near the last known location of regirock's tomb, several trainers have stumbled across an ominous opening. inside, they will find the ruins of the legendary titan, riddled with traps, treasures, and the mystical unknown. no one knows what awaits them but one thing is for sure — a new arc begins. despite the thin veil of peace, the public still faces unease.
after the ultra beast war, hoenn begins to heal. the megalopolan invasion may have failed; however, it is clear there is much more at stake. a prophecy revolving around a cyclical meteoroid, the appearance of necrozma and a dangerous and viral alien threaten the safety of the region once more.
with rocket's new boss, the resurgence and reappearance of the crime syndicate's presence is imminent. the league has done its best to repair its reputation, and with the victory of a war under their belt, perhaps it is enough. but the seeds of distrust have already been sown in the ravaged land of this region, causing many to wonder what will grow?
the door to her mother's study remained sealed for years, like a crypt. a heavy desk, etchings taken from hidden caves, a handful of peculiar rocks that her will never specified what to do with. the bookshelves are stacked from floor to ceiling, overflowing with bookmarked tomes. it's dusty, of course, but it's the overwhelming feeling of nausea that grips her chest when she nears that keeps persephone at bay.
it's anachronistic in a way; elysia preferred to work with paper. persephone has read what little has been digitised, but the bulk of the knowledge died with her, or remains hidden in pockets of this study.
duty as a head scientist of the league forces her to open the door, re-open the old wound. it's elysia's name that garnered her the appointment and persephone knows she's only filling in her shoes, as if this would somehow bring her back.
at first she can't spend more than thirty minutes in the study at a time. she tells herself it's the dust that irritates her eyes and brings her to tears, but that's far from the truth.
but it goes beyond just what elysia could ever offer alone. for what it's worth, their family tree counts among themselves some of sootopolis' founders. the ancient sea route maps on parchment that threaten to crumble at a touch attest to that much.
persephone alternates each visit; at times sifting through the files, the old tomes, and tracing braille inscriptions with hesitant fingers, and at others cleaning the surfaces and organising the collections.
it hurts a little less.
» starts combing through her mother's historiography / research » mostly pertaining to sources of power in hoenn's south-eastern corner » spurred by regirock raid, if that's of any relevance?!
[attr="class","ipad"]THANKS, MOTHER[break][break] her meticulous studies eventually bestow her with rewards. through watery eyes, her cross examinations of primal sea paths eventually unenarth a geographical and historical connection. an old weather institute report, discussing the documentation of ancient natural disasters, mentions coordinates that intersect with one of the underwater routes.[break][break]
the relevant section in the WI report mentions catastrophic earthquakes originating from the seafloor cavern. persephone would forge another mental link between her findings and a contemporary report: earthquakes from the desert ruins near mauville, dated prior to the regirock raid. however, it may simply be coincidental.[break][break]
mother's old notes emanate with a fondness that seems to ring and echo across time.[break][break]
there is a submarine service in sootopolis or in pacifidlog, should you choose to embark toward the sea.[break][break]
it's unassuming at first. an old weather institute report tucked in among papers that don't seem relevant or connected to anything.
that's how it always is though — the prelude to the biggest waves are always small swell that hide the large ones from view; the dangerous waves that threaten to pull you under and pin you down.
she places the two reports alongside one another, lines them up exactly. the underground shock waves, the measurements of sheer power are of the same nature. persephone expects elation, but it doesn't come at first. only this strange hollowness, throat constraining as though overcome by something else too — fear? guilt?
she comes back to it the next day, double-checks the coordinates. paces the room until the pieces come together.
she comes back to it the day after, triple-checks the coordinates. paces the room until she can accept that this is more than part wishful thinking and part confirmation bias.
the pen still trembles in her hand when she circles the target location on the map. drawing the long, straight corresponding lines is easier because they're familiar; their geometry is etched into her skin.
convincing the submarine captain to actually take her there is an almost farcical scene.
persephone asks, he feigns interest, she pulls out the maps and speaks in a placating excitable tone, and he denies her time and time again until she loses patience and pulls out every league certification to her name; head scientist convinces him where nothing else could.
she can't sleep in the nights leading up to the expedition. the ocean sings too loudly.
preparations are made under a veil of secrecy — if only because she plays it off as unimportant to the captain and mentions nothing about it to any colleagues.
it's like the body and the mind are disconnected, persephone stares at the water behind the glass but sees nothing, just blue. the cavern's mouth looms and she heads to it alone.
because when the big waves come, when they pin you down? you always have to face them alone.
» makes a connection between the two reports » exploits being a head scientist to get a captain to take her to the seafloor cavern » i assume it's ok to board the sub + go there » opts to head for the seafloor cavern alone » doesn't inform the league / any officials btw
[attr="class","ipad"]THANKS, MOTHER[break][break] the light does not penetrate down here. in the murky depths of hoenn's oceans, the dark conceals all. it hides the denizens of the deepest dives. it muffles their groans. conceals the forgotten architecture of fallen ships and wailord bones.[break][break]
and yet, for persephone, alone in her small, vulnerable submarine with its tiny, flickering beams of light, memory is what draws her descent. her mother's memory seems to beckon from the maw of the seafloor cavern. it calls to her. like the call of the void. what they call l'appel du vide- but she jumps. dives deeper. her submarine chugs along.[break][break]
her mega accessory seems to quake. the slightest vibration rattles through its make as she scours the trench... eventually, her submarine lights scrape across a stretch of cavern cliff-wall. it's oddly shaped. the seaweed refuses to grow on it.[break][break]
she sees something. but what? familiarity tugs at her mind as she re-positions her lights like she did in the desert ruins, uncovering markings through the arc of torchlight. the same script- the same language found in the ruins is inscribed here too.[break][break][break]
LIVING OUR LIVES IN THIS SEA, WE HAVE PROSPERED.[break] EVERYTHING WAS FROM THE HELP OF POKEMON.[break] BUT, WE LOCKED UP THIS POKEMON.[break] … WAS TERRIFYING.[break] HAVE COURAGE, FILL THE BASIN WITH HOPE,[break] HERE, THE POKEMON OF ORIGIN SLUMBERS.[break] BEGIN WITH ANCIENTPOWER OF GLANTH, END WITH AURA,[break] AND EVERYTHING IS OPENED.
what will she do?[break][break]
persephone amavi[break]repost in the research thread after you have posted! no roll necessary.
she / her
lorekeeper / elite four
my own blood pains me, the salt as much as the vein
not even the pillars of light from above can reach these depths. they left the sun behind long ago.
the ancient script stares back at her; each dot just another pupil of an eye that isn't there. persephone can decipher it at a distance through the seawater pressing around her, through the steel and glass, but she knows this is not the natural way of reading the text. that requires tactical contact; the words ask for touch to reaffirm they still have meaning, to reaffirm that the writer can still reach the reader.
she unpacks the words, lays them out in front of her, going over them again and again long after their meaning crystallised into three points.
glanth; the old name for relicanth. aura; the esoteric way some pokemon can reach out into the unknown and extract information. the pokemon of origin; a terror. sometimes, things are locked away for a reason. she looks away.
persephone takes out two pokemon capsules, her oldest ones. she places the first into a small chute designed to release pokemon outside the sub into the water. out there, the relicanth looks more at home than she had ever seen it. persephone unlocks the second capsule at her side, waiting a heartbeat for the lucario to materialise into his form and take in their surroundings.
when she speaks into a megaphone to direct her relicanth, persephone is taken aback to hear her voice. she asks for an ANCIENT POWER and watches the water churn with bubbles and rising stone shards. the sub's lights are obscured when persephone turns to the lucario, eyes resting momentarily on the mega accessory at her wrist.
the lucario has done this before, and she wonders if its ethical of her to keep asking him for this. he searched for regirock in those caverns so long ago, he scoured the ultra beast in mossdeep for weakness and fought with a borrowed power. and she'll ask him to do it again and again.
the remnants of the relicanth's ANCIENT POWER press against the window, obscuring what light there is from the external beams.
"search for me, please. is something trapped inside?"
the lucario isn't in the habit of questioning orders. he focuses on the rock face, on what's beyond it, eyes wide open and looking far ahead to things his partner cannot see and cannot fathom. at his limbs an azure pulse flickers, like the forming of an AURA SPHERE, and persephone holds her breath.
» relicanth uses ancient power! » lucario uses its aura-searching ability! » dorimiku
[break][break] PERSEPHONE'S LUCARIO SEARCHES past the stone with aura sight. psychically, the pokemon communicates what it sees. in her mind, she can see how the aura seeks what's beyond, outlining what appears to be some underwater cavern system. through her lucario, perse discovers forests of sea vegetation. sudden dips and crevasses. boulders oddly constructed- perhaps, manmade but through the static of her lucario's aura-gaze, no details are truly discernible.[break][break]
in spots, the psychic gaze glitches. like a spotty television signal or buzzing screen, certain locations blip out of vision. blind spots. some supernatural power seems to be interfering. should persephone consult her research of ley lines, such spots would align themselves with where these lines cross. the lucario continues with its searching aura as far as it can- until suddenly...[break][break]
they see something horrendous. a terrifying presence consumes both the lucario and persephone as one eye stretches wide as if pulled up suddenly by hooks. the aura search ends immediately. the link is severed. the lucario stumbles a bit and leans on its trainer for support, panting as if having fought a battle. surprisingly, the cliff-side glows... then opens. an ancient gate allows entry into the dark underwater cave.[break][break]
a sudden rush of pressure batters the submarine from the opening- but there is no current. no surplus surge of water. should perse examine her submarine's fuel, suddenly what was once full is now almost empty.[break][break]
within her brilliant mind, the map of their aura excursion lingers. the two obstacles (marked by the question mark) in the center seems to feature a terribly deep trench... the leftmost obstacle has shown glimpses of boulders and narrow tunneling, while the rightmost obstacle features a forest of knotty, tangling seaweed.[break][break]
where will perse go first?
NAVIGATE TO A QUESTION MARK OBSTACLE OF YOUR CHOICE.[break] EACH OBSTACLE WILL COST TWO UNITS OF FUEL TO CLEAR.[break]YOU HAVE TWELVE UNITS OF FUEL.[break][break]
that far down in the depths of the ocean, events settle around them and feel as though they're happening to them but not quite them - persephone felt like she was disconnected and watching herself act in slow motion.
when the lucario stumbled against her, persephone is quick to steady it in the same display of support that he's extended to her for years. a guilt in forcing him to over-exert himself that settles somewhere between the back of her throat and ribcage, heavy and leaden. they both know the usage of foreign power pains him, and they both know she needs it, and that he ultimately has to provide it because that's what friendship between a trainer and pokemon ultimately is. everything else is empty conjecture.
persephone wonders when she became so jaded, and the realisation stung as much as seeing her friend pained because of her. but he's done enough and the least she can do is get them both out or find something to make it all worth it, ideally both.
"i'm sorry," she said, hesitant and gentle, when she assisted the lucario to the floor in hopes that it will recover. she should say more but worded apologies never sound like quite enough.
"thank you so much, prydian."
persephone turns away before more words become caught in though spurs lining her throat and spends a moment sketching out a rough diagram of the paths they had witnessed. she chewed the inside of her cheek, wincing when she noticed how the fuel supply had suffered.
all the paths available seemed, on the balance of things, equally tumultuous with no real projected outcome. persephone realised she had to make a decision and had to fight to steel her nerves when she veered the submarine to the rightmost path.
[break][break] AS PERSEPHONE'S SUBMARINE chugs along, she finds that the cavern walls have lines inscribed in their cold stone. like carved vines, they all rush deeper into the underwater cavern as if acting as arrows to the unknown.[break][break]
as her machine floats deeper, the elite four member is conscientious of her fuel reserves. the seabed thickens with seaweed until it becomes a forest. as her vessel attempts to navigate the kelp, she finds it difficult to steer.[break][break]
recovering still, her lucario barks at the windshield. a curious stone altar sits atop a small alcove surrounded by seaweed. there is a hole in its center—like a stone lantern's—empty, as if needing to be lit. the carved wall-lines intersect through its structure.[break][break]
suddenly, her submarine stops. tangled in seaweed, the ship is stubbornly stuck in place. a dragalge wraps its leaf-like appendages around the ship and begins to spew poisons (TOXIC) to cloud the water around it.[break][break][break]
VGsveEH5 (dragalge's grapple)[break][break] what will you do?
NAVIGATE TO A QUESTION MARK OBSTACLE OF YOUR CHOICE.[break] EACH OBSTACLE WILL COST TWO UNITS OF FUEL TO CLEAR.[break]YOU HAVE TWELVE UNITS OF FUEL.[break][break]
for this round, you must ROLL once.[break] persephone amavi, repost in the research thread after you have posted![break][break]
the submarine’s movement becomes halting and then comes to an actual standstill.
persephone once used to think that she worked better under pressure, but as her eyes drift to the dwindling fuel supply and then through the porthole window at the dragalge, she finds herself questioning that prior conviction.
very calmly, more than is fitting considering the circumstances, she reaches for the submarine’s throttle and pushes it down further and further. the intention is to force the machine forward and dislodge the dragalge with its momentum, though really it feels more like she’s trying to do the underwater equivalent of running them over.
her relicanth is still floating along beside them, somewhere. persephone can see occasional flashes of its mottled brown rock scales, but the thought to issue orders to it through the shoddy underwater microphone equipped to the submarine didn’t even occur to her. it was hard to see, but she’s fairly certain the way the dragalge are being thrown around is due to the relicanth battering them with desperate HEAD SMASHES.
persephone sifts through a bag of pokeballs and moves toward the little tray that releases pokemon into the depths and places the capsule inside. she can make out the vague burst of light in the water signifying the pokemon’s release, and only now does she reach for the microphone to issue an order to use FLASH.
tl;dr: slams the accelerator / throttle / sub equivalent of a gas pedal in an attempt to free the sub? relicanth is uses HEAD SMASH on the dragalge and lanturn uses FLASH to spook them + light the lantern.