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Sojaveña Wilds Stormbringer Shrine

"How long has it been, since the Stormbringer last came. Or is that beyond the memory and records of the living."
Pawmo chuckled. "It might've been before our time, but it wasn't ancient history! Nah, the Escarpa kept up an oral tradition before the village was founded... I want to say around 300 years?" She scratched at her cheek fluff, thinking hard. "Shoot, I oughta know this one, don't tell the shrine head." The little electric-type scampered over to inspect another painting further in the cave. "...Two-hundred ninety-four. Well, I weren't that far off."

This painting depicted the night sky, strikingly calm compared to the previous one. Several quadrupedal figures sat atop a hill, heads bowed in respect, with what may have been ceremonial paint on their faces. Behind them, a large pyre burned.

Jade squinted at the text inscribed on the bottom. Her brow furrowed, the gears turning in her head.

She wasn't sure how to ask. "Um, this painting. Was this...?"

Pawmo leaned back, looking wistful. "The Escarpa held a most lovely funeral. Wish I coulda seen it in person."

'In honor of the departed storm.'
Koa gazed up at the figure in awe. He'd never seen any of Kanto's legends. Back home, stories told of Zapdos traveling the regions, often nesting at power plants, bringing storms to electric types and challenging brave trainers. For a moment, he wondered what it would be like to challenge Zapdos like this, in this body...

After several seconds he dragged his attention from the statue to listen as the caretaker spoke. His gaze lit up as he took in the painting before a sense of somber awe came over him, mixed with a sadness. "The departed storm..." he said softly. Was it gone for good? The idea that Zapdos had simply been killed stung, even if it wasn't his worlds legend. "Did the Escarpa know the Stormbringer closely?" he asked quietly.
Zapdos, gone. Jade couldn't help thinking of the Zapdos she knew back home. Quiet, contemplative, and regretful, but also believing in the legends' role to protect the world...

Pawmo didn't seem to have noticed that the idea of a departed legend was so foreign to Jade and Koa. "Well, even the stars gotta burn out eventually, you know?" she replied. "Far as I know, he'd been protecting the Soja' for centuries--must've been his time to pass on. The real shame was not having an heir."

Jade cocked her head. "An heir?"

"Yeah, someone to take up the mantle after his passing."

Jade wasn't quite sure what to make of that. People could... become legends here? Then again, that did match what Koa had mentioned about the Wandering Light...
Silver gazed intently at the painted ritual, silent and thoughtful. So, that was a memorial site, raised in the honor of a departed soul.

He couldn’t help but think of the Burned Tower, untouched and destroyed, kept as is to remember the befallen tragedy and aftermath of a grueling war, and marking the time that the beautiful connection between mortals and the divine birds had been severed. Perhaps that Storm Bringer had fallen under similar circumstances?

He diverted his gaze from the painting and quickly noticed the somber stare on Jade and Koamaru. Not even the deities themselves could escape the inevitable grasp of death, that was a fact he knew too well, but maybe that same concept was something alien where they came from.

A soft sigh slipped through his lips, and he focused again on the painting. There was one thing he could do, at least.

Slowly and respectfully, Silver closed his eyes and lifted his arms with an arc-like motion, bringing his claws to the sky. He intertwined them together, and with an equally slow motion, he lowered them to his chest. Might the god touch our hearts. And lastly, he bowed to the painting.

Only the faint rumbling of distant storms — present, or from the past? — reverberated into his mind. Quiet. More quiet. Then silence. Peace.

Silver opened his eyes and let his arms fall back to his sides. He had no clue whether he managed to connect his soul with the departed legend, but… at least, he felt like some fog had left his spirit.
Koa's eyes widened. "So the Stormbringer can choose an heir as well?" he asked, struggling to keep the excitement from his tone and speak quietly. He started to wonder just how many legends could be ascended mortals. The idea was captivating. He'd heard fictional stories in his world of ordinary pokemon becoming legendaries, but never actually anything in reality.

"I wonder why he didn't choose one..." Had his death come too soon? "Do you know much about how heirs get chosen? I've read about other le- saints ascending, but not exactly how or why."
Jade watched Silver performing some sort of ritual with a somber gaze. It made her want to do something as well, though she didn't have any idea what. Back home, everything with the Legendaries was so complicated. She wanted to take a moment to just forget about all that and quietly learn more about a guardian here who'd been laid to rest by the people he'd protected.

"Then what happens when there is no heir? Does Arceus descend to find one himself? Forgive my ignorance. I'm very foreign."
Pawmo tilted her head. "Arc-whatsit? Er, far as anyone knows, there hasn't been another since then." She put a paw to her chin in thought. "Well, I suppose there's folktales an' such about departed saints leaving behind treasures with their power, but..."--she waved a paw dismissively--"I never put much stock in that, on account o' no one ever finding one."

"I wonder why he didn't choose one..." Had his death come too soon? "Do you know much about how heirs get chosen? I've read about other le- saints ascending, but not exactly how or why."
"Can't say," Pawmo replied with a shrug. "Best bet might be to ask someone who knew the Wandering Light when she were mortal."

"That'd be... someone from the Escarpa Clan, right?" Jade asked. "We've been wanting to find them, but, uh... didn't think we'd have much luck until we could have a battle that wasn't over instantly."

"That'd be the quickest way to make friends there," Pawmo said with a sage nod. Not exactly denying the assumption.
Zapdos was... Dead? That... That didn't make sense! The heir thing made sense, sure. There were plenty of stories of the gods creating newer, lesser gods to help them. But the idea that a being of such tremendous power could die unnerved him.

He had to remind himself that this wasn't home. That things could be — were — different here.

It took him a minute to realize he'd been staring at the painting. He shook out his fur, trying to play off his lapse in focus. "It sounds like he was beloved by his followers, to be immortalized in the art and culture to this day."
The other Sneasel--Nip, if Jade remembered correctly--looked shaken as well. Jade nodded along after he spoke. "Yeah, I bet," she said, her eyes tracing the figures in the painting. Doubt there'd be that find of support back home, she thought darkly. Even if she knew that wasn't true, opinions on the legends weren't that one-sided. Even if it felt like it sometimes.

"Are there any tales of Dialga, Palkia, Giratina?" Mhynt asked aloud. "My far-foreign world speaks of things like that."
Pawmo let out a sigh. "Sorry, but I'm no scholar--alls I know are the tales we have here in the Soja'. They might have some texts on foreign saints in Frontier Town, but I haven't visited personally."

She glanced over her shoulder and seemed to be taking note of something outside. "Ahh, it's getting on in the day, I oughta finish tidying. You folks're welcome to stay til' sundown; feel free to holler if you need anything." And with that, the little electric-type scampered off.

Jade glanced at Mhynt after their host was no longer within earshot. "I, uh, hadn't heard of any of those names either. But I'm not exactly a Legendary expert or anything, so that doesn't mean much about my world. I'm honestly surprised that the first Legendary we got real info on is one that's pretty well known where I'm from." Her eyes wandered back to the vivid hues of Zapdos's storm covering the stone.
"Mm." Mhynt nodded. "Thank you for the help."

In the end, there wasn't a lot to glean from this other than some information about the death of Zapdos and perhaps others. If that was the case...

"We should tell the others," Mhynt said. "We might get answers if we inform the party delving into a Dungeon about this. Perhaps they will get information from someone who was 'there at the time.' In the meantime, I think I'll do some research of my own to piece together a timeline..."
Well, I suppose there's folktales an' such about departed saints leaving behind treasures with their power, but..."--she waved a paw dismissively--"I never put much stock in that, on account o' no one ever finding one."
Koa made a mental note to find out anything he could about such 'treasures'. Something like that could make all the difference in helping the world. And he couldn't help but burn with curiosity. Just because one had never been found didn't mean much. The legends probably hid it well... And eventually try and figure out what happened to the Storm Bringer...

He was distracted from his thoughts by Jade's reply to Mhynt. "Huh... Dialga and Palkia were a big deal in my world at one point, on the news. They're said to control time and space." He reigned himself in before he launched into an explanation that would be meaningless anyway.

He wanted to take in as much of the shrine as he could, and burn it in his memory. There was no telling when he'd be back. Moving carefully, he walked around the shrines interior, soaking in the images, colors and scents as much as he could.
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"Mine as well," Nip added after Koa. "As far as I know, E knows about Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, the first children of the Original One in my world. Our legends say that when Dialga and Palkia battled countless cycles ago, their immense power twisted the battlefield, scarring the land with Mystery Dungeons. It was only Giratina's intervention that kept the world from ruin."

His attention turned next to Mhynt. "I think that would be a wise decision. Perhaps things are different here, but in our stories, the los of a god could be catastrophic for the world."
"Huh... Dialga and Palkia were a big deal in my world at one point, on the news. They're said to control time and space."
Jade gave him a double-take. "Time and space? And they were just... on the news??" It was one thing to wonder if their worlds had different myths, and another thing entirely if those myths had straight-up been on the news. And then Nip and Mhynt both knew about them, so...

Jade was beginning to wonder if her world was the only normal one here. Or, did that make hers the only weird one, by being normal?
“Oh yeah, I recall hearing something on the news about a time-space distortion created by Dialga and Palkia, too. Fun times,” added Silver with a hint of sarcasm, before tapping his chin. “Many scientists believed that our world would have been sucked into a black hole, that time and space would have gone wack, and similar outlandish theories. But luckily, some people managed to stop the distortion before things got too crazy.”

As he mentioned those details, the familiar face of a blond, hyper kid of his age floated in his mind. That annoying grin, his insatiable curiosity, and the constant demands of a million Poké… and then, all that excitement being swept away as they were forced to fend off otherworldly creatures who attacked the ship and all its passengers.

Silver felt his heart squeezing at the memory, and he still wondered if he could have done more back then to help. But deep down, he knew that he couldn’t have. Because he wasn’t strong enough.

“Hmph! Anyway,” he grumbled, shoving those thoughts back where they came from, “the myths I’ve heard are pretty similar. Arceus the Alpha Architect, Dialga the Ticking of Time, Palkia the Breath of Space, and Giratina the Blink of Gravity. Those are some of their titles where I come from.”
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Jade gave him a double-take. "Time and space? And they were just... on the news??"
"Well, not them literally. But there was a... group in my world whose goal was to try to catch them. And their myths are a big deal in Sinnoh." Had that just not happened at all in her world? That was oddly relieving to hear.

It sounded like Silver's world had a similar event. Different titles though....

Koa looked around the shrine again and peered closer at the picture of the pyre, frowning as he studied it. If only there was more about them. "We have to try and contact the Escarpa's soon... I think they're our best lead. Usually catastrophes end up involving legendaries somehow, so that could be the best way to find out why we were summoned."

Koa glanced over to Nip, curiosity sparking. "That sounds similar. The myths in my world call Arceus the Original One sometimes... "
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“…So, our best lead is trying to confer with the leader of a clan of battle junkies whose best form of diplomacy is trying to best others in bone-breaking combats. Alright.”

Silver blinked slowly, finding the idea more and more unattainable by the second. He crossed his paws and tapped his foot rhythmically, looking unconvinced.

“Now don’t get me wrong! I enjoy a good tussle as much as the next guy, but we gotta be real. I bet that Mr. Birdbrain and his dandy cronies aren’t nearly as powerful as the weakest Escarpa fellow, and many of us have blinked stars outta our eyes during that fight.” He growled lowly, still angry for biting the dust back then. “The Escarpa are far above our current battle level, as much as I hate to admit that. But! That doesn’t mean we can’t try something else in the meantime. Maybe… the library? Or we can keep checking out this shrine and look for more clues?”
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