another.

If she recalled correctly she had wandered into the City of Rebus, a home to those that likes to dabble in the taboo such as the occult and thus thought brought a smile to her lips. Perhaps she would find a diamond in the rough. Her mind wandered back to the last time she let her instinct decide her movements, she had travelled so far in such a short period of time and made some unforgettable memories and several interesting new friends, friends that could have forgetten her now. Her heart saddened at that thought but she brightened at the sight of the sleeping Pokemon in her arms, her link between those two times. Eve the Snorunt sighed in her sleep and shifted in her 'mother's' arms to get comfortable. Stacey had felt such an influence by her alternate self that she had a unqiue outfit designed for her next adventure. She wore a flowing dress in dark purple with bright pink trim that was fitting at the waist, the high neck line was adorned with beautiful rubies and held a purple hood that fit loosely over her head the top shaped like a witches hat. Even she could admit she looked nice dressed like a human Mismagius.

Hearing soft padding behind her she was reminded by the third party in this equation and looked over her shoulder to the silent Jolteon following several paces behind. Her yellow spines were sharp today and pointed out like a barrier, her long yellow ears held back listening to all sounds this dead city gave off. Her face was drawn into a scowl as she surveyed the world around her not at all pleased to have been brought into a wasteland, her trainer should have left her at home, this place was not worth her time. As trainer and Pokemon locked eyes Anna glared and challenged Stacey's choice of vacation spot neither woman backing down. Stacey sighed and rolled her eyes as Anna grinned, a small victory, they all added up.

"Keep up Anna," was all Stacey said before walking forward into the deserted town as Anna snorted keeping up her lagging pace silently laughing over her trainers choice of attire. Stacey would win her Jolteon over, and she sure a new adventure would be a step in the right direction.

SP-Eevee
20th June 2009, 1:19 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
After some internal mulling and debating you present your answer to the Sphinx, with a considerable amount of working shown, apprehensive at what might come. What if your answer proved to be incorrect; would you be prohibited from access to the chambers of the living monument?

"You have thought and answered well, young Trainer," replies the Sphinx serenely, and you feel an instant weight lifted off your shoulders. "So long as you keep your mind clear and focused, you will penetrate the darkness of the unknown. Fret not, and trust on your own abilities; they will doubtlessly carry you far."

With these words of wisdom the Sphinx turns silent once again, and with a slicing, grating noise a slab of stone seems to lift itself into a higher position, revealing a stairway already illuminated by the soft glow of orange flame. Gingerly you proceed with Claus, moving over to the enigmatic passage and going down its steps; a feeling of worry still unbanishable from your mind. This isn't quite the experience as described by the last person to attempt plumbing the Sphinx's depths. Was the inside of the Sphinx designed to change completely with each visit?

Before you know it you find yourself and Claus standing in an antechamber, about the size of a small bedroom. Contrary to what you've heard, no Pokémon appears to be present to greet you, but the only way ahead is blocked by a stone door you have a distinct feeling can't be broken by brute force. Walking closer to the sealed slab you find that the centre of the door has a message etched into it:


If:
Noctowl = 461
Skorupi = 154
Weedle = 310
What Pokémon corresponds to 250?

Below the riddle lies ten square slots, and as you notice this Claus paws at your shoes, alerting you to a supply of tiles bearing the twenty-six alphabetical Unown. It seems that you need to use the tiles to place your answer in, but do you know what answer you should be looking for?

"You have thought and answered well, young Trainer," The Sphinx gave her reply as Kelly gave out a grateful sigh of relief. "So long as you keep your mind clear and focused, you will penetrate the darkness of the unknown. Fret not, and trust on your own abilities; they will doubtlessly carry you far."

With the serene voice now in utter silence the sound of grating concrete taking it's place revealing a well illuminated staircase, it seemed very strange and far from what the last visitor had informed her. She didn't want to dwell on how this was phsyically possible, instead she proceeded through the revealed passage-way, an almost tangible weight of doubt still clouding her thoughts.

Finally both Claus and Kelly seemed to have reached some sort of dead end, or so it would have appeared if not for the unusual markings on the wall. If Claus had not have alerted her to the tiles below she would have probably have never noticed them, or at least, not as quickly. Pondering for a moment she wondered what this meant. Various Unown shaped letters littered a small slot in the wall, at least, that's what she assumed it to be. Not to mention the ten slots on the well which would most likely fit the tiles quite snugly. Though that wasn't the problem, the problem was the engravings on the wall. Three Pokemon, each with a number. Noctowl to 461, Skourupi to 154 and weedle to 310. The question below then asked, what Pokemon corresponds to 250.

The number 250, one she had remembered quite well as the number of Ho-oh, the legendary bird very few people have even claimed to see. Of course, maybe she was jumping in too fast in assuming that the numbers corosponded to Pokedex numbers... but all the same it seemed plausiable enough. However, as she double-taked on the various Pokemon she realised Weedle had been given a strangely large number. She hadn't memorized ever Pokemon's number but she knew for a fact Weedle was at least a lower number than that. Not to mention, Noctowl, that was part of the Johto dex and as far as she could recall Skourupi was from the Sinnoh region, so it would at least have a number somewhere over 350. It would make more sense for it to be 451 rather than 154...

"Huh... wait a second," she blurted out loud as she had suddenly realised something. She looked to Weedle's number once more. "310... reversed that would make 013... which would be... Weedle's Pokdex number?" Looking to the other two Pokemon she noticed a similar pattern. Noctowl being 164... Fumbling about in her bag she withdrew a rather plain looking Pokedex and quickly scrolled through the various pages. It was true, Noctowl was indeed 164 and Weedle 13. A quick cross-referencing of Skourupi indicated the number 451 which was indeed 154 reversed.

"So... that should mean 250 would be Pokemon number 052... which is... Meowth...?" Claus gave an agitated growl, obvious displeased at how long his trainer was taking in looking over such a simple looking puzzle. "M-E-O-W-T-H... meowth," she muttered as she placed each in the wall one by one. None of the letters repeated... though there was still four spaces left in the wall. Well, she didn't want to have to mull over this more than she already had. Taking a deep breath once more she stepped back, waiting for something, if anything, to happen.

Treepandaone
21st June 2009, 2:51 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
You quickly run through the situation for the scientists, but what catches their attention is the mantra of "Power" being chanted with its sinister tonality. A couple of them gulp in distinct apprehension, while the apparent leader -- the young woman with the scrunchie -- clears her throat solemnly.

"I'll need you to answer a few questions later, but for now..." Tossing a PokéBall from one of her coat pockets, she cries, "Maya, use Defog!"

"YANYAN!" Bursting from its confinement in a humming sound wave, the clear-winged dragonfly wastes no time in her orders. Waves of energy slice through the choking smoke, cutting through the gases and separating it, but it only takes a few seconds for you to suddenly wish that the fog wasn't lifted, if only to avoid the shocking sight before you. Half of Glenn appears to be in a kneeling position -- specifically, his left half; the other portion looking most grotesque. Where his right arm should have been you see a most grievous scythe-like appendage, and two sharp toes appear to poke from Glenn's right shoe. Most horrifying of all is the scientist's face; the forehead obscured by a quasi-triangular plate while the right side extends to form a familiar skull shape.

"I see times have changed," speaks Glenn, in a voice you recall is nothing like his; seemingly replaced by the strange unknown voice as Glenn's remaining human eye flickers with a brief crackle of violet. "No matter. With this temporary body I will soon regain my original power, and all of Sobek; nay, Talas shall bow before my might as it once did."

"Who the... WHAT is that?" trembles one of the scientists, and you find yourself taking a step backwards as well.

"I don't know. That's not Glenn speaking, that's for sure." Glaring, the lady scientist points an accusing finger at the possessed amalgamation. "What have you done to Glenn?!"

"Ah, more meddlers I see. Meddlers I dealt with; meddlers I shall deal with today," sneers the voice. "You will find your resistance and questioning to be fruitless, child. Once I inevitably regain my true power I will see to it that your existence is rendered most tormentous. Remember the name...

"Caiman."

Another explosion, much louder and sharper than the last one, coupled by a crippling screeching noise, rips through the laboratory -- soon followed by a chain reaction that sends everyone flying out of the laboratory, through the vacant doorway ripped of its doors, the latter lying in a minefield of powdered shards.

"Metal Sound and Ancientpower... Damn..." Grimly the lady picks you up by the shoulders, as the other scientists support each other, Maya flying about her head in alarm.

"The lab! The lab!" "What do we do, Tina?!"

"We need to evacuate; that above all else," declares the young woman, amidst the frantic cries of some. "Given the current circumstances we can't mount a successful defence. I will hold --"

"No, Tina. You can't possibly hold... that thing back. You're doubly disadvantaged against a Rock-type," says one of the others; an older man with a mild stubble and neatly parted hair. "Leave it to me and Mynah to slow him down."

"...Alright," Tina relents. "Don't get yourselves in trouble that you can avoid, now." Looking at you, Tina gazes you in the eye with an expression that you're not quite sure if it's determination or fear.

"I don't know who you are, but above anything, I'm sorry you had to be dragged into this," states Tina curtly. "But I've a feeling if anyone can help us now, it's you. Call it intuition, but right now we need to get everyone out of the blast radius of disaster in the least possible time. Can you help us out here?"

Stammering as he quickly ran through his situation to the scientist, he looked around to anything in reach of hand that he could use to find to explain his innocent, staring with bleary vision at the discerning equipment that surrounded him, each one clean and white. Within a few seconds, Matthew found his explanation interrupted by the chant of the ever familiar “Power”, its sinister tone still sending a shiver down Matthew’s spine. Looking back at the scientist group he was relieved to find some of the gulp, a weight lifted off his shoulder as he clocked the apparent leader, one blonde haired lady with a scrunchie, clearing her throat as he looked at her.

"I'll need you to answer a few questions later, but for now... Maya, use Defog!"

Matthew nodded at her statement, watching her carefully as she tossed a Pokéball into the air from one of her coat pockets. As the ball exploded he saw a strange bug pokémon with little horns. Quickly scrambling into his pocket he found his Pokédex as he flicked it open as the automated voice muted the information, the trainer deciding that he didn’t have enough time for the information. Looking back down, he read that the pokémon in front of him was a Yanma, the dragonfly buzzing in the background.

Matthew watched as the Pokémon sliced flying energy from its wings, trying to cut the smoke, lifting the gasses. As the smoke lifted, Matthew stood wide eyed with his mouth ajar with surprise, Matthew stared down Glenn in a kneeling position, his right half a monstrous, grotesque creature, scythe-like appendage and two sharp toes. Matthew winced as he moved up to the face, Glens old forehead obscured by a quasi-triangular plate, the right side of his face extending to a form a familiar skull shape.

"I see times have changed, No matter. With this temporary body I will soon regain my original power, and all of Sobek; nay, Talas shall bow before my might as it once did." The skull spoke as Matthew looked him up and down once more, the voice un-recognizable from Glen’s own, the remaining human eye flickering with a crack of violent purple.

"Who the... WHAT is that?" Matthew heard the tremor in the man’s voice, taking a step backwards at the sight of the monster.

"I don't know. That's not Glenn speaking, that's for sure. What have you done to Glenn?!" Matthew looked back at the woman, her glaring stare meeting Glen’s possessed forms.

"Ah, more meddlers I see. Meddlers I dealt with; meddlers I shall deal with today," The voiced sneered You will find your resistance and questioning to be fruitless, child. Once I inevitably regain my true power I will see to it that your existence is rendered most tormentous. Remember the name...

"Caiman."

Matthew lowered his eyebrows, rubbing his forehead as he looked back at the monster, unable to figure out what the creature was and fearing for his safety. Within a few seconds, Matthew found himself off his feet with another explosion, the blast sending him flying out of the lab with the vacant doorways, ripped of its hinges as Matthew flew threw, the glass lying shattered on the floor.

"Metal Sound and Ancientpower... Damn..."

Matthew felt someone pick him up by the shoulders, standing upright stretching. Clicking his neck, Matthew looked around at the other scientists supporting each other.

"The lab! The lab!" "What do we do, Tina?!" One scientist cried as Matthew turned back to the young woman, whispering to himself. “Tina, eh, interesting name.”

"We need to evacuate; that above all else," Tina shouted again amidst the cries, "Given the current circumstances we can't mount a successful defence. I will hold --"

"No, Tina. You can't possibly hold... that thing back. You're doubly disadvantaged against a Rock-type," Matthew nodded as he turned to an older male, his hair neatly parted. "Leave it to me and Mynah to slow him down."

"...Alright, Don't get yourselves in trouble that you can avoid, now." Tina replied as Matthew looked back at Tina as she stared into his eyes, her eyes glinting with either determination or fear

"I don't know who you are, but above anything, I'm sorry you had to be dragged into this, But I've a feeling if anyone can help us now, it's you. Call it intuition, but right now we need to get everyone out of the blast radius of disaster in the least possible time. Can you help us out here?"

Matthew nodded, grabbing three Pokeballs from his belt.

“RhyperBeam, Dom, Imapact, help me out here!”

With his word the Pokeballs popped open to reveal his Rhydon, Aerodactyl and Steelix.

“Impact should be able to escort the party, with RhyperBeam picking up any stragglers. Dom is a last resort, being rather tired from a recent journey.”

Shadowshocker
21st June 2009, 6:52 AM
Again, we welcome another trainer to explore the cities of Talas; this time Arc_Angel in the City of Rebus. Enjoy!


The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
With a path of duty clear to you, you quickly fling out three PokéBalls from your belt, releasing your earlier-used comrades and a towering iron snake, although its blue sheen is clearly nothing like anything the scientists have seen before. Giving you a nod of understanding, Tina begins barking orders.

"Move! Move!" she shouts, and as some of the scientists begin clambering onto Impact's long, serpentine frame, a few of the others follow your lead and fling out Pokémon of their own; bright flashes of light joining Rhyperbeam as part of the backup response team. Sudowoodo, Manectric, Haunter -- all ready to pick up anyone unfortunate to be left behind. A Gliscor swoops about Impact, cackling, as its scientist trainer issues a couple of commands. Shards of shine rip across the fanged scorpion as it executes its Rock Polish technique, before it dives back downwards, lightly brushing against each Pokémon sent out. As he receives the Baton Pass Impact suddenly rears back from the rush of speed now flowing in his body, though not to the extent of tossing everyone off.

"Maya, Signal Beam alarm, now!" calls Tina, to which her Yanma flies ahead with wings screeching away, eyes flashing a dangerous display of warning. Holding onto one of Impact's spikes beside you, Tina turns back to the laboratory, where her comrades stand bracing themselves, accompanied by a Tangela and Piloswine.

"Alright, let's move out!" shouts the young woman, though as you glance briefly at her you can't help but notice a glimmer of worry in her eyes. Like a living locomotive Impact begins to trundle across the grass, followed by the motley crew of stragglers...


***

Hours later, as the sun begins to dip, you find yourself huddled around a fire with the scientists. By the time everyone within the vicinity had been evacuated and encountered for, the plan was announced to pitch camp for the night, or at least as far as another plan has been thought up. Other tents of various shapes and sizes stand all around you, housing the other visiting Trainers and local shopkeepers -- while the truth behind the incident was kept under proverbial lock and key, most of them have seen the laboratory explosion, and a light aura of fear lingers about. Luckily, some of the others had released Pokémon to aid in the evacuation process, but even after a successful escape the mood is still generally glum.

"...So that's what happened," murmurs Tina, as you finish your list of events. "Thank you, Matthew, for being frank with us."

"Tina? Do you think Mynah and Peter will be fine?"

"They're two of our best when it comes to Pokémon battles, Rex. Combat science is their specialty, after all -- I daresay they'll know when and where to find us. They're resourceful like that," Tina explains. "But there's one thing that's bothering me..."

"You mean how we've now got a half-Kabutops mutant for a colleague?"

"No, I fully expected to see Glenn fused with an extinct species of Pokémon with enough power to blow up the labs," replies the de facto leader, sarcasm dripping from her voice. "I mean... there's something about what that entity said that I can't simply ignore."

"Caiman?"

"Right. Caiman... If there's any truth in the legends we found..." Raising her head, Tina meets your confused look with her own preoccupied gaze. "Oh, I'm sorry," she apologises. "I forgot you'd have no idea what we're talking about... Would you like to hear it?"

"Really now, Tina," frowns one of the other women, folding her arms against a lithe physique. "There's nothing practical to be gleaned from all this. We're scientists, Tina! We do much, much more than put some hopeless faith into tales of lore!"

"Oh, really, Lorraine?" growls Tina. "Perhaps you'd like to provide an alternative plan, then?"

"I..." It takes the other, blonde woman a while to finally purse her lips tightly, still glaring at whom you can only guess is the other half in a rival equation, but ultimately the decision is still yours. Will you choose to listen to the story, or attempt searching for another lead?



The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Moving back after you place the sixth and final tile in place, you're astonished to see the six Unown symbols glow with a faint pastel colour of chiffon. Lines begin extending from the glyphs, bathed in the light's illuminating hues, travelling down seemingly predestined patterns along the area of the door, until the panel glows in almost blinding light. Before you can lift your arms to shield yourself, though, the door dims before sliding upwards in a grating noise, welcoming you to the room further inside.

Feeling relieved at having passed the first riddle of twelve, you walk into the next chamber as Claus bounds about impatiently, and as you look about you realise this next chamber is about the size of a small field, the usual sort used in generic battles. A single doorway, mirroring its position with the one you just passed through, lies on the other side of the room, but as you take one step closer you see a fleeting figure emerge from the darkness beyond, running to the near centre of the field before getting up on its hind legs.

"Meeeeowth!" screeches the Pokémon, extending its frontal claws in preparation for battle, and as this happens both the doorways slam shut. Looks like you'll need to battle for your way ahead...



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel

As no stranger to the dark and despair, you find yourself at the edge of a long-abandoned civilisation suspect of dabbling in darker forces out there, with little more than two of your relatively younger partners for company. One of them is perfectly fine being cuddled in your protection, while the other remains most visibly annoyed at your choice of -- well, just about everything, as she grumbles at the exploration and sneers at your dress sense.

Granted, as you walk through the dusty roads of Rebus Village, Anna's criticism certainly doesn't go completely unwarranted. Being the city of prophets, little of the structural demographic remains in residence, and there is little more than thirty or forty-odd houses of brick which have long since lost their lustre. With the sun beating down above you, the dark purple material of your clothing begins to cook you from the inside thanks to the albedo effect, and even Eve has started shifting a little more from the uncomfortable sunlight falling on her frigid body.

"Grrr.... Jolt! Jolt!"

Before you ponder over the possibility of looking for suitable shelter, you are briefly alerted by the irate barking of your Jolteon, and as you turn you see her poised for action, glaring daggers into one of the houses you just passed while her spikes fizzle with agitated electricity. You wonder if this isn't another attempt by Anna to make your life difficult, but considering how disapproving she was of your travelling plans it seems a little odd that she would find something that caught her attention.

What will you do?

Arc_Angel
21st June 2009, 11:28 AM
Again, we welcome another trainer to explore the cities of Talas; this time Arc_Angel in the City of Rebus. Enjoy!


The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel

As no stranger to the dark and despair, you find yourself at the edge of a long-abandoned civilisation suspect of dabbling in darker forces out there, with little more than two of your relatively younger partners for company. One of them is perfectly fine being cuddled in your protection, while the other remains most visibly annoyed at your choice of -- well, just about everything, as she grumbles at the exploration and sneers at your dress sense.

Granted, as you walk through the dusty roads of Rebus Village, Anna's criticism certainly doesn't go completely unwarranted. Being the city of prophets, little of the structural demographic remains in residence, and there is little more than thirty or forty-odd houses of brick which have long since lost their lustre. With the sun beating down above you, the dark purple material of your clothing begins to cook you from the inside thanks to the albedo effect, and even Eve has started shifting a little more from the uncomfortable sunlight falling on her frigid body.

"Grrr.... Jolt! Jolt!"

Before you ponder over the possibility of looking for suitable shelter, you are briefly alerted by the irate barking of your Jolteon, and as you turn you see her poised for action, glaring daggers into one of the houses you just passed while her spikes fizzle with agitated electricity. You wonder if this isn't another attempt by Anna to make your life difficult, but considering how disapproving she was of your travelling plans it seems a little odd that she would find something that caught her attention.

What will you do?

Thanx for the welcome Shadow ^-^

Anna's fur bristles and sparks every now and then as the trio walked through the duty deserted streets, distain written on her face. Stacey was observing every house they passed and every stone they walked on looking for anything that would pique her interest, there had to be a reason she was drawn here. Anna tried not to sulk but was failing miserably but this was boring in her opinion and she was above this kind of exploration. Add to the matter that the day was hot and humid and being covered in warm yellow fur only made her hotter she was not a happy puppy. Even Stacey had begun to regret her choice of attire as the sun's rays beat down from the sky making the dark purple material absorb the heat and begin to stick to her skin. Eve shifted uncomfortably in her mother's arms and winced in her sleep, being an ice Pokemon she was unaccustomed to such heat and it was disturbing her to no end.

Stacey tried to soothe her fanning her face when she her Anna start growling up a storm. Turning to face her she saw her Jolteon's fur as sharp as possible, electricity arcing off spikes as she faced a singular building peering inside. Her eyes were narrowed dangerously all her instincts telling her to protect her trainer despite her dislike for her. Stacey frowned and approached Anna who didn't even notice her, too focused on the building. A thought entered Stacey's mind that Anna could just be being difficult again but another assessment of her Pokemon's form negated that thought.

"What is it Anna?" she whispered as Anna ignored her. "Take us inside, you take point and should something attack then you know what to do." Anna growled not wanting to endanger her mistress, well her instincts told her not to but she obeyed anyway if only to face this threat and show it what she was made of.

SP-Eevee
21st June 2009, 12:46 PM
The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Moving back after you place the sixth and final tile in place, you're astonished to see the six Unown symbols glow with a faint pastel colour of chiffon. Lines begin extending from the glyphs, bathed in the light's illuminating hues, travelling down seemingly predestined patterns along the area of the door, until the panel glows in almost blinding light. Before you can lift your arms to shield yourself, though, the door dims before sliding upwards in a grating noise, welcoming you to the room further inside.

Feeling relieved at having passed the first riddle of twelve, you walk into the next chamber as Claus bounds about impatiently, and as you look about you realise this next chamber is about the size of a small field, the usual sort used in generic battles. A single doorway, mirroring its position with the one you just passed through, lies on the other side of the room, but as you take one step closer you see a fleeting figure emerge from the darkness beyond, running to the near centre of the field before getting up on its hind legs.

"Meeeeowth!" screeches the Pokémon, extending its frontal claws in preparation for battle, and as this happens both the doorways slam shut. Looks like you'll need to battle for your way ahead...
The theme of 'strange' seemed to continue as the blocks of unown shaped tiles started to glow softly, soon creating a blinding light that became dim almost as soon as it appeared giving way to a passage which would lead them to the next room. Even though things like this were going to happen throughout her visit she doubted she'd get used to it.

Moving forward, or in the impatient vulpine's case, bounding forward, the two made their way into another room. This one being of similar shape but of a different size, a good bit larger with a greater distance to move around in. It looked almost like... an arena? Well, Claus seemed to catch on fast, looking forward excitedly expecting something to happen. Or, to be more accurate, hoping for something in particular to happen. When this something didn't come the two moved forward even further into the arena-like room. The door like the one they had left behind stood unguarded, just waiting for them to walk through. Though, things were never that easy were they?

With a sudden whoosh of movement a strange dark figure quickly darted through the doorway, taking up a battling stance before screeching loudly. "Meeeeowth!" Unsheething it's claws it faced the two with intentions of attacking. At this Claus jumped, taking up a battle stance of his own, looking over his shoulder and awaiting orders.

Well, it looked like Claus got his wish, a battle. "Right, so, what I need you to do is a quick Faint Attack to get in close to it for a Brick Break, hopeful that new TM will pay off. Finally end on a Confuse Ray."

(Ooc: Here's the post with his current movepool (http://forums.upnetwork.net/showpost.php?p=61794&postcount=1) if you need it.)

Shadowshocker
22nd June 2009, 3:59 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Snarling as ferocious as he can, Claus needs no further instruction to kick into battle mode, disappearing in a blip of darkness, much to Meowth's sudden surprise as it screeches to a halt from its own charging. Before either of you realise it, your Vulpix reappears ramming his Faint Attack into Meowth's gut. Mewling at the unprecedented attack, Meowth barely has time to recover before Claus socks his paw into the feline's torso with the force of a Brick Break, and having taken two attacks in such quick succession it falls solidly to the ground, panting.

A sneer plays across Claus' face at the swift apparent failure of its foe, but just as his eyes glint with the mystic power of his species you see Meowth lunge at Claus with surprising speed, clipping him on the nose in a slap. The turn now goes to Claus to yelp in surprise, but even as he meets Meowth's glare you find that he's too startled to continue with his attack. Verifying this with your PokéDex you identify Meowth's Fake Out, but few seconds pass before Meowth delivers a Scratch across Claus' forehead. Scurrying backwards at a safe distance, Claus growls at this now seemingly feisty opponent as you mull over the battle so far. Somehow Meowth seems to have dealt damage almost on par with Claus' blows despite taking a super-effective move, but another check with the PokéDex indicates that this Meowth happens to have Technician abilities, thereby adding further attack power to the Normal-type attacks it already boasts familiarity with. The odds certainly haven't swung in your favour as you might have first thought, and as Meowth opens its mouth wide, revealing its lengthening teeth, an emergency counter-approach might be the vital thing you need to make a difference here...



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
Deciding to give Anna the benefit of doubt this time, you give her temporary rein over the situation in case something endangering lurked within the stone walls. Like a hunter primed for action Anna stealthily paws her way into the structure with you following behind; a brief wave of relief washing over you along with the shade.

Out of the other houses you passed by on your way, a first glance doesn't seem to glean anything outstanding or significant. The inside of the house is as dusty, dim and despairing as one might expect from a building that spent centuries, bordering on millenia buried in sand and forgotten memories. Yet something must have alerted Anna's senses, you reason, keener than your own humanly detectors. Sure enough Anna darts behind a dilapidated cuboid frame you can only assume was some form of furniture, and begins barking loudly at one corner.

Going over to your Jolteon you soon spot the object that had apparently set off Anna's alarms: an ancient stone tablet almost camouflaged with the dust, itself caked with a choking layer of debris. Picking it up to shake off the unwanted particles, you realise that the tablet has been marked with what looks like a message:

"I have discovered wonderful, yet terrible things. Wonderful, as I believe they provide a greater insight to the world around us, and terrible for that very same reason. The prophets have often proclaimed that not all knowledge can be mastered by mankind; attempting to do so could only bring ruin upon the world, for the structures that hold existence together as we know it would be breached. But in attempts to satiate my curiosity, I have plumbed the depths of the unknown further than anyone else has. A hint of knowledge I gained, but a savage price I had to pay: my attempts to communicate this precious knowledge to the world have resulted in futility. The words from my mouth, the words that I write turn into fanciful, undecipherable nonsense. All I can do is keep this information locked in entries, in hope that some day someone will bring them together and find the key to this knowledge."

Pursing your lip, you take a few more minutes to reread the tablet over several times, but another growl from Anna alerts you, this time at the doorway.

"Excuse me, miss," speaks a voice, belonging to a figure standing at the only way in or out -- a man in his early thirties, it seems, wearing light archaeological gear, sporting brown spikes of hair peeking under his safari hat, a neat stubble and soft brown eyes.

"Pardon the intrusion; I hadn't expected to see anyone else within the village. Are you an explorer as well?" he asks gently. As you meet his gaze Anna's growling seems to reduce in volume, but you're not sure if she can be taken as a judge of character as she is with her nose. Just who is this guy?...

Arc_Angel
23rd June 2009, 5:40 PM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
Deciding to give Anna the benefit of doubt this time, you give her temporary rein over the situation in case something endangering lurked within the stone walls. Like a hunter primed for action Anna stealthily paws her way into the structure with you following behind; a brief wave of relief washing over you along with the shade.

Out of the other houses you passed by on your way, a first glance doesn't seem to glean anything outstanding or significant. The inside of the house is as dusty, dim and despairing as one might expect from a building that spent centuries, bordering on millenia buried in sand and forgotten memories. Yet something must have alerted Anna's senses, you reason, keener than your own humanly detectors. Sure enough Anna darts behind a dilapidated cuboid frame you can only assume was some form of furniture, and begins barking loudly at one corner.

Going over to your Jolteon you soon spot the object that had apparently set off Anna's alarms: an ancient stone tablet almost camouflaged with the dust, itself caked with a choking layer of debris. Picking it up to shake off the unwanted particles, you realise that the tablet has been marked with what looks like a message:

"I have discovered wonderful, yet terrible things. Wonderful, as I believe they provide a greater insight to the world around us, and terrible for that very same reason. The prophets have often proclaimed that not all knowledge can be mastered by mankind; attempting to do so could only bring ruin upon the world, for the structures that hold existence together as we know it would be breached. But in attempts to satiate my curiosity, I have plumbed the depths of the unknown further than anyone else has. A hint of knowledge I gained, but a savage price I had to pay: my attempts to communicate this precious knowledge to the world have resulted in futility. The words from my mouth, the words that I write turn into fanciful, undecipherable nonsense. All I can do is keep this information locked in entries, in hope that some day someone will bring them together and find the key to this knowledge."

Pursing your lip, you take a few more minutes to reread the tablet over several times, but another growl from Anna alerts you, this time at the doorway.

"Excuse me, miss," speaks a voice, belonging to a figure standing at the only way in or out -- a man in his early thirties, it seems, wearing light archaeological gear, sporting brown spikes of hair peeking under his safari hat, a neat stubble and soft brown eyes.

"Pardon the intrusion; I hadn't expected to see anyone else within the village. Are you an explorer as well?" he asks gently. As you meet his gaze Anna's growling seems to reduce in volume, but you're not sure if she can be taken as a judge of character as she is with her nose. Just who is this guy?...

With the command Anna laid low on her haunches and padded in side the house ready to pounce should anything try to attack her or her trainer. Following a few paces behind, a switch on how they'd travelled here Stacey entered the shade sighing in relief as her body immediately cooled down. Even flet the difference in temperatures and seemed to relax more into her sleep as Stacey smiled down at her, happy in the knowlegdge that she was more comfortable. Tearing her gaze way from her babeh she scoured her new surroundings looking for any possible dangers and any reason that Anna was drawn to this one particular building. It looked the same as all the others from the outside and within was derilct, dusty and in disrepear. It was ot surprising considering the town had been abandoned and dead for a very long time.

Anna leapt out from nowhere nearly startling Stacey out of her skin and ran behind a cupboard frame and growled at a corner of it barking a warning. Stacey approached her wondering what was there that could have possibly drawn her undivided attention and peering into the darkness saw an old piece of stone. It looked like a tablet and reaching down she picked it up several layers of dust falling off instantly and blew off the rest brushing the tablet gently with her fingers. Anna shook off her fur as a few wisps of dust landed there and glared daggers at her trainer stalking off but keeping a close eye. Upon closer inspection the tablet appeared to have writing carved into it and read the words carefully. It appeared that whoever made the tablet had discovered some forbidden knowledge that somehow made it impossible for them to communicate it to others. The author mentioned entries, did that mean there were more tablets lying around this house, around this village?

Checking the tablet's writing once more she was alerted to a presence behind her by Anna's low but dangerous growling. Keeping her back facking away she hid the tablet in a secret pouch in her clothes and turned around. Stood behind her was a man in his early thirties dressed in plain clothes designed for those who roughed it in sand environments. His soft brown eyes met narrowed sapphire ones, her body language spoke for someone on high alert. The last time Stacey had let her guard down and trusted a stranger it had nearly cost her and several innocent people and Pokemon, she wouldn't make that mistake again.

"Pardon the intrusion; I hadn't expected to see anyone else within the village. Are you an explorer as well?" he asked politely and although Anna's growling had lessened Stacey's wasn't dropping her guard that easily.

"I am," she said simply her eyes dark and relentless, if he was a threat she would eliminate him as quickly as possible, she wouldn't let anyone harm her Pokemon or herself.

"Who might you be?" she asked though it came across more like a demand.

Shadowshocker
24th June 2009, 3:19 PM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"My name? My first name is Edge; but people prefer to know me by my family name, Knoll," he introduces. "I'm a travelling explorer; specifically, I'm a mystery writer, but I often make journeys to faraway lands so I can search for inspiration from the world." You briefly wonder with mild amusement how someone with such an apparently benign appearance and temperament could bear such a sharp-sounding name, but still you maintain extreme caution. The memories from your last adventure, and how you nearly brought upon ruination to yourself and several others, still remain as fresh in your mind as is necessary for a reminder.

"I do apologise for interfering, but... that wouldn't happen to be a stone tablet, is it?" asks Knoll, pointing at the very slab you hold in your hands, and instantly you hear Anna's growling kick up a notch in volume and aggression; likewise your skin seems to tighten in sync with your Pokémon. Surprisingly you see Knoll glance at Anna, offering little more than another gentle, peaceful smile. "Your Jolteon seems most protective of you," Knoll says kindly, although you have a feeling Anna doesn't quite see the remark as a compliment. "In any case, I hope I haven't troubled you, but the reason of my inquiry is because I found a stone tablet myself."

This piece of information is certainly one you hadn't expected, and before you or Anna can respond Knoll slides his haversack down from behind him, producing a tablet similar to the one you just discovered. Charitably, he presents it in front of your eyes for your perusal, and you find yourself going down the lines of text:

"It appeared that from this, the secrets of the Temple could then be unlocked. What these secrets were, and how much of them there were to unfold, that I do not know. I could go no further then, but it seemed likely that the knowledge held within those treacherous chambers bordered on the limitless. What I have managed to deduce, hopefully successfully, is that the operating mechanisms were dependent on the theorised Golden Rule of creation: the key was determined by specific combinations of Pokémon. It seemed that specific threads of information were fed to those who entered -- though, in retrospect, I wonder if indeed anyone has breached this dark covenant before me -- dependent on the Pokémon they possessed, and placed in the relevant locations in the sacred locks. From this, highly restricted knowledge could be passed on to the desired individuals."

"I found this in the Divination Temple. From what this slate says, I supposed there were more similar stone tablets, but since I started searching a week ago I haven't found another one," explains Knoll. "In fact, I was searching this part of the village when I saw you with a stone slab yourself, and I wondered... if it's not too much trouble, would you mind offering your opinion on this? Much as I want to find out the truth behind this relic, I have to say I'm completely stumped. I don't have a single lead to go on other than what's mentioned here..."

Staring back at the words, Knoll's voice almost sounds like it's miles away -- ominous, or coincidental as it is, it seems highly likely you're looking at one of the other entries mentioned in the tablet you found only moments earlier. If so, it puts Knoll on the same page as you if you're keen on discovering the secret mentioned by this ancient individual, and it might expedite your cause if you joined forces with Knoll... or will you? Much as he's been frank about himself and his own goals, he's still a stranger you only just met... are you yet willing to trust him?

Arc_Angel
25th June 2009, 12:27 PM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"My name? My first name is Edge; but people prefer to know me by my family name, Knoll," he introduces. "I'm a travelling explorer; specifically, I'm a mystery writer, but I often make journeys to faraway lands so I can search for inspiration from the world." You briefly wonder with mild amusement how someone with such an apparently benign appearance and temperament could bear such a sharp-sounding name, but still you maintain extreme caution. The memories from your last adventure, and how you nearly brought upon ruination to yourself and several others, still remain as fresh in your mind as is necessary for a reminder.

"I do apologise for interfering, but... that wouldn't happen to be a stone tablet, is it?" asks Knoll, pointing at the very slab you hold in your hands, and instantly you hear Anna's growling kick up a notch in volume and aggression; likewise your skin seems to tighten in sync with your Pokémon. Surprisingly you see Knoll glance at Anna, offering little more than another gentle, peaceful smile. "Your Jolteon seems most protective of you," Knoll says kindly, although you have a feeling Anna doesn't quite see the remark as a compliment. "In any case, I hope I haven't troubled you, but the reason of my inquiry is because I found a stone tablet myself."

This piece of information is certainly one you hadn't expected, and before you or Anna can respond Knoll slides his haversack down from behind him, producing a tablet similar to the one you just discovered. Charitably, he presents it in front of your eyes for your perusal, and you find yourself going down the lines of text:

"It appeared that from this, the secrets of the Temple could then be unlocked. What these secrets were, and how much of them there were to unfold, that I do not know. I could go no further then, but it seemed likely that the knowledge held within those treacherous chambers bordered on the limitless. What I have managed to deduce, hopefully successfully, is that the operating mechanisms were dependent on the theorised Golden Rule of creation: the key was determined by specific combinations of Pokémon. It seemed that specific threads of information were fed to those who entered -- though, in retrospect, I wonder if indeed anyone has breached this dark covenant before me -- dependent on the Pokémon they possessed, and placed in the relevant locations in the sacred locks. From this, highly restricted knowledge could be passed on to the desired individuals."

"I found this in the Divination Temple. From what this slate says, I supposed there were more similar stone tablets, but since I started searching a week ago I haven't found another one," explains Knoll. "In fact, I was searching this part of the village when I saw you with a stone slab yourself, and I wondered... if it's not too much trouble, would you mind offering your opinion on this? Much as I want to find out the truth behind this relic, I have to say I'm completely stumped. I don't have a single lead to go on other than what's mentioned here..."

Staring back at the words, Knoll's voice almost sounds like it's miles away -- ominous, or coincidental as it is, it seems highly likely you're looking at one of the other entries mentioned in the tablet you found only moments earlier. If so, it puts Knoll on the same page as you if you're keen on discovering the secret mentioned by this ancient individual, and it might expedite your cause if you joined forces with Knoll... or will you? Much as he's been frank about himself and his own goals, he's still a stranger you only just met... are you yet willing to trust him?

The older man didn't even hesitate at the demand to give his identity, he did so freely. He introduced himself as Edge Knoll and Stacey felt a smile tug at her lips, what an unusual if interesting name, it certainly didn't seem to suit him from his appearance anyway. He explained that he was a mystery writer and had travelled to many worlds in order to gain inspiration for his stories. That took Stacey by surprise and she felt her guard shift a little in place for curiosity, she hadn't expected those words to come from his lips. He was quickly shaping into an enigma. It was then that he noticed the stone tabletin her hands, the one she had poorly managed to conceal and she tightened her grip on almost as if she thought he would try to snatch it from her. Anna's growling is renewed with force as she bares her long fangs and sparks fly from her fur as Knoll looks down upon her with a gentle smile not at all fazed by her warnings to back the hell off.

"Your Jolteon seems most protective of you," he says and Anna scoffs along with Stacey who rolls her eyes both thinking the same thing ... no she/I'm not.

'Protective of her? I'm just keeping close because she's my ticket out of this boring wasteland. If you try anything funny your groin and my teeth are going to meet in a painful union, she thought, this threat going unnoticed by the others in the room.

Knoll pulled out a tablet of his own from his backpack and Stacey raised an eyebrow slightly before her face set in its stony gaze. He held it out for her to read without any bargin for trade of information and Stacey curiously leant forward her eyes slowly passing over the words. Her brow furrowed as she read over the words as confusion tinged her eyes, the entry didn't seem to directly follow the one she held but seemed related. It spoke of a series of chambers within a temple that held many secrets and those were revealed to visitors in part dependant on the Pokemon they had with them at the time.

Knoll went on to explain that he found the tablet in the Divination Temple which made some sense from what Stacey had read about that particular part of this city. He had been searching for a week and not found another tablet and yet Stacey had managed to stumble onto one within moments of entering this village. Knoll asked for her opinion on the tablets and she looked up blinking as she tore her mind away from the passage. She looked down to the tablet she possessed and after a few moments thought held it out to Knoll, he had allowed her to read his and in her opinion it held more information than hers but together they made more sense.

"We found this here a few moments ago. The author who carved this tablet made reference to a series of entries, I believe my tablet is the first and that yours follows but it doesn't appear to be the very next entry. I believe there would be another before it." She explained allowing him to read her tablet. "This author had discovered something great yet terrible, a knowledge he couldn't convey to others and your tablet spoke of secrets I would guess that the Divination Temple holds that is unlocked by having a combination of Pokemon types present," she thought out loud.

"Where else have you looked, there must be other tablets that would better explain these words, it is hard to fully comprehend the story is some of the chapters are missing is it not?" she asked with a wry grin willing to allow temporary partnership with this man in order to satiate her own curiosity, but her trust still had to be earned. Anna still remained on guard and Eve was oblivious asleep in her arms.

Treepandaone
25th June 2009, 12:41 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
With a path of duty clear to you, you quickly fling out three PokéBalls from your belt, releasing your earlier-used comrades and a towering iron snake, although its blue sheen is clearly nothing like anything the scientists have seen before. Giving you a nod of understanding, Tina begins barking orders.

"Move! Move!" she shouts, and as some of the scientists begin clambering onto Impact's long, serpentine frame, a few of the others follow your lead and fling out Pokémon of their own; bright flashes of light joining Rhyperbeam as part of the backup response team. Sudowoodo, Manectric, Haunter -- all ready to pick up anyone unfortunate to be left behind. A Gliscor swoops about Impact, cackling, as its scientist trainer issues a couple of commands. Shards of shine rip across the fanged scorpion as it executes its Rock Polish technique, before it dives back downwards, lightly brushing against each Pokémon sent out. As he receives the Baton Pass Impact suddenly rears back from the rush of speed now flowing in his body, though not to the extent of tossing everyone off.

"Maya, Signal Beam alarm, now!" calls Tina, to which her Yanma flies ahead with wings screeching away, eyes flashing a dangerous display of warning. Holding onto one of Impact's spikes beside you, Tina turns back to the laboratory, where her comrades stand bracing themselves, accompanied by a Tangela and Piloswine.

"Alright, let's move out!" shouts the young woman, though as you glance briefly at her you can't help but notice a glimmer of worry in her eyes. Like a living locomotive Impact begins to trundle across the grass, followed by the motley crew of stragglers...


***

Hours later, as the sun begins to dip, you find yourself huddled around a fire with the scientists. By the time everyone within the vicinity had been evacuated and encountered for, the plan was announced to pitch camp for the night, or at least as far as another plan has been thought up. Other tents of various shapes and sizes stand all around you, housing the other visiting Trainers and local shopkeepers -- while the truth behind the incident was kept under proverbial lock and key, most of them have seen the laboratory explosion, and a light aura of fear lingers about. Luckily, some of the others had released Pokémon to aid in the evacuation process, but even after a successful escape the mood is still generally glum.

"...So that's what happened," murmurs Tina, as you finish your list of events. "Thank you, Matthew, for being frank with us."

"Tina? Do you think Mynah and Peter will be fine?"

"They're two of our best when it comes to Pokémon battles, Rex. Combat science is their specialty, after all -- I daresay they'll know when and where to find us. They're resourceful like that," Tina explains. "But there's one thing that's bothering me..."

"You mean how we've now got a half-Kabutops mutant for a colleague?"

"No, I fully expected to see Glenn fused with an extinct species of Pokémon with enough power to blow up the labs," replies the de facto leader, sarcasm dripping from her voice. "I mean... there's something about what that entity said that I can't simply ignore."

"Caiman?"

"Right. Caiman... If there's any truth in the legends we found..." Raising her head, Tina meets your confused look with her own preoccupied gaze. "Oh, I'm sorry," she apologises. "I forgot you'd have no idea what we're talking about... Would you like to hear it?"

"Really now, Tina," frowns one of the other women, folding her arms against a lithe physique. "There's nothing practical to be gleaned from all this. We're scientists, Tina! We do much, much more than put some hopeless faith into tales of lore!"

"Oh, really, Lorraine?" growls Tina. "Perhaps you'd like to provide an alternative plan, then?"

"I..." It takes the other, blonde woman a while to finally purse her lips tightly, still glaring at whom you can only guess is the other half in a rival equation, but ultimately the decision is still yours. Will you choose to listen to the story, or attempt searching for another lead?

Matthew saw the Pokéballs break apart in mid air, exploding with energy as his three Pokémon emerged from confinement. Matthew instructed his orders as his three Pokémon nodded, RhyperBeam carefully rising to its feet, stretching its rock form, opening its mouth to reveal two rows of teeth as strong as its hide. Matthew gave a hand signal as he waved its stone tail and flexed its fingers, stomping the ground, making it quake. With the release of his earlier used team mates, Matthew looked on as he saw his Steelix join the midst, the blue sheen attracting scientist attention as he gave him a debrief on the happening and gave his orders. Matthew looked back to Tina to decide upon the action, nodding back to her as he barked her orders to the rest of the group.

"Move! Move!" Tina cried as Matthew turned to look around him.

Glancing around in all directions, he saw the scientists clamber onto Impact’s long serpentine frame while others followed his lead, throwing out their own pokémon to help the situation, a Sudowoodo, Manectric and a Haunter all joining RhyperBeam in the straggler team, ready to pick up anyone unfortunate to be left behind. As Matthew heard a cackle, he suddenly jerked his head upwards, finding a Gliscor flying overhead, sending shards of shine off its body. Noticing the Rock Polish technique Matthew had taught to Steelix, Matthew watched as the Gliscor baton passed the speed to steelix as it lurched forward with momentum, the scientists able to hang on for dear life as the sudden acceleration caught Steelix by surprise.

"Maya, Signal Beam alarm, now!" Tina shouted once more as Matthew saw the little bug once against take charge, buzzing forward with eyes flashing; a dangerous display of warning. Grabbing onto one of Impact’s spikes, Matthew prepared to set off as he caught a glimpse of Tina looking back towards the lab, Matthew noticed a Tangela and Piloswine accompanying her comrades.

"Alright, let's move out!" Matthew looked back to the young woman as he saw a glimmer of worry sparkle in her eyes. Stroking his chin lightly Matthew tapped the side of Impacts body, a signal to set off as the giant snake lurched forward, trundling through the grass, the motley crew of stragglers falling behind.


***

After what seemed like hours of traveling, Matthew found himself stretching as he recovered from a flat bum, his squishy pink skin no match for the rocky exterior of Steelix. Looking up Matthew noticed the sun beginning to dip, the wonderment of a sunset fascinating Matthew as he saw it lower to the other side of the world, a beautiful sight considering the circumstances. Turning back to the campsite, Matthew found a mob of tents surrounding him, local shopkeepers and visiting trainers all seeing the lab explosion, Matthew holding the reasoning behind it to himself. Sitting down upon the campfire with Tina, he explained the situation as to what happened between him and Glenn, as she turned to face him.

"...So that's what happened, Thank you, Matthew, for being frank with us." Tina murmured as Matthew smiled weakly.

"Tina? Do you think Mynah and Peter will be fine?" Another scientist said in the background as Tina addressed him “They're two of our best when it comes to Pokémon battles, Rex. Combat science is their specialty, after all -- I daresay they'll know when and where to find us. They're resourceful like that, but there's one thing that's bothering me..."

Matthew turned to Tina with an inquisitive look on his eyes, another scientist picking up a trail, "You mean how we've now got a half-Kabutops mutant for a colleague?"

"No, I fully expected to see Glenn fused with an extinct species of Pokémon with enough power to blow up the labs," Tina said. Matthew laughed weakly at the sarcasm in her voice, musing about the scientist, his odd behavior and friendliness a suspect for an evil kabutops fossil mutation. “I mean... there's something about what that entity said that I can't simply ignore." Tina carried on

"Caiman?" A woman asked as Matthew raised an eyebrow.

"Right. Caiman... If there's any truth in the legends we found..." Tina rasied her head as she met his confused look, Matthew’s confusion apparent "Oh, I'm sorry," Tina apologized, "I forgot you'd have no idea what we're talking about... Would you like to hear it?"

"Really now, Tina, there's nothing practical to be gleaned from all this. We're scientists, Tina! We do much, much more than put some hopeless faith into tales of lore!" another scientist said, folding her arms

Matthew sighed as he shook his head, the woman’s scientifically head getting the better of her

“Scientists may be all about proving theorems, but the best scientists consider all aspects of the formula. My father, he was an engineer, but that didn’t stop him believing in lore, and it shouldn’t you either.”

Matthew nodded as Tina growled at the scientist, telling her off for not having another alternate plan.

“I’d love to hear the story.” Matthew answered, his face beaming.

Shadowshocker
25th June 2009, 2:51 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
"Out of the Lost Cities of Talas, you might already have heard that Sobek was the first of the five to be unearthed," begins Tina. "Initially, the information we uncovered seemed to hint that Sobek was one of five chief bustling settlements; one of the main pillars of civilisation in Talas, if you will. We found stacks of tablets, preserved for centuries under the sands, possibly from an area that held the official archives, chronicling much of what we already hypothesised.

"However, upon further and deeper excavation, we discovered something... rather startling, to say the least. From another subterranean layer, probably about some decades apart from the archives we discovered, were series of what appeared to be broken tablets," continues the scientist. "Our forensic department spent quite a while trying to piece back the ancient pages, and... well, the few ones we did manage to successfully reconstruct told a considerably stark picture opposed to what we found.

"Contrary to what was discovered and already known about Pharaoh Caiman III, these tablets suggested that while the Golden Age of Sobek lasted in the reign of his family's dynasty, the people suffered as much cruelty as they enjoyed prosperity. In particular the Colosseum, constructed in his time, was the grounds of much savagery and brutality. Pokémon and humans alike were slaughtered for the sadistic enjoyment of the social elite, and even the survivors from the arena were little better than those who had died in its walls." At this, your mind suddenly goes back to your experience at the Colosseum; how you witnessed the madness, the suffering left behind from centuries past, and a chilling sensation grips you as you shiver involuntarily.

"It was said that the people lived in ambivalence, not knowing whether to praise Farity for their nation's wealth or curse her for the irony that befell them. Some even openly said that she slept while her people suffered," Tina says quietly. "Little else could be found; from the state of the shattered slate we found, it seems likely that a cover-up operation was established to hide the truth." Gazing along the others, you notice Lorraine give a little huff and roll of the eyes. "What's certain that before Pharaoh Caiman III died, after the healing waters of Farity failed to heal him of a disease, he requested the construction of a tomb in which his body would be held, protected by the spirit of Sobek itself, where he might lie until the time came for him to regain his power." Finishing her own account of events in a quiet whisper, Tina meets your glance with her own.

"Tina. You don't think... that..."

"Given what Matthew has just told us, I wouldn't be surprised if something deep and dark was behind all this. You saw and heard that thing with your own eyes," reminds Tina, and you think back to the crazed, sinister look in the fusion of Glenn and Kabutops. "The way it mentioned the name 'Caiman'... I don't think it's a coincidence. It sounds like a warning to me."

"A warning. Right. And let me guess: you think that the spirit of Caiman now inhabits Glenn, and now he's going on a rampage to regain his body and power."

"I don't see why you're taking all of this so blithely, Lorraine!" Tina snaps. "You can't deny the possibility of what's happened! You saw it happen right in front of you!"

"Indeed. And why did it happen? You know it's against protocol to leave only one of the personnel back in the labs; yet you still proceeded to go on that expedition of Farity's Shrine -- goodness knows why, it's not like we found anything besides stone, stone and -- surprise surprise, more stone."

"Lorraine, you--!"

"You then proceed to leave two of our best, the ones who'd stand the best chance of helping us out here in the wild, to deal with that monstrosity, and now you go on about a tangent left behind by some ancient simpletons and a random chap who happens to be in the thick of a laboratory disaster." Shaking her head like a teacher admonishing her student, Lorraine looks back at the indignant Tina, speaking volumes with the silent sneer from her irises. "Honestly, Tina. I don't even know why headquarters put you in charge of us."

"If you've got so much to say about the way I do things, why didn't you say so earlier?!" screams Tina, scrabbling to her feet, and it almost seems as though she's about to punch her haughty colleague through the nose if not for the scientists beside her rising to restrain her by the arms. "You could have complained up the ladder, offered suggestions, left the group!"

"Now, now. I couldn't possibly leave when there was still a show to watch. Though at this point, it seems a lot more like punishment." Standing up herself, Lorraine looks back at her seething rival with an expression of utmost disdain. "In fact, I think I'll take you up on that last offer, just to prove you wrong. Again. By this time tomorrow I'll have returned from the Caiman Temple and proven your beloved mythology to be nothing but complete and utter twaddle. Come along, Patricia."

Turning with a fluid movement on her shoes, Lorraine walks off into the night followed by her Manectric, leaving the rest of the scientists dumbfounded and Tina trembling with apparent rage and shock.

"...Tina?"

"I'm... I'm alright, Rex. Just... let me down." Sinking to a sitting position, Tina grips her face with her hand; fingers spread over tense skin. "What have I done?" she moans as she massages her forehead, almost on the verge of a sob, you think. "What have I done to you, Glenn? What have I landed all of us in?"

Uneasily, you fidget where you are. Your questions might have been answered, but more queries have rushed in to fill the void, and there isn't much of a lead to go on if at all. With each passing second, if what Tina has told you does turn out to be true, a sinister future lies in wait for all of you, and for certain Glenn spends more time in his new monstrosity of a body.

What will you do now?



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"That was what I believed; it would certainly appear you share the same curiosity," agrees Knoll, once he hands you back your own artifact. "The problem is, though, I'm not entirely sure if the Divination Temple was the temple in question. I scoured the structure myself before opting to search elsewhere; the Divination Temple itself is but a small stone building with no glyphs or symbols to suggest anything at all, and I could find no such mechanism as was mentioned on my slate. It seems unlikely that the Divination Temple held any of the forbidden knowledge told of in the tablet you found.

"It might be possible, though, that the answer lies in elsewhere within the limits of this city. From an aerial vantage point, I observed other temples that were mentioned in various archives and atlases. The other parts of this message, if not the forbidden knowledge itself, might show themselves if we searched carefully enough," he reasons, stroking his chin in his ever-gentle manner. Somehow you find that while your suspicion remains, another part of your mind is starting to feel a lot easier around this calm, benign stranger. As if in compromise, Anna's own growling continues boiling in volume; a threat hissed out in her own language. "I'm ashamed to admit, however, that I haven't been able to search elsewhere. I arrived in this area only a fortnight ago, and the week before last was spent searching in the Divination Temple."

Gesturing outside, Knoll invites you to the doorway he was blocking earlier, and promptly a looming, circular shadow floats down to greet you, much to your initial surprise. A purple balloon-like creature blinks its small, crimson eyes at you; its four wispy arms undulating with each faint breeze, and its voice coming like a series of joyful wheezes.

"Wilfrid helps me in journeys through the world, but like most Drifblim he has little control over where he goes. No offence intended, good fellow," Knoll explains, winking at the Blimp Pokémon who seems to bobble in a little good-natured indignance. "If... it wouldn't trouble you, kind miss, I would much appreciate it if I had the privilege of your assistance. I think you profess as much interest in this as I do, and I believe something truly big is behind all of this, maybe beyond what I could handle. Not that I can't count on you, Wilfrid," apologises Knoll, smiling serenely at his huffing Drifblim.

Regardless of whether you've come to trust Knoll, it certainly seems he's willing to trust you. What will you do now?

Treepandaone
25th June 2009, 6:45 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
"Out of the Lost Cities of Talas, you might already have heard that Sobek was the first of the five to be unearthed," begins Tina. "Initially, the information we uncovered seemed to hint that Sobek was one of five chief bustling settlements; one of the main pillars of civilisation in Talas, if you will. We found stacks of tablets, preserved for centuries under the sands, possibly from an area that held the official archives, chronicling much of what we already hypothesised.

"However, upon further and deeper excavation, we discovered something... rather startling, to say the least. From another subterranean layer, probably about some decades apart from the archives we discovered, were series of what appeared to be broken tablets," continues the scientist. "Our forensic department spent quite a while trying to piece back the ancient pages, and... well, the few ones we did manage to successfully reconstruct told a considerably stark picture opposed to what we found.

"Contrary to what was discovered and already known about Pharaoh Caiman III, these tablets suggested that while the Golden Age of Sobek lasted in the reign of his family's dynasty, the people suffered as much cruelty as they enjoyed prosperity. In particular the Colosseum, constructed in his time, was the grounds of much savagery and brutality. Pokémon and humans alike were slaughtered for the sadistic enjoyment of the social elite, and even the survivors from the arena were little better than those who had died in its walls." At this, your mind suddenly goes back to your experience at the Colosseum; how you witnessed the madness, the suffering left behind from centuries past, and a chilling sensation grips you as you shiver involuntarily.

"It was said that the people lived in ambivalence, not knowing whether to praise Farity for their nation's wealth or curse her for the irony that befell them. Some even openly said that she slept while her people suffered," Tina says quietly. "Little else could be found; from the state of the shattered slate we found, it seems likely that a cover-up operation was established to hide the truth." Gazing along the others, you notice Lorraine give a little huff and roll of the eyes. "What's certain that before Pharaoh Caiman III died, after the healing waters of Farity failed to heal him of a disease, he requested the construction of a tomb in which his body would be held, protected by the spirit of Sobek itself, where he might lie until the time came for him to regain his power." Finishing her own account of events in a quiet whisper, Tina meets your glance with her own.

"Tina. You don't think... that..."

"Given what Matthew has just told us, I wouldn't be surprised if something deep and dark was behind all this. You saw and heard that thing with your own eyes," reminds Tina, and you think back to the crazed, sinister look in the fusion of Glenn and Kabutops. "The way it mentioned the name 'Caiman'... I don't think it's a coincidence. It sounds like a warning to me."

"A warning. Right. And let me guess: you think that the spirit of Caiman now inhabits Glenn, and now he's going on a rampage to regain his body and power."

"I don't see why you're taking all of this so blithely, Lorraine!" Tina snaps. "You can't deny the possibility of what's happened! You saw it happen right in front of you!"

"Indeed. And why did it happen? You know it's against protocol to leave only one of the personnel back in the labs; yet you still proceeded to go on that expedition of Farity's Shrine -- goodness knows why, it's not like we found anything besides stone, stone and -- surprise surprise, more stone."

"Lorraine, you--!"

"You then proceed to leave two of our best, the ones who'd stand the best chance of helping us out here in the wild, to deal with that monstrosity, and now you go on about a tangent left behind by some ancient simpletons and a random chap who happens to be in the thick of a laboratory disaster." Shaking her head like a teacher admonishing her student, Lorraine looks back at the indignant Tina, speaking volumes with the silent sneer from her irises. "Honestly, Tina. I don't even know why headquarters put you in charge of us."

"If you've got so much to say about the way I do things, why didn't you say so earlier?!" screams Tina, scrabbling to her feet, and it almost seems as though she's about to punch her haughty colleague through the nose if not for the scientists beside her rising to restrain her by the arms. "You could have complained up the ladder, offered suggestions, left the group!"

"Now, now. I couldn't possibly leave when there was still a show to watch. Though at this point, it seems a lot more like punishment." Standing up herself, Lorraine looks back at her seething rival with an expression of utmost disdain. "In fact, I think I'll take you up on that last offer, just to prove you wrong. Again. By this time tomorrow I'll have returned from the Caiman Temple and proven your beloved mythology to be nothing but complete and utter twaddle. Come along, Patricia."

Turning with a fluid movement on her shoes, Lorraine walks off into the night followed by her Manectric, leaving the rest of the scientists dumbfounded and Tina trembling with apparent rage and shock.

"...Tina?"

"I'm... I'm alright, Rex. Just... let me down." Sinking to a sitting position, Tina grips her face with her hand; fingers spread over tense skin. "What have I done?" she moans as she massages her forehead, almost on the verge of a sob, you think. "What have I done to you, Glenn? What have I landed all of us in?"

Uneasily, you fidget where you are. Your questions might have been answered, but more queries have rushed in to fill the void, and there isn't much of a lead to go on if at all. With each passing second, if what Tina has told you does turn out to be true, a sinister future lies in wait for all of you, and for certain Glenn spends more time in his new monstrosity of a body.

What will you do now?

Matthew watched on as Tina began her story, the ideals of Lore and Mystics beyond fascinated him and he was willing to go to the ends of the earth to find out more about the story of origin.

"Out of the Lost Cities of Talas, you might already have heard that Sobek was the first of the five to be unearthed. Initially, the information we uncovered seemed to hint that Sobek was one of five chief bustling settlements; one of the main pillars of civilization in Talas, if you will. We found stacks of tablets, preserved for centuries under the sands, possibly from an area that held the official archives, chronicling much of what we already hypothesized.

However, upon further and deeper excavation, we discovered something... rather startling, to say the least. From another subterranean layer, probably about some decades apart from the archives we discovered, were series of what appeared to be broken tablets, our forensic department spent quite a while trying to piece back the ancient pages, and... well, the few ones we did manage to successfully reconstruct told a considerably stark picture opposed to what we found.

Contrary to what was discovered and already known about Pharaoh Caiman III, these tablets suggested that while the Golden Age of Sobek lasted in the reign of his family's dynasty, the people suffered as much cruelty as they enjoyed prosperity. In particular the Colosseum, constructed in his time, was the grounds of much savagery and brutality. Pokémon and humans alike were slaughtered for the sadistic enjoyment of the social elite, and even the survivors from the arena were little better than those who had died in its walls”

Matthew’s mind wandered back to the Colosseum; witnessing the first hand madness and suffering left behind from centuries past, a chilling sensation shooting up his spine as he did so sending a shiver, involuntarily.

"It was said that the people lived in ambivalence, not knowing whether to praise Farity for their nation's wealth or curse her for the irony that befell them. Some even openly said that she slept while her people suffered, Little else could be found; from the state of the shattered slate we found, it seems likely that a cover-up operation was established to hide the truth. What's certain that before Pharaoh Caiman III died, after the healing waters of Farity failed to heal him of a disease, he requested the construction of a tomb in which his body would be held, protected by the spirit of Sobek itself, where he might lie until the time came for him to regain his power.”

Matthew gazed around the group as the scientist finished once more, her story gripping and enthralling Matthew, but he noticed the rolling of one scientists eyes and a huff of breath exceeding her mouth.

"Tina. You don't think... that..."

"Given what Matthew has just told us, I wouldn't be surprised if something deep and dark was behind all this. You saw and heard that thing with your own eyes, the way it mentioned the name 'Caiman'... I don't think it's a coincidence. It sounds like a warning to me."

Matthew thought back to the crazed, sinister look upon the face of the fused monster

"A warning. Right. And let me guess: you think that the spirit of Caiman now inhabits Glenn, and now he's going on a rampage to regain his body and power."

Matthew’s head snapped back to the scientist once more, her views obstructing the progress once again, the tales of lore disinteresting her *****y attitude

"I don't see why you're taking all of this so blithely, Lorraine!” Tina snapped as Matthew agreed. "You can't deny the possibility of what's happened! You saw it happen right in front of you!"

"Indeed. And why did it happen? You know it's against protocol to leave only one of the personnel back in the labs; yet you still proceeded to go on that expedition of Farity's Shrine -- goodness knows why, it's not like we found anything besides stone, stone and -- surprise surprise, more stone."

"Lorraine, you--!"

Matthew’s head flittered from scientist to scientist, following the argument.

"You then proceed to leave two of our best, the ones who'd stand the best chance of helping us out here in the wild, to deal with that monstrosity, and now you go on about a tangent left behind by some ancient simpletons and a random chap who happens to be in the thick of a laboratory disaster. Honestly, Tina. I don't even know why headquarters put you in charge of us."

Matthew laughed at her comments, taking some offense to the random chap part of her sentence, glaring at her.

“Yes, because it seems you’re doing such a great job.”

"If you've got so much to say about the way I do things, why didn't you say so earlier?!” Matthew reeled as Tina scrambled to her feet, ready to pnch the scientist "You could have complained up the ladder, offered suggestions, left the group!"

"Now, now. I couldn't possibly leave when there was still a show to watch. Though at this point, it seems a lot more like punishment." Matthew saw the scientist get up from the floor, standing by herself "In fact, I think I'll take you up on that last offer, just to prove you wrong. Again. By this time tomorrow I'll have returned from the Caiman Temple and proven your beloved mythology to be nothing but complete and utter twaddle. Come along, Patricia."

Chuckling to himself, Matthew laughed as the scientist turned on her heels once more, walking off into the night with her Manectric. Looking back to the scientist, Matthew saw rest of the scientists dumbfounded and Tina trembling with rage and shock.

“With no food, water or shelter, I wish you good luck” Matthew called into the darkness

"...Tina?"


"I'm... I'm alright, Rex. Just... let me down." Matthew looked to Tina as she slinked down to a sitting position, griping her face with her hands "What have I done? What have I done to you, Glenn? What have I landed all of us in?"

“I’m sure that even if you were there, Glenn would have turned himself into the Pharaoh Caiman” Matthew joked as he comforted the leader, fidgeting as his questions remained unanswered.

“I say we head back to the Colosseum. That is where I found this beast, and he had written somethings on the wall. If we can find the secret to his demise, we can find a way to defeat him.”

Arc_Angel
26th June 2009, 5:49 PM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"That was what I believed; it would certainly appear you share the same curiosity," agrees Knoll, once he hands you back your own artifact. "The problem is, though, I'm not entirely sure if the Divination Temple was the temple in question. I scoured the structure myself before opting to search elsewhere; the Divination Temple itself is but a small stone building with no glyphs or symbols to suggest anything at all, and I could find no such mechanism as was mentioned on my slate. It seems unlikely that the Divination Temple held any of the forbidden knowledge told of in the tablet you found.

"It might be possible, though, that the answer lies in elsewhere within the limits of this city. From an aerial vantage point, I observed other temples that were mentioned in various archives and atlases. The other parts of this message, if not the forbidden knowledge itself, might show themselves if we searched carefully enough," he reasons, stroking his chin in his ever-gentle manner. Somehow you find that while your suspicion remains, another part of your mind is starting to feel a lot easier around this calm, benign stranger. As if in compromise, Anna's own growling continues boiling in volume; a threat hissed out in her own language. "I'm ashamed to admit, however, that I haven't been able to search elsewhere. I arrived in this area only a fortnight ago, and the week before last was spent searching in the Divination Temple."

Gesturing outside, Knoll invites you to the doorway he was blocking earlier, and promptly a looming, circular shadow floats down to greet you, much to your initial surprise. A purple balloon-like creature blinks its small, crimson eyes at you; its four wispy arms undulating with each faint breeze, and its voice coming like a series of joyful wheezes.

"Wilfrid helps me in journeys through the world, but like most Drifblim he has little control over where he goes. No offence intended, good fellow," Knoll explains, winking at the Blimp Pokémon who seems to bobble in a little good-natured indignance. "If... it wouldn't trouble you, kind miss, I would much appreciate it if I had the privilege of your assistance. I think you profess as much interest in this as I do, and I believe something truly big is behind all of this, maybe beyond what I could handle. Not that I can't count on you, Wilfrid," apologises Knoll, smiling serenely at his huffing Drifblim.

Regardless of whether you've come to trust Knoll, it certainly seems he's willing to trust you. What will you do now?

Knoll hands back Stacey's tablet as she holds it to her chest like a treasured belonging as he notes her similar curiosity with the secrets hidden in these archives. He explained that he had scoured the Divination Temple thoroughly and found no sign of any more tablets, it was only a small building and showed no signs of information anywhere on its stone walls. Stacey frowned at this but remembered there were more than one temple in this city. He bashfully admitted that he had spent the entirity of that week here searching the Divination Temple and none of the others before leading Stacey outside. Anna kept growling in waves allowing her throat to rest in between but she still did not trust this man even if her trainer was beginning to warm up to him.

Stacey followed Knoll outside and felt a warm smile light up her face at the Pokemon that slowly floated to eye level at the call from his trainer. The joyful Drifblim seemed to litterally beam in the presence of its friends and gave a happy series of wheezes.

"Wilfrid helps me in journeys through the world, but like most Drifblim he has little control over where he goes. No offence intended, good fellow," Knoll says good naturedly as Wilfrid bobbs up and down not at all fazed by the statement. He reminded her of her own balloon Pokemon, she was a happy little thing too, perhaps, should her judgements of this man prove to be right she would introduce them sometime.

"If... it wouldn't trouble you, kind miss, I would much appreciate it if I had the privilege of your assistance. I think you profess as much interest in this as I do, and I believe something truly big is behind all of this, maybe beyond what I could handle. Not that I can't count on you, Wilfrid,". Knoll seemed genuinely sincere in his request, and he was correct that Stacey was more than curious now and it would only plague her mind until she satiated her thirst for answers. Not only that but she was finding this Knoll more and more pleasant company, and if it was a facade it was a very good one. At least with Anna on permenent guard, something about the young man unnerving her she had an advanced warning system if you will.

"Very well, it would probably be more efficient to work together to find these other entries but know this, if your intentions are anything but pure I will not hesitate to unleash Anna's fury upon you," she warned sternly maintaining a harsh glint in her eyes; she would not be duped again. "You said you had an aerial view of these temples, perhpas your Drifblim could lead us to The Temple of Oracles and we may begin our search there."

ZoraJolteon
27th June 2009, 7:35 AM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
Deciding to continue in a game of matching, you order Baltoy its next set of orders to which it responds in its usual sophisticated manner. As Ocorpis draws near with its mouth wide open, sizzling with dark power, Baltoy aims its Ice Beam right at the centre of the ogre scorpion's mouth, blasting him backwards as his mouth is completely frozen over from the inside. Barely supporting itself with his four stubby feet, Ocorpis glares at Baltoy at the failure of its Crunch attempt, emitting unintelligible noises as the ice prevents even easy words from being communicated.

Performing a little victory spin, Baltoy's slitted eyes dip into a small frown as it focuses another variety of energy into the horn atop its head, firing the result as a Signal Beam which strikes the Guardian of Poison below its supposed chin. The attack on a vulnerable area does not go unnoticed as Ocorpis makes a noise that sounds a bit like a gag, but as it recovers and glares daggers at the both of you, you have a feeling that it's not going to be a lot easier now you've disabled Ocorpis' mandibular usage. Raising his vicious claws, Ocorpis forms insectoid energy of his own, sharpening the claw tips and firing a wave of Pin Missile at you and Baltoy. Most of the storm ends up embedding itself in the walls behind you, but in spite of its smaller size Baltoy still gets struck by a good enough number of the needles to spiral a little downwards like a crashing plane.

As Baltoy rights itself you return your attention back to Ocorpis, and much to your surprise you see water dripping from his frozen jaws, and even a couple of steam wisps. It seems that a Fire Fang will be the next technique to strike you in the future...

"Baltoy, defensive countermeasures!" Zora yelled out to his companion, identifying the incoming Fire Fang technique and quickly determining in his mind the tactics for best minimizing any damage sustained. "Send yourself into a Rapid Spin, that'll stop him from sinking his teeth in. Follow on from there by taking advantage of Ocorpis' weakness again - hit him with your Earth Power attack!"

Shadowshocker
27th June 2009, 10:19 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
It takes a while for Tina to respond as she puts down her hand to mull it over, and as she does so the others start to mutter amongst themselves in their own thoughts. Some of them gesticulate briefly, but it's almost needless to say they're all pretty nervous to say the least. Before anyone can say anything, however, you hear another, somewhat familiar voice croak out. "Tina!"

"Peter? Mynah!" Getting to her feet again, Tina runs over to the silhouettes of her other colleagues, and as you join the others you see the two scientists that had been left behind; their clothes tattered and bodies bruised from battle, with Mynah barely awake and able to walk as she is supported by Peter, with a shocking gash along his forehead. "Alright, we got you," grunts Rex as he scoops Mynah by under her arms from a grateful Peter, the both of them escorted by the fireside. "What's your status, Peter?"

"Long story short, I can quite confidently say that whatever we were up against, he was a nasty piece of work," grimaces Peter. "Even Erik couldn't do much in spite of a double type advantage. We nearly got swiss-cheesed when Mynah and Leona stepped in to intercept a critical Night Slash barrage... barely made it out of there with our lives and Pokémon. Would've died if it haven't been for her." The male scientist takes a pause, looking at his faintly wheezing comrade as he shakes his head. "Luckily that thing gave us up when we started escaping. Said we weren't worth the trouble, and headed off in the direction of the Caiman Temple."

"The Caiman Temple... that's not a good sign," Rex remarks thoughtfully. "Assuming the information we have at hand to be accurate, something's bound to happen once the fusion reaches its destination, and that's where Lorraine's headed..."

"What?!" His eyes flaring open at the news, Peter stares around, noting the absence of said scientist. "That's definitely not good. If they clash, there's no guaranteeing that she--"

"I know," Tina answers softly. "I... just don't know what we should do anymore," she sighs. "Matthew suggested heading over to the Colosseum, but... what should we do now, in light of this? Lorraine could be in graver danger than she bargained for, and... yet..."

"Hmmmm. It's a conundrum alright, I'll agree," Peter mutters. "In our current state, though, I don't think we could go for an immediate counterattack. There's still a lot which we don't know, and we just experienced a considerable ordeal of our own. We should take the night to recover and see if we can't hunt for any more lingering clues. It'll be much better than blindly rushing into what's almost guaranteed suicide, and we can't involve any outsiders more than necessary. Who knows how much panic would result; more than what we could contain... ugh."

"Alright. We'll rest for the night. Especially you two," agrees Tina, patting Peter gently on the head. "I don't know what I'd do without you, Peter. Or anyone of you. I..."

"Save your tears, Tina. This is no time to be crying; not when there's still a glimmer of hope," grins Peter, in spite of his injuries. "Once daybreak arrives, we head for the Colosseum. We'll see if there isn't anything else we can find besides what we already know."


***

A night of sleep and recovery follows, though not without its troubles, and you find yourself on the move again with Impact carrying Mynah and Peter, escorting them as the scientists and you move out to the Colosseum where this mess seemed to have originate from. The air about the arena is as silent as it was when you had first entered it, but this time you know better as memories of the horror begin to resurface.

"Considering that we haven't properly excavated this location and the surrounding areas, there's a lot we don't know about it. Preliminary reports indicate that some Pokémon still lurk in the deeper regions, possibly in groups stronger than what we can handle," Tina briefs the others. "I propose that we handle this by the covert methodology first. Rex, Tim, would you do us the honour?"

"No problem, Tina. Let's go, Mischief!"

"Claudia, time for action!"

In a pair of white flashes, the Haunter and Gliscor you saw yesterday reveal themselves, spiralling airborne as they knowingly grin before flying back down to their trainers. The two men issue their respective instructions; Rex giving Mischief a device that resembles an enhanced PokéDex before the two Pokémon go into the Colosseum by the arena's gateway. "What we're doing right now is observing the area while disturbing it as little as possble," explains Rex to you. "While Claudia uses her natural sonar to scan for signs of life and avoid interfering with them, Mischief phases through the area for a closer visual, and as an added bonus he also has the ability to pick up spectral information."

With little else you can do but wait, a gripping half hour passes as the investigative duo presumably make their rounds, before you spot the two purple fiends emerge from the stony passageway, waving their sharpened forelimbs.

"Alright, Mischief; let's have us a look," nods Rex as he retrieves the device from his cackling Haunter. You find the scientists clamouring around for a look alongside you as Rex flips through the pictures captured by Mischief, coupled by a few flickering graph displays. "Hmmm..."

"What do you make of this, Rex?"

"There's no denying that a lot of spectral energy has been left behind. Most of it likely from the trainers and Pokémon who fought and died here. The energy in this chamber," he continues, bringing up a familiar picture, "was particularly strong. My guess, going by the messages left behind like the one Matthew found, is that the chamber was meant for the dying to slowly finish each other off or die quietly, ending their misery for themselves without the maintenance staff having to bother." A moment of silence follows as everyone takes in the grisly implications of Rex's findings.

"So how do you explain what happened... back there?"

"I think I speak for everyone when I say we're probably dealing with the spirit of Pharaoh Caiman III," Rex states. "According to these spectral readings, a lot of the energy left behind is in considerable turmoil. The Machamp that Matthew fought was likely already dead before he came by, reanimated by the spirits here, maybe under Caiman's command. Accessing the notes that Glenn left behind on those crystals that his friends sent over, the fusion possibly occurred from an exposure to the volatile energy in the crystals, reanimating the Kabutops fossil and clinging onto Glenn's DNA to form the fusion. Caiman probably sensed your mission to bring back a fossil for reanimation, and possessed the Kabutops where he could use it as a temporary body."

Another period of quietude occurs while the others think over Rex's hypothesis. The news that you unwittingly played a part in all this isn't particularly encouraging, and you can't help feel a little uncomfortable.

"Where does this leave us?" asks Peter.

"Honestly, not much better than before. We've got a reasonable theory on what happened, but other than that there's nothing else to go on. We still don't know how to help Glenn and stop Caiman from reposessessing his self, if that's what he seeks to do," sighs Rex. "If we don't have the strength to beat him it doesn't matter how much we know. I'm not even sure we can look for help anywhere in Talas, let alone within Sobek."

The situation certainly seems depressing as the scientists are again lost in their thoughts, but you briefly recall that there are still a couple of locations in Sobek you haven't had the opportunity to visit. The locations of Farity's blessings seem an alternative to the dangerous Caiman Temple, but regardless of where you choose, the decision seems to fall on you again as everyone is deep within the worlds of their minds...



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"Sounds like a most excellent plan. And I assure you, miss, I only seek resolution of this mystery," promises Knoll. "You and your Jolteon need not fear of treachery on my part." At this, Anna appears to sniff haughtily before resuming her watchful eyeing. "Wilfrid, would you mind taking a higher look?"

"Drifbliiiiiim." Puffing his answer, Wilfrid appears to poof himself up on a higher altitude, rotating himself gently as his eyes gaze across the landscape, buffeted with each breeze of wind before his four arms wave towards the eastern sector. "Much as it would be easier, I'm afraid Wilfrid couldn't carry us both as well as your Jolteon and Snorunt simultaneously. We'll have to walk there... oh, dear. I think the weather's taken a toll on you." Placing a hand to your forehead, you note that Knoll's observation isn't a tough one to make -- barely moments after you've stepped out of the small house, you've started sweating buckets again. A snicker rises from Anna as she, too, writhes in the uncomfortable sunlight.

"Here; try my handkerchief. Wilfrid will handle the rest," Knoll offers, handing you a plain white square of cloth, gentle and pleasing to the touch. "Wilfrid, use Haze!"

"Drif-BLIIIIIIIM." Taking a huge heave as you pad your sweating brow, Wilfrid begins emitting a cloud of gas out of the cloud on his head, and as the harsh sky seems to blur under the light fog you feel the temperature take a noticeable dip -- not to the point of chilling but at least at a much more comfortable level of heat. "Come on," beckons Knoll with a light wave of his hand, turning to lead the way outside the village. A faint rush of warmth goes to your cheeks, and you're sure it's not from the desert this time as Anna gives you a much over-the-top roll of her eyes.


***

An hour passes with you, Knoll and Anna walking on the dust and sand; Eve still comfortably lodged in your arms while Wilfrid floats above you, still hissing Haze from his head to keep everyone air-conditioned.

"Another benefit of Haze is that Wilfrid becomes less affected by the forces of convection, so he retains more control over his direction of movement," explains Knoll, and you briefly wonder if you shouldn't file this in as training advice when your own Drifloon evolves when a sudden gust of wind tears at you. Reflexively you bend down to prevent your dress from hiking up, Eve starting to rouse from the zephyrs of flying sand, and Knoll moves in front of you, placing his hands on your shoulders as Wilfrid floats down in alarm.

"Sandstorm!" he yells over the howling wind. "We need to stay down and wait it out! It's too dangerous to -- whoa!"

Before the man can continue, you find to your horror that the lot of you -- you, Knoll, Anna, Wilfrid -- are scooped up a huge blast of wind from below, flinging you into the swirling chaos. Desperately you cling onto Eve, thoughts running through your head before they are rudely interrupted as you crash back onto the sand, followed by the others around you as the sunlight is cloaked out with the relentless dust storms. "Hi-POW!" A series of roars ring out as you and the others compose yourselves, not a word uttered as two lumbering figures reveal themselves from the storm -- a pair of hippopotami, one tan and one black, almost one with the sand pouring out from the holes on their back. Together they howl, opening their frightful mouths to their full diameter as the sandstorm seems to intensify.

"Hippowdon!" recognises Knoll, clenching his fists. "They've caught us right in the middle of their sand trap. There's no other way out -- except to defeat the Hippowdon creating this storm!"

What will you do now?

Arc_Angel
28th June 2009, 7:49 PM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"Sounds like a most excellent plan. And I assure you, miss, I only seek resolution of this mystery," promises Knoll. "You and your Jolteon need not fear of treachery on my part." At this, Anna appears to sniff haughtily before resuming her watchful eyeing. "Wilfrid, would you mind taking a higher look?"

"Drifbliiiiiim." Puffing his answer, Wilfrid appears to poof himself up on a higher altitude, rotating himself gently as his eyes gaze across the landscape, buffeted with each breeze of wind before his four arms wave towards the eastern sector. "Much as it would be easier, I'm afraid Wilfrid couldn't carry us both as well as your Jolteon and Snorunt simultaneously. We'll have to walk there... oh, dear. I think the weather's taken a toll on you." Placing a hand to your forehead, you note that Knoll's observation isn't a tough one to make -- barely moments after you've stepped out of the small house, you've started sweating buckets again. A snicker rises from Anna as she, too, writhes in the uncomfortable sunlight.

"Here; try my handkerchief. Wilfrid will handle the rest," Knoll offers, handing you a plain white square of cloth, gentle and pleasing to the touch. "Wilfrid, use Haze!"

"Drif-BLIIIIIIIM." Taking a huge heave as you pad your sweating brow, Wilfrid begins emitting a cloud of gas out of the cloud on his head, and as the harsh sky seems to blur under the light fog you feel the temperature take a noticeable dip -- not to the point of chilling but at least at a much more comfortable level of heat. "Come on," beckons Knoll with a light wave of his hand, turning to lead the way outside the village. A faint rush of warmth goes to your cheeks, and you're sure it's not from the desert this time as Anna gives you a much over-the-top roll of her eyes.


***

An hour passes with you, Knoll and Anna walking on the dust and sand; Eve still comfortably lodged in your arms while Wilfrid floats above you, still hissing Haze from his head to keep everyone air-conditioned.

"Another benefit of Haze is that Wilfrid becomes less affected by the forces of convection, so he retains more control over his direction of movement," explains Knoll, and you briefly wonder if you shouldn't file this in as training advice when your own Drifloon evolves when a sudden gust of wind tears at you. Reflexively you bend down to prevent your dress from hiking up, Eve starting to rouse from the zephyrs of flying sand, and Knoll moves in front of you, placing his hands on your shoulders as Wilfrid floats down in alarm.

"Sandstorm!" he yells over the howling wind. "We need to stay down and wait it out! It's too dangerous to -- whoa!"

Before the man can continue, you find to your horror that the lot of you -- you, Knoll, Anna, Wilfrid -- are scooped up a huge blast of wind from below, flinging you into the swirling chaos. Desperately you cling onto Eve, thoughts running through your head before they are rudely interrupted as you crash back onto the sand, followed by the others around you as the sunlight is cloaked out with the relentless dust storms. "Hi-POW!" A series of roars ring out as you and the others compose yourselves, not a word uttered as two lumbering figures reveal themselves from the storm -- a pair of hippopotami, one tan and one black, almost one with the sand pouring out from the holes on their back. Together they howl, opening their frightful mouths to their full diameter as the sandstorm seems to intensify.

"Hippowdon!" recognises Knoll, clenching his fists. "They've caught us right in the middle of their sand trap. There's no other way out -- except to defeat the Hippowdon creating this storm!"

What will you do now?

Knoll was quick to agree to Stacey's plans and push any concerns about his motives making Stacey begin to regret her coldness. Anna was buying it however and snorted resisting the temptation to shoot a bolt at his foot. Drifblim seems oblivious to the Jolteon's hostility and with a happy Bliiimmm floats on upward to scout out the area ahead. Knoll turns his attention back to Stacey and speaks the obvious, although Wilfred could carry him around he wouldn't be able to support the weight of two humans and 2 Pokemon; they would have to walk. Knoll is interupted in his thoughts as notes that the weather had taken a toll on Stacey again so quickly. Placing a hand on her forehead she felt the sweat there as well as on her chest, her clothes had begun to stick to her skin once again and she sighes. Anna chuckles at her mistress' distress despite her fur coat feeling heating up her own body to uncomfortable temperatures.

Knoll smiles pleasantly as he hands her a soft white handkerchief that she uses to dab the sweat from her forehead as Wilfred provides his assistance releasing a thick Haze that obscures the sun and drops the temperatures to a more comfortable level. Sighing with relief Stacey smiled her thanks to the balloon Pokemon as Knoll beckons her forward walking off as the young woman feels another rush of heat to her cheeks this time as she appreciates the young man for his kindness ... amongst other things.

They had been walking for about an hour through the desert sands Anna grumbling at every step and Eve very happy still asleep in Stacey's arms. Wilfred was keeping up his Haze to make the journey more bearable. Knoll discusses his Drifblim's bioogy with Stacey further ad she stores it away mentally hoping it would help her with her Drifloon some day. Suddenly the winds pick up with gusto and it wasn'nt caused by Wilfred. Crouching down Stacey held one hand to her dress and the other to her now stirring Snorunt. Anna growled fiercly whilst closign her eyes against the grit and sand thrown up. Knoll runs over to Stacey placing his hands on her shoulder to hold her steady as he screams a Sandstorm above the noise of the weather. Before she can thank him however she gives a startled shriek as she is thrown up along with Knoll, Anna and Wilfred from a blast beneath them and are caught by the Sandstorm. Stacey clutches the now fully awake Eve to her chest the little ice hat worriedly wondering what was going on as they were flung around liek rag dolls. As suddenly as they were picked up they were dropped to the sand Stacey managing to keep hold of Eve who's eyes water with tears at the bumpy ride. Anna shakes the piles of sand off her fur and roars with anger sending large sparks into the ground futily.

A gianormous cry of "Hi-POW" sounds amongst the roar of the sandstorm and as the group compose themselves they become on immediate gaurd as a pair of Hippowdon slowly lumber through the sands, the same gritty substance pouring from the holes on the backs. Roaring again their mouth widening so much you could fit a whole human in their Sandstorm seemed to worsen. Knoll noted that the Hippowdon's had them caught in their sand trp leaving them no-where to run they would have to battle, and in ths horrid weather too. Anna stepped forth sparking up a storm as she roared in return furious at the sandy trip she had taken.

"This is not your battle Anna, seriously bad match-up," Stacey pointed out as Anna snarled her lip curling up but knowing it was truth, her electric attacks would be useless and she would be a sitting duck for an easy super effective knock out. She hated feeling this useless. Stacey pulled a love ball from her belt hidden beneath swathes of clothing and enlarged it.

"You messed with the wrong party," she growled releasing her choice for this battle, the beauiful Mismagius wincing as she was thrown right into the sandstorm.

"Sorry about the weather Missy, but its going to be an unfortunate annoyance in this battle. These hippos are holding us hostage with it and I need you to eliminate one, our new companion and his Pokemn will tackle the other."

Missy nodded squinting through the sands at the two hippos causing all the trouble.

"We'll take the black one," Stacey said to Knoll before issuing her orders to Missy.

"Try a Confuse Ray and then mix in a little wind of your own: Ominous Wind. Finally lets see how it likes the taste of your Magical Leaf."

Treepandaone
29th June 2009, 2:52 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
It takes a while for Tina to respond as she puts down her hand to mull it over, and as she does so the others start to mutter amongst themselves in their own thoughts. Some of them gesticulate briefly, but it's almost needless to say they're all pretty nervous to say the least. Before anyone can say anything, however, you hear another, somewhat familiar voice croak out. "Tina!"

"Peter? Mynah!" Getting to her feet again, Tina runs over to the silhouettes of her other colleagues, and as you join the others you see the two scientists that had been left behind; their clothes tattered and bodies bruised from battle, with Mynah barely awake and able to walk as she is supported by Peter, with a shocking gash along his forehead. "Alright, we got you," grunts Rex as he scoops Mynah by under her arms from a grateful Peter, the both of them escorted by the fireside. "What's your status, Peter?"

"Long story short, I can quite confidently say that whatever we were up against, he was a nasty piece of work," grimaces Peter. "Even Erik couldn't do much in spite of a double type advantage. We nearly got swiss-cheesed when Mynah and Leona stepped in to intercept a critical Night Slash barrage... barely made it out of there with our lives and Pokémon. Would've died if it haven't been for her." The male scientist takes a pause, looking at his faintly wheezing comrade as he shakes his head. "Luckily that thing gave us up when we started escaping. Said we weren't worth the trouble, and headed off in the direction of the Caiman Temple."

"The Caiman Temple... that's not a good sign," Rex remarks thoughtfully. "Assuming the information we have at hand to be accurate, something's bound to happen once the fusion reaches its destination, and that's where Lorraine's headed..."

"What?!" His eyes flaring open at the news, Peter stares around, noting the absence of said scientist. "That's definitely not good. If they clash, there's no guaranteeing that she--"

"I know," Tina answers softly. "I... just don't know what we should do anymore," she sighs. "Matthew suggested heading over to the Colosseum, but... what should we do now, in light of this? Lorraine could be in graver danger than she bargained for, and... yet..."

"Hmmmm. It's a conundrum alright, I'll agree," Peter mutters. "In our current state, though, I don't think we could go for an immediate counterattack. There's still a lot which we don't know, and we just experienced a considerable ordeal of our own. We should take the night to recover and see if we can't hunt for any more lingering clues. It'll be much better than blindly rushing into what's almost guaranteed suicide, and we can't involve any outsiders more than necessary. Who knows how much panic would result; more than what we could contain... ugh."

"Alright. We'll rest for the night. Especially you two," agrees Tina, patting Peter gently on the head. "I don't know what I'd do without you, Peter. Or anyone of you. I..."

"Save your tears, Tina. This is no time to be crying; not when there's still a glimmer of hope," grins Peter, in spite of his injuries. "Once daybreak arrives, we head for the Colosseum. We'll see if there isn't anything else we can find besides what we already know."


***

A night of sleep and recovery follows, though not without its troubles, and you find yourself on the move again with Impact carrying Mynah and Peter, escorting them as the scientists and you move out to the Colosseum where this mess seemed to have originate from. The air about the arena is as silent as it was when you had first entered it, but this time you know better as memories of the horror begin to resurface.

"Considering that we haven't properly excavated this location and the surrounding areas, there's a lot we don't know about it. Preliminary reports indicate that some Pokémon still lurk in the deeper regions, possibly in groups stronger than what we can handle," Tina briefs the others. "I propose that we handle this by the covert methodology first. Rex, Tim, would you do us the honour?"

"No problem, Tina. Let's go, Mischief!"

"Claudia, time for action!"

In a pair of white flashes, the Haunter and Gliscor you saw yesterday reveal themselves, spiralling airborne as they knowingly grin before flying back down to their trainers. The two men issue their respective instructions; Rex giving Mischief a device that resembles an enhanced PokéDex before the two Pokémon go into the Colosseum by the arena's gateway. "What we're doing right now is observing the area while disturbing it as little as possble," explains Rex to you. "While Claudia uses her natural sonar to scan for signs of life and avoid interfering with them, Mischief phases through the area for a closer visual, and as an added bonus he also has the ability to pick up spectral information."

With little else you can do but wait, a gripping half hour passes as the investigative duo presumably make their rounds, before you spot the two purple fiends emerge from the stony passageway, waving their sharpened forelimbs.

"Alright, Mischief; let's have us a look," nods Rex as he retrieves the device from his cackling Haunter. You find the scientists clamouring around for a look alongside you as Rex flips through the pictures captured by Mischief, coupled by a few flickering graph displays. "Hmmm..."

"What do you make of this, Rex?"

"There's no denying that a lot of spectral energy has been left behind. Most of it likely from the trainers and Pokémon who fought and died here. The energy in this chamber," he continues, bringing up a familiar picture, "was particularly strong. My guess, going by the messages left behind like the one Matthew found, is that the chamber was meant for the dying to slowly finish each other off or die quietly, ending their misery for themselves without the maintenance staff having to bother." A moment of silence follows as everyone takes in the grisly implications of Rex's findings.

"So how do you explain what happened... back there?"

"I think I speak for everyone when I say we're probably dealing with the spirit of Pharaoh Caiman III," Rex states. "According to these spectral readings, a lot of the energy left behind is in considerable turmoil. The Machamp that Matthew fought was likely already dead before he came by, reanimated by the spirits here, maybe under Caiman's command. Accessing the notes that Glenn left behind on those crystals that his friends sent over, the fusion possibly occurred from an exposure to the volatile energy in the crystals, reanimating the Kabutops fossil and clinging onto Glenn's DNA to form the fusion. Caiman probably sensed your mission to bring back a fossil for reanimation, and possessed the Kabutops where he could use it as a temporary body."

Another period of quietude occurs while the others think over Rex's hypothesis. The news that you unwittingly played a part in all this isn't particularly encouraging, and you can't help feel a little uncomfortable.

"Where does this leave us?" asks Peter.

"Honestly, not much better than before. We've got a reasonable theory on what happened, but other than that there's nothing else to go on. We still don't know how to help Glenn and stop Caiman from reposessessing his self, if that's what he seeks to do," sighs Rex. "If we don't have the strength to beat him it doesn't matter how much we know. I'm not even sure we can look for help anywhere in Talas, let alone within Sobek."

The situation certainly seems depressing as the scientists are again lost in their thoughts, but you briefly recall that there are still a couple of locations in Sobek you haven't had the opportunity to visit. The locations of Farity's blessings seem an alternative to the dangerous Caiman Temple, but regardless of where you choose, the decision seems to fall on you again as everyone is deep within the worlds of their minds...

Matthew stared into the eyes of Tina as the woman began to mull it over, her hand lowering as the others around her started to chatter amongst themselves as they gather their own thoughts once more. Matthew’s ears pricked up slightly as he eavesdropped on the conversation, the brief gesticulated speech flaming his ears as the nervousness of the scientists show through. Matthew thought about the actions of the scientists, agreeing that if a hypothetical situation like this occurred in his hometown he would also be nervous. As Matthew looked back to the group, he found the arguments being interrupted as another familiar voice grazed his ears, a hoarse croak that sent a smile to Matthews face.

“Tina!” The voice cried as Matthew turned his head to register the scientist who was left behind at the lab, the combat experts that was Peter and Mynah. "Peter? Mynah!" Tina responded as she got to her feet as Matthew followed, rushing to the aid of the scientists, taking the burden of their weight as he supported them with his shoulders. Looking over the injuries caused to the scientist, Matthew saw a nasty cut along Peter’s forehead and Mynah barely awake. "Alright, we got you, what's your status, Peter?" Rex grunted as Matthew turned to the scientist, interested into how they escaped from the Pharaohs grasp.

"Long story short, I can quite confidently say that whatever we were up against, he was a nasty piece of work and even Erik couldn't do much in spite of a double type advantage. We nearly got swiss-cheesed when Mynah and Leona stepped in to intercept a critical Night Slash barrage... barely made it out of there with our lives and Pokémon. Would've died if it haven't been for her” Matthew looked down at the wheezing scientist with admiration, willing to risk their lives for the safety of other was a quality that Matthew respected. “Luckily that thing gave us up when we started escaping. Said we weren't worth the trouble, and headed off in the direction of the Caiman Temple." The scientist finished.

"The Caiman Temple... that's not a good sign," Rex remarks thoughtfully. "Assuming the information we have at hand to be accurate, something's bound to happen once the fusion reaches its destination, and that's where Lorraine's headed..." Matthew looked back at Rex as he thought over the bossy, rude scientist and her knowledge of the ancient facts.

"What?! That's definitely not good. If they clash, there's no guaranteeing that she--"

"I know, I... just don't know what we should do anymore," she sighs. "Matthew suggested heading over to the Colosseum, but... what should we do now, in light of this? Lorraine could be in graver danger than she bargained for, and... yet..."

"Hmmmm. It's a conundrum alright, I'll agree, in our current state, though, I don't think we could go for an immediate counterattack. There's still a lot which we don't know, and we just experienced a considerable ordeal of our own. We should take the night to recover and see if we can't hunt for any more lingering clues. It'll be much better than blindly rushing into what's almost guaranteed suicide, and we can't involve any outsiders more than necessary. Who knows how much panic would result; more than what we could contain... ugh”

Matthew’s eyes flickered between the two scientists as they brainstormed ideas and bounced them off each other.

"Alright. We'll rest for the night. Especially you two, I don't know what I'd do without you, Peter. Or anyone of you. I..." Tina said softly as Matthew looked into her teary eyes.

Save your tears, Tina. This is no time to be crying; not when there's still a glimmer of hope, Once daybreak arrives, we head for the Colosseum. We'll see if there isn't anything else we can find besides what we already know."


***

With the nights rest with his comrades, Matthew found himself sitting once again on Impact, the troubles of his actions flittering round in his head with worries, doubts and ideals upon the situation at hand. Tapping Steelix lightly, Matthew saw the opening to the Colosseum once more, the origin of the mess haunting his daydreams. Listening out to the sounds around him, Matthew found the area as silent as it was when he had first clocked the area, shuddering at the memories of what lied beneath the rocky terror camp.

“Considering that we haven't properly excavated this location and the surrounding areas, there's a lot we don't know about it. Preliminary reports indicate that some Pokémon still lurk in the deeper regions, possibly in groups stronger than what we can handle. I propose that we handle this by the covert methodology first. Rex, Tim, would you do us the honour?"

Matthew nodded at the woman’s plans as he looked towards Rex and Tim as they agreed, both throwing Pokéballs into the air to reveal the Haunter and Gliscor spiraling airborne once again. Looking over the pokémon in more detail, Matthew noticed mischief pick up a device that resembled his Pokédex, before heading towards the entranceway.

"What we're doing right now is observing the area while disturbing it as little as possble," explained Rex "While Claudia uses her natural sonar to scan for signs of life and avoid interfering with them, Mischief phases through the area for a closer visual, and as an added bonus he also has the ability to pick up spectral information."

With little to do but wait, Matthew lay down on Impact’s stone body, trying his best to relax in the sun. Within half an hour, Matthew spotted the duo emerge from a stony passageway, waving their forelimbs about.

"Alright, Mischief; let's have us a look, Hmmm..."

"What do you make of this, Rex?"

"There's no denying that a lot of spectral energy has been left behind. Most of it likely from the trainers and Pokémon who fought and died here. The energy in this chamber, was particularly strong. My guess, going by the messages left behind like the one Matthew found, is that the chamber was meant for the dying to slowly finish each other off or die quietly, ending their misery for themselves without the maintenance staff having to bother."

"So how do you explain what happened... back there?"

"I think I speak for everyone when I say we're probably dealing with the spirit of Pharaoh Caiman III, According to these spectral readings, a lot of the energy left behind is in considerable turmoil. The Machamp that Matthew fought was likely already dead before he came by, reanimated by the spirits here, maybe under Caiman's command. Accessing the notes that Glenn left behind on those crystals that his friends sent over, the fusion possibly occurred from an exposure to the volatile energy in the crystals, reanimating the Kabutops fossil and clinging onto Glenn's DNA to form the fusion. Caiman probably sensed your mission to bring back a fossil for reanimation, and possessed the Kabutops where he could use it as a temporary body.”

Matthew gulped heavily as the others thought over Rex’s hypotenuse, the problems of the spirit his fault for collecting the fossil from the underground zone.
"Where does this leave us?"

"Honestly, not much better than before. We've got a reasonable theory on what happened, but other than that there's nothing else to go on. We still don't know how to help Glenn and stop Caiman from reposessessing his self, if that's what he seeks to do, If we don't have the strength to beat him it doesn't matter how much we know. I'm not even sure we can look for help anywhere in Talas, let alone within Sobek."

Matthew looked around before an idea sparked into his head, thinking of the proposition that was made earlier.

“This may be a long shot, but I think we should head back to the Farity's blessings. I realized that you found nothing when you went, but your problem remains that you don’t believe in lore. I do, and maybe that holds the key to the answer."

Shadowshocker
29th June 2009, 5:53 PM
The Lost City of Axal

The Celestial Temple

ZoraJolteon
As the ice finally fragments into shards, slipping between the valleys of the dark scorpion's teeth, it becomes quickly replaced by a row of blazing Fire as you surmise. Figuring out the best of your Pokémon's defensive options, you call for another set of orders from Baltoy, who responds in the same standard monotone. As Ocorpis lunges with his Fangs open wide and ablaze, Baltoy activates its Rapid Spin programming just before the attack comes crashing down. Suddenly faced with a jarring sensation pushing against his throat and tongue, Ocorpis finds it increasingly difficult to keep clamping onto Baltoy, and soon relinquishes the clay figurine with a yelp as Baltoy's momentum wrenches his head in a painful-looking yank. With the swift air currents blowing out the remaining smoulders that cling to Baltoy's skin, Baltoy eases to a halt, ready to execute the next command.

Still aggressive and annoyed at the two of you as ever, Ocorpis swings his cruel claws in a series of dangerous arcs, gaining a sinister dark shade against the violent hue of purple. Wasting no time, Baltoy puts its Earth Power to action, tapping into its natural gaiakinesis and opening yellow crevices of energy in the floor ahead of you. The technique comes none too soon as Ocorpis comes swinging in his Night Slash, but as the Poison/Dark-type scuttles over the gleaming pattern Baltoy has cast a wave of energy erupts from the cracks' epicentre, flinging Ocorpis in a blast of Ground-type power while the chamber shakes considerably. What sounds like a confused, horrified squawking noise is briefly heard from the Guardian of Poison as he hurtles towards you, and only a timely dive to the side prevents you from being crushed under the scorpion's considerable bulk.

"Grrrr..." Flung onto his back with his posterior and tail against the wall, Ocorpis struggles to right himself. "What do you think you're doing, pulling off a stunt like that?!" he snaps, referring to your localised earthquake. "Are you trying to destroy this temple?!" Regardless of the guardian's commentary on your battle style, if you strike him in his current compromised position, it might add to the lead you seem to be having...



The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
"Farity..." Given this suggestion of a key in this hopeless situation so far, the idea of looking to the legendary Goddess of Fertility appears to have Tina and the others thinking. "Cindy, what did the tablets say about Farity and Sobek?"

"It is recorded that Farity supposedly died during the reign of Pharaoh Caiman the third, of a broken heart to see that her people suffered so and those who did not delighted in the destruction and despair of their fellow citizens," reports another of the scientific crew, reading from another of the modified PokéDexes you can't help but wonder is another of those standard issue devices everyone has been equipped with. "Of course, those were from the shattered slates we discovered. However, the dates seem to coincide with the data suggested by the few artifacts found out of the lost city of Rebus -- it is believed that upon Farity's death, a curse of decay was cast upon the whole of Talas, necessitating the lockdown and burial of the various cities in sand, to prevent the complete annihilation of Talas. The decline of the cities was documented about a century after the reign of Caiman III, after the time when Farity allegedly died and the gods failed to contain the curse."

"So it's likely that Farity holds the answer?"

"It certainly hints that Farity and Caiman are linked. There also exist a strong number of artifacts and archives that suggest in addition to giving and sustaining life, Farity was also believed to be a goddess of healing. Tales of miracles witnessed in Farity's Shrine form a considerable part of Sobek's culture," remarks Cindy, pocketing her device. "That, and bearing current circumstances in mind, I'm afraid it's the best lead we have in helping Glenn and preventing further disaster. We'd probably need at least a couple day's journeying time to get to another of the lost cities, and it might be too late by then."

With no other option apparent except for a suggestion that borders on a forlorn hope, the looks of concern and doubt on the scientists' faces are somewhat understandable -- everything is riding on a leap of faith few in the present day would take or expect to see. Almost in unison they look to Tina as she bites her lip, feeling the weight of their gazes on her.

"...Alright. In light of what we know and what we can't do, we're going to go to Farity's Shrine this time," nods Tina. "I dearly hope your hunch is right, Matthew," she adds softly, looking to you with a hint of desperation clear in her eyes. You know as well that if this doesn't work, your chances of saving Glenn -- and possibly, Sobek and Talas as you know them -- will take a little more than a huge nosedive...


***

The mood seems a lot more subdued as you reach your intended destination this time: as the statue of Farity atop her sacred shrine looms in view, you find yourself gripping Impact by his azure spikes harder than is necessary. From the beginning of this misadventure, everything seems to have revolved heavily around the decisions you made, and the one time where your judgement proved to be wrong, it caused more destruction and conflict than you ever expected to happen. What if you're wrong this time? Could anyone afford a second error on your part?

"Travellers... you have finally come, after enduring and surmounting so much."

The unfamiliar voice jolts Impact in surprise, and it is almost left to survival instinct that prevents the scientists from letting go of their positions in their shock.

"Worry not, weary adventurers. I understand the purpose of your arrival, and your search is not in vain," continues the voice. "I kindly ask that the one known as Matthew step forward."

Stumbling down the segmented body of Impact, you quickly comply to the request of your audience, and with a Meowth catching your tongue you stand in front of the shrine as the statue of Farity appears to gleam, like a pond rippling in the sunlight.

"I know your reason for coming, Matthew. You seek to rectify the consequences inadvertently caused by your earnest desire to help," the voice says, addressing you with an air of seeming kindness in its tonality. "To overcome this for yourself, and for the sake of others, you... must push yourself beyond what you believe yourself to be capable of accomplishing. Great promise lies within you, but not all of it will come naturally without adversity... barbaric as I find it, you must be put to the test. Surpassing this task will indubitably pave the way forward for you, but only if you find the strength within to do so."

A cry of amazement is heard from behind you, and looking ahead you spot that Farity's statue continues to irradiate her glistening aura, but more of note and surprise is a pool of water forming from the sands, right in front of you in the middle of a desert environment. You reflexively take a step back as the pool begins to grow in size, suddenly frothing and churning, gaining height at exponential speed to become a heaving aquatic mass. An appendage of liquid abruptly rips from the wobbling chaos, soon joined by another, and another as features become more defined. The surface tightens and settles forming smooth, scaly dermis, while series of spiked ridges appear along what seems to be a vertebrae and tail. A gaping orifice opens wide before snapping shut, forming a sizeable mandible lined with sharp teeth.

"It... it's a miracle!" exclaims Tina, as the literally aquatic Feraligatr roars at you, a fresh spray of water flying from its jaws.

"You have to rely on your most trusted partner," warns the voice. "Any substitute will not serve in accomplishing this goal. You must trust the one who is closest to you and overcome the odds..."



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
With no option but to fight against the monsters that have snared you in their trap, you release one of your most trusted companions, whose form you took inspiration from for your choice of clothing in this adventure. Focusing her eyesight through the blurring landscape, Missy hovers alongside Wilfrid, the latter mildly surprised to see a classy, fellow indeterminate of the opposite gender, while you quickly run through assignments with Knoll. A nod of confirmation, and you're left to give Missy her orders.

"Wilfrid, combine Ominous Wind with Mismagius when you have the chance!" shouts Knoll. "Then try a Gyro Ball combination into Body Slam!"

As the pair of floating spirits engage their foes in battle, their combined entrance does not go unnoticed. Seemingly vexed by the mere appearance of these hovering victims unwilling to go down in a flurry of sand, both Hippowdon roar indignantly as the sands below you start to swirl dangerously. Feeling your feet give way to the particles, almost clawing at your feet, you recognise the Sand Tomb technique employed by the Hippowdon.

"Take my hand!" Knoll yells, grasping your sleeved arm through the choking storm, and both grateful and terrified you reciprocate the grip. Yapping angrily at how she's being subdued so easily, Anna reluctantly clings to your legs, while Eve begins to tremble in the chaotic mess of it all. Squinting through the sands, you realise that except for the annoying dust scraping across their skins, Wilfrid and Missy appear fine -- Wilfrid's natural affinity for the air granted him protection from the ground-based attack, and you know your own Missy to be immune to the same moves thanks to her Levitate ability.

With little further ado Missy's eyes glint with the power of her Confuse Ray, and as she chants in her own mystic language the same light appears in the glaring red eyes of the Hippowdon, before dulling away along with their expressions. Turning to each other the brown and black hippos begin snarling at each other, and before you know it the two of them begin to exchange Tackles, scattering frightful blasts of sand with each collision. Taking this chance, both Missy and Wilfrid begin spinning up miniature tornadoes of their own; the ethereal qualities of the Ominous Wind bypassing the powerful wind currents around them, smashing into the twin Ground-types in separate blasts of spooky energy. Disrupted in mid-Tackle, the two Hippowdon appear stunned at their actions, but still remain in apparent stupor.

Taking the chance, Missy proceeds to add on the pressure with her Magical Leaf, using her other mystical powers to launch a series of botanic blips of energy, aimed directly for the darker Hippowdon's back. As the Grass-type attack works its elemental magic on the roaring female, you notice Wilfrid turn a steely shade of... well, steel, and in his new lustrous coating he spins towards the male Hippowdon, lashing out with his sharpened appendages. No sooner than that damage is done the Drifblim proceeds to crash onto his target's back, and you note that Wilfrid's metallic shell from Gyro Ball must have been employed to add weight to his normally light mass, adding to the Body Slam damage.

Before you have the opportunity to marvel, though, Missy and Wilfrid suddenly rear back in time, just as what looks to be a painful Bite attack from both Hippowdon swing their respective way. These two aren't keen on just letting you go, and now that they've regained their senses it's only going to get harder...

SP-Eevee
30th June 2009, 12:43 AM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
Snarling as ferocious as he can, Claus needs no further instruction to kick into battle mode, disappearing in a blip of darkness, much to Meowth's sudden surprise as it screeches to a halt from its own charging. Before either of you realise it, your Vulpix reappears ramming his Faint Attack into Meowth's gut. Mewling at the unprecedented attack, Meowth barely has time to recover before Claus socks his paw into the feline's torso with the force of a Brick Break, and having taken two attacks in such quick succession it falls solidly to the ground, panting.

A sneer plays across Claus' face at the swift apparent failure of its foe, but just as his eyes glint with the mystic power of his species you see Meowth lunge at Claus with surprising speed, clipping him on the nose in a slap. The turn now goes to Claus to yelp in surprise, but even as he meets Meowth's glare you find that he's too startled to continue with his attack. Verifying this with your PokéDex you identify Meowth's Fake Out, but few seconds pass before Meowth delivers a Scratch across Claus' forehead. Scurrying backwards at a safe distance, Claus growls at this now seemingly feisty opponent as you mull over the battle so far. Somehow Meowth seems to have dealt damage almost on par with Claus' blows despite taking a super-effective move, but another check with the PokéDex indicates that this Meowth happens to have Technician abilities, thereby adding further attack power to the Normal-type attacks it already boasts familiarity with. The odds certainly haven't swung in your favour as you might have first thought, and as Meowth opens its mouth wide, revealing its lengthening teeth, an emergency counter-approach might be the vital thing you need to make a difference here...

After whispering her orders Kelly stepped back, allowing the smirking vulpine to attempt to take a threatening battle position, though it seemed more amusing than threatening. In any case the Vulpix suddenly disappeared, zipping forward under the shadows as Meowth stops mid-charge, puzzled by his opponents sudden vanishing act. Seconds later Claus reappeared, ramming into the felines side, catching him completely off guard. Without giving him a second thought Claus immediately raises his front paw, smashing into Meowth abdomen as the cat screeches in pain, falling to the ground from the two attacks.

Claus began smirking, looking down toward the panting Meowth with a smug expression on his face, confident he had done his job successfully. His confidence was soon deflated as the cat gave a smirk of his own, darting forward and hitting into her before Claus could get in his Confuse Ray. Continuing it's onslaught it begins to slash and scratch with it's sharp claws across Claus's face causing him to reel backwards in pain. Taken a back from the sudden dip in Claus in his phsyical condition from such weak attacks Kelly flipped out her Pokedex, reading the page that indicated the Meowth's species data, realising it had the ability Technician. This boosting all attacks with a base power with 60 or below by 50%, no wonder those two attacks did so much damage. It seemed like the tables had turned, this time it was Meowth who had the upper hand, lunging forward, mouth wide open showing it's many glistening and more importantly sharp teeth.

"Ack, b-be careful," she yelled stupidly, there wasn't exactly enough time for that, the cat was approaching and approaching fast. "Flamethrower... directly in it's mouth." With the immediate orders settled with the girl continued, "Once it's stunned ram into it with Flare Blitz, keep it up, we'll need a Focus Blast if that isn't enough."

Shadowshocker
30th June 2009, 3:04 PM
The Isle of Talas

The Sphinx

SP-Eevee
In mind of the natural advantage your opponent has over you, you quickly call for a set of orders before Meowth can land the anticipated Bite on Claus. With no desire to be an entreé for the scratchcat, Claus heaves a huge breath, activating his flame sacs in time for a direct, point-blank Flamethrower just as Meowth lunges with its mouth inadvertently wide open. The intense rush of heat and fire catches the Normal-type in a blaze, and it disappears in a screeching squall as Claus continues to push on. Thrown back from the elemental impact, Meowth lies on the clay floor with smoke coming out of its mouth, and in its daze it fails to notice Claus charging in for his next move. The Flare Blitz comes hard and fast, flinging Meowth a further distance away in another display of pyrotechnics, and as the aura of flame dissipates from Claus' body you notice him wince from the inevitable recoil damage.

Staggering to its feet, Meowth makes it clear that admitting defeat is not yet within its itineary, and with claws outstretched it dives at your Vulpix, snarling in a sharp demonstration of Fury Swipes. The short, slicing slashes come one, two, three, before Meowth's sustained injuries prove too much and it falls from the pain, though with its ability backing its brawn you notice that Claus is now sporting bruises with the scratch wounds he received earlier. Having had enough with this annoyance Claus Focuses more Fighting prowess in tangible form in front of his mouth, though his inexperience with the element results in him releasing the attack by the time it's three-quarters formed. Still, the Blast collides with Meowth in another explosion you almost find winceworthy, and as the smoke clears Meowth lies comatose with its whiskers crooked and body bruised, in no fit shape to put up a fight anymore. Level up for Claus.

With the first battle complete, the door ahead slides open with a rumble, and as you walk over to Claus you can't help but note Claus' condition -- for a preliminary match he's certainly dispensed a considerable amount of power, and eleven riddles and ordeals still lie in wait. With unease still lingering you and Claus proceed onwards; the way ahead already lit by the peculiar torches.

By the end of a long passageway, you find that the rock opens up to another chamber like the one where you found your first riddle, and much like the earlier task this door is set with a pattern of thirty-two tiles, joined by a open wooden box. However, on closer inspection, you find that one of the tiles is missing from what is likely to be an equation:


Onix, Pidgeotto, Nosepass, Cranidos
Starmie, Scyther, Makuhita, Cherubi
Pikachu, Clefairy, (????), Meditite
Tangela, Haunter, Slugma, Gyarados
Koffing, Primeape, Vigoroth, Drifblim
Alakazam, Magnemite, Altaria, Bastiodon
Rapidash, Dewgong, Solrock, Medicham
Nidoking, Dragonair, Sealeo, Ambipom

Looking into the box, you find that once again you are provided with a selection of tiles: this one featuring a total of ten tiles with the following Pokémon: Furret, Shedinja, Munchlax, Rampardos, Voltorb, Azumarill, Qwilfish, Chansey, Camerupt. The answer must lie within this group of ten, but do you know which tile holds the key?

Arc_Angel
2nd July 2009, 9:24 AM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
With no option but to fight against the monsters that have snared you in their trap, you release one of your most trusted companions, whose form you took inspiration from for your choice of clothing in this adventure. Focusing her eyesight through the blurring landscape, Missy hovers alongside Wilfrid, the latter mildly surprised to see a classy, fellow indeterminate of the opposite gender, while you quickly run through assignments with Knoll. A nod of confirmation, and you're left to give Missy her orders.

"Wilfrid, combine Ominous Wind with Mismagius when you have the chance!" shouts Knoll. "Then try a Gyro Ball combination into Body Slam!"

As the pair of floating spirits engage their foes in battle, their combined entrance does not go unnoticed. Seemingly vexed by the mere appearance of these hovering victims unwilling to go down in a flurry of sand, both Hippowdon roar indignantly as the sands below you start to swirl dangerously. Feeling your feet give way to the particles, almost clawing at your feet, you recognise the Sand Tomb technique employed by the Hippowdon.

"Take my hand!" Knoll yells, grasping your sleeved arm through the choking storm, and both grateful and terrified you reciprocate the grip. Yapping angrily at how she's being subdued so easily, Anna reluctantly clings to your legs, while Eve begins to tremble in the chaotic mess of it all. Squinting through the sands, you realise that except for the annoying dust scraping across their skins, Wilfrid and Missy appear fine -- Wilfrid's natural affinity for the air granted him protection from the ground-based attack, and you know your own Missy to be immune to the same moves thanks to her Levitate ability.

With little further ado Missy's eyes glint with the power of her Confuse Ray, and as she chants in her own mystic language the same light appears in the glaring red eyes of the Hippowdon, before dulling away along with their expressions. Turning to each other the brown and black hippos begin snarling at each other, and before you know it the two of them begin to exchange Tackles, scattering frightful blasts of sand with each collision. Taking this chance, both Missy and Wilfrid begin spinning up miniature tornadoes of their own; the ethereal qualities of the Ominous Wind bypassing the powerful wind currents around them, smashing into the twin Ground-types in separate blasts of spooky energy. Disrupted in mid-Tackle, the two Hippowdon appear stunned at their actions, but still remain in apparent stupor.

Taking the chance, Missy proceeds to add on the pressure with her Magical Leaf, using her other mystical powers to launch a series of botanic blips of energy, aimed directly for the darker Hippowdon's back. As the Grass-type attack works its elemental magic on the roaring female, you notice Wilfrid turn a steely shade of... well, steel, and in his new lustrous coating he spins towards the male Hippowdon, lashing out with his sharpened appendages. No sooner than that damage is done the Drifblim proceeds to crash onto his target's back, and you note that Wilfrid's metallic shell from Gyro Ball must have been employed to add weight to his normally light mass, adding to the Body Slam damage.

Before you have the opportunity to marvel, though, Missy and Wilfrid suddenly rear back in time, just as what looks to be a painful Bite attack from both Hippowdon swing their respective way. These two aren't keen on just letting you go, and now that they've regained their senses it's only going to get harder...

Anna was relegated to the sidelines as Stacey chose her warrior for this battle and it irked her so. She knew that she was no match for the pair of Hippowdon and the fact that it was being announced to everyone present only added to her frustration. Eve was wide awake in Stacey’s arms and pressing her face into the young woman’s chest so as to not get sand in her eyes. With a flick of the wrist Stacey threw the Love Ball in her hand out into the sandstorm the winds nearly throwing it a good distance away but it released its occupant before that could happen. Missy winced and held her stance floating mid air against the harsh weather spotting her trainer behind her. Stacey gave her quick explaination for her presence here but the Mismagius could have deduced it for herself, with the younger Poekmon in her mistress’ presence and the powerful ground hippos blocking their travels through the desert she needed assistance and quick.

Missy floats next to Wilfred, a look of surprise flashing in his eyes before orders were issued by both trainers. The Hippowdon don’t appear pleased by the appearance of the ghosts in their trap and roar indignantly stirring up more sands with their emotions, the Sand Tomb adding to the pain, the abrasion of skins of human and Pokemon alike. Knoll grabs onto Stacey holding her close for protection as the tomb threatens to swallow her, Anna gripping onto her trainer’s leg wit more frustration, dammit she felt so defensless! Eve was crying into Stacey’s dress afraid of all the roaring and the harsh sands ripping into her icy flesh. Missy and Wilfred seemed less affected fortunately and began their assault.

Missy chants up a storm as her eyes flash with an eerie light, the same light echoing in the hippo’s eyes a look of confusion following. The Hippowdon look to one another then begin to butt heads in rough Tackles that appear to shake them up even further. Missy and Wilfred move in sync as their Ominous Winds join together blasting through the sands and washing over the hippos’ in a taste of their own medicine. The Hippo’s stop in their head-butting actions the attacks causing enough pain for them to realise that something was wrong but not enough to wipe the confusion from their minds. Missy summons grass energy from within her and launches glowing balls of energy that form into leaves as the reach the black Hippowdon slicing it all over its body knocking sense back into it in a painful manner. Wilfred glows a steely silver as he begins to spin towards the tan Hippowdon slicing into it with his Gyro Ball, the steel exterior allowing him to slice his opponent just as Missy had. Not stopping in his assault Wilfred shot down like a lead balloon and slammed full force into Hippowdon bringing a roar of pain from its over-sized mouth. The two smile at their success but fortunately were on guard enough to dodge the pair of Biting Jaws flung their way, the hippo’s hitting the sand with heavy thuds. They weren’t giving in that easily it would seem, a pity. Stacey was annoyed by the sand working its way into her shoulder-length hair, it would take forever to get it right … and unbeknownst to her, Anna was thinking the same thing.

“Missy, stay on our target, it will try to harm now you’ve done the same. Cosmic Power to boost your defenses then let it come for you and retaliate with Sucker Punch. Finally give it a taste of the arctic and cool it down with Ice Beam.”

Treepandaone
2nd July 2009, 11:59 AM
The Lost City of Sobek

The Colosseum

Treepandaone
"Farity..." Given this suggestion of a key in this hopeless situation so far, the idea of looking to the legendary Goddess of Fertility appears to have Tina and the others thinking. "Cindy, what did the tablets say about Farity and Sobek?"

"It is recorded that Farity supposedly died during the reign of Pharaoh Caiman the third, of a broken heart to see that her people suffered so and those who did not delighted in the destruction and despair of their fellow citizens," reports another of the scientific crew, reading from another of the modified PokéDexes you can't help but wonder is another of those standard issue devices everyone has been equipped with. "Of course, those were from the shattered slates we discovered. However, the dates seem to coincide with the data suggested by the few artifacts found out of the lost city of Rebus -- it is believed that upon Farity's death, a curse of decay was cast upon the whole of Talas, necessitating the lockdown and burial of the various cities in sand, to prevent the complete annihilation of Talas. The decline of the cities was documented about a century after the reign of Caiman III, after the time when Farity allegedly died and the gods failed to contain the curse."

"So it's likely that Farity holds the answer?"

"It certainly hints that Farity and Caiman are linked. There also exist a strong number of artifacts and archives that suggest in addition to giving and sustaining life, Farity was also believed to be a goddess of healing. Tales of miracles witnessed in Farity's Shrine form a considerable part of Sobek's culture," remarks Cindy, pocketing her device. "That, and bearing current circumstances in mind, I'm afraid it's the best lead we have in helping Glenn and preventing further disaster. We'd probably need at least a couple day's journeying time to get to another of the lost cities, and it might be too late by then."

With no other option apparent except for a suggestion that borders on a forlorn hope, the looks of concern and doubt on the scientists' faces are somewhat understandable -- everything is riding on a leap of faith few in the present day would take or expect to see. Almost in unison they look to Tina as she bites her lip, feeling the weight of their gazes on her.

"...Alright. In light of what we know and what we can't do, we're going to go to Farity's Shrine this time," nods Tina. "I dearly hope your hunch is right, Matthew," she adds softly, looking to you with a hint of desperation clear in her eyes. You know as well that if this doesn't work, your chances of saving Glenn -- and possibly, Sobek and Talas as you know them -- will take a little more than a huge nosedive...


***

The mood seems a lot more subdued as you reach your intended destination this time: as the statue of Farity atop her sacred shrine looms in view, you find yourself gripping Impact by his azure spikes harder than is necessary. From the beginning of this misadventure, everything seems to have revolved heavily around the decisions you made, and the one time where your judgement proved to be wrong, it caused more destruction and conflict than you ever expected to happen. What if you're wrong this time? Could anyone afford a second error on your part?

"Travellers... you have finally come, after enduring and surmounting so much."

The unfamiliar voice jolts Impact in surprise, and it is almost left to survival instinct that prevents the scientists from letting go of their positions in their shock.

"Worry not, weary adventurers. I understand the purpose of your arrival, and your search is not in vain," continues the voice. "I kindly ask that the one known as Matthew step forward."

Stumbling down the segmented body of Impact, you quickly comply to the request of your audience, and with a Meowth catching your tongue you stand in front of the shrine as the statue of Farity appears to gleam, like a pond rippling in the sunlight.

"I know your reason for coming, Matthew. You seek to rectify the consequences inadvertently caused by your earnest desire to help," the voice says, addressing you with an air of seeming kindness in its tonality. "To overcome this for yourself, and for the sake of others, you... must push yourself beyond what you believe yourself to be capable of accomplishing. Great promise lies within you, but not all of it will come naturally without adversity... barbaric as I find it, you must be put to the test. Surpassing this task will indubitably pave the way forward for you, but only if you find the strength within to do so."

A cry of amazement is heard from behind you, and looking ahead you spot that Farity's statue continues to irradiate her glistening aura, but more of note and surprise is a pool of water forming from the sands, right in front of you in the middle of a desert environment. You reflexively take a step back as the pool begins to grow in size, suddenly frothing and churning, gaining height at exponential speed to become a heaving aquatic mass. An appendage of liquid abruptly rips from the wobbling chaos, soon joined by another, and another as features become more defined. The surface tightens and settles forming smooth, scaly dermis, while series of spiked ridges appear along what seems to be a vertebrae and tail. A gaping orifice opens wide before snapping shut, forming a sizeable mandible lined with sharp teeth.

"It... it's a miracle!" exclaims Tina, as the literally aquatic Feraligatr roars at you, a fresh spray of water flying from its jaws.

"You have to rely on your most trusted partner," warns the voice. "Any substitute will not serve in accomplishing this goal. You must trust the one who is closest to you and overcome the odds..."

"Farity...”

Matthew nodded to the group, assured with himself that the plan to revoke the legendary goddess of farity would work. Looking around, Matthew saw the group thinking about it as Tina turned to talk to them.

"Cindy, what did the tablets say about Farity and Sobek?"

"It is recorded that Farity supposedly died during the reign of Pharaoh Caiman the third, of a broken heart to see that her people suffered so and those who did not delighted in the destruction and despair of their fellow citizens," The scientist answered as Matthew stroked his chin, one finger lightly tapping repeatedly as he thought about the implications. Matthew noticed another modified Pokédex in the hands of the scientist, wondering if they were standard issue for all of the regions.

"Of course, those were from the shattered slates we discovered. However, the dates seem to coincide with the data suggested by the few artifacts found out of the lost city of Rebus -- it is believed that upon Farity's death, a curse of decay was cast upon the whole of Talas, necessitating the lockdown and burial of the various cities in sand, to prevent the complete annihilation of Talas. The decline of the cities was documented about a century after the reign of Caiman III, after the time when Farity allegedly died and the gods failed to contain the curse."

"So it's likely that Farity holds the answer?"

"It certainly hints that Farity and Caiman are linked. There also exist a strong number of artifacts and archives that suggest in addition to giving and sustaining life, Farity was also believed to be a goddess of healing. Tales of miracles witnessed in Farity's Shrine form a considerable part of Sobek's culture," remarks Cindy, pocketing her device. "That, and bearing current circumstances in mind, I'm afraid it's the best lead we have in helping Glenn and preventing further disaster. We'd probably need at least a couple day's journeying time to get to another of the lost cities, and it might be too late by then."

Matthew’s eyes twittered between the two scientists as they held a discussion about whether or not to go to the blessing, Matthew standing and thinking of other things as per usual. Brushing aside his own thoughts, Matthew turned around to see the faces of concern on the remaining scientist’s faces, their scientific nature unable to rest their worlds on the belief of a lore. As the scientists turned to Tina, Matthew followed to see the young woman biting her lip, feeling the weighty gazes of the group.

"...Alright. In light of what we know and what we can't do, we're going to go to Farity's Shrine this time, I dearly hope your hunch is right, Matthew," With the scientists words ringing in his ears with desperation, Matthew held a smile and nodded, underneath his cool exterior a panic button ran in his head, the fate of Glenn, and the whole of Talas resting on his shoulders.


***

With the mood a lot more subdued, Matthew held onto Impact’s spikes once more, the steel snake providing the perfect traveling methods for the scientists, Matthew patting him on the head for his services. As Impact climbed over a rising hill, Matthew saw the statue of Farity atop of her sacred shire, the statue looming into view. With the anticipation, Matthew found himself gripping the Steelixs spikes harder than ever before, a million worries running through his head. Thinking back to the beginning of his adventure, Matthew coined the disasters that he had foretold upon the peaceful city of Talas, each decision he had made turning into a terrible one. Sighing heavily, Matthew looked on to the statue, praying one would be the answer to any one of the problems he had encountered, for the safety of Glenn and Talas rested on his shoulders, the heavy burden becoming more and more.

"Travellers... you have finally come, after enduring and surmounting so much."

Matthew jumped in surprise as he felt the Steelix do the same, the shock of the sudden voice reeling the giant in an instant.

"Worry not, weary adventurers. I understand the purpose of your arrival, and your search is not in vain," continues the voice. "I kindly ask that the one known as Matthew step forward."

Clambering down off of the giant steel body of his Steelix, Matthew took a deep breath before walking forward, a Meowth catching his tongue as he stood speechless, the spirit of Farity gleaming, like a pond rippling in the sunlight.

"I know your reason for coming, Matthew. You seek to rectify the consequences inadvertently caused by your earnest desire to help," the voice says, addressing you with an air of seeming kindness in its tonality. "To overcome this for yourself, and for the sake of others, you... must push yourself beyond what you believe yourself to be capable of accomplishing. Great promise lies within you, but not all of it will come naturally without adversity... barbaric as I find it, you must be put to the test. Surpassing this task will indubitably pave the way forward for you, but only if you find the strength within to do so."

From behind, Matthew heard the crys of amazement, as Matthew saw the statue of Farity irradiate a glistening aura. Staring at the statue with glistening eyes, Matthew whistled in amazement as he saw a pool of water forming from the sands, the desert environment an idle place for the mystical pool. Taking a few steps backwards, Matthew saw the pool grow in size, suddenly frothing and churning, gaining height at exponential speed to become a heaving aquatic mass. As the liquid began to rip from the wobbling chaos, Matthew saw it joined by another as the features became more defined. As the surface tightened, Matthew didn’t know what to do, the water settling to form a scaly beast, a series of ridges appearing along the vertebrae and tail. With the transformation almost complete, the gaping orifice opened wide before spapping shut, forming a sizable jab lined with sharp teeth.

“It... it's a miracle!" Tina cried from behind him as he stared down the feraligatr.

“The power of a God is not a miracle, but a being.” Matthew exclaimed in a smooth tone, having heard the power of a God before, the sun god showing great power before him.

"You have to rely on your most trusted partner, any substitute will not serve in accomplishing this goal. You must trust the one who is closest to you and overcome the odds..."

“A substitute is not what I call my team, I call them comrades. However, the one closest to my heart would be my trusted ally, the one I call ‘RhyperBeam’” Matthew called as he reached for his belt, throwing the ball into the air, watching it explode from the core to reveal the rocky beast, the giant mouth opening with an ear deafening roar, its huge moth opening to see a line of rocky sharp teeth to match the feraligatrs.

“Ok RhyperBeam, we need to get past this to save Glenn. He’s counting on us. Let’s start off by trapping the beast in a Rock Tomb while you boost your powers with a Swords Dance. We need to overcome your natural weakness’, so keep the beast away with a Stone Edge!”

Matthew winked to his partner and gave him a thumbs up, a million thoughts swirling round his head on how to overcome the odds…

Shadowshocker
2nd July 2009, 3:01 PM
The Lost City of Sobek

Research Lab

Treepandaone
With the conditions of battle already laid out for you, it goes without saying that a considerable challenge has been laid ahead of you. Releasing the Pokémon who you've been originally partnered with and boasts the most in experience, you lay out Rhyperbeam's orders while the scientists watch on. Several shocked gasps are heard, followed by quips of bewilderment and indignation -- understandably, noticing how horrible the elemental compatibility is geared against you. In spite of the bright light around the area, you find Farity's eyes seem to sparkle in apparent approval.

"You chose correctly, but your words reveal the true nature of your wisdom," speaks the voice. "And now... we begin!"

"Ferrr." Extending a radiant claw, the aquatic Feraligatr appears to give Rhyperbeam the 'come-hither' hand sign, drawing a determined growl from the drill-tipped rhino. Howling to the clear sky louder than you've heard him, Rhyperbeam calls on his power over Rocks to call on a Tomb much like before, springing stones from beneath the sands much like before which surround Feraligatr by its legs and tail. A series of worried murmurs go on behind you before Tina hushes the rest of her colleagues, and Feraligatr watches the both of you with almost unnerving calmness. It seems a stark contrast for the crocodile species which normally would be more known for brutality.

Grunting at his opponent, Rhyperbeam moves onto his next technique, crossing his arms close to his chest as he concentrates; his claws elongating from the effects of Swords Dance. Suddenly, after a bout of apparent inaction so far, Feraligatr surprises you as it slams its rocky trap with its own claws, and before you realise it fragments of the Rock Tomb start breaking off, flying towards you and Rhyperbeam. Instinctively you hit the sands as Rhyperbeam brings up its arms against the oncoming Rock Slide; his Ground-type buffeting against the effects of the Rock-type move and his pride affected more than health with his own technique used against him.

As he flexes his arms with another angry roar, white circles of energy appear to orbit around Rhyperbeam, separating and materialising into dangerously pointed rocks. With a punch forward the Drill Pokémon launches his Stone Edge at Feraligatr, aiming the sharpest vertices for what he believes to be Feraligatr's sensitive areas, but Feraligatr offers more surprises up its watery sleeves as it begins a charge. With arms glowing white Feraligatr seems to plow through the squall of rocks, scrunching its eyelids as the stones slice across its skin, before slamming Rhyperbeam in the chest with enough force to knock the hefty Pokémon backwards. Clutching his chest from the attack, Rhyperbeam glares Feraligatr squarely in the eye; the latter returning the gesture with the same serenity in its eyes.

"Superpower," you hear Peter mutter, identifying the last attack Feraligatr struck Rhyperbeam with. "But why hasn't Feraligatr used any Water attacks, instead risking itself by sapping its own physical prowess? Is it the desert heat affecting aquatic moves, or is it a diversionary tactic? Or... could it be that it's not bothered by Rhydon at all?"

"Matthew, be careful!" yells Tina, and you realise this to be true. Cooler than a Weavile in the harshest winter, Feraligatr is proving itself to be a formidable challenger, impossible to read and possibly, possessing more power than you've seen so far and will expect...



The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"Cover for Mismagius, Wilfrid! Gust to hold back the Hippowdon temporarily!" Knoll hollers, and you find that he's straining to make himself heard above the sandstorm, as have you. "Keep the Gust going before your Shadow Ball, and finish with Icy Wind!"

While the Hippowdon continue to roar at your attempts at defence, Wilfrid is first to go into action this time, forming swirling winds of his own right in front of his yellow cross, firing the result as a Gust of wind at both his enemies. Boosted by the ongoing storm, the funnel of air turns into a veritable tunnel, slamming into the Ground-type pair with surprising force. Taking the chance her battle partner has given her, Missy taps into her magical knowledge, recalling a unique attack you bestowed upon her, drawing on Cosmic Power to elevate her defences. Met with the air current against them, the Hippowdon seem rooted in their positions, and you briefly notice them glow white with power before the mysterious aura fades away.

Joining his arms beneath his underside, Wilfrid goes into another of the combinations you've seen him execute with Knoll, and when the Shadow Ball reaches a decent size you see the Drifblim release it. You're left wondering why Wilfrid would send off the spectral orb semi-charged, but continuing to look on you understand the balloon's rationale. With the forces of Wilfrid's Gust still active, the rapid circular oscillation adds on to the Shadow Ball's own spinning, causing the negative energies storming up in a concentrated point to increase in velocity and in turn, magnitude as well. An explosion of the ghostly power rips through the area, felt by you in spite of the clashing currents and the distance between you and the epicentre, and you can't help but smile appreciatively at your newest acquaintance, a skilled Ghost user himself.

Out of continued indignance at how the two of you have been turning things around, the female Hippowdon is first to react; breaking into a charge at Missy with her mouth wide open. Sensing the attack certain to come, Missy glares from beneath the brim of her witch's hat as her forelimbs take on a dark aura, and when Hippowdon is but a metre away she spirals upwards, smacking the greyish hippo on the snout with her Sucker Punch. Seemingly unfettered by the slapping, Hippowdon brings her terrible jaws onto Missy, but before the magical Pokémon can be crushed Wilfrid comes spinning to the rescue, blasting the earthly female with his zephyrs of the freezing variety. With her foe stunned and slowed by the ice, Missy takes the chance to dart out of her enemy's range before shooting her own Ice Beam at point blank range, managing to freeze over the mouth of the surprised and annoyed cetacean. Gratefully Missy glides over to Wilfrid, who appears to smile at his newfound friend, but the joy is short-lived as a Rock Slide breaks over the two of them, and as the stones buffet them they cry in pain; Wilfrid more so than Missy. Hugging Eve closer to you, you bite your lip tensely. Rock Slide is an attack that usually strikes all enemies on the field, but the proximity between your ghosts likely made them an easier target. That couldn't have been planned... could it?

"Look out!" Bracing his arms about you, Knoll helps you firmly anchored in the ground as you feel your hair suddenly crackle with a familiar sound of electricity popping. Realising what Knoll means, you brace yourself as bolts of lightning tear from the male Hippowdon's mouth, again making use of their closed distance to his advantage, dealing more shoutworthy damage to the two spectres.

"Thunder Fang... the constant collision of sand particles must have created a high enough electrostatic potential, allowing for the contact move to pass on!" remarks Knoll grimly through clenched teeth. Together you look at the other unaccounted Hippowdon, concerned for another attack coming, but instead you find her with a glittering aura of faint cyan. "No... Swallow!" Knoll speaks in apparent disbelief, "Then that attack earlier must have been Stockpile! That must be why they haven't taken as much damage as they should've!"

Noting Knoll to be a considerably strong combatant in his own right, you cast a gaze at your Pokémon. While damage has been consistently dealt from your department, Missy and Wilfrid have nonetheless taken their share of bruises, especially Wilfrid with his Flying-type weaknesses in mind. With this round beset with backfires amidst the successes, the pressure seems to be mounting higher than ever...

Arc_Angel
3rd July 2009, 9:27 AM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
"Cover for Mismagius, Wilfrid! Gust to hold back the Hippowdon temporarily!" Knoll hollers, and you find that he's straining to make himself heard above the sandstorm, as have you. "Keep the Gust going before your Shadow Ball, and finish with Icy Wind!"

While the Hippowdon continue to roar at your attempts at defence, Wilfrid is first to go into action this time, forming swirling winds of his own right in front of his yellow cross, firing the result as a Gust of wind at both his enemies. Boosted by the ongoing storm, the funnel of air turns into a veritable tunnel, slamming into the Ground-type pair with surprising force. Taking the chance her battle partner has given her, Missy taps into her magical knowledge, recalling a unique attack you bestowed upon her, drawing on Cosmic Power to elevate her defences. Met with the air current against them, the Hippowdon seem rooted in their positions, and you briefly notice them glow white with power before the mysterious aura fades away.

Joining his arms beneath his underside, Wilfrid goes into another of the combinations you've seen him execute with Knoll, and when the Shadow Ball reaches a decent size you see the Drifblim release it. You're left wondering why Wilfrid would send off the spectral orb semi-charged, but continuing to look on you understand the balloon's rationale. With the forces of Wilfrid's Gust still active, the rapid circular oscillation adds on to the Shadow Ball's own spinning, causing the negative energies storming up in a concentrated point to increase in velocity and in turn, magnitude as well. An explosion of the ghostly power rips through the area, felt by you in spite of the clashing currents and the distance between you and the epicentre, and you can't help but smile appreciatively at your newest acquaintance, a skilled Ghost user himself.

Out of continued indignance at how the two of you have been turning things around, the female Hippowdon is first to react; breaking into a charge at Missy with her mouth wide open. Sensing the attack certain to come, Missy glares from beneath the brim of her witch's hat as her forelimbs take on a dark aura, and when Hippowdon is but a metre away she spirals upwards, smacking the greyish hippo on the snout with her Sucker Punch. Seemingly unfettered by the slapping, Hippowdon brings her terrible jaws onto Missy, but before the magical Pokémon can be crushed Wilfrid comes spinning to the rescue, blasting the earthly female with his zephyrs of the freezing variety. With her foe stunned and slowed by the ice, Missy takes the chance to dart out of her enemy's range before shooting her own Ice Beam at point blank range, managing to freeze over the mouth of the surprised and annoyed cetacean. Gratefully Missy glides over to Wilfrid, who appears to smile at his newfound friend, but the joy is short-lived as a Rock Slide breaks over the two of them, and as the stones buffet them they cry in pain; Wilfrid more so than Missy. Hugging Eve closer to you, you bite your lip tensely. Rock Slide is an attack that usually strikes all enemies on the field, but the proximity between your ghosts likely made them an easier target. That couldn't have been planned... could it?

"Look out!" Bracing his arms about you, Knoll helps you firmly anchored in the ground as you feel your hair suddenly crackle with a familiar sound of electricity popping. Realising what Knoll means, you brace yourself as bolts of lightning tear from the male Hippowdon's mouth, again making use of their closed distance to his advantage, dealing more shoutworthy damage to the two spectres.

"Thunder Fang... the constant collision of sand particles must have created a high enough electrostatic potential, allowing for the contact move to pass on!" remarks Knoll grimly through clenched teeth. Together you look at the other unaccounted Hippowdon, concerned for another attack coming, but instead you find her with a glittering aura of faint cyan. "No... Swallow!" Knoll speaks in apparent disbelief, "Then that attack earlier must have been Stockpile! That must be why they haven't taken as much damage as they should've!"

Noting Knoll to be a considerably strong combatant in his own right, you cast a gaze at your Pokémon. While damage has been consistently dealt from your department, Missy and Wilfrid have nonetheless taken their share of bruises, especially Wilfrid with his Flying-type weaknesses in mind. With this round beset with backfires amidst the successes, the pressure seems to be mounting higher than ever...

With the first few moments for battle having worked in their favour, the Hippowdon seemed ready to tear a few holes in their opponents. Stacey wisely orders Missy to boosts her defences before attacking against whilst Knoll strategically orders Wilfred to provide cover for his partner. The pair of Hippo’s are not impressed with the efforts of their prisoners at fighting out of the sand tomb and roar in anger but the twin ghosts are not affected. Wilfred moves in front of the Mismagius as he summons a tunnel of wind in front of his face that mixes with the Sandstorm only gaining in power becoming a vicious vortex that strikes the hippos catching them off guard. Missy takes the opportunity to harness the powers of the cosmos to boost her defences glowing radiantly. The Hippowdon pair seem ironically trapped by the Gust attack and begin to shine too charging power leaving Stacey wondering what they were planning.

Wilfred had already begun to charge his next attack forming ghost energies between his fabric arms and after a quick charge the small Shadow Ball was launched through the air. Stacey wondered why the Drifblim launched the attack so soon but as the ghostly orb hit the gust current it spun on its axis and gain power and momentum. The ball exploded upon the two Hippos with much greater power that expected and Stacey was impressed, Knoll obviously knew how to battle with a ghost Pokemon and she felt her barriers dropped further more and more intrigued by the handsome writer.

Now able to fully move as Wilfred’s attacks die down the black female Hippowdon roars in frustration and annoyance charging for the ghost that initiated the attacks on her. Missy glared at the hippo her eyes dark with malicious intent ready to counter Hippowdon’s attack and before it could lay a tooth on her form she summoned dark energy into her body catching her in a vicious uppercut Sucker Punch. Unfazed by the attack the Hippo rears back maneovuring into her previous position her mouth nearly engulfing Missy who looked panicked right now but fortunately help was at hand. Wilfred dove in at the right moment breathing out a light gust of frigid cold air that stopped the hippo in her tracks stunned by the painful assault on her face. Taking advantage of the situation Missy powered up her own ice attack summoning the energy to one focal point before her mouth and with a cry release the Ice Beam that hits Hippowdon point blank freezing over its mouth in a gaping position.

Missy floated over to Wilfred smiling her thanks at his quick reactions saving the pain of a darn good chomping, the Drifblim returning the smile. But all too soon those smiles turned to grimaces of pain as a wave of rocks cascaded over their ethereal body from above, Wilfred taking more damage due to his flying typing. It seemed as though these Hippos’ were smarter than she thought as that attack was perfectly planned waiting for the two ghosts to get close before striking, they would have to be more careful. Knoll yelled a warning and before she could think over the reasons for it she felt his arms go around her as a blast of electrical energy tore through the air sending little jolts through their combined body, Eve crying from the stinging sensations. Anna loved it and felt the electricity run down her spikes leaving her rejuvenated, this battle was serving a purpose after all. The two trainers could only look on at the source of the electrical wave, a Thunder Fang shot out by the sandy male Hippo washing over the two huddled ghosts, Wilfred really suffering this time. The female hippo who had been silent and motionless all this time suddenly glowed her large throat swallowing the energy she stockpiled earlier boosting her health significantly.

Stacey rapidly thought over her next move in her head as she observed both hippos. The male still looked fresh and had a stockpile lying in wait, they’re have to be careful of him unleashing that. The female was still frozen from the mouth leaving her a sitting target unable to attack, for now. It would be best to target the male for he could cause the most damage, but if the female kept healing with swallow they would be no better off.

“Missy, we need to take down the black hippo’s health constantly as she may keep replenishing it. How about we try this, place a Curse upon her to drain away that health and even the field again with Pain Split as those Curses come at a price. Then we’ll focus on the more able male and keep up the super effective damage. Hit him with Hidden Power (Grass).”

Shadowshocker
4th July 2009, 5:42 AM
The Lost City of Rebus

Rebus Village

Arc_Angel
Though you find yourself slowly becoming more interested in the soft-spoken author, it goes without saying that the tide of battle is starting to flow against your better interests. Knoll himself seems visibly worried as Wilfrid took the bigger brunt of damage, and you see his brow creased with pressure and lip curled in restrained conflict of thought. As he starts to waver in hovering, Wilfrid looks back to his trainer which Knoll replies with a single resolute nod.

"Do it, Wilfrid! Show him your Natural Gift!" Returning the nod, Wilfrid turns to the male Hippowdon and with flourish of his left frontal flap he produces a blue Berry speckled with lighter spots of cyan, topped with a sprig of green leaves. Gathering power in his arm Wilfrid hurls the Yache Berry, gleaming with power transferred from the Drifblim, flying like a grenade until it smashes against its target in a spray of frost and ice. As the Hippowdon howls you watch Wilfrid suddenly spiral into the sky, carried by the sandy winds, and it dawns that opposite from your own Drifloon Wilfrid comes with the Unburden ability, raising his agility with the loss of his held item. Another blast of electricity tears by you past the point where Wilfrid was earlier, but having been elevated to greater heights Wilfrid avoids the super-effective attack completely.

Much as she appears to parallel your admiration of Knoll, Missy tears her attention back to her snorting foe, and trembling with forbidden power she puts an energy needle through herself, crying out for the sacrifice in agony. It doesn't take long for the Ground-type to wince, noting something nasty coursing through her body, and out of rage she charges forward. The Double-Edge, strong as it is, phases through Missy's natural ethereal state, and taking the chance of her opponent's folly Missy initiates her Pain Split attack, tapping into another incantation to balance out their health levels. Some of the weathering marks of battle begin to disappear from Missy's cloak as she recovers health to fill in the gap investment she put in for the Curse, and again Hippowdon starts writhing with discomfort. You almost start to feel relieved when a jet of steam bursts from the female's nostrils much to your shock, and before you know it a rim of fire appears around Hippowdon's mouth, melting the ice away into nothing. Again you see the terrible mouth opens, and you see the remnants of the Fire Fang disappear into wisps.

"Now, Wilfrid! Gyro Ball into Body Slam, again!"

Knoll's command briefly steals your eyes over to Wilfrid once more, where his newfound agility appears to be paying off significantly as Stone Edge after Stone Edge scrapes past him without so much as a small hit, much to the male Hippowdon's annoyance as he summons the stones upwards. Turning the same steely shade you saw him use before, Wilfrid drops like a bomb onto the male's back, and with another roar of agony the male Hippowdon sends a torrent of sand blasting from the ports on his back, clouding the both of them in a choking, stinging fog. A jolt of fear goes through you before you see Wilfrid rise from the dissipating mass, revealing the male Hippowdon with his face weighed on the ground and his body sparking with remnant ene