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 An Unwelcome Second Chance, [starter]
Kenos
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 10:35 PM
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Player


Enter: the Sufferer
He was lying in his bed, as he always was. His eyes were closed, but he was not asleep, nor was he simply resting; no, if one were to judge him solely by the expression on his face, they might say he looked to be waiting. Although, it was unclear as to what the boy might be waiting for. There didn't seem to be any activity in the surrounding area, or any other living beings for that matter. It was quiet, which was unusual considering the onslaught of natural disasters that had recently afflicted the entire world. Perhaps the powers above had run out of calamities to deal out. He remembered all the alerts he had received when they first started, warning of earthquakes and fires and storms across the globe. There may have been more since then, but Kendon had turned off his phone a while back. He had grown tired of ignoring the numerous calls and texts from his family, and had decided it would be simpler to silence the device completely.

"Do you think it was okay? Making them think I was dead?" He spoke suddenly, although his eyes were still shut. He then paused, as if listening to a response, before opening his mouth again, "Tch, they have enough to be worried about without having to think of me." He sighed, as if annoyed by the silent speaker's reply. "Yeah, you're right. I don't know, Trix. Maybe I think this is my chance to disappear. Or maybe I'm just -- tired of dealing with them."

"Conversations" like this were usual for Kendon. It was nice to have someone, as incorporeal as she may be, to talk to -- especially since he had such difficulty talking to actual people. Speaking to this fictional character was just so much more natural for him. She knew everything about him and he knew everything about her. There was no need to hold anything back or try to decipher the meaning behind the other's words. It was the highest form of communication for him, just pure and simple understanding. He didn't so much imagine full responses from Trixie; rather, it was as if he innately understood the meaning of what she might say.

Kendon rolled onto his side and finally opened his eyes. He reached for the journal on his side table, a light-grey moleskine with a matching elastic band along its edge. Its jacket was soft to the touch, despite being a hardcover, a feature the young man was grateful for whenever he held it close to his chest. He did so now, clutching it as a toddler might his first toy. Most people had an worn-out blanket or an old plushie; in Kendon's case, this book gave him the most comfort in times of need. It was the only tangible representation of Trixie he had, full of random conversations with her and badly drawn sketches of her likeness. There was one decent image of her, but he had paid a proper artist to make it and felt a bit like that was cheating.

"I'm not saying I don't get it, but -- there's only so much I can take, you know? At some point, even though they mean well their 'help'… it doesn't help. A lot of the time, it just makes me feel worse." He coughed, a long, painful sputtering, massaging his throat in hopes of coaxing some saliva down. He hadn't bothered getting anything to eat or drink since the world first started going to shit, which had been… how long ago? Days, at least. Kendon's room didn't have any windows, and anything that had a clock on it was dead, but the cracks in his wall had darkened and brightened more than once. It was miraculous that his room had stayed mostly intact, if such things as miracles still existed. Some would argue that the boy's survival thus far was a miracle unto itself. Kendon, on the other hand, wasn't as enthusiastic.

"Because I'm too much of a wuss to do it myself!" He shouted at his invisible friend, violently throwing the bedsheets off of himself. In the same motion, he swung his legs over the side of his bed and sat up. "And -- yeah, I don't want to be the one responsible. It's the coward's way out. I don't care if you think just waiting for it is the same thing. I just -- I want it to be over."

A frown suddenly grew on his face, followed by a crease in his eyebrows. He stood up just as abruptly, walking over to his desk and snatching up a dark grey hoodie from the chair. He quickly put it on, sliding the journal into the inside pocket along with a mechanical pencil that had been on his desk. "You know what, you're right, it would be faster if I actually went outside. Thank you," he remarked, slipping on a pair of sneakers. He attempted to leave his room, only to find that the door refused to swing open. Gripping the knob with both hands, Kendon twisted the knob and pulled with all his might. The door creaked condescendingly; but, apart from that, maintained its position.

"No, I realize you were being -- mmph -- sarcastic, but it makes sense to me. What are you even -- nngh -- complaining about? You're always telling me get off my ass and do something about it. Damnit! Why won't this open?" Frustrated with his failure, Kendon shoved himself away from the door and plopped face-first back into his bed. "I can't do anything, can I? Oh, shut up, I don't need to hear it from you. It's just -- I can't make sense of it. Why am I even still here? I would've thought I'd be the first to go. Like, the universe had realized that I was a mistake, that I had no place and no future. But, I'm still here. Even though a bunch of other people have probably already died. People that had more to live for. So why…?"

Whether he was deep in thought or listening to Trixie's response, Kendon didn't have time to finish either. A low rumble reverberated around the room, as his bed began to shake and items around the room began to fall to the ground. His first instinct was to jump up and crouch underneath his desk -- apparently all those grade school drills had made an impact after all -- but he dug his fingers into his mattress and managed to stay put. He took a deep breath as the cracks in the wall widened, the room falling apart around him. He put one hand over his chest right where his journal would be. He was, admittedly, afraid, in spite of how long he had wished for and waited for this moment.

"Thanks, Trixie. See you in the next life."


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Kaien
 Posted: Nov 12 2017, 06:45 PM
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Admin


You Are Safe.

The world all around evaporated as the house around him started to crumble into pieces, everything shaking as the quakes fought to tear apart everything around him. Pieces creaked and snapped as the wood was broken from the lack of support. Chunks and chips fell all around him, clacking into the floor as dust and small debris showered on his boy as he clutched closely on the mattress. A flash of orange light would encompass his vision before everything disappeared, and he seemed to be falling into an empty abyss.

It felt like the minutes dragged on and on until finally, after an seemingly endless fall, the movement started to slow. Below him, a bright orange light appeared, piercing through the bleak endless space sprawling out in every direction. The small orb of light grew larger as he neared it, deceivingly wider than he could have known first seeing it. The void gave no depth or spacial awareness, causing the new vision to be surreal, if it was ever real in the first place. Feet passed through into the light first, a wave of energy rushing through and encompassing his whole as it washed over him.

The previously blinding sight cooled into a deep orange, reminiscent of a sunset. A presence hovered in the room, out of sight but feeding it's immense power lightly into his form. The water within his lungs evaporated, allowing for easier breathing, the pain soothing as Kendon was allowed a short rest from everything that had happened so quickly. It finally seemed like things would be easier, this span-less room showing no threat and offering an odd, warm comfort. The unknown voice echoed all around, reminding the man of the most simple yet desperately needed concept.

Breathe.

The orb shifted, dispersing into sparks and grains that spread out from the source, dimming the environment but keeping the lack of objects visible still. The energy coursing through Kendon started to pull away as the orange lifted up and away. Everything kept getting darker, until a sharp light lit beneath him, a spark of bold red fire. It arced out quickly, licking at his clothes but refusing to burn. The warmth that resonated from it was strong and fierce, but didn't pain him or threaten his clothes. It continued to spread, coating the ground in the steady flames. As the larger presence faded away, a new passionate one appeared, with a new voice to accompany it.

Push forward.

At first, nothing happened. The void remained as it was, the same illusion stretching out further than his eyes could see. But once he took a step in any direction after the command, the ground would rise into a short platform. As he continued, the path developed before him, shaping itself quickly in a variety of ways that would open - or close - different pathways. The fire behind him would rise, preventing him from turning back but allowing him time for decisions if necessary.

The first crossroads seemed simple enough. It split into two tunnels going either direction forward, but the paths were abnormal. The flames solidified into a beautiful crystallized form to shape his choices clearly. To the left was a tunnel with sharp, defined edges. The walls pointed in just as the floor did, provide rough obstacles to dodge around, but promised better footing with the relatively flat base. To his right the path was completely smooth, the cylindrical tunnel continuously rolling in place. To start this side required a slight drop to the bottom of the moving construct, and making his way forward would prove difficult as the well carved base gave no traction for his feet. Either path would allow him to move forward, but each presented its challenges.

Choose your path.

The Rugged Path

Spoiler (Show/Hide)
As Kendon progressed through the obstacles, the foundation was at least solid and still, allowing him to take his time and move with carefully prepared strategy. It would be difficult, but ultimately he couldn't fail unless he gave up. On the other side, three new paths awaited, shooting in a new direction each.

Straight ahead showed the first true puzzle this place had to offer. The walls rose high up into the air, and looking into the path would reveal that it was more than just a straight shot forward. Multiple, identical paths sprawled out ahead, which may alarm the man to be a maze. While simple enough to walk around and explore the paths until a way through was found, there was always a risk of getting lost. If this path is chosen, once he enters the maze tall white pages of blank paper would appear, blocking paths but proving to be easy to tear down. The trick though is that some pages would simply cover a wall, creating more confusion to the maze.

To the left shined panels of glass, the light of the red illumination reflecting off in beautiful auroras of light. This puzzle was risen up, requiring stairs to be able to approach this path. It would be a risky choice, and ascending the stairs would only show this was not as easy as it may have seemed. At the top, he would see that the path was laid out in a 6x6 grid of the glass panels, each with a different amount of cracks in them. Each time a panel was stepped on, it would crack more. If stepped on again, it would hit again, until it broke. It seemed 3 cracks on a perfect panel would cause it to break through, causing Kendon to float to the ground and have to return to the entrance. A very specific path would allow him to cross without falling.

The last path to the right looked open and easily visible, with a table at the start. Upon closer inspection, he would see that the path weaved intricately to the other side, with chunks missing in the floor. To match these, there were large, clear blocks that could fit into the missing slots, however he would not be able to move them with force. The table held the secret, however. Study at the table would show a replica of the path ahead, with the blocks, holes, and all in miniature size. The cubes representing the obstacles could not be picked up, but moved along the surface and could fall into the slots. If he chose to move one, he may notice the real-sized block corresponding to it ahead moving as well, showing a direct correlation between the table and the path. Solving the puzzle on the table would open the way forward.

The Slippery Slope

Spoiler (Show/Hide)
Once Kendon climbed up the other side, having completed the odd slippery path, it seemed there would be no reprieve. This time the way forward would split into three separate choices, each presenting their own challenge. Straight ahead was a wide open space that stretched to the other visible end. The only thing worth interacting with for this path was the table in front of the gap, which notably had a stack of tiles on it. A closer look would reveal that the table was laid out in a grid formation, the number of spots perfectly matching that of the pieces stacked up. Each piece was beautifully decorated, with realistic views of grass, river, road, and a single bridge piece. If he tested the tiles on the board, he would see placing one in a spot created that piece of path in the corresponding spot in the pit in front of him. With the designs on the pieces, it could be seen that this was a picture puzzle. Only once the correct solution was found would he be able to cross the quaint path to the other side.

To the right of the man looked a simple, bland path. However before he could approach it, he would be able to notice the air distortion just above it. Then, the path would change, twisting and turning in new ways. If he studied long enough to attempted crossing the route quickly, he might discern that the path changes every 10 seconds, leaving some spots to fall. If he were to fall, he'd find himself floating back to the start to try again. With careful timing and agility, crossing the path could be accomplished. Enough watching would reveal that there are 10 patterns that change in order, allowing for an amount of planning to be put in.

The last path, to his left, was much more light and fun. The other side was risen a considerable distance high, and the ground simply didn't exist, the chasm descending endlessly. The most notable part of this path were the large bubbles that floated up from it continuously. Each seemed rather durable, and would prove to be just as strong as they looked if he tried jumping on one. He could, with precision and deft footwork, hop across the bubbles to reach the other side. If the man fell, he would be guided back to the start similar to how he'd fallen into this strange world in the first place.

No matter which of these paths he crossed, the other side would be the same. When he crossed the threshold of the puzzle he'd solved to continue forward, he would see a door with a socket in the middle, but no handle. In between the man and the door was a long thin table with 4 gems of identical shape and size. Each had a word on it. Love. Power. Knowledge. Safety. Any of these choices could be inserted into the door, causing it to open.

Never give up.


Welcome to the void between universes. Ho-oh and her beasts will challenge Kendon in a variety of ways, to discover how he faces and overcomes the obstacles they lay. The three legendary beasts will take turns creating puzzles or riddles to solve. Each will have a variety of answers to choose from, but don't fret - there are no right or wrong answers. If Kendon is unsure or unwilling to complete a challenge, he need only sit down and they will progress to the next step. They will use his methods and choices to help determine what type of pokemon compliments Kendon, and his process will be considered when selecting his partner. However, Ho-oh's decision is influenced by what she believes works best in tandem with Kendon, so where the answers lead may yet surprise you!

Feel free to PM or hit me up in the cbox about answers for the riddle/puzzle.



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Kenos
 Posted: Apr 11 2018, 07:28 PM
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Player


He was surprised. Death was a lot less painful than he had anticipated. It was almost disappointing — not that pain was something he looked forward to, of course, but he thought it might be something befitting himself. Even without counting everything he had done (and hadn’t done) during his lifetime, his final moments should have been enough to condemn him. After all, wasn’t suicide a serious sin? He may not have committed the deed himself, but they say inaction is an action in itself, and he had certainly not gone out of his way to save himself. Or maybe, it was just shock. He had read somewhere that shock can do strange things to a person.

Kendon waved his hand dismissively, imagining Trixie berate him for contemplating useless things instead of checking his surroundings (or lack thereof). He blinked in surprise. Painless as it might be, death was a strangely physical experience. It was a bit disorienting; he could tell he was falling but he wasn’t sure which direction was down, nor which part of his body was plummeting first. He might have been spinning and been none the wiser. All he could discern was that it was dark all around him, as if it wasn’t just his house that fallen apart but the entire world. The boy wondered if this was all the afterlife was, an endless and timeless void. It wouldn’t be the worse thing — he had Trixie to keep him company.

Only, it wasn’t just him and Trixie in this place. There was someone, or something, else. A something of considerable power, and after what felt like both an eternity and an instant Kendon found himself suddenly standing, enveloped in a strange (but not disagreeable) energy. His whole body tingled, much like one usually feels from numbness; however, this sensation came not from a lack of feeling, but the abundance of such. He could breath, truly breathe, not the hoarse, wheezing gasps he’d taken only moments before. The air here flowed freely into his lungs, without resistance, pure of any dust or smells or taint. When the first presence was replaced by a second, flames and all, Kendon realized he was in the company of gods. He wasn’t sure if he should bow, or kneel, or prostate himself, but was saved from his indecision when told to push forward.

“Er, but there really isn’t anywhere to go to,” he commented, turning a full 360 degrees in place. “Oh. Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, I don’t really have a choice, either. But still.”

He wondered if the unseen deities thought it odd he spoke to himself, or if they realized there was an imaginary voice in his head. They must have known, being gods. Regardless, as Trixie had told him, he wouldn’t have been told to move forward if it was impossible to do so. He took a tentative step forward and blinked rapidly as the ground rose before him. Huh. He continued on, in the same, uncertain pace as his first step. As he followed the winding path, the young man questioned why the gods couldn’t make it a bit more straightforward. Instead, he was forced to constantly change directions so often he wasn’t sure if he was going anywhere at all. If he really was dead, he definitely wasn’t in a Heaven of any kind. It didn’t appear torturous enough to be hell, either, though.

“Yeah,” he nodded in agreement, “Purgatory sounds about right.”

It was then Kendon finally saw a divergence in the road, split between two tunnels. One of which looked considerably more dangerous than the other. He took the tunnel on his right, despite Trixie’s pointing out that he probably wouldn’t be hurt if he was already dead. He had taken no more than a single step before slipping in the spinning passageway, causing him to take stumble forward a few feet before falling to his knees. This was the sort of thing he might have enjoyed when he was alive, before he had lost interest in everything, but at the moment it was only frustrating him. He wanted nothing more than to lie down and give up. Why couldn’t it just be over already? But, as the voice in his head reminded him, if this was Purgatory than it meant that he was being tested. And this was a test that had dire, and everlasting, consequences.

Begrudgingly, the boy awkwardly continued through the rest of the tunnel on his hands and knees. He had read somewhere about how lower centers of gravity were more balanced than higher ones, which explained why shorter cars were less likely to flip over than taller cars, and why shorter people have better balance overall. So, he hoped that by crawling he would be less likely to fall over again. He felt a bit stupid, moving like an infant, but it seemed to be working so far. After several minutes of this slow travel, he managed to reach the other side, and pulled himself up onto steady ground. Relieved and, admittedly, worn out, the male flipped himself onto his back to allow himself a few moments of rest.

When he finally stood up again, Kendon would roll his head back let out a deep sigh. More testing. More choices. He was an indecisive person by nature, and quite often would have the others in his life make choices for him— whether it was what to eat, where to go, what to do, etc. He had no such luxury now, alone, in the afterlife. Shaking his head, the tired soul would inspect each of the available pathways before making a decision. The rightmost route appeared simple enough, and he almost took it, before noticing how it twisted and turned. Quite frankly, he had had enough of moving pathways, and it made his head hurt just looking at it, so he decided to pass on it. The leftmost path was interrupted by a great chasm, from which large bubbles floated up from. Presumably, he was supposed to use these to make his way across, but Kendon didn’t know what would happen if he fell and didn’t plan on finding out.

The middle path it was. It seemed much more promising than the other two options immediately, and upon walking up to the table a rare smile broke out on the young man’s face. It was a puzzle. A puzzle. Puzzles were one of the few joys he had left, and he was moderately adept at them. This was a relatively simple one, too, so he expected little pressure or frustration from it. Kendon took each tile one by one and placed them onto the table, separating them into similar groups. All the grass tiles were in one corner of the table, the river tiles in another, and so on and so forth. Once divided, he focused on a single group and lined up pieces that looked like they went together, and did so with each group in turn. When he was satisfied he had done as much as he could, he treated each grouping as whole pieces and aligned them with one another, until all that was left was the lone bridge piece. So focused he was on the puzzle that he hadn’t notice the path being literally built in front of him, and it was only after that final piece was placed did he actually look up and see his work made real.

“It looks good, doesn’t it?” he asked as he trekked the puzzle road, “No! I’m not pretending I had anything to do with its design. I’m just stating it looks nice. And it does, doesn’t it? Yeah, see.”

He came upon another table, although this one was smaller than the previous one was. Taking a quick glance at the knobless door and gems on the table, it didn’t take long for him to put two and two together. One of these was a key. But which one? They were exactly the same, save for the writing on it. Maybe it didn’t matter. Or more likely, as Trixie pointed out, it was another test. Immediately, he set the Power gem aside. Nothing good ever came to someone who sought power, and it didn’t interest him anyway. Gingerly, Kendon picked up the Love gem but ended up setting it aside as well. It seemed like the obvious, right choice, which is why he thought he shouldn’t go for it. He also pushed away the Safety gem. He wasn’t entire sure of how much he cared for his own safety, especially now since he was dead. Which left the Knowledge gem. It felt right. He’d always enjoyed learning new things, and knowledge was always helpful.

He picked up the gem and headed for the door. Lining up the stone with the corresponding slot, Kendon began to push the key through — and then hesitated. Something had caught his eye. His tattoo, on his left arm. It took a few seconds to remember why it was there, why it was important, but it did come to him. His sisters. They had gotten him through everything, and to choose anything but Love would be a disservice them. He might have isolated himself from them, even blatantly ignored them, but he loved them dearly and knew they loved him in return. Knowledge? It paled pitifully in comparison to the impact his sisters’ love had made on him. Walking back to the table, the boy traded one gem for the other. Whether or not the Love gem was the “right” choice, he was satisfied that it was the right one for him.

Kendon opened the door and stepped through, clutching his arm for comfort.


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Kaien
 Posted: Apr 16 2018, 07:14 AM
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Admin


Trust Your Passion.

With those choices complete, he would feel the warmth fading, soon switching to be replaced by a cooler space. As he pressed on through the door, he’d find his step splashing. The floor was coated in a thin layer of calm blue water, the ripples from his steps pushing out from where he walked, continuing out in a calculated, even path until they eventually faded into the horizon. It was in many ways the opposite of the previous world he’d come from, but if he looked back he’d find the door had vanished, leaving him no way to return to the flames he left behind.

Though the air here was certainly more chilling than before, the fact even further exaggerated by the fact that he’d left the hotter environment, he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable by the change. The trickle of energy, coming strongest from the water that lapped at his shoes, filled him and unknowingly provided comfort in the new atmosphere. It was comfortable, and would leave him able to focus on the tasks at hand, so as not to rush due to discomfort with the area he was stuck in.

Only one box need open the way.

Ahead of him, a door lacking a handle appeared, built of a brilliant shimmering sapphire stone. It was inviting, though there was no way to enter the door yet. In the four directions around him, the water started to bubble up, creating little ripple of their own. The water started to climb up in thin beams in each spot, reaching up in a smooth cylindrical shape until fanning out at the top, creating four tables around him. Atop each, a box appeared. Each held different boxes, which may or may not be opened easily. The boxes solidified into ice, held up by strangely still water that seemed to hold shape.

The box straight ahead read 'Pick' atop it. There were a few colored cubes to each side of the box, and a slot in the front of the box that one could be pressed into. On the table appeared the instructions.

To open the box and release the fire,
we first must see what you desire.
Choose the color, the trait it shows
And push it in, so we will know.

The colors presented were red, reading Power, yellow, reading Wealth, purple, reading Love, blue, reading Peace, green, reading Family, and orange, reading Knowledge.

To the left, the box read 'Hammer'. Carved in the top of this box was a cylindrical hole. In front of it were two cylinders to match: One white, one black. The white shined intensely, radiating the strange power it held. The black was much less noticeable, not because of its color, but the energy it released made it feel average, easy to overlook. When picked up, it was clear it held just as much power, but masked it rather than showing off as the white did.

Behind him, the box read 'Key'. On the front of the box, were 4 dials with numbers. Each could be turned up or down, to select any number from 0-9. in front of it was a piece of paper with a puzzle, whose result is a 4-digit code. The correct answer would be the code to open the box.

Higher than nothing, lower than max.
Not prime, the third highest is first.
Higher than first, lower than last.
The second is the top of its classification.
Third comes the bottom of these, but more than nothing>
Multiplied with anything keeps the other the same.
The last is the most, and couldn't be greater.

The box on the right read 'Fire'. In front of the box was a piece of paper, an inkwell, and ink pen. The front of the box itself had a blank piece of cloth over the button to open the box. The cloth could not be removed, and the box couldn't be opened. On the paper was a riddle.

You use me to stand
But can lose me easily
I can be found
But I am hard to keep
What am I?

Write the answer upon the cloth, and the box will open.

Take the item from the chosen box.

Whichever task is completed; the box will open. Inside will be the item that was inscribed on the box. The pick, key, and hammer can be used on the door, and will open it upon contact. The fire, is released, will flow from the box and melt a hole into the door. If this is done, it will swing open. Behind the door, the floor shined with beautiful, shining blue water. The door would slowly creep open, easily helped if he decided to pull it along. Behind it stood a veil of water, reflecting him and the world behind him, however he would be able to move freely through the door and onto the next set of tasks awaiting him.

Use the item to open the door.


Sorry this took so long! @Kenos




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Kenos
 Posted: Apr 28 2018, 08:22 PM
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Player


At the first splash, Kendon immediately retracted his foot and jumped backwards. He disliked the feeling of wet socks and, though he had shoes on, was wary of any water getting through. He attempted to steady himself on dry ground, but quickly discovered that it had disappeared. Only water surrounded him now, and with no other options the man began to press forward. To his surprise, the liquid didn’t soak through his footwear. It hardly felt wet at all — it was much like the flames he had felt in the previous room, albeit cooler, and calming rather than energizing. Despite being initially averse to the water, he found himself preferring the current atmosphere.

To his relief, it appeared that the next trial consisted of more puzzles. If, instead, there had been physical challenges instead… well, he didn’t think it’d be wise to refuse whatever powers that had brought him here, but he wouldn’t have enjoyed himself half as much. The voice — the real one, not Trixie’s — had told him he only needed to solve one box to continue, but the completionist in him would feel compelled to complete them all anyway.

“Alright, that’s a fair point,” Kendon responded to his fairy friend’s protests, “But, if this is a test, like we think it is, it wouldn’t hurt to give them more… more data, right? And whether I only do one or more could be a test, too. Mm-hm. Yeah, but they didn’t say ‘Only do one,’ they said, ‘Only one is needed’. They didn’t say I couldn’t do more than one if I wanted.”

Content that he had convinced Trixie (and himself), the male would examine the puzzle directly ahead and then work his way counter-clockwise. The first box seemed considerably similar to the previous one, with colored objects and a corresponding slot. They even had similar words on them, although “Safety” had been replaced a three new ones. This time, however, it seemed to specifically asking what he desired. Choosing only one would still be difficult, but having explicit direction helped to abate that. For instance, he could put aside the green cube at once — as often as he pushed his own family away, he was grateful for them, and couldn’t ask for a better one. The yellow cube was easily struck out as well; while wealth would have allowed him an easier life, he doubted that any amount of money could fix the turmoil within his brain. That left four other boxes. Unfortunately, these remaining ones would not be deliberated on so swiftly.

“No, yeah, I know that,” he spoke aloud again, rubbing the back of his neck, “But I’m thinking now that ‘Power’ is a broad term… maybe it could apply to like… inner strength of some sort. You know, like, the power to overcome my fears or my… condition. Does that make sense? Agh, but you’re… that’s true. The ‘power’ I want would just be so I could achieve— inner peace? Peace of mind? Well, it falls under peace. So I guess ultimately, what I would want is peace. I can set aside power. But there’s still love and knowledge…”

Kendon frowned as he stared at the purple and orange blocks. He had chosen ‘Love’ for the previous puzzle, but in terms of what he desired… The problem was, all of these traits were so general. They could mean any number of things. But as the little voice in his head brought up, maybe that was the point. Maybe what was important was how he interpreted each characteristic, and the significance each held to him. Which made perfect sense for a test, except that these traits in particular each held a number of meanings for him. “Okay, I get it, the problem is with me, not the stupid test,” he sighed, almost angrily so, before correcting himself, “Not that the test is stupid. If… I mean, you probably are, listening. No disrespect… Your… Honor…s?”

Rubbing his eyes to bring himself back to focus, the man set aside the Knowledge and Love cubes with the other rejects. Although he hadn’t really been given a time limit, there were still three other puzzles to solve, required or not, and he felt he had already reached his limit on this one. He was overthinking things again, when desires, at least in their foundations, are instinctual. They were feelings, not thoughts. Once he had put himself in that frame of mind, the answer became more clear to him. The blue box was the way to go. He picked it up and pushed it into the larger cube, as instructed. The box opened and revealed… a pick? Oh. So the word, “Pick”, was a description, not an instruction. Well, it didn’t matter.

He was told he was to take the item and use it on the door, but frankly, he didn’t know the first thing about picking a lock. He was suddenly glad for the array of options, or he might not have been able to move on. Regardless, he pocketed the tool and moved onwards to his left. Apparently, this box held a hammer. It seemed like a violent way to get through the door, and completely unlike Kendon, but that didn’t keep him from wanting to solve the puzzle — if it could even be called that. It was just another free choice with no inherently “correct” answer. It had only two options this time (thank goodness), and he was already drawn to one of them. He had always preferred black to white, as far as colors go, and more importantly, he disliked standing out. He would go out of his way to go unnoticed, and in this aspect he found himself relating greatly to the masked energy of the black cylinder. He inserted it into the hole and collected the hammer before proceeding.

The next box offered dual delights: it held a key, and it was much more of a puzzle than the last two boxes had been. He picked up the paper by the box and read through the riddle several times before fiddling with dials on the cube. All of the digits went from zero to nine, and there were four dials in all, so… “Is it four to the tenth power, or ten to the fourth power? I can never remember… No, yeah, I know, I was just wondering. Point is, there are a lot of combinations and this will be hard to do in my head… Oh, right, I’m an idiot. Thanks.”

Kendon removed his pencil and journal from the inside of jacket and set to work. Using the book as a platform, the boy drew lines on the riddle to separate each individual digit. He then annotated each section as he worked through the clues out loud. “’Higher than nothing, lower than max’… the max number is nine, because it’s a single digit, so we’re working with a one to eight. It’s not a prime, so from this set… none of the odd numbers, and not two. That leaves four, six, and eight. Third highest… so second lowest… it’s probably not seven, but can’t be sure… Yeah, yeah, I’ll move on. ‘Higher than first, lower than last’… Hmm. I don’t know about those yet, but the ‘second is the top of it’s classification’? Could be odd, or even, or prime. Probably odd or even. So… nine or eight? Okay, that’s all I can do for now.

“Next seems pretty straightforward. Greater than zero, but the lower than the other digits. And then multiplying keeps the other number the same, so it’s definitely one. Alright, that’s the third digit solved. And then ‘last is the most, and couldn’t be greater’— you think that’s just saying it’s the biggest number? Yeah, me too. So blank, blank, one, nine. Second number was only eight or nine, so it has to be eight. Blank, eight, one, nine. Which leaves four and six for the first digit. Second is larger than first, but that doesn’t really help… Third highest… Wait, either one of those work. Am I missing… I must have something else wrong? Maybe it is seven? No, same problem either way. Should I—

“What? No, that’s cheating. I’m not gonna— alright, fine. Whatever. I’ll do it you way.” Kendon set the three dials he was certain of, then scrolled through the first between four and six. It would irk him to not have solved the puzzle entirely, but at least the result would be the same. Once the box had opened, he would pocket the key (along with his journal and pen) and then move onto the final puzzle.

Fire? he wondered, reading off of the box, How’s that going to— nevermind. He should be preoccupied with the puzzle, which presented itself as a riddle this time. However, before diving into solving it, the writer would gingerly pick up the ink pen in admiration. It was beautiful in craftsmanship. And simple, too. Not too flashy or ornate. When he was alive, he would have loved to own something like this.

“Okay, geez, I was just looking at it.” He returned focus to the problem at hand, but kept twiddling with the pen in his fingers. “’You use me to stand/But can lose me easily’… Use me to stand… Legs? But you can’t lose your legs easily. I don’t think that’s what it means, Trix. A cane? No, there’s the second part: ‘can be found’ and ‘hard to keep’. That doesn’t make sense for a cane… What about feet? Or footsteps? Maybe… No, I need to pay attention to the verbs. ‘Lose’, ‘found’, ‘keep’. Something that can be lost, or found, or kept. It has to be a word that’s used in those contexts all the time or it wouldn’t work. Ugh, why can’t I think?! Oh! I completely forgot about that. Back in that other place, in the tunnel, I was standing— and then I fell. I lost my balance. And I found it — sort of — and kept it by crawling. Hey, thanks.”

Having discovered the answer, Kendon dipped the pen into the inkwell and wrote the word “BALANCE” on the cloth. He cringed a bit at his messy handwriting, but the expression soon transformed into one of awe as the flames began flowing out from the box. He smiled, both relieved and excited he had come to the correct conclusion. If he weren’t so self-conscious, he might have even pumped his fist in the air. His face changed once again, however, and this time into a look of horror; he hadn’t expected to have burned a hole into the door. In retrospect, it made sense, but he had assumed the fire would have been contained in some way. Which, also in retrospect, shouldn’t have been a surprise, considering the freeform flames that had led him in the previous room.

“S-sorry about the door…” He began sheepishly, scratching above his ear, before swiftly changing tones, “Listen, I wasn’t expecting it! I was planning on using the key after, but the thing moved on its own! Erm, that last part wasn’t directed to you. I was talking to my f— myself. I mean no disrespect, my lor— lad— uh, my… Your Excellencies. I’ll, uh… I’ll just keep going.”

He started to walk away from the pedestal, but hesitated. “Is it… is it alright if I take the inkwell and pen with me? I mean, I don’t know how much use it’ll be to me, being dead and all, and I don’t know what the afterlife is like, but… I still have my journal and pencil for some reason, and the lead is bound to run out sometime… anyways, I wouldn’t mind being able to write. Or at least have that option. And it’s a really nice pen, too. But you don’t have to say yes, I’m just wondering. So… you know, if it’s a no, just let me know, or just… I guess make it disappear? I assume you can do that. I mean you made it appear. Sorry, anyways, yeah. I’ll get going.”

Kendon slipped the pen into his pocket next to the key and pick — he didn’t know what to do with them now that the fire had opened the door — and picked up the inkwell. He brought it up to eye level to examine it further. It would be too much of a hassle to bring it around in an addition to the hammer. What did he even need a hammer for? Or a key or a pick for that matter? None that he could think of. He set down the hammer, along with the the other two puzzle items, trading them for the inkwell. He wasn’t exactly sure what the point was, but he reasoned there was no harm in trying. With nothing else to do, the man would step through the door.


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Kaien
 Posted: May 4 2018, 06:13 PM
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Admin


Interesting.

As he pushed through the door, leaving the water behind him, he'd find that the items were still in his pockets for the moment, the inkwell remaining in his hands. The same did not hold for the environment, the shift being immediate as he stepped through. The water and chilling feeling was gone, to be replaced with a rather neutral feel. The air was neither cold nor warm, but remained at the medium. The air didn't seem to be stale, even if there was no clear source or wind to brush through fresh oxygen.

Contrary to the cool color from the previous, he'd find that this world was brighter. A pale yellow light sparked with electricity that ran across the yellow floor of this ever-expansive place, stretching out seemingly endlessly in every direction. The door behind him had vanished, leaving him no option to return to where he'd just come from. The static coursed around, sparks tickling at his feet and ankles, a bit of energy flowing into him. It encouraged a feeling of excitement and a bit of impatience, preparing him for the next tasks to come.

Just A Bit More.

At each of the four diagonals from him, the electricity sparked up, silent lightning shooting up from the ground. In the place where it had come from, a table appeared in all for spots, each of equal size and height. Though they looked identical, the items that appeared on each were certainly not. They glowed a brilliant golden hue, smooth at the surface with rounded edges from the table all the way down to the ground beneath his feet, harshly ending at the odd pale yellow of the actual floor. Though what material it was remained to be seen.

To the front-right of Kendon was a simple sheet of parchment, with a golden pen resting next to it. It laid out across the table, the pale tan color seeming boring in comparison to the table it was sitting on. The words on the parchment were in strange, unrecognizable characters. The ink they were written with was a fine black, easy to see atop the much brighter hues around it. Though the letters were odd, he'd find himself understanding the words written upon the paper as he focused, despite not completely understanding the letters themselves.

A water lily doubling its surface every year covers an entire pond at the end of 12 years.
If there had been two water lilies of the same properties, how much time would it have taken to cover the pond entirely?

The front-left table held 12 cards, each with a different intricate design on its surface. Each card was the exact same size and shape, spaced perfectly to organize them into 3 rows of four, lined up in a grid formation. If he chose to look, he'd see that the backs of the cards were a blank white color. Behind the cards was a small slit stand that could hold one of the cards. The front of it read "Choose One". From the top left card across each row to the bottom left card, the card were as follows:

Hope
Intuition
Authority
Determination
Choices
Resilience
Passion
Inner Strength
Discernment
Regeneration
Moderation
Materialism

Going around clockwise, the next table position behind him held the same as its diagonal partner - a paper and pen. It really was an almost identical appearance, however further study would show that this parchment held different letters from the other. The pen was a bit different as well, etched details carved delicately into the handle whereas the other had been smooth. This one also had more space on the page for him to write in. It read:
[i]In this sentence, the number of occurrences of 0 is __,of 1 is __, of 2 is __, of 3 is __, of 4 is __, of 5 is __, of 6 is __, of 7 is __, of 8 is __, and of 9 is __."

The final table was carved in the middle. It was indented into a perfect square, the carving perfectly smooth at the base with flat, short edges. Along the sides were stacks of puzzle pieces. From a first glance, it was likely easy to guess that there were too many to be counted quickly. In all, there were 500 pieces to the puzzle, and intricate and large image being possessed within the pieces. If he had the patience and determination to put together the puzzle, he'd be awarded with a beautiful Image of some kind of bird in flight.

Complete All, Some, Or None.

The entire time, the door forward would be present. Kendon would be able to cross through it whenever he chose, as there was no requirement to complete any of the tasks laid before him. It stood tall and grandiose, a door inlaid with deep golden colors, a slightly darker hue of it outlining the frame and details. Once he opened the door, he'd be greeted with something new. A staircase made of a dark orange brick would ascend towards a warm saffron light, cascading down and beckoning him up.

Prepare For Judgment.




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Kenos
 Posted: May 7 2018, 09:09 PM
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Player


Interesting? Kendon furrowed his brow. Was that a good interesting? Or a bad interesting? Had he done something wrong? He knew he had taken a couple of gambles in the previous room, what with completing more than one puzzle and with keeping the pen and inkwell, but he didn’t think those were overly egregious acts. Maybe he was being praised for thinking outside the box? For going against the grain? That was a thing people thought well of, wasn’t it? Individuality? Then again, these judges weren’t typical people… they were gods, or angels, or — at the very least— beings of considerable power. Who knows what they deemed appropriate? The man wasn’t too big on religion (not that he’d express so out loud, not at the moment), but didn’t celestial beings usually like things a certain way? The ones that had brought him here designed these challenges a specific way, for whatever purpose, to test him for specific things, and he had broken their system, and, presumably, the methods which they had intended to test him in the first place, so, logically speaking, it would make sense that they’d be unhappy with his choices, because they conflicted directly with what they had wanted, and the reason they — it — she — whoever had said “interesting” was because he had made a mistake or several mistakes and now they had something planned—

“Right. Right. Okay.” Kendon closed his eyes and let out a long breath. “You’re right. I need to… stop. I can’t know what they meant, and there’s no reason, or point in, agonizing over it. I mean, I’m still here, with no way out except to continue. So… alright, let’s go. Thanks.” He laughed hollowly. “It’s stupid, right? It was just a word.”

He shook his head and took another breath. Now that he had calmed down — at least, somewhat so — he could begin to evaluate his environment. Unlike the past rooms, this one… didn’t feel like much of anything. He wasn’t sure if he liked it, but he didn’t exactly dislike it either. It was just… well, it just was. That’s all he could really say about it. Although… the spark of energy wasn’t bad. It wasn’t soothing or relaxing, like the previous atmosphere was; in fact, it was quite the opposite. It made him excited— no, not exactly that. It made him… it made him want to do things. To move, complete the next tasks, to do anything other than stand around and waste time. He hadn’t felt like this in a long time. Most days, he felt like one of those RC cars on low battery, the kind that would inch forward for two seconds before coming to a halt. But this— this felt like before all that.

The young man tilted his head slightly to the right, his eyebrows pushed together, a slight lift of one corner of his mouth. This was good. He walked over to the table in front of him and to the right, carefully setting down the inkwell and then picking up the parchment. He ran his eyes over the strange script several times, both confused and amazed by his ability to read it. Was this some sort of ancient writing system? Or a divine one? Either way, he was curious, and the characters’ origin intrigued him more than the riddle they described. He took out his journal, flipping through to the next open page, and proceeded to copy down each symbol. It was by no means a perfect replication (his handwriting was not the best even under normal circumstances) but it would be as close as he could get. He then transcribed the translation as he understood it in his head, copying it down directly underneath its counterpart. He wondered how useful it would actually be: how accurate was the translation? Did the two languages even share the same grammar? And first of all, did each sign represent a syllable, or a sound, or an idea? Or maybe it was just a cipher, and figuring this out would be easier than expected.

“Alright, alright, I was just curious. It’s not like I have a time limit. I mean, I hope not. They didn’t say… Well, anyway, it took like ten seconds to write down. Whatever, a minute, point is it didn’t take long. I’m pretty sure I’m spending more time arguing with you than I did copying the puzzle. Okay, yeah, I realize that I’m actually just arguing with myself… Fine, fine, let’s do this. Let’s see… another math one? Shoot, I’m pretty sure I’ve done this kind of thing before… except it was with bacteria or something. There’s probably a math equation for this or something… I don’t remember the algebra. I mean, obvious answer is 6 years, right? If there’s two lilies that would take half the time, right? Yeah, I know, the obvious answer is usually wrong… Oh, gotcha. I can do that. Lemme write this down… Working backwards… it doubles every year, so a year before 12 it was half the pond? And a year before that— wait, that’s it. Half the pond at 11 years, times two because of the second lily. That’s it, right?

“Well, just to be safe… 11 is half the pond, 10 is a quarter, nine one-eighth, eight one-sixteenth, seven one-thirty-second, six one-sixty-fourth, five one-one-twenty-eighth, four one-two-fifty-sixth, three one-five-twelfth, two one-ten-twenty-fourth, one one-twenty-forty-eighth… Shut up, I can’t think. I know I got it, I just want to make sure in case I’m wrong. Okay, so after one year, the lily is one-twenty-forty-eighth of the pond…. But since there are two… Wait, no, I start at zero, not one. One is already one year passed. So at year zero the lily is one-forty— oh, right. Since there are two lilies it’ll come out to one-twenty-forty-eighth anyway. Okay, so one-twenty-forty-eighth times n years equals one?? No, that’s not it. Each year it doubles, it gets multiplied by two. So that would be… two times n? No, two to the nth power. Times one-twenty-forty-eighth equals one. Then I’d have to solve for n? Oh fu— erm, forget it, that’s too complicated. Shut up.”

Kendon used the golden pen to write “11 Years” on the parchment, then set the golden pen down as he waited for something to happen. Nothing did, and it took the boy several seconds to remember that these challenges were optional, and that the exit was already open for him. He coughed, embarrassed, then grabbed the inkwell and moved it to the table on his left. He placed it on the corner, close enough to the edge it wouldn’t be in the way, but far enough away from it he wouldn’t accidentally knock it off. As his brain cells had been partially drained from the preceding puzzle, Kendon was glad this next one didn’t require much critical thinking. He picked up a couple of the cards to check if the backsides had anything, and was relieved they were blank. Good. Less variables for him to consider. Just as he had done with the others, he chose to go by process of elimination.

He picked up the AUTHORITY and MATERIALISM cards and set them aside in a stack, not too fond of either idea. The DETERMINATION, RESILIENCE, PASSION, INNER STRENGTH, DISCERNMENT, and REGENERATION were next to join the pile, simply because he didn’t like the pictures on them. He repeated his reasoning out loud, in case it affected the test and the deities needed to know. Three cards remained. Kendon rearranged them to sit in a row, spacing them as evenly as possible. In truth, if he were to base the cards on the words alone, these probably wouldn’t have been the three he’d have chosen. Still, things should be judged as a whole, not by a single part; or, at least, that’s what he had always believed. Reluctantly, he discarded INTUITION. Compared to the others, both image-wise and word-wise, he found it lacking. The CHOICES card… well, it was beautiful, but he wasn’t exactly sold on the ideal itself. Not that people shouldn’t have choices, but, personally, it gave him anxiety. On the other hand, HOPE was something he could appreciate, but the image wasn’t quite as magnificent as the other. Which should he favor? Image, or ideal?

“Give me a second, I want this to be a meaningful decision. Alright, what do you think? I love the dichotomy in this card. The balance between dark and light, the moon and the sun, woman and man… but also how it isn’t a strict, clean division— it melds together, merges subtly along the bottom. There’s an in between, not just ‘this or that’. This one is cute, and I like the style, and ‘Hope’ is something I think is more positive… Mm, but there can be empty hope too. And you can’t have disappointment without hope… Hrm. Choices… well, what else could it mean? Choices… choices… choices can mean opportunities. It can mean freedom. It can mean control, and not being bound by fate or— or things out of our power. It can mean possibilities… infinite possibilities. It— it can mean change, or growth. It can mean trying.”

Whether it was the mystical energy of the room or some rare spark instigated by the puzzles, the male was thinking and feeling much more positively than usual. But just as quickly as it spiked, it vanished. What good were happy thoughts, now that he was dead? Where were they when he was alive? Before he had gone AWOL on his family. His family. He let them believe he was dead. And now he was. After everything they had done for him, everything they were to him— if it had been different, if he could have had a happy thought before— Kendon clenched his hand into a fist. He shook his head, brushing off unspoken words, and picked up one of the cards. “Yeah. Choices. My choices. Doesn’t matter how I was feeling or what I could have been feeling instead. I made those choices. And choices can’t be undone. “

He placed the CHOICES card into the slit stand and walked silently to the next table. He glanced over the parchment before deciding to skip it for now. It seemed like it would take some thinking and his head wasn’t in the right place. He needed to cool off. This next puzzle would take time, but it was the kind one could do almost automatically, without much thought. He sorted through the tiles by color and pattern, placing the groups as far from each other as he could. When he came across a particular piece that shared traits among different groups, he would move the piles around accordingly and start a new stack in between them. After he sorted through each tile, he started lining up the matching ones. It was a slow, tedious process, and more than once he had to rearrange entire groupings, but he was able to make good progress. Unlike his time with all the other puzzles, he worked at this one without speaking a single word. (At one point, he even laid on the ground, eyes closed, for several minutes before resuming). Once the last square was in place, he looked it over for any mistakes, admired the final image, and moved back over to the other table.

“Sorry about that,” he explained, “I just needed— thanks. Eh. It is what it is. Let’s move on. I’m probably going to need your help for this one.”

He read the parchment several times. It was only a single sentence, and was fill-in-the-blank, but he could already gauge how difficult it would be. The man took his journal and pencil out, once more opening up to a blank page. He copied the riddle, but broke it up so that each number had its own line. He marked the paper as he thought out loud, keeping tally on each line and erasing when making a mistake.

“Okay. For now, let’s put ‘1’ in every blank besides one. That gives us a total of… ten ones? But now we have two ones and two zeroes… Ah. So, none of the numbers can be the same as itself, or it would change it immediately. If I had three threes I would have to write in ‘3’, but then I would have four threes… and changing that to four would make us have three threes again… Okay, so we can avoid this recursive BS. I guess that makes it easier? Good point. We also probably won’t have a large amount of the same number. There’s only ten spaces, so we can’t have, like, nine sevens, because that would give us two nines, and two twos, and then we wouldn’t have room for nine sevens… That means none of the answers would be ten, and definitely not one hundred, so there’s only going to be one zero. Well, that’s one blank done.

“Hrm. What’s the maximum we can probably have? Let’s just… Huh. Let’s just try less than five, and mess around with that. We know zero is one, which gives us at least two ones… Two can’t be two, so it’s either one, three, or four… Am I doing this wrong? Oh, gotcha. If we’re going no higher than four, that means five, six, seven, eight, and nine are also one. That gives us… five more ones. Which gives us… plus two is seven ones… So if we put seven for one, that means there are two sevens now, and six ones… Oh, okay, let’s put six for one and two for six. Is that… Yeah, that’s okay for now. That gives us two twos, but we can’t have that, so we’re going to need to have another double… but we only have two more spaces open.. Hm. So let’s make it three. That makes three the other double. Right now we have two threes and three twos… that checks out. Four is blank, but I think we can save this… If we make four one we can just shift a couple others… Seven ones, one six, two sevens… Lemme count the ones again. Seven ones, three twos, two threes, two sevens. This is it!”

Kendon set his journal and pencil on the table and picked up the other pen. Looking back on his work, he would mark the parchment so that it would now read:
In this sentence, the number of occurrences of 0 is 1 , of 1 is 7 , of 2 is 3 , of 3 is 2 , of 4 is 1 , 5 is 1 , of 6 is 1 , of 7 is 2 , of 8 is 1 , and of 9 is 1 .
He recounted again just to make sure it actually was correct, and after he had convinced himself it was so, began to walk towards the exit. He also admired the etchings on the pen but, not wanting to be greedy, left it on the table. On his way to the exit, he picked up the inkwell from where he had left it. He paused at the door, running his fingers along its edges before swinging it open. At the sight of the staircase, and at the sound of the deity’s final words, he massaged the inkwell nervously before starting the climb.


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Kaien
 Posted: May 8 2018, 07:01 AM
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Admin


Welcome.

The light trickled down, becoming stronger and stronger as he ascended the stairwell, reaching towards the top. The powerful energy matched that which had been at the beginning of these trials, and it pushed on him once more, seeking to comfort and welcome him to this place. The energy was warm and strong, and it would aid any exhaustion he might be feeling after having completed the previous challenges. Once he reached the top, he'd find the same warm hue covering this world, the orange greeting him all around.

Just a little further.

Straight ahead, a podium appeared, with a slot open in the middle of it. It was impossible to tell where it may lead, and there was no way to open up the podium. Laying upon it's surface were two tablets. On the first was written 'One for all'. The second, 'All for one' Inscribed above the slot were instructions to choose one, and enter it into the hole. As soon as a tablet was placed within, the podium would vanish, the objects and words the contained with it.

Make your choices.

Another appeared up ahead, looking identical to the first. The same slot, same height, same instructions. This time there were three tablets. The first was 'Defense', the second 'Strength', and the third 'Speed'. Once a tablet was entered, it would vanish just as the first had, taking away any trace of anything having been there.

A third podium appeared just as the others had. This one held only two tablets. The choices this time were 'Resilience' and 'Flexibility'.

The fourth podium to appear held 3 choices for Kendon to consider. They were 'Camouflage', 'Brilliance', and 'Knowledge'.

A final podium appeared, and the process repeated yet again. The two tablets here were inscribed with 'Direct' and 'Abstract'. Once this podium was completed and disappeared, there would not be another in it's place. It seemed that, for the moment, he was done with questions and tasks. For the first time since he arrived here, he would be provided a couple minutes of time to himself, to relax or think as he saw fit. No matter what he chose, the moments would sit in silence, leaving him to whatever he wanted to do.

They define who you are.




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Kenos
 Posted: May 8 2018, 05:18 PM
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“’All for one’? ‘One for all’? Aren’t they… basically the same thing?” He wrinkled his brows, one side of his mouth askew. “No, yeah, I get that. I just mean— Look, it’s just gonna be difficult to choose. I… To be honest… no. Never mind. I guess— I guess it, objectively speaking, wouldn’t it be better to have ‘all for one’ than ‘one for all’? I mean, one person doing their part for everyone is nice and all, but, having everyone work together is… is more efficient, and, you know, promotes— what’s the word? Well, you get it.”

Kendon slid the “All for one” slab into the slot and moved onto the next podium. By now, the sudden disappearance and appearance of various objects no longer came as a surprise to him. “Is this… I mean, they seem like stats for a video game or something. If that’s what you’re going for… I guess I usually pick ‘speed’ for these types of things? I don’t really— I mean, I can’t really think of anything else it would be for… My strategy in games kinda consists of attacking and evading… Oh, shut up, it’s called surviving. There’s no cowardice in trying to stay alive. And it’s a real thing too in war— guerrilla tactics or something like that.”

The young man placed the “Speed” tablet in the hole. The next two choices came considerably quicker, as he took only seconds to select the “Flexibility” and “Knowledge” tablets. For the final decision, Kendon had stared blankly for a couple of minutes before randomly inserting the “Abstract” slab. He wasn’t sure which one “defined” him more, but he was certain there was some way of spinning it to fit his personality. After the last podium vanished, he would move onto the next— and then look around in confusion upon realizing it wasn’t there. He walked several paces forward, then back again, wondering if he had missed something. Maybe this was another test? Or had he done something wrong? Or maybe they were still judging him. Who knew how difficult it must be to weigh a soul?

Kendon sat down on the ground, waited for several seconds, then laid back with his hands cushioning his head. “So, how do you think I did? Yeah. Me neither. I thought I was doing well, too, until… I guess some things don’t change even after death. I don’t know. I think… part of me kinda wished that I would just… disappear. You know, cease to exist completely. Just… gone. I’m not complaining, though. This was… well, it was fun. I think I did more today than I have in a while… The weird thing is, a lot of it I didn’t do just because I had to. I wanted to. Mm. I get what you mean. But… I don’t know, I can’t help but think that… that’s what they intended. So that I could ‘move on’ or whatever. Heh. I kinda wish… well, I kinda wish I could’ve actually spoken to you, you know, for real, but I guess that would be asking for too much. Still, thanks for being here. You’ve made it… tolerable.”


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Kaien
 Posted: May 9 2018, 01:37 PM
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Kendon would be left to continue his conversation as the necessary arrangements were made. He would not be rushed, nor would his words be interrupted before the next few things would happen. It wasn't very subtle that things were changing. A flash of yellow light, the odd prickle of power with it. Then red light, and blue light with it. Three shimmering streams of color coursed through the air around him and stretching out, contrast to the orange lying in the background. He would only have but a brief few moments to observe it.

And then he would be falling. It was as sudden as the force that had brought him to this place - almost the same, even. The energy grasped around his body as he fell further and further away from the light, the hues disappearing into the nothingness that filled the space around him. The energy acted as a sort of guide, attempting comfort and keeping his body from falling too quickly. Still, the vertigo from the strange movements would cloud his vision and mind as his body raced to catch up with what was going on around him.

And in an instant, it was over. The feeling of falling was gone, though the dizziness and discomfort would linger a bit longer. The energy that had been holding him had dispersed as well, leaving the man to his own powers now. The air was crisp, and natural. The scent of freshly bloomed flowers and thick leaves filled the air, providing thick oxygen for him to breathe. There were a few sounds too - some leaves rustling, a bird tweeting in the distance. It was normal, much more realistic than the void he'd just exited.

As his vision cleared up, he'd be able to confirm his surroundings, much to that as he would have guessed from his other senses. It seemed he was in a bit of a clearing in a forest, the trees towering high above him. In every direction the flora was thick and lucious, newly grown from the season. The ground was hard, but the soil was more malleable that the flatness from before. It didn't seem that anyone was nearby - aside from anything he could have imagined himself.

Despite the life around him, it would be pretty easy to see the stomped trail not too far in front of the edge of this little clearing. While not a formal trail, consistent traveling had thinned out the life and make a clear mark as to where people walked. And it seemed there was something else walking up it now, with its eyes trained on him. Most of its fur was a creamy white color, with brown accents coloring its neck, ears, and forming rings on its arms, legs, and eyes. One of its two hands was clenched around a thin tail that ended in a poof, which bristled and resembled a paintbrush. About half of the end of its tail was wet with a blue substance, almost resembling paint. It headed towards him, and he'd be struck with an odd sense of familiarity with this pokemon - however, any attempts to remember why that was would be stifled by the last of his memories slipping away.


Throughout the challenges, the beasts collect much information for Ho-oh. Once they presented their findings, she selected the final questions for Kendon, based off the types that matched most to him. Through his answers and decisions, Ho-oh has chosen that a Normal type with high Speed & HP is a logical match for Kendon. After using this, and many other factors, she has chosen the pokemon and pushed Kendon through the portal outside Forest Beach Village, where his new partner awaits. @Kenos

Kendon has obtained a Smeargle!

Choose a gender

This pokemon has no egg moves - However, we are giving you the choice to decide what Smeargle's fist Sketch move will copy - You can pick any move with 100 power or less, and moves that call other moves (Such as Metronome) are also not eligible. Outside that, pick whichever move you like! Remember that this copy is permanent, and Smeargle will not learn another until level 11.

Choose an ability

Choose a name
(the name can be put off until later if you so desire)


[ This topic has ended, but you may resume the adventure in Forest Beach Village. From now on, the Smeargle is yours and is under your creative control. The die roll for the chance to have a Pokedex resulted in a 64, so Kendon does not start with a Pokedex. Send me a PM when you've made the necessary decisions regarding your new Pokemon. Good luck and have fun! ]



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