Session 60

Dinner has been served. Basic fare, mostly soup with spices and vegetables salvaged from the wreck of town. Rebuilding has already commenced, and the few corpses found here and there have been interred - along with carbink fragments from Diancie's former city, a formal step toward merging the civilizations.
Linnea: "So what do you do, exactly? Is it like a pet show, or…?"
Esme: "Sort of? You use pokemon moves to get appeal and kind of show off, depending on the contest theme."
Gem Jean has taken her bowl and a large helping of bread, and sat next to Linnea and Esme. Sam can be seen listening intently to Joy and Diancie (who is now back in her police officer guise), and Max is not currently in line of sight.
Esme queues up that footage from the Cool contest in Ice Cove that is apparently /everywhere/ on her Pokedex.
Linnea: "I might not be so good at that. I plan for travel and support, not directly showin' off. Hmm."
Gem Jean: "That's right. Ah…slight change of plans. They're not in the mood for Beauty; tonight, we're all survivors. Hope you don't mind, but they'd like a show of Tough."
Linnea: "Still worth a try, naturally."
Linnea: "Don't worry, that's fine."
Gem Jean shrugs. "It's alright. It'll be just you and your friends. Heck, coordination when that's not your main game is a rite all of its own."
Linnea: "Don't I know it."
Esme: "Wasn't prepared for that contest either…we'll work it out!"
Gem Jean: "Even I've done a few contests." She smirks. "Won twice. Ah…not nearly enough to get qualified."
Linnea: "…Is there something like the Elite Four for contests?"
Linnea: "Though, given what little I know, it'd be the Elite Five."
Gem Jean slurps from her bowl for a moment. "You don't know? Five ribbons or eighteen badges, either way you're a Champion. Team Jaeger's taking just nine badges to get in. Haven't heard if they've changed the regs for ribbons."
Linnea shrugs and starts munching away at some bread. Sometimes, simple foods at the best.
Gem Jean: "Not that it matters. I mean, yeah, everyone's heard of that Ice Cove contest, and then there'll be this one, but other than that…contests seem t' be rare."
Linnea: "Probably a mood thing?"
Esme: "That was my impression, as well."
Gem Jean: "Yeah. So unless there even are five, don't matter. And you'd need t' have one of each type, to boot."
Linnea: "So it'd be an even bigger journey than one of battle, potentially."
Esme perks.
Esme: "Oh right!"
Esme: "The ninjas!"
Linnea: "Th' what?"
Gem Jean: "Can be bigger, can be smaller, about the same journey is what it used to be. Now?" She slurps again. "Now you'd be restoring hope, straight up. What ninjas?"
Esme: "A-ah. Back before we met Lin here, we were in Rustle Fields. Kind of got roped into a Ninja vs Jaeger Beauty contest."
Esme: "I had forgotten about it…"
Gem Jean: "…"
Linnea: "That sounds incredibly silly."
Esme: "It was breakdancing."
Linnea: "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep."
Gem Jean: "…and I saw you in Ice Cove's. You're telling me, you have actually SEEN two whole Contests…what, in the past few months?"
Esme: "This'll make three!"
Gem Jean: "So. Uh. Who won?"
Esme thumbs over to Sam.
Gem Jean: "…reaaally? Well. She seems a mite, uh, occupied right now."
Linnea: "She's quite… intense."
Gem Jean: "And I don't see that Jack fellow with you."
Esme: "Yeah, he went back home to handle some affairs."
Gem Jean shrugs. "Well. A Champion, spread apart? If you can somehow stir up a Smart and a Cute ribbon."
Linnea: "Well, cute things abound in Brooktale."
Gem Jean blinks. "You know Brooktale? What, you from there or something?"
Linnea: "S'where I grew up."
Linnea: "You got friends there or something?"
Gem Jean: "Tch, and next you'll be telling me that smart kid, Max, is from Scale Mount so he could possibly get a Smart contest going or something."
Max Thorn wanders past, muttering something to himself as he pokes at his 'dex.
Esme: "Probably!"
Gem Jean just BLINKS. "…w…well now. Iiinterestin'. Lookin' forward to hearing if you do pull that off. Umm! But there was something else I wanted to ask."
Linnea: "Sup?"
Gem Jean peers close at Linnea and Esme. "You're, ah, experts in magic stuff, right? Either of you know much about souls?"
Max Thorn pauses. "I could indeed do a Smart Contest. Or a Cute one."
Esme wiggles her hand. "A liiiiitle?"
Linnea: "Well, most of what I do has t'do with fighting or mending the living, souls is something I'm curious about but less practiced in."
Esme: "Only one I've messed with is mine, mostly."
Gem Jean: "Hmm. Well…I mean, just wondering, but…I was talking with Nurse Joy after her…ministrations…" She winces hard.
Linnea: "Do I even want to know?'
Esme: "It's nothing bad!" She points to one of her braces, which seems to pulse in response. "Just about 23.6% of mine are currently bound to this little experiment."
Gem Jean: "Apparently, the 'new' Officer Jenny showed up within a day or so of when I buried the old one. And the ceremony master down in Elysium gave me a funny look when I presented the body for burial. Said something something empty vessel."
Linnea: "…Wait."
Linnea: "Then, that would mean…"
Linnea thinks.
Gem Jean: "…yeah. I ain't no mystic, so that's all I've got to work on."
Linnea: "Wouldn't that mean that the 'new' one is carrying the old one's soul somehow?"
Max Thorn: "…We've dealt with one corpse-taker already."
Max Thorn: "No reason to suspect she's the only one out there."
Esme: "Mmm. Either bound to somewhere else, or went on to do the ghost dealy."
Gem Jean: "I mean. I ain't opposed to it if that IS what happened. But you're more the experts than I am. Any reason I should be worried?"
Linnea: "We'd probably need more information, first. What we know is kind of unsettling but no need to worry yet."
Linnea: "It all depends on where the misplaced soul -is-."
Gem Jean: "Hmm. Well, if you want more, I suspect that ceremony master's the one to ask. You're headed for Elysium anyway, ain't ya?"
Linnea: "Believe so."
Esme makes another note in her ongoing log of requests. She marks the Gem John request as 'completed'.
Gem Jean: "Welp. Guess you get to meet the last of us siblings - our black sheep."
Linnea: "Quite an interesting family."
Gem Jean: "Th' one who was SUPPOSED to master what the rest of us wound up taking up the slack on."
Gem Jean: "When you get to Elysium, ask for…" She eyerolls. "…Gem Jules." She pronounces it exactly how one would expect it to be pronounced.
Esme: "…Of course."
Linnea: "Heh."
Gem Jean: "Anyway." She drains her bowl. "Cameras and lights are up." She gestures over to a contest stage. "Could only rustle up enough stage for three, but it looks like your friend's busy." She nods toward Sam. "Let me go finish setup. Choose your pokemon, decide on routines, and come on up to the stage when you're ready." With that, she heads off.
Linnea: "Well, Lulim's probably my toughest, so I'm gonna go prep, I suppose."
Linnea wanders off to do little bits of grooming and whatnot. Lulim looks bored, having not had much of a chance to shine in a situation where physical fighting was a Bad Idea.
Esme: "I think I'm good."
Max Thorn: "C'mon out, Amaterasu. If I *have* to do this, you're the only one suitable."
The faerie dog pops out of her ball in a red flash and wags slowly, looking eager to give it her best.
Esme: "Gervy's gonna do it, to it!"
Linnea trots on over to the stage, followed closely by Lulim, who's looking a lot more sleek than usual and seems to be swaggering.
Max Thorn walks over to the stage, Ammy at his side, her nails clicking on the stone as she pads along.
Esme rides over on Gervais, kneeled on his back with arms crossed. He adopts a similar pose.
Gem Jean has tidied up a bit, now dressed in a quite presentable contest judge's outfit, wireless microphone in hand. As the party approaches, she waves to catch their attention then points out the cameras, then salutes the camera crew and holds up 3 fingers, then 2, then 1…
Gem Jean: "Ladies! And! Gentlemen! Onix Peaks is back on the air!"
Gem Jean: "We've had some…troubles, which we can document later, but all you shippers out there who'd been waiting, come onnn up! In the mean time, we have a Contest for all you out there!"
Gem Jean steps to the side and motions to the party. "Our heroes who saved the town have agreed to put on a performance! One of these trainers will be going away with the Miner Ribbon! Let's hear it for Max Thorn, Esmé Duval, and Linnea Maylithos!"
Max Thorn bows, and Ammy follows up a beat later with a play-bow.
There is indeed some applause. The survivors are watching, mostly from the impromptu open mess hall.
Linnea strikes what she thinks is a serious-looking pose. Lulim is far better at it, what with the imperious stare.
Esme and Gervais stomp and flex, with broad smirks on their faces.
[OOC] WC GM: This is the Introduction Stage, so pick a skill and roll it for your starting dice.
Linnea rolled up 4d6: 13 (1 5 1 6) (command/cool)
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 16 (3 1 1 5 6) (Guile/Smart)
Esme rolled up 6d6: 21 (4 5 2 2 2 6) (Intimidate/Tough)
Gem Jean: "All right!" She fist pumps. "Now, coordinators. Contest START!"
[OOC] WC GM: Round 1! Max then Esme then Linnea. Esme is Center of Attention.
Amaterasu starts the show off by lunging forward and [Biting] the air with a flash of her fangs!
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 22 (6 4 4 5 1 2) (Tough/Steady Performance)
[OOC] WC GM: 6 Appeal, 1 Voltage. Esme!
Esme hops off Gervais, and he rolls his neck with a loud crack. He slams his tail off the front of the stage, bringing up a pillar of dirt! He starts swinging wildly to [Chip Away] at it!
Esme rolled up 7d6: 21 (4 3 2 3 5 2 2) (Tough/Reliable)
Linnea points at the crowd, and in a swift motion, Lulim rears up, letting out a short cry - once she lands, she glares out at the audience and - are her eyes glowing?! [Leer]
Linnea rolled up 5d6: 17 (2 6 3 4 2) (Cool/Excitement, +2 dice)
[OOC] Esme: And yeah I spent 3 dice, 1 left from Contest Stats
[OOC] WC GM: Esme is at 8 Appeal, Max at 6 Appeal 1 Voltage, and Linnea at 6 Appeal 2 Voltage.
The audience finally breaks out into applause, though it is hard to tell who they are cheering for more.
[OOC] WC GM: Round 2! Esme then Linnea then Max. Linnea is Center of Attention.
[OOC] WC GM: Anyway, Esme's turn!
Gervais is starting to sweat as he continues to [Chip Away] at that dirt!
Esme rolled up 5d6: 16 (1 5 3 2 5) (Reliable/Tough, +1 Voltage)
[OOC] WC GM: Linnea!
Lulim rears up again, lashing out with her terribly sharp-clawed forelimbs, [Slash]ing at the air before her!
Linnea rolled up 9d6: 25 (2 2 5 4 2 2 2 1 5) (Cool/Steady Performance/+2 Voltage/+2 Stat Die)
[OOC] Linnea: and +1 voltage from the move, so 3 voltage for the next round
[OOC] WC GM: Max!
Amaterasu finishes the round with a [Roar]ing bark that's almost worse than her Bite!
Max Thorn rolled up 4d6: 11 (1 2 3 5) (Cool/Excitement +1 Voltage)
[OOC] WC GM: If I have the sum right: Esme has 12 Appeal 1 Voltage, Linnea has 11 net Appeal 3 Voltage, and Max has 10 Appeal 3 Voltage.)
The audience continues to cheer wildly! They have clearly needed something like this, after enduring for so long.
Gem Jean: "Allllright! Now let's finish it off!"
[OOC] WC GM: Round 3! Linnea then Max then Esme. Max is Center of Attention.
Lulim snarls, baring her fangs and snapping viciously! [Bite]
Linnea rolled up 9d6: 30 (4 3 6 4 2 2 5 2 2) (Tough/Steady Performance, +3 Voltage dice, +1 matching dice)
Amaterasu sniffs around her section of the stage, being an excellent [Odor Sleuth]!
Max Thorn rolled up 8d6: 25 (2 1 3 5 1 6 4 3) (Smart/Good Show! +3 Voltage +3 Stat dice)
Gervais finally finishes [Chipping Away] at that pillar, revealing a crude, but recognizable, flexing arm!
Esme rolled up 7d6: 23 (4 2 5 3 6 2 1) (Reliable/Tough +1 Dice)
Gem Jean: "And that's it! Audience, please use your glowsticks to indicate your favorite! Pink for Linnea, yellow for Esmé, or blue for Max!"
…it is hard to tell at first; the mixture of glowsticks at least indicates a close match.
Gem Jean holds a hand to her ear, listening close to a hidden earpiece. "And we have a winner…"
Gem Jean smiles at the party, finger pointing to the ceiling, pausing for dramatic effect.
After a few seconds, she drops her arm, pointing at…
Gem Jean: "Linnea Maylithos! Con-gra-tulations!"
Linnea: "Whoa?!"
Linnea: "NO WAY!"
Linnea: "You hear that, Lulim?!"
Lulim rears up, letting out a triumphant cry to the ceiling. She seems quite pleased with herself!
Max Thorn: "Excellent work, all three of you." Max tosses Amaterasu a milkbone, who snatches it out of the air with a crunch.
Esme: "Ahh, you did your best, Gervy."
Linnea: "The ribbon…is mine! Ahahahahaha!"
Gem Jean walks up to Linnea. "It is my pleasure to present you with the Miner Ribbon!" She presents a ribbon made up of a series of small slab-like gem chips threaded in a bowtie formation, with a tiny quartz pickaxe in front of the center.
Linnea gives Jean a cheeky grin as she accept the prize. She bows - first to Jean, then her friends, then the audience.
Max Thorn 's applause is as genuine as the audience's, of course.
Esme applauds. "…And that other prize?"
Gem Jean: "Thank you all for watching. And now, the news." She tosses her mic over to a newscaster, who begins recounting Onix Peaks' recent troubles.
Once the camera's attention is shifted away, Gem Jean produces a Metal Coat and hands it to Linnea. "As promised!" She winks.
Linnea: "Right, awesome! I'll put it t'good use."
Gem Jean just stands back, folds her arms, and smiles. "So, will you charge her for it, just give it over, or what?"
Linnea: "I figure she just owes me one." She make a vague handwavy gesture before turning it over to Esme.
Esme: "Hee~!"
[OOC] WC GM: +58 Pokemon XP, and +1 trainer level for solving the last of Onix Peaks' current major troubles, each
Gem Jean: "So. Sorry we can't offer you rooms in our pokemon center…" She points to one of the piles of rubble, much of the top layer a familiar red shade. "…but we're kind of one big indoors here. Though we'll have to figure out what to do with those flowers."
Linnea: "Salad? Tea? Herbal compounds?"
Max Thorn: "As long as there's a few hours of sunlight, those flowers'll be fine."
Max Thorn: "Alternatively, bring in some full-spectrum lighting and you can move them out of the way."
Gem Jean: "They'll get a few, in the morning or in the afternoon, so long as they're not too far inside."
Tim pops up from a sudden hole in the ground - is Sands playing chauffer now? "Hey! Umm, if you're done here I'd like to get going?"
Gem Jean: "I was just offering to them to stay the night."
Gem Jean: "It's dark outside already."
Tim: "That's fine, I know a shortcut so we can, ah, make some progress before we camp for the night."
Max Thorn: "What's the rush, Tim?"
Gem Jean: "Okaaay…?"
Tim: "Well. You wanted cargo to start coming by, right?"
Tim: "I just got word there's a convoy of supplies AND refugees coming from Fort Blaston. Guess who's leading it?"
Linnea: "Oh boy."
Tim: "If she wants to do some good (for once), I'd…kinda like to let her do it? We can confront her later."
Gem Jean: "What? What?"
Linnea: "Bad blood between us."
Esme: "Good way of putting it."
Tim: "Besides, I'm told she was practically forced into doing it. She's going to be all grumbly when she gets here in the morning."
Max Thorn: "Oh. Her. Yes, um. While we appreciate the offer, Gem Jean, I'd really prefer to *avoid* Ignacia…"
Gem Jean eyes the party. "What are you getting my town into?"
Esme: "Nothing, technically?"
Tim: "Yeah! Just let her drop off her stuff and leave and you should be fine!"
Gem Jean: "'Should'?"
Esme: "Should, yes."
Esme: "She's got a bit of a temper and likes to burn things. I'd stick to minimal interaction, if possible."
Max Thorn: "Without making her feel slighted."
Gem Jean facepalms, and now more than ever you can see her family resemblance to her sister. "One of THOSE situations, huh? Alright, just…just go, before it gets too dark." She glares at Tim. "I take it you're the one who set that THING up? Take it and get out of here!"
Tim: "Aheh…" He backpedals and begins making for the southern exit.
Esme: "Thing?"
Linnea: "…"
Max Thorn: "…"
Max Thorn follows, muttering under his breath again.
Tim: "Just…a rapid transport! I know why she'd think it's dangerous, but it'll be fine for us!"
Linnea just files out, Lulim in tow.
Linnea: "Can't be any more batshit than a godsdamned cannon, right?"
Linnea: "Right…?"
Tim: "Though you might want to recall your pokemon. Unless they can help you hang on!"
Linnea: "…"
Lulim lets out an annoyed sort of growl before she's recalled.
Sam is already at the exit, apparently having been summoned. The exit is a scenic high-altitude cave exit at night: blue flowers lining everything, an astounding view of the mountain range to the right - poking your head out, you can even see the top of the Headquarters Tower, which you had only previously seen in pictures, though it is too far and too dark to make out details - and to the left, hills and slopes leading down to the shore.
Max Thorn: "C'mon back in, Ammy…" Max mutters as he trails after Tim.
Esme recalls Gervy and hurries along.
Esme: "Out on a cliff, good start."
Linnea: "Hang gliders?"
Tim: "No, lower to the ground." He walks over to a large slab, likely salvaged from the debris of town. It seems large enough for the entire party to sit on.
Sandbar Harbor glitters in the distance to the left. Ahead, Elysium Valley can be seen, as lights and buildings poking out of a forested dip…and the suggestion of a dark violet barrier over that lip, only visible when it occasionally pulses dark purple in rough rings, much like the patterns one sometimes sees when closing one's eyes while it is dark.
Linnea: "…There! I knew I saw something!"
Tim: "Huh? What did you see?"
Linnea: "Barrier, over Elysium."
Linnea: "Forget that a moment, are we going freakin' rock sledding?"
Tim GRINS. "We are going freakin' rock sledding!"
Linnea: "Well, can't complain."
Tim: "I figure we can make the base of the mountain in less than an hour. Normally it'd take half a day at least."
Linnea: "Sure."
Esme: "Sledding, huh…"
Max Thorn pinches the bridge of his nose. "Did I fall into a parallel universe where Jack is Tim and vice-versa?"
Tim: "He may have rubbed off…just a bit…anyway, let's go!" He steps onto the center of the sled.
Max Thorn: "This is a terrible idea and I'm not explaining this one to Moth."
Linnea shrugs and clambers aboard.
Esme: "Strictly speaking, we survived the cannon, so we /should/ be fine?" She takes a seat.
Max Thorn: "Yes, but the cannon at least had us in a safety shell…"
Once the entire party is aboard, Sands jumps onto the front, tipping it over the edge.
Tim: "Here…weee…GO!"
Max Thorn sighs, and does his best to make this stupid thing work.
And suddenly Onix Peaks is decidedly behind the party, cool late night air whipping at the party's faces.
[OOC] WC GM: Acrobatics, all. Or Athletics or Survival at higher difficulty.
Linnea rolled up 4d6: 16 (1 5 4 6) (Acro)
Esme rolled up 4d6+1: 19 (4 5 3 6) (Athletics)
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 17 (6 2 1 6 2) (Survival)
WC GM rolled up 2d6: 11 (5 6)
A bit of gravel flies up on Linnea's side as they pass, scratching her cheek.
[OOC] WC GM: 1 damage after Defense.
The sled keeps rocketing down, aiming for a large boulder.
Tim: "Nonono - Sands, STEER AROUND IT!"
Sands shows no sign of steering.
Esme: "Uhh."
Linnea: "…!"
[OOC] Esme: I was typing to shoot a laser and then realized I got rid of that move
Linnea , seemingly without thinking, draws her weapon, aims at the upcoming boulder - and lets forth a massive blast of energy! [Moonblast, Magical Burst for effect]
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it.
Linnea rolled up 1d20 3d12+40: 1 (1) 56 (7 6 3) (Burst 3, Friendly, Smite, all allies in range get a tick of Temp HP. Fairy/Special.)
[OOC] Linnea: Oh for…
[OOC] Linnea: Just means it does damage as if it was resisted. Because Smite.
The boulder is mostly shattered, though just enough remains that when the sled hits, it vaults into the air!
Linnea: "AaaaaaaAAAAAAAGH."
Max Thorn: "Whee. This is so exciting," Max deadpans.
Sands stands at the sled's front, arms stretched wide, defiantly looking at the world ahead. "Saaand, shrew shrew shrew!"
Linnea seems to have reverted to her usual form.
Tim just facepalms. "This is not a movie, we are not on that ship, and you are not king of-"
That is when the sled crashes into the boughs of a large tree, that dominates the top of a hill.
Tim: "…anyone mind if we camp up here tonight? Because the tent came loose and deployed."
Linnea: "… … … You know what? Yeah. That's just fine."
Esme groggily sits up. "Tree camping it is, I guess."
Max Thorn: "Works for me."

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