The Isle of Talas
The Western Pyramid
As Crawdaunt looms, its legs clacking ferociously, you issue a few more orders to Beaker with a defensive approach in mind this time; the aim for your Corphish to hold out as long as she possibly can. The commands come at an opportune instance indeed, as the star insignia on Crawdaunt's forehead begins glowing with monstrous power, before being unleashed in a full-fledged Hyper Beam. Instinctively you and Piplup put up your forelimbs in self-defence, but as the laser crashes into Beaker it turns out the unevolved Water-type already has her Protective shielding in place to absorb the devastating move.
Dissipating her barrier, Beaker begins waving her arms in a fashion of mockery, and there is little Crawdaunt can do in response to the Corphish's Spite; being forced to rest after its extreme power discharge. Soon enough you notice the larger lobster begin to heave a lot more noticeably, and even as it lifts its pincers in preparation for its next move a brief glint of exertion passes by its eyes. Not wanting the enemy to recover enough and launch another move, Beaker releases Sludge Bombs from her own smaller pincers, throwing orbs of toxic goop that explode with surprising concussive force, managing to even move the startled Crawdaunt back by a few steps. This, however, fails to stop the storm of Swift stars issued from the Dark-type's symbol, and feeling the widespread technique sweep against everyone you wince as your clothes suffer a few minute tears from the sharp blast. Piplup takes a few bruises, but Beaker clearly looks worst out of the group; the general range of Swift being about the only thing that saved her from a most certain Knockout...
Finding inspiration from your past experiences, as well as those of your Pokémon, you finally decide on the tile with the Voltorb picture and place it in the solitary gap arranged for you, and as your hand moves away the image of the Ball Pokémon appears to glimmer in faint electric blue. A split second later the glimmer begins spreading to the other tiles, almost like water soaking through cloth, until the entire network of thirty-two panels shimmers with the same enigmatic light. You find yourself almost in awe at its gentle beauty before the door slides open gratingly, granting you access to the next room for the battle you know you must face.
As you take a step into the stony chamber a prickle seems to go up your spine to the tip of your head, causing you to shudder in a moment of discomfort -- whatever this room has in store for you, you can almost feel the aggression in the air around you, and from the way he snaps at the room's emptiness Claus clearly doesn't like it either. Before anything else happens, however, a loud CLUNK directs your attention ahead, where a familiar spherical creature stands -- or lightly hovers, rather -- between you and the door to the next challenge. "Voltorb!" it buzzes, sparks flickering about its hard body as it glares angrily at you...
The Lost City of Sobek
The Caiman Temple
With confidence and assurance like nothing you've ever felt before, you mentally accept the challenge set for your and Rhyperbeam, and as if sensing this resolve your Rhydon roars its longest and loudest you've heard from him. As the light increases in candelas to almost blinding levels, you squint against the brightness to find that Rhyperbeam appears to be changing with your decision: the horn between his diminishing ears lengthens before your very eyes, jagged formations grow where his elbow joints would have been, and a knobby club shape gathers on his tail; all the while as his body grows considerably in height and bulk, to the point that you have to stare slightly upwards more than usual to behold the process. Finally as the light fades, you realise for certain now that Farity's blessing must have been to induce evolution in the Pokémon who could reach a higher level; standing tall and proud Rhyperbeam flexes his stronger arms as he looks back at you, bearing a confident smirk with his armoured eyelids; the torchlight gleaming off the many plates of his heavily shielded body.
Around you, you witness the shocked and almost overjoyed expressions of the others, as the light from everyone else starts to fade as well. Announcing her presence with a solid thump of her hooves, Leona the Mamoswine gives a snort that almost chills the room by a few degrees, and above you Mischief the Gengar cackles excitedly at the revelation of his new hands and feet, alongside Maya as her Yanmega buzzes come sharper and harsher than ever before.
"Is that the best you can do, Farity?" Caiman narrows his eyes as Erik waves his tangible hands; a gift of his ancestral power unlocked. "Because if it is, I'd say it's a complete waste of time. Considering you're all going to end up just as dead!"
"The best is always yet to be," responds Farity serenely. "Perhaps you might finally glean something from these experiences, Caiman. I swear on the name of the gods it will be the last thing you experience in your cursed afterlife!"
"Tough words!" Standing up like a captain, Caiman flourishes one of his mouldering arms, "Let's see just how you fare! KILL THEM!"
"Onwards, lads!" declares Peter; Erik screaming in a cross of tenor and banshee as he flails his limbs. "Let's end this, once and for all!"
Led by the hollering battle researcher, the scientists and you head into battle as the seven fossils swoop in at Caiman's command, and as you clash in the epicentre you find yourself ether spoiled for choice, or otherwise unsure of what to do in the mad chaos. With their morale significantly boosted by the advent of their new Pokémon, the scientists almost have their situation under control. An aerial battle overhead sees Claudia and Maya handling the rogue Aerodactyl as Mischief phases through each slash of the opposing Kabutops; Sudowoodo locking arms with a raging Armaldo as Erik flings the enemy Bastiodon back with his stronger, improved vines.
"Where's Farity?!" cries Mynah, as Leona fires her Icicle Spear against Omastar's Spike Cannon, but almost in response to her query a giant splash of water lands a few metres away from you, separating into an annulus-shaped puddle as a blast of dark energy crashes into its very centre. Spiralling as she reforms, Farity raises her hand; a series of rainbow-coloured rings firing from her fingertips back at the abhorrent mummy, sending him flying into the ceiling. A shower of dust and debris rains over everyone, but a quick visual proves Caiman to be hardly down, let alone out.
"Behind you!" Alerted by Farity's sudden outburst, you barely fall to the side in time dodge the Rampardos' Take Down; at which Rhyperbeam bellows in his concern and anger, having seen you very nearly in severe hurt. Turning back to meet the living Skull Fossil, the Drill Pokémon matches Take Down for Take Down; his armoured head proving its strength against that of the enemy. A storm of tentacles, pink and shiny, suddenly reach from behind him, and as he finds himself pulled back Caiman's Cradily cackles in its own nasty fashion, but a resounding SMACK across the back of its head knocks the cnidarian forward, revealing a familiar crocodile on the scene.
"Matthew... I leave my trusted partner alongside yours. While he won't take direct orders, he will aid you in fighting these two," informs Farity, just as she shifts a hole into a stomach to bypass another negative blast, "Now go!"
As the goddess floats off, you turn back to see Rhyperbeam and Feraligatr having already assumed their battle positions; any unease between them from their previous clash forgotten in the unity against this common enemy. Howling horribly, both Cradily and Rampardos sound out their displeasure, before charging towards the three of you...
The Lost City of Rebus
The House of Arctosia
Deploying some of your team to look for the other fragments of tablet, you decide that since you're here in what must be an, if not one of the archives of this place, it likely wouldn't hurt to look for more information that might help you in any way. Bending to a squat you start looking about the variety of glyphed debris while Eve totters about, apparently deciding she doesn't like the feeling of grit against her little feet.
It doesn't take long, however, for you to start dreading the searching process; a good number of the tablets are either in ancient runes you have no idea how they might be deciphered, or have surfaces scratched and eroded to the point that whatever information they could have borne has already been lost to time. Shifting to the shelves you gently peel back the layers of tablet, eventually finding one with a series of large, ceremonial lettering at the very top that catches your attention:
Perhaps the most enigmatic of the deities who watch over our land, Arctosia is also known as the Goddess of Mystery. Little can be said about her, as various accounts of her deeds often contradict and clash such that no one truly knows what to believe. What is mostly certain is that Arctosia is a goddess of whim; she blesses as much as she curses, she destroys as much as she creates. Of this it can only be spoken in extremes; the actual nature of Arctosia is that her wishes and whims are beyond mortal understanding, and indeed the wisest of scholars and sages do not always accurately fathom and predict her signs. In spite of this, the House of Arctosia endeavours to further understand the Goddess of Mystery, such that the land can be led in times of peace and in chaos alike.
BOOM. "WHOAA!" "Driiiif! Driiiiif!"
Suddenly distracted by the loud, familiar noises coming from outside, you tear your attention away from the tablet as another reminiscent sound, that of manic cackling, rises from the courtyard below, and grabbing the page on Arctosia for possible future reference you run to the parapet outside for a quick visual. Down below on the dust lie Wilfrid and Knoll, having apparently been thrown off their feet, and looking further down you spot a familiar Banette laughing most maliciously as his claws charge up another Shadow Ball, against the shocked cries of Missy...