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Written Story Sinnoh Mature Gijinka Tattered Vellum; a Blind Legends Arceus Storylocke

Extravanganza Accordian Demo
Thread Description
A young student from Sinnoh finds themselves hurled into the past... Updates every other Monday.

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
There is a certain degree of irony in the fact that the first storylocke I properly wrote, starting all the way back in the Zetaboards days, was about someone being isekai'd into a medieval fantasy, and now here I am some four years later once again writing a medieval fantasy isekai...only this time the medieval isekai parts come from the game itself. 😆

Since I already had my Brilliant Diamond storylocke planned, I decided to have the two take place in the same universe, so there will be the occasional reference between the two, and one instance where the two are going to cross over a little bit. You don't need to read both to understand either, though.

1) Use only the first Pokemon seen in each area. Other Pokemon may be caught for Pokedex completion, experience, plot requirements, or whatever.
1b) Dupes clause.
1c) Shiny clause.
1d) The automatic tutorial encounters at the beginning of the game don't count.
2) Fainted Pokemon are dead and must be released/perma-boxed.
3) Nicknames for everybody!

The alarm got out a fraction of a beep before Paavo tapped the snooze button to turn it off. They gave a little smirk to the wall. They were getting better and better at it.

They sighed.

"'Oh, what was the highlight of your day, Paavo?' 'Well, Ves, I got a good fraction of a second better at turning off my alarm when it goes off to wake me up in the morning.'"

They could've identified every blemish and scratch on that wall. Could've given a timeline for them all if they thought about it hard enough.

Maybe that would be an interesting diversion. Seventeen years of bedroom wall history. It'd beat the last one, fridge-magnet-rearranging. The idiots on their course could've gotten endless entertainment from making raunchy symbols out of a hodgepodge of fridge magnets. But then, those idiots were the same people who thought studying forensic science would be an easy degree that would let them act like TV detectives and, having realised that it wasn't, were making do by buying essays and plagiarising coursework, so that wasn't really surprising.

Was that unfair? Maybe. There was probably at least one person in their class who was actually there for the class. Possibly. If they weren't just doing the more intelligent thing and watching replays of the lectures from their homes.

Cereal and milk. Glass of water. Sticky note to buy milk put on the fridge so they'd remember it when they got back. As if anything ever happened that would be interesting enough that there would even be a fragment of a risk they might forget.

Grey jeans, beige T-shirt, dark jumper, brown shoes. They tried wearing colourful socks once, a little act of rebellion against his all-dull wardrobe, but the idiots had laughed at them.

Ves had quoted some old president of Sinnoh at them after they'd told her. It'd amounted to 'just ignore them.' Paavo hadn't really been able to formulate a cogent response to that. Couldn't explain that when the idiots were the 97% of the only people they could even call acquaintances – and that was including people like the barista at the coffee shop and the apartment super in the list – they couldn't just brush them off. Ves might've had the confidence to do that, with her vibrant cyan hair and self-proclaimed anarchistic views, even if she didn't have all her other friends to fall back on. Paavo didn't have the other friends or the confidence.

They hated Tuesdays. At least with Mondays it was the start of the week. There were always conversations to be overheard from the idiots gossiping about their latest exploits over the weekend. And at least with Wednesdays by the time it was over they could safely say they were halfway done with another week of college. But Tuesdays…

Still, there was one upside to Tuesdays.

That upside was waiting for them outside the door to the apartment. "Hey, Paavo." Ves grinned at them.

"You've got pink hair now?"

She smirked. "Why not?"

Paavo paused for a moment to consider. "What's 'why not's name?"

She elbowed them lightly in the stomach, and then answered anyway with a chuckle. "Wayne."

"Wayne?" They paused to look at her. "Please tell me you don't mean Wayne Cordell."

Ves tapped her finger on her lip. "Hmm…maybe?"

They raised an eyebrow. "Too 'busy' to exchange surnames, huh?"

She shrugged. "What's the problem? He's hot."

"He's in my class, Ves, and he's a jerk. And yes, he's hot, which is what makes it so irritating."

She patted them on the back. "One day, dear innocent Paavo, you'll learn that most of the hot guys are jerks."

"Because they can get away with it, yeah, you've mentioned. More than once."

Ves grinned. "I knew there was a reason we got on so well."

"Yep, that's us. The two weirdos of Oreburgh Institute of Technology."

They paused as they realised their normal path would take them past a large crowd gathered around the court building, spilling onto the road. There was one unfortunate police officer there trying to maintain order, without any success.

"What's all that about?" Paavo asked.

"Shouldn't you be keeping up with criminal news?" Ves retorted. "Some gang hotshot paid his way to freedom in a murder case."

"Oh, the Roark Ferrucio case? I did follow it on the news, as it happens." They gave Ves a smirk before returning their attention to the protestors. "Just didn't know it had caused protests."

"Funny how the mass media haven't managed to cover that one." She shrugged. "C'mon, let's go the other way before we get charged with impeding traffic or something."

"We're not even near the protest, Ves."

"You think the cops'll care about that when they get here?"

'The other way' was a detour of two blocks. They picked up the pace a little – or at least tried to, until they were halted by a pedestrian crossing that seemingly did not want to stop the traffic to allow them to cross no matter how many times Ves poked at the button.

"All the money the government wasted on that case could've gone to buying working traffic lights," Paavo grumbled.

Ves chuckled, wandering over to tap at the button again. "Or maybe deliveries for the rich and famous are more important than the commutes of us lowly mortals."

"You know, I don't think only deliveries for the rich and famous use this…oh, finally." The red pedestrian light clicked to green, and they turned back to look at Ves as they stepped forwards. "I guess your percussive maintenance on the –"

They saw the expression on Ves's face change first. The playful, friendly smirk that became a dawning realisation, then horror, and she shifted in a shimmer of white as they turned to see the truck crash between the two stopped cars, and the sound of its horn blaring came too late, and somehow the crackle of ice around them as Ves tried to shield them was louder, and they both knew it wasn't enough, wasn't fast enough or strong enough, and it felt like Paavo's whole body was trapped in molasses as they turned back to look at her –

And suddenly everything was gone, and there was nothing but a single mote of light.

They were…floating. "Uh…hello?" They couldn't feel anything. "Ves?" No wind. No warmth. No cold. Couldn't even feel the weight of their own body. It took a few moments for them to realise their arms were raised to shield themselves from the truck, and lowered them. "Anyone?"

WELCOME TO MY REALM, LOCATED BEYOND BOTH SPACE AND TIME. IT IS WELL THAT THOU ART HERE.

"Who's…who's there?"

I AM THE ONE THAT MORTALS CALL ARCEUS.

Paavo blinked. "Ar…Arceus? As in…the creator deity, Arceus?"

The light was silent.

Paavo tried to look around, found themselves spinning without any way to stop themselves until they slowly drifted back to a halt, facing the light once again. "Am…am I dead?"

YES.

It was so matter of fact. They found themselves breathing more quickly.

"I'm…I'm dead? I'm actually…dead?"

Or at least inhaling and exhaling more quickly. Even though there wasn't any air.

AND NO.

Paavo realised they weren't breathing.

The voice spoke louder – loud enough that every syllable felt like it was shaking Paavo's entire body.

SOON THOU SHALT FIND THYSELF IN A WORLD STRANGE TO THEE.

SEEK OUT THE TRUTH, AND THOU SHALT FIND ME ONCE MORE.


And the light was gone, and reality reasserted itself, cold, rushing winds, land and water far below, and the weightlessness was gone, and Paavo screamed as they fell from the sky.

When the protagonist is explicitly isekai'd into Hisui, I couldn't resist going for the quintessential 'out of control truck' trope. 😆
 
OP
llyarden

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
"Wake up!"

There was something hot nudging at Paavo's cheek.

They managed to open their eyes a little, and found themselves looking at the dark blue snout of a Pokemon. It squeaked in surprise when it saw them looking at it and shuffled back.

"Oh, do wake up! " It was an older voice, with a strange accent Paavo couldn't immediately place.

They turned their head, away from the little Pokemon, found themselves looking up at the worried, elderly face of someone who was dressed like an old-style Galarian nobleman. "Are you alive, my boy?"

They blinked. "Don't…don't call me 'boy.'"

It was the first thing that came to mind, instinctive and harsher than the strange person deserved, but…there was a certain reassuring familiarity to it.

Paavo wasn't entirely expecting the response, though. "Oh, I do apologise!" And there was genuine sincerity there, which was even more surprising. "You gave me quite the shock, falling from the sky like that! But thank goodness, you seem unharmed!"

Paavo sat up, looking around. The dark blue Pokemon scurried back, away from them. "I remember…falling." The air rushing past them, green and yellow and blue approaching in a blur, closing their eyes…and yet their costumed rescuer was right. They were unharmed. Not even so much as a bruise or stiffness. "Who…who are you?"

"I'd like to ask you the same! I mean, you fell out of the sky, you understand! Come now – who in the world does that?"

"Someone bad at riding flying Pokemon?"

That evidently wasn't the response that Paavo was meant to give, because the older person sputtered in surprise a bit. "Riding…well, of all the bizarre ideas! Almost as bad as some of the ones…" They trailed off in thought for a moment. "I must say, your clothing is…unusual. You wouldn't happen to have an acquaintance in these parts, would you?"

Why hadn't Paavo thought of that? They reached into their pocket for their phone. "Uh, yeah, let me call…" They trailed off. Their phone wasn't there. Had it fallen out while they were in whatever non-space Arceus had summoned them to?

Arceus.

The literal creator deity of everything had spoken to them.

"I see. You seem to be in a bit of a pickle! Might I offer you some directions?"

"Uh, where…where are we?"

"We are on Prelude Beach, so named for our original landing some…well, never mind that right now. Do you have somewhere around here you can stay?"

Prelude Beach…they wracked their brains, but…there definitely wasn't a Prelude Beach in Oreburgh.

Arceus's words came back to them. 'You will find yourself in a world strange to you.'

"No, I…I don't think I do."

There was a little chittering from behind the strange person, and another Pokemon appeared – a little blue and white one standing on both legs, which padded closer and rubbed its head against their shoe. Paavo couldn't help but smile – and was a little disappointed when the Galarian person shooed it away.

"Come now, don't scare them! So you don't know anyone here, and you don't even know where to spend the night…well, this is a proper pickly indeed! Are you quite sure you'll be able to survive?"

"Survive?!" Paavo repeated.

"I see…well, no gentleman would abandon a person in need!"

"What do you mean, survive?!" they asked, loudly enough that the dark blue Pokemon squeaked in protest, little fires flaring up on its back.

The older man looked over at it. "Oh, my, I'd completely forgotten! I had just caught up to these three runaway Pokemon when you tumbled out of the sky! It was almost as though they knew you would appear here! Ah, but do you even know what a Pokemon is?"

"What kind of stupid question is that? Of course I do!"

He didn't seem bothered by the insult. "My, that is a relief. Though you fell from the sky, it seems we have some common ground, eh? Yes, well, these three Pokemon belong to me, mysterious creatures though they are!"

It wasn't exactly as if Paavo had thought they might be wild. No wild Pokemon in Sinnoh – or perhaps even the world – would come this close to a human. At least not in a friendly manner.

"Oho, yes! And what might your name be?"

He offered Paavo a hand, letting them get back to their feet – and giving them the chance to look around for the first time. They were, indeed, on a beach, the waves lapping almost at their feet.

There was a single, wooden shack a little way down the shore. And not a single other sign of civilisation.

The old man was still looking at him. "Oh, I'm Paavo."

"That name has quite the ring to it! I imagine it must have some lovely meaning. Oh, but I do apologise! I haven't even introduced myself! My name is Laventon. I am something of a Pokemon Professor. That is to say, I'm a scholar seeking to deepen our understanding of Pokemon. Yes, Pokemon such as these three here –"

Laventon gestured to the two Pokemon that were still sitting by Paavo's feet, and then paused – and then ducked as a small, very round brown Pokemon swooped over his head with a hooting noise, and the other two scampered off after it.

"Oh, blast and bother! My darling Pokemon! Why must you run from me again?" He looked back to Paavo. "I'm terribly sorry, but do you think you could help me round them up?"

"Why don't you just recall them?"

Laventon shifted awkwardly. "Ah, yes, well…when we arrived, we were in dire need of Poke Balls, so I released my darling Pokemon, and the Captain has insisted that there are more pressing requirements than me recapturing them – they do like to run away, but they've never strayed out of the village before. I did, however, take the liberty of acquiring the necessary Poke Balls from the quartermaster before I undertook this pursuit. Just over here, if you will."

The old man led Paavo to a large, canvas sack, rummaged in it, and produced…

"What the dist kind of Pokeball is that?"

"My own design, I'll have you know!" Laventon sounded a little put out. "You see, it's quite simple. To capture a Pokemon, you must merely flick the catch up like so, depress the primer, and…throw!"

The odd-looking Pokeball soared through the air and landed a good few feet away from the little brown bird, which ruffled its wings, almost as though laughing at Laventon.

He sighed. "Alas…yet another miss! I'm glad you've come to my rescue, my new friend from the sky! I'm not the best at this sort of thing, you see. I know we've just met, but I'm afraid I've no-one else to turn to. I'd be awfully grateful if you could catch my three runaways."

I just got run over, spoke to the creator of all reality, and fell from the upper atmosphere without even a bruise. Paavo resisted the urge to snap at Laventon. The man had at least implied he would help. Keeping him on side was probably a good idea. "Fine, fine, just let me…" They paused, peering into the bag. "How many Poke Balls do you think I'm going to need?!"

"It's nothing to be ashamed of. There are not many people who are experienced with Poke Balls, they are after all –"

Laventon paused as Paavo skimmed a Poke Ball at the little owl Pokemon and it vanished into a flash of light before flashing back to his waiting hand.

"Oh, wonderful! You caught my Rowlet! It seems you've quite the knack for this Pokemon-catching business, Paavo! Jolly useful skill to have around here. Only two of my darling runaways left. Still, this is more unusual. You don't seem fearful of Pokemon in the slightest…"

"They're tame. Why would I be afraid of them?"

They picked another handful of Poke Balls out of the bag – quickly realising that unlike a real Poke Ball, these 'inventions' of Laventon's didn't have the multi-context control in the centre that would normally be used to compress them down to a more convenient size – and moved further down the beach, towards the shack. The friendly blue-and-white Pokemon chittered and waved a tiny paw at them before they caught it.

"I can hardly believe it, Paavo!" Laventon puffed as he caught up, the bag of Poke Balls slung over his back. You know, many people fear to even approach Pokemon – never mind catch them. And yet that's Oshawott safe as well! Bravo, indeed! Just one more to go. Let's wrap this up sharpish, shall we?"

"Why would people fear to…never mind." Laventon clearly wasn't going to give them any answers.

The dark blue Pokemon that had been nuzzling at Paavo when they first woke up was the last to go, and it was clearly a little more reluctant to be caught, breaking out of the first Poke Ball they tossed at it.

"Ah, yes, I'm afraid that can happen. Poke Balls are hardly one hundred percent foolproof."

"I caught wilds as a summer job when I was at high school, I know how it works," Paavo grumbled, tossing another Pokeball at the little Pokemon as it flared its fiery back at him irritably.

"Thank you very much, indeed! Oh, what a relief to have them all back! As I mentioned, they'd never before left the village, but they came bolting down here, almost as if they knew you'd come falling…but I must say, Paavo, I was taken aback by how well you use Poke Balls! How is it that you catch Pokemon so ably when you've only just arrived here?" Laventon stroked at his chin. "One can't help but think there's a reason you appeared here and now…"

"There you are!" Another voice made them both jump, and Paavo turned – almost dropping the three Poke Balls cradled in his arms – as someone else approached. "You know you aren't supposed to leave the village without supervision, Professor."

"Sir Oscar, please, there's no danger here. Not even wild Pokemon come here." Laventon paused for a moment. "Ah, yes, Paavo, this is Sir Oscar. He's a good friend and coworker. Sir Oscar, this is Paavo, the…" He trailed off. "Well, we'll explain all that later."

Paavo looked up at Oscar. His attire was a lot simpler than Laventon's, being a red, sleeveless tunic and trousers and some strange, wicker sandals – though he had a small shell, like a seashell, dangling from one ear like an earring. As different to Laventon as it might have been, it still reminded Paavo – except for the vibrant colours – of something that should've been in some historical film. Not real life. And where Laventon seemed relatively harmless, Oscar was almost a head taller than Paavo and very bulky and muscular. They tried not to stare too much.

Oscar met their gaze for a moment, and they saw the vibrance of the Spark in his eyes, a bright, turquoise blue. He looked them up and down briefly, and Paavo wasn't sure if he was trying to size them up for a fight or check them out. They reached out to shake his hand – but instead, he bowed slightly to them. "A pleasure to meet you, Paavo."

"If you'll indulge me for a moment," Laventon interjected, "there's something I'd like to share with you, Paavo. You see, I have a dream – to compile this region's first complete record of its Pokemon! We in the field call such a catalogue of research a Pokedex. Yes, a proper Pokedex is a wonderful work of research, containing detailed records of all the Pokemon to be found in a region! But…" He paused, and sighed. "In order to properly document Pokemon, one must, of course, catch them. And therein lies the rub, I'm afraid. Poke Balls are such a recent invention that not many have mastered the skill of using them."

Recent invention?

"Enter you – a person with a clear talent for catching Pokemon!" Laventon beamed. "You're in need of food and lodgings, and if you're willing to work for me, I'm sure I can convince the Captain to find both for you! A situation ripe for teamwork, don't you agree? Come now!" he continued, without waiting for a response from Paavo, almost bouncing on the balls of his feet. "What do you say? Shall we help one another out?"

"And what's the alternative?" Paavo scoffed. "I don't know where the dist I am –" they pushed away the little thought that it might be when he was that was the problem "- I've got nothing on me…"

"Do not worry." Oscar's voice was soft and gentle. "To abandon someone in need would be dishonourable. You are safe."

"Indeed!" If Laventon had noticed the pointed look from Oscar, he certainly didn't show it. "Whoever and from wherever you may be, I welcome you with open arms! We've a Pokedex to complete!"

"I never actually said –"

"First things first – let's get these Pokemon back to the village! Then we'll sort out your lodging and find you some proper clothes and a meal and all that. Follow me, then!" Laventon gave a dramatic about turn, almost losing his balance on the sand, and gestured down a sandy path. "Onward to Jubilife Village!"

They took a couple of steps before fully recognising what he'd said.

"Jubilife Village?!"

In the game, of course, you sadly cannot tell Laventon not to call you 'my boy.' But narrative licence is a wonderful thing! Now all I have to do is remember to chop out all the times he says that when I'm copy-pasting his dialogue from my notes...
 

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
Truck-kun strikes again!!
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,036
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
ohhhhh i love this

the OUT OF CONTROL TRUCK HAS STRUCK AGAIN, WHEN WILL SOMEONE END THE INHUMANITY

im interested in oscar, hello sir what be your mysteries
 
OP
llyarden

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
Hehe, yeah, having missed the chance to use the out-of-control truck trope in CotD (although in my defence I'd never even heard the term isekai when I started writing that lol) I couldn't resist doing it here when the opportunity was virtually dropped in my lap.

Paavo stood at the entrance to the village, looking past the gates.

This was Jubilife Village.

A dozen wooden shacks – they could hardly be called houses – a single larger, stone building, and some walls.

"Are you okay?"

Professor Laventon hadn't even noticed that Paavo had stopped. Oscar had, though.

"This is…this is real," they said, quietly. If Oscar was confused about what they meant, he didn't press. "I'm really…"

In the past. They couldn't even bring themselves to say it aloud. It made sense, of course, given everything he'd heard – Pokeballs being a recent invention, the Pokedex not yet existing – but…it was impossible.

About as impossible as speaking to Arceus, the creator of all reality.

Two people dressed in the same red robes as Oscar appeared from behind the gate – and almost immediately both of them looked at Paavo. They shuffled back a little, trying to hide behind Oscar as much as possible without making it obvious. "Thank you for your tireless work keeping us safe, my good guardsmen!" Laventon declared, bombastically as ever. "This young person was of great assistance to me and my Pokemon, so I hope you'll forgive me bringing them into the village for a little bit."

The two guards exchanged looks, then looked at Oscar. He gave them a small nod, and it was only then that they stepped aside, letting the trio in.

"This way, if you please!" Laventon continued. Paavo wasn't entirely sure he even noticed that the guards had waited for Oscar's approval. "Jubilife Village!"

Laventon strolled down what seemed to be the main street towards the stone building, talking merrily over his shoulder about the history of the village and something about a team of explorers. Paavo didn't pay much attention – they were too distracted by all the people looking at them. And whispering.

To some extent they couldn't be too surprised. Their modern-day clothes, after all, were totally different to anything that anyone else was wearing. But it still…didn't exactly feel welcoming.

And they were stuck here. Possibly for good.

As they neared the stone building, Oscar cleared his throat, pointedly, cutting Laventon off in his seemingly-unending lecture. Laventon turned to look back at Oscar for a few moments before a realisation dawned in his face. "Oh, botheration! I'd almost forgotten! We need to go and report that we successfully recovered the escaped Pokemon!"

"That was not what I meant."

Laventon ignored Oscar, looking over at Paavo. "Might I ask you to wait for us at the canteen?" And he turned and trotted up the stairs and into the building.

Oscar shook his head slightly. "Sorry about him."

"Do you have to..?"

"I do." Oscar sighed. "The Captain's orders were clear." He pointed off to a building with a rickety green sign at the front. "That's the Wallflower. Beni's not the most welcoming, but he'll likely allow you to sit down, at least." He paused for a moment. "I'll be back as soon as I can."

Paavo managed a small smile. "Okay."

There were already three people sat at one of the tables, deep in conversation. Paavo looked at them for a moment before an old man emerged from the stall, placing a large bowl of something that steamed and smelt delicious on the table – and then turned to look at Paavo, eyes narrowed as he approached. "Well now, aren't you awfully suspicious?" He drew himself up – which wasn't saying much, but the look in his eyes more than made up for his stature. "The Wallflower's for Galaxy Team folks only. We don't have seats for outsiders. Move along!"

So much for allowing them to sit down.

Beni was evidently satisfied with his reprimand, though, because he disappeared off back into the stall. One of the trio swivelled round to look at Paavo. "Um…excuse me?"

They shifted awkwardly, not wanting to dismiss the red-robed woman but also not wanting to cause trouble with Beni. "Yeah?"

"People are saying you caught the Professor's three Pokemon." It was a blue-robed man who spoke this time.

"Oh, yeah."

That seemed to be the wrong answer. The three diners looked between each other, and Paavo could see the stunned looks on their faces.

"How?" It was the woman speaking again, her voice breaking slightly. "How can you be so…so calm?!" The last of the trio put a hand on her shoulder and she fell quiet, looking back at the food Beni had delivered – and then she looked back to Paavo, and they could see the Spark in her eyes, power glimmering with her emotions. "Here in Jubilife, we've no food for freeloaders. Survival out here is a daily battle." And for a moment they thought it was some kind of warning, or threat. "But…Pokemon t-terrify me! Even going out to gather berries is the worst…" She trailed off, shifting along the bench and pressing her head against her friend's shoulder, and they could see her trembling. "I wish I'd never come here…"

"It's okay." The sudden voice made Paavo jump, and they looked around. It was a woman, younger, maybe about their age, dressed in similar blue robes to the ones the male diner was wearing, but darker, with a long scarf wrapped around her neck and a white hat. She stepped past Paavo, crouching down besides the other three. "You should speak to Captain Zisu. See if you can get reassigned to a job that doesn't necessitate going out of the village."

"But if everyone who's afraid of Pokemon does that," the man said, "then almost no-one would ever leave the village."

"Better that than torment our colleagues by forcing them to do tasks that terrify them." The young woman sighed and reached out, putting her hand on top of the crying woman's, gently. "The Captain's a good person. She'll figure something out."

"Th…thank you, Akari."

Akari sighed, standing back up, shaking her head slightly before turning back to look at Paavo, beckoning them away from the canteen. They could see the sad look in her eyes. "I suppose I'm hardly one to talk," she muttered quietly, before pausing and looking at Paavo more cafeully. "Who are you? I've never seen anyone dressed the way you are. What if you were attacked by a Pokemon? You'd be torn apart in those flimsy clothes!"

"It wasn't exactly on my mind when I bought them," Paavo retorted.

"If the guard let you through, you must have ties with somebody in the village…" Akari was quiet for a few moments before brightening up. "Perhaps you've met Professor Laventon? He's a scholar from a faraway place. His Pokemon do get away from him at times, though." She sighed. "It makes me a bit worried for him…I have the power of a Pokemon on my side, but the professor…well…" She trailed off.

"I'm a clumsy sort of fellow, to put it mildly!" Laventon's cheerful tone made them both jump. "But everything will be quite all right now. Paavo here has agreed to help us with our Pokedex!"

"Wait no I –"

"Excuse me?" Akari interrupted, scathingly. "You can't just slap a badge on whoever you like without Captain Cyllene's permission!"

"I'll allow it." Akari straightened up, almost like she was standing at attention, turning to look at the severe-looking woman who was accompanying Laventon. "Assuming the individual can contribute to the Survey Corps, that is." She fixed Paavo with a glare. " I am the captain of the Galaxy Team's Survey Corps. You may call me Cyllene. Professor Laventon has told me how you helped secure his Pokemon when they slipped his control." Her glance flicked momentarily to Laventon, and even the Professor quailed slightly under her gaze. "And now it seems he would like us to feed and house you in exchange for your ongoing labour. You look to be about twenty or so – quite old enough to work for your keep. But we can't simply take on a stranger who wanders in among us, without any idea of their skills or origins. We shall see if you can prove yourself worthy."

"Prove myself..? But I still haven't said if –"

"A most reasonable decision, Captain!" Laventon beamed. "Now, would you care to join us for a mean? I'm sure you've got plenty of questions for our visitor!"

"That's quite all right. I prefer to eat alone so I might appreciate my meals without…distraction."

"Well, no matter!" Laventon shrugged as Cyllene turned on her heel and left. The rest of us can share a meal and some pleasant conversation, then, eh? Beni, old chum!" The old man poked his head out of the stall, looking noticeably happier to be addressed by Laventon than he had when Paavo was there alone. "The usual potato mochi, if you please – but make it for four today!"

Beni brought it out almost before they'd even sat down, like he'd known that he was going to be serving Paavo food the whole time, setting three bowls besides the three of them and a fourth next to Paavo. "Is Oscar coming?" Paavo asked.

"Oh, yes, he'll be along shortly. He had to report to Captain Zisu as well as Captain Cyllene. The perils of being on loan to us from the Security Corps."

"Professor Laventon…" Akari had an edge in her tone. "Where exactly did you meet our…visitor…here?"

"Ah, well, you know that great hole in the sky?" Laventon gestured grandly to the sky – and Paavo dropped his fork as he looked up and saw it. A crackling tear in reality that seemed to thrum with a eldritch intelligence and malevolence.

No-one else was paying it any mind.

"Our new friend here fell right out of it!" Laventon explained, as casually as anything.

Akari nearly dropped her fork too. "You can't be serious."

Laventon tutted. "Come now – I am a scientist! My job is to observe and explain any and all phenomena. I concern myself only with facts! Now, you already know there are many Pokemon here in the Hisui region."

Akari sighed. "Yes, there are. In the grass, in forests, by water, or wherever else they choose." It sounded as though she was reciting something off by heart. "Our job as the Survey Corps is to research them and find out what kind of creatures they are, and collect facets of their power to enable more people to take on that strength for themselves."

"Well, we know this much - it's all but impossible to know what kinds of powers they might possess or what sorts of wondrous things they can do! But that's where Lea will come in! He successfully caught three Pokemon! Three of them in quick order, you understand! Nobody in the Galaxy Team is capable of a feat such as that. This means we can finally begin our Pokemon research in earnest!" Bits of potato mochi were falling from Laventon's fork as he waved it around excitedly.

Akari's eyes went as wide as the other three diners had when Paavo had confirmed it to them. "Three?! We have a hard enough time catching even one when wild Pokemon come after us…"

"Ah, well, to be perfectly fair, the Pokemon that fled to the beach weren't on the attack, of course. But the key to catching Pokemon is getting close enough to aim your Poke Ball well. And it seems our new friend is fearless enough to do just that."

Fearless. They kept saying it, saying how brave Paavo was. What made them so fearless?

"Now, have your fill, Lea! And think! If you make it into the Galaxy Team, you'll never have to worry about a meal again. The team provides for all its members' needs – even if said members fell out of the sky!" He was saying it so casually. The other three diners were barely even trying to hide that they were listening in.

Oscar sat down next to them. Paavo looked over at the taller man, meeting Oscar's gaze, watching the shimmering of the Spark in his eyes before he looked back to Laventon. "You mean if Paavo passes the trial you agreed on their behalf?" he asked, mildly. How had he even heard about that?

Laventon completely missed the not-so-subtle reprimand. "Not to worry! I have complete confidence in Paavo's skills!"

"Then let us hope it is not misplaced." Cyllene was back. "I have consulted with the Commander, and he concurs with Sir Oscar's view that it would be dishonourable to abandon someone in need." Paavo snuck a look over at Oscar, and got a comforting smile in response. "For today and tonight, at least," Cyllene continued, "we will provide you with a place to rest and sleep. You may use our quarters there. But tomorrow, we will assign you a trial.

"And if you fail to pass, you will be expelled from the village to meet your fate – and perhaps your death – in the wilds."

If you're not familiar with Legends: Arceus...it's pretty darn dark for a Pokemon game. The stuff the people at the Wallflower said is cobbled together from stuff various NPCs say in the village, Cyllene's whole 'meet your fate and perhaps your death' quote is actually what she says (although she identifies you as being 15, not 20, that was a change I made because I wanted Paavo to be a college student), even Laventon says "Pokemon are terrifying creatures!" in his little spiel but I cut that out because that's kinda the catchphrase for another character we haven't met yet.
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,036
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
yessss nicely done

poor paavo

and hm, akari has the spark? i wonder what it is...her "starter" is pikachu if you're playing the blue protagonist....
 
OP
llyarden

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
Yeah Paavo is just not having a great time right now. As for Akari, yeah she has the power of a Pikachu, same as her 'starter' Pokemon in the game.

They couldn't stop hearing Cyllene's voice in their ear. 'Meet your fate – and perhaps your death – in the wilds.'

How could they do this?

How could they just toss someone out to die? So calmly?!

The room Paavo had been given was a simple, open-plan room, with a fire-pit in the centre and a raised part with a mattress and blankets. Paavo had wrapped themselves up in the blankets as soon as they'd got in, closing their eyes and trying to pretend none of this was happening, that it was just a bad dream, and they'd be waking up on the sidewalk with Ves yelling at them to be more careful in future.

They knew it wasn't.

There was a soft knock at the door. They didn't move.

"Paavo?" It was Oscar.

They didn't move.

They heard the door slide open, the soft sound of movement until a shadow was cast over them as Oscar blocked out the light from the window. They squeezed their eyes closed, trying to pretend they weren't crying.

He sat down next to them. There was a little clink as he put a bowl besides them. "You didn't eat much of your mochi."

"I'm not hungry," they said, quietly.

"Maybe not. But you should still eat." After a few moments, he reached out and put a hand on their shoulder. They wriggled slightly, leaning back against his hand. "I'm sorry," Oscar said quietly. "Professor Laventon was so excited to have the opportunity to make a start on his Poke-Dex –" he pronounced it like it was two separate words "- that he'd already told everyone he met by the time I caught up with him. Captain Cyllene heard and…well, you know the rest."

"How can they just…throw someone out like this?"

Oscar sighed. "Captain Cyllene is a little like the wilds of Hisui – harsh. But she has the village's safety at heart. And whatever she may say publicly about the Professor's goals, she's as enthused about it as he is. Just not for the same reason."

They uncurled from their nest of blankets a little, looked up at Oscar.

"You have to understand, Paavo, conduits for the Gift are scarce. A lot of the villagers have the Gift, but very few have any way to channel it, never mind a proper panoply."

"A…a what?"

Oscar paused for a moment. "A panoply," he repeated. "The means through which we can channel our Gifts?" As Paavo's blank look continued, he held out his hand and focused, and a small sphere of water appeared. "You do understand Gifts?"

"But you aren't…you aren't shifted. How can you..?" Paavo reached out and poked the ball of water with one finger. Their finger sank into it and came away dripping wet. They weren't sure what they should've expected.

"I'm lucky. That Oshawott you caught comes from my homeland. It wasn't hard for me to prepare a conduit using its discarded scalchop." He tapped the little seashell earring he was wearing.

"But…where's your Stone?" Their confusion was, if nothing else, helping to give them something to focus on other than tomorrow's trial, and they sat up a little. "I saw you had the Spark in your eyes, but…how can you use your powers without a Stone, and without shifting?"

Now it was Oscar's turn to look confused. Paavo sighed. "Where I come from, people like you with the Spark can only use their powers through a Stone. It's an artificial prism that focuses their Essence through the…" They trailed off. How were they meant to explain DNA to a medieval knight? "Never mind. The point is, they can only use their powers by creating a…a suit of armour, I guess you could call it…around themselves, using the Stone. Without it, they're no more powerful than a normal human like me."

"What a strange method of drawing on the power of Pokemon."

"It's the only way I've ever heard of until now."

"Well, the only method I've ever heard of until now," Oscar explained, "is for small pieces of Pokemon to be taken – fur tufts, claws, horns, shell, and so forth. Those with the Gift of that Pokemon can use it as a conduit to draw their…I suppose essence isn't an inapt term…out and use their powers. A full set of conduits that allows someone full access to their powers is known as a panoply. In some cases it may just be one conduit, like mine." He paused for a moment, considering. "But even without a conduit, the Gift still gives its bearers power. I've never heard of that power being lost without a conduit."

Well, this is Arc only knows how long – uh, no offence, Arceus, if you can hear this – in the past. Maybe after the convenience of artificial Stones we evolved away from needing to keep the Spark active permanently.

They didn't say it aloud. Trying to explain that they came from the future was not a can of worms they wanted to open.

"In any case, there was something I wanted to tell you. I spoke to Captain Cyllene." And reality came crashing back down on them. "Capturing a Pokemon that is already used to being under the control of humans is one thing, and impressive enough. But…as you said, you don't have the Gift. Asking you to face the power of a wild Pokemon alone is…unfair." He sighed. "That said, if you really are capable of capturing Pokemon as easily as Professor Laventon portrayed, that ability could be an extraordinary boon to the village. You alone could double or even triple the number of those who could use their Gift. Captain Cyllene isn't going to give up on that chance. What I have persuaded her to do, however, is to allow me to aid you as a guardian."

"So you mean…you'd be…out there with me?" They couldn't keep the hopeful uplift out of their voice

Oscar nodded. "That said," he continued, "it would probably be wise to have a backup plan. No matter how skilled you or I are, if your task is to catch a specific kind of Pokemon and by pure happenstance we cannot find such a Pokemon…"

They remembered hearing how professional catchers would sometimes have to spend a month searching for Pokemon. "But they can't blame me for that!"

"It would be unjust, perhaps," Oscar nodded, "but given how excited the Captain is – how excited everyone is – after everything Professor Laventon has claimed about you, it would not surprise me if it happened. So, I suggest thinking of something else you can do to contribute to the village."

If this was a story, like those novels Ves loved to read and make fun of in equal measure, this would be the moment where Paavo broke out their modern scientific knowledge to amaze the people of the past. But somehow they doubted that knowing how to use a mass spectrometer or run a set of fingerprints through a computerised database was going to be very useful.

"What did you do before you came here?" Oscar asked.

"I was a student. Forensic science." Oscar tilted his head curiously. "Uh…I was studying how to help investigators solve crimes."

Oscar perked up. "A member of the village watch, then! That would certainly be a role you could pursue."

"Uh, not exactly, I…"

"That was the path I first took before I was reassigned to aid Professor Laventon."

"You were a –" They caught themselves before saying 'police officer.' "A…" What would they be called? "A watchman?" they hazarded.

"I was a knight," Oscar replied. "In Unova, it is the auspice of the knights of the local lord to enforce the laws. I was one of the personal knights of one of the King's Sages, in the capital itself." He drew himself up proudly.

Paavo vaguely remembered hearing about Unova's feudal system in history class, but they'd never paid it much attention. Ves had always been the history buff. It certainly sounded about like what they remembered, but…Oscar couldn't have been more than couple of years older than Paavo. And yet he was, so it seemed, some kind of big-shot knight in his homeland.

Why did everything come so much easier to everyone else?

Oscar picked up the bowl he'd brought with him and set it pointedly down by Paavo, in their eyeline. "Eat, and get some rest," he said quietly. "They'll likely summon you at dawn."

They didn't want him to go.

The potato mochi was only lukewarm now – no doubt Oscar had expected Paavo to use the firepit to heat it up again, but they had no idea how they were even meant to start the fire, to say nothing of how they were supposed to prevent it burning the whole house down.

Oscar also hadn't brought any cutlery, so they had to try to eat it with –

There was a faint crackling sound, and they looked down. There was the fork, just by their foot. How had they missed that?

When they'd first come in the house, they'd barely looked at anything. So now they went around, eating the mochi as they examined the house. There was a set of shelves with crockery and cooking pots, a storage box big enough that they could've sat in it comfortably, a small foldable 'wall' that was evidently meant to provide privacy – pretty important given that the front door didn't look and the entire interior was visible from the doorway – and a small chest of drawers to hold some clothes. There was a piece of parchment pinned to the wall, with five lines written. "'Behave with courtesy to others'? 'Those who are weaker must be helped'?" They scoffed. If these were supposed to be the rules the people of the village lived by, they were doing a pretty bad job of it.

Except for Oscar, that was.

Logically, they knew that physical bulk and muscle was virtually irrelevant when it came to the Spark – or the Gift, as it seemed to be called here. Someone could be small and unassuming and still far more powerful in a battle than someone much bigger than them. Just like Pokemon themselves. But knowing Oscar would be there…

Somehow whatever 'trial' they were going to be put through didn't seem quite so impossible.
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,036
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
yeah she has the power of a Pikachu, same as her 'starter' Pokemon in the game.
B)) zippy zap

but yeah
'
poor pavo, ancient jubilife IS cold

and survivalist. i won't call em cruel but they are definitely....cold

OSCAR FRIEND TIME YEAAAA

together they're gonna be so cool

honestly i love this shift from channeling to just, existing half shifted already

very cool
 
OP
llyarden

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
Yeah, Legends Arceus is surprisingly dark, especially some of the stuff the NPCs say during this starting bit. And yeah, the differences between the way people use their powers in modern and ancient Sinnoh is intended to be a major plot point that will come up again a bit later.

They'd hoped the whole thing was a bad dream.

That they would just wake up, in their own bed, with all its familiar scratches, and put on their dull clothes, and go to their dull lectures, and put up with the idiots on their course.

They chuckled slightly. They were actually missing being mocked by Wayne Cordell.

It was…almost petty, now. All their little frustrations. And now here they were, in a place where it wasn't annoying students or getting semi-skimmed instead of full fat milk in their coffee that people worried about, but having to go out into a land apparently filled with hostile wild Pokemon with no kind of supervision. And Paavo wasn't even afraid of them like most of the people in the village seemed to be.

Oscar had said that they'd call for them at dawn. They had no idea what time that was – so far they hadn't seen any kind of clock. Or even a sundial. Surely they must have some means of tracking the time. It wasn't like it was a village of cavemen.

They wished they'd paid more attention to Ves gushing about Sinnoh's past.

She would've been so much better suited to this than them. She was brave, confident, knowledgeable about history – and, of course, she had the Spark.

They got their answer as to the time soon enough, as the door to their temporary house slid open, making them jump and try to scramble to their feet, tangled in the bedroll and almost going flat on their face as they looked up at Akari.

They were a little disappointed it wasn't Oscar.

She looked down at Paavo for a few moments and sighed. "I hope you had a nice rest, even if this land is strange and new to you." She seemed to have taken pity on them, at least a little. "Captain Cyllene is waiting at headquarters."

At least it wasn't as though they had to get dressed. They had no idea how anyone washed themselves here – in the river they'd crossed over to get to the Wallflower the previous day, maybe. They'd snuck out under cover of darkness to relieve themselves in some bushes just outside their house, hoping it was the right thing to do. No doubt knowing where the toilet – or whatever passed for the toilet – was was something so simple that no-one had even thought about explaining it.

Akari led them to the big, stone building that they'd seen the night before. It had looked out of place, like it was a few decades ahead of everything else, from the outside – but even more so on the inside. There were plenty of windows letting the dawn light in, ornate banisters on the stairs, even plus carpets.

"The Survey Corps' offices are here on the first fl –"

Akari was cut off as someone went hurrying past them, dressed in pale green robes and carrying a large wicker basket.

"What was..?"

Akari met their gaze for a few moments. "Are you sure you want to know?" She gestured down the hallway, and Paavo turned in time to see the figure disappear into one of the rooms.

They went first. They weren't sure why Akari wasn't leading the way. They reached the room, peeked in, tentatively.

Three of the green-robed people – including the woman who'd come past Akari and Paavo in the corridor – were clustered around a bed, talking rapidly and quietly over each other, occasionally reaching into the wicker basket and producing bundles of flowers and white packages. Their hands were bloody, and an acrid smell permeated the air, like a fruity antiseptic.

"The…the wild Pokemon." The voice came from the bed – from the patient, Paavo realised. "They were…they were everywhere. A dozen…or more. Against a whole flock…outnumbered…"

The woman with the basket, who seemed to be in charge, put a finger of her non-bloody hand on his lips. "Don't try to talk. This is what happens when you go so far afield! But the Medical Corps will put you to rights."

Akari looked back at Paavo. "That man's with the Security Corps. And even with the Gift, and a panoply…" She trailed off.

"Pokemon don't…they don't normally gather in such large numbers." At least, they don't in my time.

But Akari nodded. "It's not uncommon. Most likely there were two, maybe three. But when panic sets in, just those two or three are more than sufficient to overwhelm a trained Security Corps member. He won't be able to go into the field for months."

"How –" They cut themselves off when they realised how loudly they were talking, repeating the question more quietly. "How are you so calm about this?!"

"He's not the first. He won't be the last. And he's lucky. He was found and brought back to us. Our medical care is better than that of either of the Clans – even before you consider that whether or not they'll treat a member of the Galaxy Team is impossible to predict." Akari sighed. "My point is…the role that Professor Laventon has appointed you to will mean you have to face and triumph over situations that others may…not. And this trial will reflect that. You may find it particularly…well, trying."

Paavo managed a wan smile. "Thanks for the encouragement."

"It wasn't intended as encouragement." Akari stepped away from the medical room, giving the doctors a little more privacy, and Paavo followed her. "Sir Oscar felt honour-bound to support you – to protect you. His safety, and yours, is Professor Laventon's responsibility, and in practice that means it's mine. He's a good person. Don't get him hurt trying to prove yourself."

"I never asked to be given this stupid trial, you know."

"Then say no."

Paavo scoffed. "What, and get tossed out into the wild with Pokemon that want nothing more than to hurt and kill me?"

"Not necessarily. As Captain Cyllene said, if you can help the village in some way then you'll be able to stay."

"Yeah, Oscar told me. But I don't even know what you need at all, never mind whether there's anything you need I can actually do. How am I supposed to refuse this trial if I don't know if there's some other way?"

"You take the risk." She looked at them, and even though they were taller than she was they found themselves shrinking away from her gaze. "Oscar would."

They couldn't get her words out of their head, even when they were at an office on the next floor up. Akari knocked on the door. "Captain Cyllene? Paavo is here."

"Enter."

Cyllene was sitting at her desk, almost hidden by a mountain of paperwork – there was a space cleared in the centre of it for her to look through, but the piles on either side were higher than her eye-line.

Paavo looked around, saw Oscar there already. And Professor Laventon.

"Let us get straight to it." Cyllene signed whatever document she was working on, and then laid her quill down with a click that sounded far louder than it had any right to in the quiet room. "If you wish to join the Galaxy Expedition Team, prove yourself capable by going out into the Obsidian Fieldlands and catching three different species of Pokemon: Bidoof, Starly and Shinx."

Akari was the first to react, with a slight stammer. "Catching three Pokemon from the start? No-one in the Galaxy Team has ever managed that…"

"Did this stranger not catch three different Pokemon only yesterday? My trial should be simple enough for them – if the professor wasn't exaggerating things, that is." Paavo snuck a look over at Laventon, who studiously avoided their gaze. "The Galaxy Team does not have the means to provide for those who only take without giving. If you wish to stay, you must prove beyond any doubt that you'll be an asset to our cause." She collected the paper she'd signed into a stack with a handful of other sheets of paper, and proffered the bunch to Oscar, who stepped forwards and took it with a small bow. "These are requisition papers for the supplies you will need for the journey, permission to leave the village, and permission to use one of the tents at the base camp in the Fieldlands."

"And these are also for you!" Professor Laventon piped up, handing the canvas bag full of Poke Balls to Paavo. It was surprisingly heavy. "These Poke Balls may be handcrafted, but they work a treat, as you've already seen! You'll have this trial cleared in no time! A word of advice, though – pay close attention to which Poke Balls are empty and which ones contain a Pokemon when you're out in the field!"

Paavo hadn't even thought about that. Modern Pokeballs had a holographic surface that displayed the species and status of a Pokemon inside them.

"As I believe you are already aware," Cyllene continued, "Sir Oscar will be accompanying you to provide protection. Akari will also be with you as a representative of the Survey Corps."

So that was two people with the Spark around. Akari might not have liked them, but this was starting to actually sound feasible.

"You will be leaving the village in two hours. Dismissed."

Instinctively Paavo moved back to follow Oscar as he left. Was Akari really right? Was he only doing this because he felt obliged to? "What are…what are all those papers?" They couldn't think of anything else to say - and besides, it wasn't as though they could peer over his shoulder, the top of their head barely came up to his shoulder.

"It's as Captain Cyllene said. They cover all the various permissions and supplies we need to leave the village and make it to the Obsidian Fieldlands camp."

"Where are the…uh, Fieldlands?" There certainly wasn't anything called that in modern Sinnoh.

"Ah, of course, you're not familiar with the land. My apologies." Oscar led them to a large map that was on the wall of the corridor on the first floor. "Broadly speaking, we've divided the land into five regions." He raised his hand and a swirling, thin line of water appeared, which he used like a pointer to indicate the western side of the map. "This is the location of the village. The Obsidian Fieldlands are just to the southeast."

The map didn't look exactly like modern Sinnoh – it was too divided by great rivers that didn't exist in the modern day. But there were enough similarities. So if they were reading this right…the Obsidian Fieldlands encompassed Sandgem, Twinleaf, and of course Jubilife itself. And Oreburgh.

They peered up at where it should've been, trying to see anything that might have suggested their home was there. Or would be there. Centuries in the future. But there was nothing.

"Are there any other settlements?" Paavo asked.

"Well, the Diamond and Pearl Clans have their main settlements located in the Crimson Mirelands and Alabaster Icelands. And we believe there's some settlements in the Coronet Highlands, but part of the Galaxy Team's agreement with the Clans was to not trespass on their sacred spaces, so we've never been able to confirm it. Beyond that, there are individuals or families who live all over the region, but the majority of them move around on a regular basis." Oscar paused. "Oh, you wanted to look at the papers?" He tilted them so Paavo could look at them. "Uh…without meaning to be rude, can you…can you read?"

"Yeah, of course I can…" Paavo caught themselves before finishing their irritated response. Of course. Literacy basically didn't exist until a century or two ago. And even if I can read modern Sinnan, the chance of being able to read whatever ancient Sinnah looked like is…

It was perfectly legible. The only difficulty was reading Cyllene's cursive script. "That's…a lot of stuff."

Oscar raised an eyebrow. "It will take the better part of three days to make it to the base camp. And there is no guarantee that we would be able to find food or water on the way."

"Three days?!" If they were reading the map right, the base camp was more or less where Sandgem was in the modern day. Getting from Jubilife to Sandgem would take half an hour at worst.

Oscar nodded. "Indeed. We will have to camp overnight. Thus the supplies."

Paavo didn't want to admit that they'd never so much as gone camping or hiking before. Never mind for three days.

It didn't take them long to get the supplies. Word had clearly already spread about their journey, and the Supply Corps – in their dark green robes – had already got everything they needed prepared. Paavo wasn't exactly sure what the crispy-looking smoked food was supposed to be, but it didn't exactly look appetising.

And maybe Oscar had noticed a little more of their reluctance than they'd thought, because he packed almost all of the supplies that had been set out in front of their backpack into his own, leaving them with nothing but the bag of Pokeballs from Professor Laventon and a bedroll. They gave him a small smile. "Thanks."

It was only after they started making their way through the village that they started thinking about the way they could read the requisition orders again.

Ves had told them so many times about arguments between historians over how to translate ancient Sinnan. But…not only can they read it fine, but they could understand it fine, even to the point of getting the foreign accents. So either everything historians knew about ancient Sinnoh was wrong and they all spoke modern Sinnan…

…or Arceus had done something to them. Something that meant that they could understand ancient Sinnan as naturally as if it were their native language.

It made it feel more and more like they weren't going to be able to go home.
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,036
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
ooooo i hadn't considered language drift, but knowing that arceus is really meddling is very cool, and very unsettling

i love paavo.....
 
OP
llyarden

llyarden

Perpetual Lurker
Writer
Pokédex No.
169
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
309
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
He/him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Dragon
Yeah, Arceus is doing shenanigans. And Paavo appreciates your love, they probably need it right now...

Paavo could feel the stares of the villagers following them down the main road.

They'd wanted to take the back streets, but Oscar was having none of it. They were doing a great task for the town, so he'd said, and a task of great import should be done with honour and integrity. Apparently that meant making themselves as visible as possible. Even Akari didn't seem quite as enthused about it.

"Wait a moment, you three!" They paused, turned around to see Laventon bustling up after them, red-faced after the jog, with a laden backpack of his own.

"Is something wrong, Professor?" Akari asked.

Lavenon shifted awkwardly. "Ah, well, you see…Captain Cyllene got hold of me after you left…she impressed upon me that I bear full responsibility for whatever happens to 'our sudden guest.'"

Akari raised an eyebrow. "That's our unsparing captain. But what help exactly can you offer out here, Professor?"

"To be honest, my dear girl, I don't intend to lift a finger! Paavo's talents are the real deal. They'll pass with flying colours – you'll see!" Paavo tried to shrink away, acutely aware of just how loudly Laventon was speaking, of how many more people were being drawn to the conversation.

"Ah. So the responsibility for them still lies, in fact, with us, then." She rolled her eyes. "Well, in any case, we should purchase what provisions the Supply Corps were unable to assign to us and depart."

"Aren't the Supply Corps meant to…you know, supply?" Paavo whispered to Oscar, as Akari stepped up to a cart staffed by two men in white-and-gold tabards, which was apparently what passed for a shop in medieval times.

"They are. But it is a task made a lot harder by the fact that knowledge of where to acquire most of those supplies has not yet made it to the Galaxy Team. The Ginkgo Guild –" he nodded at the men at the cart – "refuse to share such information for fear of damaging their own supply lines, and the Clans do not yet trust us enough to reveal that information. So it falls to the Survey Corps, and…well, suffice to say that their work has proven more difficult and time-consuming than had been expected. Thus, once again, why your rumoured talents have incited such fervour."

"I learned to throw Poke Balls from a couple of weeks of night classes. That's…that's literally it."

"No, it isn't. Most people, faced with Pokemon they'd never seen before, would have never dared try to capture them."

"Professor Laventon said they were tame," Paavo pointed out. "But what we're going after now…those won't be. And…I mean, yeah, I've caught wild Pokemon before, but…not like this." Not accompanied by just two people with the Spark. They couldn't very well start explaining tranquiliser guns and Essence-detecting goggles.

"What a curious getup you have there!"

It was one of the other merchants, who approached them and gave them a small bow.

Oscar sighed quietly. "Hello, Volo."

The man nodded absently to Oscar, but the majority of his attention was on Paavo. "I can already tell you're quite the character! I'm Volo of the Gingko Guild, your go-to choice for any of your mercantile needs here in Hisui!"

"If he had any stock," one of the other merchants called over. He had a point – where their cart was well-stocked with all manner of supplies, Volo's was almost empty, attended only by a young woman in a white dress who was carefully cleaning what few supplies were there. It was easy to see why Akari had chosen to patronise the other two.

Volo waved his hand like he was trying to shoo the jeers away. "I've heard talk about you, you know. The person who fell out of the sky? Now that's certainly a tale I'd like to hear…and already accompanied by a Pokemon. You're certainly full of interesting surprises. And investigating the odd and novel is key to any good merchant's success!" Volo grinned. "I've also heard of this trial you're about to attempt! Moves, items…use them well, and the world will open up to you! It's always good fun to have your Pokemon do battle, don't you think?"

"Fun?!" Akari returned from speaking with the other merchants just in time to hear Volo's last comment. "For your information," she said, in a brittle tone, "there is someone in our infirmary right now who almost died because of a Pokemon attack." Sparks crackled across her skin.

"An attack by wild Pokemon," Volo pointed out, calmly. "There is quite a difference between such a thing and a battle between those who use their power. Have you not wondered how the warriors of the Clans achieve such power? As they gain experience through battle, they'll learn more moves and grow even stronger!"

"Why do you talk about them like they are the Pokemon?" Paavo asked. "And what do you mean, 'my' Pokemon?"

"Well, I don't seek to imply you have any ownership over Sir Oscar, of course," Volo assured them, with a smile. "But clearly you lack the Gift yourself, just as I do. Otherwise the Galaxy Team would never have ordered a Pokemon to accompany you. I suggest you take advantage of that freedom, to avoid direct battle without feeling as though you are cowardly, and direct the battle from the back, where you can more accurately judge the ebbs and flows of conflict." He gave an idle shrug. "As for why I make no distinction between the wild beasts out there and those that use their power…well, why should I? The only difference is whose side that power is wielded for. And…well, suffice to say that appearances can be deceiving. But I can't go spilling the Clans' secrets more than that, I'm afraid."

"As if he knows any secrets!" the other merchant laughed.

Volo sighed quietly, eyes flicking towards the other Gingko cart, before returning his attention to Paavo. "To you, my sky-fallen friend…" He clicked his fingers, and the young woman minding the cart opened a concealed panel, producing five small vials of purplish-looking liquid stored in a nice tray, which she handed to Volo. "I present some Potions in thanks!"

They noticed the other two merchants looking at him wide-eyed. Volo saw them looking and flashed them a little smirk.

"What do you think he meant by that?" Oscar asked, as they set out from the village.

"It's Volo," Akari scoffed. "He never means anything by anything. Nor does he think through what he says or does. Thus the gift of the most valuable stock he possessed." She was obviously still angry about his comment – and Paavo had a feeling that she was even angrier that they'd humoured him.

"Perhaps," Oscar conceded. "But like all the other Gingko Guild members, I have no doubt that he does know secrets of the Clans that we don't."

Akari scoffed and stormed on ahead to walk with the Professor.

"What do you think he meant?" Oscar asked, turning to Paavo. "That remark about appearances being deceiving…and us being no different to Pokemon."

"I guess…maybe he meant therianisation?" Paavo shrugged, then noticed Oscar's look. "The way people with the Sp…the Gift…can transform themselves."

Oscar paused slightly. "I've heard of such things, but…I've never seen it in person. By all accounts it's nothing but a myth. If the Clans truly are capable of such a thing…"

"Well, I don't know about these Clans of yours, but…it's definitely real. I've seen my best friend do it." They chuckled. "She was so proud when she managed to sustain it. I was the first person she showed. Just…poof, suddenly she was a big white fox. I was finding icy fur in the corners of my room for a week."

"You sound close to her."

Paavo smiled. "I am." And then their smile fell. "Or…I guess I was."

Oscar put a hand on their shoulder for a few moments, wordlessly, as they continued down the path.
 

bhelryss

rose cultivator
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
4768
Caught
Jul 7, 2021
Messages
1,036
Location
in the sunshine
Nature
Gentle
Pronouns
they/them
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
this pokemon can be found encouraging plant growth in other people's gardens, but can be territorial about the resulting blooms
ah....poor pavo

also uh, so

volo is weird, huh? calling people with the gift no better than wild pokemon.....

squints

that's not alarming at all haha, im sure that point of view will have no bearing at all on anything in the future
 

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