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Thread: The Archaeology Zone's Recorded History

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    Default The Archaeology Zone's Recorded History

    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.

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    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
    Last edited by enchantress; 4th March 2009 at 11:40 AM.

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    "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.

    Banners By Me. Level 3 Trainer: 33 KOs, 95.5 TP, 18 SP
    ______________________________________________
    Inevitably edited by Mozz : Today is a good day to molest children.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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.

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    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...

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    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post

    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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    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.
    Last edited by LordAndrew; 22nd February 2009 at 9:21 PM. Reason: Having my signature in the first post is probably helpful, yay.

    Name: Andrew Requiem

    .:Pokémon:.
    Lv.9 (M) Lv.35 (M) Lv.9 (F)
    Lv.5 (F) Lv.38 (M)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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."

  10. #10
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    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 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...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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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    Last edited by -Hayward-; 6th March 2009 at 1:56 AM. Reason: grammatica

  13. #13
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    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?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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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    Last edited by -Hayward-; 14th March 2009 at 2:06 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by enchantress View Post
    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."

  17. #17
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    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?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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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    Last edited by -Hayward-; 16th March 2009 at 2:57 AM.

  19. #19
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    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?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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.

  21. #21
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    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?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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]"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 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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    Last edited by -Hayward-; 20th March 2009 at 1:59 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowshocker View Post
    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.

  25. #25
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    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?

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