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Character Count: 101
Ml: 48 - Fml: 51 - Oth: 2
OR - 14 | R - 17 | H - 47 | G - 23

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Season: Autumn

With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.

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 Sky and Sand, Solo | .W. | Challenge
Carnivale
 Posted: May 27 2017, 10:20 PM
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Peace and safety, friend.
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Carmen Caldwell, Lahi Sharandi, Gilen Bassett

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Aneirin Vaughan, Level 3


Your Task/Challenge:
QUOTE
All the Pokemon spawned in the freeform must play an important role in its plot, whether they are to be caught or not.


And Your Spawn Pool!

http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/556.png
Water Absorb and Storm Drain
Seed Bomb and Grassy Terrain

http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/Frillish_male.png / http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/Frillish_female.png
Cursed Body and Damp
Acid Armor and Recover

http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/43oddish.png
Chlorophyll and Runaway
Teeter Dance and Nature Power

Level Bracket: [ 1 - 13 ]

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PCR
Gilen Bassett
Profile --- Travels
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Lahi Sharandi
Profile --- Travels
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Carmen Caldwell
Profile ---- Travels
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 Posted: May 27 2017, 11:19 PM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




The ropes cut into Nye's hand as he kept a firm grip. He felt the hot wind on his face, and the breeze made little pellets of sand hit his skin. Route Seven, leading out of Navdia Crater was sand, and sweat, and... a lot of sand. He rolled his shoulders. Nye wasn't a fan of open, dry areas. He wasn't a fan of the desert that loomed between the Crater and the rest of Harper Region. He rolled his shoulders as he glanced above at the sky. It was three hours until sunset, and the sky was already starting to darken over the western part of the world. He could probably keep going in the dark with Houndour at the helm, but at the same time, he couldn't expect the breeze to keep up. The sail hit the wooden pole in the middle of the desert-schooner, and Nye's fingers pulled at random strands of the rope.

"Alright. Let's go," he breathed. He once again rolled his shoulders and looked at Duskull, who swayed happily by his side. The schooner was a smaller one, built for one or two people, and partially covered on three sides. The top part of it had a small opening that fit two people safely inside during a rogue sandstorm, but the rest of it was tampered like a boat. Nye had absolutely no idea what he was doing. He had seen sailors use the sails on boats coming in and out of the ports at Marchton, but he had no idea what he was doing now. He just hoped for the best. Well, no; okay, in all honest, he knew how to drop a sail and guide the schooner. The lady he paid fifty gold coins to for the schooner had told him to pull one rope to go left, another to go right, and to hold onto the handle on the main sail to go straight. Or, if he was feeling a bit more confident, to secure the ropes to the small tie on the back of the schooner.

It wasn't that hard... right?

He rolled his shoulders again and looked at Duskull. The ghost Pokemon stared at him with the beady red eye and let it bounce between the hollow sockets of his head. "Dus-Dusk~" the ghost responded. Nye struggled to not roll his eyes. His Pokemon glided effortlessly with the wind towards him, did a circle around Nye's shoulders, and then settled into the opening by Nye's feet. He could stay there and not get lost, but if Nye was honest, he wanted his starter Pokemon in the pokeball, safe from the wind and possibility of being separated.

With one final check off, Nye looked around and let his firm grip loosen on the sail. It started to unravel from the loose hold it was in. As it came undone, the schooner gave a large shove from the wind, and Nye almost lost his footing. He readjusted himself and held firm -- his right hand held the sail's pole and his left held the rope. His feet were aligned with his shoulders; it was almost like a fighting stance. His father, just briefly, popped into his head; show confidence, even if you don't have any. It was good advice, but even the lady, just feet away and perched upon a larger schooner with a couple of mounting Pokemon, looked rather annoyed or disappointed at Nye's slow attempt of sand-sailing.

The handler, though, wouldn't give up. He let more of the rope go and as he did, the wind got caught in the sail. It was a little bumpy at first; Nye struggled to grasp how the wind was going to push the schooner, and even then, he had accidentally started to go left instead of right, which brought him around towards the crater. Okay, so it wasn't towards the crater, it was more... around it. Well, that's not what he wanted. He wanted to really follow the path and head back towards the main route... well, he wanted to get back to Marchton. He was glad that he knew somewhat where he wanted to go. It wasn't always clear, but he knew circling the Crater wasn't in store for him.

It was almost an hour before Nye managed to get himself somewhat comfortable with the schooner, and another twenty to do a big circle and head back up the path he had previously carved. By now, the sun had started to dip towards the horizon; it was a large, bright mass of orange-yellow that started to paint the sky light hues of purple, greens and yellows. Nye took in the sights for a while as the schooner cascaded over a rather weirdly shaped hill of sand. He swerved towards the Crater again and struggled to pull it back. Duskull chatted happily at his feet, almost in amusement at Nye's failures, and the handler huffed angrily at him, "I'd like to see you do better, Duskull."

His threats were empty. Duskull just liked shiny things and himself. He wasn't interested in getting Nye where he needed to go.

The sun finally started to dip below the horizon as Nye saw the schooner rental place far in the distance. It was still a blur, and the handler gave a frustrated sigh. He wanted to be as close to the other routes as possible, but at this rate, he could've paid a pretty piece of gold for a room in Navdia Center. He slowed the schooner down on the valley of two large, almost imposing looking hills and rolled the sail up. Duskull floated upwards and Nye rose an eyebrow as his pokemon gave him a judgmental look. "Shut up. I'm taking a rest. We'll get to the main road tomorrow and go along from there." Nye shook his head and took a seat. He undid the latch to the small compartment and Duskull twitted happily before drifting off a little away. Nye kept an eye on him, and he knew Duskull wouldn't go that far. He'd just have to be careful.

They'd start fresh in the morning, and they'd go from there. That was that.


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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W
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 09:29 PM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




The night was starting to darken the horizon. Despite the fact that Nye had traveled at least a little distance to catch up where he wanted to go, the handler knew he’d tack on an extra day of travel. Not that he really minded. He watched his Pokemon with tired eyes, and a rather annoyed look on his face as the Duskull floated this way and that. Shadows started to form long, dark fingers in the sand, and Houndour laid her head gently on the side of the schooner as she, too, watched the ghost. It wasn’t much, but they had started a small fire, just enough that Nye could cook some of the food he had on him, and at least he and Houndour could eat.

Nye, even after all this time, was still unsure if Duskull could eat. He’d offer, but the ghost Pokemon was far more interested in floating off. “Behave yourself, Duskull,” Nye warned carefully. He knew quite well at how… strange and off kilter Duskull could be. Some days were definitely worse than others. Houndour stretched as she watched the way the ghost floated about, and when Duskull disappeared in a shadow – and that bright, red eye of his seemed to melt into the darkness – she gave a weird look to Nye.

The handler didn’t seem to notice. He made a slightly annoyed comment under his breath as he settled himself in the space he kept his stuff. “Whatever. We’re going to get an early start, so I really hope you don’t try to leave me, Duskull. I’m giving you a lot of trust right now,” the handler warned. He tucked his arms across his chest as he settled in, and Houndour curled up herself. Nye planned on leaving her out just in case of an emergency, but he didn’t expect her to stay awake the entire time. She deserved to sleep, too.

Duskull, though, simply watched from the shadows. He twirled in an aimlessly excited circle as Nye settled in for the night, and as the sun danced the last few lights against the sun, he found himself drifting off. He wouldn’t go too far, but… but something was definitely interesting. He watched Nye for another moment, and once his handler was mostly asleep, he flitted off. There was something interesting about this area, and he just… he needed to explore. There was just something interesting that he wanted to see. So, he floated off. It wasn’t too far; far enough that he could still see Nye through the darkness, but that even if he reappeared in the darkness, his own red eye wouldn’t be visible. It was fine by the ghost, in all honesty; he didn’t need Nye breathing down his neck.

No, uh, pun intended, considering it was Duskull who breathed down Nye’s neck.

The pure ghost hovered above the sand as he peaked over a dune. On the other side, it sloped towards the crater and vaguely, dancing on the water, were Pokemon. Duskull spun eagerly; they were ghosts! He could feel it in – uh – his metaphorical bones! He floated towards them but stayed above the sand as he watched, his red eye bouncing eagerly.

There must have been four or five of them; Duskull couldn’t keep count because they kept moving. Sometimes, one of them would dip under the water, and another would bounce upwards into the air. It was like they were doing some sort of ritualistic dance, and Duskull was highly interested in it. To Duskull, it was quite an interesting sight. It was something that the pure ghost didn’t often see, and it was quite interesting to watch. Duskull hovered there for a while, watching and admiring.

Neither he nor the Frillish saw what was coming.


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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 Posted: Jul 4 2017, 10:03 PM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




Along the side of the crater, maybe seventy steps away from Duskull, a little light of fire bounced on the sand. The light bounced effortlessly against the sand below it, like a Litwick that danced along the wind. Neither the group of Frillish or the lone Duskull noticed. This was for two reasons: the first, Nye’s prized Duskull, his longtime childhood friend, was far too enamored by the shifting shapes and ghost-y kindred that danced along the water. The second reason was that the Frillish were enjoying their idly play along the water. The three lower appendages skimmed the top of the water. They drew pictures in the liquid, creating little waves of white froth over where they had danced.

As the fire bounced closer to the water, the ghosts stayed where they were, oblivious as always. It was Duskull who saw it, first – the bright, red flash that signaled a Pokemon being summoned. The ghost’s own red eye danced in his hollowed socket as he watched, curious as to what was happening. Even in the darkness, Duskull could see the faint shadow of a dark green figure next to someone who seemed like they were about Nye’s height. The curious ghost closed in closer, but he stopped.

The figure – the Pokemon – moved to attack. Little sparks of light seemed to catch the last of the light that painted the sky, and headed across the water towards the Frillish. Duskull could hear the high pitched, terrified squeals of the other part-Ghost Pokemon. His eye turned to watch as one of the Frillish dipped beneath the water, but before any of the other ones could get away, more of those little lights seemed to appear. Three more rounds hit the ghost types on the water, and Duskull felt himself feeling the pain, too. Bright red encased two more of the Frillish, and the last Frillish attempted to dip beneath the water.

Right before it got under it, though, the light started to appear. Without thinking, Duskull let an orb of purple, blue and navy grow between his stubby little arms and then shoot. It skimmed the Pokeball that tried to catch the Frillish, but it was of no use. The little Frillish was pulled into the red light and the Pokeball soared back towards the human with the weirdly shaped Pokemon. For a moment, Duskull felt the way the man – was it a man? – turn towards him.

Without thinking, Duskull diminished himself into the shadows. It was a smart move, because the new person was trying to find him. Nye wouldn’t have been happy.

After what felt like an eternity, the human recalled their Pokemon and started up the dune. Duskull made an irritated sound before he skimmed over the water, trying to find the single Frillish that survived. He felt angry at himself; how could he not help? He wanted to help! He felt so useless. Nye would’ve done more. Nye wasn’t like him. Nye knew what to do in the situations.

A little pink part of something poked up from the dark water beneath, and it started Duskull. He definitely wasn’t expecting that. He lurked a little closer, his eye becoming visible as he slowly let his presence appear. As he got closer, the Frillish started to come up from the water; it was as if she was drawn to the attraction of Duskull. The pure ghost hovered a few feet from her, giving space, but also allowing her time to acclimate.

“Are you okay?” Duskull asked quietly towards her. The Frillish’s bright blue eyes stared at his single red one, and finally the part-Ghost responded.

“All my friends were taken,” she said softly towards her new… new friend? She wasn’t sure she could trust him, and then the thought of him being apart of that man’s crew… she pulled herself away, dipping her appendages back into the water, the desperation of nerves taking over natural habits. “Are you apart of –”

Before she could finish, the eye on Duskull’s face bounced and he made a grunt of disapproval. “No. I tried to save one of your friends. I tried. I’m sorry. I couldn’t help. But I know someone who can! He’s really good peoples. He can help,” Duskull pointed out. The Frillish was skeptical and eyed Duskull for a long moment before she pulled herself back out of the water and floated ever so slightly towards Duskull.

“You know someone who could get my friends back?” the part-Water Pokemon asked. Duskull danced in a circle in eager anticipation as he grew more comfortable talking to his new friend.

“Yes! He’s my peoples. He can help, I promise. And if he can’t, he can try really hard to do it! He doesn’t give up,” Duskull bragged. He liked breathing down Nye’s neck, and enjoyed scaring his boy, but at the same time, he knew Nye had his heart in the right place. Much better than his father’s heart was, Duskull reminded himself. The eye bounced eagerly between his hollowed sockets and he started towards the shore. “I will bring you to him! Come, come. We can get your friends soon if you hurry!” Duskull added.

The Frillish hesitated for a long moment before she finally started towards the shore, following the Duskull. She was skeptical about this person or peoples or whatever it was that Duskull was talking about, but she’d give it a try.

Whatever helped get her friends back.


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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 Posted: Jul 4 2017, 10:47 PM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




When Duskull and his new Frillish friend arrived at the little schooner boat thing, both the Houndour and Nye were passed out. Duskull hovered over his handler for a long moment, as if his presence alone would wake up the unusually deep sleeper, and when it didn’t work, he made an irritated grunt sound. He turned to the Frillish, who stared at Nye curiously. She had never seen a human, let alone realized that they had Pokemon as friends.

“This is my peoples. He’s just asleep. He needs to sleep to be happy and alive,” Duskull boasted. Frillish hovered silently over the sand, unsure of what to do besides, well, stare. Duskull continued, “He sleeps heavy, but maybe there could be a way you can wake him up? He won’t be mad, I promise!”

Duskull knew that Nye would be momentarily upset, but when the situation was clear to his human, it’d be worth it. The Frillish looked at the other Ghost for a long moment before she gave her head a little nod and then looked down at the boy. He sprawled out on the schooner with the Houndour at the bow of the ship. The Houndour had her paws crossed and her head down, her ears up and twitching as she slept. The boy – the peoples, as Duskull referred to him as – had his mouth open and weird sounds escaped his mouth. Without thinking, the Frillish pressed to ask a question.

“Does he always make a weird mating call?”

Duskull gave a little chuckle sound and spun around in amusement. He really liked his new friend, and his eye bounced eagerly between the sockets of his hollowed skull, “Always has! He’s a strange one, but I like him. Wake him up! You’ll see!”

The Frillish hesitated again as she turned to look at the rather hyper looking Duskull. He didn’t act like other Ghosts she had met (which were mostly just the other four Frillish that were her friends), but she didn’t make a sound about it. Instead, she turned to the weird mating-calling boy who laid on the schooner. She twirled in place, her five appendages moving in a fluid circle, before a bunch of bubbles came out and headed straight for the boy’s face. Hopefully it would work.



- - -


Nye’s dream was… well… weird.

A little part of him wanted to continue in the world of dreamland. He was walking around his home, the one his father had left him once he was gone, and that he hadn’t gone on the adventures he was on now. Duskull wasn’t around; things were rather quiet. He kept up with his training in the art of the swords, and the hand to hand combat that he didn’t think he’d ever use. The thing is, with his own dream, was that the house seemed a lot weirder than he remembered. It was a lot bigger, as if he was smaller or the house was bigger. It wasn’t like it was much of a house; a little shack made of clay, stone and some logs, three rooms big, and quite cozy. He could still remember the cold nights of Marchton sitting around the warm fire and…

Wait. Why was his house flooding? No, it wasn’t flooding. These were… bubbles? Why were there bubbles in his home? The boy’s eyebrows knit together in the middle of his forehead as he tried to piece everything together. This was definitely strange. He didn’t understand. The bubbles rose: passed his knees… then passed his hips… higher and higher and higher until…

Nye gasped, sitting up suddenly. By doing this, he got a mouthful (and a face full) of bubbles. They were salty tasting and definitely startled him. He had to move his arms in front of his face as he tried to get his bearings. Was it already time to wake up? Did he have any Pokemon who knew any water moves? He tried to think. Duskull knew Ice Beam, but this wasn’t it. Houndour couldn’t know any water moves because of her typing, and he still hadn’t really known about the Sandygast… it was definitely not something he thought was possible.

He heard the lithe of a “Dus-Dus-Dusk~” laugh, and as the bubbles stopped, he saw the amused bounce of his ghost type Pokemon’s eye dancing behind the sockets of his face. Nye scowled, annoyed, but still didn’t piece it together. The Frillish, while bright in color, had faded a bit into the darkness that surrounded the entire group. Houndour’s ears flicked as she lifted her head and stared into the darkness, but couldn’t see anything new.

“Duskull, what are you doing? Why did you wake me up?” Nye breathed. He rubbed his face and tried to wipe the water off his face with the back of his arm, but since that was pretty wet, it was just like spreading water more. Duskull danced around in a circle and the Frillish started to slowly appear. She was nervous and hesitant, and now that the mate-calling boy was… talking… she was afraid that she’d be gone like her friends.

“Dusk-Dusk-Duskull,” Duskull tried. He knew Nye couldn’t understand him, so he tried to use gestures and movements. The handler stared at his Ghost friend with a dumbfounded look. Nye, clearly, did not understand what Duskull was trying to say.

In turn, he moved to go back to laying down. “Duskull, cut it out. I need to sleep,” Nye grumbled. Duskull did not like that answer and hovered close to Nye. The Frillish hovered in the air, still unsure.

“Dus-Duskull.”

It was a warning sound, and Nye peered an eye open at his Pokemon. Duskull’s eye bored into him, and the handler grumbled in irritation. If he didn’t get up and listen to his Pokemon’s strange request, then he’d never get the end of it.

“Fine. We’ll do whatever is bothering you,” Nye huffed in annoyance. He sat back up and Duskull spun in a circle, and floated over to the sail of the schooner and made a point for Nye to use it. He knew the way, Nye would just have to trust him.

“Are you going to introduce me to your friend?” the handler asked as he pulled on his boots and dusted some of the desert’s sand out of his hair. He pulled his Pokecard out and hovered it at the Frillish, but he knew he couldn’t read any of it in the dark. He’d have to read it later. Duskull made an annoyed sound and moved to the Frillish, pushing her towards Houndour and then floated back towards Nye, making an irritated sound. Nye rolled his eyes as he stood up and moved. He dropped the sail and the entire schooner started to move.

“Lead the way, I guess. To whatever new adventure you’re making me go on without sleep,” the handler huffed. The Frillish gave a little squeak in appreciation, and Duskull hovered by the boards of the boat. He was definitely going to help the Frillish get her friends back. He was determined to!


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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 Posted: Aug 9 2017, 03:11 AM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




The only thing that Nye could taste was sand. It felt like he had taken a cup, filled it with the grains, and then drank it. His teeth, tongue and gums were covered. His hair was covered, too. It was like it wanted him to become sand. It was disgusting. He grumbled under his breath as he watched the way Duskull moved. When Duskull wanted him to go left, he’d swing aimlessly towards the right, and vice versa. It was equally terrible when Nye would pull towards the way that Duskull leaned, and would get an angry screech from the ghost. It was definitely a learning curve that he had to attempt to fix quick.

He wasn’t sure where Duskull was taking him, but he knew that it wasn’t a fun trip. Through the darkness, he could barely see what was coming up, and multiple times, he didn’t have enough speed to get up a hill. They’d slow halfway up it, and then go backwards, prompting all of them to start to panic. Nye would pull on the sail and they’d somehow turn around and proceed to soar down the hill and up another one, in the total opposite direction. Duskull, of course, would get pissy and make strange sounds towards him, but Nye just turned the schooner around and they’d try again.

“You really better know where we’re going. I’ll be so mad if you’re just leading me into this strange adventure because you were tired of waiting for me to sleep,” Nye warned his Duskull. The Pokemon stared at him with his bright, red eye, and made another sound. It was, to Nye, a ‘keep this path, don’t venture’ but it wasn’t like the words were said. Instead, Duskull floated upwards towards the schooner’s hidey spot where Houndour was curled up asleep, and the Frillish hovered anxiously about.

“Your peoples isn’t very good at directions,” she said idly as Duskull approached. He glanced at her then over his little shoulder at Nye who was busy mumbling angrily under his breath. He did an eager spin around and then floated towards the Frillish, absolutely interested in her.

“He’s a little stupid, but I enjoy him,” Duskull responded. The tentacles on the Frillish swayed with the wind, and the ghost peered over her head to keep track of where they were. He had no idea how he knew the Frillish were this way – he was just gauging by the direction the man had drifted off in. He didn’t want to say that he had no idea where they were going.

“He’s definitely strange. Are you sure he’s going to be able to find them? I just miss my friends,” she said sadly. If Duskull had any sort of facial or physical reactions to his emotions, he’d be like a dog with his ears down flat and his tail between his legs. Instead, his eye dimmed and he started to dim a little. He didn’t know how to fix this, but he desperately wanted to. The part water ghost didn’t seem to notice his reaction. She was too wrapped up with her own problems that she couldn’t see Duskull’s.

“We’ll get them back,” Duskull resolved. He wasn’t sure about it himself, to be fair, but now that he saw how sad she was, he was determined to. He floated back towards Nye as the schooner lost some speed towards the top of a hill, and he could hear the annoyed sounds escaping out of Nye’s mouth. He didn’t want to go backwards again.

Duskull figured none of them really did.

Even so, the little ghost appeared in front of Nye. He opted to not startle him this time, and simply floated in the air as he watched the situation unfold. Somehow, whether it was just enough wind or just enough speed, they cleared the dune and downwards they went.

It was a downwards spiral for them. It was long and dusty and Nye grumbled as sand whacked against his face. If anything, he just wanted a bath or to go swimming. He’d kill for it right now. As they finished decending the little dune valley, Nye realized they weren’t going to be making it up. Not right away, at least. The wind had stopped, and they had only managed to sail in between the two horizontally instead of vertically with the momentum. It was definitely a strange thing.

“This is apparently all we’re doing right now, Duskull.” Nye’s voice cracked in irritation – whether sadness or disappointment or anger at himself, Duskull could never know. The pure ghost lingered for a moment as the rays of sun started to lift in the sky. It was only just night when Nye went to sleep, wasn’t it?

Was Duskull leading him on a wild goose chase?

Duskull didn’t know anymore.


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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 Posted: Jun 28 2018, 02:55 AM
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Senior Handler
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Background Admins/Head Mods
Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




The schooner had slowly come to a complete stop in the midst of a valley between two dunes. Frustrated, Nye paced up and down the sand boat with an ounce of irritation while the Pokemon who were out watched. Duskull floated next to him, almost sympathetically bouncing along the air with Nye’s agitated movements. The ghost wanted to help, but he was at a loss now. Even the Frillish started to look lackluster and sad. She had settled herself sadly next to the Houndour who kept her head on her paws, hears relaxed as she kept watch for anything to come towards them.

“I don’t know what you want me to do, Duskull. I don’t even know where you were trying to take me. This is so totally off from where I wanted to go. You know, I didn’t even sleep all that long,” the handler complained as he turned sharply on his heel and paced towards the opposite end of the schooner. Duskull hesitated, floating at the end opposite of his handler and the other Pokemon, and let his bright eye bounce. Rays of light tickled the sky, starting that warm orange colored hue.

The ghost turned to the other Pokemon and then looked around. Something… something didn’t feel right. He looked around. There was nothing but the deep orange-brown sand and dunes around them. Not even Pokemon…

“We can’t give up, I promised I’d help you,” the ghost replied to his new half-ghost friend. He swooped across the sand boat with an incredible speed and hovered near the other Pokemon. He prodded the Houndour a little with one of his ghost hands but all she did was roll over to ignore the prankster, “Houndour! Please help us!”

“I’m not particularly interested in helping,” she said idly. She, after all, didn’t particularly like their Handler who took her off the street… but, then again, she did like how he fed her and kept her safe. She’d… be hesitant to help the Duskull, though.

“Pleaseeeeeee? Please I’ll return the favor! I won’t ever startle you or anything!” Duskull pleaded. His words made the Houndour’s ears twitch a bit, and her dark eyes turned to look at her ghost companion.

“Fine. But I expect you to keep your word. What do I need to help with?” she stood up and stretched her body, letting her front half dip into the schooner and her butt stay in the air for a long moment. Duskull floated above her, eager to explain what he was thinking.

“Can you go and try and see if you can see anyone or anything up from over one of those dunes? I’m looking for some weird person who took all of our new friends’ friends!”

Houndour quirked her head as she stared at the Duskull before she shook the sand out of her fine fur. She didn’t make any comment and while Nye’s back was turned, trotted off the schooner into the cool sand. She hated the desert from what they’ve done in it so far – it was way too hot. She preferred the streets of Marchton, after all. Despite this, she made her way up to the dune they were stuck going up of and made it to the crest after about seven minutes. She could still see the schooner, and so she assumed Nye could see her. At the top, she peered around.

The top of the dune seemed like it was a good spot to look out upon, but even Houndour couldn’t see much. The sun was peeking out of the horizon more now, and the warm sun felt good on her fur. The need to lay in the sand here and go back to sleep was tempting, but she knew Nye wouldn’t like it. She stretched again and peered around to see if she could find anything.

Luck would, surprisingly, be on her side. Just down the opposite side of the dune seemed like a small tent was set. Houndour doubted that it was just anyone’s tent, considering the two odd Pokemon sitting around out front. One was a cactus-like Pokemon that seemed like it belonged in the desert surrounding this area, but the other looked like an odd, blue ball with leaves coming from its head. Houndour didn’t know how to make heads or tails of it, and it confused her just a touch.

She sat down so her butt was in the sand and watched for a long moment before she got up and slid her way back to the schooner with her handler and the two ghosts. Once she was there, she settled back into her spot. As soon as she did, Duskull zoomed into her space and was all over her. “Well? Did you see anything? Please! I want to help my new friend and you’re our only hooooope!” to really put emphasis on this last word, Duskull faded into the air and made the word linger. It made Houndour huff in irritation.

“There’s a tent with two weird Pokemon outside on the other side of the dune. We’re not gunna be able to get the schooner over the hill, but that doesn’t mean we can’t trek it on foot,” she replied. It was the answer Duskull was hoping for, and he gave a weird sound before he floated literally into Nye’s face.

“Wow, can you give space? I know you’re eager but – what? What’s that look for?” Nye started in a complaint, but even before he could finish, the ghost was staring at him intently with that red eye. It bounced between the hollow sockets of the skull on his face, and Nye struggled not to roll his eyes at the ghost. After so many years of dealing with him, the handler understood what Duskull wanted from him. “Fine. I’ll go with you. Houndour, you stay and guard the schooner. You can nap more if you want.” he sighed as his semi-feral dog nipped her teeth at him and he climbed off the schooner. He sunk a little in the sand, and watched as Duskull nudged the Frillish to the air and led the way.


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 Posted: Jun 29 2018, 03:17 AM
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Nye, the ever hardy human struggled to climb the sand underneath his feet. Duskull and Frillish were far quicker, considering the fact that neither touched the sand. Nye had more of a problem. Every time he sunk his foot down, it felt like he was taking four hours to climb. Within twenty minutes, he was only halfway up the dune and felt like he had just run from his house to the edge of Marchton and back. Twice. He hated this, and he wished the wind would’ve picked up so he could’ve just taken the schooner.

By the time he reached the top, he was dripping in sweat and panting heavily. Duskull floated next to him and did a weird in-the-air somersault in pleasure that he had made it, but Nye just waved him off. The sky was a pale blue, with just the last tinges of purple and pink of the morning sun, and Nye squinted as the sunshine hit his face. It highlighted his freckles that danced over the bridge of his nose and his cheeks, and he knew they’d only be brighter from this point on. He sighed as he straightened up, his chest still rising and falling as he struggled to calm his beating heart.

He was quiet as he and the two ghosts observed the horizon, before Nye’s eyes danced downwards. There, he saw the tent, but now instead of just the two Pokemon, there was a rather scraggly looking man there, too. He was counting a set of Pokeballs, maybe twenty or thirty in all. Nye’s eyebrows creased. He might’ve not been the smartest, but he knew nobody carried around that many Pokeballs. Something felt off with this guy, and Nye glanced at Duskull. “Is this what you wanted to show me? This is why you dragged me up from sleep?” he quipped.

The Duskull nodded in the air, his bright eye bouncing between the hollowed eye sockets. Nye struggled to not roll his eyes in annoyance at his starter Pokemon’s antics – he literally just guessed at the way this person went, and it just so happened that luck was on their side. In the sunshine, Nye stuck out and he lowered himself to crouching so he could peek over the ridge of the dune towards the person and the Pokemon; to him, going in with the idea of what he wanted to do was better than going in without a plan.

The man’s back was towards them, and the two grass like Pokemon – Nye could easily catch that one was an Oddish, but had no idea who or what the other one was – were dancing about enjoying the sunshine. Nye rolled the thoughts around in his head, the heavy film of not being able to rinse his mouth out of the sand that he ingested earlier grating against his tongue as he rubbed that along the back of his teeth. If they went in for a sneak attack, maybe they’d be able to do it. He fingered the Pokeball he still had – the Sandygast that he had only just met. Was it worth it?

He suddenly regretted not taking Houndour with him. A fire type would win effortlessly against the Oddish. He could only assume by the coloring that the other Pokemon was also a grass type.

He glanced at Duskull and the Frillish and tried to surmise what his Pokemon wanted him to do. What was the point in this? Duskull, seemingly feeling Nye’s eyes boring onto him, turned sharply to wave his stubby fin-like hands at him as if trying to tell him something. Nye’s eyebrows creased in the middle of his forehead over the bridge of his nose, and even his nose crinkled a little in annoyance at the fact that he didn’t understand. Duskull realized this look relatively quickly and tried to not complain, but man, was it hard.

So, instead of trying to communicate, which is what Nye wanted, his starter Pokemon simply moved to start down the dune. This, in turn, made the Frillish look between Duskull and Nye and then it followed Duskull. Nye was baffled. If the Duskull wanted a battle, why didn’t he just say so? Nye figured they’d be able to solve this without a battle, but not at this rate. He sighed and rubbed his forehead before he, too, followed down the slope towards the man and his two Pokemon.

The Oddish was the first to catch wind of the two ghosts and the human sliding down the dune. With a quick chirp in alarm, both the Maractus and the man look up. It wasn’t helpful with the fact that Nye’s hair and clothes seemed to stick out against the orange colored sand. Nye wasn’t thrilled, either, as he slid through the quickly warming sands.

“I hope you have a plan before you just attempt to go into a battle,” Nye complained under his breath at his Pokemon. As they finished their descension, Nye lost his footing and stumbled a little. He figured that was the price he paid for going down feet first and without much leverage. Getting back up, he realized, would be a pain in the ass.

The man now was straightened, standing at his full height which, honestly, made Nye feel more than slightly uncomfortable. The boy gave an awkward laugh as he shuffled forwards, glancing at the two Ghosts who hovered by his left shoulder, “Uh – hi. I think you ---” he didn’t get to finish.


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 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 08:36 AM
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Before Nye could finish asking what he was going to, the man stepped forwards. It made Duskull, naturally after so many years of watching what Nye’s father did to him, get in front of his handler. The man’s beady, dark blue eyes studied Duskull with interest before they turned more towards the pink water ghost still by Nye’s shoulders. “So you’re the little brat that didn’t let me finish collecting those little water bothers,” the man started. He clearly wasn’t looking at Nye, but his eyes narrowed towards the Duskull. Nye’s eyebrows creased, not quite aware of what the man was talking about.

Before he could say anything, though, the man whistled and the Oddish hopped forwards, leaves dancing in the soft wind that started to pick up again. It placed itself in between its owner and Nye, and the Duskull gave a weird sound towards his handler. No. Nye didn’t say the word, but mentally, he screamed it. No, they weren’t fighting. Why would they fight? He didn’t quite understand what was going on. Usually he might be stupid, but even this? This was just way too much.

“Listen, I don’t know what you think my Duskull did, sir, but he brought me to you for a reason so –” Nye was attempting to diffuse the situation, but it didn’t seem like he was getting anywhere. The man’s nose turned upwards and a snarl crossed his mouth, allowing Nye – even in his slight distance of about twenty feet between himself and the other man – to see the hole filled, yellow teeth in his mouth.

This was not a pleasant person that Nye had run into, and whatever Duskull did and why he brought Nye here was clearly not showing up.

The man, though, would clear up some pieces for the young handler, still just a mere teen. He jabbed a fat, calloused finger towards the Frillish, who had sunk behind Nye and down towards his legs almost to hide. The teen did notice this, and shuffled just ever so slightly more to be in front of her. “That little thing should’ve been mine if your stupid Pokemon didn’t get in the way. Frillish fetch quite a price in other desert places around here, y’know,” he stated. His voice pointed blame towards Nye himself, despite the fact that the handler had no idea of what had truthfully happened.

Before he could add anything to help with Duskull’s position the man hoisted up his bag in which several Pokeballs fell out of. The Frillish behind him gave a startled squeal and Nye’s eyes traveled to the balls. Slowly, the pieces were being placed. The path was being laid for Nye, and he understood. This guy wasn’t a good guy. This Frillish must’ve had more. Duskull must’ve been in the right place at the right time to deal with the wrong person.

Nye blinked. Suddenly, as if he woke up and was finally alive he understood. He understood the situation at least.

The man dropped the bag to collect the Pokeballs, grumbling underneath his voice and Nye looked at Duskull. “He took your new friends, didn’t he?” he whispered. As soon as Nye said that, Duskull’s eye danced between the hollow sockets and the little Frillish seemed to make a pleased sound. Nye sighed. This wasn’t good. He needed to help.

The tug of helping screamed at him.

“Okay, let’s help him then. Duskull, how about you use a feint attack on that Oddish, and just distract them for a tiny bit. I have an idea…”

Duskull was more than happy to oblige.


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 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 09:38 AM
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( as an ooc note for this battle, I assumed that both his Pokemon were at level 10, so that I’d have an easier time pointing moves. Neither of these Pokemon are catch attempts. )

Duskull swooped in with a matter of speed to catch both the man, and the Oddish who was attempting to help pick up a Pokeball with its leaves. Not that it worked out very well, because the ball was slippery, and the leaves were wet with the faint touches of morning dew. Apparently, even in the desert, one could get a taste of morning dew. Maybe that was how plants worked, even in the driest of places. Nye wouldn’t think twice on it. He watched as Duskull fizzled in the sun just a little and then hit the Oddish straight on. It wasn’t expecting the Feint Attack, and even the impact startled the man.

“You lookin’ for a fight, boy? Ya ain’t gunna win with your pathetic little ghost,” he warned. The man straightened himself up and tossed the two balls he had in his hands into his opened bag and dusted off dirt from his pants. The Oddish, none too pleased about being hit, waddled up in front of him, clearly ready for a fight.

“Seems like my Duskull doesn’t like you took away his new friends,” Nye said. The ground underneath him shifted, like it was alive, and he struggled to not glance at it. The Frillish hovered just slightly in front of him, hiding the little shovel that poked itself out of the ground. “I suggest you give him back his friends, cuz this is one battle we’re planning on winning.”

The Maractus, at this point, waddled up to stand next to the Oddish. Nye frowned. He knew Duskull could take a Pokemon in a single battle, but two against one? The new Sandygast wasn’t able to fight. No, he had other plans for the last ghost member. He tried to figure out what he wanted to do. Stall. All he had to do was stall.

“Two against one, really? You’re gunna play dirty?”

“Coming from the little boy who attacked outside of a battle,” the man retorted harshly. The Maractus, at this point, gave a “Mara!” and little sparks of green came out of the yellow flowers on the tips of its arms. The world shifted around Duskull and the Maractus and Oddish, and Nye’s eyebrows furrowed. Well, this was new. The man, probably seeing Nye’s confused look, started to laugh. “What kinda handler doesn’t even know these simple moves? Boy, are you stupid?”

Nye knew he wasn’t the smarted, so he shook his head and smiled. Before he could reply, though, the leaves on the Oddish’s head and more little green sparks seemed to form. Nye could only surmise what that was going to be about. “Duskull, get ready!”

The attack the Oddish did sent a green orb of white sparks towards the Ghost, hitting Duskull squarely on the face. The ghost sunk for a moment towards the ground, then spiraled itself back up. His little stubs of arms waved about in irritation, and he gave a cursory look over towards Nye before he moved himself. “I got this, Nye! I got this! Don’t worry!” he chirped. Not… that Nye could understand it. “Frillish, if you want to help too, we can partners! We can take them!” Duskull encouraged. The Frillish still hovered, either nervous or distracted. Duskull was a tad too busy to care.

Ahh, what attack could he do, he wondered? Nye was at a loss, too. He knew Duskull’s moves pretty well, but he wasn’t too sure about what matched against two Pokemon at the same time. Nye rolled thoughts around on the tip of his tongue, orders he wanted to yell, but the sand getting into his shoes reminded him of other things. “Duskull, do as you wish for right now. Just don’t get too hurt,” Nye warned. Duskull gave a chirp of his famous, “Dus-Dus-Dus~” and zoomed deeper into the battle.

Duskull, without anything, knew exactly what he wanted to do. Towards the Oddish, he waved his arms and his eye grew a little brighter as he hit it with a disable. No more using that silly grass attack again! At least not for the time being, he figured. The Maractus was a little harder to figure out. Maybe Night Shade? That should work! Duskull nodded to himself as if he answered some mystical question and allowed his eye to glow that bright red again. Between his stubby arms, bright blue and purple orbs grew, and slowly, steadily, started to dance towards the Maractus. The man was rather startled at such a dark attack.

Poacher man flinched!

No, but really, in the moment of his nerves, his eyes trailed ever so slightly to the boy on the other side, who crouched and seemed to be talking to his feet. With a hiss through his poorly taken care of teeth, he called out, “Ya gunna let your Pokemon fight by itself, eh? No matter. Trophies are trophies, and I bet a duskull would be good money too,” he threatened.

That caught Nye’s attention, and he stopped whispering quiet things to the ground. Kai squirmed anxiously and Nye pat him subtly on the head before he stood up. “No. I was just debating with myself on how to beat you,” he said gently. He gave a smile and the Frillish twirled her way into the battle next to Duskull. Quietly, she whispered something to him, “Your other ghost friend is going to try and get my friends free. Let’s… just take our time!”

Duskull pondered it for a moment and nodded. The oddish let out some gooey, black liquid out towards Frillish, which burned her oily body, and the Maractus’ spikes looked suddenly much sharper as she spun to let them out of her body. These little spikes moved towards Duskull with great speed, and they hit him all over his little body. Pin missile was not Duskull’s friend, that was for sure.

In retaliation to being hit, the Frillish seemed to allow white lights to surround it, and the little holes from the Acid attack seemed to fill in recover. Nye chuckled a bit, “Duskull, how about we cool this place down,” he mused. It made Duskull roll his singular eye, but he caught the drift. He wiggled his arms as much as he could, spun around a few times, and let out a loud, “Duuuuuusk~”.

At first, nothing happened, and that amused the man. He and his two Pokemon stood there, a bit more than baffled at what just happened, but soon enough, the effects were apparent. It started slowly, a light, slight drip of warm water, but as it got closer and closer to the ground, would start to harden. It wasn’t a perfect move; Nye knew it’d be half strength because of the location, but it’d serve its purpose. Snowflakes danced along the air, catching the glimmers of light. The Frillish suddenly seemed more than interested in Duskull’s newly shown ability.

The snowflakes were gentle, but as soon as Duskull moved in a circle again and waved his stubby arms towards the two grass types, the wind picked up. Suddenly, the whole grassy field was swarmed in sticky snow in a blizzard. It felt like it lasted ages, but in reality, it was only a moment or two. Once the snow cleared, the two pokemon who didn’t have time to prepare themselves seemed more than worn out.

Giving a curse, the gross man returned his Pokemon. As the Maractus returned, the grassy field went away, and the dry desert remained. Nye rose an eyebrow as he watched. “Giving up already, good sir?”

The man didn’t reply, and he went to pick up his bag. Of course, that was his biggest downfall.


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 Posted: Jul 2 2018, 04:31 AM
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The male’s fingers danced along what he assumed was the sand of the ground as he tried to pick up his bag. The bag, actually, had shifted away about three feet from him, where he had originally dropped it. No, the ground didn’t just move by itself – if one peered closely, they’d see the hollowed-out eyes of another ghost staring nervously at the man. The Sandygast jerked himself, and all of the sand that he started to consume since they were in the desert away from the groping hand, and a deep whine echoed from his… chest? (did Sandygast have chests?) “Gaaaaaaaast~”

The sound once against startled the man, who pulled back and glanced towards his bag. Wrapped around the straps of it was the Sandygast, the red shovel sticking up with sand moving into the bag. A few of the Pokeballs were hit open, and two blue Frillish sprung out. Another came literally spiraling out of the bag up into the air and all three of them looked completely confused. Nye stepped forwards, the agitation crossing his face. No way. Not if he could help it.

“What is this magic you’re pulling?” the man yelled, his head literally snapping to stare at the other, younger handler, “Stop making the sand steal my Pokemon.”

“They’re really not your Pokemon, because you didn’t earn them. You can’t just steal Pokemon for money and then expect to have them be yours,” the boy of the coast warned. The sun was making sweat drip down the back of his neck, and his shirt felt sticky against his skin. He wanted to pull it off and just risk the sunburn – he tanned for the most part, anyways – but there were more important things to do. He cracked his neck, ready for anything this man threw at him. The Sandygast moved the bag away just ever so slightly. The man was way too distracted with Nye.

The man moved with such speeds that it actually caught Nye off guard. He approached Nye with a fist raised, ready to hit the younger boy. Actually, he did. Nye was so off balance that when the fist was swung, it whacked him straight on the side of the head, just underneath the right eye. He stumbled backwards, landing in the sand underneath, and he could hear his Duskull make an agitated sound. “Oh, you wanna play it that way? Hitting a kid is something you like to do, huh?” Nye quipped. He was provoking. It was probably stupid of him to provoke. He pushed himself up to his elbows and then from there, to his feet.

He dusted his backside off with one hand and rolled his jaw a little. He could already feel the pain forming in his face from the punch, but didn’t think twice about it. Nothing he could do to ease it, anyways. Another Frillish popped out of the bag, a pink one this time, and the Frillish that had enjoyed a bond with Duskull had made a whine towards her friends. Nye couldn’t let that distract him. He needed to focus. “If you want a fight, let’s get to it.”

Nye was glad that his late father had taught him the way of fighting with or without a weapon. His sword was left with Houndour back on the schooner, and so while the man might’ve been armed, Nye felt comfortable with his fists. He took a stance so his legs were about shoulder width apart, his non-dominant side leaning forwards. In classic position, he set his shoulders back to allow himself to seemed ready but also relaxed. Don’t have tension, he could hear, the phantom guides of hands on his body. It made him shiver. In reality, it was Duskull dancing down his spine in the same movement his father would use.

“Now that we’re on similar terms, I’ll let you make the first official move, good sir,” Nye said. He was used to being against larger opponents, or older ones, but he absolutely didn’t want any of this male’s… grime on him. He settled himself as the man gave an annoyed suck of his teeth and ran towards Nye again, fist raised, ready to hit.

This time, Nye was ready. He watched the movements, the way his shoulders were tensed, the mismatched steps. Nye knew he wasn’t the best in fighting hand to hand, but he knew how to read an opponent sort of well. As the fist swung to the right, he swung himself that way too, following the wind. This allowed him to press his shoulder into the man’s chest and in a swift movement, he gripped the man’s wrist and spun him on his heels.

Keeping up with momentum, the man – slightly disoriented – tried to swing towards Nye again in an attempt to knock the wind out of him. Nye caught this effortlessly, almost sliding out of the way like he was skating on ice. The man’s knuckles grazed the shirt over his stomach, and Nye used his momentum to get closer. He gave a sharp upwards jab towards the man’s stomach.

It connected. Nye knew it would. The man was far too distracted with just trying to hit Nye that he didn’t see it coming. The man’s face whitened as he tried to gasp for a breath of air, and he started to double over even before Nye pulled his hand away. He stepped back. One good punch towards the diaphragm and it knocked out the ability to get the breath back. Well, not completely, but momentarily, at least. Nye looked down at the man and Duskull danced over Nye’s shoulder.

“Dus-Dus-Duuusk~” he hummed, happily brushing himself as much as a ghost could over Nye’s face. He was so proud. Nye laughed a little at his Pokemon and glanced towards the tent. They had to do something to keep this guy busy, at least.

“He’s gunna be down for a few minutes, so let’s work hard on keeping him so he can’t cause anymore trouble,” the hander warned. Duskull’s red eye bounced eagerly and he hovered over the poacher as Nye moved. He dismantled part of the man’s tent so it was half-collapsed, and pulled the ropes through the leather holds. It wasn’t a lot of rope, but it’d be enough to at least keep him secure. Nye returned to the man and tied the rope around his wrists and then around one of his legs so he could walk, but it’d be slow and labored. It should be noted, Nye was a terrible rope knotter and so they weren’t the strongest or best knots, but they’d work at least.

He nodded as he stood and looked down at his creation. He glanced at Duskull and then to the five Frillish dancing in the air together. Kai – Kay? – was staring with bewilderment at what just happened, and tried to not scream. He was trying, and Nye was proud of him for that. Nye glanced at his friends, and stepped over to his Sandygast and the bag of Pokeballs.

“You did great. Thanks for your help,” he said quietly. He held out the Pokeball and returned Sandygast before he glanced at the Frillish and his Duskull, “I think it’s time we get going. We have some Pokemon to return home.”

His Duskull gave a warm laugh towards him and danced towards the other part-Ghosts, while Nye hoised the bag of Pokeballs over one shoulder and started for the dune the schooner was on the other side of.


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Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 06:42 AM
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It took about five minutes for the ghosts – Duskull and the five Frillish – to catch up to Nye. The sun, now, was all the way in the sky, but still low. He figured… an hour or so between when he first slid down the dune and now. It was way too hot. He missed the coldness of the night; the cool temperature that made him want to keep all of his clothes on. Now? He wanted to pull them off and just walk around naked. Sweat seeped onto Nye’s body and every little area on his body. He was a walking sweat machine.

“And this – this is why – this is why we have a sand boat,” Nye panted. He watched as the ghosts seemed to float up the dune with no problems, and he almost verbally scolded them. How could they just leave him like this? He wasn’t even halfway up and they were growing distance between them quickly. It didn’t help that the bag of Pokeballs were much heavier than he expected, but he didn’t know how to keep however many Frillish there were in one place. He wanted to get them home safely, and it’d be done with.

He panted a little more as his legs got more than a little sore, and he slowed down even more. He could hear the anger spewing from the man below, and with a quick glance over his shoulder, could see him struggling to get free. The sooner they were out of there, the better. He forced himself to pick up his speed again, and to keep going. No slowing down. It was better if he didn’t slow down.

Instead of the twenty minutes it took before – partially because of the cooler heat and the fact that, well, he came relatively light – it took Nye nearly forty to reach the crest of the dune. By that time, he was literally dripping with sweat that little drops of it danced along the sand under foot. He wiped a sandy arm (he may or may not have fallen several times on his way up because he was tired but pushed himself up to keep going) across his face and… well, he instantly regretted it. The ghosts seemed completely unaffected save for the fact that they were far from their home.

Annoyance at the fact that the Pokemon weren’t even a little fazed (ahem, excuse the terrible pun) by the trek up, Nye took a moment to really catch his breath. How much would he enjoy a swim right now? Or even just being hit by Duskull’s Blizzard. He breathed out heavily and tried to steady his breathing as best that he could. In five, out ten. Slow. Steady. Focused. The distant yelling of the crazy man below seemed to fade. Nye didn’t look back to see if he had tired himself out, or if it was just a fluke.

Once his heart had settled a bit, he peered downwards at the schooner still held in place with the anchor. His Houndour, while previously enjoying the heat, had moved to sit underneath the shade that was cast by the sail. Nye figured it was time she went in her Pokeball once he was back with her, if only to keep her from overheating. With that thought in mind, he maneuvered himself to partially slide, partially trek down the dune. It took nearly a fourth of the time going down than it did going up.

Once at his schooner, Nye boarded the wooden boat and tucked off his shoes. He poured out the sand back onto the ground and tucked the bag of Frillish balls in the hold with his own bag. Before he shut it, he recalled the Houndour and tucked his shoes away. Pulling the anchor, the schooner lurched forwards sharply before Nye could get his bearings, and he struggled to maneuver it the way he wanted. Honestly, Nye had really no idea which way to go, or what way to go, but thankfully he had good guides.

The five Frillish danced along the bow of the schooner, happily leaning this way and that. It was obvious with how they moved that they were leading Nye back to the Crater, and the Duskull hovered between his legs in the warm shadows now that their back was towards the sun and they were heading towards the water. Nye wondered if the crater’s water was as hot as the sand, or if provided a hit of relief from the humidity. He doubted without shade that it’d be cool enough to swim in.

“Duuusk~” he said happily, and Nye glanced down at him. Distracted thoughts and constant moving had given him little time to realize what was going on. His Pokemon had more than purposely helped. Maybe he had found himself a little more drawn to the pink Frillish. Nye pondered about it. He didn’t want to take the half-ghost away from her friends and family. That wasn’t right.

He smiled down at his first Pokemon, the one he knew for… years now. So many years that Nye didn’t even seem to feel like they grew at all. “You did great today, Duskull. I’m really proud of you,” the handler said. He really was proud of Duskull. Before, he knew his partner would’ve ignored the issue, but now? Now he would do things that were good for the world. Nye couldn’t help but smile.

He raised a fine little ghost, he thought. And there was only room to grow from here.

Nye took the cues quietly from the Frillish as they led the way on the bow towards the crater. He tracked his shadow across the schooner’s deck to keep a little sense of time, but truthfully, it didn’t work well. Either the schooner moved too much or, which is what he figured, Nye was just too stupid to understand the way shadows moved when the boat wasn’t sailing straight. It was more than likely possible that Nye was just losing track.

Even so, it felt like a half of a day, and as they crested the last dune with just enough speed, Nye struggled to cover a yawn. Actually, it really wasn’t covered at all. He tried, but with the rope tightened around his forearm and hand and the wind picking up, it was definitely harder than anything. Even so, as they descended the dune, Crater Lake was just a little bits away.


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Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 02:47 AM
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Senior Handler
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Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




The schooner came to a slow as Nye pulled the sail up and the wind couldn’t catch it anymore. That was fine with him, seeing as the bow of the bow had started to dip into the water. The Frillish that were out soared quickly from the sand boat into the crater’s liquid and disappeared underneath it. They took a moment before they all came spinning up, leaving a trail of rainbow drops sparkling in the hot sun. Nye couldn’t help but let himself chuckle at the way they were so happy. Even his own ghost seemed to spin and want to play in the water. “Not right now, Duskull. We’ve got a few things we have to do,” he said quietly. Duskull’s eye bounced at him eagerly before Nye moved from the sail towards the small cubby hole where his stuff was.

He pulled out the bag with the hemp rope strings from out of his storage compartment. Once he shut it again, he loosened the rope from the top and tipped the bag over, which allowed all the Pokeballs to tumble onto the deck of the schooner. In total, and from a rough estimated count, Nye figured there was about forty. Nye wasn’t sure how the man could catch forty Pokemon and keep all the balls, but he figured it was because he was a poacher. They always seemed to have a way of breaking the rules.

He watched as most of the balls tilted towards the bow of the schooner, almost like they were desperate to be released into the water. Nye was happy to oblige. He tossed the bag onto the wood and then moved towards the balls. Quickly, and with some well-honed skills, he pressed the buttons on several of them in succession. As each ball expanded and opened, pink or blue Frillish would find themselves materialized in the air. With happy trills, they’d dance one by one (or sometimes in pairs) into the water to join their friends.

Nye caught the fact that releasing all the pink and blue Pokemon with white highlights seemed more than fun, and even Duskull clicked a few of the balls open. Within maybe ten minutes, all of the Frillish were released and playing in the water. Nye leaned back in the shade of the sail, body physically exhausted and hot. He wanted to jump into the water, too, but the lures of sleep were far more tantalizing, but a deeper part of him was proud. His Duskull did a really good job. Who said ghosts were all bad? He tried to ignore the twinge in the back of his head of his father’s words as he scooted more into the shade.

The sun was hot, and even Duskull dipped down into the shade near Nye, but effortlessly disappeared into the hull of the schooner. Darkness, Nye knew, would be his friend. While his ghost retreated into the depths of inky blackness, Nye’s eyes followed the swaying blue and pink and white of the Frillish dancing in the water. Eventually, he found his eyes becoming heavy, and he unconsciously tucked his legs in so he was sitting crisscross. He didn’t sleep for too long when Duskull woke him up, and he was glad that that was over. With him parked so close to the water, even if that other guy did get free, he’d be no match for Nye’s group…

A nap couldn’t hurt… right?

He stifled a yawn and murmured something to himself, allowing his eyes to finally drift close. With the fading sounds of the Frillish playing, Nye dozed off.


It was a good four and a half hours after the handler fell asleep that the sun finally dipped into the horizon, allowing the sky to be once again painted in oranges, purples and rich blues. The desert was cooling down, and the first stars started to twinkle in the sky above. It was at this time that the ghost looming in the belly of the schooner had appeared, flitting effortlessly through the boards of wood and up next to Nye. His bright, red eye bounced once again between the hollow sockets as he stared at the snoring human. Yep. Still loud as ever. A quiet, “Dus-Dus-Dusk~” came out as he drifted over the length of the boat and towards the water.

The boat’s bow was still dipped a bit into it, and Duskull hovered there curiously as he watched. Most of the playful dancing from earlier when he was out in the sunshine had stopped, and now most of the Frillish were lazing with the long, tentacle-like tendrils out on the water, floating this way and that with the light pushes of the wind. Duskull hovered over the boat’s end with his curious eye peering towards the Frillish.

For a long moment, none of them seemed to notice him, but with one mighty push of wind that jerked the boat a little (but didn’t wake up Nye), the Frillish all came to life in a warm echo of, “Friiiiilllll~”. At this moment, one of the closer pink Frillish seemed to notice the other ghost watching.

With the most ease of a water pokemon, she scooped herself into the water and then pushed up, emerging with a trail of water droplets that caught the last rays of sun. She spun in the air, making those droplets twist into a spiral around her, and once she was done showing off, danced through the air towards the Duskull. Duskull moved, now hovering, too, over the water.

“You’ve saved my friends. Your human… he’s a good listener to you,” she said effortlessly. Her tendrils danced along Duskull’s wispy body as they danced in the air, rubbing against one another in a weird courtship.

“I told you he’s good. I like my human. He might be stupid, but he knows when to do things,” Duskull replied. He did love Nye, in some twisted, desperate way. Maybe it was because he was so amusing. Years of teasing his human had made him acutely aware of how Nye would react. “I’m glad we got your friends back. I know friends are important,” the Duskull added.

Their dance stopped and the Frillish looked to her friends, most of them lounging in the water, chirping at each other. Duskull looked, too, and then towards his human. Nye’s chin was on his chest as he slept, and he looked rather uncomfortable. Duskull debated scaring him awake, but decided he’d wait for it.

“How can I repay you to help me?” the Frillish quipped as she did one more circle around Duskull. The Ghost gave a weirdly dead-like chuckle before he shook his head, his little arms moving.

“No, that’s not necessary. I’m just glad you’re safe,” he said simply. The Frillish nodded and dipped back into the water. Duskull hovered there for a while before floating towards Nye and settling himself back on the schooner. For now, he’d let his handler rest.


By the time the moon was out and the sky mostly dark, the ghost type knew the moonlight would be enough for his handler to see. This, he decided, was the best time to move, because it was cool and his handler wouldn’t die of heat exhaustion. Moving with no effort, he moved to wiggle his hands over Nye’s face. No go. He hummed darkly and tried to tickle his arms. Nye stirred, but still wouldn’t wake up. He huffed. Stupid human, being so hard to wake up.

His new Frillish friend, from the water, caught what he was doing, and a round of bubbles startled Duskull as she aimed, once again, towards Nye’s face. He jerked himself away and tried to swat them away. He coughed a little as the bubbles stopped, and bleary eyed blinked several times. This was Duskull’s moment, as he moved into Nye’s line of sight, almost “nose” to nose with his handler, and giving Nye the close up of the skull he wore on his face.

It took just a half moment for Nye to realize what he was seeing, and he basically jumped out of his skin. “Oh, god…” Nye scooted back against the pole of the sail and then towards the life. Duskull, as always, got a hoot out of this and chuckled deeply.

Nye took a moment to wake himself up. Night had quickly fallen, and while he didn’t feel like he was completely rested, he felt a lot better than he did before. He glanced at Duskull before shaking his head and retrieved one of his Pokeballs from below the deck. He released the Houndour who stretched lazily and looked up at him with not quite disdain, but definitely not a look of trust. He wanted her out for the ability to see – despite the moonlight, he knew a fire would work wonders should he need one.

Plus, both his current Pokemon were in their element – a ghost who thrived in the nighttime, and a fire hound who had the dark typing. It was a win-win, right?

Nye tucked away the Pokeballs before he moved off the schooner and towards the back, where he pulled several times to get the nose of it out of the water. The boat wasn’t the biggest or the heaviest, but because it was on the slightest downward hill, it did take some effort. All his Pokemon seemed to just simply watch; he didn’t mind. No pain, no gain. Once the boat was out of the water and at least straight, the boy stretched and climbed back aboard to lower the sail.

It took a while, mostly because Nye had to do this in mostly darkness, but still, he managed. Duskull watched curiously and gave little whispers of encouragement, generally too close to Nye’s neck which gave him goose bumps down his arms, but Nye knew he was just trying to eat. No use yelling when he could expend his energy elsewhere.

With the sail down and the schooner aligned, Nye was ready to go. He glanced at Houndour, who lazed by his feet, and Duskull who was still dancing with the female Frillish from, what Nye guessed, was earlier. “Duskull, time to go.” Nye watched as Duskull reluctantly pulled himself away.

“Do you really have to go?” the female Frillish asked Duskull. His eye bounced between hollowed sockets as he tried to rationalize things. He drifted ever so slightly away from her.

“I can’t leave my stupid human. He needs me,” he replied. More distance set between them. Nye’s eyebrows creased as he watched this unfold. He had no idea what they were talking about, but he assumed it was final goodbyes.

The Frillish watched Duskull for a long moment and floated closer, making a decision. “I want to come with you!” she said towards her new friend. Duskull’s eye bounced and he turned to Nye. The human didn’t understand until the Frillish drew closer to the schooner and hovered next to the boards. He blinked.

“I mean –” he started. Nye moved and crouched towards the Frillish and looked at her for a moment, “If you’re really sure you want to join us, then I can. I think I have the perfect ball for you, too,” Nye said. He moved to reach into his bag and pulled out a white ball with a simple label built into the top above the button. Nye expanded it so that it fit his whole hand and then tossed it towards the Frillish.

He glanced at Duskull and shook his head, “I hope you know that I might not even catch her. I know you like her and all, but we’re just wasting time now,” the handler said. All Duskull did was chuckle at him as he waited to see if the Frillish would join their team.


--------------------
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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W
 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 02:48 AM
| Quote |


Senior Handler
****
Background Admins/Head Mods
Total Posts: 263
Member No. 2309
Joined on 28-December 16.


Characters:
Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan, ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter

Awards: 2




Final Notes:


Outside of the mission, I wanted to keep it really ambiguous as to which grass Pokemon Mr. Poacher man was using in the original attack on the Frillish, so the details were vague. In fact, because of this attempt, it equally played both the Maractus and Oddish as big bad guys. Likewise, they played a part as the antagonists towards Duskull and the Frillish by being the Big Bad’s Pokemon.

While a mission thread, I was also attempting to catch a Pokemon, but I wanted to make sure the plot of the mission came first. Likewise, the idea was that it showed Duskull’s potential growth, along with the unit as a team.

I know that, during this time, the Sandygast had different notes, but I also slightly played it on the most recent dev in which he is interested in Nye’s team.

For the capture attempt, I used a Dusk Ball during the night for the female Frillish. If caught, and if appropriate, I’d like to have a note be put on that I’ve been slightly working into the whole of the thread: “interested in bonding more with Duskull”. If not, that’s fine, too.

Overall, I’m not particularly looking for big gold rewards, but rather ones for character development and such; notes for Sandygast, Houndour, or Duskull (or even Frillish should the capture attempt succeed all work for me – and maybe some points towards aptitudes towards Nye (hand-to-hand, or sailing, or even just Pokemon handling). Honestly, though, whatever I’m given is enough for me!

I’m really not picky! I hope you’ve enjoyed my long thread!


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Aneirin "Nirin/Nye" Vaughan
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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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jadedragonette
 Posted: Jul 13 2018, 06:26 PM
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Expert Handler
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Member No. 1874
Joined on 18-December 14.


Characters:
Katheryn Knighton, Edith, Leslie Witcher-Steele

Awards: 6




First off, I want to make it clear that I loved reading this. There were a few spelling errors and confusing grammar bits, but I'd say that about 99% of this flowed smoothly, without any issues of me understanding it. I loved the realistic portrayal of Nye's struggle with the desert schooner and the desert itself - such as trying to climb the dune to find the poacher. One thing that kind of threw me was the lack of water - that is to say, the lack of mention of Nye drinking more or even anything. It was minor, relatively speaking, and you won't be docked for it much - just threw me for a loop as you mentioned stopping and cooking (and resting) but no mention of the necessity of extra water intake to replace all the water he was losing.

Another thing to mention is that this was a challenge freeform, which are supposed to be finished and submitted for grading within three months - I'm not going to count any of Harper's hiatus against you with this grade as we were in hiatus and I don't feel comfortable counting time the site as a whole was slow. However, that still places you at 4-5 months, depending on when you start counting; you will still get a bonus for completion, but quite not as much of one as you would have if this had been completed just a little bit faster.

For the effort you put into this, and for Nye's foiling of the poacher, I'm gonna award him 1.5 character exp for a decently written thread. Thanks to this being an Open Plot solo challenge mission, this and any other experience gained will receive a 1.2x experience bonus! As mentioned previously, this is slightly lower than this usually would have received.

I'm also going to award you 3 experience in the Hand-to-Hand aptitude and 5 experience in the Travel Endurance aptitude - relative skill levels means that Travel Endurance earns a bit more than Hand to Hand.

Duskull will receive 2 experience for the Pokemon fight. Nye's other Pokemon will not receive any, as they were not involved in the battles - Kay, in lieu of experience as he wasn't involved in the battle itself but rather on the edge of it, will gain a note of Willing to listen to Nye outside of battle and gain +1 happiness bar, bringing him to proper neutral happiness. Houndour will gain no note, experience, or happiness, as she was mostly only on the edges of the FF - present, but not really involved.

As for the Frillish - rarity, use of a Dusk Ball at night, and believability in the catch worked together to guarantee your catch attempt - congratulations, Nye has now caught another ghost for his spooky party! She will start at full neutral happiness (5/10 bars) thanks to the attempts to befriend her during the thread, and go vaguely halfway and put a note of Intrigued by Duskull on her. I randomized between levels 10-13 and got 12, so that's what she'll start at!


Frillish


Between notes and experience and all that funtimes, Nye will receive a mysterious 100 gold; it just appears in his pouch with none the wiser! Maybe those half-ghosties were more appreciative than he thought, and snuck in some shinies when he was asleep...

Summary of the rewards
Finished Open Plot modifier: 1.2x
Nye gains: 1.5 x 1.2 = 1.8 character exp
Hand-to-hand aptitude: 3 x 1.2 = 3.6 exp
Travel Endurance aptitude: 5 x 1.2 = 6 exp
Duskull: 2 x 1.2 = 2.4 exp
Gold: 100 x 1.2 = 120 gold

Travel Endurance aptitude goes from rank 5 to rank 6! No character experience gained from this. Otherwise, besides a bit of experience gained, nothing changes.

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Katheryn Knighton
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Edith
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Leslie Witcher-Steele
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