Pokemon Mage: Hoenn's Trials
Ysavvryl: I will be primarily playing mediator, narrator, and NPCs.
Monster Guy: Mage Timothy "Tim" Wolfe
Slipomatic: Wizard Ithero Despar
SoulMuse: Wizard Ian Blackwood
Andydemon: Novice Mage Lucas Serenes
Agent Tectonic: Mage Elmeigh Soreen
Lost Requiem: Mage Marie Aeternam
Jason-Kun: signing up...
Titian500: Novice Mage Arthur Mason
Golden Houou: Novice Mage Jocelyn “Jo” Petal
Manaphy Mare: signing up...
Route 101, Littleroot
It was a blustery morning, that first day of spring. The sun was shining, but the wind constantly buffeted the newly-leafed trees. While a few Pokemon were out and about, there weren't as many as usual. Not even May's Pokemon would come out to walk with her as she headed south on Route 100. “It would be nice if I could go in a Pokeball in weather like this,” she said to herself, clutching a brown package tightly. “Or if they'd finally open up a post office in Littleroot so we wouldn't have to run to Oldale for packages. Whooaa!” She paused as a particularly strong gust blew through. She put a hand on her bandana, reassuring herself that she had tied it tightly.
“I hope you're not going to get blown away, Miss Birch,” someone called over to her. It was a man she ran into from time to time lately. He had short golden blond hair, but the bangs of it nearly covered his eyes. As usual, he was wearing a long black coat that had a insignia of a silver Gorebyss and Huntail, smaller on the front and larger on the back. It was an unique thing, at least she'd never seen another like it. The wizard waved to her. “Still a nice day.”
“If you don't mind the wind,” she said, picking up the pace with the gust past. “What are you doing out here, Mr. Caine? I thought you were looking for rare Pokemon.”
“I am,” he said, nodding.
“Am!” his Wobbuffet guardian said, giving her a salute as he mimicked his partner. He seemed to like doing that.
May laughed. “I don't know if there's anything rare out here. Maybe a Ralts, but they tend to be seen north of here.”
“Are you sure about that?” Caine asked her. “There may yet be rarely seen Pokemon around that most people wouldn't be aware of. What are you up to this early?”
“Helping out my dad,” she said. “He's got the guardian summoning ceremony today.”
He rubbed his chin. “Ah yes, that is today, isn't it? Are you participating this year?”
Smiling, she shook her head. “Nah, I'm just helping him because there's a lot of things to do. I failed three of the tests, after all.”
Caine bowed his head. “Sorry. Does that bother you?”
“No, I'm fine with it,” May said. And she meant it. “I've already got a lot that I'm doing right now, and I don't want to add learning magic to that. Well don't let the wind blow you around today!”
He laughed. “Same to you. I mean to be out here most of the day, because I think... never mind, it wouldn't be important to you. I hope things go well with the ceremony.”
In Hoenn the official guardian summoning ceremony only happened once a year, and this was the day for it. This year, it was taking place the the relatively new town of Littleroot, as Professor Birch had been chosen to perform it this year. This resulted in the town seeming to be far more lively than usual. It was mostly a quiet community, surrounded by trees and not often visited. Today, there were a number of teenagers in and around the research lab that Birch ran, hoping that they would officially become mages in a short while. There were also their families, friends, or neighbors who had helped get them to Littleroot or were waiting eagerly to see what would come as well.
There would normally be another wizard or two around for this, to make sure things went safely. This year, there were more than that around Littleroot Town. Many people were worried about this important ceremony because of the many strange omens that were prominent around all of Hoenn: the active and restless spirits around Mount Pyre, the strange weather around the shrines to the region's guardian deities, the smokeless black flames that constantly burned on top of Sky Tower, among other smaller signs. Littleroot Town wasn't near most of this phenomenon, but there was still worry for the novices if something went wrong here. So far, it was mostly just windy, relatively normal for the time of year.
The door to the lab opened, but it was May who came out, not her father. She excused herself from nearly bumping into someone, then hurried around the building to where Drake was. As the leader of Hoenn's Pokemon League, he was one of the most powerful and skilled wizards in the region. He was sitting on a bench by a community garden; a Relicanth seemed to be snoozing among the early spring plantings, but Drake's guardian was quite alert.
“Drake, Dad's ready to get started,” May said. “And he'd rather get things rolling before lunch. He and Ithero say things seem secure within the building, but they need to know how it is out here.”
The old man (or old pirate, as some joked) nodded. “Keeping it short is prudent this time. We've not confirmed any wayward spirits around, but some of us have heard an unusual sound in the woods. We'll keep whatever it is from getting too close.”
“All right,” she said, wondering about the this sound. She hadn't heard it herself, but maybe there was an unusual Pokemon around today like the rare hunter thought. That would be better than some alternatives, though. “We'll get things started then.”
She ran back to the building and called for the participants to come inside. There were a few she recognized, like Vincent (he was top student at a Lilycove academy) and Joyceln (she was part of the family that ran the flower shop outside Rustboro). But others she didn't, like the youngest there who seemed to be a shy ten-year-old named Lucas. All in all, there were seven this year; her father said that it was lower than normal, but not by a lot.
Inside, a lot of space had been cleared out in the lab's main room. The air was distinctly different than usual; May never had a strong sense for magic, but even she could feel the change that usually indicated some supernatural spirit was active nearby. In a sense, there were spirits around the room now, guardian Pokemon waiting to find their partner and take on their physical form. Hopefully it was only those spirits around. She had a job to do, so once she informed her father of what Drake said, she went to fetch a box full of books.
Professor Birch was dressed for the occasion, with a dark green robe covering him neck down and a multicolored sash. The sash had symbolic patterns that indicated things he had accomplished in magic, such as being recognized as a master and an accomplished Pokemon researcher. Close to him was his guardian, a Meganium who was laying on the floor and monitoring a runic device that created the environment supporting spirits. Elsewhere in the room was Ithero and his guardian Absol, former students and researchers under Birch who were there helping with and observing the ceremony. There was also a traveling mage who had been given permission to observe, a young woman named Marie whom May hadn't gotten much of a chance to talk to yet (she didn't even know what to call the girl's guardian; the Pokemon seemed to be little more than a swaying candle with a violet flame).
Although there was concern about the safety of this year's event, the professor did a good job of masking that. “Good morning,” he said, smiling at them. “Some you you might recognize me as Professor Birch, a simple Pokemon researcher, as well as my dear guardian Basil here.”
“Cuurrrooo,” the Meganium said in a kind gesture. He was soon looking back to the device, though.
“My student Ithero over there and my daughter May are here to help me out, so listen if they have instructions for you while I'm handling something else. Also with us is a guest from Sinnoh, Marie, here to learn about our region's traditions. But I'm sure you're not here for lessons and lectures, at least, not yet. We'll be getting right into this, although I do want to remind you that there's still a chance that a guardian may not appear to you today. Even if that should happen, you have all proven yourselves to have a talent for magic. Perhaps one will come for you another year, or there may be a different calling in your life.
“Now, I have been preparing for the summoning of the guardians. I hope you have as well. These Pokemon will become your lifelong partners, growing up with you and guiding you through the mysteries of magic. These spirits may be angels, or they may be a reflection of your soul. There are still mysteries surrounding the guardian Pokemon, but one thing that has always been clear is that you and your guardian will come to be so close that it is like being one being in two. Learn about your guardian and you will learn about yourself.
“When your guardian appears, May will give you your first spellbook, where you can record the runic forms of spells you learn, or make notes about them. More importantly, there is a piece of parchment inside the front cover of the book. Remove it and write the name of yourself and your guardian on the top. An oath will appear there; you will need to swear to it and sign it with your guardian in order to confirm your bond. You should keep track of this oath paper to remind yourself of it, either in the spellbook or in another safe place.”
At this point, he looked back to his own guardian. Basil nodded, ready to being as well.
“Let's move ahead with this. Please remain quiet, both without and within so as not to disturb the spirits invited here.” Birch faced the potential mages, putting his hands together at his chest and looking down. “Come forth, spirits of magic. Come forth, the slumbering star Jirachi. Today we gather to honor the alliance between Pokemon and humans. We thank thee for accepting us and assisting us throughout the ages. Today, we ask for the assistance of the guardian spirits on behalf of the youths gathered here. If there is a guardian ready to come for their sake, now is the time. Jirachi, lend me the power to make their wishes come true.”
May felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand as the energy of the spirits intensified around her father and his Meganium. They were using their own magic to help the young guardians come into physical existence. Such a summoning of multiple beings took tremendous energy. That was part of the reason she came back home for this, even though she wasn't qualified. She and her mother would need to make sure Birch and Basil could recover from it.
“Shara,” he said, waving one of the girls to come forward. “The spirit of a guardian has called your name. Take my hand.”
Once she did, a green glow appeared from Birch's hand. It passed to Shara, then turned yellow before moving aside and growing. An Electrike appeared beside them; she looked briefly puzzled, then looked up at her new partner excitedly.
“May you find great blessings together,” Birch said, letting her go then waiting to see who to call next.
May picked up one of the spellbooks and a pen, then went over to waved Shara and her Electrike guardian aside to give the items to them. The new mage seemed excited too, but she kept it quiet for now and opened up the book. After thinking for a moment, she wrote two names across the top of the page.
The oath then appeared on the parchment. From what she'd seen and heard, May knew it wasn't always the same. For instance, this one didn't seem to mention one of the local Pokemon gods but she knew her father's mentioned Rayquaza. 'By the principles of honesty and honor, I solemnly swear to assist, protect, and guide my partner for all of our lives. Together, we will seek the meanings of tradition and how we shall work with it while pursuing our own dreams. We will seek to remain moral and responsible with the use of magic.' The girl signed her agreement to this oath on the bottom of the page, while the Electrike did the same by burning an image of her paw on the paper with her electrical powers.
Although, May only caught glimpses of this. She had to be handing out the spellbooks and pens, as well as listening in in case her father needed her to get something else for him.
Note: The oath will be personalized to each person, but of similar structure and the same last line. It will focus on ideals the mage has, with something addressing their goals and/or their weaknesses. The guardian will mark their signature however he/she/it can.
If your character isn't attending the ceremony or is not around Littleroot, at least keep them in the same time frame. Sydney and Glacia are also around Littleroot, helping Drake keep the ceremony from being interrupted. Caine, as noted by May, is looking for rare or unusual Pokemon on Route 101.