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 Gritty Escapade

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PostSubject: Gritty Escapade   Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:33 am

Normally, Osiris the dratini liked to think of himself as brave. He also liked to think of himself as wise and powerful and particularly handsome, but brave was a big part of that. The only problem was that he'd never really put himself in a position to overcome his fear and really be courageous. All his life he'd lived under the care and protection of his mother, and if he was going grow up and spread his wings one day, then he needed to start making some changes. Like, like no more lying at home all the time and spending his days eating flat pies and wasting time at school! Dragons were powerful and regal, not lazy and studious. And brave, too. Not that a dragon had much to be afraid of, but it still.

That was what brought the young serpentine to the Shadowhue Forest. He needed to go someplace where fear was an obstacle to be overcome, and he'd be hard-pressed to do that in a place like Grassveil! The surrounding dungeons were also a bust - the Small Pond and Pecha Forest were for kids. No, he'd asked around looking for a scary dungeon, and it seemed the shadowy forest was that place! Even now, slithering along an old, worn cobblestone trail that led into the thick forestry, Osiris felt a nervous shiver wrack his serpentine frame. He painted somewhat of an odd picture, a small snake-like figure with an oversized headband almost toppling forward on his face, determinedly making his way into a mystery dungeon that he had no business being in.

The forest was predominantly dark, with only flecks of sunlight managing to waft down through the thick forest canopy and cast some light in the area. It only really provided enough to see where you were and your surrounding immediate area - any further than a few yards and you were staring into the darkness. The dratini realized that it was probably very easy for folk to get lost in such a place. Swallowing a nervous gulp of air, the young dratini steeled himself and slithered along the cool cobblestone trail, determined to enter the forest proper and get into - and out of - some trouble.

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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:39 am

Cinmere wasn’t afraid of the dark.

He had been, once upon a time, when he was younger. That in and of itself wasn’t anything he found shameful. Most young ‘mon went through a phase of being scared of the dark, and some of them never worked past it. He might have been one of them, if it hadn’t been for a certain childhood rivalry. He couldn’t have been older than eight when he marched out of camp on a dare from his little sister, bragging that he could stay out all night with ease, he wasn’t afraid of, what? A few trees rustling, a weird shadow or two, a couple falling pebbles… strange noises that kept him up when he was trying to sleep, something he’d swear to Solgaleo he heard creeping in the darkness, looking at him from the spots between the trees and creeping closer when he took his eyes off it...

To put a long story short, the entire Blacksun Pack spent the rest of the night on high alert after their brave, fearless heir ran back into his parent’s den crying that something was looking for him. It was a dragon, it must have been, or something even worse! The scouts scoured the territory thrice-over, the warriors prowled around the camp with teeth bared, and Lunihar laughed her head off all the while. And, to the annoyance of everyone involved, the only monster in the dark was the overactive imagination of a child.

Lunihar went to bed without dinner the next day and didn’t regret a thing, while Cinmere was still overcome by guilt for worrying everyone over nothing. He’d caused everyone so much trouble, and why? Because he was too scared, scared of invisible monsters and beasts that didn’t exist. His parents weren’t too hard on him, because it was obvious he didn’t mean ill, but they had made it clear he'd caused a lot of trouble. Any day where they pointed their attention away from the border was another day the dragons could use to strike, and this goose chase had left them vulnerable.

Still, when the dust settled, what you were left with was a teary-eyed little kid. When Cinmere and his father ended up talking about it the next day, he had explained gently that he didn’t need to be afraid of the dark. Rockruff and Lycanroc had a bond to the cycle of day and night, down to their very evolutions. When Solgaleo slept, Lunala watched over her faithful, and she would watch over you if only you asked.

And that was when his father taught him a small and simplified version of a prayer that the warriors used before going into battle at nightfall. Six little words that he clung to. It wasn’t exactly a miracle cure, and it didn’t help his child self conquer the dark just like that. But he clung to it whenever he was scared of the night, and as he grew older, that fear melted away drop by drop. Most likely, he would have outgrown that childish little fear regardless. But the prayer was a comforting habit, and he murmured it under his breath even now.

“Lunala guard my kith and kin.” With everything that had happened recently, the words seemed especially appropriate. He walked forward into the shadowy forest... casually wasn't quite the right word, but the canine Pokemon didn't seem especially concerned. His claws clicked against the cobblestone quietly, eyes narrowed slightly to peer further into the gloom. It was rather pretty, in Cinmere's opinion, trying to imprint the scenery into his mind so he could draw it properly later. The way the golden light seeped through the slits in the tree branches, catching on the leaves that patterned the forest floor.

It shined off the scales of a little blue serpent.

He tensed instinctively. An enemy already? No... no, that wasn't right. He didn't think he'd entered the dungeon yet, and he'd never seen a feral pokemon wearing an accessory like this one was. He relaxed again, realizing this must have been another explorer. Cinmere had seen this kind of Pokemon before. A Dratini, wasn't he? It almost looked like he was shaking. Maybe he wouldn't turn away some help, and Cinmere preferred traveling with company. Besides, this was another Pokemon shorter than him, that never happened back home. How could he just waste an opportunity like that? "Hello there, little dragon." Cinmere called, trotting up to the Dratini. He wouldn't have objected to spooking the dragon type a little bit, but hopefully he didn't surprise him too badly. Didn't want to start off on the wrong foot. "I don't suppose you were also going to head through... Shadowhue, the locals called it?"

Cinmere's Energy: 6
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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:27 am

(forgot dat energy eyy ya boi got 6)

It wasn't even as if he had anything to prove. Had his mother had her way, then Osiris would spend his entire childhood alternating from sitting at home under her watchful eye and curled up around stuffy old books at the public schoolhouse. And, sure, there were merits to that kind of education, but sue him if Osiris thought that kind of things was just totally not worth his time. He was a dratini! A dragon, destined to soar the skies and spew fire down on his foes, tear them asunder with mighty claws and command deadly elements with unparalleled precision. His destiny was not to be a scholar, or a teacher, or anything else that nerdy. His was to be a warrior, an explorer, anything that was more exciting than spending his days wasting away in a peaceful little town under the protection of others! Shadowhue was just his first real step. It was the only mystery dungeon around that was truly dangerous for a Pokémon of his caliber. True, he was not particularly powerful yet, or even all that experienced, but he boasted a blessed heritage and a keen mind, both things that he was confident would get him through the dark forest ahead of him. It was the start of his journey, the first venture out into the wild all by himself. No friends or family to watch over him. Just one dratini versus the mystical wilderness of a mystery dungeon, and any and all challenges it would throw his way!

Still... he would admit to being a little scared. It was alright in the end, for he knew there could be no bravery without fear. But a stronger Pokémon would not be afraid of such a dungeon; it was nestled practically in Grassveil's backyard, accessible to any child who could escape their mother's eye long enough to scamper into it. It was dangerous, of course, but compared to the other true terrors of the world, it was practically a training ground. A simple prelude to the real tests of life. Osiris knew that many rescue teams made a habit of training here, in particular, for it was at least a step up from the neighboring Pecha forest. And Osiris had reservations about entering that one all by himself. In the end, though, he'd decided to come here because he wanted the extra pressure. The added element of danger hovering overhead while he explored and spelunked the forestry would either break him or make him. If he cracked under pressure and lost or fled, then he'd know why that was, and he'd know that he truly wasn't cut out for this kind of life. But if he grew under it, if it fed his growth as the elements do a wildfire, then it would prove to be objectively superior to the other alternatives. As the little snake dragon slithered along the cool rocky stones laid into the trail, he made it a point to keep his eyes peeled for any movement on the horizon, wary of the first obstacle he would encounter.

As a fighter, he wasn't much to write home about. Matter of fact, he pretty much required a teammate to be effective, as his moves lacked that certain oomph it took to put foes down. But fighting wasn't always the answer! Osiris was small, he was quick, and he was clever. He had no doubt that he could outsmart the wild Pokémon of the forest. Especially with the surroundings being as they were. He cast his curious gaze along the treelines ahead and around him, taking in the darkness of the surroundings. No doubt he could disappear from sight the instant that he would need to - and with the benefit of not being exactly tall, he'd probably be able to slither right around any ferals he came across just like he did the people in the streets of Grassveil! This was more of a learning experience rather than anything else. Strength and power would come with age and training, he reasoned to himself. What he needed more of right now, in order to catch up with the other Pokémon his age who had a leg up on him, was expose himself to these elements of danger and learn how to deal with them. Learn about himself, learn how he instinctively reacted and fought, and gain that experience so that when he came into a serious scenario down the road, he'd be prepared and ready.

But something had managed to catch him when he wasn't prepared or ready. The dratini let loose a startled squeak of panic as he heard a voice rapidly approaching him. Quick as the snake he was, he turned on a dime and was treated to the sight of a rockruff trotting toward his person. Its - or rather his, judging from the tone of his voice - features were relatively normal, matching the picturer and descriptions he'd studied in school. Sort of a beige-colored coat, with a white tail and collar, diminutive in comparison to other Pokémon but definitely larger than him. Out of reflex, Osiris felt his snout twist into an immature frown at the thought, and it only grew more pronounced when the dog called him a little dragon. The nerve! Even if he was right. Still, he tried not to let it bother him, as this stranger was starting out pretty friendly.

"I - uh, yeah. I am!" He tried to make a bit more of an effort to appear less little as he confirmed the rockruff's query, rearing up a bit and lifting his head to take in the other Pokémon. The effect was ruined a bit when he felt his headband actually tip forward, however, and he was forced to abandon the movement to fix it onto his head properly, fussing a bit as he did so. Needless to say, he'd probably came off as prostrating a bit - it was hard to take a dratini of all thing seriously when it raised up at you and chirped in a young boy's voice, trying to sound manly and intimidating. "You, too?"

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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:33 am

This tiny dragon was adorable. Cinmere felt a smile play at the edge of his face, waiting patiently as he nudged his bandana back in place. Was it just him, or was the dragon talking a little oddly...? Was he trying to make his voice deeper? The Rockruff could have sworn it had been much higher when he yelped out in surprise a second ago. He was quite confident about that, in fact. He watched in amusement as the Dratini answered his question, rearing up a little higher to meet Cinmere's gaze, holding back laughter as he listened to the dragon type speak with his new "manly" voice. He didn’t mean it in a mean-spirited way, honestly, it was just charming how hard he was trying. But laughing right in a child’s face was a little too mean for him. Perhaps the blue serpent was stronger than he looked, although it was difficult to take him seriously…

He had to admit, he was curious what this dragon was doing here. Was he even old enough to be entering mystery dungeons? To be entirely fair, Cinmere wasn't really one to judge. He had started exploring at an early age, too. (Not with permission, of course, but he’d gone dungeon-crawling nevertheless.) Pokemon were built to fight, which wasn’t to say they were all good at it, but even most of the young ones could strike back in a pinch. He'd met a Dratini once that had the ability to breath ripples of water from it's maw, a trick it must have inherited from it's parents, in hindsight. (And by 'met', he did mean 'watched Lumi fight one and laughed about her soaked fur afterwards'.)

In his eyes, the best way to make sure this Dratini stayed safe was to keep him company through the forest. He didn’t exactly seem like the type to slither back home just because he told him to, and besides, who was Cinmere to go around crushing dreams? The Rockruff wasn’t exactly a great warrior either, and he had no delusions otherwise. He could use the help. Not to mention the company, traveling alone had already lost it’s luster. It was nice to have a conversation partner.

“Indeed I was.” He confirmed, and if his smile held the slightest teasing hint to it, it was surely just a trick of the light. Just because he liked this dragon didn’t mean he could make things too easy for him. “Would you mind if I tagged along, little serpent? My name is Cinmere.” Last time he called the Dratini ‘small’, honest, cross his heart. It was too easy when the word was in it’s very name.
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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:41 am

Osiris wasn't sure what to think of this rockruff that had appeared out of nowhere. Disregarding the little fright he'd given him, he seemed... mostly really decent. Aside from the little remarks that he kept digging into him with, he was even friendly. For all intents and purposes, it seemed that he'd just found another Pokémon about to head into the shadowy forest, for whatever reason, and common sense beckoned that there was safety in numbers. Even if it turned out that they didn't get along, it would probably be smart to stick together, at least. Hadn't he just been thinking about how he was a little bit weak to be entering this dungeon, and how he'd perform better if there was a partner to support? He didn't know much about Rockruff as a species, or this stranger as a 'mon, but if they were even capable of taking or giving out a hit, then it'd be a better idea than just rushing in alone!

Not that that would have been a bad idea, mind you. Osiris had perfect confidence in his chances inside the dark forest. Really. Him joining up with the first stranger that offered a helping hand was just a happy mixture of coincidence and common sense! Still, the dratini made a point of narrowing his eyes up at the rock puppy, making a show of his suspicion. "I suppose there is safety in numbers... yeah, we can do that." Good! What a perfect reply. This way, the puppy would think that Osiris was allowing his company, rather than asking for it or needing it in any way. He allowed an impish grin to grow on his snout as he stared up at the other Pokémon, slithering forward slowly. "I'm Osiris. S'nice to meet ya!

"Whatcha goin' into the forest for?"
The snake made a lazy circle around the rockruff, trailing around it slowly before leisurely going on along the cobblestone trail they were both on, as if silently beckoning him forward. He didn't know what he expected from the other Pokémon, to be honest. Most folk that went into Shadowhue were either looking for training that was more challenging than Pecha Forest, or they were going in on business. The teams from the guild would often send in teams to track down lost kids who went into the woods without knowing what they were getting into. Absently, the dratini snorted in dry amusement. As if such a thing would ever happen to him! He knew exactly what he was doing, and he had no qualms about teaching this mystery dungeon why it should fear him, rather than the other way around.

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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:11 pm

Cinmere had spoken to the Dratini as though he were the leader of this little expedition, and that had been on purpose. He'd figured it was more likely he would let Cinmere stick around if the Rockruff was the one asking for help. He was a little puzzled when the dragon turned back around and squinted at him suspiciously, dark eyes narrowed into slits, and a flicker of confusion crossed Cinmere's face. Had he done something wrong? Well, yes, actually, he had and he knew it, but he'd already promised himself he'd called the dragon 'small' for the last time! It was funny how easily some people could have their buttons pushed, but he tried not to go too far. Unless they were really asking for it, anyways, and this guy wasn't. He'd apologize if he had to, and ask for help again. The idea of letting this kid go into a dark forest alone didn't sit right with him. Forgot the feral Pokemon, they could be outsmarted pretty easily, but a dense shadowy forest like this would be the perfect hiding spot for criminals trying to escape the eye of the police station and guild. But, thankfully, he was spared a blow to his pride and didn't have to ask twice.

He broke out into a small smile that matched Osiris' grin. Perfect! He did love it when things just worked out the way you wanted them to. "Thanks for taking me along, Osiris. That's a cool name. I'm Cinmere, and it's good to meet you, too." He let Osiris lead the way, trailing a step or two behind the blue serpent. His graze traveled up towards the shadowy forest. He perked his ears, resolving to keep his guard up. This mystery dungeon shouldn't be too difficult in and of itself, but Cinmere knew himself well enough to admit that he wasn't the strongest Pokemon. Besides, he didn't want to let anything happen to Osiris. He wasn't sure how capable this dragon was, but he struck Cinmere as someone who was likely to be at least a little overconfident.

Why was he here? That was a fair question. It was out of sight now, but he looked at the patch of tree-covered sky where the island was supposed to be. He'd managed to get directions to it, and chance had it that the quickest path there was through Shadowhue. "I was on my way to the floating islands." He said with a hint of pride and wonder alike in his voice. "Apparently there's a way for landbound Pokemon like us to reach it now. Someone in the town back there told me about it." He motioned back in the vague direction of Grassveil, seeming a little more enthusiastic than before. "There's a very kind Charizard who runs some sort of balloon... I can't say I understand the details, truthfully. What I do know is that there's a very prestigious guild up there, and I plan to join it, if they'll have me."

The story sounded so fake, saying it out loud. A giant balloon? Honestly, Cinmere? Who had ever heard of such a thing and how would it even work? Most Pokemon are surely much too heavy to be carried by balloons, and how would it even be steered? He felt a little silly, talking about it now, but he'd already made up his mind. He was going to investigate it. Aileron would be perfect for him, if only this story was true. He still held out hope, especially remembering how adamant that Starly had been about it. Aileron was recruiting and it was within his reach. That possibility was so entrancing. He couldn't abandon it without even trying. He laughed at himself briefly, looking back to Osiris. He'd gotten stuck in his head like always. "And what brings you here?"
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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:16 am

Cinmere, huh? It wasn't any more a strange name than Osiris, though if you asked him, his sounded way more regal and cool. But this puppy seemed to be pretty cool so far, trailing behind him relatively stoically. He had a lot to say, though, and the dratini was more than fine with that. Perhaps it was bad sense to talk so loud while you were traversing a mystery dungeon, but he was not patient enough to trudge through the dark forest with nothing but his own thoughts for company. Resolutely, Osiris slithered forward along the stone pathway, staring forward at the trees closing in closer to them. They were tall, foreboding and bundled together tightly, preventing any decent amount of light from shining down between the trees. The best that it got was a few spots of sunshine peeking through the foliage overhead - but otherwise, the entirety of the forest floor seemed to be shady and spooky. A minute shiver overcame the serpent's frame as he realized this; the dratini had a pretty decent head for directions, come to think of it, it might be pretty easy to get lost in such a dark place.

"The floating islands, huh... Man, that sounds cool." He wasn't lying. Osiris couldn't claim to know about the guild up there, but settlements on flying islands? That was just such a cool idea; it was probably overflowing with flying Pokémon! He could picture it in his mind's eye already. Charizards, skarmories, talonflames and all kinds of other cool winged creatures circling overhead a prestigious guild just like Grassveil, keeping a watchful eye over their towns. The bit about a balloon taking him up there was as believable as anything else, he supposed. A town couldn't survive with just flying Pokémon, right? It needed farmers and craftsmen with dextrous hands and keen minds - surely there was a way up there that didn't involve flying. "I can only imagine! A guild up there would be so wicked.

"But uh... yeah, I'm just here to train, I think."
He thought? The statement came out as more of an open-ended question, and he had to resist the urge to smack his head on the pavement beneath him. Of course, that's what he came out here to do! Now was not the time for second thoughts. Especially not when he'd found a Pokémon who was planning on becoming a Guild-member willing to come with him through the dungeon. This was the perfect opportunity to combine his forces with someone and get some real training done, and he needed to impress this guy!

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PostSubject: Re: Gritty Escapade   Yesterday at 8:35 pm

Cinmere walked casually, his head lifted slightly in case he could catch any scents. He wasn't frightened by the forest, but he could admit it would be easy to sneak up on someone here if they weren't paying attention. He didn't think they'd find anything this early into the dungeon, much less anything powerful, but it wasn't a bad idea to check the air for scents every once in a while. Might mess up someone's ambush. Finding nothing except the smell of damp earth, sap and decomposing leaves, he dipped his head again and walked on. A gust of wind weaved it's way overhead, rustling the branches and fluffing Cinmere's fur. Shaking off the sudden chill as best he could, the canine trailed after Osiris, blue eyes glinting in the dark.

"I thought it sounded interesting, too." Cinmere mused in agreement. Come to think of it, he didn't really know what Aileron Village would look like. He had his description of the guild, boatloads of secondhand praise for it, and the assurance that "he'd know it when he saw it". But regarding the village the guild allegedly towered over, he didn't really know anything. He'd been told it was a small town and that not everyone there would be kind towards something called "The Grounded". He could guess by context clues that meant Pokemon who couldn't fly, including him. But that was about all Cinmere knew of the mysterious village in the sky. It was little more than a fuzzy white void surrounding his mental image of the guild. He was looking forward to checking it out, though. "With any luck, I'll be at the floating islands' guild soon. Maybe you should look into it if it's caught your eye." He suggested, smiling slightly. He didn't have a stake in whether Osiris did or not, but perhaps it could be worth investigating if it caught the dragon's attention. Cinmere could understand the feeling, he'd been wonderstruck when he first noticed a giant island floating. Getting to travel there - maybe even live there! - almost seemed too good to be true.

Maybe it was, some stubborn part of him whispered, and he shook it off as best he was able.

It did strike him as a little odd that he tagged 'I think' onto why he came to the forest. Maybe even Osiris wasn't quite sure why he came here? Or maybe he just misspoke. It didn't really matter one way or the other, and Cinmere shrugged it off for now, trekking deeper into the forest. The stone path was beginning to peter out, untamed weeds jutting between the cracks in the stones. Cinmere stepped around the plants on the pathway, the clicks of his claws on stone fading to soft thumps of his paws on dense, dark green grass.

(Rolling some encounters bring in whenever we need 'em.)
Cinmere's Energy: 6
Dratini Captain carried out 6 launched of one Shadowhue Forest (Image not informed.) :
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