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Artemis lore:
6 dogs, 7 female dogs
4 (or some say 6) golden-horned deer
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60 Okeanids (a choir)
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Rixie

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Apr 18 2018, 01:03 PM
His mother surprised him one morning with a gift. While he sat at the table, silently musing at the dark tea in his earthenware mug, she got up and bustled off to the kitchen. Wave lifted her head briefly, much to Lilac’s distress, but she snuggled back down to the Rattata that was busily creating a masterpiece mess out of random scraps of everything within reach — right in the crook between Wave’s neck and arm, of course. Within seconds, his mother returned. She gave him a cheerful beam and plopped down a golden brown cloth wrapped around a mysterious cylindrical shape.

“Happy first birthday for Anthuria!” she exclaimed.

Avery stared at the package as his mouth curled down into a frown, ”That was a moon ago...”

“Oh, well, late birthday, then! Aren’t you going to open it, Ave?”

He deepened his frown at her, but his curiosity got the best of him and he reached out without moving his weight, extending one arm to its full length to grab it. He flicked a corner of the cloth away, and it fell about the table. It revealed a small container. He opened it skeptically, and found a dull, almost-gray syrup inside. He blinked, then he peered into its sludgey depths, giving it a tentative sniff. It smelled somewhat like blood, and yet... surprisingly sweet. ”Good grief. What is it?” he looked up at his mother, who was standing there with her hands clasped and looking smugly pleased with herself.

Rachel looked somewhat surprised. “You don’t know this? Well, I guess you’ve probably never seen it in person; it’s quite rare! It’s Steel Honey!”

Avery’s thick eyebrows raised and he promptly returned his sharp gaze to the jar of viscous sweets. Indeed, it had the smell, the thickness, and the color of Steel Honey, factoids he had memorized from his books on plants and their properties, but never observed firsthand. ”Where from?”

With a secretive smile, she shook her head, “Nevermind that, Avery. You’ve got to go to the Volcano and pick out a Pokémon to catch! There’s lots of Steel types up there, and you could really use one! They’re super strong against Fairy types, Ice types, Rock types, and they’re also resistant against a whole bunch of other types!”

The man’s face twitched with annoyance, and he protested, ”Carnation destroys Ice types. And Rock types will be taken care of with any Grass or Water types on my team, like Anthuria.”

“Then what about fairies?” she prodded.

Avery grumbled, “I’d be a lot more worried about dragons than some little fairies. I’m sure Carnation and Bluebell could take care of the fairies eventually. Dragons, though...”

She frowned at her son. He was always awful at accepting things, whether they be gifts or compliments. With a sigh, she ended the conversation, “Well they had Steel Honey, not Fairy or Ice Honey.”

”Mm...” he tipped the jar from side to side, watching the Honey ooze back and forth. ”Okay,” he finally said. Perhaps he could take that Steel type and use it to capture a Fairy type. That would be an acceptable course of action. Carefully, he screwed the lid back on the jar and wrapped it back up in the cloth. His mother smiled before turning away and saying, “I’ve got to go to work. I’ll see you when you get back from your trip, okay?”

He finished his tea in a few gulps and stood up, wordlessly leaving the main room and going to his bedroom. He picked up his pack, checking inside to make sure it had all his traveling supplies and adding the wrapped Honey to it. After a quick glance, he pulled it onto his shoulders over his white long-coat. He returned to the main room, glancing at Lilac and crooning softly to her, ”Come on, Lilac. Time to get in your ball. We’re going out.” The Rattata looked away, checking where Wave had gone. Alas, the black-maned creature had already gotten up and left, following Rachel. With her toy gone, she finally agreed to come bounding over to Avery, leaping from the ground onto his white pants and swiftly clambering up to his belts. She snuffled at the pokeballs there, confirming where her family members were before pressing and nosing her way into her own pokeball, the cozy little den she liked to sleep in.

Avery grabbed the sword from where it rested by the door and slung it over his back, wedging his backpack tightly against him. He exited his house and looked up and down the dusty street. Everything seemed normal. A quick, and unintentionally harsh, tap unleashed Carnation and the fiery Pokémon appeared at his side, stretching his neck towards the morning sky and seeking out the spring sunlight. Avery waited for a couple of seconds, then set off on the fastest route to the western entrance of Crater City. His gaze settled on the distant volcano. From here, it just looked like a dark, semi-triangular shape on the horizon, jutting up stubbornly over the top of the city walls.

He knew he’d have to be careful, as it was dangerous outside the city, and the volcano was particularly treacherous, but he was confident that he’d be fine. He shot a glance at Carnation, wondering vaguely if they’d meet his kin. He remembered the enormous Ninetales and her Vulpix babies all too well. But what were the chances? Surely not likely.

Before too long, he was passing by the Peace Officers standing by the entrance to the city.

“Business outside?” one of them asked. Avery gave a silent, grave nod and kept walking. After all, he had somewhere to be.

The other Peace Officer, a young man who was probably just recruited, whispered noisily, “Who is that? He’s scary...”

His partner responded quietly, “That’s Avery. He’s one of Beta’s top officials. And that’s his Ninetales that he’s had for years. Don’t get on their bad sides.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” the youngster muttered as Avery left earshot.

The morning was crisp without being too cold, allowing Avery to take a comfortably long-strided pace. He ignored the road, forging ahead through the tall grass that swished slightly above his knees, leaving a wide trail of bent grass pushed aside. There were fewer Pokémon along the road, but he was heading for the volcano anyways. It would be faster to make a beeline towards it instead of traveling down the path first and then cutting across the plains when the path no longer headed that direction.


1092
Apr 14 2018, 07:31 PM
[Goal: to boost loyalty for Rockruff]


Cynthia was careful about making sure nobody else was in the vicinity when she called out the Rockruff. She told Nyra to take Gray and Green and to stay away from the house for a while, because she was trying to tame a new Pokémon. She put Amnisiad safely into her pokeball. Iphigenia was waiting nervously in the second room, ready to rush in and help Cynthia if she called for her. She didn’t like this plan to try to bring the Rockruff onto their side. She would’ve preferred to just finish her off while she was down. Alas, Iphigenia supposed it couldn’t be helped. Cynthia wanted a stronger following.

She had just caught her this morning, but the creature was already awake, and giving a furious glare to Cynthia. The Rockruff snarled and took a step towards the human, but her weak, shaking legs gave way under her weight and dumped her on the ground. She was awake, but definitely not fully recovered. Her head still ached something fierce from where that Deerling had kicked her while she was down. The Deerling would pay for that. She looked around, trying to find the creature she wished to bite to pieces, but she only saw walls of the human den she was in. Not only did this human forcefully steal her from her hunting grounds, she had the audacity to bring her into her den? Hah! The Rockruff Leered with bared teeth at the tall human woman.

Except it... didn’t really seem to have much effect. She tried again, giving her nastiest, ugliest Leer. But the woman was unshaken. She felt a shiver of despair. What was this woman? She swallowed and her snarl slowly dissipated. Her teeth were still bared, but the tension in the muscles was disappearing as she tried to come up with a new strategy. If intimidation wouldn't work, perhaps she had to escalate to actually attacking the human. The Rockruff was smaller, significantly. She barely came up to the human's knees. Plus she was still weak from this morning... but if she didn't make herself heard now, when would she be able to? If she showed weakness and bowed to this human’s will — if she didn’t immediately assert herself and make it known that she would not submit — it would set entirely the wrong impression. What choice, really, did she have? Facing such a huge adversary, she decided that it must be her first attack that took it down. If the human was given a chance to retaliate... this could end badly for her.

The stupid human was still just standing there, that wooden spear in one hand, the ball that had captured her resting at her feet, and... was that...? In its other hand, it was holding a dark slab of meat. The Rockruff’s belly growled, despite herself, and she promptly covered it up with a snarl. What was the human trying to do now? Convince her to work with it by bribing her with food? As if!

Gravely offended, the Rockruff launched herself at the human’s leg with a ferocious bark, her fangs practically glowing with every ounce of crackling energy she could still summon. The human shifted and lifted the leg that she had aimed for, causing the Rockruff’s canines to chomp down on the human’s thick leather boot instead of the unarmored flesh of her leg.

The human yelled out in pain, but instead of losing composure or trying to run away — even instead of taking this opportunity to cowardly force her into the ball — it stomped its leg downwards again immediately, jolting her spine-first into the hard floor and knocking the wind out of her chest. As she struggled to breathe and regain her feet, the human’s boot returned and suddenly an immense weight was crushing down on her neck. The world swam in her eyes as she choked, the blood to her head being forcefully cut off.

Cynthia took shaky breaths, as she glared down at the canine Pokémon. Her entire leg felt weak and tingly, as though the electricity was still biting into her muscle fibers. The reflex to the electrical shock had forced her leg to straighten out and slam into the ground before she even knew what happened, but at least that had ended up in her favor. The leather boots had stopped the majority of the teeth from digging into her foot, and it had insulated some of the electricity, but not enough. All it took were two points of contact, like two sharp teeth protruding into her skin, to send the entire load of electricity through her body. If that attack made contact again, she would likely pass out. Or go into cardiac arrest.

The Rockruff’s struggles were growing dangerously weak under her boot, though, so she lifted it up, frowning at the dark red coloration that was seeping out of the holes in her nice leather boots. Holes in her boots. Thoroughly ticked off, Cynthia leaned down and grabbed the Rockruff by the scruff of its neck, lifting it up into the air where it would be unable to unleash any fury on her. She looked into the creature’s glazed blue eyes as it squirmed weakly and finally found its breath, chest expanding and contracting frantically to pump oxygen into its lungs. Still enraged, Cynthia shook the creature by the skin on the back of its neck thoroughly, rattling its bones and causing its ears to flop back and forth. ”I cannot believe you put holes in my boots!” she hissed, pausing her shaking of the Rockruff and pointing at her bleeding foot. ”You will repay me for these a hundredfold.” The shaking resumed. Looking at her intense, snarling expression was like trying to stare into a bright, roaring fire, and finally the Rockruff, afraid that if she didn’t submit, she might be burned beyond repair, looked away and went limp.

Finally, Cynthia stopped shaking the canine. She lowered it to the ground, dropping it the last foot or so and quickly withdrawing so she was grabbing her spear with both hands, still glowering at the Rockruff. In all the excitement, she didn’t even know what happened to the large chunk of meat. She must have dropped it when she was bitten. Glancing around the room, she found it thrown several feet away. Keeping one eye closely on the dog, who was panting and shivering slightly, with her head lowered and her large, sharp canines still quite evident, Cynthia slowly limped over to the meat. Every movement was careful, deliberate, and silent. Shifting the spear to just one hand, and keeping it pointed menacingly at the Rockruff, she leaned down and grasped the edge of the meat in one hand.

She straightened up and her face twisted into a conflicted scowl. Of course, she was still pissed. She had half a mind to just kill the insolent beast and be done with it. Perhaps its pelt would be thick enough to repair her boot. On the other hand, she had said hundredfold. How many high quality boots could be made from such a small Pokémon? Five? Six? No. She would find a way to make the Rockruff work for her to repay her in kills. And it couldn’t do that if it starved or didn’t heal from its wounds. Making up her mind, Cynthia tossed the slab of meat between the Rockruff and herself, about three quarters of the way to the Rockruff, so they wouldn’t have to come too close to one another.

The Rockruff sniffed the air suspiciously, but the overwhelming scent of fresh, bloody meat was all she could detect. The human was much stronger than she expected. She still wasn’t convinced it was stronger than her. If she was fully healed and rested, surely she could defeat the blithering idiot. But right now... she needed food. She would never get her chance to prove that she was the stronger of the two if she didn’t eat. Slowly, reluctantly, the Rockruff took hesitant steps towards the meat, and the human. Finally, when she was close enough, she snatched the meat and retreated, trotting into the corner of the den and glaring at Cynthia.

Cynthia sighed. She wanted — no, she needed — a pack of hunting Pokémon to assist her bringing down the bigger prey she wished to. A loyal group she could trust to have her back when they were exploring unknown lands. Being angry at the Rockruff for simply trying to gain freedom was stupid; she had really let her wrathful side out. But at least the Rockruff was eating now, though it continued throwing glares at Cynthia between bites. She had a sneaking suspicion that this conflict was not over, but she would just have to keep trying.


1475
Apr 13 2018, 11:28 AM
[I would like for Avery to encounter a Dewpider.]

”You’ve got to expand your team in ways other than raising Pokémon from eggs. It simply takes too long to be practical, and it severely limits your options. You’ll only be able to find Pokémon that are common enough to be bred and sold.” So he was told. And though he was still somewhat reluctant, for he believed there was no easier way to earn a creature’s loyalty than to raise it from an egg, he would obey.

He walked out of the city walls with Carnation following him close behind, giving a nod of his head to the Peace Officers stationed there. Still, there was some ways to go. He wished he could have Lilac out of her pokeballs, but given that they were headed into the wilds, where dangers could lurk, he decided to leave the baby in her safe capsule for now. He gave friendly, but un-smiling, greetings to the various people he passed. Some were recent arrivals from other cities, living in tents until they could secure adequate housing. Some were simply living out here permanently. Then there were the small houses a bit further out from the refugee-camp-like crowd. Each was surrounded by pens and fields, or the tools of trades that required a lot of space, or a particular distance from people.

Avery wrinkled his nose at the stench of a tanner’s hut. Large bins laid about the yard, full of unfinished leather and putrid liquid designed to preserve the hides into a workable finished product. Nearby, rows and rows of stretchers of all sizes, each pulling and softening the leather gradually.

Luckily they were not terribly common, so after passing through a large section of huts made for tanners, Avery was able to breathe again. Many of these plots were geared towards food production instead. A large coop dwarfed the small houses of the people living on the egg farm he passed. Noisy clucking and cooing disturbed the air, and there was altogether too much dust. Carnation sneezed.

Avery much preferred the plant and berry farms, and his eyes betrayed a shimmer of appreciation as he passed by rows and rows of berry bushes, prunes into shapes of convenient little trees that were easy to harvest from. He should probably get more berries. Perhaps, if he had some downtime today between searching for new Pokémon, he could try his luck at finding some wild ones that he could harvest.

For now though, he was finally exiting the sprawling collection of farms and workshops outside Crater’s walls, and he turned off the path to head towards one of the streams that exited into the bay just north of Crater. Lots of Pokémon gathered near the fresh, running water. Everyone needed to drink, after all.

Carnation paused and sniffed the air every once in a while, never letting his guard down. He secretly hoped there wouldn’t actually be that many water types, even though they were heading towards the gently gurgling stream. Not that he had anything against water types themselves... he was just painfully aware that it was much more difficult for him to protect Avery from them.
Apr 13 2018, 08:59 AM
Avery decided he would be going on an excursion a little further out from the city. And in preparation for said excursion, he would need more supplies. In particular, he’d need more pokeballs, which he was running terribly low on. Lilac was snuggled up in the collar of his coat, her beautiful purple fur blending in nicely with his purple shirt and complementing the white longcoat.

He made his way to the marketplace, looking for someone selling pokeballs. It had been almost a year since he last purchased them, so he wasn’t entirely certain where to go. Finally, he found someone advertising their wares with a small sign: a carefully scratched image of a pokeball in a piece of bark.

The giant man approached the merchant, his expression blank and neutral, and spoke in a gentle voice, ”Why, hello. What kind of prices are you charging for regular pokeballs?”
Apr 11 2018, 12:39 AM
Avery realized he needed to learn to sympathize with the common person if he was going to be able to talk to them and convince them to come to Crater City. He also wanted to be useful, though. The thought of sitting around and chatting abhorred him; action was key. And it wouldn't hurt if he could squeeze some strength training in, too. So today he was finally going out to help with the reinforcements of the city walls.

"I'm headed out," he said, projecting his rumbling voice to fill the small cottage that was his and his mother's home.

"Oh! Just a second, Ave! Let me just come see you off-" Shuffled footsteps filled the air, but by the time she rushed out of the kitchen, he had already left, slamming the door behind him hard enough to shake the walls, as he always did. She was left standing in the empty room wringing her hands on a small kitchen towel. "Ah... See you later, then," she returned to the dishes.

Avery's hands were in his pockets as he walked through the streets, his collar popped high as he headed towards the edge of the city. A single golden pin on his lapel shone in the sunlight, glinting. His neutral gaze passed over the various people, giving a polite nod to them. For once, Carnation was not at his side. He was safely tucked away in his pokeball which was fastened to one of the black leather belts around his waist. He made his way through the streets, through the inner gates, outwards towards the shops and homes of the workers and the branded. As he reached the outer city walls, he looked up to see the scaffolding, the rocks, the ropes. A giant vat of thick mud laid at the bottom of the scaffold. Avery stopped at a large stone where an old, grizzled man was sitting with a large, half-unrolled scroll of writing cloth. "Ooh, are you helping today? Good, good! I could use a pair of strong hands!" the man perked up with a grin that was missing several teeth.

Avery gave a small nod of affirmation. "What can I help with?" he asked in a soft, deep voice.

The old man squinted at him. Even as Avery was accepting a job and asking for directions, he somehow managed to make it seem like he was the one in charge. But the old man just smirked and chuckled. He shook his head at Avery, "Don't remember me, eh? It's alright. But you do remind me of a certain someone even more, now that you're a man."

Avery blinked. It felt strange to have the tables turned on him like this. He suddenly, and for the first time, actually looked at the grizzled, old man. Avery's cold, distant stare focused on his features and a shimmer of recognition came into his turquoise eyes. "Oh... Hello. I suppose I should've guessed you would be overseeing the construction," his voice gained fluency, as though he had stopped trying to carefully modulate each and every word that came from his mouth. He drew closer, taking a look at the blueprints. Lines. Lots of straight lines. He couldn't make sense of them. He would be annoyed, if he cared. But he didn't. So he brushed the vague sensation away like an annoying Bug type. He couldn't even remember the man's name, but he knew he was important: one of the first people who remembered masonry and construction, and a key figure in the raising of (and ongoing improvements to) Crater City.

He continued staring at the old man, waiting for instructions. Finally, the geezer gave a rough sigh and gestured upwards towards the scaffolding. "Help the guys on the rope system bring rocks up to the top. A rock that's about a foot in diameter is roughly 150 pounds -- and that weight scales up fast when you get to bigger rocks. It's not easy to lift it five or six feet in the air without busting your back." Avery gave a sharp, single nod of his head and walked towards one of the small groups of men who were clinging on tight to a large, thick rope that stretched upwards, looped over a thick beam, and held fast to a carefully wrapped and balanced rock. About two feet in diameter he observed silently. More than 400... 500 pounds. "You gonna take off your sword, Avery?" the man asked with a hint of a smile around his lips, "Or are you planning on beating the wall with the flat of that blade?"

The tall man in white turned and looked at the aged architect with a blank stare before speaking, "A fruitless endeavor. Could scratch my blade, too."

"No, I meant... Ah... I see you inherited his sense of humor, too," mumbled the old man, shaking his head to himself.

Still, Avery was complying, lifting the sword and its strap up and over his head and shoulder, allowing it to rest beside the old man. "Watch it," he commanded with a hint of an icy warning in his voice, before turning to face the small group of men clustered around the rock.

Avery tapped two of the smaller men on their shoulders as lightly as he could: a heavy clap that thudded against their bones and shook their spines. One jumped out of the way, and the other started and jerked, whipping his branded head around to see what had attacked him. He shrank away at the sight of the man who stood almost a foot taller than him and mumbled something about tying up more rocks. Without missing a beat, Avery took their place and seized the end of the rope that was closer to the rock, looping it around his hands twice. He spoke with his crooning voice, "On the count of three. One. Two. Three!" Digging his heels into the sandy soil, he heaved with all his might, a strained growl escaping from his clenched teeth as the wrapped stone rocketed several almost a yard into the air. He heard feet scrambling to find a purchase behind him as he backed up several steps, nearly stepping on the people behind him as he plodded backwards, keeping his eye on the stone. His feet quickly caught up with the progress that his arms had made, and the ascent slowed rapidly. He leaned his back into it, taking one step at a time away from the wall and hoisting the payload upwards.

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