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  #451    
Old June 27th, 2013, 03:47 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> Pray(how long has it been?) Ask Gengar if he has batteries, if he doesn't loot Ecruteak. Tell Jasmine to scratch Elm and last but not least teach Vesta grammar.

This isn't exactly the kind of itch you can scratch. This is more of an itch coming from a canker in the soul, a little boil of self formed where the questing tendrils of eldritch parasites plunge deep into one's core; unless you know a philosopher with a liberal attitude and an array of magic spells, there's nothing really you can do but wait, and hope that when you fix the world the coral will die and fall away from him.

You very much doubt the Gengar has batteries. It's the freaking sky, for God's sake! As for looting Ecruteak, you already did that.

Vesta has learned as much about grammar as you can teach her. She slightly misunderstands the meaning of the word 'nemesis', but now isn't the time to correct her.

> Ask the Gengar if he/she/it can tell you anything about the Ruins of Alph.
Also, you should probably try and see if you can find supplies, food or anything useful around, since, y'know, your starter is already pretty hot on your trail...


Hah! It's hot on your tail? Get it? Because it's following you, and it's on fire?



Sheesh. Fine. Be like that.

Anyway, you ask the Gengar if it knows anything about the Ruins of Alph.

Something is waiting there, it tells you. Something young and strong. I cannot see what it is, but I fear it. It blinks slowly. The Unown are buzzing, it goes on. I feel them humming in the air all around us, but I cannot see them. Not until they die.

“Right,” you say. “Uh, thanks.”

You cannot loot Ecruteak. There is nothing left to loot, unless you can somehow get past the locked gate of the Bellchime Trail and investigate the Bell Tower.
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  #452    
Old June 27th, 2013, 09:19 AM
c1234321's Avatar
c1234321
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Gender: Male
I dont know if this was already a thing, but apparently Vesta can sense the Quilava? Was that previously established?

Secondly, I would suggest having either Vesta or Jasmine attack the Gate and enter the Bell Tower. It appears that normally intelligent Pokemon, such as Ghosts/Legendaries/etc. become self aware during the Dreaming. And, since the Tower is supposedly home to Ho-oh and a passing place for the Legendary Trio of Johto, I'd say its worth checking out.
  #453    
Old June 27th, 2013, 07:11 PM
destinedjagold's Avatar
destinedjagold
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Join Date: May 2007
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Do we have time to wander around? I guess we do, since, maybe, just maybe, that the Gengar dome/sky/whatever can protect us from other Eldritch creatures entering the city.

After checking the Bell Tower, I guess we should plan how to get to the Ruins of Alph. Prepare necessary weaponry for protection as well.
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  #454    
Old June 29th, 2013, 02:28 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> I dont know if this was already a thing, but apparently Vesta can sense the Quilava? Was that previously established?
Secondly, I would suggest having either Vesta or Jasmine attack the Gate and enter the Bell Tower. It appears that normally intelligent Pokemon, such as Ghosts/Legendaries/etc. become self aware during the Dreaming. And, since the Tower is supposedly home to Ho-oh and a passing place for the Legendary Trio of Johto, I'd say its worth checking out.


Jasmine smashes the lock on the door to the Bellchime Trail with one blow of her open palm – reminding you indirectly of Tom Buchanan – and you pass through into the gatehouse where a few old monks live. There's nothing here (no one since Henry VIII has ever got much out of looting monasteries) but you're able to get onto the Bellchime Trail without much incident.

The place is... different, to be sure. It looks normal enough – locked in perpetual autumn by means unknown – but only half as long as normal due to the great black wall of the Gengar cutting it in two. You've all passed through the Gengar's side before by now, though, and you only have to persuade Jasmine a little bit before she follows you and Elm through.

On the other side, the Bell Tower rises straight and tall, a colossal monument to human endeavour; as always, you can feel a faint mellifluous hum in the air, as if the bell had just finished ringing when you arrived, and the last strains of its voice murmur among the orange leaves.

Oh yeah, and there's a dead Ho-Oh on the ground in front of it.

“OH MY GOD!” cries Jasmine, staring at the gigantic carcase. “HO-OH'S DEAD!

“Yes,” says Elm. “I had noticed.” He walks a little closer and scratches absently at the coral spreading across his cheek. “It fell from the Tower,” he says, looking puzzled. “And it isn't Eldritch...”

That's what seems so strange about it: Ho-Oh is the same as ever, resplendent in its rainbow-hued feathers. Red and gold mingle in the scabbed blood around its head, not green, and it smells of honey and rot, not petrol. There is a savage twist in its neck where it broke it in the fall from the roof; that shouldn't have killed an Eldritch Pokémon – or at least, not for long.

“What the hell happened here?” you say at length. It's the first thing you've been able to see since you arrived; Ho-Oh is too big, too colourful, too alive and yet too dead, and it fills your eye and your mind to capacity.

“I think it fell off the roof,” says Elm. His voice is toneless; he is as stricken as you are. “It fell off the roof...

“We can't leave it here,” you say immediately. “We have to – bury it, or something—”

“I AGREE,” says Jasmine. “BUT IT'S SO... IT WOULD TAKE US WEEKS TO DIG A HOLE BIG ENOUGH FOR IT.”

Elm sighs.

“She's right,” he says. “We can't spare the time.”

“And we can't leave it here!” you insist. “It's Ho-oh!”

“I know!” he snaps. “I'm thinking, damn it—”

I have an idea
, says Vesta, and the instant she says it, you realise what it is.

“Good girl,” you tell her. “That's it.” You turn to Elm and Jasmine. “We can't bury it,” you say. “But we can cremate it.”

“IT'S... HOW IT SHOULD BE,” replies Jasmine. Her voice is shaking; is that the light glinting on her cheeks, or are those more mercury tears? “HO-OH IS FIRE AND AIR. WE SHOULD RETURN IT TO THAT.”

Elm nods, his aggression spent.

“Fine,” he says. “Good idea.” He takes Jasmine's arm. “We should step back,” he says. “Ho-Oh's flame sacs are probably still full – if they'd burst in the fall, it would already have burnt up. The blaze will be, uh, potent.”

They take a few hurried steps away. You unwind the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing and hold up Vesta to the light.

“Burn it with respect, OK?” you tell her quietly. “This is like – this thing was a national icon. It's like a god of fire.”

A god of fire... Vesta sounds captivated by the idea. We will burn together, she decides. With respect!

“Good girl. Now!”

You swing the Webbing like a sling and hurl it at Ho-Oh's side; in an instant, the flesh and feathers seem to have disappeared, leaving a skeleton dimly visible at the core of a twisting inferno that climbs up, up and up, higher than the trees, higher even than the Bell Tower, belching black and gold smoke like a great primeval dragon.

And in among Vesta's green flames are golden ones, Ho-Oh's flames; and blue-purple ones, the sacred fire unleashed in the myths against the enemies of the Johtonians; and in the kaleidoscope of fire and light a massive heat is born, stripping the leaves from the trees in a wave of redly pulsing air, sending them spiralling around the blaze like nymphs dancing wild in some flaming Bacchanalia.

Then it is done.

The flames die down, the smoke vanishes; sparks wink out and of Ho-oh there is nothing left at all, not even ash – except for the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing, smoking gently but still intact, and a little dark object on the scorched ground.

Othodox found one Flattened Unown! Othodox put the Flattened Unown in the Pouch.

What a way to go: crushed to death beneath a falling legendary Pokémon. Makes you think, doesn't it? No, I guess it doesn't.

“Whoa,” you breathe.

“Yeah,” agrees Elm.

“IT'S AT PEACE,” says Jasmine. “AT LAST.”

“More than that,” Elm says. “Ho-Oh doesn't die – not permanently. It's a species of phoenix, after all.” He stares up at the now-smokeless sky. “Wherever that smoke went, Ho-Oh will be reborn,” he says. “It's not gone. We just moved it along a little.”

“Will it be reborn Eldritch?”

He shrugs.

“I have no idea,” he says honestly. “I hope not. It wasn't Eldritch when it died, so maybe...” He shrugs again. “I don't know.”

There is a long silence.

“Well,” you say, “we should go and look in the Bell Tower. See what we can find.”

“What about Vesta?” asks Elm, pointing.

You look. The Webbing is still smoking; it's probably not a good idea to touch it just yet.

“I'll get her on the way out,” you decide. “Just wait there, Vesta.”

You enter the Bell Tower, and split up to search the various floors. An hour later, you meet up again to pool your findings.

Othodox found one Ceremonial Sword! Othodox put the Ceremonial Sword in the Pouch.

Othodox found one Pot of Incense! Othodox put the Pot of Incense in the Pouch.

Elm found one Blessed Staff! Elm put the Blessed Staff in the Priestly Paraphernalia Pocket of Elm's Bag.
Jasmine found one Grimoire! Jasmine put the Grimoire in Othodox's Pouch.

Jasmine found one Sacred Ash! Jasmine put the Sacred Ash in Othodox's Pouch.


You go outside again and collect Vesta – but as soon as you pick her up, you notice that her experience in the funerary pyre has changed her.

Congratulations! Your Vesta evolved into NEW SPECIES [PLEASE ENTER NAME DATA MANUALLY]!

> Do we have time to wander around? I guess we do, since, maybe, just maybe, that the Gengar dome/sky/whatever can protect us from other Eldritch creatures entering the city.
After checking the Bell Tower, I guess we should plan how to get to the Ruins of Alph. Prepare necessary weaponry for protection as well.


You stare.

“Vesta...?”

“Yeah?” she answers, and you start. That is not her usual half-voice, buried in crackles and spits. That is a distinctly human voice – and recognisably female, as well.

“You've evolved.”

“Is that what it's called? I wasn't sure. I've definitely changed, if that's what you mean.”

“Oh yeah,” you manage, nodding. “You've definitely changed.”

Within the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing is a ball of golden flame in continual motion, endlessly extruding tentacles and half-formed limbs of liquid fire; Vesta resembles a baby shoggoth made of napalm, or something like that, and she can obviously move far more quickly than she used to.

“I don't think you need to carry me any more,” she says, diffidently – with a hint, you think, of the embryonic rebelliousness of a fledgeling teenager.

“Oh, OK,” you reply, putting her down. “Do you still need the—”

The Webbing boils and shudders, glowing gold from within as flames force their way through it, expanding, reshaping themselves, pushing the silk into new shapes the Spinarak never thought it might assume; it rises like a lumpish column, rounding at the top and forking in the middle, and grows in great juddering shocks with a sound like melting rock (we shall assume you know what that sounds like) – and then, all at once, the shape uncurls and straightens up and you can see what it is that Vesta has done.

Before you stands a statue of a woman (a little oddly-shaped, perhaps, but a pretty good likeness for someone without anyone to model it on): a woman whose skin is indestructible white-grey spider-silk, and whose eyes are formed of the rosy gold fire that makes up her core.

You and Vesta stare at each other for a moment. Looking into her burning eyes hurts, as if you were looking at the sun, but you can't quite tear yourself away: this is Vesta, your Vesta, your wonderful, clever little Vesta, and she...

Vesta hugs you. It's a bit like being hugged by a baby nuclear reactor, but you don't mind: you hug her back, uncertain why exactly you are crying but not caring, and going on anyway.

“I understand it now,” she whispers, and you can tell from the sound of her voice that she is crying too, or something like it. “There's a word for someone like you, isn't there? Someone who looks after me like you do...”

You close your eyes.

“Thank you for everything,” she says. “Dad.”

---

When your gloriously (and, it must be said, slightly sickeningly) sentimental tête-á-tête is over, you turn back to Elm and Jasmine feeling slightly embarrassed, but not nearly as embarrassed as they look. They also look stupefied; this has been rather an unusual event even by the standards of the Dreaming.

“Er... What did I just see?” asks Elm.

“Vesta evolved,” you say simply.

“I'm smarter,” she adds. “I'm older.”

Not just physically, you imagine, although you can't deny that she has now been in existence longer than before – but mentally and emotionally; she's still a child, yes, but not as young a child as she was before. You imagine she must be twelve or thirteen in human terms – which is rather confusing, since she seems to have built herself a body based on Jasmine's, and Jasmine is in her early twenties – but it's not the most confusing thing that's happened, so you imagine you can probably deal with it.

“RIGHT,” says Jasmine slowly. “UM... NO, ACTUALLY, I'M NOT SURE I CAN PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED.”

“Vesta's acquired some new abilities with her evolution,” you reply. “Or... well, Vesta can probably explain it best.”

“I can change my shape,” she said. “I'm fluid, and stronger than before. And I used the webbing because through the webbing I can touch things without destroying them.”

“THAT'S NOT REALLY WHAT I WAS CONFUSED ABOUT,” Jasmine says. “I THINK... WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I THINK.”

“I think Jasmine means that we're both, er, startled,” says Elm. “Neither of us were expecting this... actually, you two probably weren't, either.”

“No,” you agree. “I wasn't.”

“Nor was I,” says Vesta. “Something in Ho-Oh changed me.”

“Most Fire-types have organically-generated flintstones inside them to ignite the gas from the flame sacs,” Elm explains. “It's been theorised that Ho-Oh, since it actively generates elemental radiation, must have Fire Stones rather than ordinary flintstones. Perhaps that acted upon you.”

There's nothing quite like empirical scientific interest to quash shock, is there? Elm seems to be taking it all in his stride now, and happily pontificates on theories of Pokémon evolution (more properly termed, he explains, Andrian phase metamorphosis, after the scientist who conducted the first major researches into it) all the way back to the gate of the Bellchime Trail. This helps normalise the mood a little, and soon enough the four of you feel almost normal again – though you, naturally, feel more than normal; Vesta is holding your hand, excited at being able to actually touch you, and as well as the heat from her flaming core you feel a warm glow in your chest. Pride? Happiness? Love? You're not sure any one of those does it justice; it's none of them and all of them at once, and it buoys you up even in the gloomy twilight of Ecruteak City.

Once safely back within the dome of night, you hold a discussion about how to get to the Ruins of Alph, and decide that there isn't anything you can do except walk.

As for weapons, well. You have the Highly Persuasive Handgun, the Hideously Dangerous Stabby Thing, a sword, a big stick, Jasmine, and Vesta. You are better armed than some countries.

Othodox's Devotion has improved!

Othodox is the Son Tabiti Never Had!
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Last edited by Cutlerine; June 29th, 2013 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Forgot the devotion. Silly me.
  #455    
Old June 29th, 2013, 03:57 AM
destinedjagold's Avatar
destinedjagold
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Whoa! Um, okay. That was really unexpected. But totally cool!
Onward to the Ruins of Alph!
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  #456    
Old June 29th, 2013, 04:13 AM
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Cosmic Fury
Evil Overlord
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Can Vesta hold a weapon as well?
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It's not all about the stats or the fight. It's all about who the characters are, and what they do.
  #457    
Old June 29th, 2013, 07:21 AM
sepser
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Gender: Male
Since Vespa evolved, you should probably name the new species, and then decide whether you want to continue calling her Vespa or the new name. Is the Eldritch Quilava female? And if so is that the mother? it did kind of give birth to Vespa after all.

Also, since The Gengar molecularly disassembled a house earlier, maybe it can do the same with the coral without hurting Elm? Or maybe reassemble him as it goes along?
  #458    
Old June 30th, 2013, 04:24 PM
poker123
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: In my house.
Gender: Male
Nature: Serious
Now, this is just a suggestion, but perhaps we should have Orthodox SHOOP DA WHOOP. It should be very effective in solving all our problems. On a side note, see if Vesta's higher control of fire allows her to learn more advanced fire type moves, perhaps a fire shield of sorts to guard against the Eldritch starter so eager to nom your brains out.
  #459    
Old July 1st, 2013, 02:35 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> Can Vesta hold a weapon as well?

Yes, since she now has hands, but to be honest, she's a living weapon herself, and probably a more effective one now that she's evolved.

You could always examine her stats to find out more information, you know. She didn't have any before, but she might have acquired them during evolution.

Because that would totally make sense.

> Since Vespa evolved, you should probably name the new species, and then decide whether you want to continue calling her Vespa or the new name. Is the Eldritch Quilava female? And if so is that the mother? it did kind of give birth to Vespa after all.

You name the new species Calcapien and move on. You cannot change Vesta's name; you do not possess a Name Rater.

On a side note, the Eldritch Quilava seems to be male, which means that Vesta's is a very progressive family indeed; she has two fathers, one of which isn't even human and which is doing his level best to kill and eat the other father.

Modern life, eh? You can't keep up with the changes these days.

> Also, since The Gengar molecularly disassembled a house earlier, maybe it can do the same with the coral without hurting Elm? Or maybe reassemble him as it goes along?

You ask the Gengar very nicely about removing Elm's coral, and it informs you that, while it can't remove it completely without harming Elm – it's rooted very deeply, and it takes more skill to take apart something embedded in a fragile human without harming them than it does to take apart a house – it can cut the coral back to its roots. (Not that coral has roots, but, well, you know what I mean.)

Elm's infection has been reset. Elm is Almost Fine.

> Now, this is just a suggestion, but perhaps we should have Orthodox SHOOP DA WHOOP. It should be very effective in solving all our problems.

You cannot shoop da whoop. You do not know how to shoop da whoop.

> On a side note, see if Vesta's higher control of fire allows her to learn more advanced fire type moves, perhaps a fire shield of sorts to guard against the Eldritch starter so eager to nom your brains out.

Fire-types are good at setting things on fire – less so at preventing things from catching on fire. Your experience has taught you that Vesta, like most Fire-types, is geared more towards offence than defence.

You do ask her about what she might be able to do, and in response she opens up her mouth, a slit in the webbing, and breathes out a great gout of gold fire. This appears to be somewhere between a Flamethrower and a Fire Blast in potency, but you can't be certain of how strong it is exactly until you examine Vesta's stats.

> Onward to the Ruins of Alph!

Onwards indeed! You set off to the south, down the sloping plain that will take you to Route 36. Route 37 is a picturesque place, and for the first time you see something almost like normal life here – in the distance, by the trees, a group of Stantler are grazing. They are vast and misshapen, but don't seem to show any interest in you; evidently, the all-consuming hunger of the Eldritch Pokémon is directed, in their case, at leaves.

There are bleached bones hidden in the grass, though, so you don't risk going any nearer. Elm picks two up and taps them together.

“Long dead,” he said. “Whoever this was has been here for years.” He glances up at the Stantler. “Maybe not them, then, but I wouldn't like to risk it.”

You all agree on that point, and continue south to the dark, narrow passage through the trees that forms the centre point of Route 36. Here, you feel eyes watching you from somewhere – invisible eyes, eyes that seem to look from everywhere and nowhere all at once – but see nothing.

This does not help your nerves.

And, well, when one of the thirty-foot oak trees uproots itself and steps out of the forest to block your path, that doesn't do you much good either.

You had always thought Sudowoodo was a laughable sort of Pokémon, looking as it did something like a cocktail sausage brandishing a pair of fans, but you don't think it would be prudent to laugh now at all: a vast, gnarled monster like a stony Ent, this Sudowoodo roars with a noise like a calving iceberg.

It also, it seems, wants to eat you.
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  #460    
Old July 1st, 2013, 06:45 AM
sepser
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Gender: Male
The obvious thing to do would maybe be to have Vespa attacking it, Sudowoodo is, however a rock type, so fire attacks would not hurt it much. Sudowoodo has very low special defense. If you still have the thing that shoots flash cannons now would be the ideal time to use it. If not, see if you can slip past it otherwise, it’s not like it occupies the only walkable tile, right? You can move through the forest, right? Sudowoos have very low speed so maybe it’s possible to outrun it through the forest. If not, run around in circles screaming while Vespa shoots fire at it continuously.

Or is there any chance the walking steel-thing that is Jasmine can use something super effective against it? She must count as a steel-type pokemon.
  #461    
Old July 1st, 2013, 02:05 PM
poker123
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: In my house.
Gender: Male
Nature: Serious
You're sense of humor is impeccable as always. As the above guy said, time for a Very Persuasive Flash Cannon. If that doesn't work, have Jasmine beat it up.
  #462    
Old July 1st, 2013, 03:21 PM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Well, now would be a good time to see if there's any stats for any member of the team.
  #463    
Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:18 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> Well, now would be a good time to see if there's any stats for any member of the team.

Yeah, the middle of a fight is always the best time to stop and make a thorough investigation of your Pokémon's stats. You do realise that battle is no longer turn-based, right?

> The obvious thing to do would maybe be to have Vespa attacking it, Sudowoodo is, however a rock type, so fire attacks would not hurt it much. Sudowoodo has very low special defense. If you still have the thing that shoots flash cannons now would be the ideal time to use it. If not, see if you can slip past it otherwise, it’s not like it occupies the only walkable tile, right? You can move through the forest, right? Sudowoos have very low speed so maybe it’s possible to outrun it through the forest. If not, run around in circles screaming while Vespa shoots fire at it continuously.
Or is there any chance the walking steel-thing that is Jasmine can use something super effective against it? She must count as a steel-type pokemon.
> As the above guy said, time for a Very Persuasive Flash Cannon. If that doesn't work, have Jasmine beat it up.


With a whoosh of displaced air, the Sudowoodo's massive fist falls towards you like a meteor – but it never connects: something hard hits you from the side and as the great hand crashes into the ground you look up, dazed, from the leaf litter.

The Sudowoodo pauses. Something has happened that it wasn't expecting, and to be honest it doesn't really have enough brainpower to cope effectively.

It is then that you notice that Jasmine is apparently no longer there.

The stone fist rises up again, and now you see Jasmine, or at least her head, sticking out of the ground: too tough for the Sudowoodo to crush, its blow appears to have hammered her into the ground like a giant nail instead.

“OH DEAR,” she says. “I THINK I'M STUCK.”

“For God's sake,” you sigh, and shoot the Sudowoodo in the knee.

Othodox used Flash Cannon! It's super effective!

Part of the Sudowoodo's leg ceases to exist.

The Sudowoodo stares down in absolute horror.

Then slowly, very slowly, it begins to fall.

And you're running, all of you who can still run, trying to get as far away into the woods as you can before the giant Pokémon reaches the—

WHOOM.

The Sudowoodo fractures on impact, huge lumps of rock cracking apart and flinging out sharp jags of stone from the fissures. One skims your arm, slicing it open; another hits Vesta in the back and knocks her down, her light dimming.

And then the crashing has stopped, and instead there is simply the sound of trickling soil – and then there is nothing.

Silence once again.

You get to your feet and inspect your arm. It doesn't seem too bad, or at least you hope it isn't too bad. To your right, Vesta is picking herself up, slowly and painfully; as a Fire-type, you realise, the eldritch rock must have hurt her even through the Adamantine Spider Silk.

“Are you OK?” you ask, helping her back up. “Vesta?”

“I died,” she says, shivering. “For a moment, I died... But I came back again,” she adds unnecessarily.

You hug her, but she stiffens and pushes you away.

“It still hurts,” she says. “Sorry.”

“It's OK,” you assure her.

“It'll be better soon,” she goes on. “I can feel it.”

The two of you walk back to the path, where Elm is waiting for you. He fled off the other side of the road, it seems.

“Are you OK, Professor?”

“I'm all right,” he says, rubbing his head. “Bruised, but all right.” He looks at the Sudowoodo. “He, on the other hand, isn't.”

The Sudowoodo is moaning gently and writhing slightly on the ground; since it's broken into six more or less equal pieces, this isn't doing it much good. After about thirty seconds, it seems to realise it can't get up again, and with a colossal sigh its various pieces start dragging themselves slowly off into the forest.

“Is it me,” you ask, “or was that fight unusually easy compared to all the others?”

“It was easier,” replies Elm. “But that isn't much consolation.” He points back down the trail. “Look.”

A thick column of smoke is rising from Route 37, half-invisible against the black dome of Ecruteak.

You think you can see green sparks at its core.

With a sudden effort, Jasmine unearths herself in a shower of earth, and climbs wearily back onto her feet.

“WHEN I LET IT HIT ME, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT SHATTER ON ME,” she says aggrievedly. “SINCE I'M STEEL. I WASN'T EXPECTING THAT.”

“I don't think any of us were expecting it,” you point out. “You're all right though, aren't you?”

“YES,” she says. “I'M ALL RIGHT.”

“Then it looks like we all made it through that OK,” Elm says. “Which is... more than I've come to expect, actually. Usually at least one person ends up crippled, injured or infected with parasitic coral after each fight.”

“Yeah,” you agree. “Well, we should keep moving. There's only one thing that can be making that smoke behind us, and it's far too close to be safe.”

“It's coming,” confirms Vesta. “I can smell fire on the wind.”

OK, so she can smell fire now. Does the Narrator just keep giving her random abilities or something? You wouldn't put it past him.

The four of you continue east until the path widens; ahead is the gateway to Violet City, but that's not your destination. You turn south, into a different gateway, and head through it into a broad expanse of dirt, littered with boulders and the half-excavated shells of long-buried dwellings. The trees press silently up around the edge of the dig, like curious bystanders at a funeral; a silence hangs heavily over this place, making the air thick and warm.

You have reached the Ruins of Alph.

Othodox's Hunger is rising.

Othodox's Thirst is rising.

Othodox's Fatigue is rising.

Elm's Hunger is rising.

Elm's Thirst is rising.

Elm's Fatigue is rising.

Vesta's Hunger is bottomless.
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  #464    
Old July 3rd, 2013, 02:39 PM
c1234321's Avatar
c1234321
 
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Before you do anything, check that cut on your arm. Then you should probably check character stats. At some point you also need to eat drink and whatnot.
  #465    
Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:09 PM
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destinedjagold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
Vesta's Hunger is bottomless.
LOL that made me chuckle. xD
But now that you are in the Ruins of Alph, try and see if there are still any trees in the area.
Either you, or maybe Vesta herself can snap a few twigs and branches for her to eat.

Anyway, do we still have anything left to eat?
If there are, then it's probably best to eat while traveling.
If there aren't any food available, maybe there are berries around?
If the food requires cooking, can Vesta's palms be turned into a makeshift frying pan?
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  #466    
Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
I'd say to find some sort of shelter before you eat or drink. There could be something there that could help you, and I'm a bit worried about the sparks.
  #467    
Old July 4th, 2013, 04:41 AM
Cutlerine
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> Before you do anything, check that cut on your arm. Then you should probably check character stats. At some point you also need to eat drink and whatnot.
> But now that you are in the Ruins of Alph, try and see if there are still any trees in the area.
Either you, or maybe Vesta herself can snap a few twigs and branches for her to eat.


The cut on your arm is fine; it's not too deep, and has almost stopped bleeding already – more of a graze than a gash. Besides, it's your left arm, not the one you need to aim and fire the Handgun.

As for stats... You look Vesta over briefly and determine that she has some stats, but not others; reality seems to be a bit hazy on whether or not she counts as a Pokémon. She has 194 HP and 286 Special Attack, but that's all you can work out.

There are plenty of trees around the border of the ruins.

>Anyway, do we still have anything left to eat?
If there are, then it's probably best to eat while traveling.
If there aren't any food available, maybe there are berries around?
If the food requires cooking, can Vesta's palms be turned into a makeshift frying pan?
> I'd say to find some sort of shelter before you eat or drink. There could be something there that could help you, and I'm a bit worried about the sparks.


There are two entrances to the ruins themselves that you can reach from here, and also the little hut that the scientists studying the Unown lived in. You decide to shelter in there, after gathering up a few sticks for Vesta.

Inside, you cook and eat the last of the outsize European Eels, and drink the last of the water.

A glance out of the rear window tells you that the flames are coming closer.

It is starting to get dark.

The infection spreads. Elm is Mildly Inconvenienced.
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  #468    
Old July 4th, 2013, 08:24 AM
Crouching Raiku,Hidden Gyarados
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Enter the ruins. Do the puzzles.Read the Grimoire
  #469    
Old July 4th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Barrels
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[off-topic: finally found the time to properly catch up with this game, and it is BRILLIANT]

> Try to tune your PokéGear into a radio station. Any radio station. If the Unown have a message for you (which, long shot, but maybe), you might be able to hear it in the relative safety of the house, and then you wouldn't have to venture into the unknown. *ba-doom-tish*
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  #470    
Old July 5th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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First off, Orthodox just got cut by an Eldritch Pokémon. Odds are that he'll get infected with whatever it is that they've got. It's best to sterilize the wound or get competent medical treatment for it. Either way, something urgently needs to be done.

Finding an Antidote for Elm MAY help stave off the infection. No idea if it will, but trying rarely hurts as much these days as it used to.

There probably needs to be a way to repel that Quilava, and it seems to be very fond of burning stuff. Perhaps an attempt to satisfy Vesta's bottomless hunger can help with getting rid of things the Quilava can burn first. Not only that, it'll restore Vesta's health, which seems to need patching up.
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  #471    
Old July 5th, 2013, 08:07 AM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
The only problem with the "burn burnable substances" idea is that the current shelter is most likely a burnable substance. If you do go along with it, loot the hut and move to one of the entrances to the ruins.
  #472    
Old July 5th, 2013, 12:41 PM
Crouching Raiku,Hidden Gyarados
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Tell the narrator to work on pokemon keratin Ummm do we still hace TM focus puch? Maybe we could teach Vesta? Anywho, enter the ruins
  #473    
Old July 5th, 2013, 02:06 PM
Cutlerine
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> First off, Orthodox just got cut by an Eldritch Pokémon. Odds are that he'll get infected with whatever it is that they've got. It's best to sterilize the wound or get competent medical treatment for it. Either way, something urgently needs to be done.

The Narrator never lies. The Narrator only omits.

Although in this case, I didn't omit anything. Besides, the Eldritch Pokémon haven't 'got' anything – and you've been wounded many times before by Eldritch Pokémon without effect. It's only really a problem when it's inflicted by a Pokémon like Corsola that can, er, spread.

The Narrator would also like to add that he finds your suggestion of 'competent medical treatment' hilarious. Need you be reminded of the whole apocalypse thing?

> Finding an Antidote for Elm MAY help stave off the infection. No idea if it will, but trying rarely hurts as much these days as it used to.

There are no Antidotes, only figs.

Othodox found some Figs! Othodox put the Figs in the Pouch.

OK, so it's pretty poor loot, but hey! Free figs.

> Read the Grimoire

It's not exactly bedtime reading material.

CLEFT FOR ME HIDE IN THEE THE WALLS ARE WRONG THE WALLS ARE WRONG

You put it down before you give yourself nightmares. Well. Worse nightmares.

> There probably needs to be a way to repel that Quilava, and it seems to be very fond of burning stuff. Perhaps an attempt to satisfy Vesta's bottomless hunger can help with getting rid of things the Quilava can burn first. Not only that, it'll restore Vesta's health, which seems to need patching up.
> The only problem with the "burn burnable substances" idea is that the current shelter is most likely a burnable substance. If you do go along with it, loot the hut and move to one of the entrances to the ruins.


There isn't anything left to loot here. Vesta's hunger can never truly be sated, but the edge has been taken off it with the snack she just had, and her health hasn't risen from 194, so you think it's probably full.

As for getting rid of stuff that can burn – look, you managed to set fire to ceramic using Vesta before, and she doesn't have even a fraction of the power that the Quilava has. To get rid of everything flammable in the entire area (which is by no means small) would be borderline impossible. When the Quilava comes, as it must, you will have to trust to the voices in your head to keep you alive.

That, and narrative imperative, because for God's sake, you can't die this close to the epic climax or I'll have to start again.

> Tell the narrator to work on pokemon keratin

You appear to be confusing the Narrator with the author. Do not make this mistake. The author writes from the Narrator's point of view, but they aren't the same person.

It's worth bearing that in mind. It helps prevent well-meaning but misguided people from attacking authors for the opinions expressed in their books.

> Try to tune your PokéGear into a radio station. Any radio station. If the Unown have a message for you (which, long shot, but maybe), you might be able to hear it in the relative safety of the house, and then you wouldn't have to venture into the unknown. *ba-doom-tish*

“...case back in the Noughties,” you hear, and start – you know that voice. Everyone does.

“Who's that?” asks Vesta.

OK, so everyone who was alive before the Dreaming, anyway.

“It's Professor Oak,” replies Elm. He looks like he's seen a ghost; in a way, he has. You are hearing a dead man's words, pre-recorded for his weekly show long, long ago.

“Exceptionally odd,” Oak goes on. “They don't appear to always be part of this world – when they want to, they melt through layers of reality and leave the perceptible universe entirely.”

“I see,” says Mary – another radio ghost, broadcasting forever in the unknown. “So do we know where the Unown go, Professor?”

“Well, that's why I brought up that case from 2001,” Oak says. “A researcher was actually capable of penetrating that world, you know, and—”

There's a faint squawk, and the signal dies; far away in Goldenrod, something has just discovered that the broadcasting equipment is not edible.

You all exchange glances. A broadcast about Unown in a dead man's voice? Can that be a coincidence?

“WHAT IS GOING ON?” asks Jasmine quietly, but no one can answer.

No one except you, that is.

The infection spreads. Elm is Pained.

> Ummm do we still hace TM focus puch? Maybe we could teach Vesta? Anywho, enter the ruins.

Vesta and Focus Punch are not compatible.

Ah, well. Somehow, you didn't think so.

WARNING: There is no turning back once you enter the ruins. Are you sure you want to proceed?
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  #474    
Old July 5th, 2013, 02:53 PM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
> Inventory and Bad Egg checks.
> LEEROY JENKINS!! ...I mean go forth.

(I have wanted to say that on here for quite a while.)

EDIT: Wait a tic! What if the Bad Egg holds Cthu-whatever (can't think of how to spell it at the moment) or something that'll help wake it?
...Just a sugar-filled thought.

Last edited by Armorous; July 5th, 2013 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Thoughts.
  #475    
Old July 9th, 2013, 05:06 AM
Cutlerine
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
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> Inventory and Bad Egg checks.

Othodox's Inventory:

Ceremonial Sword x1
Elm's Key x1
Fig x6
Fine Ruby x3
Glorious Great Diamond x1
Gorgeous Sapphire x2
Grimoire x1
Hideously Dangerous Stabby Thing x1
Highly Persuasive Handgun x1
Loaded Portable Spratchery (Two Shots) x1
Master Ball x1
MooMoo Milk x2
Pot of Incense x1
Rocks x13
Sacred Ash x1
Sodden Lava Cookie x1
Sturdy Scale x3
TM01 Focus Punch x6

Elm's Inventory:

'Tea' Flask x7
Blessed Staff x1
Cooking Pot x2
Cutlery Set x6
Empty Bottle x7
Fearsome Idol x1
Fibreglass Rock Wall x1
Folding Chair x10
Fuel Cell (Full) x2
Fuel Cell (Half Depleted) x1
Laptop x1
Limpet x52
Master Ball x1

Vesta's Inventory:

Adamantine Silken Skin x1
BOUNDLESS HUNGER x1
EXPANDED ELOQUENCE x1
FILIAL LOVE x1
MEMORIES OF LIGHT x1
Smoke x∞
UNDYING LOYALTY x1

Jasmine's Inventory:

Iron Maggot x13

The Egg Watch: Sounds can be heard coming from inside! It will hatch soon!

> LEEROY JENKINS!! ...I mean go forth.

In the main part of the ruin, where the old sliding tile puzzle used to be, is a set of stairs that descend deep into an illimitable blackness.

You climb down the stairs by the light of Vesta's eyes, and once you reach the corridor below the grinding of stone above comes to your ears: you will not be returning this way.

You stand, as far as you can make out, in a small, square room. On one wall is an inscription in Unown runes that reads:


“Of course,” you say, suddenly seeing it all. “Oh, of course...”

“What is it?” asks Vesta.

“I figured out what it is,” you reply. “And I figured out how we save the world.” You take the Bad Egg out and stare at it. “I was given this for a reason,” you say. “It has to hatch, and it has to hatch here. You see—”

Boom.

You start and turn abruptly as dirt patters from the ceiling.
Boom.

Something above you is smashing through the stone to get to you.

Boom.

You remember that Quilava can learn Dig.

Boom.

“Guys,” you say, putting the Egg away and taking Vesta's hand, “it's time to run.”

“Run where?” cries Elm but you know the ruins, you were built for this place, and you're already sprinting away down the corridor that you knew would be there, down into the dark, deep down under the earth as the Quilava continues its relentless assault above.

“WHERE ARE WE GOING?” asks Jasmine, her body creaking and groaning in protest at the speed it is forced to travel at.

“Anywhere!” you reply. “Just away from that thing!”

And you run, and you run, until even you are lost, and you find yourself in a hall, huge and echoing, with a richly carved floor and walls thick with Unown lettering. There is no visible light source, but somehow the room is evenly, if dimly, illuminated.

To the north is a distant figure.

To the south are the tunnels.

To the east and west are doorways to further tunnels.

There are Elegant Carvings here.

There are Secrets Writ in Stone here.

The stone is giving way.

The infection spreads. Elm is Inconvenienced.



Note: I love it when I have a reason to use my Unown font.
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Last edited by Cutlerine; July 9th, 2013 at 05:12 AM.
 
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