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The Festival of Masks

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
Yes, it's so tragic when the elderly lose their faculties, isn't it? Fezandipiti said with an expansive sigh. Please... Take him somewhere where he can calm down. But treat him gently. Fezandipiti gestured with a wing, and the performers wrestled the old man away from the stage. He didn't go quietly, yelling about shame and about Ogerpon the whole way, but he went.

Kari continued to wander the festival grounds, searching (unsuccessfully) for Ana. She stopped on occasion to snap a picture of an unfamiliar pokemon she spotted or some cute charms and trinkets at one of the stalls, but her nerves were only getting worse the longer she looked, and there was only so much her chimecho could do to keep her calm.

She spotted the stage ahead of her again; she'd made nearly a full circle of the area now and hadn't found her... of course, with so many people here, it was easy to miss someone, especially with everyone in masks, but...

Sudden yelling caught her attention, and she watched scene unfold with growing unease. The story from the play... this old man sounded like he was disputing it's validity, and seemed to have some backstory to back up his claim. Was no one going to... inquire further? The bird pokemon had requested he be taken away, and the performers were all too eager to appease their local legend, but there were also whispers among the more obvious tourists...

Symphony chimed somewhat urgently in Kari's ear. Several moments that felt like hours passed as Kari internally freaked out over impending human interaction, because of course she would be the one to have to step up, but found her feet able to carry her in the direction of the old man.

"E-excuse me!" she cried out as she approached. Thank the gods for her skitty mask, because she could feel her face redden by the second. "Please, be careful! He's, um... fragile. I-I'll get him home and get him the care and attention he needs." Not that she knew anything about caring for an elderly person, but trying to wrangle him like a rampaging tauros couldn't be good for his bones. "I'm sorry for the, uh... disruption..."

Thankfully, the performers took her at her word. When they were out of earshot, Kari turned to the old man, launching into her reasoning for intercepting them. "Hi, um... I'm here from Hoenn studying the local culture, and... there seems to be some... uh, you sound like you... believe the story plays out differently than the legend?"
 

Dragonfree

Moderator
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
  2. mightyena
  3. charizard
  4. scyther-mia
  5. vulpix
  6. slugma
The piece of crystal Jean had found felt strange under her fingers, almost as though it were vibrating, or perhaps sparking with some unknown energy. It actually felt like it was moving a bit when she closed her hand around it--pulling, ever so faintly, twoards the north.

The crystal's subtle tug might be easy to miss when there were such distracting revelations going on, though. There was a commotion up on the stage as an old man accused Fezandipiti of being a fraud, of framing the ogre, when it had actually been the Loyal Three's victim all along. "G-grandpa?" the boy said. He clutched his head even harder, digging his fingers deep into his hair. His yellow eyes were wide behind his screening bangs. "H-he knew? He knew the ogre wasn't bad all along, and he didn't tell me? He d-didn't tell... anybody?"
Jean watched wide-eyed as the old man got up on stage, confirming what the boy had said - the ogre really was the good guy!

But instead of being happy, the boy was angry. The man was his grandpa? Jean had never met her own grandparents, and her dad very rarely talked about them, but at least in books and shows grandparents were supposed to be nice. "That's weird," she said anxiously. "Should we go talk to him...?"

In her hand, the crystal felt strange, tugging her in a direction. She frowned. "Or... I think the crystal wants to go that way?"
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
[[ Congratulations to FauxFox on completing his hidden objective! ]]

@IFBench @ShiniGojira @System Error

Carmine jerked away from Satomi's reaching hand, reflexively grabbing her mask to keep it in place. "Who the hell are you?" she demanded over Morpeko's angry chatters.

Any such question was quickly driven from her mind as a shimmering psychic barrier settled in around them. "H-hey! What are you--?"

Okidogi took the Block attack much more calmly, merely raising his snout to sniff the air a moment. He listened to Satomi's story without comment, his eyes narrowing and a toothy grin spreading across his muzzle. What an interesting tale, he said. A pity I must be going. I would have enjoyed reminiscing about the old days. Though I can't truly complain. It's been far too long since I've had a battle!

Carmine cast a wild look at Evie and Gen, as if to see whether they believed Satomi's story, too. Neither appeared to have much of an opinion on the matter, content to hang back while the confrontation unfolded before them. Or, in Gen's case, perhaps not content, but certainly back.

Okidogi somehow seemed to grow even larger as he took a step forward, the shadows around him deepening. He growled when another wave of psychic energy washed over him, but shook it off and then leapt forward, lashing out with claws that dragged shadows from thin air. His blows clanged loudly against Unami's metal skin, and the bronzong let out a loud drone of displeasure. It was a wild, messy attack, but clearly no less powerful for its lack of finesse.

Carmine stared up at Okidogi, wide-eyed. There was a perplexing heaviness in the air, a sense of banked power rolling off the legendary pokémon. After a couple seconds, though, she seemed to gather herself, and pointed towards Unami. "Go on, Morpeko! Immobilize it with thunder wave!"

> Okidogi's aura flares! He seems much too powerful for a single trainer to combat...

@FauxFox

"You may have spoke too soon." Theo said to Ogerpon, before turning his head back to look at the performers. "It's been fun, but now we've gotta run. My apologies for the deception, I promise this will all make sense later!" Theo let his illusion shift back to his human illusion. "And this is the part where we run." He said to Ogerpon. "You probably know these mountains better than I do, so lead the way. I can keep up."

Yes, of course! Ogerpon said, and took the lead. Her footsteps were light and nimble, and she would easily be able to outpace any human runner. Their frenzied flight naturally drew the attention of the wild pokémon in the area, but Ogerpon withdrew a cudgel from beneath her poncho, and the sight of that was enough to put them off. The longer they ran, the farther behind their pursuers fell--but of course, they couldn't run forever. The mountain was only so tall.

Quick! Around here! Ogerpon said, ducking around a pile of tumbled boulders. There proved to be a narrow fissure on its far side, a narrow squeeze for Ogerpon and Theo, but they made it through. A couple salandit scattered when they made their way in, but otherwise the small alcove behind the boulders was empty. It wasn't a tremendously comfortable hiding place, but it did feel quite secure.

Before too long they heard the panting approach of the performers. They were motivated, if nothing else--they were probably mortified at the thought of failing Fezandipiti. They paced around nearby, looking for wherever Ogerpon and Theo might have disappeared to, arguing with each other about what to do next.

I think they may be out there for a while, Ogerpon said in a whisper. Thank you for all of your help so far. I don't know how I could have gotten past them without a fight, and I... am in no mood to fight this day. She reached into her poncho and withdrew a brilliantly sparkling leaf, one that looked as though it could have been beaten out of a thin sheet of gold. I find these sometimes up on the mountain, Ogerpon said. I don't think it's worth anything, but I... I really don't have anything else to give. Thank you... for all of your help.

> You received a Shiny Leaf!

@Seren

Thankfully, the performers took her at her word. When they were out of earshot, Kari turned to the old man, launching into her reasoning for intercepting them. "Hi, um... I'm here from Hoenn studying the local culture, and... there seems to be some... uh, you sound like you... believe the story plays out differently than the legend?"

The old man shook himself off, wincing a little as he rubbed one shoulder. He'd certainly put up a vigorous fight against his captors. "Yes, thank you," he said, giving Kari a slight bow. "I'm grateful for your assistance. You heard right. My family has always known the truth about Ogerpon and the Loyal Three, but, well, you see how the people around here react when their beliefs are challenged. They've been taught to revere the Loyal Three all their lives." He shakes his head ruefully. "I don't know that I've done any good, but I couldn't simply let those monsters harm the ogre. All these years my family's silence hasn't meant much, with the Loyal Three dead and the ogre gone. I suppose I should have expected that a little harmless untruth couldn't have remained harmless forever."

He nodded at Kari again. "Thank you again, young lady. If you want to know more about our local culture, I would love to answer your questions. I'm afraid now might not be the best time, though. My grandchildren are at the festival tonight, and I want to make sure they don't get mixed up in any of this. Especially the younger, Kieran. I worry all this excitement might lead him to do something rash."

@Dragonfree

But instead of being happy, the boy was angry. The man was his grandpa? Jean had never met her own grandparents, and her dad very rarely talked about them, but at least in books and shows grandparents were supposed to be nice. "That's weird," she said anxiously. "Should we go talk to him...?"

In her hand, the crystal felt strange, tugging her in a direction. She frowned. "Or... I think the crystal wants to go that way?"

The boy didn't respond for a long moment, but at last he lowered his hands, and his gaze as well. "No," he said. "Not now. I... Finding the ogre is more important." He glanced at the crystal in Jean's hand again. "I don't know how a rock would help us find the ogre, but, I... I guess it's not like I have any better ideas."

He was quiet as they moved north through the crowd, mouth set in a thin line while he scanned the surrounding people for any sign of the ogre. Whatever he was looking for, he didn't seem to find it.

At the north edge of the pavilion a rough dirt track meandered up the side of the mountain and out of sight. The performer who'd been munkidori in the play was standing in the middle of it, an ekans at their feet. They straightened up as Jean and the boy approached. "Oh," they said. "Uh, hi there, Kieran. You can't go this way right now, sorry. There's, umm, kind of a situation up on the mountain this evening."

The crystal continued to tug gently at Jean's hand, pulling north towards the dark mountain above the shrine.
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
The attack may have been strong, but it was going to take far more than that to bring down Unami. Still, Satomi sighs and shakes her head when Carmine makes her choice. She was prepared for this possibility, but she didn't like it. Still, she takes it in stride. "Oh my. Well, I'll do my best to give you a good fight. Deflect it and shake'em down!" Spin, spin, spin goes the Bronzong, a Gyro Ball laced with a bit of psychic energy. The Thunder Wave is repelled and goes straight for Okidoki. At the same time, Unami moves and seamlessly transitions into an Earthquake, positioned perfectly as to hit both opponents without striking Evie or Gen.

"That was your receipt. You're welcome to join our side at any time~" she offers, despite the counterattack. She begins talking in a more mentorish, grandmothery tone. "Everyone has their own perception of history. It may be difficult to accept something that clashes with what you've known as truth for so long. But it is the ability to change your perception that allows one to truly excel in life. The red pill or the blue pill, to make a reference you might get." She looks back at Okidoki, and involuntarily shudders. That is an evil, evil aura. "Please," she beseeches, bowing slightly. "Notice how he did not deny it."
 
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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
Alright. Guess it was high time for her to do something. She glanced at the growing Legendary, the power radiating from the Pokémon made her shudder, not in fear but in excitement.

She broke into a truly devilish grin that she hid behind her mane. Of course, she already made her decision the moment she felt Okidogi's Aura.

Heh heh, it'd be fun to fight a Legendary after so long.

Of course, first thing first. While everyone was distracted by said battle.

Yoink! She disappeared in a streak of white, attempting to snatch Carmine's mask in the chaos before joining the battle with a quick sweep of Bubblebeam, coating the field in small explosions. And not a second too late, she blasted Okidogi with a Shadow Ball, followed up by a couple Mud Bombs sent his way.

"So." She spoke with a drawl, having positioned herself beside Satomi. "Any ideas on Okidogi's weakness or will we have to throw things his way before something sticks? 'cause as much as I enjoy fighting a Legendary. I'd like it if we could wrap things up as soon as possible so the people here wouldn't be left with a demolished town."
 
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FauxFox

Wandering Fool
Location
Somewhere, surely.
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. zorua
There proved to be a narrow fissure on its far side, a narrow squeeze for Ogerpon and Theo, but they made it through. A couple salandit scattered when they made their way in, but otherwise the small alcove behind the boulders was empty. It wasn't a tremendously comfortable hiding place, but it did feel quite secure.
Theo returned to his Zorua form to better fit in the small space.
I find these sometimes up on the mountain, Ogerpon said. I don't think it's worth anything, but I... I really don't have anything else to give. Thank you... for all of your help.

> You received a Shiny Leaf!
Theo held the leaf carefully. "This looks amazing, thank you!" He said, carefully attaching the leaf to his scarf. "But you really don't need to thank me, its no big deal. I don't get to trick people with my illusions too much back home..." Theo trailed off before getting his mind back on track. "But it was the right thing to do, and honestly, I had fun doing it. And we may be stuck here for a while, but at least they probably won't check in here. We've just got to wait until they get distracted or give up, and with how devoted these guys seem, it will probably be the former."
 

Dragonfree

Moderator
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
  2. mightyena
  3. charizard
  4. scyther-mia
  5. vulpix
  6. slugma
At the north edge of the pavilion a rough dirt track meandered up the side of the mountain and out of sight. The performer who'd been munkidori in the play was standing in the middle of it, an ekans at their feet. They straightened up as Jean and the boy approached. "Oh," they said. "Uh, hi there, Kieran. You can't go this way right now, sorry. There's, umm, kind of a situation up on the mountain this evening."

The crystal continued to tug gently at Jean's hand, pulling north towards the dark mountain above the shrine.
Jean looked past the actor, ears perking hopefully. "What kind of situation?" Maybe something exciting was happening. A mysterious crystal guiding the way was just like something that'd happen in a story where it'd lead them right to the ogre, or to someone in danger that they were meant to help, or something amazing. And then maybe they'd talk to Kieran's grandpa and he'd apologize and everything would be okay.

She looked at Kieran to confirm. "If they won't let us through, maybe we can sneak around them?" she suggested in a whisper.
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Thank you again, young lady. If you want to know more about our local culture, I would love to answer your questions. I'm afraid now might not be the best time, though. My grandchildren are at the festival tonight, and I want to make sure they don't get mixed up in any of this. Especially the younger, Kieran. I worry all this excitement might lead him to do something rash."

Right, there was a situation happening. Old man aside, the two of the Loyal Three (?) who had appeared seemed to be trying to get people to comb the festival for the real Ogrepon. "So... so that all wasn't just a part of the play?" she asked, somewhat rhetorically at this point. If the old man hadn't interrupted, she might not have questioned it. She'd seen interactive shows before (although she was terrified of them).

"Maybe we should go find them? Or, uhm..." Kari looked over her shoulder at the crowd before glancing back to the old man. "It might not be, um... the best idea for you to be seen around the area again... unless you have another mask, maybe?"

Symphony chimed in her ear again, and she sighed. "O-or, I could... try to find them myself? Any idea what part of the festival they'd be most likely to hang around at?"
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
Priestess Satomi smiles a little at Evie's gusto. Very talented to boot! This was no ordinary fox!

"He is a Poison and Fighting-type. Quite brutish. He just used Shadow Claw. That wicked aura will need teamwork to break through," Satomi explains. She reaches into her bag. These were originally for Ogerpon, but well, she supposed they still were in a sense! She retrieves some Pecha Berries and passes one each to Evie and Gen. "That's all I know, but I have a bad feeling about that chain on his neck. Chew these if you feel poison." After a moment, she quite literally tosses one to Carmine too (or offers it should she come running over) and stares pleadingly not only at her but at Gen. She is that resolved about this.
 
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Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
@FauxFox

Theo held the leaf carefully. "This looks amazing, thank you!" He said, carefully attaching the leaf to his scarf. "But you really don't need to thank me, its no big deal. I don't get to trick people with my illusions too much back home..." Theo trailed off before getting his mind back on track. "But it was the right thing to do, and honestly, I had fun doing it. And we may be stuck here for a while, but at least they probably won't check in here. We've just got to wait until they get distracted or give up, and with how devoted these guys seem, it will probably be the former."

I'm glad that you've been having fun, Ogerpon said warmly, if also quietly. Where is it that you come from? I've heard of zorua who walk among humans, but I've never met one myself. How did you come to be at the festival?

The voices of the people hunting around outside the crevice drifted in for Theo and Ogerpon to hear.

"You keep searching. I'll go back and tell Honored Fezandipiti they ran up here."

"Do you really think that's necessary? It's just a couple of kids playing a prank."

"I don't know if we can be so sure about that. If the ogre's up here, and everyone's looking for it down there--we have to let the Loyal Three know."

"I guess, if you're sure... Make it quick, okay? It's spooky out here."


Running footsteps faded into the distance. Ogerpon tensed, face turned towards the exit. We may not be able to stay here much longer, she said. If Fezandipiti comes out here himself... I don't know if I'd be able to defeat him again.

@Dragonfree

Jean looked past the actor, ears perking hopefully. "What kind of situation?" Maybe something exciting was happening. A mysterious crystal guiding the way was just like something that'd happen in a story where it'd lead them right to the ogre, or to someone in danger that they were meant to help, or something amazing. And then maybe they'd talk to Kieran's grandpa and he'd apologize and everything would be okay.

She looked at Kieran to confirm. "If they won't let us through, maybe we can sneak around them?" she suggested in a whisper.

"Oh, nothing you kids need to worry about," the performer said. "A couple suspicious characters my colleagues are out looking for, that's all. You don't want to go out there until they give the all-clear. Not that you'd probably want to go out on the ogre's mountain at night anyway, aha."

The last comment seemed to sting Kieran somehow. He clenched a fist, down at his side, but all he whispered back to Jean was, "Yeah... I-I'll distract this guy. You go on ahead. I'll catch up."

There wasn't a lot to hide behind for the purposes of sneaking; the shrine had been built on a naturally narrow spit of land, and the whole back of it was easily visible from the road. There were at least some darker places, outside the light of the torches burning around the perimeter of the shrine. It wasn't a great deal of cover, but it wasn't nothing, either. Kieran was reaching for his pokéballs; whatever his plan for a distraction was, it presumably involved his pokémon.

@Seren

"Maybe we should go find them? Or, uhm..." Kari looked over her shoulder at the crowd before glancing back to the old man. "It might not be, um... the best idea for you to be seen around the area again... unless you have another mask, maybe?"

Symphony chimed in her ear again, and she sighed. "O-or, I could... try to find them myself? Any idea what part of the festival they'd be most likely to hang around at?"

"Not a part of the play at all," the old man said, a note of remorse in his voice. "How those three can have reappeared after all these years... Well, it's something to worry about later, I suppose. For now the question is what to do about it. Not that I... Not that I can do much, myself." He shook his head. "If you would help me find my grandchildren, that would be incredibly kind of you. I'm not afraid to go back out there--people know me. They respect me. But I'm afraid that after all this excitement, I... don't know if I'll be moving too fast for a while."

He looked back towards the stage, his unhappiness obvious despite his mask. And what a mask it was: while not as spectacular as the masks used in the performance, his own eevee mask was an elaborate confection of paper, obviously handcrafted and much more detailed than the cheap versions being sold in the festival stalls. It would probably pain him a great deal to change it out for another.

"At least I can stay here and catch them if they come to see what's happening on the stage," he said. "But Carmine has always loved to play Ogre Oustin'," the old man said. "If all the ruckus hasn't brought her over already, that's where she must be. Fortunately Kieran rarely leaves her side. Hopefully she's looking out for him, and the two of them are together. If not..." he sighed. "Kieran has always been fascinated by the ogre. I'm worried he might even try to attack the Loyal Three, if he hears about all this ogre hunting business. If he and Carmine aren't playing Ogre Oustin', they must be somewhere around the edge of the pavilion. Somewhere they wouldn't have heard all this commotion."
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
"Friends, you know me. You know my father was a mask-maker, and his father before him, and onwards back into the distant past. It was my ancestor who carved the masks we use for our yearly play. And he carved them for Ogerpon, not those three hooligans!"
That was it. Something about this whole situation was deeply askew. The evidence wasn't adding up, there were conflicting narratives, and between the ancestor of the mask maker making his statement, Marcel no knew without a doubt there was someone lying. The Loyal Three claimed the masks belonged to them, but the elder claimed his family had made the masks long ago for Ogrepon. Which explained why Ogrepon had perhaps attacked so long ago, and could answer why it hadn't since, if it truly was never evil.

On the other hand, Fezandipiti's defense amount to simply passing off the elder as out of his mind. A rather flimsy defense. Why not claim a counter truth, that it also knew the mask maker?

Fezandipiti didn't go anywhere once the old man had been taken away, but the atmosphere had changed. The great bird continued to converse with anyone who sought an audience with him, but he seemed distracted, a certain hardness about his gaze, which wandered to the Cornerstone Mask even more often. The stage was beginning to look distinctly gouged up from where he'd clutched at it with his talons. And while a fair number of people seemed to have taken the old man's claims as simply good theater, there were others who didn't seem ready to accept them as senile ranting.
He almost tried to step in to help, but already some other people were moving in, and he spotted a girl trying her best to pacify the situation, leading him away. For a moment, he quickly weighed his options. His heart wanted to help the older gentlemen, and follow to get the truth out of him, and make sure he was okay.

But if the elder was telling the truth...

The Loyal Three presented a clear and present threat, both to the people and Ogrepon.

The question was, how did he stop it? The mood of the crowd had shifted, and some people were listening to the elder's words. But if everyone was to be swayed, the truth needed to come out on its own. Except Ogrepon might not have that kind of time. His mind quickly gathered together a plan from everything he'd seen.

"I'll do whatever it takes to find that fiendish ogre," he growled. "I can't stand that those who would steal and hurt others." The target of his frustration might be a lie, but the emotion was very real. "I'm a sort of keeper of justice back home, so if you find it, let me know immediately, and I'll help."

He tapped on of the pokeballs on his belt and his Talonflame emerged, chirping a greeting, though she began sweeping the area with a careful gaze. "Send her to find me if anything happens," Marcel said with a confident nod. Scorch also knew to come find him if anything went wrong, and could handle herself in the air, or in combat. He trusted her to keep an eye on things.

"I won't let the ogre get away, I promise." His gaze turned to the mountain beyond. Stories claimed that Ogrepon lived in the mountains, right? He needed to try and reach Ogrepon first then. With a swift nod, he hurried away, making his way towards a path that seemed to lead in that direction.

"Oh, nothing you kids need to worry about," the performer said. "A couple suspicious characters my colleagues are out looking for, that's all. You don't want to go out there until they give the all-clear. Not that you'd probably want to go out on the ogre's mountain at night anyway, aha."

The last comment seemed to sting Kieran somehow. He clenched a fist, down at his side, but all he whispered back to Jean was, "Yeah... I-I'll distract this guy. You go on ahead. I'll catch up."

Ahead, he spotted someone blocking a path leading to the mountains, and a couple of kids as well. Curious. They seemed to try and be heading up as well. But for what purpose? One of the kids looked ready to try and call out his pokemon...

"Hope you don't mind if I head up? Fezandipiti sent me, I'm helping to look," he said, speaking in his moth casual yet authoritative detective voice. "I actually asked these two to come help point the way," he added, as a gamble. If these kids were trying to head up but willing to start a fight just to do it, maybe they weren't aligned with the Three.
 

FauxFox

Wandering Fool
Location
Somewhere, surely.
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. zorua
Where is it that you come from? I've heard of zorua who walk among humans, but I've never met one myself. How did you come to be at the festival?
"It's sort of a long story." Theo said. "And to be honest, I don't even remember all of it. For your first question, I technically come from here. Well, this ti- I mean world, not Kitakami specifically." Theo began, seemingly hiding something. "I grew up in Unova back when I was a human, in a big city that I can't remember the name of, but it had a lot of lights. Then a year ago, well a year where I'm from now, maybe not a year here, I woke up in a mystery dungeon as a Zorua, with no clue on how to do pretty much anything and a voice in my head telling me what to do, though he seems to be absent here. I probably would've died there if Tina didn't show up to save me. From there, Tina and I formed an exploration team at the Floette guild in a town named Buwell, and that's where I live now." Theo stopped for a second. "I just started rambling, didn't I? My bad. Long story short, I was a human from Unova, woke up in a different place as a Zorua, and have been one ever since. As for how I ended up at the festival, I just sort of woke up here, saw people at the festival, and decided to try and make myself look human again to join in."
Is it weird that I just called Buwell my home? Theo thought to himself, before shifting his attention to the voices outside of the cave.
"I don't know if we can be so sure about that. If the ogre's up here, and everyone's looking for it down there--we have to let the Loyal Three know."

"I guess, if you're sure... Make it quick, okay? It's spooky out here."


Running footsteps faded into the distance. Ogerpon tensed, face turned towards the exit. We may not be able to stay here much longer, she said. If Fezandipiti comes out here himself... I don't know if I'd be able to defeat him again.
"Well the one that's still here seems jumpy, we could try to scare him off." Theo suggested. "Or I could try to distract him while you get out of the cave. Either way, we've got a little bit of time to act before the other gets back here with Fezandipiti. So if the only way out of the cave is blocked, we get the obstacle to move. Though maybe we'll get lucky, and he decides to move on his own, or something else makes distracts him. But you're right, we need to get out of here before Fezandipiti shows up. So what do you think will work best?"
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
[[ Nice timing, FauxFox! Will catch you in the next update. ]]

@ShiniGojira @System Error @IFBench

Things didn't start off well for Okidogi. He probably hadn't been expecting quite so much resistance, and the burst of static from the redirected Thunder Wave left him momentarily frozen, the better target for Evie's bubbles and mud. For a few seconds he strained against it, muscles twitching uncontrollably. Then he relaxed, sinking into a defesive stance, and waited for the Earthquake to reach him. He stood firm while the earth shook around him, tendrils of red aura wrapping his form. When the Earthquake subsided he rose back to his feet with a roar, then leapt forward with a Counter attack, striking a blow so powerful it dented Unami's frame and tossed the bronzong to the ground, where it dug a furrow several feet long before coming to rest. Unami buzzed weakly and slowly began to rise into the air again; it wasn't likely it would be able to weather a second strike as powerful as that, though.

For a second Okidogi stood where he was, puffing and gasping to regain his breath. Then he rounded on Evie, a toothy grin stretched acros his muzzle and a wild look in his eyes. You're a curious creature, aren't you? You fight, too? How do you like this? With a flick of one arm he sent a gobbet of sludge as big around as his head flying at Evie.

Evie's Quick Attack took Carmine by surprise, but she held on doggedly to her mask, stumbling back with one hand holding it firmly in place. "Seriously, what is it with you creeps and my mask?" She seemed too distracted to give Morpeko further commands, but the mouse pokémon sent a retaliatory burst of lightning at Evie before the Earthquake tremors reached it. It managed to stay up right, if only barely, aided by its Focus Sash--and then Evie's bubbles knocked it to the ground, sparking but unconscious.

Carmine recalled it with a shaking hand, then retreated as far as the Block attack would let her. "Mightyena!" she said. "Just--just keep them away from me!" The Dark-type appeared in a burst of light and immediately took up a defensive position in front of Carmine, snarling at anyone who dared come close.

> Okidogi's aura burns bright! He's getting winded...

@Flyg0n @Dragonfree

Thank you, Fezandipiti muttered, seeming a bit put out by Marcel's sudden vehemence. Marcel left him and Scorch staring awkwardly at one another; Fezandipiti seemed less than pleased to have been left with a minder, but he didn't make any attempt to send Scorch away, either.

The performer, meanwhile, was disconcerted by Marcel's air of authority. "Oh? Umm, they didn't mention--look, I'm really not supposed to let anybody past here. It's dangerous. We don't want anybody getting hurt."

While he spoke, the sound of running footsteps drifted out of the dark behind him, drawing ever closer. A few seconds later another of the performers, one with a quarterstaff, came racing up. The person guarding the path perked up. "Oh? Did you find--?" he asked, but the runner barely slowed down.

"No," they said curtly. "Gonna tell Fezandipiti. Stay here." They brushed past the guard and set off towards the stage.

The guard watched them go for long seconds, probably regretting the lack of backup. At last they sighed. "Right. How about this. If you really want to go up there and help look, you can. But stay out of trouble and come right back here to get help if you see anything. Understand? Do not try to do anything stupid like engage the ogre yourselves. And you"--he pointed at Marcel--"will supervise and take responsibility for these two. How does that sound?"

Kieran had jerked his hand away from his pokéballs when Marcel showed up, and he was now hanging back, looking uncertainly to Jean.
 

Dragonfree

Moderator
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
  2. mightyena
  3. charizard
  4. scyther-mia
  5. vulpix
  6. slugma
"Oh!" The young man who'd just joined them was claiming Fezandipiti sent him... but also that he'd asked them to help, when he hadn't. So he had to be trying to help them get past the guard, right...? Maybe he wasn't even sent by Fezandipiti?

"Okay! Thank you!" She grinned under her mask, looking to Kieran for confirmation.
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
The guard watched them go for long seconds, probably regretting the lack of backup. At last they sighed. "Right. How about this. If you really want to go up there and help look, you can. But stay out of trouble and come right back here to get help if you see anything. Understand? Do not try to do anything stupid like engage the ogre yourselves. And you"--he pointed at Marcel--"will supervise and take responsibility for these two. How does that sound?"

Kieran had jerked his hand away from his pokéballs when Marcel showed up, and he was now hanging back, looking uncertainly to Jean.
Marcel was a few heartbeats away from pulling his 'here's my badge' card but to his relief, the people here must have been much more trusting than back home. That was... refreshing.

"Of course not," he said with a calm nod, glancing between the two kids, with a pointed look and a smile. "I take full responsibility. This is purely to scout the area some more. I have a few pokemon good at tracking."

He turned to take in the young girl and the boy. Too young to get so involved in his opinion, but they were already involved. And in his experience, it was better to supervise than try to keep kids away. They usually weren't good listeners. "I hope you're both still okay to show me around?" he asked in a low voice. "I only want to help find the truth, but we won't be fighting," he added, emphasizing the word, hoping they'd trust him and catch on.
 

Sinderella

Angy Tumbleweed
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
  3. froslass
  4. chandelure
  5. mimikyu
Hmm, prior incidents, Fezandipiti said thoughtfully. Well, nothing like murder, not that I know of. More mayhem, general rabble-rousing, that sort of thing. You must understand, the villagers were all terrified of the ogre. It's noble to want to suggest a more gentle solution to all this, very noble indeed. I have no appetite for violence. However... Fezandipiti's eyes gleamed with anger as he leaned in close to Vienna. I'm not feeling very inclined to negotiate with the beast that killed me.
Vienna nodded along with Fezandipti's explanation, trying not to make it clear that her bullshit meter was maxing itself out.

She looked mostly unfazed as the bird leaned in close to her, but her eyes did widen at the mention of its own death. A plan spread itself out in her head, and she had to refrain from smiling.

"That, I understand," she said with a nod.

Fezandipiti regained his composure and went on, The lair is up there, near the top of the mountain. He gestured towards the jagged peak rising behind the shrine. A cave of sorts. Or at least, that was where the ogre was known to live in my day. It's the best guess I have.
Another nod. She waited for a beat that felt polite enough, before she fished into her pocket for her RotomPhone.

"I hope this isn't coming out of left field, but, I'm a Pokemon Professor from Kalos," she started. "I investigate all things related to occultology, and death is among those things. We're investigating a new technology that might help us link those that have died in a wrongful death to the energy of whatever--or rather whoever--might have caused that wrongful death. I know you're alive now, and this might be a fantastic opportunity for both of us."

She spoke confidently. Politely. Professionally. This was just another day for her. She raised her phone. "I have software installed into the photo app on my phone here. If I can just get a picture with you and perhaps the Loyal Three, it might give me readings that can lead me straight to Ogerpon. And thus, his capture." Her smile shrunk down to something slightly more demure. "You would have to give me the go-ahead, of course."

Yes, it's so tragic when the elderly lose their faculties, isn't it? Fezandipiti said with an expansive sigh. Please... Take him somewhere where he can calm down. But treat him gently. Fezandipiti gestured with a wing, and the performers wrestled the old man away from the stage. He didn't go quietly, yelling about shame and about Ogerpon the whole way, but he went.
Fezandipti couldn't respond before the old man showed up, and all the interaction did was break her meter. She had to resist the urge to do something to stop the assault on the old man, and she remained rooted in her spot as she watched with silent disgust as he was dragged away. When she was sure he was gone, she peered back at the bird before her.

"So? What do you say?"

The performer, meanwhile, was disconcerted by Marcel's air of authority. "Oh? Umm, they didn't mention--look, I'm really not supposed to let anybody past here. It's dangerous. We don't want anybody getting hurt."

While he spoke, the sound of running footsteps drifted out of the dark behind him, drawing ever closer. A few seconds later another of the performers, one with a quarterstaff, came racing up. The person guarding the path perked up. "Oh? Did you find--?" he asked, but the runner barely slowed down.

"No," they said curtly. "Gonna tell Fezandipiti. Stay here." They brushed past the guard and set off towards the stage.
Whether or not she got the pictures she needed, she hustled out of the performance area and toward the path leading up the mountain. She stopped in front of a line of booths to weigh her options. Part of her wanted to go find the old man, but gods only knew where he might be. She'd likely waste time trying to find him. The most obvious course of action was to go up the mountain. She could head up there, then perhaps send Thea or Iris down to find him. For now, she was certain she needed to head up.

However, upon nearing the entrance to the path, she stopped short upon seeing it was blocked. That cop and what looked to be two kids were standing there, talking to the actors keeping them out. She quickly ducked behind an empty booth, a stream of annoyed curse words falling out of her mouth. However, she was pretty tickled to see kids here. How would Odette fare in a situation like this? Provided she didn't lose her temper at Fezandipti just now, she'd keep up just fine. Not that Vienna would have had any intent to let her go off on her own. Fuck no.

With a shake of her head, she pulled her partner's pokeballs out of her coat pocket and called them out. A gardevoir with a healed scar over her closed right eye, and a reuiniclus covered in Lisa Frank-esque stickers simmered into view with a collective pink mist.

"Alright," Vienna said. "Here's the plan...Thea," she said, pointing to the gardevoir, "I need you to shadow sneak with me past the guards there. Don't let it up until we're out of sight. And Iris," she went on, pointing to the reuniclus, "find a very distraught old man likely being held hostage by robed actors. Holler to Thea if you find anything."

"Right-o, partner! I'm on it!" Iris cheered. She surrounded herself in a pink bubble before fully disintegrating out of view.

Vienna then held her hand out to Thea. "Shall we?"

"We shall," Thea agreed in her typical monotone. The gardevoir took her hand, using it as leverage to hoist herself onto Vienna's back as if she were going for a piggyback ride. Vienna took a breath, bracing herself for the general discomfort that was about to come her way. But she was certainly in no mood to negotiate with petty guards right now.

Vienna walked a little ways through the booths, keeping herself obscured behind the empty stalls. She finally found a dark spot behind a booth, and only then did she notice Thea's shadows had started to surround them. She gulped down one last breath, and as she stepped out of the light, they disappeared into the shadows.
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
@FauxFox

"Well the one that's still here seems jumpy, we could try to scare him off." Theo suggested. "Or I could try to distract him while you get out of the cave. Either way, we've got a little bit of time to act before the other gets back here with Fezandipiti. So if the only way out of the cave is blocked, we get the obstacle to move. Though maybe we'll get lucky, and he decides to move on his own, or something else makes distracts him. But you're right, we need to get out of here before Fezandipiti shows up. So what do you think will work best?"

Ogrepon listened closely to Theo's explanation about his life, head tilted just to one side. When he finished, she was silent a moment, then shook her head slowly. How strange. I've never heard of such things. Humans becoming pokémon, other worlds... What is a "mystery dungeon?" She leaned back against the side of the crevice, seeming to think. Well. I may not understand all of how you came to be here, but I'm glad that you did, in the end. I suppose it doesn't matter so much now. It's more important to decide how we can escape.

Perhaps we try to scare them off? I imagine you must be able to conjure some truly monstrous sights with your illusions.

@Sinderella

She spoke confidently. Politely. Professionally. This was just another day for her. She raised her phone. "I have software installed into the photo app on my phone here. If I can just get a picture with you and perhaps the Loyal Three, it might give me readings that can lead me straight to Ogerpon. And thus, his capture." Her smile shrunk down to something slightly more demure. "You would have to give me the go-ahead, of course."

Oh, a scholar? Fezandipiti asked when Vienna mentioned her profession. I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "picture," but if that little device can help locate the ogre, then by all means, use it. He peered at the phone in clear incomprehension, and he jerked back in surprise when the shutter went off, but he made no objection to Vienna taking as many photographs as she liked.

Vienna walked a little ways through the booths, keeping herself obscured behind the empty stalls. She finally found a dark spot behind a booth, and only then did she notice Thea's shadows had started to surround them. She gulped down one last breath, and as she stepped out of the light, they disappeared into the shadows.

On the other end of the Shadow Sneak Vienna would find herself in the middle of the rough pathway up the side of the mountain, the pavilion now well behind her and below. It was dark up here, moonlight and the glow of the festival behind her providing the only illumination. Rustles and sharp cries from the tall grass to either side of the dirt pathway made it clear there were wild pokémon prowling nearby.

Not too far ahead one of the Loyal Three performers from the play was zigzagging back and forth through the grass, a sinistcha bobbing along behind them.

@canisaries

Not long after Fezandipiti had gotten his picture taken one of the performers from the earlier play came staggering back into view, as if they'd run a great distance. They approached Fezandipiti and said something quiet to him--something the legend didn't keep secret for long.

Fezandipiti turned back to the crowd, an excited gleam in his eyes. He spread his wings wide, shouting, Friends! I've just had good tiding! It seems the ogre may be trying to flee back to its lair. Which of you will accompany me to challenge it?

There were a few enthusiastic volunteers, mostly among the children and some of the tourists who didn't seem entirely sure whether or not this was all just a part of the play. It must have been fewer than Fezandipiti wanted, or perhaps he wasn't convinced of the volunteers' seriousness, because he peered into the crowd again, searching faces.

Kohath, of course, stood out due to his stature. Fezandipiti pointed a wing at him. You there! You look as though you know a thing or two about fighting. Won't you join me in confronting the ogre?
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Kieran has always been fascinated by the ogre. I'm worried he might even try to attack the Loyal Three, if he hears about all this ogre hunting business. If he and Carmine aren't playing Ogre Oustin', they must be somewhere around the edge of the pavilion. Somewhere they wouldn't have heard all this commotion."

"H-he would... attack them??" Sure, they seemed to be normal pokemon, but they were also the ones this whole festival was being held for. Attacking them out in the open like that wouldn't end well for literally anyone.

"I'll go see if I can find them. Um... what masks did they have?" It would be difficult to find anyone in this crowd, especially people she didn't know, but at least maybe she could narrow it down even if there were multiple of the same mask floating around.

After waiting for the old man's answer, Kari thanked him and made her way back to the crowd to search. She spotted a large, fiery bird appear in not too far away, relatively easy to see in the darkening sky. She had no idea where the game field was, so she figured she might as well start over in that direction.

Do not try to do anything stupid like engage the ogre yourselves.

Kari caught the tail end of whatever conversation had been happening over here. Engage the ogre? Were they going to try to attack Ogrepon? ...No, he'd just said not to try that. But then, why were they heading up the mountain?

The old man had said his grandson had a fascination with the ogre... and if it lived on the mountain... was that boy there the old man's grandson? Had he recruited people to take him to the ogre's lair?

Symphony chimed urgently in her ear, and Kari felt her heartbeat skyrocket as she sprinted towards them!

"E-excuse me!" she called out, slowing to a stop, taking a brief moment to admire the tails on one of the outfits. Some people really did go all-out with their costumes.

She addressed the boy, first. "Are you, um, Kieran?" Then she turned to the guard, thinking fast. "I promised the boy's grandfather I would look out for him. So, um, if you'll allow me to join them... well, strength in numbers, r-right?"

Her chimecho jingled her most threatening battle-cry.
 
Partners
  1. suikaibuki
A frown comes to Priestess Satomi's mouth. Slightly problematic, but no matter. Her eyes shift to the retreating Carmine, who had edged as far as she could. It appeared that the Block was still registering her as an enemy. She was out of the way, but would be trouble if she escaped and informed the remaining two. Or the true believers. It could easily turn into an all-out warzone!

So! That left three possibilities. First, end things on the spot with a finishing manuever! However, she would prefer to wait a little longer before trying that. Second, bring in Otohime instead. Or as well! But the latter would be no fun, would it? Even if she had Unami stick back just to maintain the Block. Of course, it would stay on the table. As for the former, though she could still prevent that girl's escape, she preferred not to scar her any more than she already had. Which meant there was one option left!

"Know you're tougher than that, Unami!" she says. "But there's no shame in taking a rest."

Her faithful partner hobbles upright, gets some distance, and closes their eyes. Their stamina suddenly returns and their frame rapidly repairs. Their health has been completely recovered! Of course, they're now asleep, but she had won battles through attrition between this move and Unami's durability.

This would ordinarily be the point where the bell would immediately wake from instinctively chewing on a Mint Berry or such a similar treat, but the priestess hadn't planned that far ahead. No matter, there was layered protection and Unami would surely be on it soon enough. Satomi waits and waits. The Bronzong seems to mumble in their sleep and holds their arms up briefly, but nothing happens.

Well, these things happen! And if it went totally wrong, there were still the other options. They would work, they were simply less ideal. Regardless, she shrugs it off and turns to the others. "Cover them for a bit, will you?" She turns to Gen. "You too, face your fears!"

Sleep Talk. I'm using random.org for it. Rolled Block, oops.
 
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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
"He is a Poison and Fighting-type. Quite brutish. He just used Shadow Claw. That wicked aura will need teamwork to break through,"
Poison and Fighting? Evie grimaced, how unfortunate it was that she knew nothing that could fully utilize that four-times weakness. But whatever, she could take what she could get.
For a second Okidogi stood where he was, puffing and gasping to regain his breath. Then he rounded on Evie, a toothy grin stretched acros his muzzle and a wild look in his eyes. You're a curious creature, aren't you? You fight, too? How do you like this? With a flick of one arm he sent a gobbet of sludge as big around as his head flying at Evie.
Without even blinking, a multicolored reflective dome appeared around her and the sludge slammed harmlessly against the barrier. She dropped her barrier as the last of the attack fell and seeped into the grass below.

Then electricity from the fainting Morpeko struck her and while normally, she could endure such a weak attack without even batting an eye, it hurt a lot. She felt like there was something at play that made her feel weaker .
Not something to do with the story and is more just me nerfing her because I am not well-versed in Oki lore nor am I confident enough to merge Evie lore into it without making the fight too one-sided lol

Pushing through the pain, Evie snarled, recovering the damage as she soaked in the sun's rays before firing off a Thunderbolt of her own at the Mightyena that took the rodent's placr.
Well, these things happen! And if it went totally wrong, there were still the other options. They would work, they were simply less ideal. Regardless, she shrugs it off and turns to the others. "Cover them for a bit, will you?" She turns to Gen. "You too, face your fears!"
She nodded, becoming a streak of white and brown as she sped across the field. "Let's see if you can handle this," she muttered, reappearing behind them with a smirk.

With a practiced display of confidence, she sat down and lay on the grass, flashing her teeth at the enraged Legendary and patting the ground with a paw. Perhaps this display would have the correct effect in enraging Okidogi to focus her or perhaps it wouldn't. Nevertheless, she never made a decision without having several backups at hand.

With a clean cut, the ground below her split apart as a wave of muddy water rose, engulfing her opponents and sweeping them off their feet, before stopping abruptly and retreating into the dirt when it came close to hitting any of the humans nearby.
 
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