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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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  #101    
Old July 29th, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Ray Maverick
You. Yes, YOU! You are DEAD!
 
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Tsulong

Tsulong followed the Electabuzz, glancing behind him to see the Cyalans chasing them through the forest, shouting and launching their ranged attacks at them, with little luck. Damnation. Some battles were not meant to be won. Tsulong would rather follow the Brotherhood, than stay and be killed by the Cyalans. Another day would come, when he would confront these animals for their cruelty. He felt strange at that moment, as he was running in a zig-zag pattern between the trees and their huge roots, as not to trip on them. The image of Mantarys forcing Lord Zeke to kneel and kill him on the spot kept flashing in front of his eyes, in a rhythm with the pulsing pain on his back. He had seen death before, death by fire, but not death like this, a brutal execution. Somehow, he wanted to avenge Lord Zeke. The Brotherhood would at least give them a trial, and not try to kill them instantly. At a trial, they did have some chance. But of the King's justice, the only thing they could expect was Mantarys trying to bite their heads off.

At Reginard's proposal for a group teleport, the Electabuzz shouted out, stopping on his tracks and turning to face them. His face was expressionless, as if he had not realized his Lord had just been killed; his cheek was still bleeding hot. "Grace Arceus, you're gonna teleport us outta here." With his right hand, he grabbed hold of one of the green spheres on his belt, tossing it on the ground a few meters between them and the Cyalans. "Don't fret friends," he said and took the Alakazam by the hand and fell to his knees, as if he was praying. "The Forest's Heart. See into me, you'll know."

Just then, a metallic sound cracked their ears as the sphere dispersed into green smoke, which quickly spread in the area. Tsulong held his breath, taking a good look at the heroes, just two seconds before they were teleported away. The heroes were a colorful group, he would admit. Only, there was a certain color missing... He only had one second to wonder, before the reality of the forest faded.

Where is Toa?



***




The Forest's Heart





In the next blink of the eye, a lush aura hit them. The air had suddenly gotten cooler, more fresh, the air full of oxygen. They were standing on the wet grass, surrounded by green hills that were shrouded in a golden light. Streams of water were passing by peacefully, the birds were chirping from all around, flying from tree to tree. All these low hills were just a clearing amidst the huge trees that rose from the ground all around them.
Tsulong's eyes traveled from the rivers, to the trees, to where the sky ought to have been... to meet with massive branches, that held leaves big enough to built palaces onto. All these branches belonged to a single, gargatuant tree, the size of its trunk bigger than anything Tsulong had seen before.

"Woah," Tsulong muttered, washed with awe, his eyes reflecting the scenery in front of him. He heard Sunfloras playing, nearby... and Jumpluffs floating gently midair, trying to catch a drift. At the root of some trees, he thought he saw Turtwigs wiggling the leaf on their head and drinking from the river. The golden light that was coming from the giant tree was lulling him, making him feel as if he was in a dream. Only, dreams were always brought to an end... he was snapped out of it by a distant voice.

"The Forest's Heart, Lord Zeke's domain." The Electabuzz they had followed had walked off from the group, to kneel in a patch of grass, with his arms spread wide. The mention of Lord Zeke brought back the image of him dying... but
the tension from the fight had vanished from Tsulong, to be replaced by a feeling of extreme calmness; the same type of calmness he had seen in Lord Zeke's eyes, the moment before he died. Pure, almost out of this world.

"As far as I am concerned, your leader is quite dead," Faolan said frankly, breaking the silence further. The Electabuzz didn't seem to listen to him. He only said, still staring off towards the golden light:

"I know nobody's willing to pray for my Lord... Arceus is generous, strangers. With faith we preserved the Forest's Heart for all these years, with his guidance we ruled the forest, and with his might we will drive the unfaithful away, all through our Lord Zeke." He shut his eyes, basking in the light, and started praying, with his hands joined together. A drip of blood from his wounded cheek fell onto the grass.

Tsulong was at an honest deadlock. Pray for Lord Zeke? The man had called them to a trial. Were they to be any regretful for his death? And now that he was dead... were they still going to be tried? That remained to be seen. The Electabuzz was soon back on his feet, looking at them, smiling in a blissful way that contrasted his rough looks. "The name's Little Giant, by the way."

"It is good to meet you, Little Giant," Guardian said, bowing slightly in respect. At that time, a Pidgey came, flapping its wings and landing onto Little Giant.

"'ey, lass," he said, "what news?"

She chirped something in his ear and he immediately turned to look at Roscoe, his black eyes measuring him from head to toe. "You sure?" He said to the Pidgey in a low voice. "Alrighy then," he conceded. "Peeps, you better come 'long with me. You ain't getting in or out of our home, so don't try an' do anythin' stupid."

They followed along the Electabuzz, headed up and down through the grassy hills towards the giant tree. He was greeting the grass Pokemon he met in the way as friends, and they were looking at the group of heroes funnily, almost with hostility, especially at Tsulong. I suppose fire isn't welcome here... After closing some distance between them and the giant tree, its roots became visible. Each was bigger than the Lookout Pointe, only at their tips, and they were much bigger at the point where they joined with the main trunk. Between these roots, a path of mud started forming on the grass beneath their feet.

The closer they got, the more clear it was to Tsulongthat this
tree had not grown on its own. It would take a higher power to grant this tree such size, surely. The power of a Plate. It was as if Tsulong could feel it radiating from the tree's base.

There was a dark cave under the tree's trunk, where a river was ending up, forming a small pond with black waters. The pond had an "island" in the middle, with two trees ten feet tall growing on it. Faolan was left staring at it, with his eyes half shut and a look of suspicion in his eyes.

"Rest here, strangers," Little Giant told them, "just don't go wandering over there," he gestured on the pond, towards the little island. Then, he turned to Roscoe. "You, you're comin' with me."

The Arcanine glanced quickly at Roscoe, wondering what was up. Why Roscoe? Is it because... he is a grass type? He couldn't understand. Either way, he was glad they hadn't met the rest of the Brotherhood yet... he was afraid of what would happen, although Little Giant hadn't thrown any hints at them so far. He wasn't that bad, from what he could see.

Tsulong and Guardian stepped next to Reginard, nodding at him to follow them to the nearest, rich grass patch that could easily make for a nice bed. Reginard doesn't seem to be at his forte lately, Tsulong reflected as he looked at the old man's face. He looked as if he was in pain. They sat down.

"This one inquires, is everything fine?" Guardian asked the Alakazam.

"Yeah, you don't seem at your best," Tsulong said, then glanced around, leaning forward to whisper, "is there anything you can tell us of this place?"

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  #102    
Old July 30th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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Sir Bastian
Lean Mean Roleplaying Machine
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Denmark
Age: 24
Nature: Jolly
Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer - The Forest's Heart

Vincent awoke to the sound of battle, still ringing out, shouting, clashing, thunder, crackling fire and all the other noises of a near-war. He slowly blinked his eyes open and tried to move, but found it rather difficult. He was staring up into the sky and felt the taste of iron in his mouth. Raising his right hand, he touched his temple and felt a trail of blood trickling down, apparently into his mouth, which had given him the alien taste. His scarf had been forcefully tugged down, and he was currently laying beneath a large branch of a tree, along with the tree itself, which had fallen over due to the earthquake the Crimson Captain had caused.

He winced as he tried to move, his left arm trapped under the weight of the tree, and after a little while of fiddling about, he managed to find one of his shells, grasping it with his right hand and with a swift movement, cut the branch from the tree, leaving him to push it off. He staggered to the ground, pain throbbing through his arm and shoulder as he attached the shell to the strap hanging down along his hip and side. He was thankful to find the other shell quite quickly and attached that as well, looking around to try and find Tsulong and the others.

Just then, Roscoe called out to the heroes, telling them to flee with, what looked to be the sole survivor of the Brotherhood. Vincent didn’t waste any time, and despite his injuries, pain shooting through his leg as he began running, dashed forwards, managing to catch up to the others. His head was unfocused and his mind unclear with pain as the group ran in an attempt to escape. Just as Vince was ready to turn around and try to block off whoever of the Cyalans might be coming too close, the entire group disappearing in a flash, appearing elsewhere.

Vincent blinked in surprise, having heard nothing but the garbled noise of battle and people shouting all at once with nothing coherent in between. Apparently Reginard had teleported them all away to what Vince assumed was the Brotherhood’s hideout. He raised a hand to grasp his wounded arm, wincing slightly at first, but he was happy to keep it a little more calm. It wasn’t broken, but it had definitely taken quite a heavy hit. As the Electabuzz, named Little Giant started leading the way deeper into the sanctum, Vince looked around himself, trying to orientate him again. He never liked to be unaware of his surroundings, but his head throbbed rather heavily.

Noticing the pure tranquility of the area set him a little more at ease and he was sure that the Cyalans wouldn’t get here, at least for a while, and the heroes had time to regroup and hopefully let the Brotherhood know what was coming. As they arrived at the large tree, Vincent tilted his head back to look up at it, closing his right eye as the blood trickled closer to it. He looked down again and let out a little huff. He noticed Roscoe being taken off by Little Giant and Tsulong, Guardian and Reginard walking off to the side. Vincent looked down at the little pond they were instructed to go near, and then over his shoulder out over the small hills in this almost cave-like area of the forest.

He took a deep breath and without a word to the others, he turned around and walked over to the nearest little river, about as wide as a house and spanning all the way to the border of the clearing. Looking down into the crystalline water with the buzzing sounds of someone talking to each other, Pokémon going about their chores and whatnot mixed in with every little noise, Vincent shut his eyes and with a deep breath, he lept into the river.

As soon as he dove into the water, the silence overtook him, replacing the constant chattering and the loud thumping he’d felt against his temple in the wound that had somehow made its way there. He opened his eyes, looking left and right under the water, watching the rocks, the dirt, the plants growing on the bottom of the river and listened to the silence. He loved doing this. Diving under the water and just… staying there gave him such a sense of calm and clarity, whenever he felt stressed or overburdened. It was an amazing way to clear his mind, and without even thinking about it, he pressed his arms to his sides and kicked his legs calmly, travelling through the clear, blue waters of one of the rivers spanning from underneath the tree and out into this sanctum within Duskwood that nearly nobody outside of the woods had seen before.
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When he is hit by a bullet? No.
When he suffers a disease? No.
When he eats a soup made out of a poisonous mushroom? No!
A man dies when he is forgotten.

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  #103    
Old July 30th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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Garet
GhostFire
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: ...And I Dance
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Roscoe the Leech
Duskwood - The Forest's Heart

~~~~~

Roscoe was about to speak when Reginard appeared from nowhere and made efforts to throw the Cyalans off their trail. So now you bring up the fact that we could teleport outta here. Still, the Sceptile felt relieved that they wouldn't have to run anymore. At least until the next time someone attacked them.

~~~~~

He was standing in the back of the group, where the other heroes in front of him wouldn't see him without turning around. Roscoe's head was bowed as the Electabuzz prayed for the Zangoose, who had been Lord Zeke after all, but he looked back up as he heard the Electabuzz getting up and introduce himself as Little Giant. The Pidgey wasn't a surprise to him; too often, those who were unfamiliar with forests thought little of the birds. Roscoe returned Little Giant's stare as the Electabuzz looked him up and down.

I doubt any of us will try somethin' stupid, unless... As they followed Little Giant, Roscoe cocked his head as he counted the heroes. Toa's not here. Did the Zoroark die during the Earthquake? Shelving that train of thought for now, Roscoe remained silent as they approached the giant tree.

Coming up beside Faolan as the Mienshao stared at the island, Roscoe grinned slightly. "Don't stare too long, or someone might think you're havin' a vision," he quipped.

"Rest here, strangers," Little Giant told them, "just don't go wandering over there," he gestured on the pond, towards the little island. Then, he turned to Roscoe. "You, you're comin' with me."

The Sceptile raised his eyebrows, then lightly punched Faolan's shoulder in parting. "See ya'll later," Roscoe said, following Little Giant as they left, mulling over the brief taste of the Mienshao's energy he had Drained a bit of. He was led to a vine that the two Pokemon climbed up, into the giant tree. What do you have to say to me, I wonder...
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  #104    
Old July 30th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Greiger
A mad mind... hehe
 
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Location: A water pond, duh!
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Nature: Serious
Reginard Asphos

As the group appeared in the next area and were led to where they would be imprisoned for their time with the brotherhood Reginard found a spot next to the lake to settle down and gather his thoughts. It was vital that he remember every single shred of rumors he could about the brotherhood. Everything he had heard from even random townsfolk would come into play here. It was life or death now... but apparently SOME pokemon couldn't understand that.

"This one inquires, is everything fine?" Guardian asked the Alakazam.

"Yeah, you don't seem at your best," Tsulong said then spoke in a whisper, "is there anything you can tell us of this place?"

Reginard's closed eyes slowly, and very angrily, opened up. "I am busy thinking here... but if you wish to know of this place then why not ask the brotherhood? No shame in asking a question before an untimely demise." He closed his eyes again. "I need to think, and it does NOT help when one is bothered when thinking about how to get out of here alive."

Usually Reginard was not one to raise his voice... but for some reason he just had to. Now that his thoughts had been interrupted his headache returned... and with a vengeance. He closed his eyes tighter and let out a shaky breath. "I am fine... just fine...." He muttered angrily more to himself. He rubbed at his temples to try and quell the pain however he could, he just hoped this ailment would leave him soon enough.
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  #105    
Old August 3rd, 2013, 10:48 AM
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Ray Maverick
You. Yes, YOU! You are DEAD!
 
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Age: 18
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Tsulong


"I am busy thinking here... but if you wish to know of this place then why not ask the brotherhood? No shame in asking a question before an untimely demise. I need to think, and it does NOT help when one is bothered when thinking about how to get out of here alive." The psychic shut his eyes, while Tsulong watched him in silence with a mixture of apology, confusion and a bit of concern. Reginard was never this tense, he reflected, listening to him murmur I'm fine, I'm fine. His best guess was that Reginard was tired from their encounter with the Company, and the long distance group teleport he had to pull off to save their hides. Or, it could date before that... to Mt. Aegis. Tsulong tried to recall what had happened to Reginard then, but all he could remember was moments of the battle inside the Sanctum of the Original One.

He winced from the pain on his back as he shifted on his seat, to look at Guardian, who seemed not to have taken a bruise in the battle that had went on a couple of hours ago.
The giant of a Pokemon was taking something out of that huge bag he was carrying... bandages. Tsulong smirked and looked him in the... face. "This one sees you need aid."

Tsulong was about to protest, when something caught his eye in the field they had crossed. A large group of Pokemon was now walking towards the giant tree, towards them, and a murder of frantic Murkrows was screeching and flapping around above them. They were all shrouded in the golden light coming from the tree; Tsulong wouldn't be able to tell they were Murkrows, if he had not heard their shrill voices screaming incomprehensible things. As they got closer, he started noticing the Pokemon of that group. It was clear that they had just been through battle, as some of them were bloody and some carried others who had fallen in battle. In a second, through the Murkrows, he thought he saw Roscoe... what was that? Roscoe went the other way...

Now it was clear a Lucario was walking in the front of the group, waving the nervous Murkrows away, aura pulsing in his hands. That Lucario's coloring was strange; metallic grey, instead of blue, as if he was wearing an armor. His eyes were deep blue though, and Tsulong recognized greatness in them. He had a hunch who this Pokemon was. When they were within shouting range, he went for it.

"I know you... you're Joseph, the Argent Healer, aren't you?" looking at the Lucario, only the coloring confirmed his identity. The Argent Healer was infamous in Cyala... the priest that performed miracles, the one who had been granted a God's healing powers. He had worked in the streets, curing illnesses and restoring broken limbs, while Tsulong served the King as an outrider. The people had started to love the Argent Healer so much, he was praised in songs and written in books as a true hero. King Aion had sensed that a powerful opponent was starting to rise within his own citadel, so he sent the Stranger after the Argent Healer... the outcome of the battle remained a mystery to everyone, although the people who loved the Argent Healer making up their own ends of the story. Tsulong didn't know what to believe; he had only seen the man from afar, treating children in an orphanage that had caught on fire.

But it seemed Tsulong was not the only one to know him, as before the Argent Healer could answer to him, Faolan spoke.

"Respect, Joseph," Faolan said, too faintly to be heard through the screams of the Murkrows. He had put his hand to his heart, to show the meaning of his words. "You survived the Stranger, then. And what would you be doing... here?"

Joseph popped them the brightest smile and opened his arms, as he kept walking, as if to welcome them. "My days upon this world haven't run out just yet. I have duties to perform, that is why you find me here." He stopped put, and the members of the Brotherhood circled around the entrance of the cave, blocking it completely. The Murkrows had flown above them inside the cave, to settle down in the darkness. It was a strange feeling up his spine, the countless pair of red, round, mean little eyes of their locked on them. Tsulong didn't know whether he should tense or not. His eyes run through the crowd to look at their faces... then, he was stunned. For a moment, he thought he was seeing someone else...

In front of them, next to Joseph, was standing Lord Zeke himself. His chest was a bloody mess of fur and flesh; where Mantarys had impaled him with his claws. Over his right eye, he wore an eyepatch, a bloody scar running down it. Now, his left eye was a lonely emerald gem. He was grinning at them.

"Bastard took me eye," Lord Zeke shouted, pointing at his eyepatch with his claw
.

"I thought you had died," Tsulong said, confused. "I saw you die. You whispered to me before you died."

"Just a wound," said a Sceptile that could look like Roscoe from afar. Only he was much older, and he had two gashes on each thigh respectively. Wait, I know that guy... "A grievous wound, aye, but Joseph healed him. There ain't ever been no better healer."

Lord Zeke gazed at them with a calculating look on his good left eye, and no look on his right. "No better healer," he agreed slowly, sounding weary beyond his years. "Howland, Panic. Be good boys and check on our friend Roscoe... Lil' Giant has him up the Mother Tree, a little birdie told me."

"Aye, m'lord," said a fat Swalot with red eyes and together with the Sceptile that had spoken earlier, they scurried off the entrance of the cave to climb the vines up the tree. Lord Zeke had turned his full attention to the heroes.

"That's thrice I die at the hands of Mantarys. You'd think I might have learned..." He choked on his own laugh and grabbed his throat, while leaning on Joseph, who embraced him and patted the back of his neck with care.

"Court death with a little respect, friend. You had best try to stay alive. Your next death could mean the end of the Brotherhood," Joseph reminded him, then looked to the heroes. "I found Lord Zeke after the Cyalans departed, chasing you... had I been late for a moment, our Lord would not be standing here with us. I hear you did aid him in his battle. That will count towards you in your trial."
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  #106    
Old August 14th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Garet
GhostFire
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: ...And I Dance
Gender: Male
Roscoe and the Brotherhood
The Forest's Heart

~~~~~

Clasping his claws behind his head, Roscoe stood a couple feet back from the top of the vine they'd climbed, looking outward at the Forest's Heart. It was peaceful, enough to make one want to forget the troubles of the outside world. Little Giant had yet to address him on whatever reason he had for bringing the Sceptile up here.

A small, content sigh escaped him as Roscoe took a step forward to look down at the forest floor. His smile slowly fell away as he saw a group of Pokemon down there, Murkrows flying about them. Prob'ly no more time for gazin'. "So, what's it you needed to talk about?" Roscoe asked, turning back to Little Giant.

The Electabuzz grinned and pointed down at the Murkrows who had suddenly went mute. "See these? Sum'one told me you're dirty, Roscoe. Heh-heh. Our Lord Zeke has noticed ye. I s'pose he's sent somebodies to pick ye up." Little Giant noticed the vine next to him was shaking slightly, so he looked down. "Oi! Here they come."

A Sceptile leaped from the vine next to them, pulling a fat Swalot after him. They settled on the giant tree's root, panting heavily. The Sceptile put a small stick in his mouth and got up, looking intensely at Roscoe. "You're Roscoe, aren't you, boy?"

Dirty? Roscoe looked down at the Murkrows again, frowning in thought, before his eyes widened slightly. Ah, not th' way I wanna go. And how exactly was he dirty? He waited as the Sceptile and Swalot came up the vine, then raised an eyebrow as the Sceptile addressed him. Smirking, Roscoe retorted, "Who wants to know?"

There were gashes in the other Sceptile's legs, which had Roscoe thinking that he'd gone through a lot. He also had the aura of experience that older Pokemon veterans tended to have. Dropping his joking smirk, Roscoe added, "Yeah, 'm Roscoe."

"Roscoe?" Panic said, breathless. Probably because of all the climbing. "It really is yers truly! Roscoe! It's been so long, I almost didn't recognize ye. You've evolved!" the Swalot wailed, as if Roscoe should have remained a Grovyle. His expression soon turned fearful. "What've you done? Oh, what've you done?"

"Lord Zeke was right," Little Giant chortled bitterly, "Panic knows our little friend here. You're so in trouble, man," he said to Roscoe.

"Not yet," the other Sceptile said reassuringly. "I'm Howland, the Exiled Alpha, if it matters to you any. You should be coming with us."

***

The group of four were met with the others. The Murkrows were gone inside the cavern, and everyone stared them as they stood in front of Lord Zeke and Joseph. The heroes were inside the cavern, where Little Giant and Roscoe had left them.

"Look who it is," Lord Zeke exclaimed, when he looked at the younger Sceptile.

Roscoe cocked his head, blinking a few times. He bit back a retort, instead saying, "Ah, I saw you..." Then he looked over at the Lucario, recognizing Joseph. "Ah. Okay then."

"My child," Joseph said, looking at him with his pristine eyes. All around, the Pokemon of the Brotherhood regarded Roscoe curiously. A few moments passed, before the Lucario turned to the heroes. "Do you know who your friend here is? He is one of us."

Roscoe rubbed the back of his head with one claw, avoiding the heroes' eyes. "Ah, yeah, kinda my life career for the most part. There was no reason t' tell you, though, as it wouldn't've helped things."

"Damn," Tsulong was heard grunting.

"I'll leave you to decide your personal differences another time," Lord Zeke declared quickly, before things could escalate. "Roscoe... Roscoe wasn't his name? Yeah, Roscoe here deserted us, a long time ago. Tragic, heh. Not all of us knew the lad, though... time to hold court for this poor soul."

The order was well known to the Brotherhood, it seemed, because every member of theirs started losing their mind. They headed inside the cavern to make sure the heroes were out of the way, while Lord Zeke and Joseph walked up to a big rock on the edge of the pond inside, where they both stood taller over than everyone else. Panic was at the Zangoose's side, whispering something in his mind with the same fearful expression he had before. Lord Zeke seemed not to hear him. "Judge the mongrel first," he shouted loudly, although he seemed to be joking. Some of the Brotherhood chortled.

The heroes were forced to stand in front of them. The Brotherhood stood guard all around them, curious rather than hostile faces. Silence had took over, only the distant sound of the rivers resonating in the cavern. Everyone watched Joseph the Argent Healer lift the crystal hanging from his neck high in the air. The shadows shattered as a golden ray touched the crystal, every color of the rainbow dancing on everyone's faces. Lord Zeke brushed his hair back between his ears and scratched the side of his mouth, ignoring what was going on and scrutinizing Roscoe instead.

"Arceus," Joseph started in his quick paced, solemn voice, "in your presence will we judge this man, may all that is holy save him if he is true, or strike him down if he is false."

Howland was standing next to Roscoe, a little taller than him. He had grabbed the younger Sceptile's shoulder as he leaned in to whisper into his ear. "Should things go unsightly, you're allowed to ask for trial by combat," he reminded him. Meanwhile, Panic had stepped forward, drawing attention.

"Roscoe, the Leech," the Swalot said in a slightly trembling voice, and an apologetic look in his eyes, "you stand accused of deserting the Brotherhood. By leaving the forest with out our account, you have abandoned your true faith to Arceus and our Lord Zeke and forsaken your purpose as a member of the Anonymous Brotherhood. What say you in your defense?"

Roscoe heard Howland's words but didn't reply, waiting as Panic stated the accusation against him. So it wasn't something he hadn't already known about. The Sceptile stared at the ground as he gathered his thoughts, thinking back to three years before.

"I say...that I lost my faith at the time." Roscoe looked up at the Swalot, then at Lord Zeke and Joseph. "That ambush, three years ago. Phillip and I were working together when he... when he died. So close to the time that my brother, as a Cyalan, died. I did not think straight after that." He paused, swallowing. "I will not try to excuse myself. However, I believe I've found my faith again..."

Hesitating, Roscoe added, "And now I'm helping to stop a disaster."
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  #107    
Old August 15th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Sir Bastian
Lean Mean Roleplaying Machine
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Denmark
Age: 24
Nature: Jolly
Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer – The Forest’s Heart

Vincent wasn’t gone on his underwater adventure for long and he had soon returned to the group, seeming ever so slightly rejuvenated, with his fur also cleaned out from any blood that might have clumped up in it during or after the fight with the Company. He quietly walked back to the group and took himself a seat on a nearby stump, rolling his shoulders a little and leaving his soaked scarf having around his neck while waiting for… whatever it is they were waiting for, though he did seem rather surprised at the fact that Zeke was alive.

Once the heroes had been brought inside of the cavern, another thing surprised Vincent. His eyes fell on the other Sceptile, the one slightly taller than Roscoe, his brows raising a little, but he didn’t say anything. He simply went quiet as the trial was started, his eyes shifting up to Roscoe, who was to be the center of the events for this trial, it seemed.

As the Lucario, Joseph, told the heroes about the truth of Roscoe, Vincent nodded his head faintly, murmuring quietly to himself. “Figured as much.” He didn’t seem angry or bitter that Roscoe had kept this information from them. He didn’t react much to it, actually. Whether it was because he would bring it up later or because they had more pressing matters at hand, nobody knew but him.

Vincent was quiet as Roscoe and Zeke spoke to one another, Roscoe defending himself for abandoning the Brotherhood a while back. As Roscoe mentioned his brother dying, Vincent’s ears twitched a little, and he looked up at the Sceptile with the same, neutral expression on his face, his arms crossed over his chest. Seemingly debating something with himself, he eventually stepped forwards, up besides Roscoe, speaking up.

“And that disaster is headed here right now. We’re here to ask you to lend us the Grass Plate. The king is out looking for the different plates, and if he gets them all… well. Let’s just say there won’t be a lot left of Altica when he’s done.” He raised a hand, pointing towards the exit of the cave, out at the forest behind them. “His forces are out there, right now, knocking on your door, and if he gets a hold of the grass plate before we do, the lands will burn at his hand, and it’ll spread. Further than you can imagine. The only way we’re going to stop him, is if you’ll lend us the plate. If Roscoe hadn’t been with us, we would’ve never found our way here, nor would we be able to help you fight back the Cyalans. So please, consider this.”

Vincent went quiet again, looking up at Roscoe with a look of seriousness and respect, giving him a thankful little nod.

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  #108    
Old August 15th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Howland


So, this lad was in the Brotherhood as well? Howland was thinking as Panic listed the accusations against Roscoe. As far as he knew, deserters were punished with death, the same with trespassers or poachers. Howland was a different case. He had tried to cross the forest to Cyala, but claiming he had no choice allowed him to demand trial by battle, which justified but almost killed him. It was Joseph the Argent Healer who had saved him from the Nidoking's poison; after that, they left him no choice but to follow them. Having seen Lord Zeke with his own eyes, they did not allow him to travel with any other group; Lord Zeke's traveling group consisted of the veterans of the Anonymous Brotherhood, those their Lord trusted best. Howland felt horribly like a fish out of the sea among them, but in the span of a few days, he had found out they were not as bad as they made it look. In fact, quoting Lord Zeke, they had built their vicious reputation to repel outsiders and scare the Cyalans. They were like a Masquerain - fearsome from afar, looking like an angry spirit of sorts with those wings that bore eye-like patterns, but gentle from the inside. Especially Lord Zeke. All in all, they were just a bunch of forest Pokemon wanting to defend their home and God, in the end.

"I say...that I lost my faith at the time," Roscoe said. Howland glanced sideways at him. He was irrationally concerned of the fate of Roscoe, but that could just derive from the fact that this bunch of Pokemon were heroes. And that Arcanine that was with them, he ought to belong in Area 52. Howland himself was working for Area 52, although unofficially... he was curious to know how these heroes had ended up here. "That ambush, three years ago. Phillip and I were working together when he... when he died. So close to the time that my brother, as a Cyalan, died. I did not think straight after that.," Roscoe continued, then paused, swallowing. "I will not try to excuse myself. However, I believe I've found my faith again..."

Howland knew this trial wasn't going anywhere. While with the Anonymous Brotherhood, he had attended two more trials. Lord Zeke was doing this for the 'sport', mostly, to entertain his brothers and sisters. All these 'Arceus look down upon us' and 'Arceus judge this person' were just words to a deaf god, the way Howland was seeing it. It all depended on the evidence provided by the defendant, and the outcome of the trial by combat, if it came to that. Those who survived were recruited. Nobody had survived in years, except Howland, and the freshly recruited ones were killed in the Company's attacks.

Howland raised the brows of his black eyes when he heard the Dewott speak. He was saying that the King was looking for the Grass Plate. Grass Plate? Howland thought, chewing the stick on his mouth, wonderingwhat the King could want from the Grass Plate. The Dewott also spoke of the impending destruction of their lands, if the Brotherhood did not lend them the Plate. And this Sceptile, Roscoe, was responsible for bringing them here. Silence fell heavy on the cavern once again. Some of the Brotherhood's members looked down on the earth; Howland knew they were mourning the dead. The Brotherhood's numbers dropped greatly after Woodshire, when they were found out; they left many dead behind, unburied... he figured that's why Lord Zeke wasn't in the same laughing and mocking mood he was when he met him.

"The kid makes a point," one of the elders said, "and I should be very much glad to hear how they knew of our Plate."

"The Brotherhood has been betrayed!" Someone shouted and everybody started to lose their minds, as if doom would be coming an hour earlier. Even the Murkrows started screeching in the cave, disturbed.

"Silence," Lord Zeke bellowed. Howland spat the stick out of his mouth and covered his forehead with his hand, shaking his head as he looked down.

"We have a common enemy in Cyala," the Arcanine stated, after things had calmed down, "I say we battle together."

Howland knew it was time to step on the situation. "My lord, I do believe they are right. Let us face the truth, the Brotherhood's numbers are lacking," he said wistfully, "the help the heroes can give us in this war is indispensable."

Lord Zeke threw him a thunderous look that made him look as scary as the rumors the ran around the villages of Duskwood. Howland had learned he didn't take it lightly when somebody stated the true power of the Brotherhood, effectively bypassing their fearsome reputation. But in all actuality, Howland was politically correct, and Lord Zeke seemed to consider it.

"Enough," the Zangoose with the eyepatch said finally, "you can help us if that's what you want. But I can't give away the Grass Plate... such matters aren't for me to decide. We will have to consult the leader of our Brotherhood."

What? Howland looked at him, making sure it was Lord Zeke who said that. It was him. He didn't understand what he said. He also noticed that Joseph was out of the picture, talking fast, quietly with that Arcanine.

"You are the leader of the Brotherhood," a Mienshao from the group of heroes reminded him, in a tone that suggested he felt as if he was dealing with a child.

Lord Zeke and some of the elders laughed, accompanied by some of the Murkrows. The others were silent. "Oh, no," the Zangoose said. "I am the Lord of Duskwood. Outside world might've forgotten, but hell, what do they know? The Brotherhood only had one leader in its time. Never changed, ever since its creation a hundred years ago. It's us who die and get replaced by our sons and daughters, and you who believe I lead the Brotherhood... no. I represent our leader, just like my father, Alaric, did, years ago. Our leader is... perennial. She has been tasked with protecting the Grass Plate... so she's not moving much. And as such, she can't protect Duskwood. While she keeps the Plate, I keep the forest. I've no authority over her Plate, so we'll just have to summon her..."

Stepping down from the rock, the Zangoose swiveled around to go near the pond's waters; he put his claw inside and shook it a few times, as if gesturing. The earth started to shake, and slowly but steadily, the island rose from the pond, sending waves on the shore. It escalated until the trees hit the ceiling; in front of them was the ugly stone face of an enormous Torterra that ought to have been thrice the size of normal. From the looks of it, she had only raised her dripping head out of the water, her eyes swollen, red and slow to focus. Vines seemed to cover her mouth, which could be easily confused as a stone.

"Meet Grandmother Cybella," Lord Zeke sounded. Everyone was too busy watching the monstrous Pokemon emerge; it stopped, at a point, to look at them with her mouth tightly closed. "She's old and doesn't talk often, so you'll excuse her. Tell her what you want, why you came here.
If she doesn't listen to you, I guarantee there's no way on earth you'll ever get to see your Plate, let alone touch it."

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  #109    
Old August 17th, 2013, 04:50 PM
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Greiger
A mad mind... hehe
 
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Reginard Asphos


So far this was all pointless. They should be out there looking for this plate, but of course different plans had to happen. There were the voices that echoed out. It seemed the Sceptile was more entrenched than he had originally let on. Still, that was a key piece of information that was now used against them. Now there was talk about trials and Arceus this and Arceus that and how Arceus was probably so holy to them that they would kill for Arceus and only they knew how to interpret Arceus' words blah blah blah.

In common terms, they were a cult. Simple enough to understand. Reginard himself had heard tales of cults across the lands, those who believed that they were the holy people Arceus looked upon mainly because a piece of paper, that could have been written by anyone, said so. It was humorous and also saddening at the same time. On the one hand Arceus did have rules and such set forth, on the other it was disheartening to see how low a pokemon could bring those rules.

Still, he kept his discontent inside until the Torterra appeared. At his words Reginard couldn't help but burst into laughter. "Ah... I see." He shook his head back and forth as he snorted with laughter. "I see what you all are truly. Arceus has many children... many pokemon even outside this forest live under Arceus' eyes. Want to know why? Because, he made them. Each and every one was foreseen by him to exist at one point in time. Each and every one is a child to him... and under the rules of this... 'leader' of yours, you have gone around killing innocents. You have slain countless children, ripped their lives out with your hands... and you think Arceus looks upon you with JOY!?"

He narrowed his eyes, "You... you are but unmannered children, never once learning how balance is achieved... how life is precious. You THINK that Arceus makes pokemon and sends them into the forest to watch with delight as you murder and slay his creations? If that is true... then either you worship a false god who delights in the death of anything created on this world, or you serve a real god who delights in making life so he can see it painfully ripped from the beings he instilled it in.

This... this cult of ridiculous religious ideology that blows out of proportion Arceus' laws is humorous at best! Do you think Arceu truly protects you? Do you think he even CARES as to your desires? Do you think he wishes to soil his reputation as to what happens in here? As to the rumors of pokemon who go about catching those that intrude in their territory and slaying them if they cannot pass a test? Just look at what you were talking about just moments ago! Slaying a old friend who had come back and you have passing thoughts that he should be killed? And even worse is this... this ludicrous idea that your cult actually has any purpose in this world! Look at how you all fell to terror at the MERE thought of your cult being betrayed!

Do you think, just THINK, that if your cult is betrayed even MATTERS in the grand scheme of things? Are you the sole guardians to Arceus' soul!? No! Are you even high up on his list of grand individuals who have even tried to improve this world!? No! You are but Rattatas who cower in a forest, afraid of even so much as stepping out for fear of Arceus' holy wrath striking your soul one thousand times each for every soul you doomed to an early grave! You do not worship Arceus at all! You worship a pretender that has eagerly stirred up this nonsense in your minds. A being who eagerly directs you to slay any that enter this forest out of mere fear that something could happen! If you truly worshipped Arceus, then this would not be your course of action! If you TRULY put faith in the one that created your soul, mind, and body, you would trust in his creations and trust yourselves that you wouldn't have to slay every single innocent mind that comes through! What? Did you just believe that every single person who has ever entered this forest is specifically coming to find this grass plate and is automatically an enemy of Arceus!?

By Arceus' name! How dense can you all be!? I can even imagine if Arceus came down in disguise and walked by here you would waste no time in slicing his throat! Have you ever thought of that!? If Arceus has named one his holy warrior and that warrior ends up dead because of cultists who had long since parted from Arceus' favor!? Just what idiotic thoughts were imparted upon your lot to even think that they can decide who lives and dies? What, is Arceus puppeting all of us then? That if he lets the strings fall on one of us he doesn't mourn us? That he doesn't CARE that a creation he spent such a long time crafting is suddenly dead at the hands of others who he had crafted before!? Do you know WHY he hasn't sent a fiery tornado to destroy this whole forest!? Because he is also a God of forgiveness! He cares for each and every one of you and yet you continues to push his love be believing that only you are entitled to that! In the beginning he might have sent some rules down, but guess what? TIME CHANGES! SITUATIONS CHANGE! How stupid must you all gathered here be!? How long has common sense been thrown out!? How long has it been that anyone who DARES to speak up and against you ends up having their head cut off and you all bathe in his blood happily thinking that you had stopped a great war from breaking out!? How can you even call yourselves obedient to Arceus and use his name when you simply kill that which he creates!?"

At that point Reginard stopped, gasping and huffing there. He closed his eyes tightly, "And yet... none of this will have an effect on your minds. You will continues 'Arceus' work'... and continue fueling your desires for bloodshed and death. Yes... go ahead and fuel YOUR desires... and not that of Arceus'."

He sat on down, "And so if 'Arceus wills it' slay me here and now. Apparently that is how Arceus' wants are figured out yes? By killing an innocent?"
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  #110    
Old August 17th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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Sir Bastian
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer – The Forest’s Heart

Vincent frowned slightly as the crowd began getting rather rowdy, but thankfully, Lord Zeke took control of the situation, followed by Tsulong, trying to plead for the Brotherhood and heroes to fight together. Howland then threw in his lot and agreed that they should help each other out, but as soon as Zeke mentioned the leader of the Brotherhood, Vincent’s brows raised and his ears gave a little twitch. The way he said it, meant…

He followed Zeke with his curious, but still rather serious gaze, knowing how heated the situation was, it was a bad idea for any of them to make a move or speak out of turn, despite him having done just that. He watched with awe as the age-old Torterra rose out of the lake, the island in the lake having been… well, her, the whole time. Vincent almost felt his heart skip a beat. This was one of those tales his master had taught him about. The ones that he would be able to tell others that would become a legend, and he was witnessing it firsthand now.

Vincent prepared himself for whoever might speak with the grandmother, as Reginard, who had seemed oddly more and more irritable and sour lately, spoke up. The entire cave practically went quiet as he raved and ranted about the Brotherhood being cultists and sacrificing innocents for the sake of a god that does not –want- sacrifices, and eventually he sat down. Pressing his lips firmly together to keep back his annoyance at the very untimely outburst, Vincent turned to stare directly into Reginard’s eyes, muttering quietly to him, only loud enough for the heroes around him to hear.

“Listen, I don’t know what you’re going through, and I don’t really care what you think about the Brotherhood. As far as I’m concerned, they’re a group of people, a family, who’s staying within a certain area and –protecting- that area from whoever might come to harm them. I’m not saying they’re right to do so, even if I believe so, and even if I think their methods are a bit drastic. It doesn’t change the facts that one; They’re still just protecting what’s still theirs, and two; We’re in –their- home. Their most sacred of places and you don’t have the respect and decency to hold back and stop yourself from spouting out your beliefs and calling them cultists and whatnot. No matter what you might think of them, -do not- force your point of view onto others in the sanctity of their own home. Especially not when we’re trying to get them to work with us.”

With that and a somewhat… disappointed, steeled stare from the Dewott, he turned around again, folding his arms across the chest and facing the council and the Grandmother, awaiting someone to speak for their sake.

__________________
When does a man die?
When he is hit by a bullet? No.
When he suffers a disease? No.
When he eats a soup made out of a poisonous mushroom? No!
A man dies when he is forgotten.

~Hiluluk
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  #111    
Old August 18th, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Ray Maverick
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Howland


The Alakazam burst into laughter at first. Howland straightened his body in anxiety, feeling this was not going to go good. When he started accusing them of killing innocents, Howland started.

"Tread lightly here--" he tried to warn him, but the Alakazam kept going. He called them cultists whose laws were humorous. At that, some of the Pokemon of the Brotherhood started growling. Howland glanced worriedly at them, hiding his feelings. If this continued, there would surely be bloodshed. The Alakazam went on a rampage, accusing them of being heretics, pretty much; that's what Howland understood. Howland never cared for his own beliefs being trampled by that man's speech. He was never a religious man, even after the Argent Healer had saved him from death.

Some of the members of the Brotherhood took steps forward with the intention of seizing or probably killing Reginard on the spot. But Joseph the Argent Healer raised his palm, saying softly, "l
et him speak."

When Reginard started insulting them and their ways, an aura of tension had made the air thick as a liquid. It was difficult to breath, knowing the Pokemon all around him were drown in anger. Lord Zeke looked awkward, rather than angry. "You heard Joseph, let the man speak," he said, gesturing to his brothers and sisters, though that was the only thing that held them back. Things couldn't have been worse. Howland clutched his head. Instead of fighting the enemy, we are now fighting amongst us, and for what? Some differences in our beliefs... or that's the way he was seeing it. Behind Joseph and Lord Zeke, Grandmother Cybella was watching them silently from the pond, the dark almost hiding her stone face and red eyes.

Howland heard the Dewott of the heroes lean to Reginard and speak to him quietly, so only those close to the heroes could hear him. Howland took a second look at him... recognizing him as the Wanderer. I know this man, Howland realized, the Wanderer. Of course, that is him.

The sun was falling now behind the huge trees, and the golden light that emanated from the giant tree had merged with that of the sunset.
Howland looked at Joseph, who was not smiling nor scowling; he was not so 'argent' anymore, more like golden from the light he was bathed in. The Lucario had a brooding expression with sad, grey eyes.

"My lord," someone said, "give us the word, and we'll skewer that bastard for good."

"Aye! Insults like that we don't ignore!"

"Silence, dogs," Lord Zeke bellowed once again. "Save your avenging wrath for later. We talk first. This man confronts our beliefs. We don't kill such men, we explain to them why we're right. My brother Joseph here has something to say."

"Let us reach an understanding here," Joseph's
voice was soft and serene when he started, showing he held no grudge for what was said. "Arceus made us to survive. In nature, it is impossible to survive, without taking the life of another. Death is a natural result. It happens in the wild and uneducated, it happens to the civilized and wise. It is not wrong; one's death will arrive, sooner or later... Arceus accepted this when he created us. Sadly, he has not forbidden death. Else we would all have to be vegetarians," he joked lightly, to relieve the tension. "You say he doesn't care about us. That is not true. The light ahead of me, in the path of my destiny, is guiding me, giving me power. The power to perform miracles, and keep this Brotherhood alive, lest it is destroyed before its purpose is complete."

"If it means compromising our Brotherhood," Lord Zeke cut him off abruptly, "let death come earlier. The Brotherhood is trying to survive, like everyone else in this world. We don't kill 'innocents'. This is our home you're invading. Just like a Lord's palace in Cyala, the laws are clear here. You are found trespassing, that's a crime, and you pay with your life. And what's this innocence you speak of? Innocence is but an illusion. We've all sinned. No such thing as innocence."

Howland took the liberty and spoke at that point, facing Reginard with a face of utter neutrality. "I have not been here long, but I've learned a few things. Take a look around. These men around you, they have devoted their lives to live to Arceus. They've lived their whole lives believing in something higher than them. Admittedly, you cannot come here and suddenly change their whole ideology, like you yourself said. You have your own ideology, and I accept that. But you must accept the Brotherhood's beliefs as well. The Brotherhood will not kill you for believing in something else, nor insult you. The Brotherhood has been made self centered for their survival, and as such, they believe in Arceus in their own way. The dragons of Acanthus believe their Lord was chosen by Arceus. The Indrasilians believe Arceus is everywhere, watching us over. The pirates of Port Rhago believe in the Gods of the sea, and they do not deny they were made by Arceus.
In conclusion, we all believe in Arceus in different ways. Please, now, let us think of how we will repel our enemies and all gain what we are seeking, rather than fighting amongst ourselves. It tires us out, and it is not for our good."
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  #112    
Old August 20th, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Garet
GhostFire
 
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Roscoe
The Forest's Heart

~~~~~

Roscoe was glad for Vincent's support in his defense, and for explaining (in a somewhat vague manner) why they needed the Grass Plate. The Sceptile was also glad that Lord Zeke kept the Brotherhood from rushing them or freaking out in a frenzy. They were right in wanting to know how the heroes learned about the Plate; they had Elder Durand to thank for that.

Faolan seemed confused when Zeke stated that he needed to consult the leader of the Brotherhood. For that matter, Roscoe wasn't entirely sure himself, and he'd been a member of the Brotherhood himself. There were rumors, of course, always rumors, and at least one he could think of had filtered down the ranks during his time in Duskwood. It couldn't be proven, nor had Phillip spoken of it.

The Sceptile crouched slightly to ride out the earth-shake as the island rose; his eyes widened as he watched the enormous Torterra rise out of the pond. That's one rumor...kinda, confirmed. Then things went a little downhill from there.

Reginard's outburst was untimely, to say the least. There were several words that came to mind to describe the Alakazam, but Roscoe would only make it worse if they came out of his mouth. Instead, the Sceptile closed his eyes as his claws clenched. Gonna get him soon, that's for sure. Vincent, and the Brotherhood, had something to say, of course, but this was all delay. Delay they didn't need.

"...Please, now, let us think of how we will repel our enemies and all gain what we are seeking, rather than fighting amongst ourselves. It tires us out, and it is not for our good."

"Thank you!" Roscoe waved a claw at Howland. "Let's worry about the Cyalans first!" He then cleared his throat before turning to face the enormous Torterra, giving her a respectful bow. Opening his mouth, the Sceptile paused. Wait, the Grass Plate was in Grandmother Cybella's care, yes? If they could repel the Cyalans, then would it not be just as effective to leave the Plate where it lay at the moment? ...No, Elder Durand was very explicit about reuniting the Plates. How to proceed...

"Grandmother Cybella." Roscoe swallowed before continuing. "We have come for the Grass Plate. As I understand it, if all the Plates are not united in one place, the world will..." He almost said, 'go wack-o' but stopped himself in time. "...eventually go way out of balance with little to nothing to check it. We need to unite the Grass Plate with the others. The Cyalans are also searching Duskwood, but they seek to bring the Grass Plate to King Aion, who would abuse the Plates' power and more or less destroy Altica in the process. We'll drive them away so they won't bother Duskwood..."

Another thought edged its way into his mind, and Roscoe added, "...whether you give us the Plate or not."
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Old August 20th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Ray Maverick
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Tsulong


Tsulong was sitting his rear on the grass, the only patch in front of the rocks the heroes had been forced. He watched the Torterra emerge from the dark waters of the pond, trying to keep a straight face. Turns out, the Brotherhood allows that Lord Zeke the Ruthless is their leader... while he is not. Figures why, they needed a might figure to inspire fear, not an giant, old turtle that doesn't ever leave the Forest's Heart. He was going to try to talk to Grandmother Cybella, without a plan, he would just improvise. But Reginard's laugh cut him off. He looked at him tentatively, as if knowing what followed would get them into trouble.

Their ally started accusing and pointing fingers. Oh no, Tsulong thought desperately, what have you done? The members of the Brotherhood had their faces brimming with anger, eyes locked onto the one who spoke, who proceeded in giving a huge speech about the differences of beliefs. Tsulong's eyes met with Joseph's momentarily, when the Argent Healer raised his hand to prevent any blood being shed; he was their only hope of reconciliation with the Brotherhood, after the things that were being said, but it only kept going worse.

When Reginard was done, Tsulong found himself staring at the old man with a smirk, as if the rays of the sun was bothering his sight. Reginard had perhaps took it too far, showing no regard for the Brotherhood. He's not alright, Tsulong concluded, his folly is going to get us all killed. Vincent had leaned in and whispered to the Alakazam, and then Joseph, Lord Zeke had stated their own views. Reginard didn't seem convinced, but the tension seemed to have been relieved somewhat, especially after that old Sceptile Tsulong had mistaken for Roscoe before gave a different direction to the conversation.

Roscoe took up the opportunity for this argument to be forgotten and spoke to Grandmother Cybella; Tsulong turned his head away from all the vicious Pokemon to look at the Torterra that was half sunk into the waters. She was keeping her head high, looking down upon Roscoe with her red eyes half shut, as if she was just woken from slumber.Roscoe proceeded to explain that they were in need of the Grass Plate, because their world would fall apart if they couldn't manage to unite it with the other 8 Plates taken. These new odds... are they in our favor? He was trying to think fast and act faster, but there were too many factors to consider. Cybella... where could she come from? How did she come to be the leader of this Brotherhood? Tsulong tried to recall a few things they had learned about this lot.

They were originally the thieves, rogues and crooks of the Fenju citadel, when it was alive 100 years back. The Paragon of Grass entrusted them with the Grass Plate. Torterras were both Ground and Grass types, types that have synergy with each other and as such, she would be perfect to carry the Plate. If that was the case... Cybella wouldn't hand the Plate to strangers claiming the world was going to fall apart.

Having heard Roscoe speak, the huge, perennial turtle plant moved her rocky head to look at the heroes from above, ever so slowly. The vines strapped on her neck were writhing and stirring, making it unable to turn her head in a wide angle. Though, she seemed to know which Pokemon were new around, and which ones belonged to the Brotherhood. Leaning forward in a movement that was sudden for her standards, Grandmother Cybella placed her chin on the grassy patch right next to the two rocks Lord Zeke and Joseph were standing a few minutes ago. Her head was half as big as Roscoe himself, their eyes now at the same level. She opened her rocky jaws to draw a ragged, deep breath, before she spoke sluggishly, seemingly thinking Roscoe was their leader.

"Who... are... you?"

A good question. They hadn't even introduced themselves. A Pokemon from the time of the Fenju would think of names as sacred - they considered someone speaking to them without offering their name unethical.
Tsulong felt a little stupid, but he managed to hide it. "I am Tsulong, the Exemplar of Fire." He could feel eyes on his back and hear whispers behind him, from some members of the Brotherhood who hadn't yet realized who he was till now. Of course, he should have been well known among these people, whose only protection were the trees... the people of Indrasil thought they were safe in their forests, too.

"Come... seeking... for treasure... have you not?" The words were spoken so slowly, Tsulong found himself wanting to finish them for her. It was as if she had forgotten how to speak, in a way. A diplomatic answer from his part was a must here.

"No, no treasure," Tsulong said, quick to correct her, "we seek the Grass Plate not for ourselves." If my assumption is correct, and she's from the citadel of Fenju, this should work... "we are heroes of the Fenju. We are the guardians of the Plates... listen, the world is in grave danger. The removal of the Plates from the Sanctum was a huge mistake that has set the elements spinning out of control. It is essential we gather the Plates and return them to Mount Aegis... Arceus must wake and heal what is broken."

Grandmother Cybella shut completely her red eyes and let out a long sigh of air that seemed to echo in the forest behind them. "You... say... you are..." this was taking forever. "... heroes...? Prove... it..."


"Of course," Tsulong said without hesitation, "your forest has been compromised, the Cyalans will find the Forest's Heart soon, if they keep poking through the forest. We can help you wage war upon them; we will prove our worth by relieving you of this threat, against all odds."

"I... wait." With her eyes still shut, she let out one last breath and remained motionless.

Lord Zeke went over to the rock next Cybella's head and sat down, motioning with his claw to the ground. Every member of the Brotherhood sat down, as if by custom. "So that's how it's gonna be," the Zangoose rasped, seemingly impressed with the heroes. "Listen here, 'heroes'. Our Grandmother can give you the Plate, for all I care, the Brotherhood is hers to love. As a Lord, my duty is to protect this land and those who live upon it. We'll hold a war council right here. Might be you'll learn something of the odds of this war you haven't known before... who knows? You just might solve this little problem of ours."

Little Giant stood up to speak, his little female Pidgey nested on his shoulder. "My lord, if I may, my messenger has reported. Sounds to me our lil' problem ain't as lil' as we'd hope it'd be. The Companions have set up camp in Westfall. You know how these fields were golden and such, before? Now they ain't. There're so many of them betwattl'd Cyalans, more th'n four thousand, me lass here says."

Lord Zeke let out a gust of laughter, holding his belly. "Hah! A camp in Westfall. Oh, good, an army so big, they'll be drinking the river dry..." There was something in the tone in which Zeke said it, that made Tsulong scrutinize the Zangoose's face. There was something malicious about him. Perhaps he was up to something, otherwise, he had no reason to be laid back. The Brotherhood's numbers didn't seem to be anywhere near as big as four thousand. Four thousand soldiers... Tsulong had been in an army twenty times vaster, all the Pokemon King Aion could mobilize against the Indrasilian rebellion. What they would face now was but a speck of his power. Why is he not sending more? Tsulong couldn't help but think.

"What are your numbers?" he ended up asking.

Panic was the one who answered; the Swalot seemed to be sweating till the war council started. "Six... to seven hundred. We're not all in one place, though... You see, our Brotherhood is small groups scattered through Duskwood. We'd rather repel them at all places, make them think we're everywhere. That's what's makin' them reluctant to enter.

Lord Zeke scratched his chin in wonder, looking at the ceiling. His left green eye shone brightly. "But they do enter. Now that they got rid of the villages, they've been setting out on marches through the forests. Not all four thousand of them, just smaller groups. Still, they're too powerful. Can't go attacking mercenaries without expecting casualties. What say you, heroes? You said you were gonna help, so let me see you helpin', or you might as well be off my forest."

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  #114    
Old August 22nd, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Reginard Asphos


Reginard frowned at the Dewott in turn. Did the wanderer have no idea how... disgusting this cult was!? How many lives had been taken because they were under a delusional belief that they were important, that they alone could decide who lived and died by throwing the name of Arceus out!? He had wanted to back slap the warrior for his idiocy, but nonetheless others talked. There were those who also attacked him, but Reginard had to smirk as these deranged individuals already talked about killing him simply because he had talked. Not because he threatened them... not because he was an enemy... but because he had questioned their religion. It was humorous now that this point had been proven and yet they continued to try and delude themselves.

Still, he kept his mouth shut... for now. If they wanted to continue and keep up this dangerous path then so be it. Arceus would kill them all one day anyway. It was just how things would turn out. Anyways, this... eh... council began to form. Suddenly there were talks of numbers of enemies, of potential allies and of factors that were only for war purposes. It was laughable to say the least. Reginard knew of what plans they could incorporate... but why would he even think of imparting such knowledge upon these cultists? For all Reginard knew, his was Arceus' punishment on them, to essentially destroy these hypocrites and lay down his judgement on them.

Reginard stood up and walked away. He closed his eyes and could feel multiple spots in this forest he had been to before. He figured if he wanted to he could spy a bit on the enemy... make small teleports here and there. It would be good for him to get such information and figure out how to start causing chaos among their troops. Better yet, if these cultists decided to not give them the plate he could always use small cues to lead the troops here and the two would fight each other to the death. It would get rid of two birds with one stone then.

But... at the same time... he would become a murderer as well. He would essentially become what these criminals were. "You know... if you really want to get a leg up on the competition you need to learn what their orders are." With a swift motion he pulled out a scroll and let it roll out of its own accord, "You must find the commanders... without them the soldiers will not know where to go next. Find those with the maps and get rid of them as well. They will be lost and desperate. Desperation causes fear... and at night if lights are taken away from them then their tension will rise. You don't attack directly but go piece by piece." He muttered. "Unless there is a law here that denies such practice, at which case I'm marked for a second death no?" He asked sarcastically.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 03:22 PM
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A Shadow

Hundreds of fires were burning in the dark distance, as far as the eye could see. The moonlight crept through the tents of the Cyalan camp, the closest campfire causing the shadows to dance wildly on the faces of those around it. It was cold, even for the water types, so they had to stay bundled up together, close to the warmth. Even if they were mercenaries, they would have to take measures to survive the night. They weren't afraid of the cold, though. They were afraid of the Brotherhood... nobody would let it on, but this sullen silence wasn't how they often dealt with the enemies of the King. With normal enemies of the King, there were songs, there were chants and adventurous spirit, or bloodlust. Not with the Anonymous Brotherhood, whose massive shadow towered all above them, just like the trees of their cursed forest. Oh, they were afraid of the Brotherhood. It wasn't an enemy they could walk up to and destroy. It was an enemy that watched and waited as they blindly poked through Duskwood to find where they were hiding.

The company of mercenaries weren't in the usual cheeky mood that came before the battle. All gathered around their fire, they drunk from their cups and dishes, each species in its own very special way, without uttering many words. A fine drink it was, right from the stash of Lord Cobwell, who had been so hospitable. Not really. Word was it that the leader of the mercenaries, Edward the Black Prince, had this lord locked up in his own dungeons for questioning of treason. All his lands and all his wines and goods were donated to the Crimson Company; the King had hired him to take care of the Brotherhood, and they wouldn't be paid lightly.

The thought of a shamed lord brought a sneer on a Gastrodon's face, who was keeping aside from the company of mercenaries. He didn't drink, he didn't share his food, nor he laughed. He was closer to the side of the tent, where the moonlight couldn't reach. It was a special tent, this one; their Crimson Captain was inside, Ser Mantarys, with one of the Lord Cobwell's ladies. The Gastrodon was standing guard on the side of the tent for as long as two hours, ever since they had returned from the forest with Ser Mantarys. He had heard that Ser Mantarys had killed Lord Zeke of the Brotherhood; in fact, he had seen it with his own eyes. There was a big bonus in order for him.

A Toxicroak leaned in to him, offering him a skin of wine

"No," the Gastrodon croaked.

"Aw, not cool, mate," the other mercenary took a sip from the skin, then stared at him curiously. "Don't you drink?"

"No, leave me alone."

Before the Toxicroak could react, a broad, huge Pokemon stepped off the tent. A six feet Krookodile with evil, half crazed eyes, Ser Mantarys towered over every other Pokemon.
A marvelous black cloak with a blood red lining fell on the ground below and behind him. He was wearing a band around his neck, with two crossing daggers, the insignia of the Crimson Company. A golden bracelet adorned his right hand, and a black sash was tied around his massive girth. He was surely going somewhere special, after he'd had his fun with the lady inside; indeed there was a glow in his eye, the glow of greed, glory and bloodlust. He had killed the Lord Zeke, anyhow. And he was now more violent than ever. The mercenaries of the Crimson Company were right to be afraid of him, lest they provoke his murderous temper.

"Break it up, ladies," Ser Mantarys shouted, spreading his saliva everywhere as he walked to the fire with big, wide steps. "I said BREAK IT UP!" He bellowed angrily.

The mercenaries slowly went to their tents or sleeping corners. Someone doused the fire. Ser Mantarys jerked his head to the staring Gastrodon. "What're you looking at?" he rasped.

"Nothing, milord." He had heard that phrase a lot, so it came naturally to him.

"Good," Ser Mantarys spat, and after a quick glance at the retreating mercenaries, he turned around, cloak swirling, to take the main path through the camp. The Gastrodon remained on his spot for two seconds, making sure that the Krookodile wouldn't turn around and see him. Then he followed. Keeping close to the shadows, he slipped from tent's shadows to tent's shadows. The patrolling Watchog didn't see him, although he walked right past him.

He slipped through the camp like an adder in the bushes, sometimes seen, yet unseen. A grin came unbidden to him.
Nobody noticed. Ser Mantarys was walking towards the Mistwatch Keep, Lord Cobwell's home. It was now occupied by the leaders of the Crimson Company; Edward, the Stranger and Januario the Trade Prince. Oh, and Mantarys, only he was considered unimportant, surely. There it was, the Keep, its stone white shrouded in moonlight. The two Poliwhirl guards stepped aside to let the Krookodile pass.

The Gastrodon took to the dark wall, the side of which the moonlight couldn't reach. Blended in shadow, he escalated rather easily. Climbing was never a challenge to Pokemon with his abilities. Standing on the Keep's walls, he locked his eyes on the guard that was floating above the walls, scanning the area with many eyes. A Claydol, that wouldn't be much of a problem. Claydols couldn't see well in the dark.

His sensitive ears were picking a soft voice from one of the Keep's tower. He had heard that voice before; it belonged to Edward, the Black Prince. That room was probably where Ser Mantarys was going. Walking across the wall a bit, the Gastrodon launched himself at the wall on the window, sticking right under it. There was little light coming from it, perhaps only from some candles.

"My Black Prince," said a rough voice that probably belonged to a water-type. "Mantarys has arrived."

"About time," a soft, sarcastic voice came from within. "We shall have him at the dining hall." Light feet headed out of that room, a door opening and closing. The dining hall. The shadows shifted.

Ser Mantarys

He'd already drunk a lot, that damn wench they'd sent to him had gotten his belly full of ale. More ale was served in front of him on the table in the dining hall of Mistwatch Keep. On the table across him, one of the most influential Pokemon on Altica was seated on a red cushion: Edward, the Black Prince. Edward was a sinister Umbreon with rings that glowed red instead of blue; he was the bastard son of King Aion, who had appointed him as the leader of the Crimson Company. Mantarys neither liked or disliked him. Edward was a good drinking buddy, he was subtle and he had the wits, as well as the brawn to be a worthy mercenary. He had a strategist's mind, just like King Aion. One reason to like Edward was that he overlooked every mistake Mantarys made, as if he didn't care at all.

"Ser Mantarys," the Umbreon said coolly. His voice was the kind of soft that you would avoid trusting. "I hear you killed Lord Zeke the Ruthless... thrice."

"Aye, that I did," Mantarys boasted. "Where's that little prick, now?" He meant the Trade Prince, of course. "I want him to praise me..." he chuckled, spilling out saliva on the table in front of him, before he grabbed his cup of ale and jerked its contents inside his jaws. He slammed it on the table. "More!" He shouted, feeling the hotness of the liquid run through his body. He could drink more. This was a special day.

Edward had a collected, firm, almost charming smile on his snout. He glanced at the Gothorita, who filled his plate with ale, then leaned forward and drunk, licking his lips. "Enjoying yourself, Mantarys? Januario would most probably belittle your victory."

"He better stay in that roof, else I'd have to teach him a lesson," Mantarys snarled, forming fists in a way that his claws dug deep into his own skin, so much that blood came out. He couldn't control his power, as with every time he drunk. He emptied another cup and slammed it on the table. "Bring the whole damn cask, wench," he shouted at the Gothorita, covering her with saliva and remnants of ale. "I wanna celebrate, not to have a goddamn piss."

"We should not be getting ahead of ourselves, now," the Umbreon said diplomatically. He did drink from the cask that was brought on their table; if Edward had gotten something from his father the King, it was his capacity for drink. So far, he seemed his usual, collected and calm self. "How fares the search in the forest?"

Mantarys, despite his temper, rubbed the back of his head awkwardly in silence. The only person who could make him feel somewhat bad was Edward. "Not a single trace of the Grass Plate," he said loudly, even though he was intending to mutter.

"Duskwood is the trace of the Grass Plate," Edward noticed, his words having that sarcastic cutting edge that hurt like a knife. Mantarys kept his black eyes locked on him as he drunk, and drunk... the shadows on the ceiling shifted, his eyes started crossing, and the room starting to spin. Everything was a blur. He grasped his head and fell forward, the tip of his jaws hitting the table. That alone snapped him and made him look at the black thing across the table, that was Edward. Only it wasn't.

"What the hell?"

In front of him was a being so strange that Mantarys's logic couldn't comprehend with its features. It shone brightly in all colors, driving him crazy, that was driving him crazy. "What are you doing?" the creature called, startled. Mantarys flipped the table and charged forward in frenzy, grasping the thing and staring deeply into it.

"Get out," he bellowed in a blind frenzy that shattered every ounce of logic he had left. His head was pounding with a terrible headache, saliva dripping from the side of his jaws like waterfalls. He stared at the colorful thing, which said something and tried to squirm out of his grip. A black ball of energy hit his head, making him flinch, but he was too powerful to let go. He buried his claws deep through it and clamped his jaws tight on its head, cutting it right off. "Out," he shouted, mouth full as he chewed. "Out," he muttered, before he fell down, throwing up the insides of his belly. His ears rang with the cries of the Gothorita, who had bolted out of the room in case Mantarys killed her too.

The floor was cold, a pool with his saliva forming around his head, joined with blood. He blinked wildly, attempting to get up and regain full consciousness. Something was dancing on the wall across the room. A feline shadow was mocking him.
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  #116    
Old August 24th, 2013, 03:42 AM
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Sir Bastian
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer – The Forest’s Heart

Vincent tried his best to ignore his annoyance at Reginard’s outburst. Sure, there were things the Brotherhood did that he didn’t agree with, but he could just as easily see why they did what they did. And if people know Duskwood is dangerous, they were not very bright to be traversing into the woods. Arguments could be thrown back and forth forever, and that wasn’t the most important issue right now, as both Roscoe, Howland and Tsulong made sure everyone was aware of.

Folding his arms across his chest, he listened to the various people speak, his attention still held on Cybella, taking in every little detail of her. Both of her looks and of her speech. He was incredibly interested in her and her story, how she’d come to be the Brotherhood’s ‘leader’ or, as he saw it, matron/patron. He let the others do the talking, mainly Roscoe and Tsulong, as Tsulong was basically the leader of their little group and Roscoe had the most experience with the Brotherhood and Duskwood in general. Finally, Lord Zeke called to a ‘war meeting’ to decide on how to deal with the Cyalans. Vincent wasn’t much of a war-person, but he had a few ideas, as did Reginard, seemingly, although he still seemed rather miffed at Vincent speaking up against him.

“Reginard’s right, but at the same time, we have to remember; The Brotherhood is unknown and unseen for most. There will be some who don’t believe in the stories you’ve been spinning to scare people away, but majority of this army, holed up near and inside of the forest are just regular people. So I say we do what the Brotherhood does best. We make them know we’re everywhere, that they can never count themselves safe, and that they won’t know what hit them, before it’s too late. To that effect, Reginard’s plan is still good, but it’s clear what we have to do here. We have to strike them quickly, quietly, and give them something to fear. Demoralize them enough, and some of them might even run away.”

He paused, raising a hand to scratch his chin thoughtfully. “Hmh. If I’ve pegged Mantarys right, he’ll have been boasting about killing Lord Zeke, and I don’t think the soldiers would take it all too well if they suddenly saw Zeke back, dealing untold damage and then disappearing again. Something to think about and to incorporate into a bigger plan, definitely.”

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  #117    
Old August 24th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Loria / The Forest's Heart
As fate would have it, the encounter had to be cut short.

"Lord Zeke, there are more of them!"

A group of Scyther emerged from behind the trees near the group, carrying two Pokemon with them. One was struggling to get out of their grasp, but the other, a Froslass, was calm and collected as she was lead to the group. The Froslass was unphased by the fact that she was in the presence of Lord Zeke; she looked almost nonchalant. Could it be possible for anyone to remain so calm when possibly being led towards their death?

They pushed the Froslass towards Lord Zeke, but kept hold of the other Pokemon in case he attempted to run off. The Froslass dusted herself off with her ear-arms, her purple bow wiggling with each movement. "My my, what a terrible way to treat a lady. So brutish. I would expect better treatment for someone of my caliber."

She giggled and floated up to Lord Zeke. "You must be Lord Zeke, correct? My, what a place you run. So professional, although the manhandling was unnecessary. however, that is neither here nor there." She pulled a letter from the strap of her bow, holding it out to Lord Zeke. "My name is Loria. You may or may not have heard of me as the Frozen Witch, although I do not prefer such an unbecoming name. Elder Durand sends his regards, as well as this letter. I believe the details entitle something about a trial or whatnot. I am here to be of assistance to that group of fellows and ladies here. I assume that this is not a very happy situation as you all look very flustered and bitter, but I do hope that my presence does not make that worse."

She smiled brightly, her leafy green eyes never leaving Zeke as she talked. "If it would so please you, I would also like to request that the Pokemon behind me allow him to present himself to you. He was sent with me as well to assist this group, and I can assure you that he is a fine fellow and does not mean harm. We come in peace, as some foreign commoners may say."
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  #118    
Old August 24th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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siiadams
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Jackson, the Dark Brawler - Forest's Heart

Jackson struggled in vain as his captors shuffled both him and a Froslass forward. They came to a beautiful clearing where all sorts of pokemon were found, either frolicking in play or sitting around doing nothing in particular. It was then that both of them were presented to who was called Lord Zeke. It was then that Jackson ceased movement against his captors as Loria was sent forward to address their ruler first.

He knew that her attitude may get them In trouble sooner or later, but he kept that to himself for now. As she presented herself and spoke to Lord Zeke, he took the opportunity to glance at the others in the group that they were presented to. Captured twice since all this stuff started happening...not a good sign for Jackson, so far.

His attention snapped back to the ruler of this place as his captors released him and gestured for him to step forward. He slowly took a step and cleared his throat, pulling out his letter from his pocket. His eyes locked with Zeke's showing no fear or hostility toward them, "Milord, my name is Jackson. I'm known as the Dark Brawler from Port Ragho, the best place in all the land to live and work. We were both sent by Elder Durand to join up with this group, as well. As Loria so eloquently put it, we're here to assist with whatever is being planned."

He presents the letter for Lord Zeke to read, ready for whatever was about to happen. He waited patiently for Lord Zeke's reply.


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  #119    
Old August 24th, 2013, 04:29 PM
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Tsulong

Tsulong gritted his jaws, looking over the beautiful fields of the Forest's Heart at the approaching group. The war council had come to a halt, everyone was observing those Scythers that were bringing a Froslass and a Hitmonchan with them. Who are these people? he thought impatiently. He wanted to propose his idea to Lord Zeke, and time was passing.

It was night already, the stars were coming out, and the moon could be seen. The golden light emanating from the Giant Tree was gone.

Lord Zeke leaned back on the rock, his features strained with wariness over the two newcomers. He seemed somewhat disturbed that they were cut off. The bigger group of Pokemon parted to let the Scythers through, and then they pushed the Froslass forward, who dusted herself off. She seemed calm, despite surrounded by killers. Tsulong glanced over to the other captive, the Hitmonchan. He seemed the least comfortable of the two.

"My my, what a terrible way to treat a lady. So brutish. I would expect better treatment for someone of my caliber," the Froslass said, and Tsulong smirked in that way he always did. He wasn't one to judge, but people having high noses often tended to go backwards with him. He'd tried his best to live with Toa's behavior, but more of this? Durand had warned him to be neutral, though, so he would do his best. As it turned out, these people were here to help them. They even showed two letters to Lord Zeke, who motioned his two claws at Howland.

Howland was the Sceptile with the two gashes on each thigh. That's how Tsulong would separate him from Roscoe, the other Sceptile of the group. I'm pretty sure I've seen this Howland again... I almost killed him in one of my battles. Though Howland seemed to be the oldest and most experienced fighter of the group, besides most likely Faolan the Wicked. Tsulong glanced at Faolan, to find him at the sidelines. The Mienshao had remained silent all this time; perhaps he was gathering his thoughts, just like Tsulong. As for Guardian, he didn't speak unless he was spoken to.

The Froslass was speaking too pompously for the Brotherhood's liking it seems. Once Lord Zeke grabbed the two letters from Howland, he had a quick look at them, seemingly uninterested, then he examined the two newcomers with his only good eye that was left, his left one. "The Frozen Witch, eh?" He asked, somewhat warily. "You might wanna be careful with what you say, lass. My boys here burn witches and the like." Indeed, she was receiving angry looks from the members of the Brotherhood. The title witch suggested that she was a heretic, perhaps.

The Zangoose looked over to the Hitmonchan. "And you, Dark Brawler of Port Ragho. You better be careful with your words. Our Grandmother here may be slow, but she still hears you." He pointed at the head of the massive Torterra. Grandmother Cybella was half submerged into the dark waters of the pond behind Lord Zeke, her eyes shut and her ugly, stone head resting just above the surface.

"My lord, they're here to help you," Howland reminded him.

"I was warning them, Howland. Don't like the looks of them. Could be one of them spies."

Tsulong paced over to the Froslass and Hitmonchan, nodding at them to come closer to their group, pretending to know them. "They're here to aid us," he said decisively, "so aid us they will. Resume with the war council. Let us recount the odds. The Crimson Company, have made camp in Westfall, around Mistwatch Keep; they're around four thousand in numbers, and are launching daily attacks through the forest, hoping to find the Forest's Heart. We now decide how to face the problem, that is the Cyalans. Reginard over here," he looked at the old Alakazam with the staff and the tattoes, "suggests we hit their patrols, utilizing his teleporting abilities to surprise and quickly dispatch."

Then he looked over at Vincent the Wanderer, the Dewott with the characteristic scarf around his neck. "Vince says we use the fear the Cyalans have of the Brotherhood, as they cannot see us or find us in this forest. We strike fast, in the name of Lord Zeke, and it will be like lightning. We will quickly destroy a lot of them, even if our numbers are only around seven hundred. I was going to suggest we lure them into the forest, to complete Vince's attack. Appear across the river from Westfall to Duskwood; perhaps attack their patrols and give signals of danger. They'll come running, and we'll prepare an ambush for them. When they send more, we could move on, bypass them and attack Mistwatch Keep instead."

Suddenly, a flock of Pidgeys and Pidoves flew from the sky onto their heads, swarming for a bit before gathering around and on Lord Zeke, chirping and chattering non stop. "One by one," the Zangoose said, waving his hand to get them off.

"Edward," they were saying all over again, "Edward, Edward."

"Edward what?" Little Giant chuckled.

"Edward, the Black Prince, leader of the Crimson Company," one of them said, "he's dead, he's dead. Mantarys killed him."

Lord Zeke burst laughing, holding his belly, and a lot of his men mimicked him too. When he was done, he gasped, grabbing his forehead. "Ho, that was good. That good for nothing scum, Mantarys... hoho."

"Hmm, if you would let me speak?" a distant voice started from the group of the heroes, that hadn't been heard before. It was Pierce, the Cunning Shadow. He was rubbing his chin, right under his customary grin, and by his expression, Tsulong could easily tell he was up to something.

The Gengar walked up to Lord Zeke and his murkrows, to whisper something in his ear. The Zangoose kept looking forward, his green eye shining in the night. "Yes... good idea..." he sounded excited. He looked at Pierce in disbelief. "This one's not much of a hero now, isn't he? He won't share much, either." Then he started laughing again.

Tsulong stepped forward, deciding to speak again. "With Edward gone... who's leading the Crimson Company? They're left headless! Four thousand Pokemon, headless! It's our chance to attack and cause chaos, now!"

Lord Zeke seemed to give it some thought. He was far too cautious, and regarded the Brotherhood's safety as their top priority. Rubbing his chin, he looked at his people. "I can see ways this could work, especially with the suggestion the little cunning **** here made. What say you, people? Especially you two, the new heroes. You're here to help, help."

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  #120    
Old August 25th, 2013, 05:59 AM
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Loria / The Forest's Heart
Loria giggled as Lord Zeke warned her about her choice of words, and her reference of being a witch. "Good sir, it would unbecome me to be so rude. My words follow with the best intentions and are never meant as harsh. And my unsatisfactory nickname? 'Tis not be my fault; it's merely the name I've received from commoners who lack any experiences with Psychic, ones who are frightened by the things I can do."

She floated towards the center, where everyone gathered could see her. "If you so wish to attack the group at Westfall now, so be it. I am more than capable of supporting from both long-distance and up-close. However, would it be safe to employ all of us here in this battle, leaving the Forest's Heart unprotected? Most likely not - if Forest's Heart is left in the open, chances are it'll be found eventually. A man will never give up his hunt until he dies, so eventually this place will be discovered by the Crimson Company. In order to remedy this, I could create a barrier of Psychic energy around the entire section, and give some energy to have an Ominous Wind blowing around, to prevent those who draw close from discovering the location. Of course, if you feel Forest's Heart is well hidden, an ambush-and-run technique could work as well - for some of us. Although it's a good idea, I assume that many of your fighters and some of us here are not good in enclosed spaces. Myself, I prefer the open air where dodging and moving is much simpler. Perhaps we should split up between those skilled in long-distances attacks to take out a majority of the warriors, and leave the ones who managed to escape to the close-combatters. Even with the concerning odds, if we utilize the skills we have in perfect synchronization, we should obtain victory."

She giggled yet again, followed by a very humble smile. "Of course, it's all up to you, Lord Zeke. I'm merely here to offer suggestions and follow orders as you see fit. Whatever path you choose to take, I assure you that I will assist that choice to the fullest extent of my abilities."
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  #121    
Old August 25th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Ray Maverick
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Tsulong

"Barrier, eh?" Lord Zeke rubbed his chin thoughtfully, looking at the starry sky, then over at his Lucario friend. "Joseph. Help this Froslass with her barrier."

"I am sorry, my lord, but my aid alone will not suffice," Joseph the Argent Healer said. "If the Alakazam here was to lend us his powers, all would be swell."

The Lucario threw Reginard a hopeful look, and Tsulong leaned to him to whisper. "Focus, please. We're here for the Grass Plate. Nothing else matters. Just help them out in this small task." His voice got loud again as he faced Lord Zeke. "We ought to strike now that they are in distress."

"I suggest we move out immediately," Howland added, and Lord Zeke nodded and got up, turning to face Grandmother Cybella.

"Grandmother," he started, "this day, or rather night, we'll make the Brotherhood proud. Arceus watch over us, and protect us."

"Arceus watch over us, and protect us," the members of the Brotherhood said with scattered, low voices.


***
Time Skip, 2 hours later: Place of the Ambush
Howland

The forest around was silent. Howland had gotten used to it, now that the birds and wild Pokemon had ceased appearing. They all were hiding in the massive bushes, among the monstrous trees of Duskwood that had grown supernaturally thanks to the Grass Plate that was hidden in the forest. Howland and the rest of the heroes, save Reginard, Loria, Tsulong and Pierce were bundled up in one place, waiting for the Cyalans to come through. Tsulong had gone off to lure them with a flame in the night, like he said. Just gotta hope that works, Howland thought to himself. Pierce had disappeared without sharing anything with them whatsoever, only grinning lightly and saying, don't drink from the river.

The Brotherhood had already killed a few scouts and shot down airborne ones; it was dark, now, as the trees didn't allow the moonlight to fall on the ground. The Crimson Company was left blind; it was the perfect time to strike. Lord Zeke and a few of his men had positioned themselves on the other side of the bushes. More groups of the Brotherhood were hiding either up in the trees, or down amongst the bushes, in a V formation that would catch and crush the Cyalans like Carnivine when it clamps down its prey.

Howland was gripping his scythehook tightly, flipping it occasionally as a habit he'd gotten from holding it warily, knowing that battle followed. On his other hand, he was holding his small dirk that did a better job than his claws. Sometimes, what Pierce had said circled his mind. Don't drink from the river. Why not?

Chewing on a small stick, he looked over to the newcomer of the group, the Hitmonchan, namely Jackson the Dark Brawler. He didn't seem like a shady fellow to Howland. The Sceptile could easily get along with such people. "The name's Howland." He pointed at Guardian, the massive Golurk who was standing behind a tree's trunk immovable; in the dark, he could pass as a tree himself. "That's Guardian, I think, Elder Durand's assistant."

Then he looked over at the other heroes. None of them were familiar, except the Dewott, whom Howland knew as the Wanderer, and Roscoe, whom he had met earlier that evening. "And your names are?" he asked politely, hoping to break the tension and relieve the anticipation with some chat, until the enemies arrived.



Pierce


The Gengar rummaged through the giant leaves of the trees, flying high above the ground. He sometimes passed right through the fat trunks, too absent minded to bother avoiding them. Pierce was in a state of intense thought, a plan formulating in his mind, to save the people of the Brotherhood, who were mostly incompetent in diplomacy and politics.

Was it possible to face four thousand mercenaries with just a seven hundred rogues and a bunch of heroes? It wasn't. No, it wasn't. Even if the element of disarray from the death of their leader, Edward, was to be counted into the equation; with Pierce's calculations, there was small chance that the Brotherhood would prevail. Pierce was a perfectionist. He wanted everything to go according to plan, with no chance of failure. Tsulong liked to be optimistic about the odds of this war the King had started, but Pierce would rather be a realist. Sure, a claw or flames or ice could take lives. But the wielder of the right words and ideas, such as Pierce, could work wonders...

He reached for the sky, looking over the forest, feeling at home. This forest is the place he haunted when he was small. It taught him many things... it taught him to work in the shadows, rather in the light, as the cursed forest had many shadows. And that's what he was doing right now. He was to travel to the northwest, to the base of the river in the mountains, that flowed towards the east rapidly.

Through the mist, he could see the camp of the Cyalans. Or rather, feel it... so many souls gathered in one place, it seemed like a treat to a ghost like him. And it was night, some of them were sleeping... He would certainly have to drop by and eat their dreams, sometime later. Now he had a job to do, as he had agreed with Lord Zeke. And indeed as he agreed with Lord Zeke, he found some Pokemon by the river that separated Westfall and Duskwood.

"Hello," he greeted them with a mischievous smile. He noticed they weren't all toxic types as he had requested, but Lord Zeke had seen to it that they all would do their job correctly. They were about twenty Pokemon, shady and vicious characters that could only belong to the Brotherhood.

"Oi," said a Toxicroak with a Pidgey on his head, "you Pierce?"

"Who else? Let's get to work, gents," he said, almost in a charming manner, "time is money."

"Aye, we don't need no money here," a Graveller said, "we're the Brotherhood."

"Sure," the Cunning Shadow grinned at him. "Now. Do all of you know how to use Toxic? Perfect. Shed your poison to the river with me. I hope your friends have been warned, not to drink?"

"Aye, we ain't fools."

"Just making sure."

The river was soon full of poison that flew to the direction of the Cyalan camp. Pierce stared at the night, his red eyes piercing right through it, having a strong sense of satisfaction within him, even though that was only step one of his plan to save this accursed Brotherhood. The Crimson Company will drink the river dry... He showed his sharp teeth at the camp. I deserve Lord Zeke's title. Pierce, the Ruthless... hmm, not. That would be bad for business.

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Last edited by Ray Maverick; August 25th, 2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old August 25th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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PJBottomz
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Loria & Reginard / The Forest's Heart
Reginard was already feeling irritable by this point. Not only had the others publically supported these cultists, but they were more than happy to even protect them! If Durand was here the Alakazam was more than sure that he would have sided with him and just let these two volatile forces go at each other to get rid of them both. As far as he saw it, they were both a blight on this world. Not only that but two new members to their group came into the forest. How they were not caught by the soldiers eluded Reginard's mind, but that was the least of his worries.

His head just pounded so much! He would have to make sure to find a place to meditate once this was done, but with these two newcomers came more ideas. The talks of barriers and heading out to strike at the enemy. Too many variables would eventually lead to a disaster, but if they wished to pursue that course of action, so be it. He was now in the vocal minority with everyone pretty much wanting him to cooperate with those that he knew spat in the eye of Arceus.

He forced himself to sound calm as he replied, "Yes... I will aid this endeavor. Putting up a large barrier will not be easy, and if there is enough strain on it... it will collapse. Be mindful of that. It is NOT a sure way to protect anyone here, likely it will only delay the enemy if they are to find us. At best case, if only a few soldiers find us, it'll be a few minutes of sanctuary. At worst case... it will be destroyed in seconds. It depends on how well our mental strength is. One slip up and the barrier will become only shards of glass."

He gripped his staff, "But we can try it. We must find a spot away from everyone. Silence is the key for this to work. No distractions at all. No talking, no nudging, no thinking about anything else. Now..." He turned to Joseph, "If you know any mediatation spots then it's best we get to them quickly."

"Oh Reginard, you make it sound like the most difficult task in the world." Loria giggled as she floated over to the two. "Even a large barrier is sustainable with the right amount of inner focus. Perhaps it's simply due to your stress that you feel we won't be able to maintain it well enough; surely your mind is more than capable of handling such a troublesome worry. It can't possibly be that painful for you, can it?"

Loria loved this; taunting people was too much fun. If Reginard had any fear of failure, then the barrier indeed would crash down. Although it seemed backhanded, she had to work him into a containable rage to give him enough determination to keep the barrier up. "If it's too hard for you to create, you could always just leave it to me and Joseph. We wouldn't want to strain your mind with such a formidable task. It would be far too risky to have a weak link in the barrier. If you feel you aren't up to snuff with us, you can depart for the battlefield and let's us take the reins. Your choice."

Heehee... this is so much fun.

Reginard wanted to back slap this witch. He wanted to so much... yet he knew it was not right. It was one of those things that would confuse him... the idea that such talk from a young mon could even be allowed. However, she was chosen by the Elder... and that meant that Durand trusted her or at least knew her well enough that he put faith that she would get the job done. Not only that but if she was truly a heroine then even Arceus himself had chosen her. He closed his eyes tightly and let out a long sigh.

"I am more than capable of handling this task. I more along should question your ability to so much as build up enough power to attempt to start a barrier." He made his way past the ice type and followed the Lucario to the area he had pointed out earlier, though as he passed her he made sure to whisper, "Besides, everyone knows that females are not strong psychics at all."

Loria giggled yet again as Reginald attempted to back-burn her by calling her powers weak. "Oh Reginard, you're so naive. Do you honestly think my Psychic powers are that puny? You seem incapable of realizing just how good I am at what I do. I know you've had your doubts; I heard them all as your thought of them. How did I get past the guards? Heehee, that's a secret. But believe me, my powers are a lot stronger than you may realize. My gender has nothing to do with it; I'm stronger than most of the males I've encountered, and I hope to wonder if you're an exception. But probably not."

Doing his best to ignore her comments and the nagging feeling that she might have been reading his mind, Reginard kept on walking and found his spot on the small tuff of grass where Joseph was now. He closed his eyes and began to focus deep within his mind. A good barrier always took time to raise up. Doing it too quickly would cause it to become very weak.

Loria took the spot beside him, clapsing her hands together and closing her eyes as well. She felt her power connect to Reginard instantly, and was pleased to find that he actually had quite a bit of power available to him. I do hope this works. I rarely make large barriers, and usually I don't require help for them. But a barrier this large, to cover all of the Forest's Heart, will require significant amounts of power. Dear Reginard, dear Joseph, please don't disappoint me... With that, she began to focus all her energy.

Reginard once more had to keep in his unease at the situation. He closed his mind off as best as he could and let a small tune play in his mind. As the three concentrated the barrier appeared above them. Slowly it began to spread out until it covered the top of the area and began to move down until it hit against the earth. Now the trick was making sure it didn't break apart anytime soon.

Loria felt satisfaction run through her dead body as the barrier slowly slid into place. Perfect... Now, for one last thing. She very carefully detached her energy from Reginard and Joseph, making sure it still stayed behind to keep the barrier going. Without a word, she floated upwards, through the top of the barrier.

She opened both her arms and took a deep breath. "As a prevention measure. Ominous Wind!" She blew into the air, dark waves of evil energy filling the space around her. The wind overtook a large area around the barrier, large enough to stop anyone from Crimson from getting into Forest's Heart. The wind bounced against the barrier harmlessly; inside of it, everything was still. On the outside of it, it was a sinister hurricane,

Loria giggled as she looked at her handiwork. "The best I've done in a while."
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Old August 25th, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Garet
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Roscoe the Leech
Duskwood

~~~~~
The Forest's Heart

"Who... are... you?"

Roscoe was caught in Grandmother Cybella's stare from then until she looked away. It wasn't often he talked to a giant Pokemon like this. Thankfully, his statement was once again clarified, this time by Tsulong. As they shifted into a war council, Roscoe sat down with the rest of the Brotherhood without thinking. Some habits didn't want to die, even after three years. What Reginard and Vincent said were obvious enough to Roscoe that he felt no need to state it.

More of them? The Sceptile turned to watch as the Froslass and Hitmonchan were brought in, one more willingly than the other. The Froslass' attitude immediately reminded him of Toa, in a way, though not an exact duplicate. Wherever he is. The Hitmonchan wasn't anyone Roscoe recognized; his struggling was another count against the remote possibility of him being of the Brotherhood.

Anyway, back to the war council. It made sense for Lord Zeke to appear as a ghost, yes. Watching Pierce whisper something to the Zangoose made Roscoe shudder slightly. Ghost Pokemon bothered him somehow, no matter who they were. Zeke's comment only served to make Roscoe wonder what Pierce was up to. Loria, aka the Frozen Witch, proposed that a barrier over the Forest's Heart be put up. That wouldn't sit too well with Reginard, would it, protecting the Brotherhood's home.

"Arceus watch over us, and protect us," Roscoe echoed with the Brotherhood. He was sure to mutter under his breath, though. Another habit that didn't want to die.

~~~~~

Place of the Ambush

Three years since the last ambush that Roscoe had took part in with the Brotherhood. He hoped this one would go better.

"Yep, that's who he is," Roscoe said, indicating Guardian before returning his eyes to watching for enemies. "For anyone who hasn't heard it yet, m'name's Roscoe." Somewhere in there, he wasn't sure when, he noted the appearance of Reginard and Loria as they teleported into the group. Roscoe was all for chatting, provided they kept it quiet. "He prob'ly won't say, but that there's Faolan." The Sceptile pointed a thumb at the Mienshao in the heroes' ranks. "Likes being quiet, which is appropriate fer right now."
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Old August 25th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Vincent 'Vince' The Wanderer – In a bush in Duskwood

Vincent hadn’t reacted much to the appearance of these other two people, sent by Durand. Ones that Vincent could only assume also were ‘heroes’ like they were. A Hitmonchan apparently named Jackson with the title ‘The Dark Brawler’. He hadn’t heard about him, but the Frosslass, Loria, Vincent recognized all too well. Back when he’d met her the first time, he’d been just as wary about her as he was now, but that didn’t change the fact that she was, apparently, here to help. There is also the fact that she's a woman, and Vincent had been taught to treat women with respect. And as such, as she joined the group in their meeting, Vincent bowed his head somewhat to her, respectfully.

However, as said, he hadn’t reacted much as they arrived to the council, given that there were much more important things to think of. Once the plan was set in motion and majority of the heroes had headed off to the point of the ambush and sat themselves down, Pierce had taken off and Vincent had an idea of what the ghost was planning. There wasn’t a lot he could do, coupled with the words ‘Don’t drink the water’. Shaking his head, he returned to the present, glancing over at Howland as he began introducing himself and Guardian, talking mainly to everyone but Vincent, since the two had met before, but he felt it only polite to answer, if quietly.

He glanced from Howland, up to Jackson, the Hitmonchan and nodded his head, sitting on his haunches with the telltale, long scarf wrapped around his neck and pulled up over his mouth and nose right now, giving a little nod to him. “Most people call me ‘The Wanderer’. People in our little group call me Vince. My name’s Vincent.”

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Old August 25th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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Jackson, the Dark Brawler - Laying in wait

The battle plan was decided on quickly asJackson watched on in silence. The way he saw it, a barrier would protect the Forest's Heart while they'd lay an ambush. The long-rangers would attack first, while him and the close combatants would take out what was left. Seemed like a good idea to him, but he wondered if this was a ploy by the enemy to draw them out quicker. Maybe not, but those Cyalans are tricky little punks. He kept those thoughts to himself as the others got ready for the ambush.

Two hours later, Jackson was found among the bushes near the ambush spot. Amongst the number were a few of the other heroes: two Sceptiles named Howland and Roscoe, a Golurk named Guardian, a Mienshao named Faolan, and a Dewott named Vincent. Jackson hoped to remeber their names before all this was done. He had a hard time with remembering names, but hopefully will not have that issue with them.

As they sat in the dark, waiting for a signal to get busy cracking head, he turned to the others and nodded a greeting to them all, being quiet as a Ratatta, "Nice to meet all of you. In case you missed my name, I'm Jackson. I'd be more than happy to exchange pleasantries with all of you when we're finished with this."


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