a new year brings new expectations. civil unrest starts to manifest in the form of online criticisms that spike after the three day war. now that the region no longer has to face the threat of megalopolans, the people of hoenn turn to address smaller and more personal issues. will the league rise up to the situation? what about questionable events that have transpired, overshadowed and overlooked in the face of more imminent issues?
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?
Rumours of an Articuno in Shoal Cave begin to chill the summer winds. The species is rare. An elusive enigma that descends upon the human race as if it were a deity. The last time one appeared, it had granted a man its powers. That man has long since disappeared, leaving some to wonder whether this Articuno is the same one.[break][break][break]
Those who dare to seek its presence would find a treacherous trek ahead of them. The tide must be low— for a high tide renders most parts of the cave inaccessible. Furthermore, the cavern's deeper echelons are encased in ice. Slippery floors and sharp ice bring threats of cold impalement, while wild Pokemon who reside in its depths may prove to be terribly territorial.[break][break][break]
Nevertheless, you eventually find yourself in the heart of the cave. Like a geode cut in half for its crystalline beauty within, the cavern is a gorgeous maw of ice. An icy bridge connects to a cold perch. There, the Articuno stands.[break][break][break]
It speaks to you. Telepathically.[break][break][break]
"MY PREVIOUS AVATAR WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT. I WILL NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE ONCE AGAIN. IF YOU HAVE COME FOR MY GIFT, PROVE YOUR WORTHINESS TO ME. I HAVE BEEN WATCHING."[break][break]
The Articuno spreads its wings and a cold gale blasts forth from the cave's center.
To participate in this special event, describe how your character arrives to the center of Shoal Cave. Furthermore, elaborate upon how your character will prove their worthiness to Articuno. The most fitting character will become the avatar of Articuno, while other participants may receive small rewards.[break][break][break]
First, please read the follow requirements. If you would like to know what an "avatar" is, follow this link to the Canon thread and scroll toward the bottom.[break][break][break]
at least 25 infamy.
you do not possess a character in your cast that is an avatar.
The deadline for this special event is unspecified. However, it may end before the week concludes/when a suitable candidate is found.
[attr="class","lance i"]rumors, no matter how farcical, have the potential to escalate to something more tangible, something potentially dangerous. the one of shoal cave spread like wildfire, which is ironic, but lance knew that it would attract all kinds of people; both good and bad.
"make sure nobody steps out of line. stay in the shadows, kuo, and come back to me if you find trouble."
the spiritomb slinks off into the shadows, sneaking to act as their scout. lance adjusts the backpack, tightening the straps over the jacket of the ranger uniform. "all comfortable?" the porygon 2 in the backpack nods. "good. watch my back please, jelmo."
the cold temperaments feels familiar and comfortable and where he would usually thrive in it, he's struggling now, if only because of his injured leg. he's still recovering from being harpooned by the pirates, and while he should have been home resting, he could not sit idly by and let people take advantage of possible rumors.
the deeper into the cave he goes, the more cold it becomes. the terrain starts to morph as ice covers most surfaces and he has to slow down to avoid possibly slipping. jelmo's TRACE allows them to avoid any territorial wild pokemon while they continue to be on the lookout for any possible threats. so far, it all seems clear.
and then he feels a small shock from the porygon 2 which forces him to stop. "what is it?" people? no, jelmo's TRACE doesn't work that way. it has to be a pokemon but for whatever reason, jelmo can't seem to get a clearer read. lance hesitates, but soon pushes on.
it breaks into the heart of the cave and its crystalline beauty is overshadowed. he freezes then as a voice echoes in the depths of his mind. his eyes widen only to narrow moments later as a cold gale blasts forth. he raises an arm and braces himself; injured leg buckling but not giving in. when the winds finally settle, he breathes, adrenaline pumping.
lance steps forward, daring to venture across the icy bridge. he limps, slow, and stops before articuno.
"if you have been watching, then there's nothing to prove."
He despised it, his dragons were weak to it, and his trauma would not allow him to be surrounded with pitch-black darkness and ice.
But there he was and his entourage of dragons, standing tall beneath the shoal cave’s entrance, waiting for the push they needed to go forward. Like his usual days, Valerio would bring his herd into desolate places, keeping them in-check by training in disadvantageous environments, strengthening their resistance and willpower. Although unlike his usual training days, he had another agenda why he specifically chose this destination: the rumors that surrounded the presence of a rare pokémon was very tempting and he knew he could not let this opportunity pass.
Valerio, together with Genesis, Naua, and Darty braved the treacherous trek upon the cave’s entrance. The drampa made an effort to keep his trainer and the dragapult warm while the kingdra was not bothered by the cold. Why these original three were chosen by their trainer to behold the glory that was the pokémon deity, they would not know.
But he knew he needed to share this moment with them as they were witnesses of his fall and rise after his failures incthe Johto invasion.
The tunnels that led to its deep chambers were lathered with ice, Valerio could sense the discomfort among his dragons despite his constant reassurance that this would be worth it. Genesis’s flames doubled as light guiding their way into the lower cavities of the cave, which became extremely chiller with every step they strode. Pokémons from the tunnel glared with the rolling retinue, his creatures caught them staring and returned their glowering looks.
A few more steps and they reached the end of the passage, more ice laid out at the heart of the chamber where a creature of stunning icy beauty can be found at the centerpiece. Its silhouette was a familiar figure, an image Valerio might have encountered back in Galar. Its color, lighter than the dark purple he was accustomed to, and its eyes were gentler and kinder.
But the pokémon’s demeanor was still cold and threatening. When it spoke to him its words, the man could not help but cower in fear.
“I—I’m Valerio. These are my partners,” he uttered, not much confident like his normal self but enough to present himself worthy by anyone’s opinion. “I don’t think I can prove my worthiness with words, but if you’ve been watching, then you should already know my story.”
Valerio knew he was not the best trainer, allowing his previous pokémons get killed with only Genesis and Naua surviving and Darty as the symbol of hope of him moving past his personal hurdles.
“My morals may deviate from society’s standards but my vision and aspirations are unyielding,” he did not want to sound pleading but he wanted the creature to understand he where he was coming. “Who’s to say league are the good guys and we are the bad guys when people suffer and die under their watch?”
He marched forward, not minding the cold tempest that blasted him forward. “If this vision is worthy enough, then I’ll use your power to help change the world for the better.”
Articuno....A Legendary Pokemon, part of the trio that also consisted of Zapdos and Moltres. They were unbelievably rare like other Legendaries, but it's mythos was extraordinary in that it was also connected to the even rarer ability of producing an AVATAR bond with a Human host. Sebastian had been told growing up about the wonderful and fantastic bird, yet the stories he was told mentioned key factors that twisted Articuno's legacy. In this the stories mentioned that Articuno was truly cold and callous, the bird was dark and sinister the tales would say.
Not outright evil perhaps, but still dark.
As such when it was rumored that an Articuno had returned to the sight of mortals and was apparently nesting in Shoal Cave, Sebastian would set out on the personal journey, the adventure of a life time surely. Even before heading out his mind wandered with thoughts on how he might achieve the right to become Articuno's possible Avatar, so the trek ahead was of course full of nothing short of exactly the same. Keeping Maladi and Dooku at his left and right respectively for warmth due to their Fire-Type natures, Sebastian from time to time would find himself weeping a tad, sometimes more than others.
What had come to his mind? What thoughts had crossed him in such a hurtful way?
Had he given up on the chance to become Articuno's host?
Whatever the case the blonde youth would continue to push on, braving the environment as well as the elements outright. Battling Wild Pokemon when need be the trio would refuse to waste time if they had the choice, Sebastian applying potions to his Pokemon or feeding them berries when need be to keep them going. Becoming more and more careful the deeper into the adventure they got Sebastian would eventually lead his feline pack into the Articuno's "nest".
Before he could properly react, outside of his initial dumbfounded gaze and slightly agape mouth, Sebastian would find his mind battered with Articuno's telepathic thoughts.
It requested him to state why Sebastian felt he was worthy....It was something Sebastian had thought about for days at that point and so the Rocketeer would speak without hesitation.
I feel like I perhaps understand you better than most. It's not just about protecting things with you, no...You're more.
You're Articuno, the one who's willing to do what it takes.
The tough decisions, the hard calls....
Sacrifice for the greater good if need be even.
You're a vision of power, unadulterated....And it's because of this that I'm willing to sacrifice what I love....I offer you the life of my ally...my partner...my friend....my family....Pestilence the Meowth....
Proceeding to swiftly draw out Pestilence's Poke Ball, which had sat in his winter coat's front pocket being stirred by his right hand the entire trip up until that point. Indeed Sebastian had made his decision long ago at that point and yet he still felt horrible for it. Calling out Pestilence with a blur of blue energy the blonde would then motion forward as tears streamed from his eyes as Pestilence slightly turned to it's Trainer with terrified eyes.
Pestilence, you know....You know I love you....
Sebastian's eyes would never leave Pestilence's, it was an agonizing feat and yet the Rocket knew he couldn't break the stare. He owed Pestilence that much if this was indeed the cat's final moments and the sacrifice was accepted.
Articuno I sacrifice not only my love to you, but my life.
In this I feel Like I am worthy unlike so many others!
The failed sacrifice of attempting to turn Pidgeot into a Shadow Pokemon weighed heavily on his already guilty conscience, but Sebastian felt as if this was because of the nature of the event. Versus how presently the event before him was more mathematically sound, it was still a chance, but it felt...more natural?
story post notes; Sebastian offers Pestilence the Meowth's life [one of his STARTER Pokemon] to Articuno as a gift as well as to prove to the Legendary Pokemon that Sebastian too can make the tough decisions in the long run if need be. Believing that the Legendary Bird isn't a goody-goody, at least not outright.
The mischievous fox clung to his trainer's feet as the two treaded inside. Through the aid of his ILLUSION ability, Mirage kept Katherine and himself away from trouble. The wild pokemon that inhabited Shoal Cave had noticed the presence of the outsiders, but the dark-type masked himself as a large Abomasnow. None dared to question the Ice Monster, and for each pokemon that seemed unphased by his presence, another trembled in fear. [break][break] Katherine should've dressed better for this occasion. Maybe she should have even brought a coat with her. After all, she was here to investigate a rumor about none other than Articuno itself. The legendary bird pokemon. [break][break] This wasn't Katherine's first visit in Shoal Cave, but she didn't remember that it was ever this cold. The terrain inside was much harder to navigate in as well. Although Zorua did an excellent job at keeping wild pokemon terrified from engaging them, there was nothing he could do to help Kat traverse between the many Icy spikes and the danger they posed to her life. [break][break] One wrong move, one wrong step, one slip - and she might just find herself impaled by them. [break][break] For that purpose, Katherine releases her Lapras who can't help but sing in delight at the frost that touches his feet. The ice pokemon lowers himself slightly to help his trainer climb on top of its shell. "Lapis, dear, fill in the gaps for Mirage and us." The Dark-type - still masked as Abomasnow - nodded eagerly at the singing Lapras. [break][break] The Lapras is, of course, happy to come for his trainer's aid, and a beam of ice is released from his mouth to create a magnificent bridge for the group to travel on. It even draws the attention of other nearby pokemon, who are drawn to the luminous light of the ICE BEAM. [break][break] Together, they make their way deeper into the cave. The cold serves both as a warning and a welcoming gesture. It's both alarming and soothing, a strange mix of opposites that blends together gracefully to create something marvelous - and it's finally revealed when the heart of the cave is reached. [break][break] They are welcomed by the sight of tall glaciers and a bridge greater than the one Lapras has provided earlier. The perch of the icy avian is noticed too, along with his figure– but he is not recognized just yet. The Rocketess leaped off her Pokemon and gave him a quick pat on his shell before moving closer towards the mysterious figure. Zorua trailed her steps but stayed behind as well. [break][break] "It's really you." [break][break] The icy squall threatens her footing and perhaps even the stability of the bridge, but Katherine refuses to turn her back to the Legendary Pokemon after the journey she'd made. Articuno's voice echoed within her mind, catching the woman by surprise. It wasn't natural. It wasn't anything she was used to. [break][break] She stands tall and proud in front of the majestic bird and admires its beauty in silence until a decision is made to break it."You've been watching?" There's that hint of surprise in her tone, but she retains her serious expression. "Then you know just as well as I do that men disappoint. We all do." It's human nature - and no person could defy it. Disappointment and failure was imminent. Adversity was unconditionally weaved into fate by a higher force. [break][break] She would not beg, she would not argue her case, and she would not put on a show to appease the bird. She respected it enough to know that it wouldn't make a difference. [break][break] "This region was torn by war once, and if there's anything I've come to learn is that history always repeats itself." [break][break] "..But I am going to write a different ending." [break][break] Katherine draws a breath before taking a final step forward. Her posture is immaculate and despite the harsh cold that Articuno's mere presence exuded, she doesn't tremble or shake. [break][break]"My offer is for you to write it with me, Articuno."
As Corviknight lands upon the frosted shore outside of the Shoal Cave, the ice cracks beneath its metal talons. A bitter gale blows forth from the mouth of the cavern, and the words of cadis von klaussner ring in Gavin's ears. [break][break] "—are you aware of myths surrounding humans who were capable of bonding with a creature of legend?"[break][break]
In silence, he exchanges a glance with his trusted mount, and the two venture inside together.[break][break]
The treacherous trek through the cave brings memories of his youth. Circhester was a city of cold winds and jagged mountain peaks, a place of ancient history unchanging. As a child, Gavin had braved the slippery mountain trails as a rite of passage among friends. As a man, he picks his way carefully through the deadly cavern with the chilly gaze of the cavern's inhabitants following him all the while. They dare not approach, for Gavin stands in the hulking shadow of his shimmering silver beast.[break][break]
Shoal Cave has changed since the last time he was here. Passages previously waterlogged are left exposed, and the threat of losing his footing is amplified with every step. He could ride atop his Corviknight, but that would go against the spirit of Articuno's apparent challenge.[break][break]
Instead, he takes his time. He is slow, methodical, determined.[break][break]
At last, the heart of the cave opens up to him, and Gavin stares across the frozen bridge with undisguised awe.[break][break]
He blinks, surprised, at the voice that echoes through his thoughts.[break][break]
A blast of cold air confronts him head on, and he digs his sturdy hiking boots into the earth in order to maintain his footing. He dares not flinch, nor cower, and he does not look away from the majesty of the legendary bird.[break][break]
"If you have been watching, then you already know who I am."[break][break]
At his side, Corviknight shuffles its wings with a deep quark.[break][break]
Despite the treacherous gale that threatens to throw him from the icy bridge, Gavin closes the gap between himself and the Articuno, dares to meet it face to face. He is a cautious man, but this is not the first risk he has taken in the name of power.[break][break]
"I am no disappointment." At a signal from its master, the Galarian corvid takes flight and swoops toward the Articuno's perch, stopping above its trainer and beating back the icy winds with its own powerful wingbeats. "But perhaps you'd like a demonstration."[break][break]
Gavin bows his head respectfully before lifting his gaze to meet the Articuno's with fiery challenge. He lifts a hand, pulls the pin from his glasses and smiles as his Corviknight is wreathed in blinding light. The MEGA-EVOLVED avian shrieks a challenge of its own. If the Articuno sought worth in strength, Gavin would give it all he had.
[attr="class","notes"]notes: if it's not clear he's absolutely challenging articuno to a fight / rocket squad showing up in force for ice birb, couldn't resist joining in
His first encounter with what the general populace called a ‘legendary’ was nothing short of fleeting. It happened so long ago—in fact, it felt like a lifetime to Lars, but in reality it was only a couple years back, during the Wintertide Ball.
He was just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill Ranger back then.
But now, after spending the better part of one and a half years righting his way and climbing through the ranks, he was… he was there. Finally, at the peak; the apex, the… pinnacle, one could call it? He worked hard for the Head Ranger title, but in retrospect he felt… small, tiny, compared to everyone else who had been doing bigger things. Greater things. Things that resonated around the region as a whole.
He wanted to make the Rangers ‘great again’, if one could call it that. But of course, the power of one person isn’t enough to turn the tide against all opposition. There would be help needed from any source, and he was willing to take it.
So when the rumors spread of the Shoal Cave’s normally icy conditions going absolutely arctic, there was something… strange about the place. He wondered what had happened to Senri, the other Ranger who was blessed by the arctic bird’s breath back then… where was he now.
Following the words of those who had spotted some brave individuals plunging deep into the frozen territory, he made his trip during low tide, where the lowest floors of the place were accessible. If he was going to face what he believed was Articuno… he was going to do it, alone.
No Ro, no Alpha—just himself, against the chilling wind of winter’s bite.
He’d sent out the Metagross and the Lucario to stand guard at the entrance—he knew that Alpha was going to protest, but he shook his head.
“No,” he said softly to the Lucario. His longest partner, alongside Ro. “I need you two to stand guard here, okay? I know you’re both very capable of handling yourselves—but this is something I have to do by myself. I’ll… I’ll be back soon,” he reassured the two as he went over his last-minute preparations one more time.
He’d made sure to bring along the thickest pair of gloves, along with a suitable pair of hiking crampons for the trip—because who would even dare walk across ice on unprotected hiking boots? Definitely not him. Bundling himself up to protect against the cold, he plunged into the icy depths.
The wind, even at ‘base level’ of the Shoal Cave, was much colder than it normally should be. His brow furrowed, before he heard a hissing noise. Quickly making tracks across the ice, he found a safe space and sought shelter behind a cove of frozen rocks and heard the cries of wild Pokémon trundling by—
Leave no trace.
Disturb only what has to be disturbed.
He then secured the crampons onto the bottom of his hiking boots, and pulled on the gloves before skirting and dashing across the ice. He had to move fast, he had to go quick—lest he be spotted by the wild Pokémon that had, for some reason, become insanely territorial due to the sudden shift in weather.
He had enough time to traverse down to the bottom levels—watching his step every so often. He’d almost been chased by some Ice-types who had spotted him, but his quick thinking allowed him to put as much distance between himself and the wild Pokémon as soon as he could.
He had to keep moving. Stopping in a place whose temperature dropped the deeper he went was tantamount to suicide.
He had to keep going.
The thought of meeting what he thought was just a figment of his imagination was what kept him moving. Years of Ranger training helped him traverse the treacherous terrain, and avoid any lairs and dens of Ice-types that were wandering around, seemingly emboldened by the sudden turn of events within Shoal Cave. There was an incident involving a Glalie where he was chased across a particularly thin patch of ice, but luck—sheer luck, or maybe it was just chance—was on his side, allowing him to slip away at the very last second before the Glalie ended up devouring him.
Yikes, since when had they become incredibly territorial?
The cold was seeping in through his clothes, his very being—but there was only one thing in his mind: moving forward. That was what kept him going. Lower and lower he went, until at last, he found the largest hallways of ice—three, no, five feet thick and still growing fast due to the strong, throbbing presence he could feel the closer he got to the lowest level.
He was tempted to run back for safety and return with his Pokémon to make the traverse, but there were some walks that he had to take alone.
And he was doing this for hopefully the right reason.
Even if the wintry chill would bring anyone to death’s door in more ways than one, he finally found himself at the lowest level of Shoal Cave, rubbing his hands together as he looked up in silent awe at the entrance to the frozen cove. The incredible pressure building up was a sign he was getting closer. He could hear the hissing of the air as it grew louder ringing in his ears.
The moment he crossed the threshold of the entrance felt like he was crossing the rubicon, to be quite honest.
He wasn’t sure if this was the same Articuno that had chosen Senri long ago, but—
The frigid blast of wind was more than enough to send anyone reeling, but he steeled himself. It was adrenaline moving him forward at this point as he held up his hands to protect against the frigid blast before it eventually died down, revealing the bird of ice itself.
“I—I know that I may not have done much yet, but,” he began quietly, his voice stammering for a few moments before he forced himself to man up and face the Articuno head on, eye to eye, “I always wondered, if I stood a chance against everything else. Even with my Pokémon, I know there are impossible odds, but—“
Clearing his throat, he continued as his voice rang through the cave, mustering up all his courage.
“If you have been watching, then so have I. There’s much to be done, and I offer you—my life. Take it, if you must. I know that my companions, who are waiting for me outside, can handle themselves. But if you insist, and you want a test. Take it. I have but one life, one soul, to give you.”
He’s a mad lad. Basically Metagross and Lucario are standing guard at the entrance of Shoal Cave while he made the treacherous trek down into the deepest parts by himself.
Evan closes his eyes and quiets them, makes them steady as he reaches for another branch of ice. Cold and solid beneath his touch, it is leverage for well placed foot falls. He does not walk with the clunk of his boots today, the exadrill skin clinging to bottom of his feet allow him to tread the terrain with only the worry of the cold.
That is why he moves fast, well practiced, well traveled. As if this ice cold cave were a home as much as the warmth of his wooden tavern walls. As if it were as familiar as the dirt of the forest beneath his feet. As if it were as soothing as the water of the river washing over his toes on a summer day.
For the earth itself is the only home he has ever known.
But gods his hands won't stop shaking.
He releases the fire type in small intervals. The Volcarona's heat does well to keep him from going numb as he huddles in his jacket, the only other companion at his side the mimkyu who has followed him since the beginning of time. His time, at least. They are one in the same, it is only natural that they face the legend together, for without her there would be no him, and without him she would hold no purpose.
Growing too warm becomes a burden, it makes him sleepy, it makes his mind wander to better things. To sitting by the fire in the winter, to welcoming the travelers to his small shelter. To sweets being roasted over the campfire, to the smell of the wood burning in the late hours of the night. His eyes fall at the sight of the stars above his clearing, the thought that they would be there if he looked up and looked hard enough.
The cold makes him weary, his target makes him anxious. Feet move heavy against the frozen earth but they move. They move and they ache and they begin to tremble the same as his hands and his Mimikyu must rise to meet him. Her shadow correcting faulty steps, creating footholds as he needs them, making the climb where he cannot. She leads him to nooks and crannies, small hiding places, short lived shelters to recover his warmth. They sneak past the frozen pokemon that call the cave home, he is quick to avoid them where they might disturb them.
Fuck he thinks when a pebble falls from his slipping foot and alarms a pokemon that watches him too closely. That eyes the mimikyu perched on his shoulder but the chittering deters it. They are not here for a fight, they are here to see. She guides him away swiftly, the detour is long but the battle is avoided.
It seems like the further they go the longer it takes. But he will not be deterred, he does not look to fight.
Evan Fader is lost in his mind, dancing about the thoughts of what he might find when he comes upon it. Cold, shaking, anxiety filling his body. He knew they were real but there had been a hope in his mind he would not see it tonight, that he would not come upon it like this.
He does. He walks forward. He buckles beneath the wind, knee finding ice and rising from it just as quickly. When he looks at the bird it is with wonder and worry and false eyes.
There are others here, to make their offerings, to make their sacrifices, to make whatever it is they might have to offer. Whatever they thought the old god could possibly want. Evan an only stand in wonder, features cloaked in shock and disbelief. And then, in telltale Evan fashion, he laughs.
Happy, worried, shaking like his hands.
"They have so much to offer you don't they?" he manages to grin at the bird, looking down at his hands a moment later. As if he might find something there, in the roughness, in the callouses from work upon the earth. "And here I am just a drop of water amongst them aren't I?"
One you have already rejected once, right?
Still shaking. Evan reaches for his eyes as he speaks. "If my people are to be believed, I cannot receive your gift, for it has already been given to me. They call me, my kind, the children you have all chosen, god touched."
He no longer looks upon the god with false eyes, the red-black lens sitting in his shaking palm. One eye seeks the bird, bright blue, as blue as the feathers upon its back.
"And if it is to be believed, I am one that you have already rejected."why?"Maybe that's for the better, because if you have been watching you know what I am capable of."it knows how far he fell could fall, will fall-"And you know what I have done to change that."words on paper mean everything and nothing all at once. Actions mean things and fall to the nothingness of lost memories- what are they worth? Anything?"You know what I hope to continue to do."
"I cannot give you anything that has not already been offered. I cannot give you promises that I do not know I will be able to keep."
His eyes wander now, mismatched and seeking somewhere to sit. A place to perch himself much the same as his mimikyu does herself upon his shoulder. She chitters at him when there is nothing, a shadow forming in the place of a rock, somewhere for him to rest his feet.
"But what I can give you, is every story that I have ever heard about you. What I can give you is the legends that have been saved and loved in the years that have come to be and been lost."
"I do not ask for your gift in return." his lungs feel shaky in the cold, he takes a breath almost too deep. "Because I do not need it to change the world."
"All I ask for is the chance to ask a question, and to hear its answer."
"And if for some- forsaken reason" he laughs, amused by the thought. "You choose me, I will seek the answer for myself."
To be an Avatar for a legendary... It was a practice he'd never heard of until recently. Many would surely vie for them when they appeared, but only one would be chosen. Josh didn't know what brought him here. Was it the promise of great power? Perhaps. Was it maybe just his personal curiosity? He wasn't sure. Or perhaps even was it his yearning for adventure that always brought him from home and to the most dangerous of places? Could be. Perhaps even a mix of all of those things. But it was only when he arrived in the frozen area, finding himself shaking both from cold and from the nerves that wracked him, that he pondered to himself just what he wanted, what he would even want the power of Articuno for.
It was like magic that thoughts of all those years ago came to him. His wife, Izumi, being strung up and tortured. Watching cities burn, watching destruction be waged... And he did all he could, but sometimes it wasn't enough. He held pride in his capabilities, but even Josh could admit when he could use a bit of help. He had no desire for personal glory. Sure, he had found some success and fame as a trainer, as an actor, as a businessman along the way... But that was just that. Along the way. He had cut his path through that lust for adventure, and later that desire to help people. To protect the life around him. To fight for those who couldn't fight for themselves.
At the cave's belly, a voice shot through his head. Glimpsing the force of nature before him, he only had a few moments to process their words before a frozen gust nearly sent him off his feet. Holding out his hand towards Articuno to shield himself, he felt himself being pushed back, perhaps more than he could fight back again.
But he didn't stop walking. He grit his teeth, planted his feet...
And he spoke.
"I don't know if it will be enough. Lord knows I've felt a hundred times by now like it isn't" he growled, refusing to be pushed down. Refusing to be blown away. Stubbornly refusing to give in and let things happen any longer. Now he had a region to fight for...
And a family as well.
It was in these moments that he showed himself as the most stubborn and determined he had ever been in his life.
Being part of creating life had only strengthened his desire to protect it.
"... But what I offer is a stubborn soul, who will not stop..."
He thought he could see the faces of the Team Light members he had faced before in the gusts, those he had stopped... And those he had been hunting since.
His legs shook. His entire body shook. He was cold, and the gusts threatened to bowl him over at any moment. But he kept planted.
"... Until they are safe. And no matter who or what rises up again... I will be there. I've spent this life fighting, time and time again... I've bonded with many of your kind, who I call friend. Who I call partner. And they walk this path with me, even when things get tough. And for them, and with them... I keep fighting."
He dug in his heels. He felt faint. But he didn't stop.
"If you have watched... You know that I don't intend to quit anytime soon. I am more determined to do this than I have ever been."
WITH EACH OFFER OR TESTIMONY, the articuno listens intently. there is no malice, no belittlement or violence. instead, the ice legendary seems content with each audience, communicating the rationale of its choices with a cold telepathic link.[break][break]
i do not care much for the justifications human make. however, i will place my stake in this war. your vision is laudable, but not aligned with my values. you have something special within you, and in due time, one will recognize it.
such sadness. although the life of a pokemon is tempting, i do not take sacrifices. there are others that will. you must find healing— but by other means. i will grant you and your pokemon safe passage out of this cave.
i would be inclined to offer my boons to you; however, another being has seemingly claimed you for their own. i do not wish to meddle in their affairs. and so, you will be writing an ending with another... but may we cross paths again.
aggression does not sit well with me. yet, i know of many others who will be entertained by such ferocity. bestowing my power unto you would be a waste, for there are many others that are more suited to you than i am. recall your pokemon, and i will grant you safe passage out of this cove.
then continue. your determination has been acknowledged, and your desire to protect others is admirable. yet, you have much to prove here still. what can you do for hoenn?
WHEN LARS GREETS the articuno, the bird's glacial gaze centers on him and a terrible cold begins to chill the head ranger's blood. when the man offers his life, the ice bird begins to flap its wings. ice shimmers from the bird's feathers as the frigid gales swirl around him.[break][break]
"I WILL NOT TAKE LIFE— BUT I WILL ACCEPT YOU AS MY OWN. YOU HAVE REMINDED ME OF YOUR PREDECESSOR. DESPITE YOUR CURRENT MEEKNESS, YOU HAVE PRACTICED IMMENSE COMPOSURE COMING HERE. HOWEVER, I HAVE WITNESSED THAT YOU ARE OF ILL-TEMPER. OF BITTER HEART. AND ALTHOUGH SUCH TRAITS MAY CLASH WITH MINE OWN, I BELIEVE OUR PARTNERSHIP CAN HELP YOU FIND PEACE."[break][break]
the articuno continues, the winds howling within the cave. "YOU HAVE IMPRESSED ME WITH YOUR JOURNEY HERE. DESPITE THE COLD, DESPITE THE DANGERS OF THIS COVE, YOU HAVE PUSHED FORWARD WITHOUT AGGRESSION, WITHOUT VIOLENCE. YOU DISTURBED LITTLE IN YOUR PATH TO REACH ME— AND SUCH COMPOSURE MUST BE REWARDED. LAURENCE, YOU WILL BE AVATAR."[break][break]
the icy winds swirl around lars. a blue glow emanates from his body as articuno bestows its power unto him. with a triumphant cry, the articuno ceases the hurricane of ice before. the two will make their way out of the cave and to lars' waiting pokemon.[break][break][break]
[attr="class","chosen"]YOU ARE WORTHY
[attr="class","chosen2"] articuno has chosen lars, the composed, as their avatar.[break]
lars receives the following perks:
lars receives 10 infamy.
lars possesses the ability to conjure ice like magic.
lars can summon icy wings to spread from his back, granting him the gift of flight. he can also attack with them to inflict the freeze condition.
lars' body is immune to low temperatures/freezing climates, and he will find himself able to stay calm with ease.
lars' pokemon are immune to the freeze condition; his pokemon will find their ice-type moves boosted in strength and their chance to inflict the freeze condition is boosted as well.
feel free to add articuno to your party.
everyone who has participated will receive 1x premium gachapon ticket, immediately redeemable in the site shop. thank you for your wonderful writing!