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View Poll Results: Which of the Legendaries/Paragons would the heroes meet in their quest?
Kyogre 1 4.17%
Groudon 2 8.33%
Rayquaza 7 29.17%
Celebi 4 16.67%
Kyurem 1 4.17%
Heatran 3 12.50%
Manaphy 3 12.50%
Regi Trio 2 8.33%
Regigigas 1 4.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51    
Old June 8th, 2013, 05:05 PM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Tsulong

Back in Area 52. His underground turf was a mess, as always, but he didn't intend to stay. He had only come here because Joy, the town's healer, had forced him to. Making him lay down on the hay patch he called bed ever since he was born, she had fed him a sitrus berry and an egg of hers; she had also tied the wound on his side with bandages sprayed with mint. The master healer of the town claimed mint had "amazing healing abilities", but Tsulong wasn't much of a believer. The best healers were those who could manifest the higher powers of psychic to use them to heal instead of destroy. When he was serving King Aion in Cyala, he had seen the Argent Healer in action, a Lucario so skilled in healing wounds that he was said to have given the gift of life to the dead.

He wished he had him now. Joy did her best, but he was still hurt. He cussed, leaving his bed (defying her orders as soon as she had exited his cave), headed out. His belly was rumbling, and what a belly that was. Pacing through Area 52, he smiled at the familiar faces around, looking for Durand at the same time. It seemed the Xatu had not returned from the temple... Let's all hope he didn't have any trouble sealing it again. It's getting late, though...

Tsulong entered the almost-empty tavern, knowing he would surely find Vincent here... and there he was, along with Roscoe, both having
bowls of stew in front of them. He flashed them a smile that was touched with the pain on his side. "Hey, lads," he greeted them, "good work at the temple today. Guess a nice meal is well deserved, right?"

He sat on his rear feet next to them, wincing. His eyes drifted off to the Machoke at the counter who returned the look. "The usual, meat and mead?" he asked nicely.

"Meat and mead," Tsulong repeated, then looked over to the others curiously. The group seemed to be made of diverse people, people that might be coming from every corner of Altica. "Where do each of you come from?"



Ser Mantarys


"Is teleporting in your movepool too?" Mantarys asked him, "I'd like me a ride to Cyala." The Stranger had established a firm, phantom grip around the Krookodile's whole waist, even though it was around fifteen times bigger than his arm. How he did that, Mantarys couldn't tell. He didn't care. He was past trying to solve this riddle of a Pokemon and the abilities he seemed to possess.

The Stranger didn't answer. Silence had gotten hold of him as he was dragging the Krookodile through the trees, further into the forest of Duskwood. As if he had been withdrawn from reality, his movements were mechanical and often clumsy. "Watch it," Mantarys warned him, stopping put to prevent them from tripping on a rock. He poked his head. Under the Stranger's hood, he could feel fur. He resisted the urge to pull his hood down and see who it truly was under it, but he knew that would mean his death. At the state he was in, he wouldn't stand a chance."Why didn't you stay and fight them?" Mantarys asked him for the hundredth time. "They were all dead already, one word from you and your Murkrows would eat them. Bones is all these buggers leave behind." He roared up his raspy laughter, spooking off the birds on the trees. The other Pokemon remained silent. "Where's your crow now?" Mantarys noticed the Murkrow was gone. "The crow got your tongue, that it?"

"The King does not pay me to talk," the Stranger finally spoke. Ser Mantarys was ready to answer, but then he realized he had been freed from the grip. He looked around the forest warily, realizing they had wandered too far inside.

The growth of the trees in Duskwood was monstrous. They had grown so tall and their leaves so big that they blocked the sun from above, their trunks so thick, it would take three of him to hug them. Ser Mantarys had to turn his head upwards to see a ray of light passing through. It was as if the leaves were forming their own sky above their heads. As for the ground, it was full of overgrown bushes the size of a Krookodile, enormous roots and Pokemon of the forest that were too big for anyone's liking.

"What the hell are we doin' here?" he asked, "might be the Anonymous Brotherhood finds us and grants us a quick death." He laughed, then noticing a lonely figure on top of a cliff. It was a small, dark Pokemon: an Umbreon in his mid thirties that Mantarys recognized well. His rings were glowing crimson red and his stare was as piercing as the edge of any claw. He could only be Edward, the Black Prince. He wasn't really a Prince. But he would be Crown Prince of Cyala, if he was born within a noble family, for he was the very son of King Aion. A bastard, if you would have it, born on some tavern wench. He did not have any rights to the throne, so he resolved to preserve it for his father, by leading the Crimson Company.

"Edward," Mantarys called out to his leader.

"Here you are, at last," the Umbreon said, smiling mildly in that way of his that made you think he was up to something. "And were you successful in retrieving the Plates?" His tone was sarcastic. He could very well understand the vanguard and the Plates were nowhere to be seen. Ser Mantarys shook his head.

"You had predicted this," the Stranger said with a bit of hostility in his voice. It was known him and Edward didn't get along too well. They were always bitter rivals, struggling for the King's favor. The King wasn't quite sure which one of his weapons to favor - his bastard born son, or his loyal assassin?

"I had," the Black Prince boasted, nodding slightly.

"Yet you are smiling."

"Will you be pointing out facts for us today, Stranger?"

Stranger disregarded his humor, as he always did. Deaf to humor, I swear, Mantarys thought, rolling his eyes. "What reason have you to be happy for this failure?" the Stranger asked Edward, who let out coarse laughter.

"Lots of reasons. Failures bring conflict. Conflict requires to be solved by the King. What does our King do? He pays mercenaries. And which is the biggest mercenary company you have heard of?" He gave them a crooked smile. Edward was known for his lust of gold and blood, apart from his commanding abilities - rather than his combating ones.

"Yeah," Mantarys shouted, "Crimson Company!"

"Tell me, now. Which of the Plates were there inside the Sanctum?"

"Not the Grass Plate," the Stranger answered immediately, in a tone of suspicion. Ser Mantarys stared at him, baffled.

"Splendid!" the Umbreon laughed. "Aion reckons that Plate is hiding in this forest. Really, look around you," he gestured to all the dense and monstrous growth all around them, "what else could be causing the forest to grow so wild? There is but one problem, though." He leaped from the rock, to get closer to them. "The Anonymous Brotherhood. They will not let us search the forest unscathed... so we are looking in the places we can."

"Villages," Ser Mantarys said with a crooked grin. "I know where this is goin', boss. We raid 'em villages!" That means pillage and killin', blood 'n gold, he thought, saliva drooling from his jaws in the thought of more battle and all the things gold could buy: meat, mead, women. It was the best medicine after the loss he had suffered in the temple. He looked at Edward, sick pleasure written on both faces.

"Assume command of your troops once again, Ser Mantarys," the Black Prince commanded him, "there are villages that require our attention. Our King commands us to search, so search we will."

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  #52    
Old June 9th, 2013, 04:08 AM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - Area 52

As Roscoe seemingly joined Vincent in the tavern and ordered the same as him, Vincent gave him a little grin as he picked up his mug and raised it to him. “Cheers.” And with that, he took a deep swig of the substance, swallowing down before placing the mug down again with a deep, content sigh, licking around his mouth.

It didn’t take long for his stew to arrive as well, which he hungrily began eating with the provided spoon. About fifteen minutes after arriving in the tavern, with Roscoe and Vincent barely speaking to one another, mostly because Vincent was so focused on his food and drink, Tsulong apparently arrived as well, taking himself a seat next to the others. Vincent raised his mug to him in greetings, smiling.

“Thanks. You too, captain.” He replied to his comment with a grin, clearly starting to relax a little more, now that they were in town. He took another gulp of his drink, letting out a little belch as he hit his chest with a fist, raising his brows and glancing back to Tsulong at the question of where he and Roscoe was from.

Vincent shrugged lightly, taking another few sips of his stew before answering.

“I was havin’ myself a bit of a rest at Shamar down south before I came here, some trouble about an underground well dried out. If you’re askin’ were I was –born-…” He paused, taking another swig of his drink before shrugging his shoulders again. “Out east, ain’t that important. You?”
He turned his eyes to Tsulong, clearly not meaning anything hostile by not going into details about where he was from. He honestly looked and sounded like it didn’t matter at all.

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A man dies when he is forgotten.

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  #53    
Old June 9th, 2013, 06:37 AM
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Pierce the Cunning Shadow ~ Area 52

After a short while of solitude Pierce began to grow slightly bored. The aches and pains of his injuries mostly dispersed. Only a slight soreness in his shoulder remained although it didn't bother him much. In spite of Pierce trying to analyze the events of earlier today and sorting out what their next move should be, he found himself much too hungry and lazy to ponder such things at the moment. His stomach growled somewhat audibly to affirm this. With that, the shadow pokemon drifted out of his cave once more and set upon the Tavern, of which he was sure some of the others were gathering.

Sure enough, Vincent, Roscoe, and even Tsulong were there chatting quietly. The tavern itself wasn't very populated at the moment, and was pretty quiet which suited him just fine. As always, Pierce's entrance what completely unnoticed until he sat next to Tsulong at the next available seat at the table. The others seemed slightly surprised to see him but all the same he placed a generous amount of coins on the table and requested his order; "Some meat and soup please. Keep the change."

The machoke grinned as he gathered up the coins. "Right away.", he said and turned to retrieve the food.

It just so happened that Pierce walked in as Tsulong asked the others of their origins. When Vincent finished speaking the Machoke had just come back with Pierce's meat and warm bowl of soup. The shadow took a refreshing sip from the bowl with the provided spoon before deciding to answer Tsulong's question himself. "I came from an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of Duskwood. After a while I decided to leave and become a traveler. I've seen a lot of things, had business with a lot of people." Pierce took a small bite of his meat before continuing. "I never really stayed in one place for too long before I came here."
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  #54    
Old June 10th, 2013, 05:51 AM
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Garet
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Roscoe the Leech
Area 52, Tavern

~~~~~

When he was greeted by Vincent, Roscoe grinned back. "Cheers," he replied, raising the mug that the Machoke had just placed in front of him. After taking a short drink of it, the Sceptile kept his grin on for a few seconds, then quietly coughed into one fist when he was sure neither Vincent nor the Machoke were paying attention. Okay, this drink's a no-go for me. It would have helped to know what the Dewott had ordered before making his own order. Oh, well.

Vincent was more interested in his stew than talking, for good reason, so Roscoe left him to it and began eating as well when his bowl came to him. Now this, I could have every day. The chatting didn't really start until Tsulong walked into the tavern and joined them at the bar. "Yeah, it was a good day's work," Roscoe replied, lifting a hand in greeting. The Sceptile eyed Vincent for a moment at the belch. Mm, maybe later.

"Where do each of you come from?"

Mouth full of stew at the moment, Roscoe waited as Vincent replied. Out east, was it? Indrasil and Port Ragho sprang to mind, being the two major cities furthest to the east. Roscoe turned his head to the side again and jumped slightly when he realized a Gengar had shown up without warning. Wasn't he one of th' other heroes? That aside, Roscoe wasn't fond of Ghosts. Oh, he could get along fine, as long as they weren't like that one Duskull.

Relaxing, Roscoe swallowed his latest bite of stew as the Gengar answered next. "Th' mansion wasn't quite abandoned, though, was it?" Roscoe asked lightly. Not him right now, either. Maybe after the meal's been over. "Me, I'm from Vivardia. Nice friendly place, and fun for a kid livin' there. Not too much excitement otherwise, 'fore I ended up leavin'." He chuckled. "Sounds like we all went travelin', doesn't it?"
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  #55    
Old June 10th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Durand

Metallic sounds filled the chambers when he put his psychic powers to work. The aftermath of the battle that had went on inside the Sanctum had left behind... quite some waste. Waste that needed to be disposed of. He took example from the Pokemon who used their psychic powers as crushing machines in the Junkyard of Skyhaven; the bloody remains were carried outside the chamber by Guardian, whose body stunk with blood now. The Golurk was silent as he worked, and Durand could feel his distress. Not of the blood, but by the vision Durand had sent to his circuitry.

"Is something troubling you?" the Elder asked Guardian, following him through the corridor and outside the Sanctum.

"This one saw destruction, pain, agony. The sacred duty, to protect, this one had failed."

"You are now aware of what needs to be done, as are the heroes who followed us here today. Will you commit yourself to this new task that is being served in front of you?"

Durand was painfully aware of Guardian's sadness. It was a queer thing, as his kind was not made to understand emotions. He tossed the remains for the vultures to eat, then turned at his Elder. "This one inquires of your protection in the future, Elder."

The Xatu pondered on the sky for a moment. The sun was sinking behind the mountain ranges of the west into yet another golden sunset that shrouded the entire Mount Aegis. When he looked directly in it, he saw the future in the flickering rays, and smiled faintly, as much as his beak allowed. "My survival in this world will mean nothing, should the heroes fail to retrieve the Plates. Your place is now amongst them." Guardian kneeled and brought his hand on the crack of his chest, where the source of his life energy was; his heart, so to speak. His whole body shone golden in the light, his runes glowed bright yellow. He said nothing, but Durand heard the valiant soul the Fenju had given them.

"Come, now, let us head back. There is not a minute to waste..."


***


In the very end of the town of Area 52, on top of a hill, there was a small house with an oversized telescope stuck on the window of the attic, facing Mount Aegis. That was called the Lookout Pointe by the locals, where all the ranged surveillance on the ruins was carried out. Rangers used the telescope to keep the state of the Fenju ruins in check. Lookout Pointe also happened to be the Elder's home. As a building dedicated to leadership, that was where all the important councils of the town took place.

Right now, the Lookout Pointe's polished wood shone, reflecting the golden light of the sunlight. The hay roof was one of the spots Durand chose to stand on to observe the sun sinking in the horizon. Now, he had other things in mind: the Plates, and if the heroes could help him deduce their locations on the map of Altica. He would have to summon them again, right here.

Guardian stepped up the hill heavily, reeking with the stench of blood. He opened the house's door for Durand to step into. "Guardian," he said, "find me the heroes as soon as possible. I feel rest matters little now, at times like these."

The Golurk nodded. "This one obeys," he said and he headed off.

And the Xatu walked into his home, weary from the fight he had to give in the Sanctum. Space was little, when all the walls were covered in bookshelves so full that books were ready to spill out if you touched them. Some books were thrown on the carpeted floor, along with a drawer full of seeds. Sleep seeds, the healers of the town called them; they helped Durand with his restless nights.

There was a small stair leading to the attic, in a bind among the bookshelves. In the far end of the room, there was a big table, with a chair between it and a window as big, a window that showed Mount Aegis and how it pierced the setting sun. The light was entering right through, everything at this hour was golden.

He took two steps inside, his robes swishing on the wooden floor, then suddenly hear crunching sounds coming from inside. As if a Rattata was chewing on a stick. "What in tarnation--" he begun saying, his weary eyes drifting onto the leader's chair (which he did not use, due to his species). On that chair, a small rodent of a Pokemon was standing: a stumpy Pikachu with unwashed, bristle fur. His over sized ears were spiky and held obscenely big sunglasses. A General's hat was placed sideways on his head, an object called Light Ball hung from his stumpy neck with a golden chain. He wore a black garment called blazer that was on his size, bearing multiple emblems and medallions on the left side of his chest.

"Yo, Eldy," the Pikachu spoke with his high pitched voice, leaning over a map spread on the table, mouth full of what he was eating. Looking closer, Durand noticed it was cookie with chocolate sprinkles, and the Pikachu's mouth was full of chocolate. The map underneath was full of breadcrumbs. "Wasn't expecting you so early!" he snickered sarcastically with a mischievous, full-of-chocolate grin.

There was but one Pokemon with such nerve. The Trade Prince. The richest Pokemon in all of Altica, commanding an army of his own, trade fleets and ruling businesses all across the known world. The title of the Trade Prince was given to the ultimate leader of the Blackwater Cartel; he was not elected, nor was his title hereditary; the Trade Prince killed, blackmailed and schemed his way to the top, stopping at nothing to amass his fortune and power. It was hard for Durand to grasp how this Pikachu had become one of the most powerful Pokemon in all of Altica.

"Januario," Durand acknowledged him quietly, watching him chomp on his cookies disapprovingly. Although he detested Januario, he could not deny that he was a powerful friend to Area 52. The funding he had provided for them the past few years had helped them establish this town, but the Elder had his suspicions of the motives of a Trade Prince. Only the most cunning of our race assume command of the Cartel, he would often think and remind himself not to get too friendly with such people, as they saw profit in the slightest move they made.

The Trade Prince jumped on the table, stepping on the map of Altica and the remains of his eaten cookies. "You're killing me! You know I can't be off from business for too long. Januario disappears, and suddenly everyone in the Cartel loses their minds!" He laughed loudly, spitting cookies all over.

"Nobody called you here," Durand said mildly, trying not to scowl at the insulted expression that unfolded on the Pikachu's face; a comical, fake one that was worth an actor's pay, as Durand knew it was impossible to insult such person.

"I know what happened in the Sanctum," the Pikachu declared, pointing at him. "That's the reason I'm here, possibly wasting my precious time."

"How did you know?"

"Duh. I work for the King. Tell me again who you thought was paying all those thugs in the Crimson Company? The Crown?! The Crown doesn't pay a dime when I'm around!" His laughter shook him, medallions jingling together as he slapped his knee. Durand could not comprehend how what he said was funny, or what the meaning of it was. The Pikachu's hat fell off on the table, but he didn't even seem to notice. "I'm here to... help, for free," he said the word as if they pained him, "you wanna grab those Plates. The King wants to grab the Plates. The Cartel wants to grab the Plates. Everyone in the world wants to grab the Plates!" he shouted, throwing his small hands up. "I'm the only one left caring for fortune, looks like. What's wrong with all you?!"

"The Plates are more important than any fortune you can make," Durand stated, watching carefully the Trade Prince. He was now sure that the Pikachu was acting. He might say he does not want the Plates, but his interests are always his priority. And if everyone is looking for the Plates, there is bound to be conflict... conflict which might affect the Cartel's empire, and the Trade Prince, eventually. The economy of Altica did not quite work the way it was now, in the early years of Durand's life. It took him much time to learn how business was done outside Area 52, and it was all thanks to the Trade Prince. That much he would give him, at least.

"Summon your heroes," the Trade Prince said pompously, grinning, "and I shall grant you my council."

"Already have."



Tsulong

Tsulong heard everyone's stories carefully as he ate his food; he would like to know as much as he could for his newfound allies, before setting off. It seemed like they would be travelling together, knowing Durand and what he was going to suggest they do.

He watched Vincent, not being particularly revealing on his hometown. Tsulong shrugged it off, thinking they would get to know, eventually. Meanwhile, Pierce had slipped in their company without anyone noticing until he spoke; stating he was coming from an abandoned mansion in Duskwood. As for Roscoe, he was coming from Vivardia. Now that was interesting, Pokemon born in Vivardia barely found it in themselves to leave the peace of the village. When everyone was done, he puffed up his chest proudly. "I was born here, in Area 52, like Reginard Asphos," he said, "I was raised as an assistant of the Elder... I've no regrets of this life, but I would rather have been born elsewhere." Before he could explain, there was massive knock on the door that nearly knocked it off its hinges. Tsulong jerked to see Guardian standing outside the tavern, too big to squeeze through the door.

"This one calls to you. Durand has summoned you in the Lookout Pointe for a council," the Golurk said in his deep voice. Tsulong looked at the others and shrugged.

"Best get going, mates."The Machoke winked at him to let him know he wouldn't need to pay any of the food he ordered. He knew him for years, after all.


[OOC: BIG ASS POST FILLER FILLER lololo]
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Last edited by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow; June 10th, 2013 at 03:02 PM.
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  #56    
Old June 12th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Garet
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Roscoe
Area 52, Tavern - Lookout Pointe


"Really?" Before Tsulong had a chance to explain, Roscoe's attention was drawn to the heavy knock at the door. Eh? Council, so soon? "Certainly didn't give us a whole lotta time," he stated after draining the last of his stew. "But hey, we might get a few answers, eh?"

With a grin, Roscoe left another coin for the Machoke and stood to leave. As he turned to the door, the Sceptile's eyes paused briefly on the Gengar. Vincent had drink in him, and it wouldn't be wise to test Tsulong's limits. Yet. The urge was growing now. Eh, let's get it over with. Roscoe passed by the Gengar and clapped him on the shoulder once, Draining a bit of his energy as the Sceptile walked to the door. There was very little to indicate to the others what he'd done, but the vic- Gengar might object. Roscoe would wait and see.

~~~~~

In the meantime, he paused near the door to Lookout Pointe, hesitant to enter. No, hesitant to barge in first. This wasn't just anyone's house, after all. Letting someone else go first, on the other hand, was just fine. Roscoe waited until someone else entered, then stepped inside to get a look at Durand's home. At least, that was what residents of Area 52 had said when he'd asked.

Books. Similar to the library of Vivardia, in a way, though Roscoe hadn't appreciated it as a kid. A moment later, his yellow eyes descended upon the Pikachu in the room. "Hey, there," Roscoe said, raising a claw in greeting. He wasn't immediately aware of who the rodent was.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Reginard Asphos
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Durand


Reginard was tired… so tired. His brain was on fire and he could not for the life of him understand why. The Mukrows… something was different about that one memory. Was it even a memory? Possibly, but why had he not remembered it before? Surely he would have seen that memory sometime earlier, but had it been hidden from him? Unlikely, he saw everything in his mind, but this scene just seemed so… different. It was as if he had been seeing the scene from someone else's mind, but at the same time it naturally felt like a memory of his.

He sat in his room now, taking deep breaths and concentrating on clearing away his confusion. He couldn't be confused now, he had a job to undertake, a holy task actually. He could do this, he just had to make sure that none of the others noticed. A psychic who couldn't figure out what was in his own mind would be a burden, and he didn't want to be a burden. Reginard flinched a bit as he heard someone enter his room and realized he hadn't been reaching out with his psychic powers. This memory had him more riled up than he realized!

"This one calls to you. Durand has summoned you in the Lookout Point for a council." He heard the Golurk say behind him.

"Yes… I'll be moving along." Reginard said wearily. The Alakazam began gathering his things and ported off to the area… only realizing how fatigued he was when he arrived and ended up coughing a bit. He glanced at the Elder and his guest and quickly bowed his head, "Elder. I see we have company."

"Aye, you have," the guest answered immediately. A Pikachu was grinning at him, his mouth full of cookies. "And what a company I am, right!?" The Pikachu jumped from the table to a bookshelf near Reginard, in order to shake his hand. "The Chronicler of Tales," he mused, his small black eyes half shut, examining his tattoes. "You've been quite an asset for Area 52, I hear. I should give you a raise."

"We do not get paid for our work here," Durand said, gritting his beak as if suppressing his anger.

Reginard quickly glanced over at the Elder and it didn't take much to see his irritation. "Well, yes, I am the Chronicler of Tales. And you are…?" He asked curiously. He really hadn't seen this Pikachu before, and what did he mean by a raise? Was he some sort of merchant? And what was with the cookies?

The Pikachu's mouth tightened and his expression hardened. "I suppose people don't know me by species. And I suppose that's natural. I am the Trade Prince of Altica, the very one. Heh, looks like I don't get any credit for funding your people. Yes! Me! I kept your little town alive as soon as I set my little furry leg on this land. And what do I get for thanks? Some scowls from an old Xatu!" He didn't seem to mind at all. Instead, he was amused.

Reginard blinked. Yes… that was a mistake. He had heard of the Trade Prince… but what was he doing here? He rarely came to the area as far as Reginard knew. "Oh… pardon my apologies Prince. I did not expect a Pikachu of your… high status to visit on a day like this." He said with a small bow of his head. "May I ask as to what brings you here today? I hope nothing too serious."

"Nothing too serious?!" He shook with high pitched laughter, leaning against the wall as not to fall. "Haven't you heard who I am? The Trade Prince! You think I'd leave business for even a moment if it wasn't serious?!"

Just then, the door of the house swung open and Tsulong came marching in clumsily, bringing down some books as he went without even noticing.


Reginard nodded his head at Tsulong, "Greetings Tsulong..."


"Hello," the Arcanine said, then
he noticed the Trade Prince. His expression was painted with obvious distaste for the Pokemon before him.

"Oh, look who's here. The Exemplar of Fire. One of the Exemplars of Fire, to be precise (and you gotta be precise). Heh! Who would've known?" the Pikachu chuckled.

Durand turned wearily to the door, to see the Sceptile named Roscoe entering the house. "Hey, there," he said mainly to the Trade Prince, oblivious to who he was.


[OOC: waiting for more to join us! Pierce, specifically. :P]
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Old June 12th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Pierce the Cunning Shadow ~ Area 52

Pierce wasn't exactly thrilled that he had to get up from his food, especially after he had his mind set on relaxing. He recalled the Golurk mentioning a council? It all sounded bothersome. Alas, the ghost quickened his pace and speedily consumed the rest of his soup and meat.

Roscoe was the first to rise from his seat. Before the Sceptile head to the door, he pat Pierce on the shoulder. At first the Gengar though it was a symbol of momentarily parting ways, which was strange since the ghost type did nothing as of yet to invoke feeling of companionship to the grass type. However his face once again bore a wide grin, filled with curiosity as he felt a bit of energy sapped from him. Pierce wasn't certain at all what that gesture meant. Several theories was conjured as to exactly why. Whatever the case may be, the fact was that the Sceptile had taken something from him without asking. The ghost sensed Roscoe was edgy about his presence from the moment he entered the tavern. Pierce wasn't exactly sure why but he thought it would be amusing to entertain the Sceptile's irrational notions for a bit.

***

Once exiting the Tavern it wasn't long before he reached the Lookout Pointe, though admittedly with some directions from a passerby pokemon on the way. At the entrance Pierce saw Roscoe again in front of the door, seemingly hesitant to enter. The ghost drifted over the grass type and spoke. "Wonder what all this about eh? Was thinking we'd get a little more down time." The Gengar shrugged. "Ehh, I'm sure we'll be all right as long as we stick together...and ya' know, keep our hands to ourselves and what not." Without waiting for a response nor a reply the ghost turned intangible, fazing right through Roscoe and the closed door into the Lookout Pointe. The Sceptile was soon to enter after him. Within the house along was Tsulong, Durand, and the Trade Prince to Pierce's astonishment. He'd recognize the distinguished yet immodest Pikachu anywhere.

Of the two newcomers of the room, Roscoe was the first to speak. "Hey, there," he said, raising a claw in greeting. It was slightly apparent the grass type wasn't familiar with the Trade Prince. That would not sit well with the little fur ball, as he loved to be recognized as the successful business man he is.

Pierce then spoke. "Well this is a surprise after all. Never expected to see you here Januario." The Gengar paused for a moment observing the Pikachu. "Seems ya still have the light ball." The other pokemon were surprised that the ghost seemed to be already greatly acquainted with the Trade Prince.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 04:46 AM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - Area 52

Vincent turned a little in his seat, raising his mug to take a swig from it while listening to Roscoe and, to his surprise, Pierce, who had apparently slipped in without them noticing. He nodded softly at the both of them. Vivardia was definitely a nice place to grow up, and Vincent had even seen the mansion Pierce talked about. He took another swig of his mug, blinking a little in surprise and lowering it as a heavy knock came on the door.

Surprisingly, Guardian was standing outside, and the comical sight of him bending down to see them considering he couldn’t get in through the door, made Vincent snicker to himself. As the others got up and got ready to head out, Vincent huffed quietly and took a final swig of the bottle, placing it on the counter again and hopping down from the chair. “Well, I suppose we better go see what’s up.”

Vincent took his time getting to Lookout Pointe, which was apparently Durand’s home, and as he entered, both Tsulong, Pierce, Roscoe and even Reginard had arrived. He took his place slightly off to the side, picking up the end of his scarf which had slipped down his front and threw it over his shoulder again. He looked around the room, his brows raising at the sight of the Pikachu.

The Trade Prince? What the heck is he doing here? Suppose we’ll get to know soon enough, he thought as he glanced from the Pikachu and over to Durand.

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Old June 13th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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He had seen the Trade Prince many times during his service under King Aion. Januario was a lot more subtle, collected and even modest in his meetings with the King, but he was no less mischievous. The King was deaf to Januario's subtle quips and the humor he made about his weight, and he disregarded the Pikachu as small and insignificant. Vividly, Tsulong remembered the Pikachu, many years back, flashing him a malicious smile while the King was roaring his laughter in the throne room after hearing one of his jokes. Ever since, he was convinced the Trade Prince was never up to any good; he would consort with anyone, putting morals aside, if he was to strike a good deal. What in the world is he doing here? I don't trust him.

Tsulong was surprised to see Januario's expression change when Roscoe and the others came in.
Faolan came in last, stepping past Guardian who stood on the house's door silently, his eyes locked warily onto Januario, as if judging him. New person, new foe for the Fight Master, Tsulong thought. However, the stumpy Pikachu was watching particularly one of them: Pierce. To Tsulong's surprise, it was Pierce who spoke first.

"Well this is a surprise after all. Never expected to see you here Januario." He paused for a moment.
Pierce is acquainted with the Trade Prince, Tsulong reflected. "Seems ya still have the light ball."

"Pierce!" He shouted, then looked over at Durand. "You didn't tell me you brought the Cunning Shadow along."

Durand was about to answer, when Januario rudely interrupted him. "I do, still, have one of those you... procured for me," he said to Pierce, shaking the chain with the jewel hanging from his neck. A half smile of amusement was spread on his face, and his eyes flashed. "I sold the rest for double the price on the black market. These things are nowhere to be found in Altica! Thanks, Pierce, really. You made me rich. Ha!"

Smirking, Tsulong took his eyes from Januario when Toa brushed past him rather rudely, to go stand closer to the map that was spread on the table of Durand's house. "Enough of this," he said loudly, pointing his claw at Durand, "I wanna know why I came here."

"Well, yes, of course," Durand uttered. "On top of Mount Aegis, in the Sanctum, Arceus granted me the power to glimpse the future, and pass the vision onto everyone here.
We all have witnessed the end of the world. We all have witnessed what will became of it, should we let King Aion find and unite the eight of the missing Plates." Tsulong noticed Januario rolled his eyes at that, seemingly dismissing it as rubbish. "I reckon we all agree that the best way to stop this madness is to gather the Plates ourselves," Durand continued. "Time grows short, and the King is already making his first move as we speak; as such, I felt a council was urgent. I have called you here to bestow this quest upon you, heroes. As the most powerful of our kind, you need to set out and search for the Plates your ancestors carried away from the Sanctum."

As the Xatu was speaking, Januario picked the General's hat on the table and stood on the side of the map of Altica, without making a move to clean the breadcrumbs of his cookies. Durand stepped aside the table, to grant them a better view of the map. Tsulong took a step closer.

"The first step into this quest is to deduce the location of the mission Plates. That's what Januario is doing here... I assume," Durand threw the Pikachu a cold look, but the Trade Prince only grinned broadly in response, showing all of his teeth. The Xatu was about to continue, but Faolan suddenly spoke up in a critical tone, mainly towards the Trade Prince.

"Exactly how were you aware of what happened in the Sanctum?"

Januario glanced at the others, still smiling broadly. "I am the first person the Crimson Company reports to," he stated boldly. "On behalf of the Crown, I cover the Kingdom financially, and everyone thanks Arceus I exist."

"That is enough of a reason not to trust you." Tsulong nodded in agreement with the Mienshao, and Januario's expression darkened.

"I do what I can, as the Trade Prince, to save the economy of this land. Say Aion gets all the Plates. You think he'll have any further need of me? What will become of Skyhaven, then, the capital's greatest enemy after the Fenju? What of the businesses of the Cartel? Aion will conquer everything he could not when he razed whoever defied him en route to uniting Altica in a single Kingdom. Nothing will be independent from the ruler of this Kingdom. All will fall apart if a moron such as Aion rules with every Plate and Arceus at his side. And then, all the fortune in the world won't save a little Pikachu like me. You seem like a bright fellow. You do understand, then, that it's within my best interests to help you out in this - if not wholly and openly, subtly and secretly."

A long moment of silence passed in the room. The golden sun was sinking in the horizon behind Januario as Tsulong watched him, trying to decide if he was being sincere or not. He sure picked his words carefully; it was hard to see through them. He also noted that the Trade Prince used a lot of words; perhaps when he was being silly, he only chose to be. In truth, he could be smarter than any of them. Another reason not to trust the Pokemon.

"Well, now that we have put that aside," Durand begun reluctantly, "from our venturing inside the Sanctum, we have confirmed that the missing Plates are those of the following elements: Fire, Water, Grass, Sky, Steel, Ice, Dragon, and of course, the Dark Plate, which is under the possession of King Aion as he so frequently likes to remind us." Tsulong nodded, remembering the Emboar sitting on his throne, sagging, while the Dark Plate pompously floated above his head.

"If you have any insight on the location of any of those Plates, share it with the rest of us; for some Plates, we are certain of their whereabouts, as they have likely influenced the area they were hidden. But for others, we can only make assumptions," Durand finished.

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Old June 15th, 2013, 05:49 AM
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Roscoe
Area 52, Lookout Pointe

~~~~~

Roscoe had shuddered when the Gengar phased through him before they'd entered the house. So he'd decided that a bit of payback was in order, had he? I wonder what I could do next. Maybe...no, the score was even at the moment, there was no need to prolong it. Roscoe wouldn't hesitate to, though, if the Gengar did.

That train of thought faded as the others began talking. So the Pikachu was Januario, where'd he heard that name before? Oh. Him. Roscoe's friendliness descended to a neutral level at the realization that this was the Trade Prince. Personally, he wasn't going to try to call out the Pikachu for the scheming and such that the Trade Prince was known for. There would be no point. Still, the Sceptile wouldn't willingly lead a Pokemon with such a reputation to Vivardia Town. Especially if he'd paid the Crimson Company, who had broken into the Sanctum.

"If you have any insight on the location of any of those Plates, share it with the rest of us; for some Plates, we are certain of their whereabouts, as they have likely influenced the area they were hidden. But for others, we can only make assumptions," Durand finished.

Approaching the table, Roscoe looked down at the map, one claw tapping the area marked 'Duskwood'. "Prob'ly obvious, but Duskwood an' Vivardia are likely places for th' Grass Plate. Both forests grew more or faster th'n natural, after all." He fell silent for a few moments, looking over the map as he went through where each Plate might be in his head.

Hm... "What of Cyala? Would they have hidden th' Steel Plate there?"
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Old June 20th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - Area 52

Vincent was quiet as the group shuffled over and peered at the map in question, almost everybody going quiet to try and think of where the various plates might’ve been hidden. Vince raised a hand and chewed softly on his thumb, his eyes flicking across the map. He had several ideas as to where the various plates might be, but time was short, and he wasn’t going to lead the others astray with guesswork. He’d only focus on the ones he was fairly sure of.

“Well, I dunno, they could’ve hidden alotta things in Cyala, but might be. Personally, I think…” He trailed a hand across the map and tapped the area to the east, between Indrasil and Port Rhago. “… This is where the Dragon plate is hidden. Folks over there are real proud of their ancestry, and there are rumors ‘bout the Lord of Arcanthus hiding away some kind of treasure for himself. ‘Side from that…” His hand moved up to the very north of the map. “Pretty sure the Ice plate would be hidden up here. I haven’t personally been there, but there are people talkin’ about a temple hidden beneath the ice.”

His hand moved down south, to the desert of Shamar. “Likewise, there are people saying there’s a temple like it hidden under the desert. Personally, I think the Fire plate might be there. Seems just about right for how hot it is in there. It’s unnatural, really. Lastly…” He trailed his hand over to the waters just south of Port Rhago, near the islands to the south-west. “… Few years ago, this massive whirlpool popped up here. Bigger than any they’d seen before, and it’s apparently still there. I’d say that’s a pretty good guess as to where the Water plate is. Those are my best guesses, at least.”

He stepped back and folded his arms across his chest, glancing around at the others before looking back at the map, contemplating what he’d just said and waiting for everyone else to decide on where to head next.

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Old June 21st, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Toa the Blackhearted Duke
Area 52

Toa listened to the suggestions of the others. He didn't like guessing, but the Dewott, Vince's guesses were well-educated for a commoners'. Finally, Toa decided to step up and reveal some actual facts.

"Well, we know one thing for sure, at least," he said reluctantly, walking up to the map and brushing Vince aside rudely. He placed a sharp claw on Cyala. "Well, we know one thing for sure:" he began, "the Dark Plate is here. I would know. I tried to steal it."

Suddenly, an image appeared before all the Pokemon. It was a miniature version of Aion's throne, with the Dark Plate floating above it. This was simply an illusion that the Zoroark had generated. "This is Aion's throne," he said, "and that is the Dark Plate." He pointed to the floating plate above it.

"Aion keeps his Dark Plate afloat above his throne to show his superiority to all those who would enter the chambers. Stupid, I know. Makes it so easy for the taking. Or is it?" The illusion disappeared, and was replaced by an Ariados stuck on top of the ceiling, descending down using a spider web. The Ariados grabbed the plate and made its way back up, in the cover of darkness. Then, without warning, an arrow pierced its side and it fell down to the ground. The one who had shot the Ariados was a guard, who leaned over the creature's dead body and retrieved the plate.

"That was just an example. The Plate is guarded at all times throughout the day and night, and taking it from its psychic pedestal above the throne sends a telepathic alarm to any nearby guards. I had not foreseen this the first time I attempted to steal it, and I was caught. We would need a very powerful Psychic in order to deactivate the pedestal."

Toa glanced over at Durand and Reginald. "You two, old men. You think you're up to the task?"
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Old June 21st, 2013, 04:45 PM
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Durand


"Prob'ly obvious, but Duskwood an' Vivardia are likely places for th' Grass Plate. Both forests grew more or faster th'n natural, after all," Roscoe said and Durand nodded slightly in agreement. "What of Cyala? Would they have hidden th' Steel Plate there?"

“Well, I dunno," Vincent begun saying, "they could’ve hidden alotta things in Cyala, but might be. Personally, I think…” His hand brushed from Indrasil to Port Ragho. “… This is where the Dragon plate is hidden. Folks over there are real proud of their ancestry, and there are rumors ‘bout the Lord of Arcanthus hiding away some kind of treasure for himself. ‘Side from that…” Then, he moved his hand to the north. “Pretty sure the Ice plate would be hidden up here. I haven’t personally been there, but there are people talkin’ about a temple hidden beneath the ice.”

He pointed at Shamar. “Likewise, there are people saying there’s a temple like it hidden under the desert. Personally, I think the Fire plate might be there. Seems just about right for how hot it is in there. It’s unnatural, really. Lastly…” He trailed his hand over to the waters just south of Port Rhago, near the islands to the south-west. “… Few years ago, this massive whirlpool popped up here. Bigger than any they’d seen before, and it’s apparently still there. I’d say that’s a pretty good guess as to where the Water plate is. Those are my best guesses, at least.”

Just as Vince was done, Toa spoke up, stating that the Dark Plate was indeed on Cyala and that he even tried to steal it. That surprised Durand; if Toa had the skills to target the Dark Plate in order to steal it, he could very much do it again. It sounded as if he knew the mechanism of defense worked now - and that he could possibly bypass it with his and Reginard's help. He was about to speak up, when Januario butted in.

"Listen to yourself," he said rudely. "Thinkin' of sneakin' into Cyala, weren't you? Hate to burst your bubbles mates, but that can't happen. The King's raised bounties for all those who call themselves 'heroes' - every citizen, from the blacksmith to the beggar, will know you're heroes.
Heh... If you wanna get your hands on Aion's Plate, there's no sneaking around. You'll have to pass over Aion's corpse to get to the Dark Plate."

I do not think so, Durand thought to himself, you would like that, Trade Prince, wouldn't you? Setting the heroes against your greatest political enemy. I believe in the heroes, for what it is worth... Tsulong stepped into the conversation, before he could.

"King Aion is much too powerful for us to confront now. I suggest we focus on getting the Plates he is after, rather than those he already possesses." He put his massive paw on the map, covering the whole area of Duskwood. "As Roscoe suggested, the Grass Plate could be hiding in Duskwood or the forest of Vivardia."

"And seeing as Duskwood has been met with unnatural growth over the years," Durand continued for him, "it's safe to assume that that's where the Grass Plate is. We also have another lead to that: the Anonymous Brotherhood. They are the descendants of a part of Fenju survivors, back from the Seal, who formed the Brotherhood to live as outlaws, away from Aion's reach. Although we, the people of Area 52, are the rest of the Fenju survivors remaining, we have not kept contact... they are secluded, timid people, focused around their own survival. They go as far as to kill any who wander into the forest and do not belong to their Brotherhood. Eh... where was I going with this? Oh. Yes, of course. Studies here in our town dictate that the people of this Brotherhood took the Grass Plate with them when they left the destroyed Citadel. The Plates have wondrous powers that we mortals are unable to comprehend with. It could have affected the forest's growth easily..."

"Brilliant," Januario laughed, "allow me to add that the Crimson Company is killing everyone they come across on that forest." He seemed to enjoy the horrendous look on Durand's face. "Why, you ask. Aion's not stupid. Wait, I take that back, he's a little stupid. Thankfully, he has me as his adviser. Like a thinking person, I was able to deduce the very same thing: that the Grass Plate is hiding in Duskwood... poor people of Duskwood." He faked a sad face. "They must yield what they know, or die."

Why does he do this? Durand wondered. "You set Aion's armies scouring through the forest... why?"

"I want the Brotherhood gone," Januario said abruptly, "these goons won't allow anyone through their forest. The trade routes between Cyala and Skyhaven are limited because of them. My caravans need to circle around Duskwood! Can you believe it?! I'd save myself a million fortunes a year by clearing that damnable forest! You know, I've been asking the King to bring justice to these outlaws on Duskwood for years, but he's too bored to raise a fat finger of his. Well, now I used the promise of the Plate to get him to wipe the Brotherhood out."

Durand's beak tightened. "This petty money war of yours is none of our concern. We are to acquire the Grass Plate, if it truly is in Duskwood... are we not? What say you, heroes? It is your choice, where to start your journey. King Aion is searching for the Grass Plate in Duskwood; if we find it first, it will be a great victory to our cause."

For a brief moment, there was silence, but then Januario spoke again. "You guys are hurting me. Nobody mentioned the Sky Plate, yet it's so obvious, an idiot figures out faster. Skyhaven is where it's at! Of course. And mind you all, that's a fact. Hidden on top of our mountain, guarded by the city's pride: the Paragon of the Sky! It does belong to the city, though."

"So," Tsulong said skeptically, "the Council of Skyhaven would just let us get their Plate?"

That left Januario grinning for a moment. "Let me handle the Council. My voice speaks loudly there. If they deny the Trade Prince's will," he snapped his fingers, "no more good guy Januario. I own half of the city's businesses! No more good guy Januario, half of their economy collapses." He winked at everyone with a broad grin. "Get it?"

Yes, we do, Durand thought, mentally rolling his eyes.

"I see," the Arcanine replied curtly, then looked at the others. "Looks like we know there are two of the Plates close to us: Grass, Sky. What'd you think, lads? Which one do we grab first?"
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 07:40 AM
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Toa the Blackhearted Duke
Area 52

Throughout the whole conversation, Toa eyed Januario, the Trade Prince, suspiciously. He didn't like him, and he was sure nobody else at this table did either. Despite the fact that he could be of good use to the group, he would be quick to turn on them if it was in his best interests. For this reason, he could not be trusted. And Toa was not about to put his fate into the hands of a treacherous little Pikachu. He did note, though, that Pierce seemed to know more about the Trade Prince than he did, so he made a mental note to ask him about it later.

Anyway, it was about time somebody addressed him personally. If he was to be spoken to, it would be to him personally and not to the group as a whole. He didn't like voting either; he preferred decisive judgement.

"Duskwood," Toa stated, a look of disdain on his face. "And that's where we're going."

Right now, he was in no mood to take disagreements lightly.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Pierce the Cunning Shadow ~ Area 52

Pierce listened to the suggestions of the others thoughtfully. Some of others suggested locations of plates that somewhat corresponded with their respective elements. He couldn't really disagree with that logic, however he wished obtaining the plates themselves were as simple as merely narrowing down their locations. After confirming to search for plates that were not already in King Aion's possession, the Ghost's interest was sparked when the location of two plates were actually confirmed. One in Duskwood, one in Skyhaven; but both had some complications in attaining both plates.

All throughout the conversation, Januario spoke as if he was sorting around pieces in a giant game of monopoly. His motivation behind his suggestions and even his reason for coming here was to maintain a one up on the economy. But of course, that all of what the Shadow Pokemon expected from the Trade Prince. Pierce was about say something when Toa spoke up.

"Duskwood," Toa stated, a look of disdain on his face. "And that's where we're going."

Pierce glanced at the Zoroark. He didn't exactly adore the idea behind anyone choosing his destination for him, but whatever Toa's reason were he couldn't at all argue. "I second that." Pierce announced aloud to the group. "If the Crimson Company are indeed scouring Duskwood to find the plate, it surely wouldn't be long before they succeed. That plate would be long gone. SkyHaven could most definitely wait."
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Roscoe
Area 52, Lookout Pointe

~~~~~

After Vincent's guesswork came the first real evidence of a Plate's location. Still, Roscoe was a little surprised that the Zoroark had tried to steal the Dark Plate, then was chosen as one of the heroes now present. Then Januario shot down that plan by stating that the heroes were now wanted. Wasn't really wantin' to try that one, anyway.

As the conversation turned to Duskwood, Roscoe remained passive, the claws on one hand quietly tapping a staccato on the map. They missed a beat, only for a moment, when the Trade Prince said that the Crimson Company was scouring the forest. Considering how Januario wanted those trade routes to be able to get through Duskwood without being hounded by the Brotherhood, the Sceptile's neutrality descended further into quiet hostility.

"Almost goes without sayin' where it is," Roscoe muttered as Januario said an idiot would've figured out faster where the Sky Plate was. When a Pokemon traveled between all the cities and towns, he tended to hear things like that.

The Zoroark's decision made Roscoe think he wasn't used to voting or anything similar. After the Gengar spoke, the Sceptile looked up, the passive look on his face gone. "Seems we're decided, though I don't wanna bash on those who haven't spoken up. B'sides, Mister Trade Prince here would need time t' talk t' Skyhaven's Council."

Glancing back at the map for a moment before his yellow eyes returned to the others, Roscoe added, "So. Assumin' we're headin' for Duskwood after all, we need to consider somethin'. We're a small group, 'specially when compared to the Company. How're ya gonna get through Duskwood?"
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:51 AM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - Area 52

Vincent didn’t really seem bothered by being brushed aside by Toa. He’d said what he wanted, and he was going to move out of the way on his own, so the in-your-face personality of the Zoroark didn’t quite get to him. He stepped off to the side and crossed his arms, staring down at the map thoughtfully while listening to the others talking.

As the suggestion of moving to Duskwood and clearing out the Crimson Company and at the same time, grab the plate there came up, Vincent wrinkled his nose slightly, and as Roscoe had spoken up, Vince opened his mouth again.

“I’m not gonna argue with anyone else. If we’re going to Duskwood to clear out the Company, then let’s do that. But it sounds like you’re all forgetting something. The Company are killing everything in there to get the plate. But if they haven’t finished off the Brotherhood, which I doubt they have, by the time we kick them out, that means –we- will have to deal with the Brotherhood. And I dunno about you lot, but here’s a question for you. Are you willin’ to take the plates by force if we have to? ‘Cause we might very well have to.”

He went quiet as he looked up at the rest of the people gathered. He hadn’t sounded challenging or the like, he’d simply… stated a fact, as he so often did.

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Old June 24th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Reginard Asphos

Reginard frowned at the discussions going on and leaned on his staff, his eyes glancing over the various places pointed out. So far it seemed the others were dead set on heading to Duskwood... though he felt a bit apprehensive about it. If they would go and get the other plates before, then they could at least be ahead of the Crimson Company. Still... his head was buzzing from the images before.

"I know my way through the wood." Reginard stated softly. "I've been through it multiple times and I know some short cuts here and there." He frowned as the pain hit his head again and he had to close his eyes to retain his focus yet again. "... I am not sure where the Crimson Company would have already checked... but I do not know where the plate would be. I haven't come across any landmarks that would have signaled it's location."

The Alakazam backed away from the table and sighed, "Forgive me. I am not feeling well at the moment. Durand, I request a private talk after we are done here." The Alakazam sighed, "If you all will excuse me, I must head out and meditate." With that the Alakazam ported away back to his chambers and sat down, breathing a bit heavy.

Peace. Calm. The psychic sat on down and began to concentrate once more.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 01:34 PM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Tsulong


"Duskwood it is, then," Tsulong muttered his agreement, as everybody conceded on the location. It seemed the most logical decision to make; if they could find the Grass Plate before King Aion, they were denying him power while adding to their own.

Vincent spoke up, reminding them of a few factors Tsulong had forgotten: the Anonymous Brotherhood, and their behavior against outsiders. They would have to confront them, if the Brotherhood was truly guarding the Plate. Force would of course be involved, then. Vincent rose the question: would they use force in retrieving the Plate?

"I'm up for force, if need be," Tsulong said readily, "we have a purpose here. If the Brotherhood means to hinder us, they're as good as the King - enemies of ours. I mark my enemies for death." And it was true. No quarter for the wicked, an old Crimson Captain would advise him. The only honorable soul in that filthy lot, now long lost.

Januario reacted with a high pitched laugh that hit his ears hard. He had to adjust his sunglasses back in front of his eyes after shaking. "That's the spirit, boy! Your enemies need to be dead, or about to be."

Tsulong fixed his eyes on the little Pikachu, reflecting that the Trade Prince had so many enemies in Altica, he could not possibly want them all killed. He is trying to manipulate us, he figured and smirked. The old Xatu smirked as well, as if he had the same thought.

"No," Durand said, "it needn't come to force, if you are smart. We have not yet confirmed our relationship with the Brotherhood - they have not contacted us once, so we are not really aware if they are hostile or not. True, they attack any who pass through... but why is that? Is it only for territorial purposes, or are they guarding the Plate? If they are guarding the Plate, then explain your quest to them. Perhaps you could get them on our side."

"They will likely attack us before asking questions," Faolan observed.

"We'll just have to see when we get there," Tsulong said cheerfully, then glanced around. "I'm also confident we'll find our way through. Lots of us have traveled around these parts."

Reginard had been in the forest, as it turned out, but Tsulong was distrustful he knew how to get through; the rangers Area 52 was sending in the outskirts of the forest reported that the flora changed so drastically there, it seemed as if you were in a different world the next year of visiting. Either the case, Tsulong maintained the naive belief that if they followed the compass straight to the north, they were bound to come into the heart of the forest, which was said to be the Brotherhood's hideout. What they would do there, he didn't like to think. His legs were itching for adventure, and that was all he could think.

Meanwhile, Reginard retired, porting away from the Lookout Pointe and requesting a private talk with Durand, to which the Xatu answered with a simple absolutely and a look of understanding towards the Alakazam's direction. Reginard's old and weary, or so he seems. I hope he'll be able to keep up with us, else I'm going to have to carry him...

Januario finally jumped off the table and suddenly everyone had to look down at him, as he was so short. "Well, then, gents, this meeting's over, but you've scarce started on anything. Since you seem so caring for the people of the forest, you may want to start as soon as possible. I hear Ser Mantarys like to practice a new trend, as of late... he cuts people in half and keeps souvenirs from everyone." He made a disgusted face that Tsulong didn't know if it was genuine or not. "Bloody business, he's a real butcher... Regardless. Best of luck with your quest, and may the oncoming events prove... prosperous for all of us," he said pompously, and with that, he ran off on his four legs to the door, slipping under Guardian's legs.

"All is agreed upon, then," Durand said. "I will have to attend to Reginard. You can go back to your quarters and make ready for the trip, if you want... I will teleport you as far inside the forest as my powers allow me, once you are ready, of course. When that is the case, meet me here, in the Lookout Pointe."
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Last edited by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow; June 24th, 2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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A mad mind... hehe
 
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Durand and Reginard

Durand teleported away from the Lookout Pointe with a nagging feeling. Reginard's departure from the meeting was worrying him. Is it some kind of sickness that is bothering him? Or, perhaps, this memory loss... the images... the sounds. Us psychics can suffer from such petty influences from our environment, as we are most sensitive. He ended up in Reginard's quarters and saw him, legs folded, meditating. "Hello, Reginard. How have you been feeling?"

The Alakazam was meditating lightly when Durand came in. The Alakazam slowly rose his head up and blinked a bit. "Durand… I have need of your guidance." The psychic hung his head, "I… I have started seeing images. Images I cannot remember being in my mind before. I feel strange when I see them… it's like I see them as memories, but they cannot be. How could these memories have avoided my detection for so long?" He clutched his head, "How can I trust my own mind now? Am… Am I becoming senile Durand?" He looked up at the bird with a bit of fear, "Is my age starting to affect me now?"

Durand let out a dry laugh, though he didn't seem to mean it. "I am twice your age, yet the notion that I have become senile never occurred to me... not that I claim to be in my forte, either - on the contrary, I have grown too old for the pressure of the quest you have accepted, else I would accompany you personally. You see, our mind ages with our body, albeit much slower... events from the outside can tire it. Cause it to give up, if you will, a few times. Tell me more about your issue, though, so that we can make something out of this... what kind of images does your mind project?"

The Alakazam sighed and let his head droop, "Mukrows… many Mukrows. I… I was at some sort of camp. I saw lights from a fire. They are pecking me… so much pain." He shuddered there. "I… I am unsure when this happened. It's never happened to me before… forgetting so much. But if the memories were in my own mind, then it means they were never taken, but I can't find them!" Reginard let loose a stray psychic blast. "Dammit! I can't find the other ones! Why does my mind torment me!"

"So, it is Murkrows..." Durand said, skeptically, in a low tone, avoiding to look at him. "I see, I see. Perhaps... if I may be so bold, as to make a suggestion... but, this is out of the field of our psychic powers. In all actuality, no Pokemon known to me possesses such powers... hmm. It could be, that your memories were not stolen, nor erased... just hidden. Relocated, if you like, somewhere in your mind - so whenever it is that you are trying to process them, they are missing. Yet, in case of a heavy resemblance between these memories and the outside world, these lost memories of yours are trying to come out. If that is so, you may discover more of these memories during your journey."

Reginard sighed, "I feared you would come to that conclusion." He looked down, "When I saw the Mukrows, the memory triggered. It trigged in an instant. If I must find the rest of my memories, then I must go out and find them." He rubbed his forehead. "I fear soon enough I'll get too old to go out on journeys anymore. But that day is not today." He grunted as he rose and gripped his staff, "Very well. Any items you can lend that will aid us on our journey?" He asked.

"Of course, Reginard," Durand smiled, "I have made something for you. A gift, if you would, a gift that would aid you and the heroes in your quest..." He looked under his wing, pecking through his robes... a pretty gem came floating out in front of them, glowing purple and pink as it pulsed with the power of the psychics. "It is a teleportation gem. You do know of those, don't you? They greatly enhance your teleporting abilities; only for once, though, as the power it holds is released once the seal is broken. Use it wisely, and keep it close." The pulsing gem floated towards Reginard, and the Xatu continued, "I trust you will counsel the heroes through their quest... your knowledge and wisdom shall be a great asset to them all."

Reginard's eyes shined on the crystal and he took hold of it. Reginard picked up his staff and pulled out a string and began to tie the crystal to the tip. "Well, I shall keep it safe, you need not worry about that Durand." He smiled weakly at the Xatu. "I will counsel them well. I will make sure we complete our quest." He let out a deep breath, "Now it is only heading out and preventing disaster from happening. I shall meet with the others. Take care my friend." With that Reginard imaged the place he had just left and ported back to the Pointe. As he arrived he noticed that Duran had ported along with him and Reginard coughed lightly, "So are we ready to head out?"
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Old June 25th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Xilfer
'twas fun.
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Toa the Blackhearted Duke
Area 52

Toa's mood improved slightly when he saw that his group agreed with him with no quarrel. He did take into consideration the threat of the Anonymous Brotherhood, though if they did attack him, he would take care of them swiftly and easily, he assured himself. When the decision was made, he didn't pay much attention to the rest of the conversation, as he was in fact in a hurry to leave. As the Trade Prince finished a speech about Mantarys which Toa thought was intended to intimidate them, he left Lookout Pointe and made his way for that low-quality hut he was required to call his quarters.

Here, in this hut made of wood and straw, Toa had assembled the few things he had taken with him from his home in Cyala. Ah, Cyala... he thought, gazing at the objects. How he wished his whole business with the king would disappear and that he could return there, in his rightful place as the Duke of Cyala. He had spent his entire life training in the arts of darkness, and for what? So he could end up serving an old Xatu and his band of commoners? No. As much as he hated to accept the fact, though, there it was. He could not return to Cyala; if he left, he would end up pursuing the nomadic lifestyle that he had before he came to Area 52, which was unacceptable. As an added bonus, Durand had revealed to him that he would be hunted down and killed if he did not aid them in their quest.

As a result, Toa felt he had a lot riding on this. His entire life hung in the balance, and the only way to prevent total destruction for him was to help Durand and his bunch. It would be easier if they treated me with the respect I deserve, he reflected.

Something caught his eye. The faint glimmer of gold shone in the pile of assembled trinkets and objects from home. Digging through the pile, he eventually found a small locket. Made from gold, on the front of the locked the letters TB were engraved. Toa born, he thought. Within the locket was a thumb-size red jewel that had belonged to his mother: a Blood Diamond, rarer than normal diamonds, and said to be imbued with the blood of a thousand Pokemon. He remembered this locket; it had been a present from his father to his mother when he had been born. When his mother had left, though, she had left the locket with Toa as a parting gift. Why, he did not know. After all, she had hated him most of his life. Remembering this, Toa cast the Blood Diamond locket back into the pile of stuff angrily and sat down on his rock-hard bed.

Despite the loud bustling of the obnoxious rangers of Area 52, Toa felt all alone in his ridiculous hut. The moment almost mimicked the memory of a young Toa sitting on his soft bed in the Duke's Mansion, feeling all alone despite the arguing of his parents outside his room.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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Roscoe
Area 52

~~~~~

Vincent reminded them of the Brotherhood's behavior toward outsiders, and Reginard said he knew his way through Duskwood. Roscoe's claws returned to tapping out their rhythm as he listened to the rest. Yes, as Tsulong said, they would see when they got there. Roscoe just hoped they wouldn't be shish-kebabed before they had a chance to explain anything or find the Grass Plate.

As Reginard, the Trade Prince, the Zoroark, and Durand left, the Sceptile turned to the others. "Well, personally, I think we oughta grab a few supplies b'fore we go. For all I know, we might hit the slim chance and end up on th' run with no way t' eat off the land an' no way to get somewhere fast, right? I'll be back in a bit." With that said, Roscoe left Lookout Pointe as well, heading for the small hut he'd been given for his stay.

In reality, Roscoe didn't really need the food for himself. He had his seed to go on, after all. However, it couldn't provide food for the others, so Roscoe would get a sack of food in case the others decided not to get anything.

~~~~~

Okay, grabbed the few things I normally carry, and a pack of travel food that wasn't hard to come by. I'm all set. When he returned to Lookout Pointe, Roscoe saw that the two Psychics had returned. "I'm ready," he stated, pack slung over one shoulder.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 02:38 AM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - Area 52

Once everyone else had firstly agreed to travel to Duskwood and talked a little about the Brotherhood there, although not having reached any sort of consensus on what they’d do if they did attack them, Vincent stretched out and let out a yawn, stepping over to the side of the room, slipping down onto the floor and leaning up against the wall while crossing his right leg over his left, shutting his eyes. He didn’t have anything he needed to pick up, so he’d just stay here and wait for everyone else to return and be ready to head out. Focus on getting a bit of rest while trying to determine which of the heroes he was willing to put his life into the hands of.

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Old June 30th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Guardian

The sun had settled by the time Guardian set out from the Lookout Pointe to the dormitory, where Tsulong had gone off to. It was an underground series of rooms that he himself had dug, by Durand's command; he was now sitting with his friend on the very hay stack the Arcanine was born. Looking at Tsulong, he wondered if the services he could offer to the town were less valued than those he could offer to the heroes, to aid them in their quest.

"You heroes are capable," he said in his deep voice, "this one is afraid he will hinder you in your quest, instead of helping you."

"Relax," Tsulong assured him, "I know you're reliable. The townspeople might miss you, though."

Guardian's soul was blackened by that and the vision he had atop Mount Aegis returned. The town... razed to the ground... this one, he outlives the Elder Durand. He had failed in his purpose to Protect, Serve and Obey. This one cannot leave the Elder unguarded... But there was no need for protection. The town still stood strong, too far away from Aion's reach. The King would very much like lay waste on the last survivors of the Fenju, but the monstrous forest of Duskwood and the entire Anonymous Brotherhood stood in his way. They were Area 52's barrier, in a way, without them aware of it. If they were to fall now that the King had declared justice to be brought in Duskwood, Area 52 would be left vulnerable... in that case, Guardian would have to return here, to protect what he was made to protect.

"All set," Tsulong said, smiling in the way Guardian knew he always did. "Bags and all... do you mind helping me with those things? Town hasn't come up with a design for a strap to fit an Arcanine," he laughed. Guardian nodded silently and grabbed the two bags of Tsulong and hung them from his belt, without ever worrying about what was inside them. As a Golurk, he was nine feet tall, and made of stone, so he did not even notice their weight.

"Let's get going. I don't want to let anyone waiting," Tsulong said and walked out of his room, to glance behind him only for a moment, before Guardian squeezed through the door.


***


Guardian remained outside the Lookout Pointe while Tsulong headed inside and called out, "ready."

"Wonderful," he heard Elder Durand say, "let us head outside. The teleporting procedure will prove much easier in the open. You concur, Reginard, do you not? Oh, and I would not mind a helping hand. I am weary, after all that trouble in the Sanctum..."

The Golurk stepped aside from the door, letting everyone step out of the Lookout Pointe. Looking at them, he decided it was the best time to say this: "this one will be coming with you, heroes, by command of the Elder Durand. He will do his best in aiding you... starting now. If you have any bag, chest or sack that is too heavy for you to carry, give it to this one. He may be a slow walker, but he is made of stone... stone does not tire."


***


Tsulong

"Now that that's settled, we can set out," he said cheerfully. Glancing away from the small group of Pokemon gathered in front of the Elder's house, his eyes brushed to the town below. At the start of that day, he wasn't sure he would be able to leave Area 52 again, not after the attack of the Crimson Company on the Fenju ruins... but now, he felt that inaction would bring catastrophe. Now, his purpose wasn't only to defend the town and his people. He had to find the Plates, with the other heroes. In doing so, he would have to travel... much too far away from Area 52. What if this is the last time I will see my home? Might be I'll die off to some unnamed mountain in search of the Plates... but no. Thinking positively is key. That is what a Sceptile had once taught him... to be an optimist at all times, even the darkest of them.

Now he was watching the rest of the heroes, thinking he knew not much for any of them, except perhaps that they were powerful and able. We have to be strong in our journey, he reflected, unity can be achieved by bonding. Being friends, in other words. He wondered if it'd be hard to be friends with Faolan, who seemed distant from the rest, or Toa, who was surely the hardest to talk to.

The moment of thought passed, as everything vanished for a millisecond, during the psychic teleport. It was dark, the place where they ended up. The ground was wet and smelled of rain, with unstable footing, what with all the slippery rocks and roots. The trees rose high and low all around them, kinds of plants Tsulong had never seen before. One even looked like a Pokemon... The thick, huge leaves of the tall trees only allowed a single beam of moonlight to pass through, to illuminate their path. He had been in the outskirts of Duskwood, where the Brotherhood's presence was not as strong, but he would have never imagined what the forest looked like closer to its heart. The shadows between the trees were menacing, giving off the feeling that they were being watched... Rumors say that every single "wild" Pokemon in the forest belongs to the Brotherhood... even birds.

He nearly jumped when he heard a Murkrow scream, flapping its wings to fly away, as if going somewhere. Tsulong felt a chill up his spine. Could it be that he is reporting our presence to the Brotherhood? He scanned the darkness for more of those Pokemon. If that was so, it was only a matter of time before they were found.

Durand spoke then, interrupting his reflections. "That is as far as I can get you, heroes," he said, "remember, you are doing the world a good deed. Let none stop you. If you require any help... Reginard and I maintain contact, using our mental powers. I
wish you the best of luck with your quest... " With that, he teleported away, leaving them to the dark of Duskwood.

After Durand teleported, Tsulong realized navigating wouldn't be that easy after all. He shouldn't have underestimated the forest; going on a straight line to the north sounded like a stupid notion now. With all these trees in their way, they would end up in Skyhaven for tea and chit chat with the Trade Prince. "Uh," he uttered, "anybody know their way around? I hadn't anticipated this kind of... complexity..."


[OOC: I believe it should be night, by the time they arrive in Duskwood.]
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Last edited by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow; June 30th, 2013 at 10:29 AM.
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