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Thread Description
A PMD: Gates to Infinity Dungeonlocke | Updates Wednesdays

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.


Five years ago, the sun went out. Since then, pokemon have lived in despair, simply waiting for the world to flicker out and finally end. Only the Church of the Sun sees hope for the future. They have prophesized that when the night has stretched on for five years, a savior from another world will descend from the sky with a tail that glows of light, and with the help of a pokemon guide, they will bring forth the new sun.

As Catrin the oshawott journeys to the desolate Post Town on a mission for the church, he had almost given up on the world. That is, until a tepig with a glowing tail drops out of the sky and lands on him. He realizes she's the prophesized savior and devotes himself to aiding her. But bringing back the sun takes more than anyone thought. How can you save a world that does not want to be saved?

Rules:
  • Only the first pokemon who asks to join the team in each mystery dungeon may join.​
  • The Hero and Partner must be chosen randomly via random number generators.
  • Dupes clause- Duplicate pokemon can be skipped over as many times as needed to encounter a new pokemon.
  • Paradise pokemon do not count for catches of any mystery dungeon.
  • If a pokemon faints, it is considered dead and must be asked to leave the team.
  • If the Hero or Partner faints, the run has failed.
  • Paradise pokemon that faint cannot be used again on the team. Exceptions will be made for areas where they are force-required, such as boss battles.
  • Hydreigon is immune to death while in the party.
  • One reviver seed can be taken into each main story dungeon. Extras must be eaten. Reviver seeds cannot be used on jobs.
  • No fire-types can join the team except for the Hero.
  • [Rule will be revealed in Part Four]






Table of Contents

 
Last edited:

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Helloooooo everyone! Mouse here with a brand new run! I've been working on this run since about February, and after a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time of drafting and editing, I'm very happy to finally release it! ^w^ Solstice will update every Wednesday for the time being. I hope you enjoy the story!





Chapter One: The World Is a Terrible Place
The world was a terrible place.

If any pokemon ever tried to tell Catrin that the world in its current state was somehow salvageable, somehow well-intentioned, somehow not a complete affront to the gods above, he would sneer at them. No drunken fool could convince Catrin that this world was anything more than a cesspool, a still-watered pond choked with algae and garbage at the end of a muddy stream. It was a world that desperately needed hope, salvation, a sun to light the bleak, murky sky slowly suffocating it from above. But it hardly deserved even the smallest kindness. The world deserved to rot.

Catrin raced through the bushes like a scorbunny. The scraggly branches caught on his maroon cloak and grabbed desperately at his blue fur. But with despairing thoughts racing through his head and stinging his eyes, he could hardly keep his mind on the chase. He could hear them up ahead: the stomping footsteps, snapping twigs, deep guffaws bellowing out from the trees. Each noise was further ahead than the last; he was losing ground.

He spotted a grainy shadow up ahead, and a voice sang out. “Come and get us, little church boy!”

The comment distracted him for only a second, but it was enough. A root tripped and flung him to the ground. A chorus of shrieking laughter jumped out from every direction, as if he were surrounded. “Awww, are we going too fast for you? Do you wanna take a break and sing some hymns?”

Catrin bared his teeth, his face contorting in pain and rage. He cried out as tears of anger streamed through the fur of his cheeks. “Give it back!” His claws dug into the wet earth of the forest. “Just give back what you stole!”

The laughter that responded was a slap in the face. “Bwahahaha! You'll have to catch us first!” The silhouettes vanished into the dark, and the pounding of footsteps receded into the distance.

Catrin's muscles tensed to spring ahead and give chase, but pain held him still for a moment. His blackened heart twisted. Rage pressed against his rib cage and streamed through his arms. He let out a strangled scream and slashed his claws through the bark of a nearby tree. His fingers smarted, but he screamed again and slashed at the wood and kicked the trunk as hard as he could. He barely felt his ankle jolt in pain. Who cared? Who even cared?! The world was a rotten, disastrous place! Without a sun, it deserved to bleed out and die!

And really, that was all Catrin expected from that night. He expected the bandits would run off with his things, split the prize in Ragged Mountain up ahead, and go their separate ways all the richer. He expected a night of more pain, more suffering, more wishing for a dawn that wasn't coming and the cold, still death of this endless night. He expected to lose.

He did not expect a weight to land on his head and knock him unconscious.

* * *

The first thing she knew was a dream.

The dream was like floating in a clear sea. Sparkling lights drifted through the soft, colorful haze, and in that moment, she felt as though her body had shrugged off its earthly bounds and become wind. She was one with the rainbow, breathing in perfect sync with the mist around her. At peace. All was calm.

The voice that came wasn't an intrusion. It felt like something not earthly, like the voice of a star. The song of a bell. It connected with her.

“Might you be... a human?”

She wanted to answer its question, but her spirit didn't move to. It was as if speaking would break the tranquility of this soothing, drifting place. She wasn't even sure she could answer. Was she human? She certainly didn't feel human here. She felt like the air of the universe.

Without prompt, it spoke to her again. “If so, then please... I want you to save my world. You must...”

The voice faded away like a sigh on the wind. And suddenly, something cut through the fog. She jolted like it had cut through her. The faded pastel mists snapped into a vortex of dark purple. A scream barged through the haze.

“H-H-H-HELP!”

An image split through her head like a blunt ax. The void was so loud, dizzying, and painful that she could barely comprehend the vision. There was a munna in a red cloak, its eyes stretched wide with terror as it bolted through a tunnel of rock. A shadow was in pursuit, something hulking and monstrous that bashed its way after the pokemon. The munna came to a dead end and cowered under its hood as the shadow of the beast fell over it. From the shadow, six great wings spread wide, and it lunged.

The vision went black. The purple haze lurched away, and she was thrown from that spectral place like a passenger tossed out of a crashed car. Her body contorted and balked, like a gnarled hand had grabbed her and squeezed her into pus, and she sucked in a gulp of air for the first time. She felt different. Heavy. Something was wrong.

The second thing she knew was that she was falling.

Her brain was such a spinning mess that she could barely comprehend it. But the buffeting air, her spinning limbs, that awful roaring; she was falling. Her body broke into a feverish sweat. Her lungs heaved, but whether it be from the fall, the panic, or their own malfunction, there was no air to breathe. Tears leaked from her eyes. The ground lunged to meet her like the colossal beast of her dreams. Her body cringed. Something was still wrong!

SMACK!

You know the feeling of when you're in a panic, and then someone slaps you and things become clear for a second? That's what happened to her then, when she slammed into some unknown shape and slipped onto the ground. She felt wet, sloppy dirt under her back, and she twisted up her nose at the ringing in her ears. But... she was alive. That was good! And she wasn't hurt? Even better! Wait... but what the hell had just happened?

She scrambled to her feet, and the third thing she knew was her name was Elaine.

Right, Elaine. That was her name, of course it was! Had she forgotten that? She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath when she felt panic creeping into her head again. She hadn't forgotten her name, right? That wasn't just something people forget! People forget things like homework and the bus schedule and feeding their pet magikarp. Normal things! She huffed again, stamped her hooves in agitation, and- Wait... Since when did she have hooves?

“Ngh...”

Her whole body stiffened up like a scared purrloin. She'd thought she was alone, but something had saved her from splattering on the ground in an unflattering pile of Elaine, and if she remembered right, it had been something fuzzy. She took a mental note to be impressed at herself later for remembering such a tiny detail while quite literally falling from the sky and turned around to where the groan had come from. Her eyes were just barely open, and she couldn't see anything yet.

Elaine blinked the fuzziness out of her eyes, but it was still so dark she couldn't make a single thing. Had she gone blind?! Was it nighttime? She couldn't remember the last time she'd checked a clock, but she vaguely remembered watching Mewtube in bed with the lights off, so nighttime seemed like a safe bet. Slowly, she started to make out some shapes. Long, tall ones, like the legs of a giant galvantula standing above her. So, she wasn't blind. Nice! As her vision came back, she figured she was in a forest- definitely very odd since she'd been home in her apartment last she could remember. And they weren't pretty, little trees like the ones in Castelia Park. These were ancient, enormous things, the sort of tree you couldn't cut down without contracting some sort of lifelong forest curse. There were a few stars out in the murky, bruise colored sky. Weak, flickering little things. And on the ground a few feet away was an unconscious pokemon.

Oh!

Okay, it was coming together! She'd bounced off a pokemon that had graciously saved her life. Nice. It looked sort of large, like a big zangoose, and was slumped over unconscious on the forest floor. Sweating and chewing her lip, she tentatively crept over and gave the pokemon a kick. “H-hey! Are you okay?”

A groan, and the pokemon shifted. Cool, that was a good sign! She definitely didn't have the money to take this thing to a Pokemon Center. But as the pokemon twitched and shifted into an upright position, Elaine's eyes finally adjusted to the dark, and she realized it wasn't a zangoose at all, but in fact-

"A giant oshawott?!” Elaine scrambled back, eyes wide and mouth agape as she took in the bizarre spectacle before her. What in the dragon's name was this?! Oshawotts were little things! Trainers had them on their shoulders all the time! But this creature was taller than her, it must've been a good six feet! What idiot god had allowed this thing to come into the world?!

“Aaauuughhh...” And the weird got weirder. The oshawott rubbed its head, blinked its eyes, grit its teeth, and said, “What in the Sun's name... ?”

Elaine's entire body ran cold. She knew this was the part where she should scream, or take the Dragon's will into her own hands and kill it with fire, but she couldn't even move. And when the oshawott fixed its gaze on her and its face twisted with anger, her body flashed colder.

“Y-you!” It jumped to its feet- not without wincing- stormed up to her, and jabbed its paw at her nose. Its eyes flashed like the growlithes on the Castelia streets after you threw enough rocks at them. “Did you land on me?! I was in the middle of something! Do you have any idea what you've done?!”

Elaine tried to sputter out a word, but her brain felt like someone had dumped a bunch of purrloins in it and shaken it up. All that came out of her mouth was incomprehensible stuttering. The oshawott snarled. “Don't you have anything to say for yourself?!”

Elaine squeaked, “H-h-h-” The oshawott's big, navy blue ears turned upwards as she finally squealed out a question. “H-h- Y-you talk? Wh... ? H-how...?”

As if enraged by her stuttering, the oshawott yanked the hood of his cloak and roared. “For the SUN'S SAKE, if you were going to fall from the sky, you could have at least hit the ground instead of me and saved me the trouble! Where did you even come from?!”

Suddenly feeling very, very afraid, Elaine brought her legs closer to her body and hunched down. She'd already been scared, but this absolutely wasn't helping. She trembled, and her lips twisted up. “I'm s-sorry. I-I-I think I'm lost... I don't... I was in Castelia, I think? I...” She looked up at the dark sky. “I fell, didn't I?”

“Yes, and I have the bump to prove it,” the oshawott spat. It- he? Its voice was kinda boyish- took a step back so not to be right in her face. He was now looking at her less like a nuisance and more like a pitiable, lost kid. Though his eyes were still flashing, his snarl fell away. “I apologize. It's unbecoming of a member of the Church to behave this way. I'm just...” He started to move away. “Okay, normally, I'd be more willing to stay and assist you, but a very important parcel of mine was stolen. You've held me up long enough, Tepig!” The oshawott whirled around and started bounding into the underbrush on four legs, but he quickly skid to a halt. His ears and tail stood up straight, and he whirled around with eyes wide as saucers. “Tepig...”

“T-tepig?” Elaine asked. What was he talking about?

Oshawott approached her tentatively on all fours, his hackles raised. He stared at her like she was the giant, talking, church-going pokemon in a cloak. He scrunched his nose and curled his big, fluffy tail down onto his back. “I... You're a fire-type...”

Elaine stepped back. She was practically drenched in sweat. Why was it so hot? “I-I'm not any type? I mean, Steven says we should count as normal-types, but-”

Oshawott stepped up close, a little closer than Elaine appreciated, and scrutinized her like a diamond in a glass case. His eyes glittered. “I haven't seen a fire-type in years, not since... They say they're all gone.”

“I'm not a fire-ty-”

He spun away from her. “B-b-but it's impossible, a fire-type shouldn't be physically able to-”

“Oshawott, PLEASE!”

He jumped and spun around at her sudden shout. Elaine didn't appreciate that his cloak hit her in the nose as he spun, but she didn't bother to complain. She stormed up to him and thrust her nose at his face. “Stop saying I'm a fire-type! I'm human, you hear? Human! So stop saying that!”

She hadn't known what she'd expected Oshawott to say. An apology, maybe? But Oshawott simply gave her a grim, confused look and murmured, “No, you aren't.”

Something jolted in Elaine. She grit her teeth. “Y-yes, I am!”

“You're not! You're a tepig!” Oshawott sucked in a gasping breath and spat out a mouthful of water at their feet. Elaine jumped back and shivered. She did not get the appeal of water-types; every gosh darn attack looked like they were throwing up! But a puddle filled at their feet, and Oshawott gestured a paw towards it and crossed his arms. “Take a look if you don't believe me.”

Elaine hesitated. She knew what she looked like. Yeah, she was pretty ugly, but all her life, she could look in the mirror and at least know what to expect. Brown skin, browner hair, even browner freckles. Yeah, she was fat and her collarbones weren't symmetrical (Mom always said she was imagining that but she was NOT) and her eyebrows were a jungle, but it was her face. Her body. She'd rather see a hot mess in the mirror than something that wasn't even her.

Elaine looked in the puddle, but Elaine didn't look back. The face in the pond was the orange, black-spotted, red-nosed face of a tepig.

Her brain cracked into eight pieces. Elaine began to shudder, and hot and cold flashes raced through her body. Her head was spinning. “H-hey!” She heard Oshawott cry, but she couldn't even answer and stumbled instead, nearly lurching to the ground. She landed in something soft, and her head cleared for a moment to see Oshawott had caught her. His eyes were wide, as if her freaking out was making him freak out.

“Please don't panic, Tepig.”

He let her down to the ground gently, and Elaine curled in on herself. She was still shivering bad, and she felt feverish. She could feel every inch of her body and not in a good way. In a very, very bad way, like the feeling you got after getting home from the pediatrician that kept telling you to cut all the carbs out of your diet and go to the gym. The four stubby legs, the hooves, the big Dumbo ears, the snout, the curly-Q tail. She wanted to claw her own skin off, but she didn't even have nails anymore.

“You're still panicking,” Oshawott muttered. Tentatively, he crouched down next to her. Elaine figured it was supposed to be a comforting gesture, but the feel of his fur against her side was like durants crawling on her skin. “I know this is strange. Trust me, meeting a pokemon who claims to be a human-”

“I am a human!” she spat.

“- is one of the weirder parts of my day. But if you are a human, it would mean you're from another world, which...” He trailed off. His eyes widened, like an idea had struck him, and Oshawott gave her a strange, scrutinizing look. Looking cautious, he leaned over her. “Forgive me, I know this is immensely forward, but may I have permission to ask your name?”

She chewed on her lip. “M-my name's Elaine.”

For a long, inescapable moment, Oshawott stared at her. His eyes grew wider and wider, like white full moons, and his lips parted. Elaine shifted away from him, unsure if she should start running or not. But then, Oshawott's face broke into a wide, lip-splitting grin. His eyes sparkled with the light of a thousand suns, and he jumped to her so suddenly that Elaine yelped. “It's you!”

“M-m-me?” Elaine crouched low to the ground and backed away.

“You! You're the Savior! Ahahahaha, YES!” Oshawott bounced away and began to spring around the clearing like an overexcited buneary. Elaine had to scramble out of his way just to avoid getting smacked into. He giggled like a maniac; more laughter was spilling out of him than Elaine had thought he could hold. Finally, he stopped and bounded back up to her.

“You! Finally, finally, FINALLY, I've been waiting so long!” He grabbed her cheeks in his paws and pulled her face up an inch from his, scrutinizing her hard. “Smaller and a lot more patches than I expected, but what's it matter! You're here!” He tossed her aside, and as Elaine bit her lip and tried hard not to get offended at the lots of patches comment, he started to sniffle.

“Can you please tell me what you're talking about?” Elaine asked, rubbing her cheeks with her hooves. Sadly, it didn't do much for the soreness; the hooves just seemed to make it worse. “What Savior? What do you mean?”

“You're the Savior! You've been brought here to save the world, just as the Great Prophetess foretold!” Oshawott cheered. His teary eyes widened, like he'd realized something, and he suddenly bowed and touched his nose to the ground. “Forgive me for not even introducing myself! My name is Catrin. And as the first pokemon to meet you upon your arrival in the world, I suppose I...” His eyes widened even further, and a giddy little smile tugged at his lips. “I suppose that makes me your prophesized guide?”

Elaine backed away from him, huffed, and stamped her hooves on the ground. Dragon forbid, this pokemon was so frustrating! “I'm not a savior and I don't need a guide! I just need to go home! Can you please help me-”

Elaine and Catrin fell silent as a faint howl drifted in the air above them. Catrin looked up, his ears pricked, eyes alert, and Elaine shrank down. “I-i-is that an arcanine?”

Catrin snarled. Elaine didn't remember ever being scared of an oshawott, but up close, those white, razor sharp teeth were not cute. “Mightyena. But if we can hear them, that means they're still close!” He turned to face her and adjusted his dark red hood. “Savior, I need you to come with me! Those bandits stole my parcel that I need to retrieve, but once I do, I promise I'll explain everything. Your transformation, your destiny, all of it. Can you trust me just for a short while?”

Elaine hesitated. She did not trust Catrin, whether he was lying or not. He was pushy and self-absorbed, and her skin was still crawling from that patches comment. She didn't understand what he meant by the Savior or the pokemon world. She had no idea where she even was! How far from Castelia could she have gotten in just one night? All she wanted was to get home, preferably before morning because Mom would kill her if she missed school. But if Catrin really did have answers, maybe he could help her get home. She didn't like him at all, but it was worth a shot.

“Alright. I'll come with you, and I'll help you get your stuff back. But afterwards, answers. Okay?”

Catrin grinned. “Of course! I would never break a promise to you, Savior!” He turned to look at a looming shape above. Elaine hadn't seen it in the dark, but it looked like a mountain. “The howl sounded like it came from Ragged Mountain. Once we get there, those thieves won't know what hit them!” His cloak flapped like a bird's wing as he sprang off into the underbrush. “Follow me, Savior!”

Elaine didn't want to follow him. She'd rather do a lot of other things than follow him. But it couldn't hurt, right? She took a deep breath and coughed when smoke came up out of her lungs. Things really were different now...

But she had to suck it up for now. She just had to suck it up. So, Elaine puffed out her chest and followed Catrin into the night.

 
Last edited:

Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
It's here! :D

I didn't know that there would be art too, though. :o

I may have forgotten to say this before, but I love your version of the PMD trope of the partner going head over heels to befriend the super cool alien I mean Hero. It looks like this savior needs some training, though...

I don't know how I missed this, but your hero and partner were randomized!? I'm glad you didn't get Snivy. Gates To Infinity's bosses are not kind to it... ><
 

Polymori

A Hot Mess
Artist
Pokédex No.
122
Caught
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Johto
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
He/Him or They/Them~
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Perpetually confused. Perpetually anxious.
Wow! This sounds so interesting and its written! I know just how amazing an author you are, so keeping tabs on this.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
I chose Snivy when I played Gates to Infinity, and I don't remember it being particularly difficult (at least not compared to other PMD games I've played, but that's because GtI is pretty much the easiest PMD game). Of course, I played it when it first came out, so that was six years ago... six years ago? How time flies!

The game holds a special place in my heart because it was the first 3D Pokemon game I ever played, and also the first PMD game I ever played.

Getting back on topic, I'm intrigued by the premise of this dungeonlocke, and am looking forward to seeing what happens in this world without a sun. How do the plants and Pokemon survive, though?
 

pkmnMasterWheeler

Well-known member
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
79
Caught
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
232
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Cute
As was long prophesied, Mouse has finally come in and bestowed upon us a written Dungeonlocke, and all the peoples rejoiced!~

Don't worry Elaine, you may have lost your opposable thumb card, but now you can breathe fire and are super adorable!~ A fair trade if I do say so myself!~ Plus you get to save the world!~ All that responsibility, everyones hopes and dreams resting on your shoulders. Exhilarating!~ Also it's nice to see Catrin getting to smile after brooding about how awful the world was and getting his stuff stolen
 

Uberle

Lur King
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
209
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
96
Nature
Lax
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Fire
Pokédex Entry
Stays in the distortion dimension where no one bother him
Ahem
Yes
Just
Yes

Alright where to start

I like the split perspectives, starting with a Oshawott with a very negative opinion of the world and then with a very very confused Tepig
I love how different these two are in personality and how the story is told through their points of view

Both have very good imagery
Really liking some of the visuals I make while reading this

Catrin’s part seems very focused to what is happening now while in comparison Elaine tends to apply her past to the present
Like how there’s a very detailed description of what Catrin is feeling in the moment meanwhile Elaine keeps mentioning details from her past
We know a lot about Elaine and her human life already, but Catrin’s history is a lot more in the dark.

Ok I’m gonna stop my comment now or else I’ll never finish
Basically this is amazing and I want more
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
61
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
586
Location
somewhere in Kalos
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
Woohoo I love this!!!
Worldbuilding, also very good narration, (I smiled at the little things like the "unflattering pile of Elaine"), can't wait to see how PMD nuzlocke will work, I'm sorry I can't come up with more words right now but I'll be sure to take my time to comment in all future updates!!
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Oh my goodness! So many comments! :O So many replies to make!

It's here! :D

I didn't know that there would be art too, though. :o

I may have forgotten to say this before, but I love your version of the PMD trope of the partner going head over heels to befriend the super cool alien I mean Hero. It looks like this savior needs some training, though...

I don't know how I missed this, but your hero and partner were randomized!? I'm glad you didn't get Snivy. Gates To Infinity's bosses are not kind to it... ><
Yee! Now that I have art powers, I can use them for my literature too! It feels awesome! :D And yeah, the Hero and Partner were randomized! I got tepig from the RNG but was originally going to roll again, because I'd played as tepig in my last casual run of GtI. But I'm extremely glad I stuck with it cause damn it was good for the story. I haven't played as snivy in GtI yet, maybe I should try it out... Makes sense it has a hard time with bosses, GtI has quite a few poison, bug, and ice bosses.

Wow! This sounds so interesting and its written! I know just how amazing an author you are, so keeping tabs on this.
Thanks! Admittedly having you following along with this written story feels.. right

I chose Snivy when I played Gates to Infinity, and I don't remember it being particularly difficult (at least not compared to other PMD games I've played, but that's because GtI is pretty much the easiest PMD game). Of course, I played it when it first came out, so that was six years ago... six years ago? How time flies!

The game holds a special place in my heart because it was the first 3D Pokemon game I ever played, and also the first PMD game I ever played.

Getting back on topic, I'm intrigued by the premise of this dungeonlocke, and am looking forward to seeing what happens in this world without a sun. How do the plants and Pokemon survive, though?
Trollkitten, your appreciation for GtI always gives me so much life. :3 It's a terribly underrated PMD game in my opinion. It gave me the tools to make something I think is gonna be really cool!

As for your worldbuilding questions, the vast majority of the world's plants are all long since dead. The pokemon are, ah, barely surviving...

As was long prophesied, Mouse has finally come in and bestowed upon us a written Dungeonlocke, and all the peoples rejoiced!~

Don't worry Elaine, you may have lost your opposable thumb card, but now you can breathe fire and are super adorable!~ A fair trade if I do say so myself!~ Plus you get to save the world!~ All that responsibility, everyones hopes and dreams resting on your shoulders. Exhilarating!~ Also it's nice to see Catrin getting to smile after brooding about how awful the world was and getting his stuff stolen
Glad to fulfill the prophecy! ^w^

Relish in Catrin's happy moments, because they are few and far between. :'D As for Elaine, I'm uncertain she didn't get the short end of the stick...

Wow, this looks really interesting and it's written so well. I'm very curious to see a PMD journey here.
Thank you very much! I hope you like what I have in store!

Ahem
Yes
Just
Yes

Alright where to start

I like the split perspectives, starting with a Oshawott with a very negative opinion of the world and then with a very very confused Tepig
I love how different these two are in personality and how the story is told through their points of view

Both have very good imagery
Really liking some of the visuals I make while reading this

Catrin’s part seems very focused to what is happening now while in comparison Elaine tends to apply her past to the present
Like how there’s a very detailed description of what Catrin is feeling in the moment meanwhile Elaine keeps mentioning details from her past
We know a lot about Elaine and her human life already, but Catrin’s history is a lot more in the dark.

Ok I’m gonna stop my comment now or else I’ll never finish
Basically this is amazing and I want more
Ah, thank you for the absolutely lovely comment! It's nice to see a reader so engaged! :D Catrin's and Elaine's narration styles certainly have their differences~ Though I wonder if Catrin's may have been altered by the upsetting situation he was in. Either way, indeed, one of our POV characters has been much more open with their history than the other. I wonder what that's about!

Woohoo I love this!!!
Worldbuilding, also very good narration, (I smiled at the little things like the "unflattering pile of Elaine"), can't wait to see how PMD nuzlocke will work, I'm sorry I can't come up with more words right now but I'll be sure to take my time to comment in all future updates!!
Thanks so much, Rubombee! I've been taking new inspiration in for writing narration, so I'm glad to hear it's paying off at least somewhat! Dungeonlockes are certainly different from main series nuzlockes, but they're a TON OF FUN! I had a great time nuzlocking GtI!

I also just wanna say, thank you to everyone who gave this storylocke a warm welcome. ^w^ I'm known as a comic artist around these parts, but my true passion really is writing, which I've been doing for ten years as opposed to the one year I've been comicking. I've wanted to write storylockes for YEARS! For far longer than any of my nuzlocke comics were even ideas! But I never pursued it, because I didn't think a written nuzlocke would be anything that anyone would bother to look at in the flood of all the awesome nuzlocke comics there are. But then I found the storylocke community, and the existence of a place where people read written nuzlockes and encourage writers, it honestly meant the absolute world. I'm feeling the confidence to post a written work online for the first time in a good many years, and I've never gotten this sort of reception before. So really, thank you!!!

I'm hoping to update Solstice once a week on Wednesdays. So stay tuned until then!
 

cyndakip

stuck in reverse
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
103
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely ridiculous. Icon by https://rileykitty.tumblr.com!
I'm so glad you've found your way to the storylocke community! But how dare you be so good at art AND writing? have I mentioned that your banner looks amazing

This is a really cool idea for a story, and it's off to a great start! I love Catrin's quick transformation from "the world is irredeemably terrible and I hate everything" to jumping around and laughing with joy as soon as a fire-type shows up, haha. Also love the things like "Mewtube" and " her brain felt like someone had dumped a bunch of purrloins in it and shaken it up"!

I'm excited to see where you're going with this!
 

TerryTheTeryx

Smol Dino Who Also Likes Birbs
Pokédex No.
358
Caught
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Pokémon Square
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Grass, Steel
Pokédex Entry
A bizarre Pokémon who dislikes many social activities. She may be lured out of her residential cave with peanut butter.
I honestly don't know what to say, but I really really love this?? Awesome job?? You're doin' great?? I'm lowkey jealous??
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
I'm so glad you've found your way to the storylocke community! But how dare you be so good at art AND writing? have I mentioned that your banner looks amazing

This is a really cool idea for a story, and it's off to a great start! I love Catrin's quick transformation from "the world is irredeemably terrible and I hate everything" to jumping around and laughing with joy as soon as a fire-type shows up, haha. Also love the things like "Mewtube" and " her brain felt like someone had dumped a bunch of purrloins in it and shaken it up"!

I'm excited to see where you're going with this!
ksdfjhhsdkj Thank you! I don't know if I'd say my art is that good, but I at least like to stand behind my writing. ;;^^ I'm glad you're liking it so far!

I honestly don't know what to say, but I really really love this?? Awesome job?? You're doin' great?? I'm lowkey jealous??
Thank you! :D
Just as an update, I wanna apologize that there's no art to go with today's chapter! ;v; I'm having problems with my arm right now, so I can't draw any. I hope you all enjoy this chapter regardless!



Chapter Two: They Fight Like Beasts
“Here we are.” Catrin came to a stop and stood up on his haunches, and Elaine joined him at the forest's edge. It was so dark she could hardly see a thing, but since pokemon had good night vision, she trusted Catrin to at least guide her through the forest without bumping into any trees. (She did bump into trees. Two, in fact, but she wasn't going to be mad about it.) Out of the woods, she could at least see a little better. There was a dirt road ahead and a bridge further in the distance. But the real thing that drew her attention was the looming mountain. In the night, it was black as a shadow, and it made Elaine's heart thump. You could see mountains far in the distance on the Castelia rooftops, but she'd never been so close to one.

“Ragged Mountain,” Catrin said. “The caves are known to become mystery dungeons spontaneously, but I didn't hear any reports of it before I came to this region. It should be safe.”

“A mystery what?” Elaine asked.

“I'll explain later.” Elaine winced at the snap in his tone, and he looked down apologetically and lowered his ears. “Ah, I mean, er... I apologize for my tone, Savior! A mystery dungeon is-”

“It's alright, you can tell me later,” Elaine said. “So, the bandits are up there?” She lifted a hoof and gestured to the mountain.

“Should be. It certainly sounded like they were here, from that howl.” Catrin lowered himself onto all fours and pulled his hood lower over his forehead. His big, circular ears poked out from two slits in the hood, and Elaine's heart skipped a beat. Okay, no matter how rude this oshawott could be, that was adorable! “We need to be careful here. There's no cover at the mountain's base. They can spot us and lay an ambush.”

Elaine grit her teeth and gulped. She was not in the mood to be ambushed by crazy pokemon today! Especially since she was a lot smaller than she was used to. If a pokemon could kill her easy as a human, she didn't want to imagine what they could do to a little, patchy tepig. “So, then! What do we do?”

“Stay close to me.”

Catrin slunk out of the bushes like a purrloin and crept along the edge of the underbrush. Elaine followed him, though she didn't feel near as stealthy. Catrin was sleek and thin, but her new body was clunky and pudgy, and she scraped against the underbrush and snapped every twig underfoot (underhoof?). At one point, Catrin shot a glare back at her. “A little quieter, if you will?” he hissed.

“It's not exactly easy being a tepig!” Elaine huffed back.

They neared the base of the mountain, and the ground began to slope upwards. The trees fell behind them, and Elaine felt only rock and dead grass underfoot as they crept uphill. As she followed Catrin, Elaine used the height to get a better look around. The world was made of silhouettes; everything from the trees to the mountains to the river below was nothing more than a black shadow under a purplish night. The sky itself was the color of a bruise, with just a few flickering stars and the black sphere of a moon. Sadness passed through Elaine, looking at it all. Nights in Castelia City were bright and beautiful. Yeah, scientists were in a huge tizzy over light pollution, but you didn't need stars when the city lights breathed life into the night. The streetlamps and yellow windows and bright blue billboards were like spirits coming out to play. You never had to be scared of the dark. But here, there were no spirits. It felt like the sun had gone down and the world had died. No breath.

She really needed to stop letting her mind wander and freak herself out.

Elaine gulped, and her lip quivered. "H-hey, Catrin-"

“Here.” Catrin's whisper cut her off. She looked up to realize they'd come to a gaping, dark hole in the mountainside. Elaine had figured the mountain was as black as black could get, but turns out it could get darker. Good. Cool. Catrin sniffed at the air, and his tail swished. “I smell them in here.”

Elaine sniffed, but all she could smell was dead grass and dew. Good to know her chunky tepig body didn't come with heightened pokemon senses. Lovely. “So, what's the plan? We go in, shoot some water, and done?”

Catrin narrowed his eyes at her, like he couldn't tell if she was making fun of him or not. Elaine wasn't, but she didn't mind him thinking otherwise. “I'd prefer not to get killed, Savior. If anything, it'd be ideal if we weren't spotted. Sneak in, sneak out. But they'll probably smell us before we get that far.”

“So what do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?”

Catrin blinked at her. “Is that code... ?” Elaine broke into a fit of giggles, and his face heated up as he smacked at her with his paw. “Savior, please focus! I think the best plan is if I go first and distract them. I hate to ask this of you, but can you grab my parcel while I have their attention?”

Elaine's eyes widened. “Wh- Dude, I dunno! I'm not used to this body yet, a-and they've got a dog in there, a-and...”

“Savior, please, I need you to help me. If I don't get that parcel back...” Catrin's voice trailed off. He curled his claws in and grimaced.

Elaine wanted to keep arguing, but the look on Catrin's face... Just how important was this parcel? She could feel an iron ball of anxiety sitting in her chest, but she swallowed it. “Fine, fine. I'll follow your lead, okay?”

Catrin's eyes sparkled with gratitude. “Thank you so much, Savior. You really are as selfless as the Great Prophetess foretold!” Elaine shifted her weight, not really sure what to make of that, but Catrin didn't notice her discomfort. “We'll need to disguise your scent. So, here.”

He grabbed his cloak with his paws and, after a moment of hesitation, pulled the hood over his head and dropped it on Elaine's back. It landed with a fwump and fell over her eyes. She had to buck her head just to get the hood out of her face. “You're giving me your cloak? But, I don't wanna get it dirty!”

“Keeping you safe is more important, Savior,” he said, though his voice wasn't very convincing. He stared at after his cloak like he'd given Elaine his baby to hold. “Just, be careful with it, okay? I can't get another one.”

With a hoof, Elaine nosed her way into the hood. Her dumbo ears barely fit in it, but at least it'd stay. “I will. I promise.”

“Thank you, Savior. Now, follow me. My parcel is the brown cloth bag; you'll know it when you see it.” On all fours, Catrin slunk into the cave, and Elaine followed.

The caverns of Ragged Mountain were as pitch black as the world outside. The rock was slick underfoot, and Elaine could feel drip drops plunking her back through the cloak. It was heavy over her body, like the lead blankets the doctors put over you during X-rays, but the material just felt like thick, velvety cloth. Being in the cave was like journeying through the belly of a wailord. If she squinted hard at the gray ceiling, the cracks and curves in the rock looked like a giant rib cage.

“Not a mystery dungeon. Good,” Catrin whispered. They padded a few more feet, and then he stopped and lifted his tail. “Up ahead. Do you hear?”

Elaine, up to this point, hadn't heard anything over the sloshing of their footsteps through the puddles. But now, she shifted her ears (she could move her ears now. She wasn't sure whether she liked that or despised it) and listened. She heard it up ahead, just barely: the faint sound of voices.

Catrin glanced at her and gestured forward with a nod, and they continued on.

Growing closer, there were three distinct voices echoing off the rock. One deep and gruff, one high and shrieking, one nasally and whining. A flickering orange light appeared up ahead, the first light Elaine had seen since coming to this world, and she breathed it in like a fresh breath of ocean air. They came to a bend in the tunnel. Elaine and Catrin ducked behind a stalactite and, as quietly as possible, peered out into the clearing.

Three pokemon were huddled close together in a circle of stalactites. Elaine spotted a golbat with a missing fang and a scar over its cheek, a misdreavus in some sort of black cloak (how was it wearing a cloak, it was a ghost-type?), and... Elaine's heart jerked when she spotted the mightyena. Its muzzle was mangled with faded scars and bare of fur, and one of its fangs had been replaced with a wiggly, gray rock. She started to sweat, but Catrin brushed her gently with his tail and gestured out into the clearing with a nod. And Elaine spotted it. The golbat was perched on a brown cloth bag. The parcel!

Elaine took a few deep breaths. It'd be fine, it was just a dog! Just a dog. Catrin nodded to her, and she gave a shaky nod back. Taking a deep breath, he sprang out into the open. “Hey, you three!”

The bandits looked up in surprise, and then their lips curled into devious grins. “Well, well, if it isn't the little church boy!” cooed Misdreavus.

“Took ya long enough! Nyeeheehee!” Golbat squawked.

Elaine could see Catrin was trembling, just slightly, but he grit his teeth and held his ground. He stalked forward on all fours. The mightyena grabbed hold of the parcel with its claws and slid it further back into the cave, and the three bandits stalked forward to meet Catrin. “So, decided to come, little church boy? I thought you'd at least have the sense to know when you'd been beaten. I was gonna let you go without no blood, but if the rattata walks itself into the ninetales's mouth, who am I to refuse?” Its voice was deep as the rock and tunneled through Elaine's chest.

Catrin stalked around the trio of bandits in a circle, and they turned to keep him in sight. It just looked like drama to Elaine at first, but then she realized. He was turning them away from her! She took another deep breath, and once they were turned away enough, she snuck along the stone wall of the cave towards the bag.

“You thieves should know that stealing from a pokemon of the Church is a violation of the Third Verse of the Solar Texts. Such a crime can b-bring... bring the Sun's wrath unto you.” His words started as a confident growl, but his voice wavered halfway through.

When the mightyena barked a guffaw, Elaine nearly leaped out of her skin, but she continued to sneak. “BWAHAHAHA! The sun's wrath? What bloody sun is going to touch us, you big-nosed fool?”

Catrin grimaced. His eyes, strong as iron just a few seconds ago, now looked weak and vulnerable. “Wh-when it returns-”

“Idiot!” The mightyena swiped its claws so fast that all Elaine saw was a blur, and Catrin was on the ground in a second. He cried out, and his body tightened as he clutched his cheek. Elaine's heart nearly leapt right up her throat. Her friends had gotten into fights before, but never her, her Mom would kill her if she ever got suspended. Should she intervene? Stick to the plan? Oh Dragon, what should she do?!

But Catrin swished his tail, pointing her on, and she knew she had to keep going. She was so close now, just a few feet away. Elaine crept on as the bandits stalked towards Catrin. “You should never have come to this neck of the woods, church boy.” The mightyena's growl rolled across the floor like thunder. “We don't need your kind here. Trying to leech the last fruit in the land for the sake of something that no longer exists. Fueling false hope into a dying people with promises of a prophecy and a savior!” Elaine looked up at that, but when the mightyena suddenly barked, she jumped as the whole cavern vibrated. “YOU HAD NO RIGHT TO EVEN COME AFTER US! YOU DON'T EVEN DESERVE THE FUR ON YOUR BACK!”

Elaine's whole body was shaking, but she tiptoed the last couple of feet and reached the parcel. She grabbed it in her teeth (after trying to grab it with her hooves, which obviously didn't work) and glanced over at Catrin. Across the room, he rolled onto his back and sat up. Elaine's breath hitched at the sight of his bloodied cheek fur, but his teeth were bared, and his eyes narrowed in blazing hatred. “The Church is no evil. Pokemon like you are everything that's wrong with this damned world! Savior, NOW!”

Elaine jumped out of her skin. What?! What did he want her to do?! But within a second, she got her answer. Catrin's chest heaved, and a blast of water erupted from his mouth and sniped the golbat out of the air. The torch in his foot extinguished in an instant, and blackness engulfed the cave like a leaping fog. The bandits cried out in surprise, and Catrin shouted, “This way, Savior!” from ahead. She could hear pounding footsteps, and she had no idea what was happening in the dark, but Elaine broke into a run. The parcel flying out behind her, she dodged around the spinning shapes of pokemon and followed Catrin back through the tunnel.

Elaine and Catrin's feet thundered against the slick rock. Right away, she heard yelling and baying behind them. The tunnel was pitch black, but their pursuers' thundering pawsteps and wing flaps were a deafening roar in Elaine's ears. Every step nearly sent her spinning to the floor, and keeping her hooves straight on the wet rock was near impossible. But finally, light (in a relative sense) appeared up ahead, and Elaine and Catrin burst from the mountain.

“GET BACK HERE, YOU SNOT-NOSED PUNKS!” The mightyena's booming bay erupted from the cave mouth.

Elaine's heart clenched at the roar, but Catrin shouted, “Keep running!” and she managed to sprint after him down the mountainside. They dodged through outcrops of rock and scraggly mountain shrubs. Catrin wove through as elegantly as a basculin through water. Elaine managed to bump her nose on every branch.

“We need to get across the river! If we can get to Post Town-”

“STOP RIGHT THERE!” The thunderous roar split the sky above, and Elaine glanced back to see the mightyena and its goons erupting from the cave and charging down the mountain after them. Golbat's fangs were bared, and Misdreavus's eyes glowed bright red in the night. Catrin shot back a glare and snarled in frustration. As soon as he and Elaine jumped down to flat ground, she followed him along the dirt road towards the river. They moved to cross the bridge, but-

“Stop!” Catrin shouted just in time for Elaine to grind her hooves into the dirt and skid to a halt before she went flying into the water. The remains of a wooden bridge were still intact along each bank, but the structure had collapsed into the river. The old wooden planks were water-logged flotsam jutting up from the frothing white. They were trapped.

Catrin's eyes blazed, and his fangs ground against each other. He stared at the river, his muscles pulsing, but with a glance at Elaine, he growled, “Dammit!” and spun around to face their attackers.

Elaine wasn't particularly bright, but she didn't have to be valedictorian to put it together. “Just swim across and go! I'll figure something else out!”

“What are you, nuts!? I can't abandon the Savior!” Catrin stood up on his haunches, grabbed the shell off his chest, and brandished it like a knife. “Just get behind me!” And Elaine, against her better conscience, did exactly that.

The mightyena and its goons were coming fast. Within seconds, they were down the mountain and pounding down the dirt road. “I'LL KILL YOU FOR THAT LITTLE STUNT!” The mightyena's roar shook the ground beneath them.

“Come and GET SOME!” Catrin roared back. His voice wasn't near as loud and higher pitched, but there was a deep anger in it that made it boom across the clearing. The mightyena lunged through the air, and shell flashing in the faint starlight, Catrin sprang.

They met in mid air, and the fight exploded. Fur and specks of blood rained everywhere as Catrin and the mightyena ripped and tore at each other. Even Golbat and Misdreavus stepped back to give berth to the flying claws. Elaine's chest tightened with terror. This didn't have one shred of the elegance seen in a normal pokemon battle. In her world, pokemon fought along their trainers to show off their prowess, wow the crowd with awesome moves, put on beautiful displays of battle. But this wasn't battle, it was violence. All the pomp and prettiness went out the window as these pokemon fought for the sole purpose of ripping each other apart.

They rolled across the dirt road, mightyena clawing and biting, Catrin hacking away with his claws and shell. His chest heaved as he launched a water gun that knocked the mightyena off its feet, and Catrin leapt and hacked at the mightyena's belly with the sharpened blade of his shell. The mightyena squealed and smacked Catrin aside with a heavy paw. The oshawott rolled through the dirt for only a second before jumping back to his feet and throwing himself at the mightyena's face. Catrin was nothing like the cute little oshawotts dancing their ways through battles back home. He was absolutely feral! He hissed and spat like an enraged animal, relentless in his attacks. He was little but fought with the force of a hurricane!

But as he clawed for the mightyena's eyes, the hound's entire body heaved in rage, and a bellow erupted from its throat. “Goddammit, ENOUGH!” Catrin cried out as the mightyena body-slammed him to the ground and pinned him down with two heavy paws. Catrin's shell skipped across the ground like a stone on a pond and fell into the brown grass on the other side of the road. Catrin hissed and tried to wriggle out, but the mightyena pushed him into the ground and roared like a dragon. “YOU'RE DEAD FOR THIS!”

“Catrin!” Elaine cried. The mightyena ignored her, but Golbat and Misdreavus spun around like they'd just remembered she existed. Apparently, they'd been as entranced by the fight as she'd been. Elaine knew she had to help Catrin, she had to do something! But the goons apparently knew what she was up to, for they circled in on her, eyes flashing.

“You ain't goin' anywhere, sweet cheeks,” Golbat trilled.

“Should've known not to mess with us!”

Elaine took a hasty step back, and a spike of anxiety shot through her heart when her hoof nearly slipped against the rocky edge of the river. “L-l-look! Can't we all just get along? We don't have to-” Another cry of pain from Catrin cut her voice short, and she grit her teeth. She didn't have time for this, she had to move!

Shouting “GRAAAAAAAAH,” Elaine barreled forward. She slammed through the goons, headbutting Golbat out of the sky when he tried to block her, and charged the mightyena. Blood racing and heart pulsing, she leapt. SLAM! A snap of pain shot through her neck as she connected with the mightyena's flank. It yelped in surprise as the two of them bowled over onto the dirt.

Within seconds, Catrin was on his feet. Elaine gasped at the sight of him! His fur was soaked in blood, and he was badly scratched up on his shoulders and back, but he didn't even seem to feel it. His whole body heaved with rage, and the cute, fluffy oshawott face twisted into something mean and hungry for blood. Elaine felt his fury with all the force of a lightning storm: massive and oppressive and white hot, ready to lash out, attack, and destroy. The mightyena scrambled to its feet and crouched into an attack stance, fangs bared. Golbat and Misdreavus inched forward, and Elaine found herself frozen. The air crackled with tension. The pokemon stared each other down, eyes raging, claws flashing, all ready to spring!

“That's quite enough now!”

Just like that, the tension dropped out of the sky like a weight. All the pokemon swiveled around to see some sort of slimy water pokemon- a quagsire? That was a quagsire, right?- emerging from the river. It was a foot taller than the mightyena with a good amount of pudge and muscle packed under slippery gray skin. Its eyes were small and hard as rocks.

“This road is the property of Post Town and its adjacent properties.” Quagsire shambled into the middle of the ring on four legs and then stood up on its webbed hind feet. It slapped the ground with its tail and narrowed its eyes further. “It's ill-behaved of you all to be fighting like beasts so close to a town. Just who do you think you are?”

Elaine was stunned. All her logic told her that this quagsire was an idiot, stepping into the middle of a fight between two pokemon that could kill it easy. But this quagsire carried itself with all the grace and power of a reshiram. Catrin and the mightyena could turn on him, but Quagsire's demeanor denied the possibility. The other pokemon seemed to feel the same. The twisted lines of rage in Catrin's face dropped away, leaving him looking surprised and kinda awkward. The mightyena and its goons just looked confused. It didn't matter whether or not they could beat him; no one would try.

“Just who do you think you are, old man?” The mightyena's teeth were bared, but all the thunder was gone from its voice. Its eyes narrowed, like it was trying to figure out whether it was being pranked.

“I'm the groundskeeper of these parts. Or at least I like to think I am,” Quagsire shrugged. “Now, do you have business in Post Town, young mon?”

The mightyena was silent.

“No? I should hope there's not a reason for that. It's unbecoming of a young man such as yourself to have a poor reputation precede him.” The mightyena and its goons were all silent, an even mixture of confused, afraid, and confused as to why they were afraid. Quagsire waited a beat, then slapped his tail on the ground. “Off with you, then! Get on!”

For a moment, the mightyena and the goons were frozen in absolute shock. The mightyena looked like it was debating whether to pounce the newcomer, or if Quagsire had some hidden card up his sleeve. But then Misdreavus squeaked, “This isn't worth it. Let's just go,” and the three bandits ran off and dove into the dark woods.

Quagsire huffed and brushed off his front flippers. “Honestly. What poor company.” He then looked at Catrin, and a frown tugged at his lips. “And who are you two, then? More n'er-do-wells I should be chasing off, hmm?”

“A-actually!” Catrin approached Quagsire on his hind legs, wincing just a bit with each step. “I believe we may have spoken before. I sent a letter to the groundskeeper of Post Town about the available land? I'm with the Church of the Sun.”

Quagsire's eyes widened, and his face relaxed as something seemed to click. “Ah! Yes, Oshawott, I recall your letter quite well. You came from Noe Town, hmm?”

“That's correct."

“Very well, very well, I won't chase you off. Though I must say, hmm, your first impression pales in comparison to that of the well-kept church member I spoke to in letter. You look no different from those ruffians I chased off, all bloodied and battered.” Catrin's only response was to blush and turn his face away. Quagsire then turned to Elaine, and she near jumped in surprise. With all the commotion, she'd felt invisible. “And are you another member of the Church, hmm, Tepig?”

Elaine tried to answer, but her words all tripped over each other. “A-ah, um-”

“She's with me!” Catrin interrupted. “We ran into each other in the woods. I'm assisting her.”

Quagsire stared at Elaine hard for a good moment, making her squirm, but then he turned away. “Hmm, very well. Come with me, then. We'll need to get you patched up and cleaned, Oshawott, and then we can discuss business. Come along then, I'll help you across the river, Tepig. Welcome to Post Town!”

Quagsire ambled towards the river. With a fleeting glance at Elaine, Catrin grabbed his shell out of the grass, stuck it back to his chest, and walked after the groundskeeper. For a second, Elaine hesitated. Her legs were still shaking from that fight. Images of the mightyena and Catrin's face, bloodied and twisted with anger, kept flashing through her head. She glanced up at the sky, still black as a void. Wasn't it gonna be morning soon? But with a sigh, she grabbed the parcel off the ground in her teeth and followed Catrin and Quagsire towards the unknown.

 
Last edited:

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Ah, so SIR Quagsire appears. Just in the nick of time, too!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
537
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
*Quagsire voice* So this is a real estate venture, hmm?
 

JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
Is amazing to see a Quagsire being able to intimidate a bunch of bandits without much effort, but is priceless reading how Catrin fought the Mightyena like an absolute beast.
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Ah, so SIR Quagsire appears. Just in the nick of time, too!
The best character has arrived to save the day! :D

*Quagsire voice* So this is a real estate venture, hmm?
Heeheehee

Is amazing to see a Quagsire being able to intimidate a bunch of bandits without much effort, but is priceless reading how Catrin fought the Mightyena like an absolute beast.
Catrin is a lil cray cray :'D
 

Rhema

Well-known member
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
112
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
Just beautiful. I'm not one to read comics (I've heard excellent things about Finding Your Roots, though) AND I love PMD, so when I saw you put out a written story and it was a dungeonlocke, I just had to see what it was all about. Nothing here disappoints me in the slightest; your characters are already complex and three-dimensional, the writing is evocative, and you have me thirsting for more. So pumped to read more!
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
61
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
586
Location
somewhere in Kalos
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
Okay I'm reading this!! live reaction time

~~~~~

i mean i'm pretty sure i'd bump into trees too if i couldn't see a thing
adorable oshawott time!!
i can very much imagine them having a whole whisper argument there and i love it
catrin really is happy about ellaine being a savior, hm?
woah, that doctor x-ray thing? you really looking far for these analogies, i didn't even know about that
obligatory "golbat kinda sounds like papyrus"
okay i am on the edge of my seat here are they gonna spot her or not--
what the heck did the church do to make that mightyena so mad about it??
please please please please tell me nothing is gonna fall out of that parcel!!
that fight description is so freakin good BUT ALSO PLEASE DONT DIE?
YEEET the hell outta that golbat
ayy quagsire!! THANK YOU
yes we are friends please don't give us the death glare
he was kinda-- being attacked?
well- i'm not sure if morning still exists actually

Conclusion:
I LOVE your writing and I LOVE this story
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Just beautiful. I'm not one to read comics (I've heard excellent things about Finding Your Roots, though) AND I love PMD, so when I saw you put out a written story and it was a dungeonlocke, I just had to see what it was all about. Nothing here disappoints me in the slightest; your characters are already complex and three-dimensional, the writing is evocative, and you have me thirsting for more. So pumped to read more!
Thank you so much, Rhema! This is such a lovely and kindhearted comment. :'D I'm glad you're enjoying my work, and I hope you like what's to come! Again, thank you!

Okay I'm reading this!! live reaction time

~~~~~

i mean i'm pretty sure i'd bump into trees too if i couldn't see a thing
adorable oshawott time!!
i can very much imagine them having a whole whisper argument there and i love it
catrin really is happy about ellaine being a savior, hm?
woah, that doctor x-ray thing? you really looking far for these analogies, i didn't even know about that
obligatory "golbat kinda sounds like papyrus"
okay i am on the edge of my seat here are they gonna spot her or not--
what the heck did the church do to make that mightyena so mad about it??
please please please please tell me nothing is gonna fall out of that parcel!!
that fight description is so freakin good BUT ALSO PLEASE DONT DIE?
YEEET the hell outta that golbat
ayy quagsire!! THANK YOU
yes we are friends please don't give us the death glare
he was kinda-- being attacked?
well- i'm not sure if morning still exists actually

Conclusion:
I LOVE your writing and I LOVE this story
Oh yay, haha! I love it when people liveblog my stuff! And thank you for the incredibly kind compliments. ^/////^



Chapter Three: Welcome to Post Town
"Come along, this way, this way. My house is just over here."

Quagsire led Elaine and Catrin along a dirt road that wound its way north from Ragged Mountain. They'd been walking for about half an hour, and along the way, Elaine tried to take in more of the scenery (or at least as much as she could see from under Catrin's hood). The silhouettes of rolling hills stretched out as far as the eye can see, spotted with leafless, gnarled trees and the frames of bare evergreens. In the dark, it was hard to make much else out, but Elaine spotted ponds and brooks here and there, sandy-colored boulders jutting from the ground like hills, and far in the distance up ahead were the black silhouettes of mountains. Everything looked a grim dark gray in the night, and though she had no reason to suspect anything was wrong, Elaine couldn't help but feel like the land felt sickly. The atmosphere was so strange in this world, and every cell in her body ached to go home. But she was getting the feeling more and more that that wasn't going to happen any time soon.

They came to a crossroads, and Quagsire gestured to the western path with his flipper. "That way's Post Town. I'll let Swanna know you've arrived tomorrow. Follow me. My home is over here." He ambled down the eastern path, and Elaine and Catrin followed.

Elaine heard a soft hiss and looked up at Catrin. He was grimacing and digging his claws into his shoulder, and his whole body was tense like a wound-up spring. From the look of him, blood-soaked and sliced up on his shoulders and down his back, Elaine could imagine he was in a great deal of pain. She cleared her throat softly, and he didn't look at her, but his pricked ears told her he was probably listening. "You can lean on me if you're having trouble."

Catrin looked at her in surprise. After a brief moment of hesitation, he put an arm around her and rested some of his weight on her back. Elaine didn't like having the coppery smell of blood right up to her nose (snout?), but she was glad she could help.

They came towards a rocky area, where the land was peppered with giant, dull red boulders jutting up from the earth, and the ground underfoot was tough and rocky. The road wound through the massive rocks, and they came to a clearing. "Here we are," Quagsire announced. Elaine could see that the place was lived-in. A small house built out of a hollowed boulder sat underneath the scraggly wooden crown of a dead tree. There was a rocky pond choked with algae and an empty garden of dry soil, and the firelight from a torch bounced red light onto the surrounding boulders.

"I like your home!" Elaine said.

Quagsire's lips turned up in a smile. "Why, thank you! I've lived in this little place for decades now. It's nice and quiet here, hmm. I prefer it over the town." He led them over to the house and ducked inside while Catrin and Elaine waited outside. Elaine wondered if they should go in, but Catrin wasn't moving to, so she figured maybe there was some pokemon custom against going into other people's homes uninvited. Catrin shrugged himself off Elaine and plopped down onto the ground with a shaky exhale, and Elaine sat down at his side. She gave him a worried look, but he scrunched up his nose and turned away with a huff. So he only liked being worried over so long as he got to lean on someone, huh? Elaine shook her head.

Quagsire came back out with a package of what was probably medical supplies in one flipper and a water skin in the other. (She knew what those were from watching Thrones of Iron.) He sat down in front of Catrin, pulled a rag out of the package, and dabbed water on it from the skin. "We'll get you cleaned up first before we worry about bandaging."

"I-I could clean myself," Catrin stuttered. He was blushing like a kid who needed bandaging after falling out of a tree.

"When oshawotts can turn their heads all the way around, maybe. You'll never get it all out, and Swanna won't want you in her town smelling of blood. Turn around now." Quagsire's tone brokered no argument. With a glare, Catrin spun around and slumped back down, and Quagsire dabbed at his back with the rag.

Immediately, Catrin hissed in pain and lurched away from him. "Now, don't be jumping all over the place, Oshawott! Sit back down and behave yourself. You're a Church member, aren't you?"

Catrin snarled, but as if he'd realized himself, his face dropped, and he plopped himself back down. "S-sorry." He winced as Quagsire started to dab the blood out of his fur again, but he grit his teeth and stayed in place. "I'm sorry for making such a foul first impression. Fighting like a bandit... It's not how a Church member should behave."

"I don't judge you, Oshawott. I assume you had your reasons," Quagsire shrugged. "We all get into a tussle or two out in the country. You ought to get used to it. I'm at least glad to know you can hold your own."

Elaine saw Catrin relax, but he still didn't look exactly happy. He kneaded his front claws against the rocky ground. Quagsire then spoke again, and Elaine looked up in surprise as he addressed her.

"And you're an awful small little thing," Quagsire said. His eyes were like two small, black river stones, but there was incredible intelligence behind them. "A tepig, hmm? Haven't seen a fire-type in near five years, hmm, hmm."

Elaine was quiet, not really sure what to say. Catrin's ears perked up, and he glanced back to look at Quagsire. "She's no pokemon, Quagsire, she's human. I have reason to believe she's the Savior my Church prophesized would come."

"Savior, hmmm?" Quagsire looked down at her with great interest glittering in his eyes, and Elaine suddenly felt like Catrin had kicked her out into the spotlight. Her skin crawled, and she swallowed and looked away from them. Goddammit. She didn't know why she was here or what it all meant or what the "Savior" was even supposed to do. Did Catrin really have to out her like that?

As if he noticed her discomfort, Quagsire turned away from her. "Perhaps you should let Tepig speak for herself, Oshawott."

"I'm her pokemon guide. It's literally my job to speak for her... along with other things," Catri muttered.

Elaine scrunched up her nose in frustration. If he wasn't hurt, she would've had a right mind to punt him in the nose. "I can speak for myself, thank you!" Catrin shot her an irritated look in return.

"Yes, yes, don't fight at the table, you two," Quagsire tutted. Catrin turned away from her, and Elaine ground her teeth and looked away as well. "So, you're a human, then. I haven't met one in a long time, not since I was a child. Welcome to our world, Tepig. I'm sorry you had to be brought here under these circumstances."

Elaine's ears pricked, and she looked up at Quagsire in surprise. Something about what he said had really stirred her. The apology, maybe? She felt pretty warmed. "O-oh, it's okay. I'd just like to get back home as soon as possible. I only just got here, I don't really know what this Savior business is about or anything."

"You haven't explained anything to her, Oshawott? Not very polite of you, hmm." Quagsire said in a playful, scolding tone.

Catrin spun around, his face flustered and offended. "I-it's not like I wasn't going to! I was busy! My things were stolen!" Quagsire and Elaine both giggled, and Catrin gave a little growl and turned away in frustration.

Quagsire sighed and shook his head. "Well, I'll let Oshawott handle explaining everything to you, Tepig. A pokemon of the Church would be able to handle it best."

They fell quiet after that. Quagsire finished cleaning the blood out of Catrin's fur and bandaged him up as best as he could with cloth bandages. "There you go. You look like a proper Church pokemon again, hmm."

"Thank you for your help," Catrin said, staring at the ground and blushing. Elaine couldn't see him actually blush with all the fur in the way, but she could feel his face heat up from where she was lying next to him. Catrin got to his feet and brushed himself off. "Now, I assume you'll want to get straight to business?"

Business? What was this about? Elaine then remembered that Quagsire had been expecting Catrin, but he looked as surprised as she felt. "Hmm, this late at night? You young folk are always in such a rush. I thought you'd want to rest before passing money around."

"I'd just like to get the deed as soon as possible. For the Church." Catrin scratched at his ear awkwardly, and then he dragged the parcel over to him with his foot and picked it up in his front paws. "The Church has met your asking price, and plus some."

Quagsire simply shook his head and extended a flipper. "Allow me to count it, then."

Catrin narrowed his eyes at Quagsire, and he pulled the parcel back to his chest. "I can do it."

Quagsire shrugged. "Very well, if you don't trust me. Go on."

Elaine frowned. That was pretty rude, wasn't it? But she supposed she understood, considering how beaten up Catrin had gotten trying to get that money back. Catrin backed a few feet away from Quagsire, and then turned the parcel over and dumped its contents out on the ground. Gold and silver coins spilled from the bag's mouth like a waterfall and fell into a lumpy pile on the rocky ground. Catrin started to count out the money, out loud so Quagsire could hear, and within several minutes, he counted out:

"Seven hundred pieces." A smug grin tugged at his lips, and Catrin swished his tail and pushed the money back into the bag. "Sufficient?"

"Quite. Thank you very much, Oshawott. I'll get your deed." Quagsire waddled into the house and came back out before Elaine had a chance to ask what was going on. In his flippers was a scroll, and he handed it to Catrin with a smile. "Here you are! All the land is now yours, from the pond all the way to the old crowned tree to the north."

Grinning victoriously, Catrin took the scroll and tucked it under his arm, and he and Quagsire shook hands (or, shook paws and flippers). "Not my land, Quagsire. The Church of the Sun's!" He bounded across the clearing, leaping over the pond and turning back. "Savior, come along if you will! We should find somewhere to sleep."

Elaine pouted. "Aww, what? We can't sleep here?"

"We shouldn't impose on Quagsire," Catrin said. Elaine glanced at Quagsire, hoping he'd invite them to stay the night, but his river stone eyes were neutral, and he said nothing. Didn't seem like he was going to extend the invitation. Elaine frowned, but she knew Catrin was right, they shouldn't impose. He'd done enough for them. She got to her feet and padded after Catrin, the maroon cloak dragging across the rock.

"Thank you, Quagsire!"

He raised a flipper. "It's no trouble to help my new neighbors, hmm. Come to me if I can be of any more help." He got up to go into his house, and Elaine and Catrin started to pad off. But just as Elaine was about to follow Catrin around the boulder, Quagsire called out. "Oh, and Tepig?"

She glanced back, and he smiled sadly at her. "Welcome to our world, Savior." With that, he waddled into the house.

A feeling of confusion stirring inside her, Elaine followed Catrin away from the firelight of Quagsire's clearing and out into the dark night. Catrin led the way on all fours, winding through the maze of dry, red rock. His eyes were wide and wet as he took in the scenery. He looked almost awestruck, and his tail swished behind him like a purrloin's.

"So you own this land now, huh? Still getting used to it?" Elaine asked.

Catrin glanced back at her, blinking, and then he glanced down at the deed he'd tucked under his shell. "I suppose… Though it isn't really my land. I'm here to run it for the Church. I'm… proud to do that duty, I guess." He stopped and turned halfway to her. "Could I have my cloak back, please?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah! Of course." Elaine slid it off and nosed it over to him, and he stood up on his haunches and put it back on. Without the warm cloak, the chilled night air slipped over her back like a fish. She shuddered. It must've been winter, with how cold it was! Catrin slipped his head through the hood. His ears popped out of the slits like two digletts, and his eyes closed as he nestled himself into the hood. Without another word, he padded on.

"Is that like your blanket?" Elaine asked as she padded after him. When he didn't respond, she continued, "I used to have a blanket when I was little! Like a security blanket. It was pink and it had these brown polkadots. But um, I gave it to my little sister when she was born. I didn't want her to be scared of the dark!"

Catrin gave her a look of confusion. "You have a sister?"

"I have two! And one brother. And a sibling. They're nonbi," Elaine announced proudly. She broke into a trot and padded up to skip alongside Catrin. "I'm the oldest."

Catrin just stared at her, and suddenly feeling like she'd done something wrong, Elaine slowed her gait a bit to fall behind him. "What's that look for?"

It seemed to hit him that he was being rude, and he pawed at his ear and blushed. "S-sorry. I didn't mean anything by it. Just feels strange to me that you would have siblings. You're human."

Elaine gave him a strange look and frowned. "And that means I can't have family?"

"Yes. Er, no? I don't know. It's my first time meeting a human!" Catrin paused. As he blushed again, a smile tugged at his lips, and he looked at her warmly. "I forget if I said it before, but… It's just really good to finally meet you, Savior. I'm glad you're here."

Elaine turned away from him. She felt like she should have been warmed to hear that, and some part of her was. But it still felt strange. It still felt wrong to be here. She could suddenly feel the skin all over her whole body. "I'm still not exactly sure what this Savior stuff all means…"

Catrin's eyes brightened, and he flicked his tail up. "Yes, yes! I'll give you all the information you need so we can fulfill your destiny as swiftly as possible!" With an excited grin, he bounded a few steps ahead. "Ah, here looks like a good place to sleep."

Elaine trotted over to see what he'd found. It was a divot in the base of one of the rock formations. It was shallow, the rock was icy to the touch, and it did not look NEARLY as comfy as her bed back home. But Catrin was already squeezing his way inside, so swallowing her complaints, she followed him in. The touch of the icy rock when she laid down sent a wave of shivers through her skin. "P-p-p-pretty c-cold, isn't it?"

Catrin batted at his ear in embarrassment. "Yeah. Apologies, Savior, I would've at least tried to get something together ahead of time if I knew you'd be here. Tomorrow, we'll go into town and see about getting a house built. But for now, I hope you can make do."

"I'll be alright. I can be tough!" Elaine grinned wide, and Catrin gave a small smile in return, looking comforted. "I just hope morning comes soon. Must be pretty late now, we've been wandering around for so long! I can't wait to see this place in daylight, it must be really pretty."

She caught Catrin staring at her wide eyed. When she met his gaze, he dropped his eyes and pawed at the ground. He looked like she'd brought up a dead family member. Unease suddenly crept into Elaine's heart like creeping rime, and she glanced out at the hazy, dark sky.

Finally, Catrin broke the silence and spoke in a low, grim voice. "For now, your hopes are in vain, Savior. Morning never comes."

Elaine blinked at him. Though she'd picked up a while ago that something strange was afoot in this world, that was definitely not what she'd expected. "Come again?"

"Morning. There's no such thing. It never comes." Catrin lifted his brown nose to the sky with a look of deep, despairing pain. "The sun is gone."

The only way Elaine could describe her thoughts in response to that was a mass of ???????. She felt like she must have misheard, or she'd just bonked her head last night and this was her resulting coma dream. Trying her best to wrap her tongue around some words, she spluttered, "Wh-wh-... But... What do you mean the sun is gone? The sun can't just quit its job!"

Glaring in annoyance, Catrin gestured up to the sky with a jerk of his paw. "Well, do you see a sun up there?"

"Nighttime is a thing! Nighttime is a thing that exists, and it is valid!"

Catrin bared his teeth, obviously getting agitated, and Elaine put her hooves up. "Okay, okay, okay. I'm just confused. The sun is a big ball of gas, like, eight million miles away in space, right? So how did this even happen?"

Catrin blinked at her. "I'm not really sure what oddities are going on in your world, but like everything else in this world, the sun is a creature of life. It breathes. It thinks. And its spirit used to bathe the world with light and warmth, all hours of the day. It was magical, seeing it fly through the sky like it had wings." His eyes glistened with wonder, lost in a better yesterday, a reminiscent smile on his face. And then, that smile faded to gray. "But one day, it disappeared. Just gone, out of the sky. This world has been locked in everlasting night ever since."

Elaine still didn't understand. This world's sun was a spirit that could just disappear? Then what the heck was the planet orbiting around? Did this world just not abide to the natural laws of physics? She and Steven used to go to the movie theater and laugh at the on-screen fantasy worlds that weren't smart enough to keep ahead of two high school students with a bare minimum knowledge of the physical sciences, but apparently, AP Physics had no power in this poke-domain.

She sighed. This was just gonna be a "roll with it" sorta scenario. "Okay, I'm following. Sun's gone, everlasting night. Soooooo, I'm supposed to do something about it?"

Catrin grinned, seemingly relieved that they were getting somewhere. He started to tap the ground with his paws like an excited lillipup. "Yes! You're the most important part of all this! I'm a member of the Church of the Sun, the greatest body of pokemon on the Mist Continent. When the sun went dark, our Great Prophetess foresaw your coming. She said that when the night has stretched five years, and pokemon society nears its dying breath, a Savior from another world with a tail of light will ascend from above. And with a pokemon guide to help her, she will become the new sun."

Elaine blinked. "Is that a metaphor?"

He shrugged. "I think? The important thing is you're here to bring back the sun! The world can finally be good again thanks to you!" Catrin's eyes glistened with so much overwhelming joy that Elaine felt the force of it from across the burrow. He inched closer to her and bowed again, touching his nose to the ground and looking up at her with shining eyes. "Really, for coming to a world like this... Thank you so much, Savior."

Elaine didn't respond right away. A twist of emotions knotted inside her. The part of her that hungered validation was already gorging on this, but the idea of it all... She tucked her legs closer to herself, stiffening up but trying to make sure she didn't look too uncomfortable. "I-I know you and the people here are really struggling, and it's not like I don't wanna help, but... D-does that prophecy say anything about, um, going home?" She gave a nervous but hopeful smile.

Catrin blinked, like he hadn't even considered it, and that sent a spike of anxiety through Elaine's heart. He put a paw on his chin in deep thought. "Well, from the stories I've heard in the Church, humans who come to this world to help with our crises are sent back home afterwards. I don't quite understand it, but it has something to do with the universal balance needing to be restored. I think it's safe to assume you'll be able to go home once the world is saved."

Catrin looked at her expectantly like she would be relieved. It was at least somewhat comforting to know that humans got sent back home enough to have built a reputation for it. (Though she was sketched out by the idea of there having been more humans before her. Did pokemon really need humans so much that they had to pull them across the multiverse when there weren't any close at hand? Team Plasma wasn't gonna like that, heheh.) But she wished Catrin had been more certain. She'd have to do some investigating about going home while she was here. But... if she'd been called here, and her coming had really been prophesized like Catrin said, then she shouldn't be in a hurry to get home, should she? Her heart heaved with longing to see her parents and her siblings and Steven, and Mom was absolutely going to brain her with a plank of wood when she got back. Her family needed her, and it was wrong to stay away. But this world was dying, and it needed her, too. Could she really walk away?

Elaine exhaled out the last of her anxieties. "Okay. So how do we bring back the sun?"

Catrin's face lit up so brightly that Elaine almost figured she'd done her job just like that. "Thank you so much, Savior. As your pokemon guide, I'll help you to the fullest extent of my ability!"

"Thanks, Catrin," Elaine grinned.

Catrin's sharp, white teeth flashed as his jaws parted in a yawn. "We should get some rest. Later on, we'll get acquainted with the town and see about having a house built." He tucked his head towards his body and curled his fluffy tail around him, so Elaine couldn't even see his face. She waited for a goodnight, but within minutes, Catrin's breathing evened and slowed. The oshawott was asleep.

Elaine didn't fall asleep so easy. Her brain was a muddled mixture of exhausted, dead, and not tired at all. Too scared to sleep. Everything about this was so scary. Shivering against the icy rock, she looked up at the cold, dead sky. It had no life in it at all. This whole world felt like a dead pidove on the side of the pavement. She tucked her legs towards herself. She tried to breathe.

Something flickered behind her, startling Elaine. She jumped, thankfully not enough to wake Catrin, and looked over her shoulder at what had started to glow.

It was her tail. The round, fuzzy orb at the end of her curled tepig tail was now emitting a gentle, yellow-white light. It was like a light bulb, casting a soft, cozy glow across the burrow. A little sun. It reminded her of the yellow nightlight she plugged into the outlet in her and Katelyn's room every night, so her little sister could rest with her zombie phobia assuaged.

After that, Elaine fell asleep with ease.



Also, a quick announcement! Would you like to read chapters of Solstice early? Would you like to read them as they're completed rather than waiting for every Wednesday? You can do that by subscribing to my patreon. ^w^ Patrons who donate as little as $1 get to read chapters as they're completed, and eventually I intend to make it so chapters will be available a whole week early. Check it out if that tickles your fancy!
 
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