Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody
[BGM: Overture: The Legend of the Rainbow Symphony]
Long ago, the world of Pokemon was not the world you see today--it was a wild world with deep forests, high mountains, and vast oceans. Pokemon roamed freely with fantastic creatures, and even more amazing--humans could harness the power of the elements created by the gods.
Of course, not just anyone could harness magic, as the power of the elements had come to be known, but those with the talent and the desire to learn could easily find a mage to teach them within the many academies scattered across the land.
But that was not the only way to harness magic--some of the many minstrels across the land sang so passionately about fantastic Pokemon, great battles, and larger than life heroes that even their songs became spells--creating Song Magic. However, those minstrels that could harness Song Magic were few and far between. One such minstrel managed to defeat a demon uprising by collecting the powers of all eight elements into a magical necklace, then unleashing the ultimate Song Magic--Rainbow Symphony.
Many years have passed since then, but there are rumblings from the underworld once more...and a young mage will unknowingly guide the next bearer of Rainbow Symphony on his quest ...
Episode 1: The Legend of the Symphony
BGM: [Welcome to Asimiro Lodge ]
A black haired boy carefully cut into a lump of porcelain, the thunking and scraping of his tools echoing across the hills and the ivy covered stone walls that encircled the East Garden. He often liked to come to the garden in the morning before his teaching duties began, be this to read, play music, chat or tell stories with his fellow mages, or carve saefleitas, like today--it allowed him a few moments of peace and quiet before the apprentices awoke, where he would then be occupied with teaching spells, creating potions, and telling tales until the sun set. It helped that he had his own mentor alongside him to help--although he was no longer an apprentice, she could still offer him advice on the best way to explain incantations, whether mint was the best herb for a spell of protection, or just talk about life in general.
He brushed the white porcelain dust from his blue and gray tunic into a tiny heap in the grass, then examined the vaguely bird shaped lump for just the right spot to put the air hole as the breeze carried away the dust through one of the many stone arches that made up the hallway, then slipped on the gloves that were the same blue as his tunic and boots and picked up a drill to begin drilling the air hole in one of the wing-like sections of the lump, using his own saefleita, which hung proudly around his neck, as a reference. Once that was done, he would drill six fingerholes, three on each side of the "bird"'s stomach, and polish it before it went in the bag of other saefleitas he carried--then it would be given to an apprentice, where he or she would use it to summon a familiar.
[BGM: Milina and Ash's theme]
"Ash?" a female voice called, causing him to drop the drill in the grass. He whirled around to see a brown haired girl clad in the black, red, and gold tunic of a high mage standing in the stone arch at the entrance to the garden. "How are those saefleitas for the new class coming along?"
"I'm almost finished with the last one, Milina." Ash replied before retrieving the drill. "How many are in this new group?" he asked as he began drilling the air hole in the unfinished saefleita.
Milina inspected the black bag of finished saefleitas lying in the grass. "You've made too many, Ash--I'm only expecting twenty apprentices in Class Lume this year."
"I could give the extras to those that need them." Ash offered as he fished out the ten extra saefleitas that rattled in the bag before setting it on his belt nearby his sword.
"You always were very generous, Ash--and you're one of the better saefleita makers here at the lodge." Milina smiled as she took the extra saefleitas. "Have you considered making and selling saefleitas full time? Yours always seem to sell at the Magical Bazaar every year..."
"I'm not sure if I could handle making hundreds of saefleitas a day." Ash confessed. "I really only make them for fun and to give to apprentices...but besides teaching, I want to see the world alongside a knight, another mage, or a minstrel, even!"
"Then you know what you have to do--make a potion and offer it to a prospective companion as a sign of your loyalty and see if he or she offers to have you serve in return." Milina replied. "That's how I met Lady Fleur."
Ash stifled a giggle--while he had not asked Milina just WHAT it was she did when she was with Lady Fleur, he imagined it involved magically cleaning poofy dresses, commanding the kitchen to clean itself, or some other menial task.
Fortunately, Milina had not heard his giggle. "Well then...I will see you this evening--good luck with the class." With that, she disappeared down the hallway and into the lodge. Ash waved goodbye, retrieved his drill, and resumed work on the last saefleita, ever aware of the voices of children he could hear coming from the lodge.
[BGM: Aspiring Mages]
Ash rounded the corner into the lodge's east wing and counted down three doors on the right until he found one marked with a star--the sign that the classroom was used for teaching apprentices. The room didn't look very much different than he remembered--there were four long tables overlooking a blackboard and a shorter table, with storage holds close by the chair at the left side of the table to put items. He quickly stashed his bag of saefleitas in the bottom left storage hold and surveyed the bookshelves that circled the room--as this was a brand new addition to the east wing, the books on them were in pristine condition--a far cry from the ratty old spellbooks he had studied as an apprentice. Some apprentices were already seated at the table at the front, whispering excitedly about what their first year would bring as their dull red robes fluttered in the breeze coming in from a window by the door.
Once all twenty apprentices were present, he addressed the group. "Good morning, everyone--I am Ash of the Seuta Class, third year of the Seventh Raikou." Excited whispers filled the air--any apprentice in the Seuta Class was said to go on to do great things, and many a minstrel told of the deeds they had done. "It's a pleasure to see all of you, and I wish you all the best in your magical training." He paused to retrieve the bag of saefleitas. "Over the course of this year, I hope to get you off on the right foot in your training, where you can cast some basic offensive and defensive spells, mix potions, and care for a familiar."
"What's a familiar?" a girl in the right corner asked as she strung up her dull blonde hair into a ponytail.
"A familiar is a Pokemon companion that aids a mage in some way." Ash explained. "Some battle alongside their masters, some heal and protect them, and still others take care of daily tasks for them--what your familiar will do for you depends on what makes the familiar happy. That's where this comes in..." Oohs and ahs filled the air as Ash took off his own saefleita for the apprentices to see. "This is a saefleita, or 'bird's flute'--you can use it to call a familiar to you, like this...." With that, he played a simple four note melody that reverbrated through the room, particulary on the high third note.
[BGM: Saefleita Call-Pikachu]
"Pikachu!" a yellow mouse called as it struggled to climb in the window from a bush. Giggles wafted through the air as it tried several times to climb inside, but kept slipping on the windowpane.
Ash quickly put on his saefleita and helped the struggling Pikachu onto his shoulder, to some applause. "Anyway, this is my familiar...he will often scout ahead and battle alongside me when we travel." he explained as he reached for the bag of saefleitas. "As a gift to welcome you to your first year of magical studies, I want to give you a saefleita of your own." He stiffled a giggle as the crowd of twenty apprentices stormed up to the head of the class, took a saefleita, and eagerly began figuring out the notes, making various squeaks and squawks fill the air.
Once sure every apprentice had a saefleita, Ash lifted a hand for silence, quieting the noise. "If you have called a familiar already, you'll notice that some of the aura around it has dimmed." Some gasps came up from the crowd at this. "This is because calling a familiar takes a little of your own magic power--how much depends on what you want to summon." He nodded in approval at a boy that had called a Spearow. "In addition, remember what you played to summon your familiar--your familiar will only come to you if you play that song." He proceeded to play a little flourish on his own saefleita to wake up a auburn haired girl that was dozing off, making everyone laugh as those with familiars copied down their summon songs in their spellbooks.
"Is it possible to summon a Legendary with these?" a navy haired boy asked as he toyed with his saefleita.
"Yes--but it takes a lot of power." Ash replied. "That's why you should only summon them in an emergency." With that, he ran to help a girl tame the Growlithe she had summoned, which was playfully pulling the spellbooks from the shelves as the other apprentices howled with laughter.
The sky outside the potion lab was beginning to darken as Ash arrived, only pausing to set his lantern on the stand by the entryway before strolling over to one of the many large tables that were littered with bottles, boxes, and bags of all kinds. After putting what materials were already on the table back on the shelf above it, he eased one of the heavy recipe books from the shelf and set it on the table. "Let's see here...turning fire blue, teleportation, protection from dragons...here we go! The Misty Potion of Vigor." He next grabbed an empty flask from the shelf before reading the recipe first. "Cerulean tea as a base..." he mused before grabbing a flask of blue liquid from the shelf and pouring some into his empty flask. "Rosy ink to boost the strength of the healing components..." he mused as he reached for a bottle of reddish liquid and poured it inside, turning the cerulean tea to an omnious purple mixture.
"What brings you to the potion lab this late, Ash?" a voice asked.
[BGM: Milina and Ash's theme]
Ash looked up to see Milina in the doorway. "I was thinking about what you said about making a potion to find a prospective companion this morning, and decided it was worth a try--I've already informed my group about my departure in the morning."
"Must you leave so soon?" Milina asked as she walked over to where Ash was working. "You have every right to leave on an adventure when you see fit, but it would make your group feel better if you spent one last night with them before your departure."
"You're right..." Ash reached for a cork to close his flask and began shaking it to mix the first two ingredients of his potion. "They may wonder why I am leaving them after just one day together."
"Pika." Pikachu agreed as he joined Milina by the table.
"Just explain to them that sometimes, a mage will seek out a companion to serve in addition to their duties here at the lodge. Not every mage does, but the Archmage encourages every mage to do this at some point." Milina continued.
"Just out of curiosity, how many times did it take you to find Lady Fleur?" Ash wondered as he studied his recipe.
Milina thought for a moment. "It took three journeys before I found Fleur--just remember that as you travel, you may not find a companion the first time. That doesn't mean you should give up if you fail, though--some mages get lucky and find a companion the first time. If that happens with you, cherish your companion for all time." With that, she departed, leaving Ash and Pikachu alone in the dim firelight.
Once the cerulean tea and rosy ink were mixed thoroughly, Ash uncorked it and dropped some glowing seeds into the purple liquid, making them burst open with a pop and a flash of light. "Grian seeds for healthy skin." he explained to Pikachu, who was fascinated by the pale yellow mist wafting from the flask. "Normally, they release liquid when they burst open, but when exposed to liquid themselves, their liquid becomes mist." He next shook some dull brown powder into the flask, turning the liquid a lighter shade of blue. "Powdered birch root, to protect against evil spirits and the Song Magic spell Amethyst Eye..."
"Pi pikachu pi?" Pikachu asked.
"Some evil spirits of the siren variety tend to sing to bring about their dark magic." Ash replied. "Amethyst Eye is especially dangerous--for then the spirit can possess you while you sleep. Song Mages can do this right back at the spirit, but for the rest of us, we have birch root." He next added some mint leaves, turning the liquid a pale green. "Mint for general healing purposes..." Some small white flowers turned the liquid yellow. "Meadowsweet for pain relief..." Some drops of a glowing clear liquid turned the mist in the flask pale blue. "Anima's tears for healing of deep wounds, and finally..." He carefully stirred in a shining silver dust, boosting the mist inside the flask and making a sweet minty aroma fill the air. "Wish dust for renewal of strength." After replacing the cork on the flask, putting it inside a bag, and tidying his work area, he motioned for Pikachu to follow him as he took his torch and started down the hall out to the stone walkway that connected the south and east wings. The garden was close by, so he figured that would be the perfect spot to relax on his last night in the lodge for a while.
He noticed that his group was waiting for him when he arrived in the garden. "Why are you leaving us in the morning, Sir Ash?" a boy asked. The boy's familiar, a Yohteri, eagerly danced around Ash's feet, piqued in what was inside the bag around Ash's shoulder.
"Well, many mages, in addition to teaching and adventuring, often serve someone." Ash replied as he made himself comfortable under a tree and invited the apprentices to gather around. "What they may do depends on their companion's needs--some escort nobility, others help with daily tasks, and still others tend to their companion's mind and body, to name only a few possibilities."
"Well, what kind of person would you want to serve?" a red haired girl asked.
"I haven't really gave much thought to that, but I figure it might be fun to serve a minstrel--assist with tricks or stories, protect his props, write new material...." Ash mused.
"Is it really true that there are minstrels that can sing magic like songs?" a pink haired girl wondered.
"Yes--although they are very few in number." Ash replied. "In fact..." He reached for his saefleita. "I don't normally do this, but our lodge's guardian, Lugia, once helped to aid such a minstrel in saving the world."
[BGM: Summon Cycle-Lugia]
With that, he began playing the summon cycle for Lugia: the sad sounding Earth melody, which segued into the mystic sounding Fire melody. The wind began picking up strength and speed as Ash played the joyful sounding Wind section, culminating in a bright flash of silver light as he concluded the prayerful Water section to complete the cycle. The apprentices gasped and looked up at the starry sky as a large white dragon-like bird emerged from the light with a cry.
"Hail and well met, Silver Guardian." Ash began as he bowed before the dragon bird Pokemon hovering above him.
"And to you likewise, Ash of Asimiro...how may I be of service this evening?" Lugia replied.
"Please, tell my apprentices the tale of the ultimate Song Magic and the necklace that held the colors of the gods." Ash replied.
"It is a long story, but I will attempt to tell it in a reasonable amount of time." Lugia replied.
[BGM: The Rainbow Symphony]
"Long ago, the demon lord Kione looked down upon the world that Our Lady Anima had made--why couldn't he have such a beautiful world to rule? He searched for something--anything at all--that he could use to destroy the Holy Realm and create a world he could rule filled with despair and grief. Eventually, his spies told him that the best thing to do was to destroy Anima herself, and to do that, he had to slay her Guardians--us--before he could do battle with her personally."
"So what did you do?" the navy haired boy asked.
"Our leader, the Great Arceus, feared for all of us when he heard the rumors of Kione's plot, and asked Anima and the other gods what we could do to save ourselves. " Lugia continued. "Anima told us not to worry, for the songs of those that could sing magic would save us and the universe--when they created the world, the gods each formed a little of their power into a bead, and hid these beads all across the world. But what Anima did not know was that Kione was infiltrating these places and filling them with monsters to deter those minstrels that would find these beads--he knew very well that if all eight were brought together in the hands of a Song Mage, they would create the ultimate Song Magic spell--Rainbow Symphony. Many minstrels tried to gather the beads, and many minstrels and adventurers died making the dangerous journey. We all feared that we too would fall by Kione's hand."
"And then?" the auburn haired girl asked as her Taillow fluttered by her side.
"Just as all hope seemed lost, a minstrel whose name is only known to Lady Anima finally managed to assemble all eight beads in a necklace, and unleashed the spell Rainbow Symphony atop Voima Hill, the one place in the north lands that is not affected by its harsh cold. Lugia replied. "The song was strong enough to banish Kione to the underworld, and when it concluded, his necklace shattered, scattering the beads to eight new locations should Kione try again to storm the Holy Realm. This necklace, the Necklace of the Mystical Rainbow, should only be assembled in a time of great need, and by a minstrel with the ability to sing magic."
Everyone applauded. "Thank you, Sir Lugia!" the apprentices chorused.
"My thanks as well." Ash added.
"You're most welcome." and Lugia soared off into the sky. Ash waved goodbye and relaxed under the tree, contemplating what would happen on his adventure.
[BGM: Setting Out]
After bidding Milina and his apprentices goodbye, Ash set out early the next morning with Pikachu for Hopea, a town on the northern edge of the Luse Forest. They made good time across the Raduga Plains from Masuliro to the town of Hijau, but the sun was setting by the time the two of them arrived in the forest and made camp by a stream.
Once sure that the pile of sticks he had gathered was the right size, Ash began focusing a ball of red energy in his hands. "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire!" The red energy ball went flying at the sticks, starting a campfire.
"Pika!" Pikachu romped up to the flickering flames and began warming his paws.
"You want to help with dinner?" Ash asked. Pikachu nodded as his master slid some Pidgey meat onto a spit over the fire. "Go see if you can find some Berries to go with this meat."
"Chu!" With that, Pikachu darted off into the brush, leaving Ash to doze beside his campfire, periodically turning the meat or looking to see if his familiar had returned.
Some rustling in the grass woke him from his nap twenty minutes later. "Pikachu?" he stammered as he got up from the grass to see what was rustling in a nearby bush. "Is that you?"
[BGM: Fight to Survive!]
"SCYTHER!!!" a large muscular mantis cried as it sprung from the bush, knocking Ash backwards. He scrambled to his feet and drew his sword seconds before the Scyther could raid his camp and snatch the roasting meat. The Scyther bared its claws and tried to scratch Ash's face, but impacted the sword's blade with a CLANG! It tried again and again to get to the frightened mage wielding the beautiful blade with angel wings inlaid with rubies forming the guard, but was blacked every time by the sword.
Ash gritted his teeth as he deflected the Scyther's claws again and again--he hadn't counted on being ambushed by a hostile Pokemon. He finally stabbed at the Scyther's stomach seconds before the Scyther could slash his face, making his attacker rear back in pain.
With the Scyther wounded, Ash decided to try focusing some lightning energy through the emerald in the pommel of his weapon in hopes it would drive the Scyther away. "Swirling bolts, gather and strike with power! Thunder!" The Scyther was not prepared for the thunderbolts that came streaking from Ash's blade, and howled in pain as it fell to the ground.
"Good riddance..." Ash grumbled as he sheathed his weapon and started down a path by the stream. Suddenly, he heard a keening scream as he was thrown to the ground--the Scyther had apparently recovered from his spell! He cried again and again as the Scyther's claws tore his cloak and into his clothing, making dark red stains form on his back and legs. An attempt to roll over and get up only resulted in more large gashes on his chest.
Finally, the Scyther flew off into the brush, chittering happily over its revenge it had gotten over the mage that lay bloodied and beaten on the path.
Just then, Pikachu appeared in the distance. "Pikapi!" he gasped when he saw his master bleeding on the ground. "Pika pika?" he asked as he set his berries aside, hurried back to his master's bag, and tried bandaging Ash's wounds with pieces of a blanket.
"Scyther....attacked....me...." Ash groaned in pain. "Go...get...help...."
"Pika! Pika chu, Pikapi!" Pikachu assured his master. Ash moaned again and collapsed into the dirt, the last thing he saw being Pikachu darting off into the grass in a mad dash attempt to find someone that could save his life....
To Be Continued....