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Old October 11th, 2011 (12:13 PM).
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Rated E10+ for fantasy violence and frightening images

Forty Songs, Five Regions: A Loremaster's Tale

Book 1: Kanto


Episode 1: A Song of Beginnings


The morning sun was peeking through the trees as I strolled down Route 1 that day, playing "Hearthome Pilgrim" on Ashi, the chromatic harmonica I bought not long before I received Liana, my first Pokemon.

Yes, I love playing music enough to name my instruments.

Not only do I play for fun, I also play it when I am out and about spinning tales for all ages. That's the best part of being a Loremaster--seeing the children's (and children at heart's) eyes light up at I tell them about why there's a huge Moon Stone in Mt. Moon, why Lotads call when it's about to rain, or how Pikachus got their brown stripes.

What is a Loremaster, you ask?

See, to anyone else on the road that day, I could've looked like any other trainer off to the League or a coordinator off to the Grand Festival. But Loremasters are different--their job is to discover and share the lore our world has, and until recently, they didn't have a quest they could go on.

Then a couple of years ago, Champion Lance got the idea to invite a few Loremasters to share their skills before the battles began--not just any Loremaster, mind you, but Loremasters that wore the Star of Knowledge--a special star shaped pin comprised of eight points. The Gym Leaders had been unofficially giving out the points that made up the pin a long time ago to Loremasters that pleased them. Lance made the giving of Star Points official, and now a lot more Loremasters like me were setting out on a journey of their own.

As for Liana and me, we were on our way to Viridian City to sign up for our quest and receive the star's center, which would be pinned on the red sweater I wore, which complimented the white shirt I wore beneath it and the black pants I wore with it.

[Kenna? Why couldn't we have just flown to Viridian?] Liana complained as she hopped over a few rocks in the road, stopping my song.

"It's a nice day, Liana, so I thought we'd walk instead." I assured the little yellow mouse by my side as I pocketed Ashi. "It's not that far..."

A pop of a Poke Ball opening got my attention, and Delphi, my Espeon, was by Liana's side. [If you're tired, I can carry you on my back.] she offered to the Pikachu lagging behind me.

[Okay!] Liana's mood perked up considerably as she jumped on Delphi's back and immediately nuzzled against the Espeon's soft lavender fur.

I took a moment to rest on a rock by the roadside, but then a breeze blew my red Poke Ball fedora off my head and into the grass. <i>Oh great..</i> I got down on my knees and crawled through the grass, the wind blowing my deep brown hair and the feather bob I tied it into every day into a frazzled mess.

The ruby on Delphi's head glinted, and my hat appeared at her feet, which she then carried to me. [Here's your hat back...]

"Thank you." I replied as I retied the small bob that looked like a Torchic feather, then put my hat back on. "We're almost to Viridian, see?" I added as pointed out buildings coming into view in the distance

[Bout time...] Liana sighed.

"I didn't forget anything before we left for Pallet, did I?" I asked Delphi. We were going across five regions and making five Stars of Knowledge, and I didn't want to find out I'd left something behind in Celadon when I was halfway across the world.

Dephi's ruby glinted again as she read the contents of my bag. [You have camping supplies, enough food to get us to Pewter at least, some spare outfits and pairs of gloves, toiletries...]

[That's a relief...] Liana giggled. She knew that if I was leaving on a long trip, I would inevitably forget something, usually my toothbrush.

[Including a toothbrush.] Delphi added. [Back issues of Trainer's Weekly and Windsong, a portable DVD player...]

[What movies did Kenna bring?] Liana asked

[I know for a fact that The Entei King is in there for us...] Delphi reported. [The Little Gorebyss, The Song Mage Chronicles: Once Upon a Wishsong...the only other DVDs I can see are volume 1 of Miracle U and Song Cards--but those are for Kenna to watch]

['Miracle U' is a little too lovey dovey for me...] Liana mused. [But we can watch 'Song Cards', right?]

[Of course.] Delphi assured Liana before continuing taking inventory of my bag. [Berries, Pokemon medicine, soda, water, lemonade, whistles Diana and Cecilia, and the Pokeflute Dali.]

"That's everything." I told Dephi.

[But what about Maria?] Liana asked.

[A guitar case would be much too heavy to carry in a bag, much less cart around for five regions.] Delphi explained as we walked onto the path leading into Viridian. [So if you want a campfire sing along, I can telepathically bring Maria here from anywhere in the world.]

[COOL!!!!] Liana was impressed. I stifled a giggle at her starry eyes as we entered the Pokemon Center--it wasn't like she hadn't seen Delphi's psychic powers before.

The Pokemon Center wasn't terribly busy--there were a few aspiring trainers and coordianators in line getting ready for their journeys, but unlike them, all I had to do was fill out an information card (such as my name, my hometown, Loremaster rank, Pokemon with me, and so on) and get the center of the Star of Knowledge pinned on me.

The whole process took maybe twenty minutes, and we were on our way shortly after noon. I wasn't really in any hurry, so we grabbed lunch at a burger stand by the park. As I bit into my double cheeseburger, my mind swirled with what I would see in Pewter. Brock was a fine storyteller in his own right, so much so that he had made countless TV, radio, and live appearances all around the world. But he was a trainer first, and a Loremaster second--even so, how was I going to impress someone who had collected millions of stories from his own travels?

I figured I would find a way soon enough.

To Be Continued...
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  #2    
Old October 13th, 2011 (10:05 AM).
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Episode 2: The Song of the Forest


The sun was just sinking over the trees when we arrived in Viridian Forest that night. Granted, we could hypothetically continue on into the night, but we had two problems--the team would likely be tired, and I wanted to be well rested before I performed before Brock.

The plan for tomorrow involved going to see his storytelling skill up close before I performed for him one on one, so I had an idea of his style and what he would be looking for when it was my turn to perform with a Star Point at stake. But if everyone wanted to watch a DVD of him performing before bedtime, that was fine too--one more chance for me to study arguably the best storyteller in the world.

We made camp in a tree filled clearing nearby a stream, so after pitching my tent and allowing Liana and Delphi to lie down, I retrived the other four Poke Balls I was carrying and heaved them to the starry sky. "Come on out, everyone!"

A Ninetales was first to materialize. [Ah...so nice to finally be out and about for a while.] she purred as she trotted by my tent and watched me dig a pit for the campfire.

[Hi, Kitsune!] Liana immediately made herself comfortable in one of the Ninetales' pale yellow puffy tails. I couldn't help but giggle--Kitsune I had rescued from a Rocket base as a Vulpix, and was initially jittery and aloof. Liana helped calm her and got her to open up by wrapping herself in her tails at night. When Kitsune asked why, she told her that "good friends stick together, and you are my good friend." Kitsune was touched that someone would call her a friend, and has allowed Liana to bundle up in her tails almost every night.

[How did the show in Pallet go?] Kitsune asked as I ringed my fire pit with rocks.

"Very well--Prof. Oak especially liked 'Why Pikachu Has Brown Stripes on His Back'" I replied before glancing up at the Swellow in the trees. "Phoenix...can I trust you to go get some firewood?"

[You got it!] Phoenix chirped before soaring off into the night. I had hatched him and raised him from an egg I received as a prize from a storytelling contest, and he has grown up to be one of my most reliable Pokemon. He can overestimate his power sometimes, so I have to remind him that it's okay to fall back, and the best offense is a good defense. Despite this, his never say die attitude has rubbed off on the others, and they look up to him when things don't go right.

[Remember that Prof. Oak and Brock are two completely different audiences...] Undine, my Dewgong, cautioned as she brought some lifeless Magikarps to the shore, her white skin almost shining in the moonlight. She was the tactician for the team, having swam around the world and seen many Pokemon as a Seel. But when a Tentacool decided to pester Liana during a trip to the Seafoam Islands, she stepped in and fought the Tentacool herself with her own two fins. I was grateful for her rescuing Liana and offered her a place on the team, which she accepted.

The final team member I owned, a Lucario named Ayra, was the only member I actually had to battle--at her request. I pitted Kitsune against her, and try as she might to take her down with Aura Sphere, Force Palm and the odd Bone Rush, Kitsune pulled through, earning Ayra's respect and an offer to join my team. She was the spiritual member of the team, and not surprisingly, she was meditating by a tree. [Do not worry about Brock's status as a Loremaster...while it is true he knows many stories you do not, just remember that a flashy performance isn't always the best.]

[And Brock's style is very energetic.] Undine added. [You don't have to mimic him exactly--take the story and make it your own.]

[Speaking of which, have you thought about which tale you want to tell Brock?] Kitsune asked as Phoenix returned with a bundle of twigs and some Berries.

[Tell him one about a hero that slays a Salamence!] Phoenix suggested as I arranged the sticks into a nice pattern.

"That's the hard part--finding a story he DOESN'T know." I replied before instructing Kitsune "Light the fire, please." Kitsune nodded, and sent a small fireball flying at the twigs, starting a beautiful blaze.

After a relaxing dinner of roast Magikarp and Berries, Liana found my portable DVD player and a DVD titled "The Best of 'Tales from the Fireside', Vol 1". [Maybe if you studied Brock, you would know what to expect tomorrow.]

"Good idea, Liana." I agreed as I set the tiny laptop-like device where the Pokemon could see and inserted the DVD. Once I had zipped through the previews and menu screen appeared, I headed into the scene selection to try and find which one of the stories they would like most. 'The Crystal Ring' was out--I'd told that one many times. So was "The Ungrateful Raikou"--only my version involved a dragon instead of a Raikou. But then another tale got my attention--"Poetic Justice"? What was that one about?

I selected that story and watched as onscreen, Brock and a navy haired girl prepared for a guitar and banjo jam session. But no sooner had the tune began did Phoenix interject [Come on, Kenna, you know this one! That's "Little Violet Girl"! Play along with it!]

"But Phoenix...I'm not very good at it yet..." I protested as I fished Ashi out of my pocket. "I haven't practiced it in a while..."

[Come on, please?] he begged. [I want to hear how you're doing with it!]

I sighed--I was in no mood to argue with Phoenix at this time of night, and besides, I needed the practice on that tune. I reset the DVD to the beginning of the scene, quickly brushed my teeth (as is my custom if I'm playing Ashi right after a meal or drink), found the A note I needed to start on, and played a light shuffle rhythm to count myself off as Liana pressed PLAY, allowing me to join in with the guitar and banjo on time. Where there still a few places I needed help on, and I forgot part of the melody halfway through, it wasn't too shabby a performance, if my team's applause was any indication.

[Bravo!] Phoenix called.

[Not bad!] Ayra agreed.

[If the bass line hadn't threw you off, you would've gotten it!] Undine added.

[To be fair, the guitar was probably miced too loud, not allowing Kenna to hear the banjo playing the melody] Delphi mused as I tapped my instrument out and put it away for the night.

Liana, meanwhile, was focused on the screen, which had faded to just Brock on the stage, playing a calm melody on an almost gold colored acoustic guitar. "There was once a king who had a love of words...he was a wise king, and had a near photographic memory--if he heard a poem, a story, or a song he enjoyed, he would memorize it."

[Sounds like Delphi...] Kitsune commented.

[I didn't know human's memories could be as good as us psychic Pokemon.] Delphi was impressed.

"Now, the king wished to open a grand library for his kingdom, but he was a little greedy, and devised a way to cut costs." Brock continued.

[Oh boy...] Phoenix sighed--cost cutting measures in stories usually cut more corners than costs.

"It turned out that the king had a servant with a photographic memory, but the servant in question had to hear something more than once to memorize it." Brock continued before setting his guitar aside and getting up from his chair. "With this thought in mind, he sent out a proclamation inviting all the writers to share their work--with the best original work receiving enough gold to equal the weight of the material the work was written on."

[That wouldn't be much gold...] Ayra mused.

"So poets, storytellers, and songwriters flocked to the palace, eager to perform their masterpieces for the king." Brock mused as he paced the stage. "The first author arrived and said he was going to read a poem. "When asked if it was original, the poet swore it was. The king warned him that if anyone in the court knew the poem he was about to recite, then he would know the poet was lying. The poet nodded and recited an eloquent opus about a great hero that had slain a Salamence."

[There's your hero and Salamence...] Delphi called up to Phoenix.

"When the poet had finished, the king recited the same poem word for word. Stunned that someone knew his work, the poet pleaded that his work was his own. The king then called in his servant--who having heard the original performance and his lord reciting the poem, was able to repeat it word for word." Awed gasps wafted through the audience at Brock's description. "This went on for hours--someone would come in and perform their work, and every time, the king and his servant would recite back the same poem, tell the same story, or sing the same song, sending away many fine authors in shame."

[That's not fair!] Undine was appalled at what the king was doing.

"Now a lord who was a good friend of the king--we'll call him Cato--thought the king's contest unfair, and decided to find a way to expose the flaw in the king's plan." Brock continued as he walked to a table where a piece of paper and a pencil lay. "So he hauled out all his books, and composed a poem that was about ten thousand lines long and filled with the hardest and most obscure words he could find." he narrated as he wrote gibberish on the paper to illustrate this.

[That must've been one long poem!] Liana gasped.

[Wonder what it was about?] Phoenix mused.

"He then had this epic opus carved into marble." Brock added, with the audience laughing as he mimiced carving something in stone. "After disguising himself as a commoner..." He paused to throw on a deep blue cloak. "He loaded the marble slabs aboard several Ponytas and set off for the palace. Once there, he told the king that he too wished to read something." After grabbing his piece of paper from earlier and facing an imagined throne, he went on "Cato began reading his masterpiece, and even the king was confused at the words--it dawned on him that he would not be able to remember such compliacated words." Liana giggled as Brock read some of his gibberish. "Wee ki ra araus tes soare an giue mea iem. Was au ga whai pauwel ferda enter whou na needle sor, en whai pauwel gaunji yasra whou na senjue sor tou zuieg."

[Whatever any of that means...] Delphi sighed.

"Cato kept reading, and finished until the sun was about to set." Brock continued, tossing his paper of gibberish aside. "The king asked to weigh his opus, and Cato apologized--as he was out of paper, he had carved his masterpiece in marble. "As the king weighed each slab, it became clearer and clearer that he would have to pay Cato quite a lot of gold. Cato then revealed himself to the king..." Applause went up as Brock threw off the cloak, revealing himself in his normal clothes. "and explained that he had planned all his work to show the king how unfair he was being by tricking them with his photographic memory. He went on to say the authors should be rightfully compensated, so they would write more work in return." The king reluctantly admitted that Cato was right, and paid all the authors he had sent away and any others that came to the palace with work. Some were paid in gold, some only wanted a few words of inspiration, and on occassion, he gave an author a bit of both--for he didn't want to be seen as unfair!"

[Wow!] Kitsune was impressed as the audience applauded Brock.

[No wonder you can't wait to face him!] Phoenix agreed as I shut the DVD off.

"Then let's get to bed, then." I told my team as I tidied the camp. "We have a big day tomorrow!"

To Be Continued...
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  #3    
Old October 15th, 2011 (02:22 PM).
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Episode 3: The Song of an Idol


We broke camp and left Viridian Forest early the next morning. While everyone else was calm and relaxed, it was Liana that was the most excited to see Brock perform. [We're gonna see the best storyteller and entertainer in the world today!] she announced to anyone and everyone that would listen as she romped down the road.

"I don't know about THE best, but he's up there." I told Liana as we strolled into town. "Also remember that he is possibly teaching us a story I don't know in return for us performing for him. That, and it may not always be a straight story performance like you saw last night."

This calmed Liana down. [Hm...I haven't thought of it that way before...]

"We all know how to behave in a theater, right?" I reminded my team as we passed through the small garden in the town square.

[Use the potty before the show...] Liana began.

[Don't talk during the show...] Delphi added.

[It's A-OK to laugh at the funny parts.] Phoenix assured me before he dove down into the wildflowers dotting the garden in the square and picked a red one for Liana.

[And of course, clap when the show is over.] Kitsune concluded as she looked out at the majestic marble columns of the Pewter muesum that loomed over the square's north end.

"Very good." I replied before recalling Kitsune and Phoenix to their Poke Balls and starting off to a familiar brown roofed building on the west end of the square, where a line of people wound through the Cheri and Oran trees that lined the pavement. It moved very quickly, and before long, we were shown to a large open room filled with seats and a beautiful wide stage carved into the rocks at the back of the room.

The lights flashed the five minute warning as we found our seats before a female voice announced "And now, please welcome your host, Brock Harrison."

We applauded as Brock ran to greet the crowd, the spotlights giving the green shirt and orange vest he wore a bright sheen. "Thank you!" he smiled. "Before we officially get started, let me first remind you of the house rules..."

[Oh boy...] Delphi giggled--even Brock's courtesy spiel was hilarious.

"First, if you need to leave the auditorium for any reason--be this an unexpected potty break, a trip to the smoking area, or an unruly child or Pokemon, notify an usher and they will direct you to the nearest EXIT sign." Brock explained before spotlights came on in all the places an usher was stationed, to some applause.

[The cell phone rule is my favorite.] Liana whispered before I motioned for her to quiet down.

"Second, if you've got a cell phone, Match Call, Poketch, C-Gear, or similar device, please turn them off, or at the very least, set them to vibrate." Brock continued. "Not only is it annoying to the audience if it rings, those of us onstage can't concentrate if we keep hearing..." I burst out laughing as he did a pitch perfect mimic of a Match Call's trill-like ring. "Or..." Next, he mimiced the warbling beeps of a Pokegear's phone ringing. "Or..." He then mimiced the Poketch's distinctive "beedle-beedle" ring. "Or..." The crowd then burst out laughing as he scatted the first few notes of the Mario theme, as it would probably be performed on a cell phone.

[Wow!] Delphi was impressed at Brock's spot on imitations of each device before her ruby glinted, allowing Kitsune, Phoenix, Ayra, and Undine to listen to the show inside their Poke Balls.

Brock waited a moment as he heard power down melodies and "bloops" of devices being turned off or set to vibrate. I also discretely set my own Pokegear to vibrate. "Now then..." he mused as he made his way over to center stage, where a chair and a black acoustic guitar were waiting. "Allow me to introduce my cotarie here..." he smiled as he tuned the beautiful instrument. Now normally, tuning a guitar onstage was considered bad form, but Brock was an exception--it was a part of the act.

Liana watched as Brock named his six attendants one by one. "Alana..." Cheers went up as a red haired girl in a gray hoodie and jeans appeared onstage by the chair. "Tristan..." A boy with sandy blonde hair in a deep blue T shirt and sweatpants charged onstage and waved to the crowd. "Petra..." Loud cheers went up as a girl with deep brown hair in a green shirt and white jeans ran onstage.

[Petra must be the best singer or something...] Delphi mused as she spotted a mic hiding in Petra's hair.

"Chris..." A black haired boy in a white shirt and jeans appeared on stage. "Morgan..." A teal haired girl in a purple shirt and black pants ran onstage. "and Lisa." A girl whose navy hair was neatly braided joined the others onstage as Brock checked his tuning one last time. "Okay! Let's get the show started with a little groove here..." With that, he played a jig I recognized as "Flight of the Swellow", which he used to segue into a medley of 80's songs.

Chris led off with a grooving rendition of "Point of No Return", then Brock led the way on an acoustic rock cover of "Footloose". Then, Petra sang "How Will I Know", which got everyone excited from the first two lines alone. Morgan followed up with "You're a Friend of Mine". Liana and Delphi were dancing in their seats as Lisa segued into "Conga." Tristan finished with an upbeat cover of "I Do (Do I Love You?), with the girls singing backup and Brock and Lisa having a guitar and saxophone duel mid-song.

[Bravo!] Delphi led the applause when the seven of them posed together at the end.

[Encore!] Liana agreed as the lights went down.

They came up again on the set of a forest, while Petra and Morgan, as fairies, dance onstage from opposite directions--Petra in red, and Morgan in blue. "How are you, Indigo?" Petra asked.

"Wonderful, Scarlet--I feel so happy, my feet can't keep still." Morgan replied in mid jump.

"Come, let's dance!" With that, the two of them pranced about the stage to an Irish jig.

[Interesting dance...] Delphi mused as she listened to the clacking and clicking of Petra's and Morgan's shoes. I just smiled and applauded when the dance ended.

"I really must be going now..." Petra then started ofstage.

"Going where?" Morgan asked.

"To make someone happy--it is a fairy's job to make someone happy." Petra explained.

"Maybe I can help, and we'll make two people happy!" Morgan suggested.

"Okay!" Petra replies before hearing foosteps from stage right. "Someone's coming!"

"It's the evil Lord Raven!" Morgan gasped. "We have to hide!" I giggled as both girls dashed behind some bushes. Then Tristan, now clad in a black suit with a cape to match, walked onstage.

"The witch Kiara said she's meet me here in this enchanted glen, where we would not be seen by eyes of the light..." Tristan mused over some forboding music. "But she is not here..."

"You mean me?" Alana asked before emerging in a typical witch's outfit, doing a perfect cackle all the while. "I will always be here somewhere..."

"Kiara the Dark Flame...I command you to help me get what it is I seek." Tristan commanded.

"Well, what is it you seek, Raven of the Black Wings?" Alana asked.

"I seek the princess Meira." Tristan replied.

[You could just marry her, for Arceus' sake.] Liana grumbled.

Alana gritted her teeth, as if sharing Liana's frustration. "You could do what a sensible person does and marry her, you know..."

"She desires none of me!" Tristan snapped. "She only has eyes for the prince Dillon, who she will wed by the next moon."

"Then why come to me?" Alana sighs. "I have no interest in the prince nor the princess."

"Perhaps this will be enough?" Tristan offered Alana a bag of gold. "All of it will be yours if you can make Meira mine."

"Deal." Alana replied as she took the prop bag of gold. "I will charm her so she loses interest in the prince..."

"That will be perfect!" Tristan smiles.

"She comes now, picking Berries..." Alana muses as Lisa, in a loose white tunic with a sparkling blue skirt and a matching cloak, walked onstage and pretended to pick plants. Alana snuck behind her and made a few mystical signs in the air while chanting <i>Fula has tewa juza!</i> A bright flash of blue light appeared from her hands, making Lisa pretend to faint.

[Oh no!] Liana gasped. [What did the witch do to the princess?]

Delphi watched as Lisa picked up some stitching and began to sew, making her burst out laughing. [She charmed her into sewing all day!]

[That's the silliest curse I've ever seen!] Liana giggled.

I watched as Alana returned to Tristan. "It is done...the princess will do nothing but sew morning, noon, and night."

"But how to undo the charm once we have wed?" Tristan asks.

"I will tell you at the proper time." Alana assures Tristan. With that, the two depart, prompting Morgan and Petra to come out from the bushes.

"Did you see that?" Petra tells Morgan. "The evil witch Kiara has charmed Princess Meira!"

"We have to ask Taji if she can undo the charm and make the Prince happy." Morgan suggests before hearing a familiar voice scatting "The Hearthome Pilgrim" from offstage.

"Speak of Arceus, the prince comes now!" Petra gasps as Brock, now clad in a blue tunic with gold trim and a red cape to match, half walked and half skipped onstage, singing the song all the while.

"Good day, Sir Dillon!" Morgan called, snapping Brock from his song.

"And to you likewise, Lady Indigo of Water." Brock replied, giving Margan a little bow.

"Where are you bound on this fine day?" Petra asked.

"I am on my way to see the finest princess any prince could ask for, Lady Scarlet of Fire." Brock replied. "As such, I must be on my way." With that, he continued singing as he walked off.

"And he will find her charmed! She will do nothing but sew!" Morgan lamented.

"We must do something!" Petra agreed.

Just then, Chris, in a sparkling green tunic and brown leggings, peeked onstage and whispered Nika vera! to Petra.

"Huh? A forest sprite?" Petra noticed Chris.

Nika vera! Chris repeats.

"What does that mean, little one?" Morgan asks.

Nika vera! Nika vera! Chris repeats before darting offstage.

A excited smile crossed Petra's face. "That has to be the word to break the curse! We have to tell the prince!"

"And there he is now!" Morgan agreed as Brock trudged onstage.

"Woe is me! My beloved is under a spell, and I know not the way to break it!" Brock cried Liana giggled for a moment at Brock's over the top acting before I shot her The Look.

"But we do know the way to break the spell! A forest sprite told us the word was 'nika vera'." Petra explained.

"Then we have not a moment to lose!" With that, Brock, Petra and Morgan dashed offstage.

[This is getting exciting!] Liana mused as Brock and the fairies confronted Tristan and the entranced Lisa. [I hope Dillon has to fight Lord Raven before he can say the word!]

[Your wish is granted...] Delphi smiled as Tristan drew a prop sword. Brock responded by drawing his own prop sword, and an epic fight ensued. I'm sure we would've been thrown out of the theater if it weren't so loud from the other people cheering Brock on.

In the end, Lord Raven was defeated, and Prince Dillon freed Princess Meira from the spell to live happily ever after. Even after the show ended, Liana was still talking non-stop about the play. If Brock was that good an actor, I wasn't sure if my skills were worthy of Brock and his crew. Only time would tell in the morning if my meager performing skills were enough to earn the silver Point of Strength.

To Be Continued...
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  #4    
Old October 17th, 2011 (08:23 AM).
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EmeraldSky
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Episode 4: The Song of the Boulder


We woke up early the next morning and returned to the Gym for our big performance. Liana was more than happy to see me perform, but deep down, I had Beautiflies in my stomach.

I had grown up watching Brock and his crew perform on TV, and I deeply admired Brock's skill with words--he was my standard when I performed. However, he had years of experience telling tales compared to me. Even so, I took a few deep breaths to calm myself as we went inside the Gym. Calm down, Kenna--just pretend you're just telling to friends and family at home.

It didn't take us long to find Brock--after passing the hallway leading to the arena where he hosted battles with trainers, we came to a small alcove at the end of another hallway, where he, Petra, and Morgan were rehearsing a cover of "And We Danced".

Delphi applauded when the last chord died. [Bravo!]

Petra noticed us applauding and smiled. "It seems we have a Loremaster guest starring with us, Boss." she told Brock, pointing out the center of the Star of Knowledge on my sweater.

"Forgive us if we were interrupting your rehearsal..." I stammered, trying oh-so-hard to hide my nervousness and euphoria at meeting one of my idols. "I'm Kenna Devine, Emerald Loremaster."

"Nice to meet you, Kenna." Brock smiled as he set his own guitar aside. "While I go round up the rest of the gang and some review sheets, follow Petra to the stage door."

Petra led me to the backstage area from a hidden passage in the main hall. "Here we are...take as much time you need to get ready." she assured me before leaving me alone in the room filled with instruments, props, set pieces, and costumes. It didn't take me long to get ready--"Ninetales and Ol' Yan" didn't need much in the way of props, nor did it need music.

[Good luck!] Liana called as I departed for the wings. I smiled back at her and Delphi--I was going to need all the good luck I could get.

I walked out on the stage to find Brock and his attendants seated in several rows at the front. "Okay then..." Brock began as I made myself comfortable on a stool at center stage. "The rules are simple--tell us one of your best tales. There's no time limit, so make us laugh, make us cry, and make us feel for your characters."

"Okay..." I replied.

"We'll be grading you on three criteria--how well you know your material--so every 'uh', 'er', 'um' and the derivatives therein will count against you." Brock cautioned. "Secondly, we'll grade you on your interactivity--at the very least, look up at us, smile, and speak clearly. If you can get us involved in the tale, that's even better." After making sure each attendant had a review sheet, he concluded. "Third, we'll look at your stage presence--how well you bring the tale to life. Score high on all three..." He showed me the familiar silver Point of Strength. "and you'll get one of these. Any questions?"

"Not at all." replied. Okay, Kenna, this is it!

"The stage is yours, Kenna--you may begin when you're ready." Brock replied as he started writing on his sheet.

I took a deep breath to quell the remaining Beautiflies in my stomach, then began. "It is said that Ninetales was a trickster. Every one she met warned her that she should have more respect for other Pokemon and other things, but Ninetales just laughed them all off--she thought she knew everything."

"Ooh..." Lisa giggled as she wrote something on her sheet.

"One day, she was walking along the road looking for something to eat--for she was always hungry." I continued as I climbed off the stool and trudged around the stage, in character as Ninetales. "Suddenly, she saw a huge rock in the road." I paused as I stopped before a silver light on the curtains standing in for a rock. "She knew this rock as Ol' Yan, the oldest and wisest being in the world--and that he deserved the highest respect." There were some giggles as I gave the "rock" a polite bow for emphasis. "Now, when Ninetales saw Ol' Yan, she took a small blade from her bag and offered it to him." I then grabbed a small prop dagger from a pocket and offered it to the "rock". "Lord Yan, I come before you bearing a gift for your wisdom. I would like to know where I can find food." I waited a moment in the prayerful pose before continuing. "When Ol' Yan didn't reply, Ninetales just left her blade and went on her way."

I walked over to stage right as I continued. "As Ninetales continued down the road, she saw a freshly killed Tauros at the side of the road. But before she could help herself, she remembered her blade and hurried back to Ol' Yan's grotto to retrieve it." Laughter went up as I dashed back to stage left and picked up the prop dagger again. "A rock doesn't need a blade..." I haughtily mused in character as Ninetales, making Brock smile as he wrote something on his sheet.

"She had barely walked a few feet when she heard a low rumble in the distance, and saw Ol' Yan headed straight for her!" Everyone laughed as I turned around and feigned panic at the "rock" rolling in my direction.

I ran a few laps around the stage trying to elude the "rock" before stopping at the stool for a moment. "Ninetales first came to Persian's den and pleaded for help, but Persian said..." I then assumed a breathy version of my voice for Persian "If you have angered Ol' Yan, there's nothing I can do."

I ran another lap around the stage before returning to the stool again. "Then, Ninetales saw a herd of Tauros, and begged them to help her. The Tauros tried to block the road..." Petra's laughter was the loudest as I set a box in the path of the "rock" to represent the Tauros herd. "But Ol' Yan weaved around the Tauros and kept chasing Ninetales." I thought I heard Brock guffawing as I kicked aside the box, allowing the "rock" to "chase" me again.

After running a third lap, I returned to the stool again. "Then Ninetales saw a flock of Pidgeots and told them that Ol' Yan had said all kinds of terrible things about them. The Pidgeots were angered and began unleashing all kinds of attacks, shrinking Ol' Yan down to mere pebbles." Some sound effects of Pidgeots screeching and wind gusts played as the "rock" grew smaller and disappeared off the curtains.

When the noise died down, I went on. "Ninetales burst out laughing, half relieved, and half elated she had played a major trick on the Pidgeots. It then dawned on the Pidgeots just what Ninetales had done, so they formed a circle in the sky and began unleashing their strongest Gusts, reforming Ol' Yan and forcing Ninetales to keep running." My "audience" roared with laughter as the wind sounds played again. The "rock" reformed on the curtain again and "chased" me offstage.

I returned to the stage as the laughter died down. "No one knows when Ninetales finally lost Ol'Yan, but at least the Pidgeots knew not to listen to her!" Tristan led the applause as I took a bow.

"That was hilarious!" Petra raved.

"I loved how you portrayed Ninetales." Chris agreed.

"Ol' Yan reforming was my favorite part." Lisa added as she wiped a tear of laughter from her eyes.

"Anything you want to say, Boss?" Morgan asked Brock.

Brock got up from his seat, joined me onstage and gave me the pile of review sheets. "Well told, Loremaster--I would have to agree that characterization is your strong suit. You took each character and gave them their own mannerisms and personality--a must if you want to bring them to life. However, I noticed that every time you stopped at the stool during the chase scenes, you weren't looking at us very much. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but in the future, try to maintain eye contact with your audience, even if you've just run fifty laps around the stage."

"Okay..." I smiled.

Alana joined Brock on the stage with the Point of Strength on a red pillow. "Overall, I think your performance was worthy of the Star Point."

"Loremaster Kenna Devine...take this point as thanks for your performance." Brock began as he took the point in his hand. "May it remind you of the physical, mental and spiritual strength you give to your audience through your words and songs." With that, he pinned the Point to my sweater as the attendants cheered...

To Be Continued...
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  #5    
Old October 19th, 2011 (06:44 AM). Edited October 19th, 2011 by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 5: The Song of the Ancient Past


We left the Pokemon Center in high spirits--with one Star Point under my belt, I felt like I could charm anyone with my skill in story--even Brock!

Liana brought me back to reality some time later. [Can we go see the museum?]

[Yes, it would be fascinating to see the various artifacts on display.] Ayra agreed.

I approached the signboard nearby the stairway leading up to the museum's entrance and grabbed my wallet as I surveyed the list of prices. A day's admission was 500 credits--it only got pricey if you booked one of the special tours and experiences or wanted an annual pass. While the planeterium, various classes, and concerts sounded fun, I didn't have THAT much to spend. Even so, a day wandering around admiring the museum's collection wouldn't hurt.

The museum wasn't terribly busy--we paid the 500 credits for admission and soon found ourselves in the main foyer. In addition to me, Liana, and Ayra, there were a few families in the nature wing and art wing, plus a few customers in the gift shop. The most logical course of action was to start on the leftmost wing, so I motioned for Liana and Ayra to follow me into the hallway leading to the nature wing.

[Wow!] Liana gasped as we arrived in the museum's indoor botanical garden.

[Such an impressive array of plants!] Ayra smiled as she admired some ferns and exotic flowers.

[I wish Celadon was warm enough to grow some of these!] Liana agreed as she sniffed a passion flower. She would have batted at the heliconias if Ayra had not gently reminded her to look and not touch.

As we rounded a corner to the aquatic plants, a pop of a Poke Ball got my attention.
[Wow...what is this place?] Delphi asked as she sniffed an exotic orchid.

[We're at the Pewter City Museum--one of Kanto's largest museums.] Ayra explained as we made our way to the next room of the nature wing, which housed stuffed models of Pokemon and dioramas of various Pokemon habitats.

"Oh!" I gasped at a majestic model of the ice bird Articuno flying. Excited at what the Pokedex had to say about the beautiful blue-white bird, I grabbed my Pokedex from my bag and pointed it at the familiar black and white CyberPokeBall icon on the model's inscription.

Articuno, the freeze Pokemon. the Pokedex began. A legendary bird Pokemon with long and distinctive tail feathers. It is said to appear if you are freezing on a snowy mountain.

[Cool!] Delphi gasped, starry eyed.

I pocketed the Pokedex and read a little of the inscription detailing Articuno's physical profile and her role in helping Master Ash summon Lugia on Shamouti Island years ago. It sounded like an incredible story, and I had always wanted to tell the whole epic adventure all at once rather than specific episodes here and there. But it was a very long story, and it would probably take me four days to tell it all--maybe longer if I took breaks.

Liana dashed over to a model of Lugia spreading his wings nearby. [Wow...so this is Lugia...]

[Often depicted in lore as the guardian or incarnation of the moon, depending on which region you're in.] Ayra explained. [Remember "Lugia's Capture"]

[Yeah!] Liana replied. [No matter how many times Kenna tells that story, I always get scared when the ghosts hide Lugia under a rock.]

[Here's a model of Ash riding him!] Delphi called, pointing out a diorama of Lugia flying over an ocean and some mountains with Ash atop his back, a jubilant smile on his face. Whoever had made the diorama had clearly paid attention to detail--I could see the ripples in the "water", feather details on the Lugia figure, the folds in the Ash figure's clothing, and even the L-shaped insignia of the Kanto League on the figure's cap.

Ayra approached the model and bowed respectfully before the glass, as she always did in front of any depiction of Master Ash. It was as if she was expecting the diorama to come alive at any moment--to hear the whoosh as Lugia soared over us and Ash's triumphant victory cry echo through the sky. She then read the diorama's inscription--the prophecy of Lugia. [Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice and lightning, lest these titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the water's great guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone its song will fail, thus the earth will turn to Ash.]

[Why do you always do that every time you see a picture or model of Ash?] Delphi asked, annoyed.

[He is our Pokemon Master, and as such, deserves respect.] Ayra replied.

Delphi seemed satisfied with that answer, until a model of a Clefairy got her attention. [Hey, Kenna! Look at this!]

"What?" I dashed over and looked at the inscription on the model. "I've known for a long time that there is a giant Moon Stone in Mt. Moon--or rather, a huge shard of one after it was shattered by Team Rocket years ago--but the legend that Clefairies are its guardians? That's a new one..."

[Maybe we can go to the mountain and see the Clefairies up close.] Delphi suggested. [The inscription also says that they only appear to those of pure heart.]

[Can we go see one?] Liana begged.

"Well..." I thought for a moment. "We have to go through Mt. Moon anyway to get to Cerulean City, so I don't see why we can't go see the Clefairies."

[YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!] Liana cheered.

All in all, we had a fantastic day exploring the museum, but little did I know, the Clefairies of Mt. Moon were in danger from an old foe...

To Be Continued...
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  #6    
Old October 21st, 2011 (08:41 AM).
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Episode 6: A Song of Warning


Meanwhile, in a hidden base somewhere in Kanto...

"Aisha Moreno, report." a male voice commanded.

The automatic doors leading into the majestic office whirred open, and a girl clad in a neat black uniform with a red R prominently displayed on the right side of the torso entered the room and addressed the shadowy figure. "Our mission to find the Clefairies in Mt. Moon is going well--we have already recovered several shards and some Clefairy DNA, so we're on the right track to find the large shard and the Clefairies."

"Excellent..." the shadowed executive grinned as he petted a Persian lying by his desk. "Your efforts are applauded, but be aware that we must not let anyone know that Team Rocket has secretly returned for a third time."

"Believe me, I've heard the rumors..." Aisha assured her boss as she toyed with the small ponytail that peeked from her black beret. "Some say you're over in Unova helping our two best agents chase down Master Ash..." She hit a button on her Poketch, beaming an image of a lavender haired boy and a maroon haired girl in similar attire to her spying on a campsite into the room for a few seconds. "Some say you've come clean and dedicating yourself to studying Pokemon. Still others say you kicked the bucket after that Johto boy disrupted our takeover of WJTO's main tower."

"They think I have died?" The shadowy male stifled some laughter. "As you can plainly see, Aisha, I am very much alive--how do these rumors of my demise say I died?"

"Most of them say you jumped off the highest point on Tohjo Falls and drowned, but I've heard several variations on where you jumped, and a few...colorful versions on how you bit the dust." Aisha replied. "Little do they know that the reports of your demise were greatly exaggerated."

"And our existence must continue to remain secret for now." the shadowed figure replied. "Continue your search for the Clefairies--when the time is right, I will finally have my revenge."

"Yes sir." With that, Aisha departed.

Back in the Pewter City Pokemon Center...

[Delphi?] Kitsune asked, interested in why the Espeon was still awake at the late hour. The ruby on her head casted a haunting red glow in the darkened room where Kenna and the other Pokemon slept peacefully. [What are you doing up?]

[I sense an evil presence on Mt. Moon...] Delphi replied.

[What kind of evil presence?] Ayra gasped as she jumped up from her bed and assumed a fighting pose, eager to attack the supposed intruder.

[Oh no, Ayra, there's nothing evil in here...but that still doesn't explain why I sense something evil on the mountain.] Delphi mused.

[Do you think Team Rocket could be back?] Kitsune swallowed hard.

[Don't be silly--they broke up for good when Champion Ethan and his friend Lyra saved the main tower of WJTO.] Ayra assured the jittery Ninetales. [On top of that, Master Ash scared them away from the mountain when they tried to make off with some of the valuable fossils in there.]

[What's this about Team Rocket coming back?] Liana yawned.

[Delphi sees a vision about something evil on Mt. Moon, and we're wondering what it means.] Kitsune explained.

[I see the Clefairies and the Moon Stone running from a shroud of evil energy...] Delphi continued. [Just as the Cleffas, Clefairies, and Clefables think they're safe, the evil energy is there at every turn.]

[Oh no! Do you see them being saved at all?] Liana yelped. She shuddered at the thought of the Moon Stone--and the Cleffas, Clefairies, and Clefables--gone forever.

[Fortunately, I do see something else....] Delphi concentrated for a moment, making the ruby project her vision to where all her awake teammates could see it. [Just when the shroud is about to engulf all the Cleffas, Clefairies, and Clefables, a red light pierces the darkness, dispelling it.]

[Ooh, how exciting! Kenna, a hero!] Kitsune giggled.

[But how do we know that light in the vision IS Kenna?] Ayra mused. [Delphi could have seen the evil energy dispelled by a rainbow Buneary with purple polka dots, for all we know!] Liana burst out laughing at the mental image, but Ayra just sighed--she hadn't counted on her metaphor to be taken humorously.

[Come on, you guys...let's go back to sleep--we can find out Delphi's vision means in the morning.] Kitsune mused as she curled up back on her bed.

[Okay.] Liana romped back to her bed, and before long, Delphi was asleep too, blissfully unaware that her vision would prove key to their next adventure...

To Be Continued...
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  #7    
Old October 23rd, 2011 (10:02 AM).
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Episode 7: The Song of the Mountain


"There it is..." I smiled to Liana and Delphi as we approached the majestic mountain that loomed in the distance. "Mt. Moon."

[Wow...] Delphi was impressed.

[This was definitely worth leaving Pewter at the crack of dawn for!] Liana agreed before leading the way inside the caves that wound through the mountain. We knew that one of them led the way into the deepest part of the mountain, where the Clefairies lived--the question was, which one?

The fluttering of Zubat wings startled Delphi. [C-could you maybe weave one of your tales to keep my mind off of Zubats attacking me?]

I looked up at the cave ceiling to discover hundreds of Zubats hanging above us, asleep. I wasn't sure why Dephi was afraid of Zubats, considering she had an advantage over them. Probably too many scary movies, I thought as I admired some of the formations in the walls.

[Don't worry, Delphi! I'll keep the Zubats away from you!] Liana assured the shaking Espeon as I carefully made my way down a ledge.

I thought for a moment for a good tale to calm Delphi, then began "In a village far from here, there lived a girl named Alima--despite her name meaning "strong" in her people's language, she was very shy and easily frightened."

[Afraid of one thing or afraid of everything?] Delphi asked, piqued.

"Everything." I replied before continuing "When she asked her parents why they had named her that, they told her that they hoped she would grow into a strong young lady that wasn't afraid to face her fears. She asked her relatives, friends and neighbors why she had been given a "strong" name when she was hardly strong, and they all said the same thing--they had all hoped she would become a strong and brave young lady."

[So why did you name me the name you did?] Now Delphi was curious.

"You are named for a place where it was said one that could intercede before the Legendaries lived long ago." I explained. "And just like that oracle, you can see the future--only you don't speak in riddles that often." I thought a moment as to where I was in my tale, then continued. "Alima thought about what her family and friends had said, and decided that in order to become strong and brave, she needed to learn how to face her fears. So late one night, while everyone else was asleep, she packed up her belongings and set out into the world in hopes she would overcome her fears."

[And then?] Liana asked as she noticed some sparkling silver dust on the pathway.

"Alima made camp on the plains that night, and as she looked up at the glittering stars above her, she promised herself she would not be afraid. She dozed off not long after midnight, but was soon jolted awake by a pack of Mightyenas howling at the moon in the distance." I continued as I also noticed the silvery dust on the ground.

A pop of a Poke Ball snapped me from my tale. [Mightyenas? Where?] Ayra asked, assuming a defensive pose as she looked around the rocky crags and ledges, looking for the supposed Mightyenas.

[Oh, Ayra--Kenna's just trying to keep Delphi calm so she won't worry about Zubats the whole way through here.] Liana assured Ayra before asking me [You were saying?]

"She did not run away, but instead approached the sound..." I continued as I carefully climbed an outcropping. "telling herself 'I am not afraid...I am strong.'"

[I am not afraid of you, Zubats..I am strong....] Delphi mused. [I am not afraid of you, Zubats...I am strong...]

Ayra, meanwhile, was interested in the silver dust. [Strange...what is this stuff?]

I just continued the tale as we passed a small lake that had formed in a bowl-like rock formation. "Alima walked on until she saw the sun rise the next morning--and when she saw the pinks and golds of the dawn, she knew she had survived the first night--maybe she was becoming a little stronger, but she also knew that one night was not enough to overcome her fear. She walked on until she came to a village. At first she was afraid--she did not know anyone there, and who was she to think they treated strangers as enemies?"

[So what did she do?] Liana asked.

"She shook off the uncomfortable feeling, reminding herself "I am not afraid...I am strong." I replied, noticing Ayra's interest in the silver dust scattered all over the path.

[This dust...I have never seen it here before] Ayra mused. [Could it be Moon Stone dust?]

"I wouldn't be surprised--the Geodudes here often eat them for food." I told Ayra as we walked past a vaguely plant-shaped formation, where a colony of Geodudes were feasting on some glittering silver stones and making more of the dust.

[What did Alima see in the village?] Delphi reminded me of my tale as we waled past the Geodudes.

"Alima walked to the town square, where the village elders were gathered. When one of them saw Alima approaching, they asked 'What are you doing here?' 'I am only a traveler learning to become strong and brave.' Alima said. The elders laughed at her, saying that bravery could not be found where it didn't exist."

[Huh?] Delphi was confused as she hopped over a rock.

"Alima asked the elders just what they had meant, and the head elder sighed--their village was under siege by a horrible monster." I continued.

[Speaking of horrible monsters, I think I see something worse than that up ahead!" Liana cried.

"What?" I ran ahead to another fork in the path, where Liana was pointing out a convoy of trucks and other vehicles. "Odd...who would want to camp inside the mountain?"

[Look again!] Liana pleaded.

I looked again at one of the tents and some of the trucks, and gasped at the R emblem prominently displayed. A sick feeling welled up in my stomach--Team Rocket couldn't possibly have returned--could they?

To Be Continued...
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  #8    
Old October 25th, 2011 (08:30 AM).
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Episode 8: Team Rocket's Song

"Come on! Those Clefairies have to be here somewhere!" I heard a female voice over the din of truck engines and cranes.

[Hear that? The Rockets are back, and they want the Clefairies!] Liana told me as I led her, Delphi, and Ayra behind a rock overlooking the camp.

[Either that, or they're hoping a Clefairy will lead them to what remains of the Moon Stone.] Ayra suggested as she watched the various vehicles come and go through the odd camp, directed by a black haired girl clad in the typical black Rocket uniform. The R emblem on the shirt of the uniform signaled she was not a grunt (their outfits would be completely black, with no decor), but she was nowhere near the power and prestige of the four admins that comprised the inner circle of the notorious Giovanni (they wore silver outfits with an eleborate R emblem on the shirt) My only other theory surmised she was an envoy, and either reported to one of the admins or Giovanni himself.

[Come on, Kenna, we have to do something!] Liana pleaded. [The Clefairies could be in danger!]

Liana's squeak got the envoy's attention. "Who's there? If you're planning on saving the Clefairies, I at least want to see who the intruder looks like before I blast them away by the power of Team Rocket!"

I emerged from behind the rock. "Here I am--Kenna Devine, Emerald Loremaster, at your service."

"A Loremaster, huh? I was expecting some Master Ash wannabe or contest superstar." the Rocket smirked. "What do you do all day? Tell hokey fairy tales to Pokemon?"

"The lore of this world isn't hokey, and some of them are not fairy tales!" I snapped back. "It is part of our culture and our heritage!"

"Okay then, storyteller--if you can tell me why we should leave the Moon Stone alone, we'll pack up and go, no questions." the Rocket proposed. "Fail, and face the consequences."

Now, I could've just told the Rocket what the scientists thought of the Moon Stone--that it was a meteor from a distant galaxy (and that some scientists thought it brought Pokemon to the world) But a Loremaster had a different, and a bit more romantic, explanation--it was a token of the moon guardian Cresselia's love for her family when she went to live with Lugia in the moon.

I sighed and began the tale. "You may not know this, but the Pokemon Cresselia actually started out as a human girl in a faraway land."

"Oh boy..." the Rocket sighed.

"Many suitors came, yet Cresselia rejected them all for one reason or another." I continued. "Her grandpa worried that she would be left alone with no one to care for her when he went to join Arceus in the heavens. So he asked him who she would marry, and she replied that he would be worthy of her love."

"Aw, twue wuv...." the Rocket sarcastically cooed. "That's just a hokey fairy tale anyway, and not the explanation I was looking for!"

[Let me at'em! Let me at'em!] Liana tried to charge at the Rocket, but I held her back by her tail. [I'll teach her a thing or two!]

"So, you wanna fight to save the Clefairies?" the Rocket asked as she fished out a Poke Ball. "Fine, we'll fight!" With that, she heaved the Poke Ball skyward. "Kurai, let's go!"

[A Zubat!] Delphi shuddered as a tiny blue and purple bat emerged from the Poke Ball.

"Hm--so your Espeon's scared of Zubats?" the Rocket noted, stifling a giggle as she watched Delphi try to run from the Zubat she had summoned. "Scaredy-Meowth! Scaredy Meowth!" she taunted, as if enjoying the frightened look on Delphi's face.

[Stop scaring my friend!] Liana retorted before charging at the Zubat, forming a Thundershock all the while. [EEE-YAH!!!!] she cried as she fired the attack, engulfing the Zubat in an explosion of yellow bolts that lit up the cave.

The Rocket, meanwhile, seemed unfazed that her Zubat had fallen in one shot. "Whoa--pretty impressive battling skills for a storyteller..." she mused as she recalled the fainted Zubat.

"My team knows how to look out for one another." I explained.

[Is that all you got?] Liana confidently asked the Rocket. [Who's next to be zapped?]

"Well, since you asked so nicely, little Pikachu..." the Rocket smiled as she grabbed another Poke Ball. "How about you play with my partner, Shadow?" She then heaved the Poke Ball onto the ground, making a small black dog Pokemon with bone-like appendages form before Liana. "He's a good little Houndour, and loves to play with Pikachus."

Liana swallowed hard as the Houndour approached her, growling all the while. [I have a bad feeling about this, Kenna...]

[AURA SPHERE!] Ayra leapt before the snarling Houndour and fired a blue ball of energy at it, knocking it backwards.

"What?" The Rocket had clearly not expected Ayra to join the fight.

"Like I said before, my team knows how to look out for each other." I explained as Ayra threw the Houndour off her shoulder--despite being slightly wounded by the Bite, she still looked ready for more. Yet I also knew she was a double edged sword in this match--since Houndour was part Dark, she had a slight advantage. At the same time, Houndour being part Fire also put Ayra at a huge risk, since she was also part Steel.

I looked over at Ayra, who was still rubbing her Bite wound. "You don't have to fight any more if you don't want to--I can send in Undine to finish the job."

[No--the Rocket threatened Liana, and it is my job to defend her!] Ayra replied before her palm began glowing blue. [Take this for threatening my friend! FORCE PALM!]

The Rocket winced at the THWACK!!! of the Force Palm impacting, and watched in horror as her Houndour went flying. "How...how did you get so strong?" she stammered as her swirly-eyed Houndour landed at her feet seconds later.

"We've traveled all around the world and met many Pokemon together as we've shared our 'hokey fairy tales'" I replied.

"Okay...you win for today..." the Rocket sighed. "But next time we meet, it won't be pretty!" With that, she called to the grunts. "Abort mission!"

[We did it!] Delphi cheered. [They're running away!]

[I had to do something when she scared you with that Zubat, since you are my friend.] Liana assured Delphi as she watched the Rocket vehicles speed away.

[Likewise, I decided to protect you from that Houndour, at the risk of being burnt.] Ayra replied.

[I'm proud of both of you...] Delphi smiled as the ruby on her head glinted. [My vision came true--you guys saved the Clefairies of the mountain!]

[We did?] Liana gasped--in the excitement of the battle with the Rocket, she had forgotten all about the Clefairies. [Let's go see them and have them thank their heroes properly!]

To Be Continued....
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  #9    
Old October 27th, 2011 (08:28 AM).
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Episode 9: The Song of the Moon Stone


Liana gasped as we emerged from a tunnel leading out of the mountain into a rocky alcove. [This is it...Moonstone Grove!]

[Where the Moon Stone lies and a secret way out of the mountain.] Ayra added as she admired the flowers dotting the crags and the small river flowing through the area. Had it not been for the rocks in the area, we could have very well have been in a forest.

[It's beautiful!] Delphi commented over the large silver stone in a field that glittered in the moonlight.

Just then, a tiny pink blur caught my attention. Piqued, I fumbled for my Pokedex as more of the pink creatures came running from holes in the crags.

"Clefairy, the fairy Pokemon." my Pokedex explained. "It is said that happiness will come to those who see a gathering of them dancing under a full moon."

Excited, Liana began knocking on the three unopened Poke Balls. [Undine! Phoenix! Kitsune! You HAVE to see this!]

Undine was first to emerge in the river. [Amazing...I never dreamed I would see the legendary Moon Stone!] she gasped before a group of Clefaries ran up to her and begged for a ride.

Kitsune giggled as some other Clefairies and a few Cleffas snuggled in her fur. [Be patient, everyone--I can only allow a few at a time.] she assured a few other Cleffas.

"Aw..." I smiled as I scanned a Cleffa that had fallen asleep in Kitsune's fur.

"Cleffa, the starshape Pokemon." the Pokedex began. "On nights with many shooting stars, they can be seen dancing in a ring. They dance until daybreak, when they quench their thirst with the morning dew."

Just then, Delphi spotted a shooting star and closed her eyes. [I wish Kenna becomes a great Loremaster...]

[I wish that Kenna does well against Misty...] Liana mused as another shooting star streaked by.

[I wish for peace for humans and Pokemon everywhere.] Ayra blissfully sighed as she meditated in a patch of flowers, the flashes of the shooting stars and the light of the full moon creating an illusion like fireworks.

[I wish these Clefairies are kept safe for all time.] Undine made her wish as she waited to take a new batch of Clefairies and Cleffas down the river.

[I wish Kenna performs before Ash himself one day...] Kitsune wished, lovingly licking a Cleffa that was bundled in her fur.

[I wish I was the strongest Swellow the world has ever known!] Phoenix triumphantly screeched as he took off into the shower of stars with a few Cleffas on his back.

Liana smiled. [Your turn, Kenna--what do you wish for?]

"The same wish I always make on a shooting star..." I smiled. "I wish that we stay together for a long, long time."

[So these are the ones that so bravely defended the Moon Stone from the black ones...] a Clefairy gasped as she looked me over. [You're different than most humans that come this way--you're not here to catch one of us?]

"No...the only thing I want to catch is a good story." I assured the Clefairy. "I'm only resting here before I go on to Cerulean City in the morning."

[Then, then, if you're a storyteller, please stay with us tonight!] the Clefairy begged, excited.

[Goodness, what's all the excitement out here?] a slightly deeper female voice asked.

The Clefairies and the Cleffas gasped. [Queen Celina!] they gasped as a Clefable wearing an eleborate headress skipped across a pool to meet us. They bowed as she approached the Moon Stone, said what I assumed was a prayer, then faced us. [Might I know the name of the one that saved our sacred stone?]

"My name is Kenna Devine, and I am an Emerald rank Loremaster seeking to assemble Kanto's Star of Knowledge." I explained.

[A storyteller!] Celina gasped. [Please, grace us with one of your stories.]

I thought for a moment and reached for my bag. "Once a man hired a boy skilled in woodworking--I'll call him Liron." I began as I fished Diana from my bag. "Liron was well known and well liked among the townsfolk, but what they liked about him most of all was his skill in playing the whistle." I paused to allow the Clefairies and the Cleffas to see the tiny gold flute with a green mouthpiece. "It was probably no bigger than this whistle, made out of a gold plated piece of tin, but when Liron played it, people would stop what they were doing, if only for a little while, and listened to him play all kinds of beautiful songs and spirited dances--one of which sounded something like this." With that, Liana led the clapping as I played "The Thunderbolt Reel" for effect.

"While at first, the landowner tolerated Liron's flute, over time, he grew annoyed by it." I continued. "Finally he snapped from his rage, and beat Liron so badly even the whistle was broken." I delibrately blew a squeaky note for effect.

[That wasn't very nice!] Celina was appalled at what the landowner did.

[Did he run away?] a Cleffa asked.

"Oh yes--Liron ran out of the house, out of town, and all the way to a nearby village, where his grandpa lived." I continued. "He tearfully told his grandpa what the landowner had done to him, right down to his whistle being broken..."

The Clefairies and the Cleffas listened with rapt attention as I told the rest of the tale--the landowner asking for a shiny Buneary, Liron outwitting the landowner's sons and wasting three thousand gold pieces, culminating in Liron finally confronting the landowner (they really got a kick out of my using the whistle theme from Zelda when Liron summons all the Pokemon).

I played Diana a lot that night--she made the perfect accompaniment to the Clefairies, the Cleffas, and Celina dancing around the Moon Stone that night against the backdrop of shooting stars and a full moon...

To Be Continued...
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  #10    
Old October 31st, 2011 (02:48 PM).
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Episode 10: The Song of the Dancing Water Flowers

We left Mt. Moon early the next morning and arrived in Cerulean not long afterward--Liana was enthralled by all the flowers, and Phoenix enjoyed getting a chance to fly while it was still relatively cool.

It was quiet in Cerulean when we arrived, so after resting at the Pokemon Center and gathering supplies, we found ourselves in the western end of the entertainment district, where the Gym was located. Liana noticed a picture of a group of stylized humans swimming together in a rainbow "sea" of music notes, stars, and stylized Pokemon hanging on a signboard. [Cerulean Spring Exhibition?]

Delphi emerged from her Poke Ball with a pop. [The Cerulean Sisters are famous for their skill in synchronized swimming and other forms of water performance, so when they're not battling aspiring trainers or listening to aspiring Loremasters, they train kids and adults from all around how to perform and play games in the water.]

[Games? What kinds of games?] Liana asked. [What are the rules?]

Delphi ignored Liana's question as she read over the poster some more. [In addition to the Sisters themselves, their attendants and their students will perform as well...but it's pretty rare to see Misty in any of these performances--she'd rather play active games and battle than kick up her legs underwater]

[I wonder how a human can hold their breath that long..] Liana mused as we started off for the Gym, where a line of people was beginning to form outside.

We were given a program and shown to the main pool, where the bleachers were beginning to fill with other kids, parents, and other spectators. Once I found a seat towards the middle (well away from the clearly marked splash area), I began reading the program.

[Hey, Undine...take a look at this pool!] Liana whispered as she watched more people file in.

Undine emerged from her Poke Ball and looked around the slightly blue tinged room in awe. [Wow...this place is huge!] she gaped as she admired the ribbon and Cascade Badge print trim that wound around the tops of the walls. [I presume that is the schedule of events?] she asked.

I nodded. "First, the Sisters will welcome everyone, and then the teams of younger kids will perform, followed by the teams of older kids. Then each of the sister's attendants will perform as a team, followed by the Sisters themselves doing a series of short routines before each one performs with their attendants. They'll then all do a routine together to wrap things up."

[I think it's starting!] Delphi called as the Cascade Badges lining the tops of the walls flashed blue three times, quieting the chatter.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...the Sensational Sisters of Cerulean welcome you to this year's Spring Exhibition." a female announcer began. "Out of courtesy and safety for our teams, we ask that you please refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or using devices at any time during the show. If you need to leave the pool area, exits are at the sides and back." A Cascade Badge light shone on a side door marked EXIT to illustrate this. "Thank you for your support and cooperation, and enjoy the show."

At this, a soft harp and string melody began as the Cascade Badge lights played across the water for a moment before a male announcer cut on. "And now, please welcome your Cerulean Sisters!" Applause rang out as a blonde haired girl in a red jumpsuit, a blue haired girl in a teal jumpsuit, and a pink haired girl in a yellow jumpsuit walked out onto the deck from a hidden door in the left wall.

Delphi spotted a mic by the blonde haired girl's left ear. [Lilly's the one that emcees shows like this, so she usually has a waterproof mic on.] she explained to Liana.

"Thank you, thank you, and welcome to our annual Spring Meet!" Lilly announced to the cheers of the crowd. "We've all been working hard on these routines over these last several months, so to all the parents, supporters, and fans from around the world, thank you!" More cheers went up in reply. "So let's kick things off by welcoming our young teams to the pool, starting with my team, the Sea Princesses!"

[Aw...] Undine smiled as a group of about ten to twelve girls about six to nine years old walked into the pool area and crowded around Lily.

[How cute!] Delphi agreed as she admired the sparkling electric blue bathing suits with a large silver star on them that each child wore.

"I'm so proud of my team for a great start this year--they took gold at the Cerulean Young Sync meet in March, and silver in the 10 and under class at the Kanto Invitational last month." Lilly continued to some applause. "Later on this summer they will perform at the Aqua Rainbow Exhibition and compete in the Indigo Water Games in July, but for now, they are going to swim to 'Oriental Dreams'." Applause went up as the girls took their position at the shallow end of the pool.

Liana watched, mesmerized, as the girls dove in, guided by a quiet Oriental melody over the speakers. [Beautiful...] she commented she she watched the mesmerizing patterns and kicks of the various arms and legs in the water.

[I wish Ayra was out watching this...] Delphi agreed as the girls traced hypnotic patterns in the air with their hands, all expertly timed to themselves and the music.

Then, the slow dream-like music gave way to a festive parade song, the girls' legs kicking feverishly in time with the trills and runs of a bamboo flute. After a few more hand movements, they set up for their finale: forming a flower bud in the center of the pool with their legs, and then making the flower open over the flute's last triumphant flourish, to thunderous applause.

After the pool was cleared, Daisy was next to speak. "While my team hasn't been quite so busy as my sister's teams, they've had a strong start to the season in their own right--being voted Best Rising Team at the Cerulean Water Games earlier this month, and a strong top 10 overall finish at the Kanto Invitational. I have great hopes they will do well at Aqua Rainbow and the Indigo Water Games alongside my sisters' teams!" Cheers went up at this. "So on that note, please welcome my team, the Li'l Undines, to the pool!"

A pop of a Poke Ball drowned out the cheers as Ayra materialized in an empty seat next to me and smiled at the next group of kids making their way to the shallow end of the pool. [They look so cute...] she cooed as she admired each girl's green, black, and silver suits.

[Don't let their cuteness fool you, their moves are very nice!] Liana commented as a spritely Celtic melody began over the speakers, prompting the girls to dive in and began forming a circle. The highlight for Liana? The elaborate legwork that almost looked like dancing during the fiddle and whistle duet in the middle of the song.

Violet was next to speak as the pool was cleared. "My team, the Mini Lumineons--or as the girls affectionately call themselves, the Mini-Lumis..." Some laughter went up at this. "also had a wonderful start to the season--bronze in the 10 and under team at the Cerulean Water Games, and an artistic and technical award at the Kanto Invitational. With Aqua Rainbow and the Indigo Water Games coming up this summer, I'm excited to see where their artistic flair amd rock solid teamwork will take them next. So, please give it up for the Mini Lumis!" Applause went up as a third group of kids in bright green, blue, and yellow suits arrived and made their way to the shallow end.

[Arriba!] Delphi cried as an upbeat Latin melody blared over the speakers and the girls dove in. I shot her a Look, so she settled in and quietly yet happily watched the elaborate patterns and circles the girls made with their hands and feet.

We watched the older kids and the attendant teams perform, but by the time it was time for the Sisters themselves to take to the water, they were getting a little antsy. [When's intermission?] Liana groaned.

Delphi, meanwhile, decided to vent her frustration in a more creative way--by singing the most sillest lyrics she could think of along with the music the Sisters were performing to. [When you're an opera star, with a huge repetoire, how do you please the crowd? Sing Verdi very loud!] she sang to the tune of "La donna e mobile". [You may appear aloof, but you must raise the roof! To keep the public wowed, sing Verdi very loud!]

[Study allegretto...] Liana joined in.

[Study Rigoletto...] Undine chimed in.

[Raise up your falseeeeeeeeee-to...] Ayra joined in in a mock operatic tenor.

[and sing Verdi very loud!] all four Pokemon chimed in. That was as far as they got before I shot them another Look.

The second routine wasn't much better--Liana began singing to the tune of Habanera [First I tiptoed across the floor, and then walked quietly out the bedroom door. I did not dare turn on the light, though it was dark in the middle of the night. Everyone else was fast asleep, I held my breath--didn’t even make a peep.]

[Step by step I went down the stairs, I passed the den and the old upholstered chairs.] Delphi joined in. [My heart pounded, I heard it beat. I knew the danger but knew it would be sweet.

And I knew I could not turn back, I saw the kitchen--there was my midnight snack!]

[A piece of cake!] Undine and Ayra interjected.

[A piece of pie, I felt so happy that I thought I’d cry.] Liana sang.

[Potato chips!] Undine and Ayra joined in again.

[and popcorn too, a little ice cream and some cheese fondue.] Delphi added the next verse.

[We didn't care!] Undine and Ayra chorused.

[How much we ate, we put some jelly donuts on our plate...] Liana and Delphi sang.

Then all four Pokemon sang together [We ate all we could eat that night, and we couldn’t eat any more, even one more bite!] as the routine ended. They took a bow to those around them, but I just sighed--their singing was distracting me from enjoying the routines in the water.

[I get to lead this one...] Ayra announced as she sang along to the Pizzicato from Sylvia [You left the bathroom water dripping, Silvia...Into the sink it’s drip, drip dripping Silvia...Its so annoying, all that dripping, Silvia, Go turn the water off and stop the drip, drip, dripping Silvia!]

"I wish some certain Pokemon would stop sing, sing, singing..." I sighed.

Despite the Pokemon's impromptu additions to the program, we had a wonderful time at the Spring Meet--but I was even more excited--I was going to have my own private performance before Misty, the fourth Sister.

To Be Continued...
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  #11    
Old November 2nd, 2011 (08:06 AM).
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Episode 11: Song of the Cascade


We arrived back at the Cerulean Gym the next morning and took the left hallway to another pool, where I could hear giggles and laughter of children inside.

The interior was the same as the main pool, save for no bleachers and a variety of chairs lining the pool, the majority of which were occupied by children clad in almost every (tasteful) style of swim trunks and bathing suits imaginable. A few other adults were present, either quietly observing the the children or relaxing.

[Should we come back later?] Delphi wasn't so sure how Misty would react to spectators observing her game time.

I was about to answer when Misty emerged from the girls locker room in all her red haired glory in a deep blue bathing suit. "Good morning, everyone! I have a few new games for us to try today, but before we play them, we have to get our bodies ready to swim. "So if you'll come join me in the water, we'll start our warm up routine."

There was a kind of orderly chaos as the children lined up at the pool entrance and stepped into the water. A few of the more lively ones just dove in and swam to meet Misty in the middle of the pool, but most of them just stepped in and paddled over to the pool center. Once all the children were present, an attendant sent a variety of colored kickboards over to the group--there were enough for each child to have one. There was some buzz in the crowd as the children speculated on why they were using the kick boards, but the majority just clutched them in their hands as they waited for Misty's instructions.

"Everyone have a kick board?" Misty asked, while frantically looking for raised hands. "Okay...you've done really well with swimming the length of the pool, so today is your one lap swim test--to the other end and back again. Just one step closer to our final goal of five laps underwater."

The children took their kick boards, climbed from the water, and followed Misty to a starting block. "The rules are the same as your above water and underwater length tests, only this time, you're going twice as far." Misty explained. "You'll all be getting a star on your achievement charts for completing this test, but the one with the overall best time will get a little something special." Excited whispers wafted through the crowd at this. "When it's your turn on the starting block, wait until the scoreboard resets and you hear the whistle blow before diving in--the clock will start when you've hit the water, and stop when you've touched the button below the starting block--questions?" Misty asked before taking a whistle and settling in a pool chair next to the starting block.

The children didn't say anything, but obediently lined up at the starting block to wait their turn to swim, save for the black haired girl that was first in line.

The scoreboard on the right wall blipped to life and displayed 0:00:00 in blue digital numbers as the girl tucked her kick board beneath her torso. "Okay....ready?" Misty asked the girl. She nodded. "Set..." She then blew the whistle, prompting the girl to dive in and the clock to start.

[They're good...] Undine noted as the girl effortlessly swam the required lap with a time of 1:47:23.

[Of course they have, assuming they've been properly trained to swim.] Ayra assured Undine as one by one, each child swam a lap.

We watched as Misty and the children played a variant of "Jellicent" (in which whoever was caught by the Jellicent was out, but the last child to be caught became the Jellicent for the next round), "Underwater Tag", "Find the Bottle", and a number of other water games.

After the children had left some hours later and Misty re-emerged from the locker room in her normal clothes, her Azurill spotted my Star of Knowledge and squeaked excitedly. "Oh, so a Loremaster's here..." she smiled at the little blue mouse before addressing me. "I take it you want to try for a Point of Creativity?"

"Yes." I replied.

After introducing myself to Misty, I was led into a backstage area that led out onto a stage overlooking a pool. "While I go find the other girls, take all the time you need to get ready." she assured me.

[What are you going to perform for Misty and her sisters?] Ayra wondered as I retrieved Ashi from a pocket.

"Remember that tale about the peasant with the harmonica I was learning before we left for Pallet?" I asked. "That's the one, because the girl uses a creative solution to get out of a bind."

[I thought it was a shepherd boy with a flute...] Undine mused.

A pop of a Poke Ball startled Liana, but she giggled when she saw it was just Kitsune. [I've heard variants where the aforementioned shepherd plays the harmonica, the girl plays the flute, and a number of other instruments...]

[Pity Kenna can't play fiddle...] Delphi mused.

{Who wants to bet that she would sound like fifty Meowths?] Liana whispered to Undine, who laughed at how terrible I would probably sound on the fiddle.

"Well, I would like to learn the fiddle one day." I assured her before walking onstage to meet the four Cerulean Sisters and some of their attendants.

"Welcome, Loremaster Kenna Devine." Misty began. "The rules here are easy--just tell us your best story."

"If it involves water or something to do with creativity, even better." Lilly added.

"So go nuts! Make us laugh, cry, or cheer." Daisy agreed.

"Do well, and one of these is yours." Violet showed me a blue Star Point lying on a pillow by her chair. The Azurill tried to grab it, but Misty shooed it away, leading to some awkward laughter.

I just smiled and began my tale. "There was once a girl whose family made a living growing Berries--I'll call her Portia. One day, Portia tried to keep the birds away from her crops, but many Berries ended up eaten. Her parents--who didn't really love her that much--yelled at her and drove her away into the night." Lilly was shocked as she dutifully wrote on a review sheet. "She ran all the way into a forest clearing, where she made a bed out of leaves and grass for the night.

Just then, a mage passed that way, and asked Portia what she was doing in the forest at night. Portia tearfully told the mage what had happened--the mage felt sorry for her, and not only let her sleep in the clearing, but gave her three magical gifts--a napkin that produced any food she would want..." I showed my audience a prop silk napkin. "a jewelry box that when opened, would produce a jewel..." I then showed my audience a small box with wave patterns--Daisy was the most impressed when I grabbed a fake sapphire from it. "and a harmonica that would make all that heard it dance with joy." I then produced Ashi from my pocket and set it aside with my other props on a table.

"Neat--a chromatic harmonica..." Misty mused when she saw Ashi's tuning knob glint in the bright light.

"What's the difference?" Violet asked.

"The little knob allows Kenna to play sharp and flat notes, so she can play in any key she wants." Lilly explained. "With a typical ten hole harmonica, you're stuck in one or two keys." Violet nodded and focused her attention back on the stage.

"Portia thanked the mage for his kindness, and set out for a town early the next morning." I continued as I walked along the stage. "It wasn't long until she came to the capital city of the land, where a great tournament was being held--the king had staked half of the royal treasury and--if the winner was female--his son the prince's hand in marriage." I then retrieved the prop box. "So Portia took her magic jewelry box, sold the jewels it produced..." Awed murmurs wafted through the crowd as I produced about six fake jewels from the box. "and used the money to buy Pokemon, armor, royal clothes, a retinue of servants, and many other things, saying she was a princess from a far away land. Needless to say, she won every match, and since she had read books on how to behave before royalty, no one had any idea that the princess from a far away land was really a peasant girl from the country."

"Somebody figured it out, right?" Daisy asked.

"That someone was the captain of the guard." I replied. "He complained that Portia was a fraud, and the king had her thrown in the dungeon despite her protests."

"Oh no!" Violet was worried about Portia. "Did she get out?"

"Actually..." I began as I retrieved the silk napkin. "She saw how thin the other prisoners looked, and commanded her magical napkin to create a feast fit for royalty." Cheers went up as I produced various prop food items from the napkin and arranged it so that it resembled a meal for five people. "The prisoners were amazed to have real food for a change, and the noise was so great, the jailer went and told the king what happened. The king offered to free Portia in return for the napkin, and Portia agreed, on the condition she was allowed out of the dungeon for a day, and had a chance to visit the prince for one night."

"But--" Misty started, but Lilly laid a hand on her shoulder, as if assuring her that everything would be okay and Portia would still have her gifts by the tale's end.

"During her day of freedom, Portia used her magic jewelry box to buy food for the prisoners and a fine ring as a gift for the prince." I went on. "The prisoners ate well for a second night, and Portia learned that the prince was prone to sickness--and he would only be healed if someone played a melody spirited enough to make even him dance."

"And then?" Daisy asked as she furiously wrote on her review sheet.

"Portia was taken back to the dungeon the next morning, so to pass the time, she took the enchanted harmonica and played all kinds of jigs, reels, waltzes, and polkas, making many of the prisoners, the castle servants, the royal court, and the prince dance." Misty led the clapping as I played "The Hearthome Pilgrim", two of the Cerulean Polkas, and "The Victorious Polka" on Ashi.

"Bravo!" Lilly led the applause when my set ended.

"She's good!" Daisy agreed.

"The king was amazed to see his son dance for the first time in years, and ordered Portia freed, in addition to returning her napkin." I concluded. "Portia and the prince fell in love, and were married not long after--and the people always told of the clever peasant girl that became a princess for years to come...so ends the tale of 'The Clever Peasant Girl'."

"Encore!" Violet led the applause as I took a bow.

"First of all, your usage of props was very nice! The set of tunes was a nice touch." Lilly began.

"My only suggestion..." Misty added. "is that you're careful enough to not lose the story amidst all the props, music, and costumes."

"While you did very well with all the stuff, just remember the story comes first. " Daisy agreed.

"Loremaster Kenna Devine...please accept this Star Point as thanks for your wonderful performance." Violet began as she took the blue point and pinned it on my sweater.

"May it remind you to keep your creativity flowing and create new tales to tell." Misty added as I took one last bow for the cheering crowd...

To Be Continued...
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  #12    
Old November 4th, 2011 (08:01 AM).
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Episode 12: The Song of the Cape


Although I'd had another successful performance, a nagging thought was still on my mind--who was that Rocket we'd met on Mt. Moon? Was she dangerous? What did she want? Was my family in Celadon in danger?

[Why the long face, Kenna?] Phoenix asked me as he perched on the bridge leading out to Cerulean Cape. [I haven't heard a peep or a note out of you since we left Cerulean.]

"I'm thinking about that Rocket on Mt. Moon..." I explained. "Just who was she?"

[I'm sure the Pokemon League has someone on the case looking for her.] Delphi assured me. [The League always gets their man--or woman.]

[Yeah--they must've sent Looker or someone like that out to find her!] Liana agreed.

"Thanks, guys..." I smiled as I heaved a huge sigh of relief. "I can always ask Looker about her--if we're lucky enough to find him."

[You know Looker--he turns up in the oddest places.] Ayra mused. [But we can also ask the cape's most famous resident for any leads, or for advice on how to approach Lt. Surge.]

[Of course, I was about to bring up Bill!] Kitsune smiled. [He would know of Rocket activity if he had reports of missing Pokemon, which he would then foward to Looker or someone like him.]

[Can we talk about something else? All this speculation about the Rockets is giving me the heebie jeebies...] Phoenix suggested as we emerged off the bridge and onto the cape--if we kept going eastward, we could arrive at Bill's house by sundown.

There were a lot of people on the cape that day, since it was warm and sunny--trainers out training their teams, families having picnics, and couples romantically looking out on the sea or taking a stroll arm in arm.

Just then, an auburn haired girl about six years old saw my Star of Knowledge glinting in the sun. "Hey, guys! A Loremaster's here!" The other children present abandoned their game of freeze tag and ran to meet me, all of them begging for a story.

"Hi, everyone..." I smiled as I led the children into a grassy area dotted with flowers. "Gather round and I'll be glad to tell you a story."

[You have a story in mind?] Phoenix asked as he perched in a tree.

"Sure I do--a Loremaster always has to be ready for an impromptu performance." I assured him as I sat down under the tree and watched the children gather around me.

Delphi's ruby glinted, forming a red-brown acoustic guitar. [Thought you'd like to have Maria for this show...and when you're done, you can always sing for tips.]

"Thanks, Delphi." I smiled as I took the guitar and started tuning it, thinking all the while about what kind of tale my audience would like.

Finally, an idea came to me--why not stick Master Ash in the role of an ancient trickster, a role traditionally played by the Pikachu Sorin, the wily Riolu Toru, or even a human trickster such as the Sage? But Ash would probably look out of place among kings and princesses, so rather than calling him by name, I would name this persona Esi.

"There was once a king who heard of many pranks played on the nobility by a crafty young man named Esi." I began as I played a calm melody. "He told his advisors that he had heard no one had yet outsmarted Esi--was that rumor true? His advisors replied that yes, it was true--those Esi was a commoner, he had enough wiles and wits to even outsmart a king."

"So what did the king do?" a boy asked.

"He disguised himself as a common man, and set out to the town where Esi lived." I replied. "He found Esi resting in his front yard from a hard day's work, and told him..." I tried my best Brock voice to represent the king, but it ended up sounding like I had a stuffy head. "I've heard the trickster Esi lives here."

"So they say..." I replied as Ash. He was a little easier to imitate for me, since it involved the comfortable section of my low range.

"I have heard many tales of his wiles, and wonder if they are true..." I continued as the king.

"I can say they are, for I am the Esi you seek." I replied in my Ash voice.

"I have heard you can trick anyone and everyone..." I challenged as the king. "But today you will not win, for no one has ever fooled me!"

"Is that so?" I asked as Esi. "I do not deny that you are a challenging opponent--I will need my handy bag of tricks for this--unless you fear even that!" The children laughed at this as I continued the interplay between the two personas:

"Get whatever bag you want, and be quick!"

"Oh, but my house is a long way from here--if I only had a Ponyta, I could be there and back in no time. But if I had to walk, I would take days and days and days--!"

"Never mind that! Just take my Ponyta and go!"

As myself, I continued as I played a quick interlude. "So Esi took the king's Ponyta and rode off down the path. "And the king waited..." I slowed down my melody. "and waited..." I slowed the song down some more. "and waited..." Giggles went up as my song slowed to a crawl. "As night fell, the king realized that Esi was not going to return..." I played a trumphant flourish as I concluded "He had been tricked!" The children laughed and applauded.

We spent several hours on the cape, singing songs and telling stories for tips--allowing to set aside my burning questions at least for one day.

To Be Continued...
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  #13    
Old November 6th, 2011 (09:33 AM).
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Episode 13: Bill's Song


After a productive evening singing and storytelling on the cape, we arrived at Bill's house just as the sky was beginning to darken and turn pink, orange, and yellow with the sunset. It wasn't a very elaborate house-just a small red brick house with a small flower and Berry garden close by.

I knocked at the door, and a male voice called "Coming!"

"Mind your manners, guys..." I whispered to Liana, Delphi, and Ayra as the door opened, framing Bill on the stoop. Judging from his disheveled brown hair and old Pokemon League T-shirt that was dotted with holes, he'd probably been doing yet another reorganization of his many Pokemon files.

"Good evening, miss." he smiled as he invited us inside the house, where sure enough, all kinds of papers, folders, marbles, books, and other odds and ends were strewn everywhere.
[You'd think he'd know how to keep a house clean...] Ayra muttered as she brushed aside a few books.

"Sorry about the mess--been making room in my paper files for information on Unova Pokemon." Bill explained. "Prof. Juniper's promised to e-mail me basic profiles on the complete Unova Pokedex, so I can write out a more detailed file as a paper backup if I lose the digital copy."

[That explains all the paper...] Liana mused.

"Well, my name is Kenna Devine, an Emerald rank Loremaster." I began. "I came mainly to see if you had any ideas for tales I could tell Lt. Surge."

"Pleased to meet you, Kenna." Bill replied as he cleared some paper off a desk. "While folklore starring Pokemon is some of what I collect when I build a Pokemon's profile, you have to remember this is a seasoned soldier you're telling to--while Lt. Surge does not deny the existence of magic--he did see spells when he served in the Red and Green War--you have to make the magic believeable in his eyes--so typical fairy tales aren't going to fly." After organizing the paper into a blue plastic binder marked "HOUEN POKEMON A-F", he continued. "If you don't mind my asking, what spurred you to become a Loremaster?"

"Well, I've always been fascinated by the stories of the Legendary Pokemon..." I began. "When I was little, my parents were very active volunteers at the Celadon soup kitchen--the Comfort Food Cafe. They would give the less fortunate a hot meal, and they would all talk with each other. As a four year old, I felt sorry for them--with so many coming from poor and broken families, it felt like all they knew was sadness, anger, and fear, and the Comfort Food Cafe was one bright spot of happiness for many of them."

"So what did you do?" Bill was interested now.

"I went through all my toys and rounded up what I hardly played with, then picked one of my favorite books, 'The Stubbron Pikachu'. I continued. "The kids were elated at the toys, and I read 'The Stubbron Pikachu' to them. My parents were touched at what I had done, and encouraged me to possibly look into storytelling full time. As I grew older, I kept giving the children toys and reading them stories, which then evolved into telling stories. On my tenth birthday, with my parent's permission, I applied and was accepted into Kanto's Order of Loremasters."

"You've chosen a very unique job here..." Bill explained. "Loremasters don't usually use Pokemon as anything other than a companion. At the same time, you also have the most important job, Pokemon or not."

"How so?" I asked.

"Trainers make a living battling, and Coordinators make a living dazzling in contests..." Bill replied. "Breeders work to ensure every species of Pokemon survives, and so on, but it's the Loremaster that keeps the memories of great trainers, coordinators and others--our history--alive."

"Hm..." I mused--I hadn't thought of storytelling like that before.

"Had it not been for Loremasters, the legend of Groudon and Kyorge, the prophecy of Lugia, the legend of Mt. Coronet, the tale of the brothers of Unova, and many others--they would all be lost." Bill added. "By sharing our world's history and folklore, you're keeping them alive so we don't forget them."

He was about to say more when a high pitched beeping noise came from his PC. "And that has to be Looker asking for a tip..."

"Looker?" I asked.

"Rumors are flying that Team Rocket's returned a third time." Bill explained. "If that's true, they're mainly working otherground. Looker has his suspicions, but he needs evidence to show his superiors if he wants them to keep an eye on their activity."

"Then I have a tip for you..." I offered. "We encountered them at Mt. Moon, searching for the giant Moon Stone again."

Bill raised an eyebrow at this. "Good start--anything else?"

[We actually battled a Rocket!] Liana explained.

"Liana says we actually battled a Rocket." I added.

"Looker's going to want details if you actually came face to face with a Rocket." Bill cautioned. "So tell me as much as you can remember."

I poured out all the details of the girl Rocket we had battled on Mt. Moon--what she looked like, her team, what she'd said to us, if any other Rockets were with her, was she armed, and so on. It wasn't long before we'd assembled a mostly complete profile.

"Okay..." Bill mused as he e-mailed our profile. "Looker's probably going to want to talk to you further once he analyzes this--you may learn more info on this Rocket too, if you ask."

We talked more about our journey so far and Bill's ongoing research the rest of the night, and went to bed once the house was decently clean. I was thrilled--I had killed two Pidgeys with one stone thanks to Bill--answers about the Rocket and tales to tell Lt. Surge.

To Be Continued...
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  #14    
Old November 8th, 2011 (08:34 PM). Edited November 21st, 2011 by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 14: A Song of Intrigue


After saying goodbye to Bill and Cerulean City, we set out on the road south to Vermillion. We could've very well taken a shortcut through Saffron, but my best known and favorite route was the Blue and Gold Trail--a leisurely trail that connected Cerulean and Vermillion, and passed through some other, smaller towns along the way. There were great views and great stops all along the way.

Our first stop was Gimon Town, known for its quirky clothing and jewelry stores and Sweet Minty's Diner, the local burger joint. It's owned by a good friend of mine, Mindy Tachibana, but everyone just calls her Minty because of her mint-like teal hair. The Sweet Minty character became so well known, she's hired someone to portray Sweet Minty in media appearances and commercials.

Not surprisingly, Mindy was working in the kitchen when I arrived. "Kenna, what a surprise!" she smiled as I took a seat at a table looking out at the roadside. "What brings you here tonight?"

"On my way to Vermillion, so thought I'd drop in for dinner and to say hi." I replied, giggling at Liana admiring the black, white, and pale green tile floor.

A pop of a Poke Ball revealed Ayra in the chair across from me. [What a quaint little place...] she smiled as she looked around at the gray-green tables and the old-timey diner and Sweet Minty memorabilia lining the walls.

Delphi was quick to notice a jukebox by the left end of the counter. [Oh, an old-timey jukebox! Can I have a quarter to pick a song? Please?]

Now, I always keep a candy tube filled with quarters for trips to Minty's, and I'd remembered to pack one before I left for Pallet. "Sure...go pick a song we all can enjoy."

[Thanks!] Delphi warped over to the jukebox and began studying the playlist. After finding a song she liked, she dropped in her quarter, making a jazzy 50's melody drift into the room.

[Get down!] Liana cried, and immediately started dancing to the song.

Ayra, meanwhile, was looking over at a young man with black hair clad in a dull shirt with a brown trenchcoat silently enjoying the song at the counter. [Who might that be?]

Her question was answered a few seconds later when Mindy delivered a plate with a burger and some fries to the man. "Here you are, Looker--enjoy!" About then, the song Delphi chose ended, and a few of the patrons applauded Liana's dance.

Looker seemed to notice Liana dancing as well and motioned for me to join him at the counter. "So this is the Ruby Minstrel Kenna Devine..." he smiled.

"The one and only." I replied. "What can I do for you?"

"Bill has told me that you encountered a Rocket in Mt. Moon, right?" Looker asked.

"Yes--had a Zubat and a Houndour." I replied.

"I have ran the information you provided through headquarters' database of known active Rocket operatives, and the profile it matched the closest was this one..." Looker pulled a picture of the Rocket we'd encountered a few days before from one pocket.

"That's her!" I gasped.

[What can you tell us about her?} Liana asked.

"While I can't tell you everything on file about her, I can tell you her name, her ranking within the Rockets, and my theories on what she's planning to do." Looker assured Liana as he bit into his burger. After swallowing his bite, he went on. "Her name is Aisha Moreno, and she serves as Giovanni's envoy to the four Rocket admins. That means she reports to Giovanni directly, and relays orders from him either to grunts under her command or the four admins."

"Archer, Ariana, Petrel...and I forget the fourth one..." I mused.

"Proton--the techie of the four." Looker reminded me. "As for Aisha, I have learned that she is very driven, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So to have her back down before a trainer like you is very unusual. You and your team are not in any danger as of yet, but encounter and defeat her a second time, and Team Rocket may take notice."

"What do you think she wants to do?" I asked. "Or can you tell me that?"

"I would need to do more research to tell you that--there are some other Rockets that match your information in the database." Looker replied. "While Aisha is our top suspect, we both need to do a little more searching before we can identify Aisha as a Rocket to keep an eye on. So if you find any information on your quest to share stories, please let me know."

"I will." I replied before ordering an appetizer to begin my meal--Minty's Cheesy Platter (a platter full of cheese sticks and tempura fried cheese cubes)

"As thanks for helping with my investigation..." Looker then dropped a quarter in my hands. "Here's a quarter for the jukebox--on me."

We had a wonderful time at Minty's that night--we'd learned a bit more about the Rocket we met, had all matter of tasty fried goodness, and then danced off the calories to some classic 50's and 60's rock--I will never forget Looker's smile as he watched Liana dance to some of the greatest hits of all time.

To Be Continued....
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  #15    
Old November 11th, 2011 (09:58 AM).
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Episode 15: The Song of the Sea


The rest of the trek down the Blue and Gold Trail was pretty uneventful--we wound through the many little towns on the route, taking in the sights and sampling the local treats (although Phoenix was a little unnerved by the fried Pokechow one town offered)

Before long, we came to Vermillion City, and not surprisingly, Undine emerged to savor the salt air. [I love the smell of the sea...]

Ayra, however, was not so enthused. [You can take your salt air somewhere else...I'm not feeling so good...] she groaned as she clutched her stomach.

Now, I've always known Ayra had a sensitivity to certain smells, but I'd never seen her get this sick, so our first stop was the Pokemon Center.

Nurse Joy was very gentle about Ayra's nausea, and after concluding that Ayra didn't have anything worse, suggested that we limit our travel until she felt better. If we had to go anywhere, it would have to be a short distance.

A soda machine by the front desk caught my attention--was it possible that it sold ginger ale? That always had helped Ayra during these nausea spells, so I hurried over and studied the different sodas.

[Let's see...PokeCola, Diet PokeCola...] Liana made a face as she remembered the only time she had tasted the diet PokeCola. [PokeCola Zero, Dr. Zipper, Citrus Wave, Cheri Citrus Wave, Oran Rush, Nomelnade...ah ha!]

"You found it?" I smiled.

[Mm-hm, and it's Ayra's favorite kind too.] Liana replied. [Sowenna Mist]. Ayra had pretty much become a ginger ale connoisseur because of her sensitive stomach, and after trying pretty much every brand availiable in Kanto, she had decreed that Sowenna Mist was the best one.

A Chansey saw me inserting coins into the machine and suggested [If you really want a good ginger ale, you may want to try Breylin--it's famous for its distinctively shaped green bottle.]

[Problem is, it's not widely availiable in Kanto, so if you're traveling to Johto, you may want to pick some up.] another Chansey added.

"Thanks, I'll remember that if we ever make it out that way." I replied as I hit the button for Sowenna Mist on the machine, making the familiar green, white, and blue can drop down with a soft ka-chunk.

Ayra, meanwhile, had made herself at home on a mattress and was watching "Rikuto, Riolu Warrior" on a TV when I arrived with her drink. The psh of a soda can being opened snapped her to attention. [Thanks, Kenna--you brought me my favorite drink for times like this!] With that, she took a long drink as she watched the little Riolu fend off some possessed Machokes on the screen.

[If that doesn't perk her up, I dunno what will] Phoenix mused as he watched people enter and depart the Pokemon Center from a rafter by the entrance.

[How are we going to get to the Gym if Ayra's sick as a Growlithe?] Kitsune asked, concerned.

[Relax--give her a day to get used to it and she'll be just fine.] Delphi assured Kitsune as a crowd of children entered the Pokemon Center.

I immediately recognized the Poke Ball in a sunburst design many of the children were wearing. "They're part of the local Pokemon Fan Club!"

[Probably here to tour the Pokemon Center.] Delphi mused as Nurse Joy and a few Chanseys met the children in the center of the room.

[You know, this is your chance to practice for Lt. Surge.] Liana suggested. [If you see them again, tell them something! We'll keep an eye on Ayra while you perform.]

"Okay, and thank you for being so helpful, Liana." I smiled as I patted her head. The next question was, what sorts of tales would they like?

Sea tales made an obvious first choice, but then I reconsidered. First of all, many sea tales were not appropriate even for second, third, and fourth graders. That, and many in Vermillion were still haunted by the loss of the SS Anne. I also didn't want to worsen Ayra's nausea by power of suggestion.

Ayra watching "Rikuto" gave me an idea--why not an adventure tale?

I mulled a few ideas for one as I kept an uneasy watch over Ayra, and it wasn't long before the children returned a couple of hours later, chattering excitedly about all they'd seen and heard. Apparently a clutch of Wartortle eggs had hatched in the incubation wing (the maternity bay is for those Pokemon that give live birth), and they were all talking about the baby Squirtles.

Just then, a girl saw me tending to Ayra. "Look! A Loremaster's here!"

"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!" Forget baby Squirtles--the children were crowded around my feet in seconds, eyes shining in anticipation of what sort of tale I would tell them.

I discreetly fished Diana from my bag and began probably the most well loved tale in the world--"The Little Gold Flute". "A long time ago, in a place far away from here, there lived a mother and her daughter. Since the daughter loved the color red very much, she was named Akaiko, which means 'red child'. One day, as they worked in the fields..." I mimiced digging in dirt. "A great Charizard flew down from the sky and snatched Akaiko in his claws. Akaiko's last words to her mother as she was carried away were 'Mother my mother, so dearest to me, someday my brother will come rescue me'..."

It wasn't Brock's full on production, but I included my own instrument at the very least, and judging from Ayra's and the children's reaction, they paid rapt attention as I related Aozora's adventure, providing interludes as needed.

When my tale ended, I just kept going and made up more adventures for Aozora--it was good practice for my performance for Lt. Surge.
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  #16    
Old November 14th, 2011 (12:29 PM).
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Episode 16: A Soldier's Song


Ayra was feeling much better the next day, so we made our way to the Gym. Liana was pretty confident--we'd earned our first two Points easily, and the third she suspected would be just as easy.

The Gym didn't look too different from a typical athletic arena at first--there were League banners and Thunder Badge banners hanging from the ceiling very much like a championship team's run would be honored. But then we noticed the Pikachus. Hundreds of Pikachus. All marching about the Gym floor like miniature versions of human soldiers.

[I don't know, but I've been told...] a Raichu chanted from a platform overlooking the sea of Pikachus.

[I don't know, but I've been told...] the Pikachus echoed back.

[The very best ones get a badge of gold!] the Raichu called again.

[The very best ones get a badge of gold!] the Pikachus echoed back.

[We seem to have walked in on their morning maneuvers...] Delphi noted as the call and response parade continued for a moment.

[Company, halt!] the Raichu ordered, prompting the Pikachus to jump to attention as her owner, a well built man in camo fatigues, entered the room.

[Lt. Surge himself!] Ayra gasped as Surge paced the room, his piercing blue eyes looking for even one Pikachu slightly out of formation. One Pikachu heaved in a deep breath as Surge approached to make himself appear lean and strong, then let it go as he passed by with a nod of approval.

After a few tense minutes, Lt. Surge announced his verdict: "Well done, troops--company dismissed!" Relieved they had passed their morning inspection, the crowd of Pikachus hurried off to different rooms in the Gym for training.

"Sir! A Loremaster has arrived to see you." a female attendant began, gesturing to me.
I watched as Lt. Surge approached me, with his Raichu close behind him. "Emerald Loremaster Kenna Devine, sir!" I began as I gave a shaky salute.

"Emerald rank...surely you've gathered plenty of legends and epic adventures to inspire the troops..." Surge mused. "Most of your kind that come to inspire the troops are Silver, maybe Crystal rank--hardly worthy to assemble the Star of Knowledge."

"Permission to perform for you and the troops, sir?" I asked.

"Permission granted--they will assemble at 1230 hours." Surge replied. "You may prepare for your performance until then."

I spent the next two hours preparing and rehearsing my tale of choice, and by the time 12:30 rolled around, the crowd of Pikachus, Surge, his attendants, and his Raichu were gathered around a majestic stage that looked like it could've been my home stage at the Iris Theater.

[Go get'em, Kenna!] Liana smiled.

"I'm sure you know the rules, Loremaster Devine..." Surge began as I strolled onstage. "Inspire the troops with one of your best tales, and you'll earn yourself the Point of Honor for your Star of Knowledge." The Raichu displayed an orangey yellow point on a dark green pillow at this. "Not just any ol' tale will do--make them laugh, make them cry, make them scared, but most importantly, make them cheer. Understand?"

"Yes, sir." I replied.

"Then if you have no other questions, the stage is yours, Loremaster." Surge smiled as he welcomed his Raichu into his lap.

I took a deep breath to calm my nerves, then began. "Once, King Entei woke up just as the sun was just peeking over the horizon, and he heard Ashira, the little Taillow, singing a joyful song to welcome the new day. " I played a little flourish on Diana to represent Ashira singing, much to the bemusement of the Pikachus. "King Entei was fascinated by the song, as he often woke up late, long after the birds had finished their song. He listened to Ashira for hours, and when the last note faded away, he said to Ashira..." I then assumed a deep male voice for King Entei "Well sung, little one...Could you perhaps teach me to sing as beautifully as you do?"

The Pikachus giggled in anticipation as I continued as myself. "Ashira was shocked--teaching the king of the jungle to sing? She sighed dreamily at the great honor of having King Entei as her student, and agreed to begin lessons the next morning. She had no clue of the problems that lay ahead..."

Uproarious laughter filled the air as I told of Ashira's futile attempts to teach King Entei, concluding with King Entei learning to accept himself for what he was. Some light applause filled the air when I finished, but I was puzzled--did my audience not like the tale?

"That was pretty good, Loremaster Devine..." Lt. Surge began. "But not good enough for a Point of Honor..."

"Why not?" I asked.

"You didn't appear to have it all together..." Lt. Surge continued. "While learning to accept yourself is a worthy lesson to teach, your performance sounded wooden, like it was missing something...on the battlefield, the unity of the troops often determines victory or defeat--and if that story was a unit of troops, they would've been soundly defeated--all because it lacked heart."

"I made sure to prepare well..." I started.

"All the preparation and rehearsal in the world mean nothing if your heart's not in it!" Surge roared, startling me before motioning to his Raichu. "Raika...show Loremaster Devine what her performance looked like to us."

Raika nodded and begain repeating back what I just told in a dry and dull voice. [Once, King Entei woke up just as the sun was peeking over the horizon...] She added a fake yawn for effect, making the Pikachus laugh as she deadpaned some more. [He heard a Taillow singing to welcome the new day...] I didn't know whether to laugh at how terrible I must have looked or cry at Raika's mocking--did I really do that bad?

"Mind you, you made the troops laugh--but if you put more heart into the show, and told a tale you loved, they would've liked you even more." Surge replied. "If you want to try again, report here at 0900 hours tomorrow morning--and bring a better story next time!"

"Yes sir." I replied as Liana, Delphi, and Ayra led the way outside. I was going to find a story that would inspire Lt. Surge, if it was the last thing I did!

To Be Continued...
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  #17    
Old November 21st, 2011 (07:25 AM).
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Episode 17: A Song of Reflection


[Kenna? Everything okay?] Phoenix asked as he landed on a curtain overlooking my bed in the Pokemon Center's many guest rooms.

[You haven't said a thing since we left Vermillion Gym.] Ayra added.

[Still thinking about what Lt. Surge said?] Liana asked as she climbed on my bed next to me, concerned by my glum look.

I nodded. "I don't know if it was just a tough crowd or if he's right about my performance not having enough heart."

[You had plenty of heart when you performed for your last two points.] Ayra assured me. [However, I'm going to play Darkrai's advocate and say that while YOU think your performance had heart, HE didn't think so.]

"What do you mean?" I asked.

[Lt. Surge is right in one respect--all the rehearsal and preparation means nothing without heart.] Phoenix added. [Not everyone is going to like what you tell, but telling what you love goes a long way towards being a great Loremaster.]

[Heart is the enthusiasm you have for the story because you love to tell it.] Liana added. [Maybe it was possible that the story you told didn't fit the audience?]

"You may be right, Liana--I may have told the wrong story considering the audience." I mused as a smile formed on my face. "Because of that, I didn't give as much enthusiasm as I did for Brock and Misty."

[That's the spirit!] Phoenix squawked. [Next question--what does Lt. Surge like to hear?]

[War stories?] Liana suggested.

[Stories having to do with honor?] Ayra suggested.

A pop of a Poke Ball startled everyone as Kitsune formed in the room. [Here's an idea for you...you've always wanted to tell the story of Master Ash's adventure on Shamouti Island, so why not tell him an adventure from that? Specifically the episode with Zapdos in it?]

"What a great idea, Kitsune!" I laughed as I hugged my Ninetales. "Maybe the local library has info on it!"

We hurried to the Vermillion Public Library and made ourselves at home in the research wing, combing through books, folklore magazines, and even an eyewitness account or two from the islanders and Misty. "Okay...want me to tell you guys what I have of the bones of the story?" I asked Liana and Kitsune.

[Sure!] Liana pushed away the magazine she was flipping through.

[Okay.] Kitsune agreed as she closed up the book she had been reading.

[I'm listening.] Ayra assured me as she combed the shelves for a book we hadn't read yet.

[Fire away!] Phoenix requested as he fluttered off to retrieve some books from the top shelves.

"Okay...I'm going to begin at the part where Ash is on his way to the Island of Fire..." I began.

[Wait! Wouldn't it be better to start earlier and introduce the prophecy of Lugia first?] Ayra suggested.

I thought for a moment--Ayra did bring up an excellent point. "All right, so start where Ash and the party arrive and are told about the prophecy, then move on to Fire Island..." I thought about what came next, then continued. "Just as Ash retrieves the Fire Orb, Zapdos arrives and tries to zap him. His Pikachu asks why, and Zapdos explains that Moltres is in danger. Just then, the Collector arrives and tries to catch Zapdos. Ash and co. try to stop them, but they end up captured and taken aboard the Collector's ship. Ash then learns about the Collector's plan--to catch the three Legendary Birds in hopes he can catch Lugia too."

[That's not how the prophecy is fulfilled!] Phoenix protested.

"This angers Ash, and a great battle breaks out." I continued. "In all the confusion, Moltres is freed, and she frees Zapdos. Both of them combine their power to make an escape route for everyone."

[Now THAT sounds exciting!] Kitsune giggled.

[Lt. Surge oughta love that for sure!] Phoenix agreed.

I smiled, but deep down my heart was pounding--what if Lt. Surge didn't like hearing one of Ash's exploits? Then how would I earn the Star Point of Honor?

To Be Continued...
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  #18    
Old November 26th, 2011 (11:16 AM).
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EmeraldSky
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Location: At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
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Episode 18: A Song of Thunder


"Welcome back, Loremaster Devine..." Lt. Surge smiled as I arrived in the Gym the next morning. "Ready to try again for a Point of Honor?"

"Yes sir." I replied.

"The troops have already assembled, so when you are ready, the stage is yours." Lt. Surge replied, gesturing to the crowd of Pikachus waiting for me in the auditorium. "I hope you remember what I told you last time."

"I do, sir." I replied as I started for the stage door. "I thought about what you said, and have chosen a tale that I have wanted to tell for some time." With that, I made my way backstage and ducked behind a screen to change into costume--I was going to tell this story in character as Ash.

After throwing on my Ash costume and trading my fedora for the all important League cap Ash wore at the time, I made my way onstage. More than a few excited whispers of [Look! It's Ash!] raced through the crowd. Aside from the wrong hair color and being a little taller, I looked very much like Ash.

I took a deep breath to dispel the Beautiflies in my stomach, found Liana and Delphi in the crowd, then began in character, Ash voice and all. "As I made my way through the Orange Islands with my friends Misty and Tracey, I came to an island named Shamouti Island. And islander met us there and offered to give us a ride around the island. Since it was such a nice day, we let all our Pokemon out on the boat to enjoy the sunshine."

[Kenna makes a great Ash, if I say so myself.] Delphi commented.

[She has the voice right, at least.] Liana agreed.

"Suddenly, a great storm blew up, and we crashed into a rocky inlet of Shamouti Island." I continued. "But our appearance startled the natives, and it looked like we were done for!"

[What did you do, Ash?] a Pikachu asked.

"Fortunately, our driver knew one of the islanders, Carol." I continued. " She said something about a ceremony of some kind, but no sooner had our driver mentioned that I was a Pokemon trainer, another islander rushed up to me and said I was a chosen one, and told us all about an ancient prophecy...'Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice and lightning, lest these titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the water's great guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone its song will fail, thus the earth will turn to Ash.'"

"The prophecy of Lugia, if I remember right..." Lt. Surge mused.

"As the chosen one, I had to retrieve three orbs of power from three surrounding islands, just as a great hero had done long ago." I continued. "The leader of the hunting party told me that the next day would be the start of the annual festival held in rememberance of this hero."

[A party!] some Pikachus cheered.

[What was the party like?] a Pichu asked.

"It was a grand affair, there were games, and dancing, and great food!" I replied, making sure not to break character. "But the best performer out of all of them was Melody, Carol's sister--I could've watched her dance and listened to her ocarina all night!"

[Do you remember any songs she played, Ash?"] another Pichu asked.

"Yeah..." I replied as I retrieved a gold whistle with a green mouthpiece--the real Ash's instrument of choice. "One of them went something like this." Liana led the clapping as I played "Reel of the Three Birds", "Storm on the Rocks" and "The Chosen One's Reel"

"Bravo!" Lt. Surge led the applause at the set's conclusion.

"When the dancing and music was over, Melody came to me and reiterated what I had to do as the chosen one--and it was not going to be an easy quest. I insisted I still wanted to undertake the ceremonial quest, and I was treated as royalty the rest of the night. I was led to Fire Island the next morning, just Pikachu and me."

[Did you get the orb of fire?] a third Pichu asked.

"It was not an easy task, and filled with all sorts of traps and puzzles." I replied. "After some time, I made it to the chamber where the fire orb lay. Before I could take it, Zapdos ambushed me, but before it could hurt me, Pikachu stepped in and asked why Zapdos was so mad. Zapdos told Pikachu that Moltres was gone, and that he was now claiming Fire Island as his own. Pikachu then asked what had happened to Moltres, but before Zapdos said anything, an evil collector made his way into the cave! I met up with the others and tried to stop him, but we were all captured and taken to his airship."

[Oh no!] the crowd of Pikachus gasped.

[How did you get out?] a second Pikachu asked.

"The collector told us he was capturing the three Birds in hopes of awakening Lugia, and then taking Lugia too." I explained before turning my cap back, just as Ash did when he was angry or meant business. "I was not about to sit idly by and watch this happen, so we all worked together to free Zapdos and Moltres--even Team Rocket helped us!"

[And then?] some Pichus asked.

"It took some doing, but we freed Moltres and Zapdos." I replied. "Moltres was relieved to be free, and combined her power with Zapdos, blowing a hole in the ship's wall and allowing us to get out--it was now a race against time to see who could get to Articuno first."

My tale completed, the lights went down, revealing me in my true clothes. {YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!] the crowd cheered as I took a bow.

[Wow! For a minute there, I thought you were Ash!] Raika raved as she applauded.

"I'm very impressed with your acting skills, Loremaster Devine." Lt. Surge began. "I could tell you enjoy telling this tale, but to tell it to us as the one that lived it is a real sign of heart. For all I cared, I was not watching you in a costume of General Ash telling this story, I was actually watching General Ash on that stage. His clothing, his voice, and even his mannerisms--you recreated them all well, and gave the whole performance both realism and heart."

"Thank you." I smiled as Raika brought Lt. Surge the pillow holding the Point of Honor.

"Loremaster Devine, you've earned this with your stirring performance." Lt. Surge began as he pinned the Point to the center of the Star. "May it remind you to treat your stories--be they fairy tales or history--with honor and respect."

"I promise, sir." I replied. Cheers went up as we exchanged one final salute, just like real soldiers.

To Be Continued...
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The world will be saved by four heroes with a song in their hearts....

Diamond FC: 1977 8991 5041 Will trade and battle

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  #19    
Old December 22nd, 2011 (01:18 PM).
EmeraldSky's Avatar
EmeraldSky
Make the Colors in the Sky!
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Nature: Relaxed
Send a message via Yahoo to EmeraldSky
Sorry for not having an episode in a while--regular updates will resume after the holidays.
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The world will be saved by four heroes with a song in their hearts....

Diamond FC: 1977 8991 5041 Will trade and battle

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