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Pokemon: The Megic of a Melody (E10+)


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 28: Flames in the Ice

[BGM: Hearts in Ice]

"Wow...." Ash gasped as the group stepped into the ice caves--the sun peeked through a hole in the ceiling, making the many walls of ice and the icicles hanging from them shine, but not melt.

"It's beautiful..." Dawn agreed as she led the way down a sloping path.

Janine, meanwhile, was piqued in some odd writing in one corner of the map. "In order to brave the cold blue...need the warmth of...Rose.

"Hm?" Janine's musing got Brock's attention.

"I see an odd message on this map of the caves." Janine explained. "In order to brave the cold blue--what comes next is smudged--need the warmth of--then a word I do not know--Rose"

"Maybe..." Misty started before gasping at the appearance of vaguely humanoid creatures made from ice. "Ice shades--here?"

"Worse--we even have eisfay too!" Dawn shuddered as some fairy-like creatures began flying in from the hole in the cave ceiling, their fog making it hard for anyone to see.

"Hi Magiiro no jutsu! Infernal Explosion!" Janine commanded, embedding some ruby shaped orbs around the swarm of monsters. An explosion rocked the cave seconds later, dispelling the eisfay fog and allowing the group to continue on.

"Thanks, Janine--I don't think I want to discover where Misty's comrades are by being brought to their location by eisfay." Kissa replied as she shook some cinders from her fur. Miraculously, the ice had not been melted by the explosion.

"What were those things, anyway?" Ash wondered--Milina had never told him of ice shades, so surely Brock knew something.

"I don't know their true name--'ice shades' is their popular name because they behave very much like a ghost." Brock explained. "But I DO know what could be creating them..."

"What?" Now Dawn was interested.

"Someone--or something--that knows Song Magic is here in the caves." Brock replied. "Ice shades--for lack of a better name to call them--can only be sung into existance. That means that we're dealing with a monster that likely knows a corrupted form of the spell Rallying Call."

"Hm..." Dawn contemplated the new information for a moment--Rallying Call being used to summon other monsters besides Pokemon was not unheard of, but demons and monsters that could do it were few and far between.

"But does that have anything to do with the message Janine found?" Misty asked.

"Let me see that for a second..." Ash grabbed the map away and studied the odd message as he cleared away some dust from the smudged area."In order to brave the cold blue--something..." he mused.

Then an F revealed from the dust gave him an idea--was it possible the message was referring to a spell?"

"That's it!" he blurted as the group arrived at the bottom of the slope and into a darker room filled with sloping paths. "The message is referring to a rare spell!"

"What kind of spell?" Brock hurried over and glanced at the map, where Ash was pointing at the slightly cleaned up message. "..need the warmth of Feu Rose...whatever that is..."

"Feu Rose is a protection spell--it makes a wall of fire that can even melt arcane ice." Ash explained.

"Explain to me how we are going to find a fire spell in an ice cave." Misty sighed as she carefully eased herself down a slope that led into a large outdoor alcove with a large lake in the center. A flock of Prinplups was present as well--some of them sliding into the lake's icy water, some sunning themselves on ice floes, some waddling about with Piplups close behind, and still others gathering fish.

"We could try asking the Prinplups if Kissa can understand them..." Dawn suggested.

"Actually...I have a better idea..." Ash sneakily smiled as he took the Dreamer's Flute, crept up to a Prinplup delivering fish to a crowd of Piplups, and whispered the incantation to Hypnotic Aria so as not to scare the flock away. When the Prinplup turned to waddle off towards a sloping wall, Ash started to play a march like melody. The Piplups, meanwhile, were fascinated by the song, and began following the flute playing mage to the alcove's northern exit.

[BGM: Prinplups on Parade]

"Well, that's one way to get a Pokemon's attention." Misty mused as some other Prinplups and Piplups paraded by her.

"Music does tame the savage beast after all." Brock reminded her as the group rushed to catch up with Ash and the procession of Pokemon, which had entered a sloping corridior.

The odd parade wound down the sloping path until a rumbling noise got Ash's attention--an avalanche from outside!

[Cut BGM]

One Prinplup motioned for Ash to climb on its back, and slid down the icy slope in a desperate bid to outrun the oncoming snow. The others followed on Prinplups of their own, arriving safely at the bottom seconds before the snow impacted an icy wall.

"Thanks for the ride!" Dawn thanked her Prinplup before running to see if the flock was all right.

Brock, meanwhile, was giddy from the ride. "That was so much fun! Anyone for another round?"

Misty sighed. "Thanks, but no thanks,"

"So dizzy..." Janine moaned as she tried to regain her bearings. "Next time, Ash-san, warn me if your next proposal involves an avalanche!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 29: The Legend of Feu Rose

[BGM: Hearts in Ice]

"The Prinplups were okay..." Dawn assured the group as she healed an injured Piplup. "Just a few minor scratches."

"Next time, Ash, play only when you're sure you're not going to cause an avalanche." Brock cautioned. "The vibration of the flute against the cave walls likely caused what happened back there."

"I'm still curious about Feu Rose." Misty mused. "One, what is it doing in an ice cave, and two, what lore is behind it?"

"Number one I don't know, but number two I'm sure Brock could tell you about way better than I could." Ash replied.

"A thousand gold pieces says he breaks a harp string in the cold." Kissa whispered to Janine, who giggled at the thought, knowing Kissa's bet was only in jest. But no twang echoed through the icy corridors, only the plings and plungs that signaled that the harp was being tuned.

[BGM: A Tale of Wonder]

When he was ready, the now familiar strains of Marista's Song echoed through the cave before Brock began "There was once a king who had a lovely daughter. Many a prince or adventurer came and asked for the princess' hand in marriage, but the first two to ask were Entei, the Fire Beast, and Manaphy, Prince of the Sea. Manaphy went to the castle and asked for the princess' hand in marraige, only to discover that Entei had asked first."

"Shouldn't Manaphy have her?" Ash asked. "Water does beat fire, after all."

"What you say is true, and Entei and Manaphy both knew that as well, so a battle between them would be unfair." Brock replied. "So the king decided to allow them both to display their power for the princess, and whoever could put on the better show won her hand."

"Fair enough." Misty mused.

"It was decided that the contest be held in an ice cave like this one, with the royal wizard serving as a judge." Brock continued over an interlude. "The day of the contest came, and not even the biting cold turned away the many spectators that came to watch."

"So who won?" Janine asked.

"Entei stunned the crowd with his red flames, and Manaphy created icy patterns on the cave walls." Brock continued. "But the two Pokemon ended up in a tie, and so the royal wizard asked them to attack at the same time. The point where the fire and ice met erupted into a pink flame that protected either side from being injured-Entei and Manaphy then realized their fighting over the princess was foolish, and left the pink flame spell in the snow in rememberance of their fruitless battle-so ends the tale of 'The Conest Between Entei and Manaphy'

[BGM: Hearts in Ice]

"But who did the princess eventually marry?" Misty asked.

"It depends on which minstrel you ask-some minstrels say she married the royal wizard. Others say she married a wealthy noble." Brock mused as he put the harp away. "Myself...I leave it for you to decide who she married."

"Maybe if we find the scorched ice that Entei left and Manaphy's designs, we could find Feu Rose." Ash suggested.

"It's just a story, Ash..." Dawn cautioned as the group continued down the icy corridor.

"That may be true, but for all we know, their contest may have taken place in this very cave!" Ash countered. He calmed down when he heard some icicles rattle, ever mindful about the avalanche from before.

"Remember what I said about not everything in a story has to be true?" Brock warned. 'This is one such occasion."

"Then how do you explain this?" Ash asked, gesturing to a series of black char marks that looked like it could have come from fire on one wall.

Dawn studied the char marks. "You know, I think you may be right, Ash!"



The magic of Pokemon
Episode 30: A Desperate Moment

[BGM: Hearts in Ice]

"Janine...can you sense how old a char mark is or how it got there?" Ash asked, perplexed by the black marks gouged in the ice.

"My divination jutsu isn't the strongest, but I can try." With that, Janine lay a hand on the charred ice, making a red aura appear on the wall for a few moments. "Karakashu-san's tale may be right--this char is from a time long ago."

"Look what I found!" Dawn reported, gesturing to another wall with glittering water-like designs.

"Then maybe Feu Rose will be there if we find the point where these designs meet!" Even Misty was giddy with excitement. as the group trudged down another corridor. "But be aware that we still have to deal with whatever monster makes its lair in the cave..."

"What do you suppose could've sickened the mayor of Chairo's daughter and created a barrier of ice that no spell alone could melt?" Dawn challenged as everyone glanced at Ash.

Ash swallowed hard and thought for a moment. Think Ash, out of all the creatures and Pokemon you read about in the lore books that sing magic, which one would make its home in an ice cave?

He sat down on a rock nearby another charred wall, with a glittering wall across from it. Skygers can sing magic, but they live in the clouds of heaven. Dragons have been said to sing magic...

"Pika!" He was snapped from his musing when Pikachu frantically gestured to some canine-like pawprints leading down a corridor.

"You think that whatever creature caused this mess was a canine creature?" Ash asked. Pikachu nodded as his master got up from the rock and followed his comrades down a corridor. That makes narrowing it down a lot easier--no ordinary wolf, fox, or dog can sing magic.

"Any theories?" Misty's question snapped him back to reality as the group entered a large open room with seemingly no other ways out.

"Well..." Ash took a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart, then began. "Pikachu found some pawprints that look canine in nature back in the corridors, so I have several candidates. One is the serigala, a bear-like wolf often seen in the mountains."

"Has a very melodic howl that many unlucky travelers mistake for a girl--that's why it is notorious for luring lost travelers to be eaten." Brock added. "Its distinctive howl is also how it can sing magic--although I use the term sing very loosely."

"Another possibility is a were-creature--but that would require demonic activity in this area." Ash continued as he eyed a spot of snow that glowed pink.

"Would a felilupe work?" Janine suggested.

"Wrong area--they are more of a forest dweller." Misty replied as she watched Kissa dig through the pinl spot of snow.

"Forgive me for interrupting the debate, but perhaps this is of interest to you?" Kissa interrupted, gesturing to a large slab of glass containing pink flames.

Misty gasped. "Is that...?"

"Feu Rose!" Ash knelt on the ground and laid a hand on the glass slab, making his hand glow pink as he absorbed a little of the pink flames.

Just then, an oddly pleasent sounding howl pierced the chilly air. "Oh no..." Dawn swallowed hard and readied an arrow as a white canine with a hulking body akin to a bear leapt into the room, making the caves shake and icicles rattle.

[BGM: Out of the Ground, Raze All Greenery in Flame! (battle theme 1)]

"We are dealing with a serigala!" Misty gasped, but before she could draw her blade and attack, Kissa had leapt at the monstrous creature, only to be thrown into the snow.

"Life's refreshing breeze, blow in energy! Cure!" Dawn commanded, enveloping Kissa in a soothing blue light.

"Searing heat and winter chill, come together to protect us! Feu Rose!" Ash commanded, making a pink wall of flames surround the group. The serigala tried again and again to break through the flaming wall, but only yelped in pain at every attempt.

Finally, it howled in frustration, making glittering dust fall into the room.

"Dreamer's Dust?" Misty yawned before falling into the snow, asleep.

"You forgot that our opponent can..." This was as far as Brock got before he too fell asleep.

Ash panicked as one by one, his friends fell under the spell the serigala had sung. If he didn't think of something quick, he too would succumb to Dreamer's Dust and they would all be killed!

Brock's necklace gave him an idea. The Necklace may not be complete yet, but I need to borrow some of that magic!

He grabbed the Dreamer's Flute and called over the serigala's howl "Shining beacon of many colors, show me the way to power! Rainbow Spark!" With that, he played a calm melody that formed a wave of sparkling light, catching the serigala by surprise and awakening the others.

"Impossible!" Misty was the most surprised. "I didn't know a mage could tap into a minstrel's spell!"

"Others can try to cast Rainbow Symphony, but it will always be a different spell." Brock explained as he eased himself to his feet and found his harp. "Ash is merely borrowing some of my own power to hold the serigala down." With that, he called "Light of heaven, guard us from the unending darkness! Holy Mirror!" as the serigala howled again, sending the second wave of Dreamer's Dust back onto itself.

[cut BGM]

"Thanks, Ash..." Dawn smiled as Ash concluded Rainbow Spark.

"My pleasure--now who wants the honor of slaying this beast?" Ash asked.

[BGM: Guiding Light, Shed Magic Power From Above! (tide turns in heroes' favor)]

"I'm not done yet!" and Brock's song turned frantic. "Wind of light, bring forth your colorful promise! Diamond Breeze!"

"What in the..." Misty gasped as a whirlwind of diamonds and rainbow wind formed around the snoozing serigala.

"The serigala almost killing Kissa must have enraged Brock enough to awaken a new spell!" Dawn agreed.

"It did--this should banish it from this place!" With that, he played a sweeping chord, engulfing the serigala in the Diamond Breeze.

[cut BGM]

"No wonder that creature was so aggressive--look what I found!" Janine called as the last of the Diamond Breeze died down. She held up a pale blue stone that glowed as it sang Give it some words, and...

"Saidas' Aquamarine!" Ash gasped as the stone flew over to Brock's necklace and latched on next to Raissel's Emerald.

Misty smiled. "You did wonderfully working as a team--I would be honored to come with you on your quest."

"Really?" Ash asked, interested. "But what about your comrades?"

"I have not forgotten about them--I'm curious to see if their disappearance is connected to your quest for Rainbow Symphony."

"An interesting thought indeed." Kissa agreed. "For now, let's return to Chairo--my fur is freezing!"



The magic of Pokemon
Episode 31: Flight to the Desert

After returning from the ice caves, the group departed from Chairo and made their way back to Hese early the next morning. While most of the group was in high spirits after retrieving Saidas' Aquamarine, Dawn was unusually quiet.

"What seems to be the matter?" Kissa asked as the group stopped to rest on a hill overlooking Hese. "You haven't said a word ever since we left Chairo."

Dawn sighed. "Before we left, the mayor of Chairo told me that my mother had been spotted in a desert town. Ever since she disappeared long ago, she was long presumed dead...but is it true she is alive? If she is, then what has she been doing all this time?"

"Fear not, Bowmistress of Anima--your mother still loves you very much, and has not abandoned you." a familiar voice began.

[BGM: In the Presence of Gods]

"Deami..." Ash gasped as a red light appeared before the group and formed into the shape of the fire goddess.

"Is it true my mother is alive?" Dawn asked.

Deami nodded. "Your mother yet lives, and has made her home in a city of the desert, where my ruby lies."

"But how do we get to the desert, much less survive in it?" Misty asked, concerned.

"The desert lies across the sea from here, and we have no Pokemon that can fly..." Brock agreed.

"One awaits for your aid somewhere on the plains--find her, and she will take you wherever your search for the Necklace beads leads you." Deami assured the group. "I will tell you more when you arrive in the desert." With that, she disappeared in a red flash.

"I hope none of you are afraid of heights..." Kissa sighed as the group made their way into one of the rare forested areas around Hese.

"Nonsense! We build gliders in the village!" Janine assured Kissa.

"Wind aura knights took me flying all the time while I was in training!" Misty agreed. "So why should I fear being in the air?"

"Should we tell them the tale about why Wartortles have cracked shells?" Kissa giggled as the group approached a river.

[BGM: Resting in Camp]

"Nah--we don't need to hang on by our mouths, anyway." Brock replied as he began gathering some clay from the river bank and rolling it into a ball.

"I suppose we are camping here?" Janine mused as Dawn began pitching her tent.

"May as well--we've been traveling all day." Misty agreed. "Ash, would you mind going to gather some wood for a campfire?"

"Sure!" Ash replied and started into the forest, watching all the while as Brock cut the clay ball in half with a small knife and began working one half into a bowl shape.

"Pika?" Pikachu wondered as he watched Brock work for a moment.

"We can ask what he's making when we get back to camp." Ash assured Pikachu as he ran down the forest path, picking up sticks and branches all the while.

[BGM: The Hunt is On!]

Suddenly, Pikachu noticed a large net draped across several trees in the distance. "Pikapi!"

"What is it?" Ash set aside his bundle of wood and looked into the trees above him, where Pikachu frantically pointed out the netting. Some familiar brown feathers clued him in on just what the giant net held--a Pidgeot that was uneasily sleeping.

"Pika pika pikachu?" Pikachu asked.

"I don't know who caught the Pidgeot or why, but they somehow hoisted the net into the trees in hopes they could possibly come back for it later." Ash explained before climbing up into the tree nearby, where the net's bindings were connected. "If I just cut the net loose from the tree..."

Suddenly, the Pidgeot woke up and let loose a terrified screech, nearly sending Ash falling to the ground. "Peace--I'm not going to hurt you." he assured the frightened Pokemon. "I'm trying to get you out of here..." he explained as he drew his sword.

The ringing of a sword being drawn spooked the Pidgeot even more, making it squawk and scream as it struggled to flap its bound wings. Ash just calmly severed the bindings with a stroke of his blade before jumping down onto the ground, sending the net falling into a makeshift bed of leaves Pikachu had made.

"What's going on here?" Misty led the way into the clearing with the others, where Ash was gently sliding the net off of the captured Pidgeot.

"I found this Pidgeot trapped in the forest canopy, and I'm trying to set it free." Ash explained as he heaved the net into a bush.

"It's going to take more than a person and a Pokemon to set a bird of this size free." Janine cautioned as she examined the many knots binding the Pidgeot's wings.

"Plus, who could've wanted to capture a Pokemon this big?" Dawn wondered.

"Poaching is forbidden on these lands." Janine added as she began working on untying the knots, only to rear back when the Pidgeot screeched again.

"We're only trying to help you!" Dawn assured the Pidgeot, but this proved fruitless as it screamed again.

"It's no use..." Misty sighed. "We can't cut it loose, and magic would harm the Pidgeot..."

"But how to calm it down so we can set it free?" Kissa yelled over the Pidgeot's panicked screaming.

[BGM: Brock's Ocarina: Lament for Mina]

A low whistle-like noise suddenly drifted through the woods, calming the Pidgeot. The girls saw their opportunity and began working to undo the knots.

Pikachu looked around, interested in the noise, but all Ash could see was the girls fratically undoing the knots. He then spotted Brock in the distance, playing the strange lullaby-like melody on a newly made ocarina.

"Pika..." Pikachu gasped, impressed.

"So that's what you were making earlier today!" Ash gasped.

[cut BGM]

"Marista showed me how to make an ocarina once--but Amhran Hall is not exactly close to a river." Brock explained. "So I never really got the chance to practice making one until now."

"He learned to play one from a fellow apprentice in his class--a lass named Kenja." Kissa added.

"What about the song? Is it special?" Ash asked.

"I just made it up on the fly." Brock confessed. "I think I'll call it 'Lament for Mina'..."

"Mina..." Dawn mused. "'Wind' in the holy tongue..."

"A fitting name for a Pidgeot." Janine agreed.

"Keep playing that song...I think she likes it!" Misty suggested as she continued undoing the knots around the Pidgeots left wing. Brock nodded, and resumed the haunting melody that drifted skyward into the night...

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Interlude: Whistles on the Wind

[BGM: Resting in Camp]

Ash woke up the next morning and gasped in shock--Mina was nowhere in sight! "Did you ever finish setting the Pidgeot free?" he asked as Misty brought him his breakfast.

"The girls did set the Pidgeot free--and I managed to tame it." Brock added before picking a blade of grass. "Watch."

[BGM: Grasswhistle: Mina]

With that, he cupped his hands around the grass and blew, making a raspy voice-like noise fill the air. A Pidgeot's cry pierced the sky a few seconds later as Mina fluttered into the clearing, clutching two Magikarps in her talons.

"Wow!" Dawn was impressed.

"Show me how to do that!" Ash agreed.

"Grasswhistles are quite simple to make, and very good for signaling." Janine explained as she searched around for a good blade of grass. "Flat blades work the best." she added as she picked one. Once Ash had found a suitable blade of grass, she continued. "Now, hold one end between your thumbs, and catch the other end by slightly bending your thumbs while pressing them together."

Ash scrambled to avoid losing his blade of grass, but managed to get it in the right position. "Like this?"

"Perfect, Nincada." Janine smiled. "This is the tricky part--straighten out your thumbs to pull the blade tight, being careful not to snap the blade as you do so."

Ash winced as his blade snapped. "Great..." he sighed as he found another blade and prepared it.

"Now, purse your lips slightly, put them against your thumbs, and blow." Janine instructed. Ash nodded and blew, making a flat squawk ring through the clearing.

"I don't know if you or a sick Psyduck sounds nicer..." Kissa groaned as Ash continued to squawk.

"What's your secret to getting actual notes?" Ash asked Brock, who was roasting the other Magikarp over the fire.

"I use the same technique you would use to play a horn--try puckering your lips a little like you've just tasted a wild Nomel Berry." Brock suggested.

Okay, pucker like I've eaten a Nomel Berry... Ash reminded himself as he pursed his lips again with a slight pucker and blew, making a buzzy A note.

"There you go!" Brock smiled. "To get higher notes, make your lips into a tighter pucker, and loosen them when you want to go lower, just like a horn."

Pikachu listened, piqued, as Ash squeaked and squawked some more. "Pika..." he warned, sparking a little bit in annoyance.

"Okay, I'll go practice elsewhere." Ash assured Pikachu as everyone laughed.

Later that day...

"Now, can you use your new grasswhistle to call Mina?" Misty asked as Ash emerged from his tent.

"I may not be very good yet, but I'll try." Ash assured Misty as she turned Mina loose to fly a short distance away. He waited until Mina was just a speck in the afternoon sky, then played a wavery and flat version of the melody Brock had played before.

[BGM: Grasswhistle: Mina]

"He did it!" Dawn cheered as Mina came fluttering back to Ash's side.

Ash heaved with exhaustion, but hugged Mina. "May I have my own melody to call you? Blowing on grass is hard work!"

"You mean, you have another signal?" Misty asked.

"My saefleita." Ash explained as he showed Misty his saefleita. "We mages use them to call Pokemon as familiars." With that, he demonstrated by playing the melody for Pikachu.

[BGM: Saefleita Call: Pikachu]

"Pika pi!" Pikachu smiled as he bounded on Ash's shoulder.

"We can release Mina again and see if she responds to the bird's flute." Janine agreed.

"Yeah--it would come in handy if we're going to a place with little or no grass, like the desert." Dawn agreed.

"All right, here she goes..." With that, Misty sent Mina into the sky again.

[BGM: Saefleita Call: Mina]

Ash nodded, then played an oddly pleasent six note melody that echoed through the forest. After a few tense seconds, everyone cheered as Mina returned carrying a few Berry branches.

"Good girl, Mina." Ash smiled as he hugged the majestic Pidgeot again. "I can't wait to go flying across Yoso with you!

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 32: Sands of Intrigue

[BGM: Rhythm of the Sands]

"Wake up..." Dawn whispered as she nudged Ash awake. The group had been flying aboard Mina for most of the night, but to Ash, it felt like years had passed since they had left the forest.

"Are we th-" he started, but gasped when he saw the dunes below him, splashed with orange and red from the setting sun. "Wow!"

"It's beautiful!" Misty agreed as Mina came in for a landing nearby an oasis that lay nearby a rock. "I'm sure that the cities in the desert are just as beautiful!"

"But why did Mina land on such a high dune?" Janine mused as she looked down on the shifting sands far below. "Does she sense something we do not?"

A low rumble in the distance got Brock's attention. "I'd say she does!"

"Sandstorm!" Ash screamed as he noticed a cloud of dust rolling in their direction. Everyone gathered their gear, scrambled under Mina's wings, and covered their faces as the wave of sand rushed over them.

[BGM: Safe at Home]

He wasn't sure how long the sandstorm had lasted, or where he had went after that, but when Ash opened his eyes some minutes later, he balked when he saw himself inside a tent, with an older woman with graying black hair and tanned skin in a elaborately patterned dress cleaning what sand was on his clothing and dressing the bruises on his arms and legs. "Where am I?"

"Peace, ostati--you and your friends are safe here." the woman assured him as she offered Ash his clothes, now clean. "Some of our tribe found you and your friends by the Oasis of Faith and brought you to our camp."

"Thank you for your aid, Lady..." Ash started as he stepped behind a screen to change.

"Tsura, of the Domari tribe." the woman replied. "I am the tribe's healer and oracle...the gods have called you here to our desert home, yes?"

Ash nodded as he emerged from behind the screen, fully dressed. "The fire goddess has led us here in search of her ruby, and we were caught in a sandstorm on the way."

"I see..." Tsura smiled as she invited Ash to take a look outside her tent. "Look here--your friends are well."

[BGM: Rhythm of the Sands]

Ash peeked outside and heaved a sigh of relief at what he saw--Kissa chasing a Yanma, to the delight of some children, Janine and Misty nearby a makshift tent, talking to who he assumed were warriors, judging from the circles and squares decorating their light leather tunics. Dawn was over by another tent, helping another tribesman start the cooking fire as Mina looked on from a large palmwood pearch nearby. But the one he could easily pinpoint was Brock, who was tuning his instruments by a third tent as some tribeswomen spread blankets on the sand. "Thank Anima nothing was damaged and we're all okay..."

"It isn't often that outsiders come this way..." Tsura mused as she led Ash outside. "But lately, more and more have been coming to the city of Amanta to enter the grand tournament."

Ash was about to ask Tsura another question when he heard a call of "Make way for the chief!" in the distance. He saw the tribe members and Tsura bowing as a procession of tribesmen, most of them warriors, entered the camp escorting a Camerupt. He bowed on one knee himself as the procession arrived at the largest tent in the camp and the Camerupt's rider, a dark skinned man wearing a rainbow robe-like outfit with gold swirls and suns decorating it, was helped onto the ground.

"That is Stefan de Kardos, our chief." Tsura explained. "He is a wise and just ruler."

"And who is that?" Ash asked as a tan skinned girl in a green and blue robe ran to embrace Stefan.

"That is Stefan's daughter, Iris--our princess." Tsura continued. "Her mother was claimed by the desert when she was very small, and so I have served as a mother figure to her."

"What does ostati mean?" Ash interrupted, piqued by what Tsura had called him before. "I don't know very much of the desert languages..."

Ostati means 'child of power' in our language--what we call one trained in the magical arts, like you." Tsura explained as she led Ash to Stefan's tent, where the others were waiting. "Chief Stefan--these are the outsiders Deami told me would brave the desert for the Tournament of Fate."

[BGM: Searching in the Sands]

"Tournament?" Misty was interested.

"I thought large tournaments were held in Madari...." Dawn agreed.

Stefan smiled. "While it is true that large competitions are held to the north, jarina of Anima, Amanta has an arena of its own for grand affairs like the Tournament of Fate. Hundreds will test their powers over the next several weeks within its walls, but only one will walk away with the ruby of the fire goddess."

"Deami's Ruby...a prize for a tournament?" Janine asked.

"How did Lady Elesa find such a priceless treasure?" Misty agreed.

"That, I do not know, but I think the five of you have the potential to win the ruby and keep it from falling in the wrong hands." Stafan assured the group.

"I shudder to find out what someone with a black heart would do with Deami's Ruby..." Misty muttered.

"We have to get it back, no matter what it takes." Dawn agreed.

"Your enthusiasm is honored, but the hour grows late..." Stefan cautioned as the sun sank below the dunes. "There is still time to enter, and Amanta is only a few hour's walk from our camp." Mina chirped in agreement. "Or an hour by flight."

[Cut BGM]

"Very well...we will travel to Amanta in the morning." Ash assured Stefan, to the cheers of the tribe.

"Then tonight, you will join us for a feast as our guests, brave ones." Stefan announced. "The lanto with you is more than welcome to perform, as well."

[Brock's Harp: Dance on a Desert Night]

"I would be honored, great one." Brock replied as he took his harp. "Please accept this song as a token of my gratitude." With that, he began playing a joyful melody that echoed into the night. Ash joined in with the Dreamer's Flute, his song a prayer for strength in the tournament....

To Be Continued....


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 33: The Dance of Blessing

[BGM: Rhythm of the Sands]

Festive cheers filled the air as the Domaris welcomed the group to their campfire that night. A large bonfire had been built, over which some meat was roasting. What meat was ready for consumption was then set onto long rods, where the tribespeople could help themselves.

"These are delicious!" Ash commented as he grabbed a handful of green Berries from a bowl, then passed it to the girl next to him.

"I'm glad, ostati Ash--Meli Berries only grow by an oasis." Tsura replied as she took some bread from another bowl, then gave it to Ash. "They are from the same family as Nomel Berries, but not as sour."

"Please, take as much as you like--we have plenty to go around!" a tribesman told Janine as she took some Berries from the fruit bowl.

Dawn, meanwhile, was swaying to the beat of the drums, lute and fiddle being played by a group of tribespeople nearby Tsura's tent. "Great music here!"

"Princess Iris loves to dance, and so her father makes sure that music is played as often as possible so she can hone her power." a tribeswoman explained before sending another bowl of vegetables around the circle of people gathered by the campfire.

"Power?" Ash asked over the festive tune--or at least, he thought it was festive.

"Iris is an ostati herself--only her protective magic manifests if she dances." Tsura explained. "If she asks to dance with you, consider it an honor." She let that hang as the joyful song concluded to some applause.

[cut BGM]

"Attention, all! We praise the great Deami for bringing us guests to share our campfire tonight!" Stefan announced, to cheers and applause. "These travelers may have traveled far on their journeys, but the Dorami spirit of kindness and humility will go with them always." More cheers went up at this.

Iris then stood up to address the crowd. "Father has told me that our guests seek to win the ruby of Deami in the Tournament of Fate..." After finding Brock seated by a tent on the left side of the circle, she continued "I would like to dance with one of them to bless them for the tournament--if the lanto will give us a tale for this evening, I will show him my healing dance in return."

Brock got up from his place in the circle, his harp in one hand. "I accept your offer, Your Highness." he replied before playing Marista's Song.

"Such a beautiful melody..." Tsura whispered.

"He plays it in memory of his teacher, who died protecting him from demon Mightyenas." Ash explained. "She was primarily a storyteller, and so he plays that song before he tells a story." Tsura nodded slowly and listened as the last note faded away.

[BGM: A Tale of Wonder]

Once all was quiet, Brock began. "There was once a little village at the base of Mt. Arian, where the flowers bloomed and the Taillows sang. There were only thirty families in this village, brought together by chance when fleeing a great fire years before. They shared everything they owned, and stood by each other through thick and thin. For the most part, they were happy and content, tending the fields and hunting in the nearby forest.

He then began playing the accompaniment line to Marista's Song. "Now, one of these villagers was a young man--I will call him Ancha. Ancha had come to the village when he was very small, but his parents were claimed by a terrible disease soon after. Ever since then, the other townsfolk had raised him as one of their own."

After waving an interlude into the tune, he continued. "There was also a widow in that village who had a beautiful daughter--I will call her Yuna. The villagers considered Ancha and Yuna brother and sister, their friendship ran so deeply. One day, Ancha was hunting in the woods--while he was very skilled with a bow, his prey kept eluding him. Suddenly, Dorcha, Lord of the Night, came to him in the form of a ranger and gave him a magical bow and a quiver full of arrows that shone like the moon. From then on, not even demons could stand against his bow!" Cheers went up from the crowd at this.

"Get ready...your part in the story's coming up, if you wish to play a role." Kissa whispered to Ash, who nodded and retrieved the Dreamer's Flute from his bag.

"Likewise, Yuna had grown into a strong and wise young lady." Brock continued, still playing the accompaniment line to Marista's Song as he spoke. "The scenes on the tapestries she wove looked as if they would come alive at any moment, and all who saw her work were amazed at her skill. She would often sing while she worked, and her voice was so strong and so clear, even Pokemon would stop what they were doing to listen." At this, Dawn sings a quick prayer in the holy tongue to the tune of the song for effect, to some applause.

When the applause dies down, only the harp is left, playing the accompaniment line again. "One day, as Yuna was out gathering wood, Anima, Lady of Light, appeared to her as an instrument maker, and gave her an enchanted flute made of silver. Yuna practiced hard, and before long, no matter how tired they were, all that heard the magical flute were given renewed strength." Ash joins in on the Dreamer's Flute for effect. "For a while, the village flourished, and all the villagers were happy."

Then, Marista's Song turns into a forboding melody in B minor. "Then one year, another disease struck the village, and many of the villagers groaned as their stomachs swelled." Brock continued. "Ancha and Yuna did their best to ease the villager's suffering, but the number of sick grew daily, and if something was not done soon, many would die."

"So what did they do?" Stefan asks.

"Yes, was there any among them that knew a cure to the plague?" Iris agrees.

"There was the village elder, who was a very wise man." Brock replies. "Ancha and Yuna went to see him, and he told them that there was a cure for the disease, but two ingredients were required for the potion--Liepard's blood and leaves from the mithi plant. If they did not find the two items in three months, people would begin to die."

After playing an interlude, he continued "Ancha and Yuna decided to split up and search for the ingredients--he the Liepard's blood, and she the mithi leaves. Ancha crossed eight high mountains and eight deep canyons, among other things, until he came to a little cave nearby a river. It didn't look very forboding as various Pokemon came and went, and many flowers grew nearby, but the pawprints at the entryway signaled Ancha that a Liepard lived there. He waited for three weeks, hunting Bunearies and Parchirisus if he was hungry and drinking from the river if he was thirsty."

"So did the Liepard ever appear?" a boy asked.

"Yes, and it was a fierce battle, but in the end, Ancha slew the beast, and took a vial of its blood and its skin as his prize." Brock assures his audience before his interlude turned hopeful. "Yuna, meanwhile, had easily found where the mithi grew, but when she arrived in the field, she saw many children gathered around, picking the leaves. When a girl asked why she had come, Yuna gently explained her quest, and that she needed some mithi."

Ash snaps to attention as Brock continued. "Another girl saw Yuna's flute and begged her to play on it, and so Yuna played a set of reels, which sounded something like this..."

Dawn led the clapping as Ash played "Rambling On to Mavi", "The Silver Sword" and "Kyuki Picking Mata" before finishing the set with "Ninetales' Blessing."

"Bravo!" Tsura led the applause when the last note died. Ash just took a bow and waited for his next cue.

"The children danced as Yuna played, and many more came to listen." Brock continued. "When the final tune faded into the blue sky, they pleaded with Yuna to play some more. So Yuna thought for a moment, and played a tune of lament..." At this, Ash plays "Dorcha's Lament for Anima" as Brock plays some soft accompaniment.

"The children felt sorry for Yuna when the song ended, and gave her as much mithi as she could carry. They then called upon Isori, the Master of Wind..." Ash then plays his signal for Mina, making Mina chirp and the crowd laugh. "and Yuna was whisked home on a great gust of wind, where she was reunited with Ancha. The potion was made, and the village was healed. Ancha and Yuna were hailed as heroes for all time, and their story was told throughout the villiage for years to come." Brock concludes. "So ends the tale of 'The Dark Bow and the Shining Flute'".

[BGM: The Mysterious Desert Jewel]

Roars of applause went up from the tribe as Iris strolled by Brock's side. "Well told, lanto... Lady Anima has blessed you with great skill and equally talented companions." she began, giving Ash an acknowledging nod. "You have more then proven yourself to receive our blessing...so take my hand, and we will dance!"

Brock set his harp on a blanket and swallowed hard as he took Iris' hand. He then felt himself being pulled into a whirlwind of blue, green, and silver light as Iris spun, jumped, and twirled around the fire. He then looked down and gasped--the power seemed to be coming from Iris' light and graceful steps! At the same time, he felt stronger, as if he knew how to do this dance all along.

"Wow..." was all Dawn could muster as the many colored magic rained around them, and Brock and Iris spun and skipped across the sand, lost in a euphoria that neither of them wanted to end....

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Interlude: The Tournament of Fate

[BGM: And So, Our Journey Continues]

The Domaris bid the party farewell early the next morning--yet as Mina soared through the desert sky, Ash's mind swam with questions--had there been something on the scale of the Tournament of Fate before? If so, what were the ramifications of that? What could he expect within the arena walls?

"Why the thoughtful look?" Misty asked some seconds later, snapping Ash from his silent grimace.

"I've been thinking about our next objective...I've never competed in a tournament on this big a scale, and I want to know what to expect." Ash explained.

"Well, I've been in a few tournaments before, but I'm sure a mage's tournament is way different from the jousts and Pokemon battles knights compete in." Misty assured him. "Of course, I'm a little unsteady on Ponytas, so I mainly battled with my team of Water types."

"We battle Pokemon too, only our hand to hand battles are fought by casting spells at each other until one side submits." Ash added. "The most famous mage's tournament, however, is the famous Gauntlet of Illusion." He smiled as he remembered past matches against his classmates in the lodge and watching Milina run the Gauntlet of Illusion. Milina was very good at battling too--I wish I could've gotten the chance to run the Gauntlet!

"That's how our duels are fought too, only we can use weapons and jutsu." Janine mused.

"Most clerics are too busy at the temples to compete in any sort of tournament, but that's not to say that clerics have competed at tournaments before..." Dawn interjected.

"For example, there's Dalziel MacCulleon, the Greyscale Priest..." Brock suggested, counting the various clerics on his fingers as he named them. "Nino Vidavan, the White Phoenix...Rosetta the Cursebreaker...Tirrya Darkchaser...and my personal favorite to sing about, Lemira Selrath, Anima's Singer. She's unique because like Dawn, she too could sing magic."

"Could you maybe sing about one of her adventures?" Dawn asked, her eyes shining--she'd always wanted to hear about another cleric that sang spells.

Brock was about to oblige when Janine interuppted "But what about you, Karakashu-san? Do geshous have a competition?"

"Well...there's storytelling contests, musical contests and the drama contest on Rainbow Day that all the halls participate in." Brock replied. "The hall that puts on the best performance of the first performance of Rainbow Symphony wins a special tapestry, which is hung in the main hall untill the next Rainbow Day. As for me, I have participated in a few storytelling and music contests, but didn't win anything--highest rank I ever got was fourth place in the Harper's Competition."

"Here's an idea for you all..." Dawn suggested as Amanta came into view in the distance. "Suppose the Tournament of Fate is all of what we've discussed, plus some competitions we have never seen before?

An uneasy silence filled the air as Mina raced for the adobe walled city--whatever they would face in the Tournament, they would face it together. Deami's Ruby was too priceless and too important to let fall into the hands of just anyone--and who was Ash to think that it could fall into the wrong hands?

To Be Continued...


Well-Known Member
Chapter 3

It's been about 7 months since I read a chapter but glad I popped back in! Really loved the calmness and tranquility about ths chapter which you managed to portray through the description and speech used. Oddly you don't use much description yet the scenery and setting really comes alive with ease and it seems you hardly have to do much for that to occur. I'm not too sure what it is you do to achieve that but it works and is awesome and really compliments the speech well with the feeling, mood and setting. A cracking writing style I think! You have definitely worked out the small kinks here and there and fine tuned quite an art my friend!

Amazing chapter! Loved it and I hope to read more soon!


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 34: A Date with Drama

[BGM: Searching in the Sands]

"Wow..." Ash gasped at the imposing, yet dusty, adobe, stone, and marble buildings as Mina landed before the front gate of Amanta later that evening.

"So many people--are they all signing up for the tournament?" Janine asked.

"They have to be--for large tournaments like this, they set up registration kiosks all over the city to handle the eager throngs that want to sign up." Misty explained, pointing out a couple of simple wooden booths on the sides of the street marked "TOURNAMENT REGISTRATION" that had rapidly growing lines.

"Come on--signing up for a tournament can't be that hard!" Ash giggled as he ran to get in line.

"You were saying?" Brock chided a few moments later, as Ash struggled to carry the large stack of paperwork needed for the five of them to compete.

Dawn was just as surprised at the sheer minutiae of the questions. "Great grandmother's maiden name?"

"Uncle's profession?" Brock was just as surprised at one question on the form as the five of them settled in the town square to fill out the papers.

"Don't blame me for the questions--many of them you don't have to answer." Misty assured the surprised group. "They just add many obscure questions to weed out those that wouldn't survive the competition."

"I know we can survive! We have to!" Ash declared as he went to work filling out the form. Brock just sighed and focused on finding the star marked required questions on his form.

[BGM: Brock's Harp: Love by the Illumise Light]

After several hours of working, Ash gave Misty his form and watched her hurry off to a registration booth nestled in the brightly decorated stalls of the market district. He admired the square shaped stone houses and buildings around him as he listened to Brock play the wistful yet playful melody of a song Milina often sang--"Love by the Illumise Light". Judging from the intrigued Yanmas and Taillows gathering around him and the coins filling the harp case, the song about a maid finding her true love with the help of an Illumise was both soothing and enjoyable as he looked off towards the north district, where a magnificent marble building stood, its red, yellow, blue, and green banners fluttering in the evening breeze. That can't be a temple or a guild hall... he mused. A palace, maybe?

[End BGM]

Some applause startled him from his speculation--he looked up and saw a young woman about Brock's age clad in a red, purple, and blue suit with gold trim enthusiatically applauding Brock's performance. "Bravo, Sir Minstrel! Well played!"

"Thanks." Brock shyly stammered as he cleared out his tips and put his harp away. "I was merely playing to pass the time in waiting for my companion to return from signing us up to compete in the tournament."

"Here for the Tournament of Fate, are you?" the woman smiled. "I am Silvana Bianchi, the impresaria for the Theater Royale of Amanta. It's that large building at the edge of the north district." She pointed out the marble building, then fanned out five blue tickets with a gold circle hanging from them before the group. "As thanks for a wonderful performance, I would like to invite you and your friends to see our current production, 'Tabithi and the Sword of Mystic Light'"

"We would be honored, Lady Silvana." Ash smiled before taking the tickets from Silvana.

"If you plan to come, our next show begins at seven tonight." Silvana explained. "If you cannot come, you're welcome to give them to anyone in need of a fine show." After brushing some of her dull blonde hair from her face, she departed. "I hope to see you there!"

"Bye, and thank you!" Dawn called after her just as Misty returned.

[BGM: Searching in the Sands]

"Okay--we're due to report to the arena at nine tomorrow morning for the opening ceremony." Misty replied. "In the meantime, we're free to explore and see all Amanta has to offer."

"How about going to the theater?" Ash suggested as he proudly showed Misty the tickets.

"Where'd you get those?" Misty asked as she examined one of the tickets.

"Oh, Brock was just playing harp to pass the time, and the impresaria of the local theater happened to hear him." Dawn explained. "She was so touched by his performance, she gave us those tickets."

"But who is this Tabithi? Is she like Dokusentoki?" Janine asked, piqued.

"Tabithi is said to be one of Mavi's great rulers--her claim to fame was retrieving a blessed sword to slay a dragon that an evil wizard summoned." Misty explained as the group started towards the theater. "It's a thrilling story--action, comedy, a little romance, and adventure...I'm sure Brock knows a few episodes from it."

"That I do." Brock replied as he stopped to admire the swords and bows for sale at a smith's stall. "I know the episode where Lugia blesses Tabithi with courage for her journey, and the episode in which she and her companion Reine find a magical harp."

"I have never attended a theater from the outside--what is it like?" Janine was even more curious as the group approached the theater, where a large crowd was gathered. "Most productions we put on are very simple in nature--few sets, simple costumes, perhaps a musician or two, but nothing more."

"A lot more elaborate." Ash explained. "Beautiful costumes, acrobats, musicians galore, pantomime, and even puppets! In fact, I remember the time Milina took me to see 'The Mage and the Hunter'--they used a puppet for the Chimchar, and the acrobatic routine the birds did in Act 2 was amazing!"

"I had the honor of playing Entei in 'Briadon, Rider of Flames' once, when Amhran was competing in a drama competition..." Brock added. "The Entei Briadon rides we decided to portray in two forms--during the scenes where Briadon actually rides him, we made a large Entei puppet that needed three people to perform--one to work the head and do the voice, one to perform the front end, and one to perform the back end--all seen from the audience. When Entei appears to Briadon in spiritual form, we used an actual actor--me."

"Is Entei a full masked Pokemon, or what?" Ash asked.

"You're right, Entei is a fully masked Pokemon, and so the channeler in the chorus speaks and sings his lines while the actor in the costume just follows the narration in pantomime." Brock replied. "Not easy to see inside the head mask, and since the head mask we had on hand was meant for someone with a larger head, it felt very loose--was half afraid I would be unmasked mid-show."

"What's the difference between masks?" Janine interrupted as the group got in the line that snaked across the theater grounds.

"There's three main kinds of mask--the quarter mask, which only covers the eye area of your face..." Brock explained. "Then there's the half mask, which completely covers your face, and then the full mask, which completely covers your head." Janine nodded to show she understood.

"If you have any more questions, the narrator typically explains what's going on at the beginning." Misty assured Janine as the group approached the theater entrance.

[BGM: Impresario's Rag]

"Tickets, please." a boy in the familiar red and gold suit of an usher called. He smiled as the group flashed their tickets. "Guests of our lady Silvana...right this way, please." he smiled before leading the group inside the theater. Ash was careful not to lose the usher as he almost ran down the plush red carpet with elaborate golden swirls.

The group wound around several corners and passed many different lecture rooms, a ballroom, and some smaller theaters before finding themselves inside the main theater, which was beginning to fill with people.

"When we get to our seats, you give the usher the gold circle as proof that you've paid to get in." Dawn told Janine as the usher led them up a small stairwell to the balcony seats, where five seats with a "RESERVED" placard on them were waiting.

"And here we are, everyone." the usher smiled as he removed the placards. Once Ash was settled in his seat, he carefully removed the gold circle on his ticket and handed it to the usher. Janine hesitantly did likewise, then Dawn, Brock, and Misty. "There...enjoy the show." the usher smiled before running to assist another group.

"I've never seen a huge stage before..." Janine gasped at the large sloped stage before them.

"Well, you have to account for the actors, the chorus, the narrator, acrobats, extras for a crowd scene..." Ash explained. "So a lot of room is needed." He was about to say more when he heard a tic-tic, tic-tic-tic and the lights flashed twice, quieting the chatter.

[Cut BGM]

"That means the show's about to start." Dawn whispered to Janine as the crowd settled in and quieted.

[BGM: Overture to 'Tabithi']

A flowing harp melody filled the air, and after a few tense seconds, the lights revealed the performer--a pale orange haired girl in a long green and blue tunic with gold ivy designs swirling around it, with some purple and gold boots to complete the look. But her harp was the most impressive--it was crescent moon shaped with the column resembling Moltres flying, and studded in many rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, with some feather decorations at the top.

"If only I had an instrument like that..." Brock gasped as the last chord of the overture faded away.

"Good evening and welcome, travelers--tonight, we wish to present to you the daring exploits and exciting adventures of the Blade Queen Tabithi, and how she saved her kingdom from a terrifying dragon with a sword blessed by Anima." the narrator began. "If you are from another land and visiting us tonight, I must first explain some conventions of the stages of Yoso. First of all, our plays are very musical in nature, and so I have a chorus here to help me, led by our house venutist, Melin." Applause went up as a spotlight appeared on a black haired girl in a purple robe clutching a long and slender flute made of a dark wood. She bowed for the audience, then the light returned to the narrator. "Sometimes our costumes for Pokemon, monsters, and spirits require the actor's head to be fully covered, so our channeler Tania will speak and sing for those actors that can't speak or sing themselves." Applause went up as a brown haired girl in a blue robe stood up and bowed. "And finally, any stagehands, prop masters, and puppeteers are all in black for a reason--they are but shadows, and unseen to you."

"Ah, no wonder I see people all in black by the chorus's section..." Janine mused as the narrator prepared to play again.

"Now, in a time long ago in Yoso, a great queen named Tabithi ruled the city of Mavi." the narrator began. "She was a kind and just ruler, and well loved by her people." With that, she played a regal melody as the curtains rose to reveal an elaborate set of a palace.

Ash smiled as he studied the beautiful set--maybe seeing the adventures of a great hero onstage would inspire them in the tournament!

To Be Continued...