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The Festival of Masks

ShiniGojira

Multiversal Extraordinaire
Location
Stranded In The Gaps between Multiverses
Pronouns
He/him/they/her
Partners
  1. froslass
  2. zorua-gojira
  3. salandit-shiny
Tch. Evie clicked her tongue, noticing the wild mons drawing near their table.
"Th-they're getting to our berries! W-we need to stop them!" Gen exclaimed. "We g-got a bunch of far berries, we c-can focus on near ones as we ch-chase them away."

"...o-or maybe we could convince them to l-leave the berries alone?"
She halted, biting down her scathing words at the nearing mons.

Convincing the wilds to leave them alone. Hm... it wouldn't hurt to try.

> Chase off the wild pokémon! Convince the wild pokémon to stay back for now?

 If diplomacy failed then she always could just put on an intimidating display with a flashy attack.
 

UnknownUser55

Bug Catcher
Pronouns
He/him.
"Um," she started, unsure if the pokemon would understand her. "May I take your picture? I want to remember the festival."

"Eh?" Sean turned around to face the human. He tilted his head, appearing slightly puzzled for just a moment, before abruptly nodding at her. "Ah, sure thing, miss! It's always great to have a memory of something by picture."

Admittedly, Sean was barely able to recognize the camera in the human's hand, provided that his home world had nothing of the sort and that he still was not used much to all the devices the humans carried around. The humans were fascinating to him.

The Turtwig looked at the camera, flashing a soft smile that was barely recognizable while under the mask.
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
Satomi nods in agreement. "Yes. I've seen many pass on. I have spoken with many spirits who had lingering regrets over what they could not accomplish in their life. I even had to exorcise a few. We all must face our time eventually, but some of us go more untimely. It is indeed a great honor to be remembered fondly after your passing." The elderly woman sighs heavily. At her age, every day was a gift. But she did not intend to go until she had done all she needed to do. She stands tall. "You and your companions have been given a rare blessing indeed, Revered Fezandipiti. If I may, a piece of advice to help you with your current goal from someone long lived. Eat healthy, stay happy, and keep fit! And it's good to live your life to the fullest while you can, but know when to strike a balance between opportunity and risk. Sometimes, low key is the best."

She shakes her head, briefly looking up at the sky. "It always is a lovely festival indeed. Of course, they're under a few misconceptions. They saw what they wanted through their prejudice at the time." She winks. Yeah, she knows. "Though I will say that as much I sympathize with that oni, to take a life is to take on a burden, no matter the reason. Perhaps your consecration is that burden." It was something she had made clear to the oni in the past. Satomi smiles sadly, expressing her condolences for the Loyal Three's grisly fate. She pauses thoughtfully. "Of course, all that was back then. We don't have to stay beholden to the past. The present is what we make of it, and the now determines our future. It can take but one decision for our fortune to shift. For better or worse." A nod.

This was curious. She did not sense the kind of malice she was expecting from this Pokemon. Perhaps his demise and resurrection had given him a new perspective on life? Or maybe he was hiding it well. Or even maybe, there was a truth beyond what even the Loyal Three were aware of - Satomi now had even more reasons to suspect this was the case. In any case, the elderly priestess was a firm believer in redemption and second chances. Of course, she also believed the Great Azelf had given all the willpower to act as one chooses. All she could do was give her thoughts.
 
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Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
“I adore chimecho! They’re wonderful researchers, I have to say. They’re fantastic at hunting down just the ‘mon we’re looking to survey on our outings. Couldn’t do it with out them,” she said.

At his follow-up question, she averted her eyes in a coy fashion. “Huh, I was actually just thinking about it,” she said. Though, how to explain it without sounding like an absolute lunatic, that was a different story…

She clapped her hands together lightly. “I think it all boils down to vice. Every single entity in the myth is guilty of enacting a vice, some more than others. It’s an example of the idea that, of course, vice in excess means nobody really wins in the end.” A sheepish shrug to follow. “If that even makes any sense.”
"Fascinating, I hadn't realized they were such skilled seekers of other pokemon. My own Chimecho is a very talented healer. Saved me from more scrapes than I can count." Well technically, he could count them all but...

Marcel raised an eyebrow at her response. Vices? "I have to say, that's an interesting angle. It does seem that way. Perhaps Ogrepon's jealousy truly got the best of it. And perhaps the loyal three gave into their worst natures." He'd certainly seen his share of people giving into their 'vices' back home. he rested his elbows on his knees and leaned forward thoughtfully. "Either way its certainly true anything in excess can even become a detriment. Even traits that appear good, such as loyalty. It becomes a poison." An edge of conviction crept into his voice. He'd seen that first hand with Drake's blind loyalty, how it twisted and destroyed him every day...

He turned back to Venia. "Although my detective side can't help but wonder if there's more to the story. The truth can be suprisingly easy to miss, or be hidden."
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
@Dragonfree

"Paldea? I..." Jean had never heard of a place called Paldea... unless it was on a show? But that didn't make sense. Where was she, anyway? Would they have heard of her country? "No, I'm... from somewhere different," she said. She glanced back up at the stage, where they play was wrapping up, for another topic. "This festival is really cool! I liked the play. Weren't the Loyal Three the good guys, though?"

If it was possible, Kieran scrunched in even tighter, hugging himself with one arm while he continued to fiddle with his hair with his other hand. "W-well that's what everybody says, I guess. But I dunno... I, I've always liked the ogre better. Everybody's afraid of it, but it's never done anything to the village as long as anybody can remember. I even visit the place it's supposed to live, and, w-well, I've never seen it, but nothing's ever tried to hurt me, either... And it would be so lonely living there all by itself, but it's a really good fighter, and it stood up for itself against everybody, and." He stops a little abruptly and shakes his head, perhaps a bit embarrassed to have said so much. "Anyway, that's... that's what I think."

@FauxFox

"Well I'd imagine you wouldn't want what is left of mine, but I could go get you another one." Theo offered, pulling some money out of his pocket. "Because as far as I can tell, I've got enough to spare, at least for a while." He chuckled. Though I don't exactly know where it came from... He thought to himself. I know it isn't an illusion, because I don't have to think about it to keep it solid when I'm not holding it anymore, but I know I didn't have any when I woke up here. Though I guess it doesn't really matter, money is money, right? "If you want, you can tag along." Theo offered.

The child straightened up a bit. You would? That's very kind of you. Their masked face swung back and forth a moment, as though they were considering the crowd. When they spoke again it was with a new air of determination. Yes. I will follow you. They took a step towards Theo, but paused as though waiting for him to lead the way.

@IFBench @ShiniGojira

> Chase off the wild pokémon! Convince the wild pokémon to stay back for now?

At the riders' command, the stantler began the long climb back up the hill, breaking balloons here and there where opportunity presented itself. It wasn't much compared to the number of berries they'd collected on their last pass, but every little bit was sure to help.

> Gen's Quick Paws! (+400)
> Evie's Tail Swipe! (+400)


The wild pokémon gathering around Evie and Gen's table seemed a bit skeptical about the idea of keeping away. They turned wide, imploring eyes on the two festivalgoers. Gen and Evie had so many berries, and the wild pokémon had none. How was that fair? Surely they could spare a few, only a few...

It was clear no one was going to run up and steal any berries right under Gen and Evie's nose, at least. Perhaps when they left to gather more... But then something caught the wild pokémon's attention. Heavy footsteps from down the hill suggested that another pokémon was approaching--a big one. A snorlax?

The wild pokémon didn't want to find out. They scattered in all directions, more than a few towards other tables piled with berries. A moment later the big wild pokémon came into view, shoving aside a couple saplings in its path as it went. It was tall and violently green, a twisted purple scarf of some kind twined about its neck. Its doglike face was recognizable from many of the masks Gen and Evie would have seen around the festival.

The pokémon stopped by Carmine's table and scooped all the berries she'd collected up in a single broad paw. Its eyes wandered idly over Gen and Evie while it carelessly tipped the pilfered berries into its mouth. When it spoke, its voice had a strange, ethereal quality, as if not so much heard as felt. And what do we have here? More offerings from the small to the mighty?

@System Error

Oh? Advice? For me? Fezandipiti swept a wing around in front of his beak, as though hiding a smile. Well. Who can argue with good food and good health? I have every intention of enjoying life, I assure you. Ah... His head snapped around, and he seemed to be listening for something out in the crowd. It's been a delight, Priestess Satomi Kurusu, but I'm afraid I hear my cue. Do enjoy our festival. Perhaps we'll see each other there.

He spread his wings and took to the air, scattering branches in his wake. He circled overhead, a shadow against the stars--but would anyone look up to see him?[/i][/b]
 

Dragonfree

Moderator
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
  2. mightyena
  3. charizard
  4. scyther-mia
  5. vulpix
  6. slugma
If it was possible, Kieran scrunched in even tighter, hugging himself with one arm while he continued to fiddle with his hair with his other hand. "W-well that's what everybody says, I guess. But I dunno... I, I've always liked the ogre better. Everybody's afraid of it, but it's never done anything to the village as long as anybody can remember. I even visit the place it's supposed to live, and, w-well, I've never seen it, but nothing's ever tried to hurt me, either... And it would be so lonely living there all by itself, but it's a really good fighter, and it stood up for itself against everybody, and." He stops a little abruptly and shakes his head, perhaps a bit embarrassed to have said so much. "Anyway, that's... that's what I think."
Jean perked up. Oh! A twist! The misunderstood loner, hated and despised wrongly, framed for a crime they didn't commit! Or maybe they did it, but they were just defending themselves, or they did it by accident and feel really bad about it, but everyone acts like they're the bad guy. Because of media bias. She liked stories like that.

She smiled. "Ohh, I see. That's awesome! Maybe everyone just hates the ogre because it looks weird or isn't like everyone else. Ooh, maybe one day a cool hero is going to appear and be the ogre's friend, and they'll go on a quest together that shows everyone the ogre's really good!" Her tails wagged behind her in excitement.

He spread his wings and took to the air, scattering branches in his wake. He circled overhead, a shadow against the stars--but would anyone look up to see him?
Something passed overhead, and Jean looked up in awe to see the shadow of a giant bird circling above, shapes like chains trailing at its sides. "Ooooh! What's that? I've never seen a Pokémon like that!" She grabbed her camera, quickly snapping a shot, though she wasn't quite sure how much her dad would be able to see in the photo.
 

FauxFox

Wandering Fool
Location
Somewhere, surely.
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. zorua
Yes. I will follow you. They took a step towards Theo, but paused as though waiting for him to lead the way.
“Alright, then let’s go!” Theo said with a smile, turning around to go find a stand selling candied apples with the masked child. “Now where was it…” He asked himself, walking back towards the festival stands, making sure the child would be able to keep up.
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
"I'm sure it'll be a festival to remember. You take care!" the elderly priestess says, waving much more cordially as she sees the revered Pokemon take to the skies. He had received a cue, and intended to live life. Her hands go to her hips and a grin comes to her face. It seems things were about to get interesting! Well, it appeared she still had a little bit of time before this festival really got started. She had better do what she wanted to before then.

Before she does, she takes out one of her Poke Balls. "Unami~" she calls. The Bronzong is already wearing their own mask; one the size of their whole body that makes them look like a person in a costume. She gives them some brief instructions and sets them on their way. With that, she sets out to find the pair she had been interested in before having a pleasant chat with a pheasant. The green outfit was a giveaway, so she has little trouble locating them.

"Hey! It's nice to see you again, as always," Satomi warmly greets as she approaches the child in the poncho and her new friend as they're looking about for the stand. They had met before and Satomi actually had a little nickname for her - Fiona - but the elderly priestess didn't want to spread confusion just to be certain. "I hope you've been well." However, her gaze falls upon Theo. "And you as well. I am Priestess Satomi Kurusu of the Kannagi Shrine. I hope you've been enjoying this festival. And I must say, that's quite the mask you're wearing~" She emphasizes those two words in a peculiar way.
 
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Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
@canisaries @Flyg0n @Seren @Sinderella @UnknownUser55

The performance was wrapping up, the actors returning to the stage to enthusiastic applause. "But remember," the narrator intoned. "That horrible ogre lives with us yet. Far, far above the village, only waiting for the day when it will return and have its revenge. Best not stray too far from our fair festival. Who knows what may be lurking in the dark of the mountain?"

The ogerpon-masked actor raised their hands like claws and made some enthusiastic growls, to a few laughs and light applause from the audience. People were getting up from their chairs now, putting up a final round of applause with their eyes already on the food stalls and games that made up the rest of the festival.

The jovial, distracted atmosphere changed abruptly to shock and dismay when a large bird pokémon dropped down out of the sky, landing neatly next to the narrator onstage. It was large, black and white and raised up on long, stiltlike legs. The flowing purple tassles framing its face swayed gently with its every movement. It was a pokémon the crowd could easily recognize from the play they'd just been watching.

Good people of Kitakami! it cried in a silky voice that somehow seemed heard and unheard at the same time. There were gasps from the onlookers; the narrator herself trembled like she was about to faint. A talking pokémon?!

Of course, the old stories spoke of a time when pokémon and humans could undertand each other as easily as any two humans today. If this really was the great Fezandipiti, then perhaps he'd brought that talent forward from ages past. In the midst of the general awe, people were scrambling to take pictures, the one woman with the nice camera pushing her way towards the front, snapping all the while. Some of the schoolchildren had brought out pokédexes and were comparing notes.

It has been an honor to witness your celebration tonight! We three never could have imagined that we would live on in such reverence. No doubt it's your devotion that's brought us back to life after so many years!

The stunned murmuring of the crowd was replaced by more gasps as another pokémon came sprinting out of the crowd. Apelike in appearance, it was covered in coarse black hair and wore some kind of tassled cord wrapped around its head. It joined Fezandipiti on the stage, waving exuberantly to the crowd and blowing kisses at the onlookers. A couple pieces of mochi floated in the air around its head, and as its eyes glowed, the Wellspring and Cornerstone masks slowly rose away from the faces of the performers who'd worn them. Munkidori grabbed the Wellspring Mask out of thin air, and Fezandipiti graciously accepted the Hearthflame Mask drifting towards him.

Yes, you've all done well, keeping our memories alive. We have your loyalty to thank for our resurrection tonight. Fezandipiti brought a wing up to his chest and gave a solemn bow. But I fear we three have been revived with a teribble purpose. The ogre walks among you tonight, hiding behind its stolen mask! We must be rid of it before it carries out its nefarious plan!

Not even death could keep us from defending our old home, Fezandipiti went on. But we are weak yet, and the ogre has outmatched us once before. I fear that we must call upon the warriors among you for aid. My associates will-- He paused a moment, turning towards the conspicuously empty spot to his right. Ugh, where is that knucklehead? he muttered. Composing himself, he went on in a loud voice once again. My associate will guard the far exit. Munkidori gave one last big wave to the crowd, then bounded off, presumably to do just that.

You three. Fezanzipiti swept a wing to take in the Loyal Three performers. You are warriors?

"I have a black belt in aikido?" one said uncertainly.

Fezandipiti slumped slightly but flicked a wing at them. Guard the northern path.

He turned back to the crowd. Friends! If we work together, we can end the scourge of the ogre at last. Find it and bring it forth to face judgement! I believe it's still hiding behind the mask it stole from us. Look for the one hiding behind a teal mask!

@FauxFox @System Error

“Alright, then let’s go!” Theo said with a smile, turning around to go find a stand selling candied apples with the masked child. “Now where was it…” He asked himself, walking back towards the festival stands, making sure the child would be able to keep up.
"Hey! It's nice to see you again, as always," Satomi warmly greets as she approaches the child in the poncho and her new friend as they're looking about for the stand. They had met before and Satomi actually had a little nickname for her - Fiona - but the elderly priestess didn't want to spread confusion just to be certain. "I hope you've been well." However, her gaze falls upon Theo. "And you as well. I am Priestess Satomi Kurusu of the Kannagi Shrine. I hope you've been enjoying this festival. And I must say, that's quite the mask you're wearing~" She emphasizes those two words in a peculiar way.

The child followed close behind Theo, shying away from the other festivalgoers. It wasn't a long walk to reach a candy apple stand, but before the two could reach it, they were interrupted by a woman in an absol mask.

The child froze. H-hello? they said, taking a nervous step closer to Theo. I'm sorry, I don't--

There was a commotion up on the festival stage. Fezandipiti's words rang out loud and clear despite the noise of the festival crowd. The child shivered, raising poncho-covered arms to its face as though trying to hide their mask. They turned side to side, looking for a way out. N-no! I need... I need to get away from here!

@Dragonfree

She smiled. "Ohh, I see. That's awesome! Maybe everyone just hates the ogre because it looks weird or isn't like everyone else. Ooh, maybe one day a cool hero is going to appear and be the ogre's friend, and they'll go on a quest together that shows everyone the ogre's really good!" Her tails wagged behind her in excitement.

The boy looked Jean full in the face for what might be the first time in their whole conversation, and for a moment his shoulders rose from their usual slouch. "Y-yeah..." he said. "The ogre needs a friend. S-sometimes, I..."

But he was interrupted by a commotion on the main stage. The big bird Jean had seen flying landed right in the middle of the action, and as it spoke, the boy's hands rose to hover over where his mouth must be, behind the mask. Sentret milled around his feet, chattering with confused excitement. "The ogre?!" the boy said. Then, turning away from Jean, "S-sorry! I have to go!"
 

FauxFox

Wandering Fool
Location
Somewhere, surely.
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. zorua
However, her gaze falls upon Theo. "And you as well. I am Priestess Satomi Kurusu of the Kannagi Shrine. I hope you've been enjoying this festival. And I must say, that's quite the mask you're wearing~" She emphasizes those two words in a peculiar way.
“It’s nice to meet you, Priestess.” Theo said, lowering his head. That is the proper sign of respect, right? He thought to himself before continuing. “I’m Theodore, but you can just call me Theo.” He paused for a second, trying to understand the emphasis on her words. There’s no way my illusion is that obvious, is it? I know it’s my first time using them to look human again, but I thought I’d gotten the hang of these. Maybe I can just play it off… “And you’re talking about the Vulpix mask I’m wearing, right? It, uh, reminded me of a friend back home, so I decided to get it. Your Absol mask is very, uh, interesting.” He replied. “Very unique.”

The child froze. H-hello? they said, taking a nervous step closer to Theo. I'm sorry, I don't--

There was a commotion up on the festival stage. Fezandipiti's words rang out loud and clear despite the noise of the festival crowd. The child shivered, raising poncho-covered arms to its face as though trying to hide their mask. They turned side to side, looking for a way out. N-no! I need... I need to get away from here!
Theo reached an arm out to the child. “What’s wrong kid? Just because you’ve got an Ogerpon mask on doesn’t mean you are one, they probably won’t think so. I mean, they didn’t attack the Ogerpon actor on stage. Besides, the, what were they called, the Loyal Three are the protectors of this place, right? So there’s nothing to worry about.” Theo said, trying to reassure the child.
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
"Thanks, made the one myself," she says to Theo, posing a little. "And no, silly. I'm talking about your other mask," she replies. She lets that sink in before saying something that may be even more alarming. "It's the hardly the first time I've seen someone go to a festival as what's in their heart." The priestess flashes a wink. "But it seems I'll have to get your story later. The show's beginning. I happen to have done some noh theater in the past, you know~"

A cue, living life. She had expected something like this. They almost fooled her for a second there! But they were not the only guest performers on the stage tonight. The only question was the strange reaction she had received? Maybe it would explain why she could simply understand Pokemon here without focusing. Better establish things juuust in case.

"I know the truth behind those lousy three," she says bluntly to the child in the poncho, kneeling down and briefly lifting her mask with one hand while she swept her bag in front of her with the other. She quickly retrieves one of the gifts she had brought: a beautiful handcrafted mask that looks like a magnificent nondescript white bird with sky blue plumage. It wouldn't look out of place in their collection, although it lacks any special power radiating from it. She holds it out and speaks quickly and quietly. "A gift I made for you." Not how she was expecting to give it, but oh well. "Wear this, it'll throw them off. I'll safeguard the Teal Mask; you'll get it back when it's safe, of course. A friend of mine is helping with some of the rest." There is an earnest and serious, yet also urgent look in her eyes.

What happens next is deterministic:
- Was Okidogi around the outskirts and/or isolated? Unami would have assaulted him with Psychic attacks without warning. They're a very strong Pokemon, like "why are your dialogue boxes black?" if they're telling the truth about being weak and on their level if not. Might still be fighting, but...
- If Okidogi wasn't anywhere Unami could safely attack him or if he fell quickly enough to the attack, another psychic presence would try to rip the Cornerstone Mask out of the air towards it way out in the field at a very high speed! Again, powerful.
 
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ShiniGojira

Multiversal Extraordinaire
Location
Stranded In The Gaps between Multiverses
Pronouns
He/him/they/her
Partners
  1. froslass
  2. zorua-gojira
  3. salandit-shiny
After their failure at negotiating with the wild Pokémon, Evie prepared herself to roar them away but didn't get the chance to do so when they started running.

The wild pokémon didn't want to find out. They scattered in all directions, more than a few towards other tables piled with berries. A moment later the big wild pokémon came into view, shoving aside a couple saplings in its path as it went. It was tall and violently green, a twisted purple scarf of some kind twined about its neck. Its doglike face was recognizable from many of the masks Gen and Evie would have seen around the festival.
The sound of footsteps, large footsteps diverted her attention. The Pokémon she saw was not something she'd seen before and she stood her ground, watching as it went from table to table, chomping down everything there was.
The pokémon stopped by Carmine's table and scooped all the berries she'd collected up in a single broad paw. Its eyes wandered idly over Gen and Evie while it carelessly tipped the pilfered berries into its mouth. When it spoke, its voice had a strange, ethereal quality, as if not so much heard as felt. And what do we have here? More offerings from the small to the mighty?
At the corner of her eye, she saw her partner tremble though how much of it was the shaking ground or genuine fear was beyond her as she directed her full attention to the Pokémon as it spoke.

"Mighty?" Evie scoffed. "Puh-lease. I've seen and fought beasts tougher than the likes of you." She nudged the Oshawott with a leg, silently gesturing for him to run. "If you're as mighty as you are ugly then I'm sure you could give me a somewhat-decent workout."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Eh?" Sean turned around to face the human. He tilted his head, appearing slightly puzzled for just a moment, before abruptly nodding at her. "Ah, sure thing, miss! It's always great to have a memory of something by picture."

"Oh yes, I agree!" Kari said excitedly. The implications behind a pokemon who kept his own pictures didn't even cross her mind. Kari raised her phone camera and spun around, getting Sean, herself, and Symphony in the shot.

"This came out great!" she said upon taking the photo and checking it out. She held out the phone to Sean's eye level so he could see it, too. "Is, um... is there some way I can... tag you in this?" she asked uncertainly afterwards. "Or send it to you?"

It has been an honor to witness your celebration tonight! We three never could have imagined that we would live on in such reverence. No doubt it's your devotion that's brought us back to life after so many years!
The ogre walks among you tonight, hiding behind its stolen mask! We must be rid of it before it carries out its nefarious plan!

Kari's attention was drawn back to the stage as the play ended, and new performers appeared - ones that looked like actual pokemon! They looked very much like two of the Loyal Three she'd just seen, in fact. And they were talking! One of them had some kind of food floating nearby; so perhaps this was all just a trick of some psychic. Still, it never failed to entertain her. Kari snapped a quick photo of them too, as she noticed others doing, before the strange pokemon's words and their tone started sounding grim.

"Is... is this part of the play," she asked aloud to no one in particular. She hadn't realized they'd be actually involving the audience in the act... suddenly, the thought of somehow being dragged up on stage in front of the crowd arose in her mind.

Sensing her discomfort, Symphony began to chime lightly in her ear.

"Yes, you're right..." She turned back to Sean. "I hope you enjoyed the play! And thank you for your company. I... have to go. The person I came with said she'd meet me here, I should go find her."

And with that, Kari stood up, wandering back in the direction of the main festival stalls.
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
He turned back to the crowd. Friends! If we work together, we can end the scourge of the ogre at last. Find it and bring it forth to face judgement! I believe it's still hiding behind the mask it stole from us. Look for the one hiding behind a teal mask!
Marcel had risen to his feet on instinct as the strange bird-like pokemon landed. He was surprised to hear a pokemon speak so... Distinctly. It was like a telepathy but somehow felt a little different than the sort he was accustomed to.

He listened calmly as he continued to speak, but he couldn't help but feel suspicious, at the very least. Why had this Ogrepon never been seen attacking the village again? And why had it truly attacked in the first place?Something about all this was off. The details didn't quite line up, there had to be something else going on.

But how to find out? If the stranger bird was hiding something, confronting him would only alert him that Marcel suspected him.

Maybe for now he could play along.

"Excuse me," he murmured to Vienna. He rose and took a few steps forward to take in Fezandipiti.

He couldn't help but feel conscious of his choice of mask. "Perhaps I can offer some help," he said to Fezandipiti. "What else do you know about how this... Ogrepon likes to fight? Or hide? The more we know the easier it is to set things straight." And find the truth.
 

Sinderella

Angy Tumbleweed
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu
"Although my detective side can't help but wonder if there's more to the story. The truth can be suprisingly easy to miss, or be hidden."
She had to refrain from frowning outright. Fuck. She knew it. She had him fucking pegged.

“You’re preaching to the choir,” she said. “Everything about my line of work is trying to find more to the story. People can be really good at overlooking—“
Yes, you've all done well, keeping our memories alive. We have your loyalty to thank for our resurrection tonight. Fezandipiti brought a wing up to his chest and gave a solemn bow. But I fear we three have been revived with a teribble purpose. The ogre walks among you tonight, hiding behind its stolen mask! We must be rid of it before it carries out its nefarious plan!
She didn’t finish her thought before Fezandipti quite literally strode onto the scene. She didn’t do much to mask her surprise. The concept of understanding Pokemon wasn’t foreign to her, but seeing the very legend here wasn’t anything she was expecting. Here to spread a warning about the very Envious ogre she’d just watched a show about. How very convenient.

Her brain, namely the part of it that compelled her to do stupid shit for the sake of her work, tingled.

"Excuse me," he murmured to Vienna. He rose and took a few steps forward to take in Fezandipiti.
“You’re excused,” she said mindlessly, also getting up to approach. She let him talk first before piping up.

“And what happens when we find your culprit here? Finding them is one thing, but what comes after that?” she pressed. “Surely they’ll retaliate upon being caught and I would assume you wouldn’t want anybody hurt on your watch…right?”
 

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partners
  1. chikorita-saltriv
  2. bench-gen
  3. charmander
  4. snivy
  5. treecko
  6. tropius
  7. arctozolt
  8. wartortle
Gen was trembling, paws gripped tightly onto his reunion cape. He was so scared, he didn't register Evie's signal for him to run.

"...n-no," he finally said, his entire body shaking.
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
@FauxFox @System Error

Theo reached an arm out to the child. “What’s wrong kid? Just because you’ve got an Ogerpon mask on doesn’t mean you are one, they probably won’t think so. I mean, they didn’t attack the Ogerpon actor on stage. Besides, the, what were they called, the Loyal Three are the protectors of this place, right? So there’s nothing to worry about.” Theo said, trying to reassure the child.

Something Theo said seemed to have struck a chord with the poncho-wearing child, because they patted Theo's hand, as if to reassure him. Their poncho felt smooth and almost waxy, like the surface of a leaf. I will do my best not to worry. But I fear these Loyal Three are not all they seem.

"I know the truth behind those lousy three," she says bluntly to the child in the poncho, kneeling down and briefly lifting her mask with one hand while she swept her bag in front of her with the other. She quickly retrieves one of the gifts she had brought: a beautiful handcrafted mask that looks like a magnificent nondescript white bird with sky blue plumage. It wouldn't look out of place in their collection, although it lacks any special power radiating from it. She holds it out and speaks quickly and quietly. "A gift I made for you." Not how she was expecting to give it, but oh well. "Wear this, it'll throw them off. I'll safeguard the Teal Mask; you'll get it back when it's safe, of course. A friend of mine is helping with some of the rest." There is an earnest and serious, yet also urgent look in her eyes.

Satomi's suggestion, on the other hand, caused the child clear distress. They clutched again at their mask. N-no! I can't! This is--this is the last I have.

Nevertheless, they did consider the alternative mask Satomi held out. After a moment of hesitation, the child took it from her, then turned away, hiding their face from Theo and Satomi both. After a moment of rustling, the large mask they'd been wearing disappeared beneath their poncho, and the bird mask had taken its place. The child peered up at the other two uncertainly. Is it... good?

@Seren

It certainly seemed that a lot of the other festivalgoers were taking the sudden turn of events seriously. People milled and jostled, confronting anyone wearing an Ogerpon mask, or any pokémon that might be considered ogrelike.

"Hey, everyone, look, I found the ogre!" yelled one young man, pointing to his rather large companion.

"Funny, Moji," his friend said, but when several other people didn't take it as a joke and got in his face, demanding answers, he raised his hands. "Whoah, hey! Knock it off! I'm a human, obviously!" But even so, he had to flip his mask up to show his face before the searchers could be convinced to move on.

There were points of drama here and there in the crowd--an old woman and a kid with a tail were comforting another kid wearing a green poncho, who seemed to be in some distress. The photographer with the Hisuian growlithe was hustling towards the festival entrance to get shots of Munkidori, who was entertaining himself by mugging for the crowd. A young man in an Ogerpon mask was headed in the same direction but kept getting stopped by people who were troll-hunting.

Meanwhile the food and fun of the festival continued unabated. At least the candy apple-sellers didn't see any reason to slow their business down because some legends had supposedly returned from the dead.

@Flyg0n @Sinderella

Fezandipiti stalked back and forth across the stage, keeping an eye on the milling crowd and inspecting anyone brought forth under suspicion of being the ogre. Thus far he had rejected a snorlax, two politoed, and one extremely offended milotic. Every now and again he shot an anxious glance at the Cornerstone Mask, which had been propped up against the side of the shrine, waiting for a Loyal Third to come and claim it.

Fezandipiti noticed Marcel making his way over, Vienna shortly behind, and turned to face them. What's this? Are we bringing forth the fearsome beast to face judgement? He flicked a wing out, the tips of the feathers just barely grazing Marcel's Ogerpon mask. But no. Of course I can see that you're human. What can I help you with, my friend?

He couldn't help but feel conscious of his choice of mask. "Perhaps I can offer some help," he said to Fezandipiti. "What else do you know about how this... Ogrepon likes to fight? Or hide? The more we know the easier it is to set things straight." And find the truth.

He listened to Marcel's questions with head cocked to one side. From personal experience, the ogre prefers to attack with its cudgel. It's a terrible weapon, all wrapped round with thorns. Take it from me. Certainly the ogre has an affinity for plants. A nasty kick, too. He shook his head ruefully. The ogre was never one to hide, but it doesn't look so different from a young human. It may simply be trying to blend with the crowd, hoping its mask will hide its true nature.

“And what happens when we find your culprit here? Finding them is one thing, but what comes after that?” she pressed. “Surely they’ll retaliate upon being caught and I would assume you wouldn’t want anybody hurt on your watch…right?”

Then he turned to Vienna. As far as what happens when we confront the ogre... Well, that's largely up to our monstrous friend, isn't it? I do fear that, based on past experience, the ogre isn't likely to give up what it stole or accept banishment without a fight. Of course, if we simply let it run around and do whatever it wants, who knows how many people it might hurt? Fezandipiti spread his wings in a gesture of defeat. What can one do with someone who meets each slight with violence?

@ShiniGojira @IFBench

"Mighty?" Evie scoffed. "Puh-lease. I've seen and fought beasts tougher than the likes of you." She nudged the Oshawott with a leg, silently gesturing for him to run. "If you're as mighty as you are ugly then I'm sure you could give me a somewhat-decent workout."
Gen was trembling, paws gripped tightly onto his reunion cape. He was so scared, he didn't register Evie's signal for him to run.

"...n-no," he finally said, his entire body shaking.

The big pokémon barked a hearty laugh in response to Evie's taunts. Oh? Well, if it's a fight you want, I accept your challenge! There's nothing more invigorating after a long rest. In the meantime, I must thank you for this generous offering. It finished eating Carmine's berries and scooped some from Gen and Evie's table, now, to continue snacking. Though the pokémon gave Gen a sidelong look when he stammered out a "no," it seemed to dismiss the response as unimportant and merrily continued eating.

Then Carmine came galloping up. "Hey, get away from the berries, you--!" She lost her train of thought, gaping nakedly at the pokémon. "A-are you... Okidogi? Are you *real*?" She slid down from her stantler's back and walked up to the pokémon, who watched her approach casually, not even reacting when she poked it in the side. "Y-you're, you're really--"

Okidogi chuckled and flexed a bicep. The very same! It's been far too long, hasn't it? I must commend you for collecting these--

At that moment, a bronzong wearing some kind of full-body human-shaped mask swept down the slope, eyes flashing wildly. It let out a loud droning noise, a burst of psychic energy slamming down on Okidogi and knocking him facedown in the dirt.

Carmine gaped a second, but when the bronzong kept coming, she sprang into action. "Hey! Leave him alone! Morpeko!" She grabbed a pokéball off her belt and released a sparking mouse pokémon onto the ground between Okidogi and the bronzong. All of a sudden the Ogre Oustin' course had become rather crowded: Gen and Evie trying to defend their table, Carmine and her morpeko staring down the bronzong, and Okidogi slowly pulling himself up from the ground, a snarl twisting up his muzzle.
 

Dragonfree

Moderator
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
  2. mightyena
  3. charizard
  4. scyther-mia
  5. vulpix
  6. slugma
Jean looked unsurely around in the commotion. "Wait!" she called after the boy as he went running off, but he was gone before she knew, disappeared into the chaotic crowd.

Unsurely, she looked up at the stage. So the Loyal Three were real? She'd thought it was a legend, but legends were just stories, weren't they? That apelike one - it was the one with the mochi! So it was one of the Loyal Three? She snapped a couple of photos of it and Fezandipiti. But... Then was the rest of the legend true? Or did the boy with the Sentret have it right? If the ogre was real, and here at the festival, and it still hadn't attacked anyone...

She stood on tiptoe to see better over the heads of the crowd (she didn't like how gangly and weird she was now, but now she was glad she was tall) and caught what she thought was a glimpse of the boy, being accosted by some people demanding he take off his mask. She hurried over towards him, waving.
 

FauxFox

Wandering Fool
Location
Somewhere, surely.
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. zorua
"And no, silly. I'm talking about your other mask,"
“Guess the Skitty is out of the bag…” Theo sighed. “Is my tail showing or something, or do you just have really good intuition?” He asked, tilting his head before turning his attention back to the poncho-wearing child.
Their poncho felt smooth and almost waxy, like the surface of a leaf. I will do my best not to worry. But I fear these Loyal Three are not all they seem.
The child peered up at the other two uncertainly. Is it... good?
Not immediately taking notice of the poncho’s texture, Theo began to reply: “You really don’t like those three, do ya? But yeah, that mask looks great ki-” Theo paused, as everything began clicking into place in his head.

They clutched again at their mask. N-no! I can't! This is--this is the last I have.
"I know the truth behind those lousy three," she says bluntly
Neither of them trust that trio up there, or duo? I’ve only seen two of them, but it seems there should be three… Satomi seems to know a whole lot more that she says, so I’ll bet there’s a reason for that, but the child? Wait, ponchos don't feel waxy, do they? That one felt like a… a leaf? But it doesn’t look it… It’s like the time Tina and I had to fight that Leavanny… The mask, the feeling of leaves, the knowledge and fear the loyal three, could it be?
“A-are you…” Theo trailed off. It couldn’t be possible, could it? His voice dropped to a low whisper. “…Ogerpon?”
But the kid was nothing like the Ogerpon in the play. Not scary, or trying to take the masks, and certainly not trying to attack the village. Was the play less factual than it was presented?
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
“Guess the Skitty is out of the bag…” Theo sighed. “Is my tail showing or something, or do you just have really good intuition?” He asked, tilting his head before turning his attention back to the poncho-wearing child.
"What are you talking about?" she asks, lightly tilting her head with a smile. "Of course you're a human. Unless my intuition is wrong. I think I'm right, but you could well just have a very human-like heart! Do you consider yourself one?" She laughs a little. Maybe she's playing around a bit too much. But she has realized that this is a human turned Zorua turned human. After a beat, she points. "Also, yes, your tail is showing too."

"It looks lovely," Satomi assures the child. She had forgotten she could just hide Teal Mask within her! That was quite a handy part of her anatomy. The elderly priestess glances out at the stage. The Cornerstone mask is still there. Which meant, "Hm, looks like my friend is busy~" she says, tapping her nose. She closes her eyes for a couple seconds and quickly nods. "I trust you can get her to safety, Theo?" she says, looking like she's about to head to the Ogre Oustin' course. "I apologize, but there's a doggy that requires my attention."

Over in the field, Unami follows the directions they had been given. TARGET: THIEF they drone aloud, acting as though they're simply participating in Ogre Oustin'. Of course, the word thief might have a different connotation to Okidogi. The Bronzong's eyes are momentarily illuminated with an eerie blue light that seems to have no other effect. However, Evie and Gen receive a psychic transmission in their minds: Requesting and offering assistance.
 
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