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 Young Volcanoes, We are wild [Event]
Amissa
 Posted: May 26 2018, 04:44 PM
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Dear Diary,

Today Tank and I went through Oreburgh Gate. This is our first real test until we reach the Oreburgh Gym and battle with the gym leader there. The cave is dark and dank, but there’s no way to forward but through. As long as Tank is with me, I know we’ll be okay. My mother used to tell me “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. I think that’s a fancy way of saying that there’s much to be gained from being brave in times when we feel afraid.

--Summer Sharp


Soren would argue later that he never intended to go to Onix Peak. It wasn’t something he’d planned. In fact, it was practically an accident, and he could hardly be held responsible for the events that brought him to the mountain. A group of men, outsiders to Crater City, were in town to buy supplies. Soren was out in the city with Genesis, enjoying a short lunch break between deliveries. He’d happened to overhear one of the men just a little, just one word. “Omega”

Naturally, Soren pretended not to hear anything and mind his own business, but his curiosity was peaked instantly. At that moment, Soren kept a careful eye on these men while being equally careful to ensure that none of them saw him. There were moments when it helped that Soren looked exceedingly plain. He looked too small to be important, too poor to be worth impressing or robbing, and too young to know anything valuable. Genesis, however, was far too beautiful to be stealthy in Soren’s opinion and he recalled her into her ball so she wouldn't blow his cover.

Omega, Soren knew, was a witch. He lived in the mountains with his men, digging deep in the tunnels there to find a way into the other universe. The “suffering universe” it was called in Terrene, the world from which all immigrants came. Soren thought of his mother’s diary and of the horrific disasters she had to live through. She’d documented quite a few of them, and Soren couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to go back to a place like that. Omega was likely to kill everyone in Terrene with his witchcraft experiments. It was awfully bold of them to come to Crater City to restock. It would be their undoing. All Soren needed to do was alert a peace officer, and maybe they’d be arrested.

Of course, no one would believe him unless he had proof. It was too easy to simply say Soren was lying. It was a bit of a shame that so few people listened to children. He’d be called a liar and everyone would have a laugh about the silly story the little boy made up. They had to have something that he could show as proof though, if he could just get into their wagon. Slowly, carefully, Soren edged nearer and nearer the wagon. The supplies were covered with a thick white canvas cloth, and in the brief second Soren found it unguarded, he threw himself into the back beneath the cloth.

Ha, victory! Was what he thought before the canvas was lifted slightly and Soren found himself nearly crushed by a heavy wooden box. Luckily, whoever loaded the cargo hadn’t looked too closely at whatever was already inside. Unluckily, they shoved hard on the box to make it fit in the wagon and squished Soren tight between it and another large container of goods. That meant that Soren was trapped. The box was too heavy for him to move by himself, so unless he called out to one of witch’s flunkies and begged to be released, he was along for the ride. A feeling of cold terror crept into his stomach as the wagon began to move.

It was hours before Soren broke down and called out from the wagon for rescue, and by then it was far too late. The men and their wagon were well on the way to the mountains and they had no intention of turning back to Crater City just to return an accidentally abducted boy. Thankfully, they weren’t cruel or terrifying as Soren feared. In fact, they were exceedingly good humored about the entire event. It turned out that there were almost no children at all in the witch’s camp, so they found Soren’s mischievous curiosity more endearing than annoying. They shared their food with him and promised that he’d be returned to Crater City on the next wagon leaving the camp. Soren rode the rest of the way to Omega’s camp on top of the wagon instead of smashed inside of it. Along the way, Soren began to feel much less terrified and more and more thrilled at this unexpected adventure. Speaking to Omega's workers had helped soothe many of the boy's fears about the witch, such as that he was sacrificing the blood of children deep in the mountain to the legendary god pokemon for passage back into the Suffering Universe. If there were human sacrifices going on, there wouldn't be such a need for tools used for digging through rock. There would only be knives and maybe some mops to clean up the mess.

He was disappointed upon reaching the camp to learn that he wouldn’t get to meet the witch in person. However, he was elated to learn that there was a group of two other boys who had recently arrived and intended to explore the cave. They had a mission of course, to dig up iron for the witch to perform his magic. However, Soren had often looked up at the mountains and longed to explore the tunnels inside. This was finally his chance! And if they allowed other boys his age to go in, then surely it couldn’t be too difficult.

Soren was the first one waiting at the meeting point at the mouth of the tunnel. He'd happily discovered that one of his pokemon, Nimbus his mareep, had a tail that could act like a lantern. The bulb at the end produced a dim yellow glow. It wasn't much, but once their eyes adjusted to the darkness, it would be enough to get them through.

"I don't think going in that tunnel is such a good idea," Nimbus bleated piteously, looking into the ominous darkness ahead.

"We'll need you to light the way. As diurnal mammals, our eyesight is best in the light. That will put us at a strategic disadvantage against cave dwelling pokemon. With your light, however, the wild cave pokemon might be the ones disadvantaged or at the very least it will even our odds." Genesis hummed as she patiently waited for the rest of the group. She was eager to begin. She wanted to see how and why humans engaged in this strange digging activity. She wasn't afraid of the pokemon that might attack either. She felt confident in her abilities as a fighter. She paused for a moment and thought. "Then again, your light may attract and anger the native cave pokemon here too. Aw, well."

Nimbus trembled and moved nearer to Soren.

------------------------

Unbeknownst to Soren, his father had been worried sick. When Soren wasn’t home by nightfall on the day that he left, Gaspar has worried some. However, it wasn’t out of character for Soren to lose track of time doing something or other or even to skip meals. Gaspar briefly checked the barn and around the rest of the farm, and then went to bed, telling himself that his boy would surely be back by breakfast the next morning.

When Soren was still not back by the next morning, Gaspar knew something was truly wrong. There was a process to follow, so Gaspar didn’t outright panic. The other farm workers checked the farm up and down (again), and Gaspar informed the peace officer on duty. The peace officer informed the other peace officers and Gaspar was assured that the child would likely be located by that night as long as he was still in the city. However, Soren was not in the city, and he was not found by the time the sun set that night.

To Gaspar, his worst fears had at last been realized. Soren was his only child, the child of himself and his one true love. Gaspar loved his boy more than he loved life itself, but he didn’t fool himself into believing he was perfect as a parent. Often, he feared that he wasn’t even adequate. He rarely had time to spend with Soren, and when he did he barely had the energy for much more than a short conversation. Now, he was sure that Soren must have run away, and if he had it was surely Gaspar’s fault for failing him as a father. His heart was breaking as he took Destiny out and into the city, clinging to one last hope.

Gaspar knew that Soren had been spending time with one of Crater City’s ambassadors, Avery Aster. Gaspar didn’t know how or why his son had managed to catch the attention of anyone so high up Beta’s social hierarchy, but now was not the time for those questions anyhow. He struggled to find the man’s house. While Soren knew every alley and side street in Crater City, Gaspar almost never even left the farm. His reading wasn’t the best either. He hadn’t practiced his letters since Soren’s mother died, and his eyesight had grown so bad that he had to squint to make out the delicate lines of writing of street names carved into the sides of brick buildings. He found the place eventually, however, and the desperate, nervous man knocked on the ambassador’s door to see if the man had seen Soren or if he knew where the boy might have gone. If the ambassador chose to help look for Soren, Gaspar would offer anything and everything he could in order to be of assistance. This included Destiny, the sawsbuck he’d inherited from Soren’s dead mother. Destiny was docile and obedient, and she was trained to carry a rider. She might make a suitable mount to take the large man wherever he needed to go as long as Avery could stand her sad eyes and disinterest.

@Shasyu@Sev@Rixie

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Sev
 Posted: May 27 2018, 02:05 PM
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Vexel Xavier Mitore
Korvin Mitore knew Omega. Or at least that's what his young son had understood when his father had said he was taking a trip to the Mountains beyond the reaches of the great forest to visit Omega's camp. Of course, what Vex believed and what was actually true were very different. Korvin Mitore had never met nor had he ever seen the one that people called 'Omega'. The truth was that one of Korvin's closest friends had been aiding in the search for metal and had been grievously injured in a collapse of one of the tunnels. The only person the man could think of to contact was Korvin and when a long-distance messenger had arrived to relay the news, Korvin had immediately agreed to travel to Omega's camp and see what, if anything, he could do to be of help to his friend.

Vex, of course, had never been beyond the forest. At only fifteen and, until recently, lacking a pokemon partner, he'd only ever traveled with his father in the forest itself. But now that he'd met and made friends with a pokemon of his own, Vex had begged and pleaded to be allowed to join his father on his trip. Since Korvin would be there to accompany his son and Vex did now have a pokemon of his own, there was little argument against allowing the boy to travel to the mountains where Omega's camp was located. So they'd set out from their small village and made the long journey from Forest Beach to the Rolling Mountains. Vex got his first look at the vast expanse of Lion's Plains and a distant glimpse of the Cloven Volcano and Onix Peak. They paused for supplies in Crater City, though Vex was given strict instructions to remain by their borrowed wagon and not to run off so he didn't get to see much of it.

Omega's camp was nothing like Vex had imagined. When he'd heard the word 'expedition' he'd imagined a large group of people and lots of tents and pokemon, much like a miniature city in the mountains. As it turned out, the camp was smaller than he'd thought and a lot quieter than the 'city of tents' he'd imagined. He could say with perfect certainty that Omega's camp was smaller than Forest Beach Village. But it was no less exciting than he'd imagined. Onix Peak loomed above them making the Rolling Mountains behind them look like Diglett hills. There were pokemon he'd never seen before and his father let him borrow his pokedex to look them up while they found the location of the medical tent.

Unfortunately, the news of his father's friend was not good. Infection had set in to the man's wounds and he wasn't expected to survive. There was no way he could travel back to Forest Beach to recover, the stress of traveling would kill him faster than the infection did. Whit decisions needing to be made, Korvin opted to stay a couple extra days in Omega's camp to discuss options with the medics and his friend. Which meant Vex had time to explore and investigate. He'd taken his dad's pokedex and had wandered the camp looking up every strange and unusual creature he found. When he stumbled into an area of the camp where Mudbray and Ponyta were pulling small carts of metals here and there, he stopped to ask questions about where it had all come from, why Omega needed it and so on.

He returned to his father later than afternoon to announce that he'd been told he could go into the tunnels the next day. Vex assured his father that the man he'd spoken to said it was safe for him to go in and that there would be someone else with him. Though Korvin was worried for his son, he also wouldn't stop him from doing a bit of exploring. The next day, Vex was informed that he'd be accompanied into the tunnels by two other young men. He decided to keep that fact to himself when he said goodbye to his father. All Korvin needed to know was that he would be with two others and there was, after all, safety in numbers right?

Armed with his few supplies and his knife, as well as the pickaxe and assorted mining supplies that Omega's people had provided for him, Vex set off for the tunnel entrance. His Emolga, Donut, was draped across his shoulder making himself as small as possible. He did not like this place. There was rock everywhere and not enough trees or shrubs to hide in if a bird were to see him and think he looked like a tasty snack. He remembered all too well what happened if a bird wanted you as it's meal. He remembered the squeal that was abruptly cut off as the Fletchinder swooped in and carried its sibling away. In the forest he was confident he could take care of himself and escape into some hidey hole where he would be safe. Out here, he would have to rely on this young human for safety. He didn't like it, but he didn't have a choice. "It's okay Donut. Look, there's one of the other boys and he's got pokemon too. We'll be fine." Vex told the Emolga who wasn't certain what all the boy had said but it recognized 'okay' and 'fine' as words that were good things. And the boy didn't seem afraid but for now, Donut was going to stay right where he was and not draw attention to himself if he could avoid it.

Vex, of course, was eager to meet someone his own age from somewhere other than Forest Beach. He had so many question. Where was he from? What was life like there? Did he like it? How had he met his first pokemon? As he drew closer, Vex set the mining supplies down and gave a small wave to the other boy. "Hiya! My name is Vex and this is Donut. What's your name?" He questioned, glancing at the two pokemon near the other boy. One he recognized as a Mareep, there were a couple kept in Forest Beach for their wool, but the other was unfamiliar to him. "That's such a cool pokemon! I've never seen one like it before." He commented, making a small motion toward Genesis. Donut's ears twitched at the sound of his name but he wasn't being addressed so he glanced at the other pokemon. The tallest one looked calm and confident. The other was still bigger than he was but smaller than the other one. He could sense electricity from her so he knew she was an electric type like himself but he didn't speak to her.

@Rixie @Shasyu @Amissa
Team Info:
- Health: 100%; I've got a bad feeling about this

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Shasyu
 Posted: May 28 2018, 10:40 PM
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Ben Shepherd | Native | Age 15

Finally arriving to the entrance of the cavern, the young boy and his pig were standing together, staring into the void as it stretched far into the mountain. Ben had never been through a cave before and he wasn't sure how he and his pokemon were going to be able to handle it. The little tepig that sat at his side was frightened of nearly everything. Chances are she was going to get them in trouble with her squeeling. If not by that then definitely from being no support.

The farmer was informed that he'd be doing this job with others his age. That was mostly a relief since they were likely more experienced than he was. He wouldn't be shocked if they all were. Ben didn't really have much training and got by pretty fortunately. Hopefully this job would be exactly what the boy needed to get his feet wet in facing true danger.

Ben waited by the entrance of the cave. He hoped he wasn't too late. The boy looked around to notice the other two trainers seeming all ready to go. The tepig was nervous. She hoped they were not about to go into this dark tunnel. If she never saw daylight again she'd have a heart attack.

Ben bent down to be closer to the little pig. "It'll be alright girl. We got plenny uh friends ta help us out with this one," he said petting the fire type on the head. She felt a little comfort at the touch of his hand. He was good for helping her feel safer. Still She wished they could head back to the ranch where she had plenty of placed to hide and plenty of food to eat.

It was probably a good idea to introduce himself but he was anxious. He'd wait to be noticed, himself. @Rixie @Sev @Amissa


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Rixie
 Posted: May 29 2018, 12:59 PM
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When the somewhat older man knocked, Avery had been resting in his room, contemplating what he should spend the next day doing. Perhaps he’d best work on team building exercises. With the new acquisitions to his team, there was a strong risk of them starting to lose cohesion. They needed to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, if they were going to operate as a unit. He laid in bed, fully clothed, with his white coat curled around him.

His mother skipped to the door and opened it, and he overhead a low, upset conversation. He closed his eyes. No doubt someone had brought a complaint or perhaps an orphaned Pokémon to Rachel. He heard her muffled voice through the wall, a shocked and horrified exclamation. She spoke urgently, then there were a spattering of footsteps. Something crashed into his door, and a low, guttural growl erupted on the other side of it.

Avery opened his eyes and stood up, opening the door to see Wave with a fierce snarl on her face. She turned on her heel and headed towards the front door, glancing back to make sure Avery would follow. He was a bit annoyed at having his thoughts and plans interrupted, but he complied anyways. It sounded important.

It was. Gaspar introduced himself as Soren’s father, and filled him in, causing Avery to frown darkly. Surely Soren wouldn’t run away, right? He had a streak of stubbornness and independence that could be expected of someone his age, but it wasn’t that extreme, so Avery believed. That left abduction or... Avery refused to acknowledge that last thought. It would only cause unnecessary panic.

”Ave, you have to look for him! You have to find Soren!” Rachel’s turquoise eyes were shining with empathetic tears. She turned back to Gaspar and reached out to grasp the man’s hand. If he let her, she squeezed it tightly and spoke earnestly, ”Don’t worry. We will find him.”

Avery nodded, ”Give me three minutes to gather my Pokémon and supplies.” In two minutes, he was packed and pulling his sword over his bag. Gaspar offered the assistance of Destiny, but Avery hesitated when he saw the corpselike quietude in her eyes. He suppressed a shudder by looking away with a cold glaze in his eyes. It reminded him all too much of his father’s Percival. And it wasn’t pleasant. Still, the trail he was to follow was already two or three days old. If he was going to find Soren, he may need a mount.

He thanked Gaspar and took Destiny’s pokeball. He would rather begin his inquiries without a depressed-looking Pokemon in tow. Carnation and Bluebell, however, might be useful. Bluebell knew his scent, and her keen cat senses just might be able to pick it up, though it wasn’t going to be easy after two days.

Avery began his inquiry with the delivery route. It was easy to figure out where he had gotten to. The people who hadn’t received their deliveries were concerned or angry, so it didn’t take long before he narrowed it down to which street the boy must have disappeared on, and it was, of course, one of the busiest market streets.

He began the tedious process of asking every shopkeep and passerby if they had seen the boy. Bluebell sniffed along the dusty ground, but dozens, if not a few hundred, carts and people had passed through here in the last forty eight hours. Avery even described the rare Pokémon the boy had been with, the Girafarig that surely must stand out, even if he boy did not. Finally, that seemed to do the trick.

“Ohhhh... that big long-necked, yellow deer-thing Pokémon? Why didn’t you say so to begin with! Yeah I saw it. It was with a boy. The boy sucked it into its pokeball and then crawled into a cart. ‘Twas one of those covered carts we keep seeing coming in from the witch’s camp!” grinned a slack-jawed young man.

Avery felt as though all the veins in his face would burst, and it took immense effort to keep his voice calm. He took a deep breath and glared directly into the young man’s face as he spoke, ”So. You saw a boy climb into the back of a cart and you said... nothing?”

The man realized his mistake and stammered, “N-Now hold on here just a second. I just didn’t think nothing of it! I-I saw that when the cart started moving, the boy didn’t even try to yell or call out his Pokémon, s-so I figured he had everything under control and whatnot-“

Unable to quell his wrath any longer, Avery roared, ”You saw the cart leave with him?! And you. Said. NOTHING?!” He shook with barely constrained rage at the sheer carelessness and incomprehensible incompetence of this man. He couldn’t even speak out with a quiet “Ahem” when he saw someone accidentally kidnapping a child. Avery turned away from the man and covered his face with one hand. He ground his teeth in frustration.

The man was cowering and an involuntary whimper left his mouth, “S-Sorry... So sorry... Sorry...” Carnation shot an angry red glare at the man, who promptly shut up with a squeak.

Avery struggled to regain his composure. His hand still covering his face, he deliberately unclenched his jaw and took several deep breaths. After a few seconds, he spoke with a carefully calm and collected tone, though he still covered his face”Next time you see a crime or grave mistake occurring, at least call for a peace officer.”

Bluebell picked up the boy’s scent again by the time they made their way out of the city. Sure enough, the trail led directly towards the Rolling Mountains. Avery had secretly hoped that the man had seen wrong, or somehow gotten mixed up about which cart he had seen. At least he knew where Soren was heading, though. He recalled his Pokémon and sighed before allowing Destiny to come out of her pokeball. The deer was quiet, and did not move or complain as he leaned and pushed himself up onto her back. It was a bit weird, but he figured she was strong and she could carry him at least a bit faster than he could manage on his own. She could probably even catch up with the cart, albeit not for a while.

There was a coarse screech and a medium sized gray bird came tumbling out of the sky and landed on Avery’s shoulder with a furious beating of his wings. A small cloth was wrapped tightly around his leg. Avery frowned and grabbed the cloth, pulling it off and straightening it to read Rachel’s minuscule handwriting: “Wing will tell me when you’ve found him.”

He sighed. Of course Rachel would send her eyes-and-ears bird Pokémon to follow him. Wing gave a cheerful caw, and he stared disapprovingly at the Staravia before urging Destiny forward and heading towards the Rolling Mountains.

———

Two days’ headstart was too much for him to catch up, but he did manage to arrive in the camp presumably just a bit after the cart full of supplies. He found a man unloading the goods, and he dismounted so he could properly stomp over to him. He dropped a large, heavy hand on the man's shoulder, "Oi."

The man started and whirled around, shaking free from the heavy weight, "Oh! Um... C-Can I help you?" Holy crap he's huge. Why is he so angry? What did I do? he cast his gaze about, trying to get someone's attention.

"Where's the boy?"

"Th-The boy? Oh! From Crater! I-Is he your son? I'm so sorry! He's fine, though! He's just checking out some of the tunnels with a few other boys!" he jerked his thumb towards the gaping holes in the mountainside.

"He what." Avery's mouth got stuck in a half-open grimace. Of all the stupid things... "No, he's not my son. But you... You let him go into a tunnel? Unprotected?!" he grabbed the man by the collar of his shirt and yanked him closer to his snarling face. The man's shoes dragged along the ground with the violent motion and he ended up dangling uncomfortably half an inch off the ground, kicking out with his legs to try to right himself and face the enormous, thoroughly pissed off man with some semblance of dignity.

"He'll be fine! He went into the tunnel with the least metal and large Pokemon, and he's got two whole other boys with him!" he protested weakly as he flailed out and grabbed Avery's thick arm which was starting to lift him higher into the air effortlessly.

"H-Hey! Unhand him!" cried an alarmed voice. Suddenly, scientists, Pokemon, and a few other various lackeys came running as they noticed what was happening. Avery's eyes shifted to the sides. There were a lot of them. And he wasn't actually here to fight. He just needed to grab Soren and get back to Crater City.

Avery let out a slow breath and lowered the man, dropping him after his shoes touched the ground. He collapsed in a heap of nerves and adrenaline. He called to the Sawsbuck, and the Staravia who nervously flapped her wings, "Destiny, come get in your pokeball until I've sorted this mess out. Wing, go tell Rachel that I've found the boy. You." He pointed at a random onlooker. "Tell me where this tunnel is. I'll go fetch him and bring him home."

Soon, Avery was traipsing over to the tunnel, still glowering. Carnation was out, at his side, but the rest of the Pokemon were safely put away. He thought he saw three figures standing around at the mouth of the cave, and he shouted, "Boy!" Was he too far away to be heard? He kept walking quickly towards the cave in case they didn't hear him. Or ignored him. At that age, he probably would've ignored a man like himself.

@Amissa

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Amissa
 Posted: May 31 2018, 07:51 AM
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The first boy that arrived was quite a bit taller than Soren, but he looked young despite his height. Soren felt abruptly self-conscious of his brand and messy hair, and brought one hand up to lower his hat a bit further on his head. He wanted these boys to like him, but Soren wasn't exactly aces at making friends. Even without unhelpful rumors getting in the way, Soren was often considered a bit odd. This was a fact he was aware of, but he had no idea how to hide or fix it. Thus, as soon as Vex arrived, Soren was already nervous.

He wished very badly to impress these boys, so when Vex gave him a bright greeting and complimented Genesis, Soren felt a wave of hope lifting him up. He gave the older boy a cheerful smile. "My name is Soren. My girafarig's name is Genesis, and my mareep's name is Nimbus. We're from Crater City." Soren was just finishing his introduction as the second boy walked up. This boy was blonde, but Soren noted with some disappointment that he was about the same size as Vex. This left Soren as the smallest of the group, a position he was sadly familiar with.

"Hi!" Soren was about to ask Ben what his name was when another voice caught his attention. He didn't recognize it as the ambassador's, and nor could he make out the adults standing far away back at the camp. Soren had no reason to suspect that Avery would be out here in the mountains. However, he did recognize it as "angry adult voice" and took it as a sign to leave fast. If the ambassador had called Soren by his name, he might have stopped and stood still. Such is the power that names have. However, "boy" could apply to any one of the three and anyone could judge by the tone that whoever the word was directed at was in loads of trouble. "Let's talk more inside. We'd better get started."

Soren then hurried inside the tunnel. He came back out for a moment, realizing that Nimbus was not following. Then he picked up the lamb and carried him back inside the cave, letting the bulb on the mareep's tail light his way. Genesis walked beside Soren, pleased to finally be making some progress. She was also eager to observe the group dynamics of the boys. She'd never yet witnessed a group of adolescent humans on their own. These humans appeared to be nearing the cusp of adulthood, and they would make excellent specimens for her research.

If the boys came along, Soren would lead the way and try to pick up where he left off with Ben as they walked. "My name's Soren. Who are you?" Soren recognized the tepig right away, though they weren't very common pokemon. Some farms raised them, and Soren knew they evolved into a powerful fire and fighting type pokemon. Soren wondered if the blonde teen lived on a farm like he did. The other boy, Vex, had an emolga. Soren had definitely heard of those, but he hadn't seen one. They normally lived in places with more trees, so the plains wasn't a favorite habitat of theirs. Maybe Vex was from a place with trees. "Where are you guys from?"

@Sev@Shasyu@Rixie

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Sev
 Posted: May 31 2018, 11:12 PM
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Vexel Xavier Mitore
As he'd approached, Vex had caught a brief glimpse of some sort of marking on the shorter boy's forehead. He hadn't gotten a clear enough look to determine what the mark was and considering the boy had adjusted his had to hide it better, he decided not to ask. It was probably not something he wanted to talk about it he was trying to hide it, after all. The boy didn't seem shy when he spoke at least, introducing himself and his pokemon. And they were from Crater? Was that mark he'd seen one of the brands his father had told him about? Vex had so many questions about Crater City and what life was like there. But now was not the time to ask them, even though Vex really wanted to. Maybe there would be time later. "A...ger...gar...Girafarig?" Vex stumbled some over the unfamiliar name, pronouncing it slowly to get a feel for it. It was...a weird name for sure and Genesis was much, much easier to pronounce! He would have asked more about Genesis but Soren had turned to a third boy that had approached.

Soren hadn't had much chance to do more than say 'hi' to the new arrival when an angry, adult male voice made him look back up toward the camp. Had his father heard that he was entering the tunnels with only boys his own age? Had he changed his mind about letting him go into the tunnels? A quick scan of the group of adults and he was certain that it was not his father shouting and that was enough for him to turn and ignore whatever was going on. If Korvin ahdn't called him, it was clearly none of his concern. And Soren seemed to feel the same as he suggested that they get moving into the tunnels. "Sure! We don't have caves like this back home. I wonder what sort of things we'll find in there." He knew that 'Omega' wanted any metal they found but that if they found anything else of interest they got to keep it. He didn't know what 'anything of interest' might describe but his mind conjured up images of treasures and rare items like evolution stones. Maybe...maybe he could find a Fire Stone to give to his father so that Wolf could evolve into an Arcanine!

With that thought in mind, Vex turned to follow Soren into the tunnel. He paused briefly when the younger boy went back out only to return carrying the Mareep. Nimbus didn't look too thrilled to be going into the tunnel but they would need the light from her tail to see where they were going. Donut didn't seem particularly excited either but all he did was hunker down a bit more on Vex's shoulder. When Soren addressed the other boy, Vex glanced over his shoulder and gave him a smile. "I'm Vex and this is my buddy Donut. We're from Forest Beach. This is the first time I've ever traveled this far from home. The farthest I've been before this is Ashfield. I went there with my parents once" But he hadn't had much opportunity to explore. He'd been too young to be allowed to go into the forest by himself, especially one as strange and unfamiliar as the jungle around Ashfield. So he'd been stuck seeing only the parts of the city his parents went to. Maybe he'd travel there again some day now that he was older and he had a pokemon of his own.

@Rixie @Shasyu @Amissa
Team Info:
- Health: 100%; I've got a bad feeling about this

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Shasyu
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 07:59 PM
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Temp


[post counted]
Ben Shepherd | Native | Age 15

Ben just observed as the boys introduced themselves. They seemed like they were okay guys but he was still cautious. The boy always thought he'd be outgoing and super friendly when it came to a chance to make friends but standing there in person was a lot tougher than he could have imagined. At least he wasn't as intimidated as the tepig.

It didn't take very long for one of the other boys to approach him. He immediately straightened up as the shortest of the kids greeted him. He was younger but his pokemon was a lot taller than the other two boys had. This long necked pokemon was cute but also threatening as Ben noticed what seemed like an eye on the tip of its tail.

The boy's name was Soren and not only did he have a girafarig, who's name was Genesis, but there was a familiar pokemon by his side. It was a mareep! But it wasn't just any sheep. This was that his father bred. Had the kid worked on his father's farm to earn one as a companion? Ben immediately felt more comfortable knowing this."I'm Ben," he replied. He shot the Vexel a glance to let him know he was also talking to him as well.

Vexel had a white and black rodent who he called donut. This wasn't a creature Ben was familiar with but it was cute as well. It was really difficult for the blonde to find any pokemon anything but appealing to the eye. Ben waved at him, trying to shove Tepig from behind him so she could do something of an introduction.

He was about to introduce the tepig who was hiding behind his leg when the sudden voice of a man shot from behind them. Tepig and Ben both flinched at the authoritative man. Ben didn't know who this person was but he seemed upset and calm at the same time. It was like when his dad caught him in a lie and wanted him to admit it without being asked to. Were they in trouble or something? Was this Soren's father?

Seeing Soren head into the cave, Ben figured it was a good time to begin following him. He pushed Tepig in so she wouldn't get left behind. "C'mon girl, we'll be fine," he said reassuringly. "Sorry, she's naught exactly the bravest uh souls," he joked.

Hearing that the younger boy ask where they were from, Ben immediately wanted to respond. He wanted to see Soren's reaction when he told him. The blonde let Vexel speak first before answering. He was familiar with Ashfield and only been there a few times with his dad. Never really getting a chance to explore the city.

"I'm from a farm ina lion's plain. My Pa is Luke Shepherd," he said smugly. It would be all together disappointing if Soren didn't have a response to that but he wouldn't dwell too much on the situation.

It was probably a good idea to introduce himself but he was anxious. He'd wait to be noticed, himself.

@Rixie @Sev @Amissa


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Rixie
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 09:26 PM
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Lore


”Boy...” he seethed quietly. Carnation bristled at his master’s palpable tension and annoyance. Avery had traveled for days on an uncomfortably small (for him) mount that regarded him with all the enthusiasm of a rock, with barely any stopping, other than to grab a few hours of sleep during the darkest parts of the night. He hadn’t had a chance to properly bathe, shave, or even eat anything other than random berries he found or the strips of unsatisfying, but sustaining, dried meat that Rachel had shoved into his backpack before he left. There was barely enough time to allow his Pokémon to hunt for their own food, so he wasn’t about to take it from them.

Avery saw the bristling fur and he took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm. None of this would matter in a few days. He would find Soren, bring him home to Gaspar and Rachel, and have a chance to recuperate. Why he was even going through all of this for a single Branded boy... No. As much as he hated to admit it, Soren was more than that. He wasn’t willing to think about it too hard, but even if Soren wasn’t anything more to him... he was to his mother. Avery ignored, but did not miss, the teary look in Rachel’s eyes when she saw him off, and he knew she wouldn’t send Wing to follow him unless it was truly important to her.

With quick, long strides, Avery reached the mouth of the tunnel within just a few minutes. He hesitated, wanting to bring out Anthuria, but realizing that she might not exactly be fond of being underground again so soon after her rather traumatic experience with the Geodude. He would have to just hope that the scientist wasn’t lying when he said the Pokémon in this tunnel were mostly younger and weaker. He sighed heavily, and peered into the darkness ahead. He couldn’t see the boys anymore; they had gotten several minutes headstart on him. Still, he thought he heard the sound of children’s voices echoing deep within the tunnel.

There were no other options. He tapped Bluebell’s pokeball, and she emerged in a flash of light. Her fur sparked and she sniffed the ground, quickly recognizing Soren’s scent. Leading the way with her claws out and tapping against the rough, mined stone, Bluebell created small sparks every time she took a step, lighting the way for Avery and Carnation. Avery hoped he would find the boys before it was too late.

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Kaien
 Posted: Jun 7 2018, 04:44 PM
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Admin


@Amissa @Sev @Shasyu @Rixie

As the boys started heading into the tunnels, there wasn't any sound to be heard aside from those they were making themselves. That, and the booming voice calling behind them. Where they might have expected pokemon, there were none. Though, that wasn't to say there weren't any signs of them having been here. Chipped rocks here and there, scratches and uneven indents in the floor - not the kind that were natural, from the looks of it. Though it was sparse, it was clear that something had been happening here. There was a bit of a rock sticking out and a piece of torn cloth hanging off of it.

The cloth was small, having only been a small piece of whatever it was taken from. The fabric itself was hard, durable even. Not much different than the feel of those which made up their clothes. More so in pants than tops, but somewhat familiar feeling nonetheless. For the moment, there was nothing in sight to show where it had come from. And there were still no sounds from up ahead to signal that the person or creature that left the cloth behind was nearby. They'd be free to continue a bit further into the tunnel without being interrupted.

Just a bit further, and they'd start to see more indications of... something fierce having happened.

[CW: Bit of Gore]

There was another piece of fabric - but this was different than the last. The toughness marked something that would be used for a belt, or a sack. Something much more strong and uncomfortable to wear than clothes. Then, there was a bit of red just a couple feet from it. The deep red bits were like something had been dripping, and it continued a few feet forward into the tunnel. There was a gash in the wall, that was stained with dried dark red as well. If the boys were familiar with blood, it was relatively easy to identify. The trail stopped for a moment, but picked up a couple feet ahead on the ground, with a strip of haphazardly torn white cloth lying on the ground, a quarter of it stained red.

It was only moments after they found the trail that they'd see it. Amidst a much larger pool of blood that was resting against the wall was a small, rodent-like pokemon. Its body was pinkish-purple, dark blood staining from injuries that it had sustained. They blended with the dark, purplish spots on its body, though which were natural and which were bruising was hard to discern. It lay in a pool of its blood, which wasn't running any longer. However, it was clear that it was still somewhat fresh of a kill. If they checked, they would find the nidoran had no pulse. There was no bringing this creature back now.

It had been thrown against the wall, if the blood splattered against the hard rocky edges was anything to speak to it. The pokemon's body had sustained some slashing cuts, but brute trauma as well. Whether it was the creature that hit the wall or some other not-yet-found soul was unclear. There was a rumbling coming from the tunnel, indicating that there were rocks or something similar being moved around. But whatever was making the noise was too far off yet, and certainly wasn't near enough to notice or attack them. It was only if they ventured further, with or without the strong older man, that they'd find anything troublesome they'd have to deal with. And, perhaps, the cause of this poor creature's death.


a wild Nidoran♂ has appeared!
level ded ◒ male ◒ ability unknown ◒ moves unknown
0% health. RIP
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Amissa
 Posted: Jun 8 2018, 04:36 AM
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Player


“Yeah, we don’t have much as far as caves either, just grass and dirt really. This is my first time leaving the city, except that one time I went on the plain to capture Genesis.” Soren happily chattered away to the other boys. He giggled a bit when Ben described his tepig as rather cowardly. If he was completely honest, he might confess that he wasn’t very brave either. At least, he didn’t feel like it. He was however, prone to sporadic bursts of courage at inconvenient moments that seemed to land him in danger.

"Nimbus isn't very brave either, but he's still really little too," Soren said, cuddling the mareep lamb as he walked. Nimbus buried his face in Soren's shirt as though he couldn't stand to even look at the rock walls around them. The bulb on Nimbus's tail lit the area immediately around the boys but did little to illuminate anything further in the cave. Soren looked up and gave Ben a bright smile as he mentioned who his father was. "Oh, I got Nimbus from Luke Sheppard's farm. Your dad sure was nice to give me a discount for helping out. I didn't know he had a son. Will you tell him I'm taking real good care of the mareep he sold me?"

Despite Nimbus's reluctance, it was clear just be looking that he was indeed healthy and well looked after. He was clean and well-fed with a short coat of fluffy yellow wool. Being so young, he wasn't quite as puffy looking as full-grown mareep and he couldn't generate much electricity. Genesis too, looked in excellent condition. Her coat was sleek and shiny from Soren's devoted grooming, but she too was young with a lot to learn about her own power and potential.

Soren looked all around at the walls of the cave as they went and his interest was shared by Genesis. For once, he and his girafarig were perfectly in sync wondering about what kind of force could create such a tunnel through the solid rock of the mountain. Soren thought maybe he'd pick up a rock or two since they were here so he could examine them more closely later. Genesis, however, was becoming concerned. They'd been walking for a bit and hadn't found any sign of pokemon present. Besides the teenager's talking, there were no pokemon noises at all. On the plain where she was from, that was always a sign of danger. When a predator was nearby, all the other pokemon went quiet and hid. That was the feeling she was getting right now, that there was a predator on the prowl.

Genesis stopped for a moment and turned her long neck to look behind them. Her ears were pricked straight up, and her nostrils flared as she caught the scent of a carnivorous pokemon. Then, almost as quickly, the girafarig calmed and her ears wilted and relaxed. She went back to following her trainer, having barely missed a step. Genesis had powerful olfactory senses, and not just on her first head. She had eyes and olfactory chemo-receptors on both ends of her body, and she recognized Bluebell's scent and saw the sparks from her paws as she walked. If the luxio was present in the tunnel with them, that would explain why weaker pokemon would flee or go quiet. It might also ensure that they could explore the cave without too much interruption from pests.

While Genesis was concerned with the potential threat from behind, Soren was beginning to discover some concerning indications at the front of the group. He slowed to a near stop as he looked closely at the scuffs and scratches. They certainly didn't look naturally occurring, but surely wild pokemon lived in these tunnels and probably they fought among themselves sometimes. It wasn't until he found a torn bit of cloth that he realized that a human must have been involved. Not too many pokemon wore clothes. Soren had stopped speaking entirely at this point, and even as he moved to look more closely as the jutting rock and the cloth hanging from it, he took care not to kick any debris or make any unnecessary noise.

Wrapping one arm around Nimbus tightly, he used the other to pluck the cloth up to investigate it further. Feeling it between his fingers, he couldn't quite identify the material but it seemed like the same stuff used to make pants for workers. Without saying a word, he held it out for Vex to take, giving the boy a serious look. If Vex wouldn't take it, Soren would hand it to Ben, but he intended to share this discovery with the other boys quietly. If neither took it from him, he'd shove it in one of his own pockets and move on.

Soren wasn't sure what happened here, but it felt significant. Perhaps there had been a pokemon battle, but hopefully the human owner of the fabric they found was fine and just had some torn pants. Further on, Soren found another piece of fabric. He picked this up as well, and he tested it between his thumb and forefinger. It felt tougher, and at first he couldn't think of what it might be used for. It certainly didn't feel like someone's clothes. But could it be from a bag perhaps? He would try to pass this on as well, still not speaking. Like before, he'd offer it to Vex first. Soren thought Ben seemed nice, and the two boys had farm work in common at least. However, Vex carried an air of leadership about him. Between the two older boys, Ben seemed more shy and Vex more bold judging by their brief conversation so far.

Soren was growing a bit excited, though he was too careful to shout about it. He'd already been expecting to have a day of exploring and learning to look forward to, but here was a real mystery to solve. Who did the scraps belong to, and where was the person now? What happened to them? Soren barely took a step forward before his excitement morphed into anxiety. The bulb on Nimbus's tail was beginning to reveal red marks. Soren's breathing kicked up, coming a bit louder and faster despite his attempts to be silent. He stepped over some of the red and looked back at the other boys to make sure they were seeing what he was seeing. He was almost to afraid to go any further, but at the point he had to continue. If there was someone hurt in the tunnel, they couldn't just leave them alone to die.

As Soren followed the path of gore, he eventually found another scrap of cloth. This one was stained with blood. He didn't pick this one up, and though his veins felt like they were filling with ice, he made himself continue. At what he saw next, Soren couldn't contain a soft high-pitched whimper. There was a pokemon lying in a pool of blood. It rested against the wall as though it had been thrown there. Soren was very glad that Nimbus was hiding his face, and he clutched the lamb a little tighter in his arms. Genesis though, was soon right beside him and examining the scene with her cold clinical gaze.

Soren wanted to puke, or to at least run away. He knew he should go closer to be absolutely sure that the pokemon was dead, but he'd reached the very end of his courage. He could no longer hold himself together, not even the knowledge of the other boys present was enough to keep Soren from releasing a single loud sob. He couldn't understand why he seemed to react this way when others appeared to easily move on without being bothered. He simply felt too much. He couldn't stop himself from empathizing, thinking about what the poor pokemon had endured, how frightened it must have felt, how much pain it must have been in. Did it die all alone? Was it protecting its trainer? Did it's trainer escape, but leave his loyal pokemon behind?

Soren staggered backwards several steps, his face hot as a couple tears escaped and dropped onto Nimbus's back to cause sparks of light. He bumped into something unexpectedly, and he figured it must be Vex or Ben. It felt so much bigger than either of the other boys though, but Soren didn't get much time to wonder at it. He would have thrown his arms out to correct his balance, but his arms were currently full of a frightened mareep. With just a split second to decide, Soren opted to take the fall rather than risk dropping and maybe injuring Nimbus.

Genesis paused only for a moment to observe Soren and the other humans. Soren was, as usual, overreacting to the stimulus presented. His breathing became erratic, his body wracked with muscular tremors, and he was shedding tears from his lacrimal apparatus. She'd observed this reaction many times in Soren in particular. He definitely appeared to be more prone to this behavior than the other humans, and she was beginning to suspect that it wasn't because of his youth. She wrote it off as a sign of anxiety. Anxiety which was illogical, since the stimulus present held no danger. This pokemon was already dead. It wasn't hurting anyone. She smell of its blood was overwhelming her senses, however. If she had to guess, it was killed not too long ago.

Genesis pricked her ears curiously as she heard a rumbling from deeper in the tunnel. Rocks moving around, or rock pokemon, she suspected. She had a way of dealing with rock pokemon that usually worked, but she wasn't eager to die like the nidoran. She was glad Bluebell and her trainer had arrived. With their assistance, they should hopefully be able to move forward in relative safety whenever Soren finished his panic-attack or whatever.

@Sev@Shasyu@Rixie

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Sev
 Posted: Jun 8 2018, 09:45 PM
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Player


Vexel Xavier Mitore
Vex nodded to Ben's introduction, offering the other teen a smile since he seemed a little shy. Soren, by comparison, was quite a chatterbox. Soren also said he'd never even left the city except when he'd ventured out to find Genesis. Vex wondered what it might have been like to grow up surrounded by the stone walls of the city, never leaving or seeing the grasses of the plains or the forest that lie beyond it. If he'd been raised there, he might understand it. But having been raised in Forest beach, where the ocean and forest were practically right outside his door, it seemed like a very strange way to live. He would miss the trees and the sounds of the forest pokemon or the sound of the water as the tides came and went.

Ben mentioned that his little pokemon wasn't very brave and Soren mentioned his Mareep was also a bit scared. "Everyone gets scared sometimes. Our pokemon aren't used to new places like this, I don't blame them for feeling scared." Even Donut, who outwardly didn't seem too phased, was trembling a little while his ears and tail twitched nervously. Vex could feel the Emolga shivering as he clung to his shoulder and his heart was racing. Of the pokemon present, only Soren's Genesis seemed calm and confident. As the other boys progressed into chatting about the Mareep Soren had, Vex fell silent. He didn't know who Luke Shepherd was and he didn't have much to add to the conversation as a result.

Eventually, Soren went quiet and Donut could hear a faint clicking and sparking sound coming from somewhere behind them. The Emolga bristled in agitation, making soft chattering sounds in Vex's ear. Vex silently tried to soothe the Emolga by petting him but it was difficult to assure the little electric type that everything would be fine when he didn't know what was bothering him. Genesis had glanced behind them but seemed unbothered and Vex cast a quick look over his shoulder. There was something behind them, casting sparks up as it moved, and Vex thought he could make out the shape of a person in the brief flickers of light. Was that the person that had shouted? Or someone who was supposed to accompany them in case they got into trouble? He wasn't sure and he considered saying something to the others so that they knew they were being followed.

He didn't get a chance, however, as Soren paused to pick something up and examine it. He then turned and held it out for him to take. Vex accepted it silently, rubbing the fabric between his fingers. He couldn't be certain with such a small piece but it felt like it might have been part of someone's clothing. Once he had taken a look, he held the fabric out to Ben to inspect as well. If Ben didn't wish to take it, Vex would tuck the scrap of cloth into his bag to show to his father later. He wasn't too concerned yet, clothing got snagged and torn all the time in the forest. With sharp rocks and such all over, Vex was sure accidents happened here in these tunnels too. Especially since this tunnel seemed to be more battered and had chips and scrapes in the walls and floor. If someone had simply tripped on the uneven ground or brushed too close to one of the jagged parts of the wall, it wasn't a concern. When Soren handed him a second piece of fabric, Vex frowned. This wasn't from clothing, or at least nothing like he'd ever worn before. It was too heavy and rough for that, he thought. maybe it could have been a bag like the one the metal mining tools were in. But again, it could have ripped accidentally. With no other visible clues, they couldn't assume anything was wrong. He offered the second piece of fabric to Ben as well, adding it to his bag with the first if the other teen didn't take either of them.

As they moved forward again, Vex could tell something had Soren bothered. His breathing was a bit louder and faster, like he was afraid. As he stepped over something and turned to look at them, Vex figured out what had caused the change. There was something red on the floor, deep and dark. Vex bent and touched a finger to the stain. It was dried and he bit his bottom lip in concern. It definitely looked like blood, but there was no way to tell for certain how long it had been there. The tunnels didn't get rain to wash away blood but surely the passage of time would fade any stains. There were more stains along the floor and one particular gash in the wall was also stained red. Someone, or something, had been attacked here. And whatever it was hadn't gone down quietly. Like Soren, Vex bypassed the white cloth. With blood alreayd staining it, the strip of what he guessed was a bandage wouldn't do any of them any good.

When Soren stopped suddenly, Vex nearly ran into him but stepped to the side to avoid a collision. At first he didn't know why Soren had stopped, too focused on trying to decide if they should keep going or turn back for help. The whimper and sob made him fully look at what lay before them. There was a large pool of blood and in the middle of it was a pokemon. He was vaguely familiar with the rodent-like creature. He was too stunned to recall the name of the creature right then but knew they were poisonous somehow. It didn't look like the creature was breathing but he wanted to be certain. He doubted it was still alive and, even if it was, he was sure none of them had the medical knowledge to save it. While Soren took a few steps back, Vex moved forward, careful not to make any sounds. If he was approaching a predator's kill, he could be attacked at any moment. Donut, overwhelmed by the sight, darted down into Vex's bag to avoid having to look at it as Vex got closer. Vex crouched at the edge of the pool of blood and placed a hand carefully on the creature's side. It didn't move and there was no rise and fall of it's chest and no heartbeat fluttering under his fingertips. "It's dead." He commented, just barely loud enough for his voice to carry back to the other boys. This close up, he could see there were slashes in the pokemon's skin and bruises as well. As a hunter, the sight of blood and dead pokemon wasn't unusual for him but for Soren, maybe this was the first time he'd seen something that had been killed. Possibly for Ben too, if Vex had to guess, since it didn't sound like either boy had ever had to hunt or kill anything.

There was a rumble deeper in the tunnel and Vex stood, hastily wiping his hands on his pants. He hadn't even looked to see if he'd gotten blood on his hands but he recalled the feeling of warm blood on his hands from the day he'd killed the Purrloin that had been trying to eat Donut. He opened his mouth to ask the others if they thought they should move on or if they should go back and get help in case there was a person ahead that needed help. If there was a person, Vex felt a cold certainty that he or she was no better off than the pokemon behind him. But he found that he couldn't form the words. Whatever had been following them had caught up and 'it' happened to be probably the tallest person Vex had ever seen with a Luxio and a ninetales at his side and a sword that Vex was sure must be as tall as he was poking up from over his shoulder. Vex felt a mixture of fear and awe at the man and his pokemon and a touch of relief as well. If they moved forward, having an adult with them would ensure that if they found a person, dead or alive, they had someone with them who'd know what to do about it. Assuming this was not the angry person that had shouted at them earlier and was probably there to drag them back out of the tunnel, of course.

@Rixie @Shasyu @Amissa
Team Info:
- Health: 100%; Bad feeling confirmed; does not want

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Shasyu
 Posted: Jun 10 2018, 09:03 AM
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Ben Shepherd | Native | Age 15

[Sorry, very uninspired post]

Ben couldn’t help but laugh at the sound of someone not knowing that Luke had a son. “Aw don’cha worry ‘bout that. Most people don’t,” he replied. The mareep were great pokemon and very cute. He would have loved to get one for himself. His parents offered him gift pokemon all the time but he always denied them. Ben wanted to discover his own team and not be handed anything.

It wouldn’t be long before the boys came across something strange. Pieces of fabric left on the ground? Where could that have come from? Was there someone else in this tunnel? Things became more concerning when the other boys stopped to investigate. Ben was used to seeing blood, working on a farm and all. But it was always because of an injury during a job or tripping or something. This looked like there was a fight or murder?

Lucille and Birdy looked anxious. They had no idea why everything was so tense all of a sudden but it had the pig worried. If some kind of predator was lurking in this cave then she wanted out immediately or get balled, whatever was quicker. Birdy was a bit more curious. She had to see what was further up the path. She wanted to know if they’d have to fight and if she could kick its butt.

Venturing further ahead, the boys came across the lifeless body of a purple rodent with large spiky ears. A dead pokemon? Ben rushed over to look closer to it. “Oh no, poor fella. He didn’t stan’ a chance,” the boy said emotionally. This wasn’t the kind of thing Ben came on adventures for but he understood that things died in nature. He still hated seeing it.

Ben wasn’t sure if he wanted to go forward, but he also wouldn’t leave the group behind. So if they were pressing forward, then so would he. “We shouldn’t leave this pokemon like this,” he said. The boy pulled out a roll of cloth from his backpack. It was a thin blanket his mother made for him to take on his adventures. He wrapped the green cloth around the nidoran and put it in his backpack. “I’ll bury ‘em when this is over.”

@Rixie @Sev @Amissa



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Rixie
 Posted: Jun 11 2018, 03:17 PM
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Lore


Carnation was the first to detect the scent of blood, his strong sense of smell alerting him to the presence of the metallic, drying substance after just a few feet. He pushed forward faster, and Avery increased his long stride to a hurried walk to keep up with the nearly trotting fox.

”Hey!” Bluebell murmured in protest as Carnation pressed past her through the narrow tunnel, hurrying forward. She was too distracted to even notice the scent until after a minute of competitively jockeying to get ahead of the large Ninetales that was almost entirely ignoring her. Her tail’s thrashing stilled to a nervous, uncertain twitch and her ears lowered apprehensively.

Avery’s irate scowl morphed into a concerned frown when even Bluebell took on a more serious demeanor. Something was wrong. He heard the boys suddenly cease talking up ahead, and soon he saw why. The sparks of light produced by Bluebell’s claws was plenty for him to see the white, blood-stained cloth, the gruesome stains, and the dark, wet pool gathered around the corpse of a Nidoran.

Avery’s first thought was the protection of the three teenage boys he’d followed in. Whatever had killed the Nidoran, and possibly the wearer of the bandage, could still be lurking. Slashes and bruises both. There were a few Pokémon that came to mind that could do such damage, or there may have been multiple assailants, but idle speculation wouldn’t do him much good here.

His second thought was of the recovery of whatever person had come in with the Nidoran and the bandage. It was unlikely that he or she was still alive... He reminded himself coldly, Not that it matters if one of Omega’s lackeys is still alive. But maybe if he managed to save their life, they’d see that Crater City was a place they’d be safe. They’d never be asked to take on such a dangerous task without at least a Peace Officer to keep them safe.

His third thought... was interrupted as he had to catch the boy who had suddenly blundered backwards and walked right into him, tripping and losing his balance at the sudden jarring impact. With both hands, he violently seized the boy’s shoulder and upper arm with an iron grip, pulling him upright until his feet were steady on the ground. He let go as quickly as he had grabbed him, worried that he might have injured the youngster.

He stared down at Soren, his face dark but lit from the bottom in a menacing, unnatural way thanks to Nimbus’s tail. ”Boy,” he rumbled, ”Your father sent me. I’ll have a word with you later.”

Avery took a step back, then walked past Soren over to the Nidoran. The other two boys seemed a bit older and taller than Soren, both with rather fair hair. He could not mistake them for brothers though. Just a look, and the sound of their voices, told him that they lived different lifestyles. One was dressed for the forest, most likely a child from Ashfield or Forest Beach. The other, he had to assume came from Crater City based on his simple, durable clothing and mannerisms, even though he didn’t sport a brand. Perhaps he was the son of a higher ranking individual or a wealthy merchant. Either way, Avery’s quick judgement was that he would have to prioritize protecting the two boys from Crater City.

He frowned as Ben stuffed the corpse into his bag. He stared for a few moments before deciding to say something, ”Leave it. Too heavy and bulky.” If one of the boys started to protest, he would whirl on them and speak with a low, steady tone, ”Best to spend our efforts on finding and saving someone who might still be alive. Retrieving the confirmed dead is a lower priority. If we have opportunity, we will take its body with us when we exit the tunnel. But for now? Leave it.”

Bluebell crept along the edges of the blood as best as she could, sniffing it closely. She glanced at Soren and was saddened to see his state. Though she didn’t know him as well as Avery, he had once given her an entire human meal’s worth of meat, which she was not likely to forget any time soon. She mewled softly at him, staring into him with her somewhat eerie, glowing yellow eyes.

Pricking his ears and pointing his nose, Carnation turned away from the sight and peered into the darkness ahead. He could hear the rumbling noises and, though his heart went out to the distressed boy, he knew they had a job to do now.

Avery took several cautious steps further into the cavern. When he had passed the pool of blood, he stopped and reached back to grab the sword and scabbard slung over his back, pulling it over his head and off his shoulder. He slid the scabbard into his belt and kept one hand on the hilt, ready to draw the weapon.

He could ask Bluebell to take the boys to return to the entrance. They were only a few minutes in, and it didn’t seem like there was anything too dangerous between this point and the exit. But tunneling Pokemon could easily create new paths and pop up between them and the exit. Not to mention, if they were so unlucky as to experience a cave-in, they would be defenseless and trapped, and he might not be able to even find them if he was deeper in the cave.

He could escort them to the exit himself, but to do so would mean abandoning the owner of the bandage. Though the lives of the boys were more important than finding a possibly already-dead lackey of Omega’s, what kind of example would he be setting for them?

Avery determined his next course of action with an exasperated sigh. ”Stay behind me. We will find the owner of the torn cloth, and, if they are alive, rescue them. Don’t lag behind. Don’t run ahead. Carnation, ask Genesis to watch our backs. Bluebell, take point.”

Bluebell tore her gaze away from Soren and obeyed, leaping over the puddle of blood and skidding slightly, her claws scratching the stone and sending even more sparks flying everywhere. Her fur gave off a faint glow as the electricity built up, and she dimly lit the way ahead of them. Avery fell into step just a foot behind her.

Carnation turned from looking ahead to looking at Genesis. He spoke softly, ”Please watch our backs, okay? Warn us if anyone is falling behind or if something is coming after us.” He returned his attention to the tunnel ahead and followed close behind Avery, ready to fall back and defend the rear if need be.

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Kaien
 Posted: Jun 15 2018, 01:12 PM
Quote


Admin


@Amissa @Sev @Shasyu @Rixie

I'm gonna play it safe and slap another [CW: Slight Gore] on this post as well.

The metallic scent of the fresh blood would damper somewhat as they moved further in, away from where the pool was. Though even as they continued, the scent would still linger. Whether that was from behind them, or whatever lied ahead was still unclear. There was a barking sound, quieted by the distance but echoing, a lower growl following soon after. Almost as if there was some sort of argument, but there would be no other sounds to indicate a battle taking place nearby. It wouldn't be long before they'd find the source of the strange noises.

But as the pokemon came into view, the smell increased, getting almost as intense as before. There was a small yellow and green pokemon on the ground. Though, from the tears in its body and the blood, to the way it was laid on the ground, it wouldn't take a doctor to know it was dead. There were chunks missing from the numel's body, as if they'd been torn or bitten into, depending on the spot. A clear show that there had been something tearing away at it.

And just on the other side of the dead creature were two pokemon, squabbling. But as they silenced before any of the group present would be able to hear what they were talking of, or arguing over. The cream and pink furred weasel had its muzzle and forepaws coated in a healthy dose of red, presumably from the numel nearby. The similarly colored bear look much the same, dried crimson staining its fur as its legs hobbled around, causing the pokemon to appear as if it was stumbling.

They immediately closed in to attack. With Bluebell taking point, the mienfoo would find himself attacking a much stronger pokemon than himself. Still, unaware of the creature's prowess in battle, the weasel moved in, feeling threatened as this group proceeded towards them. This was his kill, his meat. How dare anyone else try to encroach on his spoils! First the little bear, and now all these pokemon and humans coming nearby. He reached his arms out, closing his palms towards the Luxio's face, attempting his smelling salts attack.

The spinda moved in to attack as well, the electric-type up front being the quick and easy target. If they could take her down quickly, they could get back to deciding who should get the meat. She still felt like she should get some of the meat at least, but the dumb weasel wouldn't just willingly share. Such a pain. The pokemon summoned all the power she had, channeling her inherited psychic energy. A wave of force manifested and shot off, slashing at the electric-type in a psycho cut attack. She hoped it would just go down immediately and the others would leave. They just wanted to eat!

Behind them was a creature who blended into the rock surface of the cavern. They had been hiding on the ceiling, eyes closed as they rested. But the pokemon and humans passing by had awoken them, causing them to open their eyes and look as the group passed by. It quietly lowered itself, levitating in the air after they passed. They didn't want to get caught, but it seemed there was a scout looking behind them as the commotion up ahead began to ring out. The pokemon took that opportunity, collecting energy for their moonblast attack and firing it off to the closest creature in the back - the giraffe with a second head on its tail.


a wild Numel has appeared!
level ded ◒ male ◒ ability unknown ◒ moves unknown
0% health. RIP

a wild Spinda has appeared!
level 3 ◒ female ◒ ability unknown ◒ psycho cut
100% health. 16% Energy. Using Psycho Cut on Bluebell.

a wild Lunatone has appeared!
level 5 ◒ genderless ◒ levitate ◒ moonblast
100% health. 31% Energy. Using Moonblast on Genesis.

a wild Mienfoo has appeared!
level 7 ◒ male ◒ ability unknown ◒ smelling salts
100% health. 46% Energy. Using Smelling Salts on Bluebell.
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Amissa
 Posted: Jun 16 2018, 03:17 AM
Quote


Player


Soren went entirely rigid when he felt strong hands grip his left arm and shoulder. He tensed all over, but when he looked up he saw the familiar face of Avery Aster. Soren wondered distantly what he was even doing here, but this question was quickly answered when the man stated that Soren’s father had sent him. That made sense, though Soren hadn’t thought of it earlier. When Soren didn’t come home, his father was bound to worry. Since Gaspar knew that Soren had been spending evenings training with the ambassador, it made perfect sense to check with Avery and his mother Rachel. Even so, Soren knew his father rarely ever left the farm. He became terribly nervous anytime he left the familiar surroundings and ventured into the city. It must have taken a great deal of courage to bring himself to seek out the ambassador.

These thoughts seemed far away, however. There was a dread connected to whatever words Avery might have for him later, but that was later. Right now it was a relief to see the ambassador. He would tell them what to do and make the decisions, and all Soren needed to do was obey and follow. He looked up at the man with tears still clinging to his eyelashes and nodded. He knew he was in no condition to speak, and if he opened his mouth nothing but hideous sobs would escape. No, Soren kept his mouth firmly closed tried to regain control of himself.

Avery assessed the situation and gave orders immediately. Soren looked at Genesis as the elegant ninetails barked what he presumed to be an order to her. “Affirmative,” the girafarig hummed in response. Like Avery, Genesis had little use for small talk. The instructions given seemed logical, and so she would obey. The pokemon with two heads should guard the back because she was best suited to the task.

She walked behind Soren, and Nimbus peeked his head up as she passed. “Did something happen?” He bleated.

“The boy nearly fell over, that's all. He's frightened. You should cuddle him more and keep him calm. That will be your job.” Genesis said as she calmly took up her position.

“Okay, I can do that!” The mareep baaed, happy to be given an important job that only he could do. He buried his head in Soren’s shirt again.

Soren stood completely still and silent as he waited for the others to be ready to move on, not even turning his head to see Bluebell watching him. He felt a light soreness in his arm where Avery had caught him, but it wasn't nearly as great as the pain he'd be in if he'd fallen and cracked his head on the rough stone floor of the cave. Even as the others began to file out, Soren still couldn't manage to move.

“Go,” Genesis hummed in his ear, sounding gentle. Soren still didn't move. Genesis leaned forward and nipped his ear with her teeth, and that got him moving at last. Soren bounded forward, following so near to Ben that he was practically breathing down the older child’s neck.

The fear of the situation was proving overwhelming for Soren, and yet he didn’t dare disobey Avery. He needed to function somehow despite being terrified, so Soren decided he would just pretend to be someone brave. Summer Sharp would do, despite being a girl. He’d been reading her diary on the way up to the camp, at least after he’d been discovered inside the wagon. He was just at the part where she entered the tunnel known as Oreburgh Gate after burying her zubat, Luna at the entrance. She’d been heartbroken, having just seen how cruel the world could be as her precious friend had her life clipped short. She’d carried on, however, into the darkness beyond accompanied by her faithful shinx, Shadow and Tank the turtwig.

This calmed Soren considerably even as the strange sounds of foreign pokemon echoed through the tunnel. Every time he felt his fear kick up, he asked himself, what would Summer do? Summer would keep going, determined to rescue whoever she thought was injured in this tunnel. Even when the group came upon the poor deceased numel being fed upon by predators, Soren was able to remain outwardly calm. He felt sad, of course, as Summer would be. It was sad to know that whoever was injured in the tunnel had probably lost his pokemon friends forever. However, he didn’t become so emotional that he started crying again, and he didn’t freeze either. Nor did he panic when the aggressive wild pokemon closed in on Bluebell, or even when the strange rock type descended from above to attack Genesis.

What would Summer do? Summer would fight back!

Of course, Genesis didn't need to pretend to be brave. She simply found emotions like fear and even love less satisfying that pure and simple science. That isn't to say that she liked being moonblasted by a hiding rock pokemon for no reason. It struck her from behind, the energy making her stumble forward as her hooves fought for grip on the uneven rocks of the tunnel. The fairy light enveloped her, and even with her two heads, it did surprise her. But not for long.

Genesis's back head responded first and of its own volition. It had its own brain, after all, and it sensed it was under attack. The dark, fanged little face lunged forward to sink its teeth into Lunatone using the ghostly power of astonish. If that wasn't enough, Genesis followed up by kicking up and back fiercely with both of her hind legs. Her hooves flashed in the dim light as she aimed to retaliate against the foe that struck her.

"We're being attacked from behind. Assistance would be appreciated," Genesis hummed calmly to the rest of her party, or at least anyone that could hear her. Her voice wasn't loud but it would be difficult not to hear the sound of fighting. Oh, and she hurt, though she wouldn't show it. The attack had been so powerful that she found her mind reeling. It wasn't the same as being confused, a status which she at times inflicted on others with her psychic powers. It was more like she had difficulty concentrating. Something about that blast of fairy energy was impeding her focus that she used to reach the psychic energy within her.

Soren couldn't just leave Genesis to do it all herself, and yet he certainly couldn't do anything to help. Nimbus was still just a little lamb, and a blast like whatever hit Genesis might just kill him. Soren was reminded darkly of the dead pokemon they'd encountered on the way in. Maybe there was some little thing Nimbus could do from here. Soren thought for a second, and his eyes flashed up at the lunatone as he thought of something. "Nimbus," Soren whispered, causing the mareep to poke his head up at him. "Go ahead and use growl on that rock pokemon."

Nimbus looked over to where Genesis was fighting. She really seemed to be giving it everything she had. Nimbus was afraid of fighting that scary rock monster, but Soren was still holding him and he could growl without getting close. Thus, as loud as he could so that his voice would carry to the lunatone, Nimbus bleated out a loud adorable "baaaa".

"You're far outnumbered here. The reasonable choice would be to flee while you can," Genesis hummed intelligently even as the huffed for breath. Her nostrils flared as her chest heaved with the effort of unleashing two attacks in such a short time. She was bluffing, of course. She didn't necessarily trust the other pokemon to come to her aid, and she had a feeling that another attack like the last one would leave her unable to fight. However, if she could instill some fear in her attacker, she might be able to scare him off before he could do her any further harm.

@Sev@Shasyu@Rixie

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Genesis is hit by Moonblast and her Special Attack is lowered one stage
user posted image
Health: 56% Status: -1 Sp At
Energy: 50%-->30% (-6% Astonish, -2% second move in one turn, -12% Double Kick)
Genesis uses Astonish and then Double Kick on Lunatone

Nimbus is being Soren's therapy pokemon
user posted image
Health: 100% Status: Okay
Energy: 25% -->20% (-5% growl)
Nimbus uses growl on Lunatone

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