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Offscreen Activities

The autumn weather grows cooler and windier, though still relatively mild given the desert climate. There's a rare sprinkling of rain. The days grow shorter. Culturally, the month of Rot carries associations with decay as a natural part of life. Poison-types are thought to see good luck.

With Blaguarro secured and the trains operating again, Jade begins making plans to take the train east, out toward Novalux. She intends to ask the train operatives about an incident around two and a half months ago, in which a rear railcar was detached on the westward line. After some deliberation, she informs Koa, Leaf, Nova, Gladion, and Laura of her plans.



Some rural farming communities have reported unusual tornado activity. It's not the right season for them, and they've been appearing as if from nowhere, even when the weather doesn't seem right for it--and vanishing just as quickly. So far the only fields that have been hit were already-harvested, but a request has been posted asking for someone to look into the situation before it worsens...
 
In the days following the escort and being cured by the Relic Stone...

Koa would have taken time to examine the drone he retrieved - it's entirely mechanical, right? And just a general sort of morbid curiosity about it. He's no tech junkie but he wonders if he'll recognize anything about its level of technology or construction. He may bring it to Alejandro (when Wes isn't around of course) to see if he can tinker with it and get it working.

Although if not, he wonders if Mewtwo could...



Koa makes time to talk with Tlalli during his time working at the library. Being that he's been working there for a little while he feels decently comfortable around her. He tells her a little of the team's exploits here and there, though he’s careful not to give any critical details. He asks her opinions on things though during these talks.

“How do you think a Saints power is meant to be used? Or I guess, any great power? Should they try and help or stay out of problems?”

He also asks about the group he heard of known as the Vanguard. Has she heard of them in her time? What does she think of them?

Finally, he mentions about the trouble with the railway he’s heard of from other Wayfarers. From his experience in his world, railroads can be a great thing for people, but has it helped here? Could it help the town? Or could it be a bad thing?

Koa has also been trying to make time to spar a little with Sonora, when she's willing. He's a little more curious and open when fighting, especially now that she helped with the raid.

“So how's it been going since the raid? Getting the hang of Radiance?”
[ @Jackie Cat ]



Koa visits Little Scriven’s library finally. It feels like absolute heaven and probably ranks only just below meeting a legendary for him. It takes a great deal of effort to not get sucked in and lost for hours and entirely distracted. The librarians probably have to almost drag him out at closing. However he is also rather enthusiastic and helpful and will alternate between reading for hours and if they allow him, helping to reshelve books and keep it tidy. He’s careful not to be disruptive.

Naturally he researches anything he can about saints, although he’s particularly interested now in legends that may be tied to those of Sinnoh, such as the lake spirits or Giratina. Or anything about Tyrrier. In addition, he looks into the same topic he plans to check at the monastery - stories of how Saints have used their power and interacted with mortals here.

Otherwise it's nice to be reminded of home and get away.

Any poor librarian who happens to ask about the books he reads might be in for a few earfuls of rambles though... Eagerness aside, he loves librarians and if they’re amicable, he does ask about them and their life on Forlas, though he keeps the conversations light. He tends to ask about stories about the world or interesting people they've met, or rumors.

Otherwise he spends a couple days here in Little Scriven, trying to get his mind off everything and rest. He visits the various cafes and shops.
{ @MintyMimix on the off chance there's any fun chats/flavorful moments with librarian characters }
 
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ade begins making plans to take the train east, out toward Novalux. She intends to ask the train operatives about an incident around two and a half months ago, in which a rear railcar was detached on the westward line. After some deliberation, she informs Koa, Leaf, Nova, Gladion, and Laura of her plans.
"That's the Commonwealth place, right?"

Nova says he's willing to help, though there's a bit of trepidation in that he would stick out like a sore thumb in that city. But it's not like the Covenant don't know about him, since he showed himself to that guy who's buds with Nolan. They may not know he has no mask and is using the disks they made for ARK.

His corruption does peek out for a bit. It causes him to suddenly sound a bit more eager. After all, he'd love to fuck with any snooty city folks who have too high opinions of themselves...
 
As the Wayfarers return from Twilight Quarry, they take the night to recover, for the most part. Mhynt especially retires to her home, waters her cactus, and goes to bed and sleeps like a log. However, despite everything, she doesn't scream at night, and only stirs slightly in her sleep, and socializes cordially in the morning.

Mewtwo -- now officially introduced as Giovanni -- takes the two Shadow Pokemon to his lair. In the morning, a message is left for the Wayfarers on the bulletin board, reading, "To the Wayfarers: Your feathery friend has been relocated to the Rangers. You know where to find him. Your other friend is still with me, and I am making sure he behaves."

Meanwhile, Gerome seems more pensive than usual at the bar, for one reason or another...
 
As soon as the Twilight Quarry investigation ended, Bellatrix went straight to the Ranger HQ to use the Relic Stone clear herself of any potential infection she may have contracted within the dungeon. She also takes the opportunity to question Lovrina about her supposed Shadow resistance and the methods and/or mechanisms used to prevent Shadow-gain. Though she doesn't mention it, Bellatrix wonders whether or not a more clinical way to remove Shadows from an individual, one that does not require any prerequisites for purification like the Relic Stone does and if the tinkaton's answers could shed some light on that theory.

A day or so later, once things finally seem to start settling down, Bellatrix begins to make a more serious attempt to find a stable job as simply relying on the bulletin has been far too unpredictable for her liking. She shows great interest in finding administrative work around the upper-class areas such as the Sun Stone Saloon, taking advantage of the goodwill she had built from running errands for them.

While Bellatrix says that her interest there is for a better pay, she also very clearly just wants an excuse to see Odette more often.



As the days and weeks pass, rumours about a dangerous group of bandits robbing travellers on the road begin to circulate. Their methods were simple and brutish, knocking out anyone unfortunate enough to pass them by before stealing as many things as they could carry, but had the strength to consistently pull it off, taking out even the hardiest of pokémon with a few blows. Due to this, it had been incredibly difficult to identify the outlaws but from what could be gathered, the group of five have been travelling east with recent activity indicating that they are currently near Novalux.

However, just a under a week ago, word has quickly spread about a traveller who was able to fend off and see the attempted robbers. After a stern talking-to with the local authorities, the ninetales was able to get wanted posters made quickly and just a couple days later, they reach Frontier Town.

Anyone who had been present for the Timeless Oasis expedition would realise that the quaquaval's afro was notably smaller from the last time they saw him.
 
She also takes the opportunity to question Lovrina about her supposed Shadow resistance and the methods and/or mechanisms used to prevent Shadow-gain.

"Of course our tech's insulated against that stuff, how the heck were we supposed to work with it otherwise, lol?"

Apparently some materials manufactured on Earth were implemented to contain the raw substances used in the Shadow Machine, but it's unlikely they could be synthesized here. Furthermore, the raw shadow-substance being stored in the lab apparently doesn't induce changes in test subjects unless they're given high concentrations, or exposed over a long period of time, which was why Lovrina wasn't too worried about it. In other words, it was unusual that the Wayfarers were so susceptible to it, not the other way around.
 
Over time, Isidora becomes well-acquainted with Little Scriven's library. Following up on the information Ein had given them, she looks for information on the Wight Barren, Eremus Fault, and the wider area they are located in. When she gets the chance, she also asks Sybil what she knows about Eremus Fault.

Otherwise, most of her energy goes into board work and training. On a particularly free day, she goes to the Ranger HQ with the intention to join them as a Ranger.
 
Following their meeting with Mewtwo not long after the shadow swarms attack, Koa asks Mewtwo/Mew about Drapion. How has he been since being captured? Depending on how much threat Drapion still poses, he would want to try and see Drapion and talk to him.

If he is able to see Drapion, Koa tries to get an idea of how much it remembers him, and how violent it is. He’s no longer afraid of it, but is careful about not being pushy. Mainly, he needs to also get an idea of how bad Drapion is and if there’s hope to heal it or if bringing it to the Rangers and the Relic Stone may be too risky.

He brought some food for Drapion and still has the claw Drapion gave him. Maybe Mew can help him get through to Drapion? Show he's not a threat to its dominance, just an ally and friend. Does Drapion have a proper home anywhere?

Also, has Drapion figured out how to self-release from a pokeball?

[ @Inkedust ]



Koa has also brought along the glasses and Drone he stole from Ein [assuming Alejandro couldn't do anything]. Its a long shot he knows, but he figured he'd see if there's anything to be learned. Particularly he wonders on the Drone, how it powered up Ein and protected him. He's rather curious on if it can be fixed. If Mewtwo is willing, he would leave it with him, to try and make it operational again, since he knows Mewtwo has connections to more tech savvy friends... Even if it can't do exactly what Ein's did it would still be interesting.

[Note: I don't necessarily expect mechanical benefits/results here this is for flavor followup. Not that i won't accept it :P]
 
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With Blaguarro secured and the trains operating again, Jade begins making plans to take the train east, out toward Novalux. She intends to ask the train operatives about an incident around two and a half months ago, in which a rear railcar was detached on the westward line. After some deliberation, she informs Koa, Leaf, Nova, Gladion, and Laura of her plans.

"If you need someone to go with you, I'm there! About time we looked into what happened to your missing friend, right? We'll all get to the bottom of this."



[[thank you JFought for reminding me lol]]

Leaf drops by Ranger HQ as and when she's able. This is partially because she's genuinely still interested in becoming a full-fledged ranger, if they'll have her, but she also wants to check in on the rescued shadow pokémon that are currently staying there, and offer them and the Rangers assisting them what help she can. She tries to spend some time with Leona as well, if and when the lycanroc is up for it. Assuming she's okay with it, Leaf keeps Leona up-to-date on everything that's safe to tell her (read: anything Leaf thinks she won't get yelled at for sharing). If/when that gets too overwhelming, or when she's visiting just to visit rather than for serious business, she's happy to listen to Leona reminisce about the good stuff back home, help keep her spirits high by letting her brag about her girls and the other pokémon she'd helped, and shares stories about her own team in return. (Maybe a little, juuust a little, moreso for her own benefit on her next visit after the meeting with Giovanni and Mew.)

[[Just an offscreen for now rather than a request for a full scene because I don't want to pile onto the workload! A proper scene with Leona would be nice in a later chapter if it works out, though.]]
 
With the birds taken care of, Mhynt makes a token effort that Gerome and his assistants help greet Moltres as part of their crew, so to speak, at least for the time being.

As part of her promise to Moltres, she also gets to work rallying a team to investigate Twilight Quarry once again. She makes sure to procure Escape Orbs as before, and pools information gathered from the team to arrange for another dive.

This time, their goal is simple: Figure out how Alexander travels so quickly--and if it indeed has to do with Dungeon waypoints--and research any potential avenues into freeing those under Alexander's control. Once they have enough information, they can leave and prepare for an assault to get those under Alexander's control out of his Dungeon, or at least key individuals they find, such as their fellow Wayferer.
 
Nova had been in something of a slump. With his search for... higher Divine Dungeons going basically nowhere, he'd mostly resigned himself to staying around the cabin with Sage. Nova traveled into town infrequently, mostly for supplies or to sell stuff he was now growing in the garden outside the cabin. He was also growing more sage flowers for the other null to enjoy. He was far from a green thumb, but being able to use grass, fire, and water elements can help, right?

When Mhynt's word reaches him, Nova heads off to Ranger HQ again to ask Sybil how her studies with the Relic Fragment are going. Specifically, he wants to know if it's possible for Wayfarers to "store" a blessing from the relic. That way, they could have some of its power available without having to risk bringing it with them to Twilight Quarry.

And based off what he heard about the Rangers' leader, he tries to find Sinopa and ask what, if any, information the Rangers might have on dungeon waypoints, like the one she made with Betel. Or, hell, he'd accept hearing any reports of dungeons that have been suspiciously active lately compared to usual...
 
Grace is more than happy to answer Mhynt's call, determined to find a way to rescue Owen. If Mhynt asks, she declares that "I just want to free him from his suffering!" and nothing more.

She remembers how the strange mewtwo had shown up to stuff Ignatius in a ball when they'd retrieved the escaped criminal, and wondered if something like that would help them detain Owen. But first, she focused on gearing up for the coming scouting mission. Further plans could be made later...

In between recovering from the fight with Moltres, Grace focuses on training with her Shadows and Radiance. Entering the Twilight Quarry last time was what had helped ignite some of her Shadow abilities, but she's still hesitant to explore them too much. She wants to find someone who can help her safely practice...
 
As part of her promise to Moltres, she also gets to work rallying a team to investigate Twilight Quarry once again. She makes sure to procure Escape Orbs as before, and pools information gathered from the team to arrange for another dive.

This time, their goal is simple: Figure out how Alexander travels so quickly--and if it indeed has to do with Dungeon waypoints--and research any potential avenues into freeing those under Alexander's control. Once they have enough information, they can leave and prepare for an assault to get those under Alexander's control out of his Dungeon, or at least key individuals they find, such as their fellow Wayferer.
Dave responds to Mhynt's call. He figures his Odor Sleuth might be able to help track down how Alexander is traveling. In preparation, he visits the library to look up anything useful that might be known about stealthy methods of travel and about Dungeon waypoints.
 
Bellatrix once again expresses interest in investigating the Twilight Quarry at Mhynt's mention. She points out that she could stake out the entrances of the dungeon without needing to enter to keep an eye on its activity while hiding under the veil of an illusion.

When Mhynt's word reaches him, Nova heads off to Ranger HQ again to ask Sybil how her studies with the Relic Fragment are going. Specifically, he wants to know if it's possible for Wayfarers to "store" a blessing from the relic. That way, they could have some of its power available without having to risk bringing it with them to Twilight Quarry.
Unfortunately, Sybil has no idea how something like that could be done even now that she's found herself "tuned into" the Relic Stone. Even still, it is possible for the Relic to impart a blessing of protection against the darkness for a short amount of time, a few hours, give or take.
 
Nova is very quick to check the Gazette's classifieds and assorted signs posted around town to see if there are any vacated spaces on the edge of town looking for a buyer. He's got a decent enough cash surplus since he wasn't paying any board at the Haus. He also reaches out to Lucien with a similar inquiry about "off the beaten path" spaces, just in case.

New builds are going up all the time in Frontier Town – not with quite so much aplomb as when Ignatius' real estate ventures were ripening, but still to the point that cheap new-builds are available on the west side of town. There's also a real shack of a property further out west, on the trail to Obstinea, which would be both less conspicuous and more vulnerable.

"There is one thing... Just for the time being, you understand."

Lucien tells Nova about a disused 'hunting lodge' of sorts to the south of town, along the Silver, which he technically owns. He's willing to hand over a set of spare keys, and won't charge anything, but makes it clear this would be a temporary solution.

but relies on Mav's help to identify all of the rescued Blaguarro citizens and works to reunite them with friends and family in town.
Mav is appreciative of Steven's help since the dodrio does seem to be overworked trying to corral all the rescued prisoners.

By now, many Shadow-infected citizens have reintegrated into Blaguarro, Frontier Town, and smaller communities like Lucky Rock, Relampago and so on. While they continue to struggle with their condition, it is at least, merely that – a condition. They are living their lives, rehabilitated to the best of their communities' ability, with common-sense prescriptions to avoid alcohol and stress. There's much hope that investigations into Radiance will result in further treatment.

(The Shadow-infected wildren in Cipher's compound remain a troubling concern, as do the Cipher goons and less-stable or unsavoury Shadow victims, but for the most part, they remain in multiple carceral facilities.)

Tala sees the opportunity to start rebuilding Blaguarro Town and discusses what being a Ranger could bring for the town with Ayda.

Ayda would be glad to have Tala on the ranger roster, and begins shadowing her – treating the transitional period in Blaguarro as a kind of apprenticeship. They get along.

She also tells Sinopa about what happened and suggests that she remain on high alert in case Alexander tries to attack the HQ to make another attempt on the Admins.

The HQ remains well-guarded. Sinopa is confident that she would detect intruders before they even entered Pueblo Hideout, and is capable of sealing off parts of the dungeon entirely.

"This Alexander can wield whatsoever power he likes – nobody gets through my defences. I'll have the rift toss him out like a sack of trash."

There is the slightest hint of trepidation in her voice.

Bellatrix is more than happy to help in any further interrogation of both the Admins and the retrieved Frontier Town guards.

The Wayfarers have already learned a great deal. Is there anything specific to press for?

Koa pays a visit to Lucien and provides a description of Alex Xander to him, and advises that wanted posters should to be made and warnings provided not to approach under any circumstances and stay far away. After lingering for an awkward moment, he also tells Lucien he's a good mon and thanks him for all his help.

Lucien orders wanted posters made for Alex-Xander, and asks Nathaniel at the Gazette to publish public interest articles to try and warn people of the threat the hydra represents.

"Well, I... I'm not sure what to say. That's very kind of you to say. I only try my best, that's all."

He's never effusive, but Lucien's smile is enough to tell that he deeply appreciates Koa's affirmation.

Silver dropped his overconfidence (a smidge) to ask Morris why he and the others chose that way of living and what kind of relationship they have with their leader, Hawthorne.

"Nuffink even mattered back in the old days. Before the likes of most of the imps, really. But it used to be that imps just nicked stuff for good eatin' and fun, and like, pranked people. Cos' it's funny. All them stick-butts'd be pissed, but so wot? Nobody really cared. Was that way forever and ever, but not no more."

It appears that the Impidimp of the northern Soja' were always a nuisance to local settlers, going back generations, but until the last decade or so they were no more than that – a nuisance. Morris is as paranoid and theatrical as ever behind bars, rattling his cuffs with wild, furtive glances about. But he talks.

"Towns just got bigger 'n' bigger. Taking more for 'emselves. Always more. They took all the bits of the rivers and the good soil and all that, you know, wot grows stuff. Took all the dungeon shit. They was gonna get us and ours too. But the Big Boss was gonna change all that. Make it so that the Fiends'd be on top forever and ever and EVER!"

There's a dangerous, animal hunger in the Morgrem's shrill voice. This was a clan under pressure from the creeping growth of civilisation, and when it came down to it, they'd flocked to a charismatic strong-'mon.

"Big Boss Hawthorne is the ssstrrrooOONGEST Fiend wot ever lived! Nobody'd ever stab HIM in the back, get me? Yoo can come for old Morris, but wot-ever you shoot the Big Boss wiv, you're FUCKED when he hits back, gyahahah!"

The notorious Grimmsnarl Hawthorne.

"Yoo's gonna get what's comin' to ya!" shrieks the greasy-haired goblin. "Yoo think you can just do us in like that? Think again, shit-suckers!"

After letting him stew in jail for a little while, Archie pays a visit to Dakim, looking to at least attempt to extract more information out of the Darmanitan. He is friendly, but persistent, jokingly telling Dakim that the fastest way for the Cipher Admin to get the Dewott out of his fur is to give him some of the information he’s looking for. His questions start out fairly general.

“What’s your ultimate goal, here? Power, sure, but power to do what?”

"I will answers your questions, boy."

Dakim is stoic, proud, and overbearingly masculine. He stands as upright as his body permits, and stares ahead like a streetlamp, unflinching.

"My goal is to be the mightiest being who ever lived, and to savour the rewards of that strength. As for what the rest of Cipher hunger for, I could hardly care less. The Syndicate has no unifying code or ideology. It is simply made up of those ambitious enough to thrive where others merely survive, or perish."

“What is it Cipher offers that attracts so many followers? What did they offer you, Dakim?”

"It is child's play to recruit the desperados of Orre. They would debase themselves for no more than a paycheck and the chance to bully scared residents shoulder-to-shoulder.

"I was offered nothing. I demanded my own place at their table, and was given it."


“Why go through all this effort to create more and more Shadow Pokemon, if you’re already the dominant power back on your home world?”

"We do not rule Earth, boy. Not yet. We are strong, but we are not stronger than the entire world against us at once. We spread in shadows, growing strong there, until there is enough shadow to drown the light."

Eventually, he starts drilling in to more specific topics, focusing on the Terminals and the Admins.

“Do you guys have a hierarchy, or is it just, Nascour at the top and the rest of you vaguely underneath him?”

He scoffs.

"There are those that memorise their petty ranks and numbers. It is meaningless babble. There are those strong enough to serve, those strong enough to command, and the strongest of these to rule... so long as he remains so."

In other words, Dakim never paid attention to the command structure of the Syndicate, but one did exist.

“Was one of you specifically in charge of Terminal Two? … Was it Ein?”

"Ein was responsible for the building, yes. It matters little."

“You mentioned a couple other names: Gorigan, Ardos, and Eldes. But you didn’t say anything about them.” He adds teasingly, “Should I fear them like I should fear Nascour?”

"No."

He doesn't feel a need to elaborate.

Archie gets a strong feeling that of these names, only Nascour is indispensably important.

“Is there a specific reason Eremus Fault and Black Water Depths were chosen to house your bases?”

"They are a wellspring of Shadow energy. The scientists could force their way into your world through Shadow Dungeons. Although Black Water Depths is but a paltry pond compared to the great sea that is Eremus Fault."

“Any way I can convince you to tell me what species I should be on the lookout for, when it comes to your colleagues?”

"I will not give you that advantage," rumbles the Darmanitan, sternly. He will not be persuaded on this.

When Archie finally goes to leave, he stops at the doorway, and turns to ask the Darmanitan one final question:

“What happened to Seth’s Eevees? Where are they now?”

He shrugs.

"So far as I know, they remain on Earth. In one of our desert bases, no doubt. Enough of this. I must meditate, and you must chase shadows."
 
He also told Akela about his teammates having found the Wandering Light and show her that he can use Radiance now. He then asked if he can train with her, since being able to use Radiance and mastering it are two different things.

"We may teach each other something in doing so – Radiance reveals itself differently from every soul. Perhaps you may also teach others in your cohort what you learn in this place, Rodion."

Akela doesn't say it outright, but she seems intently keen that some Wayfarers become proficient in maintaining a calm and reasoned mind while their blood runs gold with supercharged Aura. She is a patient teacher, and Rodion's temperament is agreeable enough to her.

Rodion would have taken the time to get to know Shira a little bit and also tell her about himself in return. He also would have sparred with her a couple of times, with his strategy being to only use Radiance early on in the fight in order to build up resistance to Shira's Radiant attacks as soon as possible. His preferred move to make Radiant is Liquidation, due to the longer lasting Defense debuff. He never uses any Shadow attacks.

"Oh, a fight? That'd be shining! Okay. But don't land soft just because you have the high element."

Shira is enthusiastic to spar, and the lingo is easy enough to parse. Don't hold back, Water-type.

As it turns out, she was strong enough that Rodion wouldn't dare, anyway. A Wayfarer might have better odds of beating her now, since they've all grown stronger in recent weeks – or if Rodion had been willing to use Shadow. (She mentions 'Demons' in passing. It may have been best not to.)



Jade begins making plans to take the train east, out toward Novelux. She intends to ask the train operatives about an incident around two and a half months ago, in which a rear railcar was detached on the westward line. After some deliberation, she informs Koa, Leaf, Nova, Gladion, and Laura of her plans.

"I'm still picking up bits and pieces about the Commonwealth, but apparently Novelux is the important city between us and the rest of it. Brisa and Jesse must have passed through there. I'll come with you."

Looks like the party is headed east sooner rather than later.

Koa would have taken time to examine the drone he retrieved - it's entirely mechanical, right? And just a general sort of morbid curiosity about it. He's no tech junkie but he wonders if he'll recognize anything about its level of technology or construction. He may bring it to Alejandro (when Wes isn't around of course) to see if he can tinker with it and get it working.

"Well ain't this a perr-cuel-lier contraption," marvels Alejandro. "This technology is way, way beyond th'likes o' me, son. I don't have half an inkling what most of this is. Ain't got no gears or gyros a-clickin' an' whirrin' inside o' there. Looks more like the innards of a silicate pokémon, I'd wager. Don't you fret, though – this doodad weren't livin', that's fer sure."

Once Alejandro manages to pry the casing open, he discovers high-tech beyond his Industrial Age understanding. Koa might recognise the internals as looking like the guts of consumer electronics.

Mercifully, it doesn't appear to be an actual, surgically-modified 'mon. Just an Earth device far too advanced for this time and place.

Koa makes time to talk with Tlalli during his time working at the library. Being that he's been working there for a little while he feels decently comfortable around her. He tells her a little of the team's exploits here and there, though he’s careful not to give any critical details. He asks her opinions on things though during these talks.

“How do you think a Saints power is meant to be used? Or I guess, any great power? Should they try and help or stay out of problems?”

Tlalli considers this one carefully before replying.

"Well, sweetie... The Saints are something between us mortals, and the stuff of the spirit world. They're part of nature. One of each at a time, no more, ever-living and ageless. Those closest to us, like the Wandering Light, are meant to walk the world and follow their hearts. Others, like the gods of soil, sea and sky, are so... primordial, that we might never be able to hold a conversation. These birds of yours... are somewhere in-between. Complicated. Nuanced. Take a moment to clear your mind, and consider..."

The Gliscor has much to say about Saints, in the end. The way she tells it, legendary pokémon aren't like super-powered Rangers, or state social services, or anything like that. She compares them both to story-book characters and to natural forces, and she makes allusions to them being something other than 'heroes'.

"The world has every-day heroes everywhere, and heroes like you offworlders when called-for. The Saints and gods, though? They take on other, numinous responsibilities. There must gods of pain and terror and death, just as there must be gods of life and luck and good-fortune."

It's not a simple idea, but she does her best to convey it all the same.

"It takes all kinds to make a world. Or a pantheon."
 
Unfortunately, Sybil has no idea how something like that could be done even now that she's found herself "tuned into" the Relic Stone. Even still, it is possible for the Relic to impart a blessing of protection against the darkness for a short amount of time, a few hours, give or take.
"Hey, so, about that protection..."

Nova returns following the Twilight Quarry investigation and explains the situation with the dungeon, how it seems to actively corrupt those who go inside it. He also describes Owen's current state and says some Wayfarers are preparing a potential raid into the dungeon and could use as many countermeasures as possible.

And given their findings about Alexander's traversal methods, he also attempts to make contact with Powehi. Nova gives an exact description of Alexander's traversal method and pointedly asks if Powehi has anything to do with it. He also explains Owen's situation and the swarm of Void Shadows within the Quarry. "How can you sit there and bark at us for messing with the world's stability when Alexander's making it far less stable?! If you want stability, then help us get rid of him!"
 
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(I could scene this properly if you think it’s worthwhile.)

Gladion's interested in bugging Sierra about a few things. He suspects that current events aren't entirely unrelated to the entropic crisis. He's willing to back that idea up with anything Betel's willing to let him share from Lumirror, and won't be remiss to point out that Betel's testing and the arrival of Starr seem to line up. (He also knows from Powehi that too many offworlders are bad for stability, it’s why the Wayfarers all have to be temporary.)

Whatever he asks is likely to boil down to two main questions:

“So. Do you mind telling me what caused your Entropic Crisis? Because whether it’s connected or unrelated, someone might be gearing up to cause another one. Or, they were at least trying to set themselves up to do so? I’m not sure.”

“What was up with the Coven during that? Because they’re the only group I can think of with the power to clear Starr, Jesse, and Brisa off the board. Unless you know of anyone else like that.”

He doesn’t have anything of substance to say to Halcón at the moment, but Gladion’ll also say hi if he sees him. He pop doesn’t want to bug the guy too much but is still interested in sparring more. (Gladion’s just always interested in that. I don’t think anyone has called him a battleheart aloud yet but when he hears that it’s gonna click with him.)
 
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