• Welcome to The Cave of Dragonflies forums, where the smallest bugs live alongside the strongest dragons.

    Guests are not able to post messages or even read certain areas of the forums. Now, that's boring, don't you think? Registration, on the other hand, is simple, completely free of charge, and does not require you to give out any personal information at all. As soon as you register, you can take part in some of the happy fun things at the forums such as posting messages, voting in polls, sending private messages to people and being told that this is where we drink tea and eat cod.

    Of course I'm not forcing you to do anything if you don't want to, but seriously, what have you got to lose? Five seconds of your life?

Frontier Town Frontier Town Outskirts

Andre looked at the drawing and hummed. The tone of the hum was ambiguous.

"Clothes probably are strange if you come from a society where they aren't needed," he said. "Me, though, I was a human, so if anything, I feel like I'm not wearing enough. I was pretty shocked when my nakedness was pointed out to me for the first time." He huffed at the memory, smiling. "The pokémon citizens of my world are typically told apart from wild mon by the bags or pouches they wear to carry things in, but some mon also wear clothing proper, like here. They aren't obligated to have anything on them, but as I understand it they typically err on the side of caution lest there be a misunderstanding that would lead to a confrontation. Not to mention many use it as a form of individual expression. Some wear gendered accessories to be recognized as their preferred gender."

He looked back to Mhynt. "Do you have no clothing at all in your world, or is it just uncommon?"
"Clothing is usually for the protection of someone very frail. You'd pump the clothing full of blessings or other attributes if the body was very weak," Mhynt explained. "If you saw someone garbed in a lot of cloth, it was like armor. A sign of weakness or disease." She narrowed her eyes as she ran Andre's explanation in her head again.

"What is... gendered clothing?" Mhynt asked. "Is it like a Transfer Orb? Clothes that can change if you're male or female?"
Andre huffed. "You definitely come from a more magical place than I do." He shook his head. "No, I don't know what a transfer orb is, but I doubt it works the same way. Gendered clothing and accessories are just regular clothing or accessories with no powers or anything. They're items that are associated with a certain gender after hundreds or even thousands of years of people of that gender wearing them. Like, for women, it's dresses or skirts or bows or ribbons or jewellery or anything pink. For men, it's... well, I guess neckties. Used to be trousers, but women have worn them for decades now and they've become unisex in the public eye. For other genders, there's not much, as they haven't been allowed to express their identities for more than a decade or two, and there likely won't be any as more and more people are breaking gender norms and wearing things that were 'meant' for another gender. I do that, too. It's called crossdressing."

Suddenly, he flinched. "O-of course, this is all mostly from a Western human perspective," he rushed to say. "Different cultures can have different perceptions."
Mhynt squinted. "Why would you wear clothing that has no powers?" she said. "What purpose does it serve? Cloth is incredibly weak normally. Any attack would destroy it. When a human uses an attack, how do they prevent their clothes from being damaged?"
Andre laughed nervously. "I mean... humans don't attack each other. They're not supposed to, anyway, outside wars. It's a crime if they do. Humans wear clothes primarily because we get too cold otherwise. And because being without them... makes us embarrassed. I don't... actually know why. It just does, and that's why humans wear clothes even if it's warm. Oh, and shoes are important because the soles of our feet are sensitive and walking on something rough like gravel would hurt us. So I guess we do wear some clothes for protection, too. Just not from attacks."

He paused. "Or, well, I guess we have 'clothing' to protect us from attacks, too, but they're only for humans that deal with something dangerous. Like policemen with bulletproof vests. They're made out of special fabrics that can absorb the blow." He paused again. "Uh, a bullet is like a... like a thing you put in a gun. A gun is a thing that shoots bullets. I mean, uh, it's this metal... thing that... you hold and point at your target, and you pull a trigger - a kind of lever, I guess - to shoot the bullet out at an incredible speed. It can easily kill a human, so a bulletproof vest can save a human's life. But it's not magical. It's just fabric, special fabric. And a gun isn't magical, either."
"Humans sound like very high-maintenance creatures," Mhynt hummed as if disapproving of something. "Why did Owen look up to that species...? Mm. But I've heard of guns. They exist in this world. I guess that was some human influence as well... They can be dangerous if your guard is down, supposedly. I'm not sure how useful they would be in my world. It's throwing a metal rock very quickly, but at that speed, that could hurt..."

Talking seemed to calm Mhynt's emotions and body language. Her body was a little more comfortable to be in. Her breathing was steadier.

"Were you human, then... I know Dave is. I've lost track of who was what. Even different worlds of Pokemon, and no humans, are too different from each other. But humans mostly seem... consistent."
Last edited:
Andre sighed in relief at Mhynt telling him she knew about guns, though the feeling was quickly replaced by embarrassment. Mhynt seemed to move on quickly, though.

"Yes, I was human," he said, "and it does seem like humans from other worlds are like me. But pokémon aren't that different, are they? I recognize most species I've seen here from back home. I know treecko, too." Or... grovyle. But maybe it was better not to call attention to that right now.
Mhynt nodded along. Her leaves fanned out as if flexing. "It's more how similar humans are to humans of other worlds. But I feel weaker here. Like the average Pokemon is weaker. In my world, you could split trees readily with just a little training. Here, that seems to be a feat of champions..."
Andre was happy to see Mhynt gradually relaxing. "I suppose that much is true," he said. "I haven't seen that much fighting here yet, but pokémon of my world seem weaker compared to this place. They need to charge up before battle, too. Uncharged, they can usually only wield a little bit of elemental energy, and it's almost always congruent with their type. Some types can wield more than others, though, like psychics who are able to use telekinesis uncharged or ghosts who are able to use spectral energy uncharged. Charging will still make them stronger, though."

He looked to the distance in thought, thinking about what to say next, then remembered something. "Oh, right. There was something I was curious about. What is aura like in your world? Provided you have it."
Mhynt nodded in affirmative. "Aura is a measurable force like heat and light in my world," she said, "identical to what people have called life energy. And while the spirit is not as easy to identify, my position in high places has confirmed to me the nature of spirit as well. Aura is generated from the union of a spirit into a body. It is the glue, the go-between, of the spirit and the body. When the body dies, remnant aura dislodges from it, carried by the invisible spirit. But once that fades, the spirit loses its anchor and passes on.

"But aura is also the venue that the spirit uses to alter reality in ways not normally possible. Channeling energy, creating flames or other elements, is all through the aura. It's been so well-studied that it's become a very secular field in science. Up until... certain events transpired, there was little belief in gods at all. Funny, that. I used to be one of them... I think I preferred not being known."
Andre nodded. "I see. I ask because it seemed to mean something different here than it did back home, and now from your explanation I also see that it's different in your world. In my world, aura is not, like, a power level meter or the source of elemental energy, but it is, like you said, a measurable force like heat and light. In fact, just like light, it has different wavelengths -- or, uh..." Mhynt might not have known about the physical properties of light... if light even worked the same way in her world. "Well, anyway, it's a form of energy which can only be sensed by certain species of pokémon and certain human individuals. I was one of those individuals before I came here. Coming over made me lose my aura sense, which allows me to sense the emotions of people and whether they're being truthful, and going without it has been... uncomfortable, but I've managed." He sniffed. "Aura in my world is emitted by brains experiencing certain emotions or cognitive processes, or by ghosts using it to communicate. It is harmless unless it is a high enough frequency. A high enough frequency will induce elemental energy. This is the aura that the lucario family is known for using."

He thought back to what Mhynt had said, and realized he couldn't let something slip by. "Hold on. You were a god?"
Mhynt nodded. "A god of light, actually," she said with a wry smile. She drew something on the ground again--some bat with large, round wings and a crescent moon head. "Lunala. I used to be a simple Treecko--it was my mortal form--but in times of old... there was a need for certain Pokemon to take up the mantle of divinity to keep things in an infant world stable. I was someone who qualified.

"The one known as Owen... would have been Solgaleo. But he'd declined the position outright, despite qualifying. He became Jirachi's assistant instead and took up the title of Wishkeeper. His role was to determine if people were worthy of having their wishes considered by Jirachi at all. A filter. ...A glorified secretary, if you want to reduce it..."

Mhynt had a fond smile that she didn't realize was there.

"He could tell at a glance what someone's past was and compare it to their present countenance. That was the gift he'd been given in place of being a true god." She chuckled. "I doubt he has that power now. I wonder what he'd see in all of us."
You... doubt he has that power? He might still have it? The desert heat did not ease the chill that crept through Andre's back.

"I see," he said. "My world... has no gods. I mean, there are people that believe in gods, but I'm not one of them. I just don't think there's enough evidence. But I also didn't think souls were real, and... then mine was summoned here." He frowned. "I guess I just don't... get it, though. Everything that I am was already accounted for by the physical features of my brain. A soul - a soul with identity - seems... redundant."
Mhynt nodded. "Owen was the same way, you know. Funny how much you seem to have in common... at least a little." She sighed, easing enough that she could lean back and look at the sky. "For most, the brain and body are all that's relevant, and all will ever be relevant while alive. It could easily be a world where that's all. But... it seems there is more to worry about after all.

"The spirit records what the body goes through... for better or worse. All its memories, its regrets, its triumphs and its traumas... etched forever in a long, long line of experiences. Even if you're reborn... that line is still there, hidden, waiting for another life to move it forward.

"Sometimes, I... wish I could forget things. But gods are very close to their souls, not at all like mortals. I can't forget. And here, in this world... so much of my spirit was placed onto this body. When I return, it will be sealed... but I do not think the spirit will discard it. It will only... not be relevant to the current body. It will die. It will get to rest."

She chuckled. "It's a little relieving. But scary, too. I wish, in some ways, it could... be flipped. That I could forget my old life and live this one instead... Well, if Alexander wasn't here, at least..."
Andre nodded with a hum, then took a deep breath. "I do wonder if, after we finish our job here, I will have become attached to the memories I have of this place. If leaving will be painful. If I'll have somehow changed in a way I consider important, and going back to my old self to continue my life back in my own world will feel like a death of some sort."

He looked at the ground. "I feel like I may make friends here, too, which I would be saddened to leave behind. And unlike regular goodbyes, I won't even have their memories to keep me company. And no other Wayfarer would keep memories of me, either, nor any way I may have changed them as people." He huffed, a wry smile splitting his snout. "Though if I end up changing them for the worse, maybe that's for the better."
"At the very least," Mhynt pointed out, "those in this world will remember. Perhaps one day that could be important for a few of us." She ran her claws gently over her scales and sighed. "...Well. It's clear that I can't go back to my smaller self. I'll... just have to live with this. And prepare for the next one. I'm... I'm sure it will be fine."
Andre smiled softly. "I'm sure it will. I might not have known you for very long, but I can tell you're strong. Whatever you're facing, I have no doubt that you'll survive. But if you need help weathering the storm... just let me know. You can talk to me anytime."

Ch04: Little Scriven Expedition, Part 1
For most travelers, the trip between Frontier Town and Little Scriven was a mundane matter. The route was a canvas of sand and gravel painted by vibrant green and golden brush and dotted with the occasional groups of trees waving those on dirt paths. A well-paced wagon could make the route in a day if they properly rationed their breaks.

Yet with the whistling, twirling Misdreavus trailing along, their little group could be described as anything but mundane.

The ghost finally stopped his spinning as he stretched his tendrils in the gentle morning sun. “So let’s see here, first, Betel said there's a dungeon near the town that we need to check out for the ‘anchors’. Dunno ‘bout y’all, but I don’t remember seein’ anythin’ like that near town, did you?” He shrugged. “And second, the Mayor wanted us to help plan an ‘out-of-this-world’ themed festival. I bet y’all got some crazy stories from back in your worlds that could add to that!”

Ghaspius let out a hum. “Let's see, along the way, there should be a river crossing, a gorge, and a couple big ol’ cliffs to walk through before we start seein’ the buttes we’re lookin’ for. That’s if we’re goin’ backwards from the way we came the first time, which is our forwards her, I think! Might be gettin’ one or two things out of order.”

He snickered to himself. “How y'all holdin' up back there?”

Strangely enough, the distinct scent of wood and ash had started to hang in the air. Those with a keener sense of smell could distinguish it as coming not too far ahead from their path.
Archie had never been to Little Scriven. He’d been in the general area, sure, hunting bounties and the like, but, he’d never spent any time in the town proper. He wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. But, when he’d heard that there was another dungeon to explore, and another heart to claim and anchor to the world outside of said dungeon, he was certainly all over that. The Silver Ravine expedition had gone swimmingly, and the Oshawott kind of needed a similar win to lift his spirits after the rough patch that had been the last couple weeks. Plus, proper dungeon expeditions were fun, it wasn’t something he often got to do here in Forlas, and it was a part of his skillset the Water Type was really wanting to test more.

Their expedition leader, Ghaspius, was also someone Archie wasn’t intimately familiar with. He mostly knew the Misdreavus through Steven, and knew him to be some sort of medicine man. Not quite a doctor, an herbalist, perhaps? Regardless, he certainly seemed to be bursting with energy, and more than enough relentless positivity to carry the whole group all the way to Scriven and back. That was good too. It would make a nice change. The Oshawott told himself that he was going to have fun. Unwind. And then when he returned to Frontier Town, he’d be ready to face whatever new problems sprung up in his way.

… But he wasn’t running away. That wasn’t what this was. So he made sure he walked at an even pace, paws in his coat pockets, hat brim tugged down to shade his eyes from the early morning sun. Just like he was leaving on an expedition back home.

“I don’t remember hearing anything about a Mystery Dungeon near Little Scriven, either,” Archie confirmed. If the Dungeon was new, it springing up was likely their fault – based on what Powehi had said in the dream, at least. An example of the effect their continued presence was having on this world. Hopefully that meant that once their job was done, and they departed Forlas, the dungeon would vanish too. But he wasn’t going to think about that any more than necessary right now. Instead, he focused on the Misdreavus’s voice. “Doing well back here. Good to get out of town now and again.”

“Have you gone dungeon delving before?” he asked. The question was directed towards Ghaspius, but was fairly open ended for anyone to answer, “I have some experience, so if anyone has any questions, I’ll try my best to answer.”
"I'm doing well, thank you for asking," Andre said. Despite the recent dream with Powehi and his conversation with Mhynt, Andre found himself in a good mood. As an artist, though visual rather than literary, Little Scriven felt like a place he'd like. It had been pleasant from his first exposure to it, and he was sure it would be pleasant now, although he was still a bit apprehensive about delving into a dungeon. On the subject of which...

“Have you gone dungeon delving before?” he asked. The question was directed towards Ghaspius, but was fairly open ended for anyone to answer, “I have some experience, so if anyone has any questions, I’ll try my best to answer.”

"No, I haven't," Andre answered the oshawott. "How dangerous would you say it is? Should we expect to battle, or face some other hazards?"
Top Bottom