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Frontier Town Traveller's Haus - Guest Rooms

Pain and movement. Pain and movement. If nothing else it let Steven know he was still alive. That, and the soothing voice that was speaking to him from somewhere down a long tunnel.

‘...Important… …Got it… …Focus… …Hold on…’

“Hold… on?”

Steven tried to nod. He could do that. It took several attempts, but eventually his claws pinched together on empty air, trembling from the effort. There. See? He could do it, he could hold on. He almost laughed at how well he'd done.

It was a lot easier, too, since he’d stopped moving. Except that meant the pain on the outside was now less than the pain on the inside. His strength flagged and his claws fell slack as the poison crept further. But just as the wave of fire washed over him again, the muffled voices returned and suddenly he was doused with sweet, sweet relief.

The full effect would take time to work against such a bad case of poisoning, but the respite granted to Steven was immediate. His whole body shuddered as the pecha juice extinguished the smoldering skorupi venom, numbing it to a dull throb.

The fingers of shadowy corrosion that scrawled their way across his steel skin finally stopped their slow advance. A black peeling rust was left in their wake as they radiated outward from the four punctures left by the skorupi’s fangs.

Head lolling in exhaustion, Steven let out a low-pitched whine as his eye slid shut. Perhaps he was past the worst of it, now.
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Player Phase, Turn 2

The rooms and halls of the haus were showing more and more signs of a bitter struggle, one that would cost time and a small fortune to repair. Both sides were bitterly fighting for their lives but the Wayfarers quickly discovered that they were gaining more ground. Skorupi was ruthless but the party was even more so and the skorupi was outnumbered. Perhaps a small part of the feral knew this, as it raised its stingers in one final threatening display in the face of the oncoming attacks.

Dave stole 1 Atk stage with Pickpocket!
Dave's Rage dealt 0 damage to Shadow Skorupi! Dodged!
Dave's Leer lowered Shadow Skorupi's Def by 1!

Astrid's Protect granted her +2 Shields!
Astrid's AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt 52 damage to Shadow Skorupi!
Astrid's CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt 65 damage to Shadow Skorupi!
Astrid's Powder Snow dealt 32 damage to Shadow Skorupi! KO!!!
Astrid's Spotter Feat! Shadow Skorupi's Ability:

The attacks continue...

Wes's Quick Attack dealt 14 damage to Shadow Skorupi!
Wes's CRITICAL Stone Edge dealt 67 damage to Shadow Skorupi! It's super effective!
Wes's Rock Throw dealt 26 damage to Shadow Skorupi! It's super effective!

Kimiko's Round dealt 15 damage to Shadow Skorupi!
Kimiko's Mega Drain dealt 7 damage to Shadow Skorupi! Kimiko healed 3 HP! It's not very effective...
Kimiko's AGILE Magical Leaf dealt 6 damage to Shadow Skorupi! It's not very effective...
Kimiko's Magical Leaf dealt 9 damage to Shadow Skorupi! It's not very effective...

Ridley's Rogue Skill! Shadow Skorupi was Burned!

Odette's Brawler strike dealt 15 damage to Shadow Skorupi!

By the end of it, skorupi was nothing more than a crumpled mess on the floorboards, no signs of life outside of the occasional twitch and muscle spasm. Was it over? Already?

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As Kimiko sat there panting, the sounds back inside Steven's room eventually died down. It sounded like the rest of the team had finished the job, but she knew she wouldn't be able to relax after this unless she saw it herself. So, with effort, she heaved herself back to her feet and peered around the edge of the doorway.

The skorupi was twitching, but otherwise it appeared unconscious. They actually did it. And no one else took a beating! It was almost too easy...

A thought occurred to her. She swept her gaze over the rest of the team, but eventually settled on Odette. (Okay, maybe it wasn't so random, but she was still the best one of the gathered to discuss this with.) Between haggared breaths, she said, "Hey... didn't you say Nolan needed a living shadow specimen to study?"
Frantic relief flooded Koa at the sight of the pecha berries taking effect, slowing the poison. Steven is strong. Pokemon here are stronger, he can survive.

Still, his heart didn't stop racing. Koa was keyed up to eleven, his eyes darting around the hall in search of danger, his posture stiff and tense, ready for an attack to come that hadn't yet. He braced himself between Steven and the fight, half expecting the Skorupi to come skittering out except... it didn't.

He glanced at Steven, then Archie, then towards the room. He edged forward to peer inside, and spotted the shadowy thing lying on the ground, still twitching, barely, surrounded by Wes and Odette and the others. His stomach churned as he started at it. "Is it over?" he whispered.
Odette was panting, gun still outstretched in front of her with the barrel smoking. After watching the bug twitch a couple times but make no room to rise, she blew across the top of the barrel (which actually felt so fucking cool to do, glocks didn’t smoke like that when fired) and lowered it.

“Am I the only one insanely fucking concerned at how, dare I say, easy that was?” she said between her breaths, shooting quick looks at Dave and Wes to ensure they hadn’t been totally torn to shreds. “The obvious poisoning aside.”

So much was going through her head. The bug, the room, Steven, how fast it went down, the journal, everyone who got hit, her friend, the skorupi had followed them back, it definitely recognized her, Kimiko, and Ridley…

She was jolted back to attention at the sound of Kimiko’s voice. Blinking in the snivy’s direction, she decided to bite back whatever snide comment had come to the forefront of her mind to give a straightforward answer.

“He did. Attack residue isn’t enough; he said they needed an actual, full-bodied specimen. Didn’t specify whether it should be dead or alive, but…”

Here one was, right in front of them, though. How the fuck would they even get this thing to Nolan? Would it be better off to call him here? But how safe would it be to walk from Sun Stone to the Haus if this fucking thing snuck itself in like nothing?

“Let’s do a perimeter check,” she called warily, looking around at everyone who was present. “Make sure this fucking asshole didn’t show up with a posse. Check the other rooms, and the immediate area, and lets find something to restrain this guy too.”

“̶F̶u̸c̴k̵ ̸t̶h̷a̶t̶!̸ ̵I̸ ̴w̴o̷u̶l̷d̶ ̴l̴i̶k̶e̶ ̶t̴o̵ ̷h̶u̵m̸b̴l̷y̵ ̴r̴e̷q̸u̶e̷s̸t̵ ̴i̶t̵ ̸b̶e̵ ̷m̸y̷ ̴n̸e̵x̷t̷ ̴m̵e̵a̵l̶,̶ ̸t̴h̴a̸n̵k̷ ̸y̷o̸u̴ ̴v̴e̷r̸y̸ ̸f̴u̸c̷k̵i̴n̶g̶ ̷m̶u̸c̴h̴,̸”̷ Jawile snapped.

Odette shook her head, rolling her eyes in annoyance. “I’ll use my own chains if I have to.”
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Wes stood frozen for a moment, breathing hard, staring at the motionless bug on the floor. Waiting for it to reanimate and come back at them with a ferocious vengeance…but it remained still.

Is…is that it?

No…no, that couldn’t be right. This had been easy. Too easy, especially when compared to the Charmeleon. And yet, judging by the thing’s condition, there didn’t seem to be any chance of it getting back up again.

“I—did we…” he gulped and felt a tinge of horror creeping in the longer he looked at the motionless form. “Oh, gods. Did we kill it?”

This thing would have killed Steven if you haven’t done anything.
It would have killed any of them without remorse. But somehow, Wes still felt sick at the thought of being responsible for this mon’s demise. “It’s not like they chose to be like this,” Rui had once said.

Kimiko mentioned something about bringing it to Nolan, which only made Wes feel even more disgusted. Screw that guy. But he had agreed to work with him, in the end. And if this thing was still alive, then—what is he going to do to it?—handing it over to that lizard prick was probably their best bet. Will it suffer even more in his hands?

He cleared his throat and managed a shaky nod to Kimiko. “S’probably a good idea. And the sooner we can get it to him, the better. Maybe bring some of those stingers, too.”
Enemy Phase, Turn 2

However, any sense of victory or satisfaction was swiftly quashed the moment anyone attempted to approach the skorupi. It let a low hiss, though it didn't appear to be capable of attacking anymore, just sporadically twitching. But then, it felt like something in the air shifted, a great pressure in the air that wasn't there before.

Skorupi laid still and then...

All light, even the light from the moon and stars from the window vanished. It was all being absorbed by the bug-type's body. Deep purples and fuchsias trailed off it like a thick smoke and moments later, everyone was enveloped by darkness, a deafening howl coming from its heart. And, when everyone's eyes were finally able to adjust...

Skorupi was not longer there. Instead, towering over the rest of the group, rejuvenated from is twisted evolution, stood an immense drapion.

It slammed its claws into the floorboards, splintering them and roared.

Grasping Instinct reactivates! Shadow Drapion's Acc, Eva & Spd are raised by 2.
Boss Attack: Shadow Drapion's Fell Stinger strikes Astrid! 13 damage! Protected!
Shadow Drapion walked to the Hallway.
Shadow Drapion focused...
Boss Action: Shadow Drapion used a Spread Pin Missile on everyone in the Hallway dealing 5, 5, 5, 5 then 5 damage!
Dave's Rage gave him +1 Atk and dealt 7 dmg to Shadow Drapion!
Shadow Drapion's STRONG CRITICAL Night Slash dealt 40 damage to Wes! It's super effective!
Shadow Drapion's CRITICAL Poison Tail dealt 22 to Wes! It's super effective! KO!!!
Shadow Drapion's Shadow Stinger dealt 19 damage to Kimiko! It's super effective! Kimiko was Badly Poisoned...

Taking a moment to retract its claws, taking in its newfound strength. the new drapion looked around for the one that put up the greatest fight and found him. With an almost gleeful growl, it darted straight towards Wes and threw him aside like a ragdoll, claws coated in darkness and poison and shattering wood. Kimiko was next, after flinging pins all over the hall, hitting everyone unfortunate enough to get in the way, it lunged towards the snake, digging one of its venomous fangs into her before pulling back in another display of intimidation.

Shadow Drapion takes 15 damage from burn...
Kimiko takes 10 damage from poison... KO!!!
Kimiko recovered 4 HP total from her Heal Ribbon!
Wes revived with 18 HP!
Kimiko revived with 15 HP!
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At first, Archie thought Steven was incoherent, and he flinched and nearly lost his grip on the Beldum when he screamed out in pain. But, the words proved meaningful to Koa, and also to Ridley, who appeared by their side, only to just as quickly run off into the splintered remains of Steven’s room. Meanwhile, between himself and Koa, they managed to move Steven away from the active combat zone, the Electrike retrieved a pair of Lum berries from his room, and the two of them set about the grim work of treating the Beldum’s poison.

“He’ll be alright, I promise,” the Oshawott said, once again trying to be soothing. Steven looked about ready to pass out, but the sickening sweet smell of poison was fading, and the ugly gunk eating away at the Beldum evaporated, leaving dull rust splotches behind. And, by the sound of it, the rest of the group had succeeded in downing the Skorupi. The crisis, it seemed, had been averted….

And then the monster roared. Only, what burst out into the hallway to confront them all wasn’t a Skorupi, but a full blown Drapion. Had the monster evolved? How? Why? Archie barely had time to even formulate the questions before the Shadow Pokemon was launching spikes up and down the corridor. He grabbed Koa and pulled the Electrike to his side, their bodies forming a shield to at least cover the wounded Beldum. He felt several pins dig into his back, and cursed under his breath at the pain. Damn, they were going to have to move the Beldum again at this rate, maybe if they ducked into one of the other rooms the walls would at least provide some amount of cover?

He looked back, towards the monster, in time to see Wes get tossed aside. The Rockruff hit the ground, and the seconds seemed to stretch into hours as Archie waited to see some sign of movement from the blue puppy. Thankfully, it didn’t seem like Wes was entirely out of the fight yet, but still, Archie remembered how he’d been told the Charmeleon behaved. How it killed without a second thought. How Wes was now entirely at the mercy of a similar monster until he was able to rally. The Oshawott scrambled back to his feet, drew his scalchop and summoned the Water type blade once again. And then he ran into the fray. He’d already lost a friend, he didn’t plan on losing another.


With Kimiko proving an unwilling distraction for the Shadow Pokemon, Archie was able to place himself between the Drapion and the Rockruff. He swung and jabbed his Razor Shell at it, trying to draw its attention and dissuade it from deciding to try and get around him to further assault Wes.

“Hey, come on, eyes on me!” He yelled. The Shadow Pokemon might not understand the words, but if he made a big enough scene it might at least get the meaning. He just needed to provide enough of a distraction so that Wes – and everyone else, really – could recover. Then they could get back to moving Steven to safety.
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Panic and dread clawed through Koa. Move move move His mind raced but his body remained rooted in spot, legs stuck in place. No no no... This was Charmeleon again except bigger, worse, poisononous.

Then it raised its tail to attack and his instincts kicked in. Body moving almost of its own accord; Koa threw himself between Drapion and Steven as Archie pulled him down. Spikes thudded around him and he felt something stab his shoulder and ignored it. In a daze he looked up just in time to see the Thing tear through Wes in a blur of motion; knocking him aside. Koa's heart lurched. The shadowed Drapion struck again, a blur of movement, jamming its tail into Astrid. Wes wasn't moving- before Koa could decide what to do, Archie acted, springing in front of Wes to give him time to recover.

Koa lurched to his feet, pelt standing on end, sparks crackling through it. Do something do something- Odette said it hated light, right?

"Close your eyes!" he shouted raggedly, more electricity dancing through his fur. He pulled on the energy inside the same way he had back fighting with the rangers, concentrating it and zeroing in on the Drapions face. In a single surge, he shot it out. CRACK! An explosive burst of light filled the room.

Koa used Flash!
Shit, shit, shi—

Wes tried to shout, tried to tell everyone to get the hell out of there, but before the words could form on his tongue, he was sent airborne with a sickening crack. Burning, icy pain blossomed along his side and shuddered up his spine to his head while his vision flickered. He heard screams, the deafening splintering of wood, and then—nothing.

He groaned as his senses crept back in, accompanied with a throbbing ache that pulsed with his heartbeat and seemed to reverberate through all of his bones. Wes struggled to rise, shattered wood panels shifting and sliding off his back as he moved. His legs gave out and it took two more tries before he managed to get his feet under him.

Well, he thought groggily, it’s not dead.

Judging by the sounds of it, he hadn’t been out for long. The chaos was still raging in full force, and as Wes stumbled upright, he saw pieces of wood and debris were still flying in the…the thing’s wake. Whatever it was now, it sure as hell was no Skorupi. He blinked the fog from his vision and realized there was a silhouetted form—a person—standing between him and the Shadow creature, shouting at it and flashing some kind of shell weapon in their hand—

“Archie?” Wes rasped. Why in stars’ names the water mon was here and no longer at Steven’s side was beyond him. “What’re you—I’m—I’m fine. Really. You need to get out of here. Go back to Steven and the—”

And the kid. Oh gods, had he just left Koa over there with an incapacitated Steven? Alone? Wes looked at Archie, eyes wide in panic—


Wes swore loudly and ducked his head into a paw, but too late. Now he was freaking blinded, though something told him that hadn’t come from the monstrous bug. Great, freaking great. He furiously tried to blink the stars from his eyes. It was just as well, considering he himself wasn’t of much use to anybody in this state; he was powerless unless he could miraculously procure some kind of weapon or—wait.

His eyes rested on a large splinter of wood, perfectly and very conveniently broken in the shape of a javelin. A stupid, reckless, absolutely idiotic idea took hold in Wes’s brain, and before he let his reason talk him out of it, he darted forward and snapped up the wood in his jaws. Then, rearing back on his hind legs, he twisted his neck and craned his head back to wind up the throw. He flung his head to the side, in the direction of the giant bug, and released, sending the makeshift spear flying right into its side. Wes dropped back to all fours and gave himself half a second to be flabbergasted. Holy hell. That worked? That worked. Somehow.

It had come at the cost, however. His side screamed in protest at the stunt he’d just pulled. Wes grimaced and turned to Archie. “Listen, I’m gonna find some cover and take a breather. I’ve got items, so I’ll be fine. I just need a second.” He decided now was not a good time to mention he’d already used his Oran berry. “See if you can draw that thing away from Steven and the kid. I’ll be right behind you in a minute, I promise.”

He barely heard Archie respond with an affirmative before he turned and limped into an adjacent room. I’m not running away. Please believe I’m not running away.

Wes (23 STM, 8 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- **Bonus Action:** Item (Cacnea Spike) @ Drapion
- Walk to Guest Room 2
- **Bonus Action:** Focus (+5 TMP)
Net change: +0 STM, +5 TMP
Net totals: 23 STM (56 after regen), 13 TMP
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The now-drapion lumbered out the doorway and started spraying more pins. She'd seen mid-battle evolutions that invoked sudden power spikes before; how much more would it bring to a shadow?

Though she tried to dodge out of the way, the pin missile wasn't really even aimed, just sprayed randomly all over the hall, so it was impossible to predict. Thankfully, whatever Ridley had done with the lamp to burn the drapion had made a difference, because she was sure that attack otherwise would have meant the end of most of them, herself included. The rockruff had already been knocked out.

Apparently that hadn't been enough for the drapion though, as it caught sight of her and lunged, it's shadowy fang impaling her. That caused an involuntary scream of agony; unlike the poison tail, this was a notably different kind of burning venom, not a pure elemental interaction.

She dropped back to the ground, desperate to simply get out of its immediate range but barely able to even keep her eyes open. She tried to get back to her feet again, but only succeeded in further aggravating the searing in her side, causing a wince as she crumpled back to the floor.

When she came to, feeling the trickle of energy from her reviver, Archie was trying to distract the drapion.

But Wes, at least, could still move. "No, no!" Kimiko choked out, waving in Archie's direction. "Get the beldum out of here!"

Then the electrike barked an order and there was too much going on. Kimiko barely squeezed her eyes shut in time (more a result of wincing from the pain and nausea the poison was causing than anything else) before a bright light erupted in the direction of the drapion.

The electrike's flash seemed to disorient the shadow, so Kimiko opted to use the scraps of energy the reviver had given her to take advantage of the opening while it was there. Ignoring the venom weighing her down, she put as much energy as she had left into her voice. Then, while the rest of the team followed-up, she darted into one of the vacant rooms for a respite, thankful no one could see how hard she dropped to the floor.

Kimiko (50 STM, 26 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- Mega Drain @ shadow drapion (-5 STM, +3 TMP)
- CRITICAL Round @ shadow drapion (-11 STM, -20 TMP, +3 TMP)
- **Bonus Action:** Item (Oran Berry)
- Walk to Guest Room 1
Net change: -16 STM, -14 TMP
Net totals: 34 STM (52 after regen), 12 TMP
To Steven, the hallway had fallen blissfully silent. No more shouting, no more footsteps, no more hissing as the poison ate away at his body, no more of his own pained cries reverberating in his head. Just beautiful, peaceful silence. He could lay here all day.

But clearly life had other plans. Even the numbing haze of the healing berries wasn't enough to dull the way the entire floor quaked with an unearthly howl. And then chaos erupted all around him. Again. The floorboards shook with a thud, thud, thud, as something embedded itself into the wood near his head, and Steven swore he heard someone that wasn't him grunt in pain.

He pried his eye open in time to catch a clear view of four blue paws standing over him in the fading light.

"Koa?" he asked muzzily. He still couldn't levitate himself, the poison had done too much damage, but he was regaining some of his movement. In an attempt to rise, he ground his head against the floor, trying to lever himself to a better position. All he got for his efforts was a fresh flare of pain down his side, and a first class view of a monstrous drapion standing wall-to-wall in the hallway.

"Oh gods," he choked out as the shadow pokemon loomed over them. There was nothing either of them could do. If that thing wanted them dead, it would have its way. Every instinct screamed run, but he wasn't going anywhere, not in his condition. So someone had to. He could play dead or something; he already felt more than halfway there anyway.

"Run, Koa--" he blurted in a strained whisper. "Just run."
The thing had fucking evolved.

This time he avoided the worst of it, bracing as a barrage of spikes rained across the entire room, but the now-Drapion laid in on Wes and Kimiko, clearly having identified them as the most dangerous targets. The Oshawott leapt in front of Wes, giving the Rockruff space to recover and strike back with some kind of improvised fucking spear made of wood splinters before stumbling towards a room to recuperate.

Dave's muscles were on fire, his legs shaking with exhaustion, ears ringing. He maneuvered another berry out of his bag. "I'll get in the other room," he called to Wes. "Can't... Can't go after all of us at once. We'll... We'll fuck that thing up in a minute. Won't know what fucking hit it."

His vision blurred as he threw himself behind the door. Fuck. Fuck. Who was he fucking kidding.

Dave (21 STM, 17 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- **Bonus Action:** Item (Oran Berry)
- Howl (-18 STM, +2 TMP)
- Walk to Guest Room 3
Net change: -18 STM, +2 TMP
Net totals: 3 STM (22 after regen), 19 TMP
"̵A̵h̴,̷ ̸s̷e̵e̶.̸ ̸I̶ ̵f̴u̴c̸k̷i̷n̴g̵ ̴t̴o̵l̵d̵ ̴y̴o̶u̶ ̸t̶h̶a̶t̷ ̶I̴-̴-̵"̴ Jawile started to say as the drapion practically resurrected itself under the drained light of the moon and stars. The words had barely come out before the beast exploded into a flurry of Pin Missiles and violent attacks.

Odette knew she wasn't going to have time to move. Not at the speed those pins were going. All she could do at that moment was duck her head and brace. She felt the brushes of pins fly past her body--one, two, three, sting, sting, blood--before the barrage was suddenly halted. Phantom pains shot down through the stem on her head, morphing into one dull headache that was gradually growing more intense. Cracking her eyes open, she could see that Jawile had taken it upon itself to act as a shield for the rest of her body. Pins buried themselves into the the skin of her second head, blood beginning to pool around the contact points, but she could barely register the pain through the growl they let out. It was the combined force of her own anger and adrenaline that had her darting for a fallen dresser to use as cover.

Of course. Of fucking course. She knew her fear wasn't unfounded; the skorupi had looked far too pleased at how hard it was getting its ass beat, and she'd become certain it didn't have a high enough brain function to enjoy it as some sort of kink (gods, she fucking hoped not, that would just be really fucking weird, and why the absolute fuck was that the first thing that came to mind, her friends were dying). So naturally the progression up from that was that it experienced power from being hit. That's why it wanted to fight on the tower that night. It wanted to do this to her, Kimiko, and Ridley. It'd have probably killed them in that instance.

Panting through the sounds of struggle, she bit back a guttural scream as she tried to right her head. She could feel her own blood trickling down from new gashes in her temple, arms, and legs. Jawile was so inundated with pins that the thought of having to pull them out one by one tickled her trypanophobia so deeply that a feeling of nausea hooked around her like a straight jacket. Breathe. Breathe. Keep it together.

She only realized she was shaking when she saw the derringer trembling against her fingers. A sense of deja vu began to shroud her mind's eye, and suddenly all she could see was every other instance she'd been backed into this kind of corner.

Houndoom. Dorien. Fire. Woods. Noel screaming "Shoot it, shoot it now!"

Ultra Space. Beasts. Guzma, shaking. The smell of blood. He was screaming "Fucking shoot it!"

She came back from her trip when light filled the room. It was blinding for a moment, but she impressed herself with how fast she understood what just happened. An opening.

Her body seemed to know what to do before her brain did. Her shaking stopped, her breathing slowed, and she pulled the derringer close to cock it again. She hoisted herself up onto her knees, and raised the firearm, squinting to catch the quick sight of the drapion's wide, disoriented eyes. Then, she pulled the trigger again.

Odette: Brawler AUX (Steel) @ Drapion
Was that it? Is it over?

"There's no way it's over," Ridley muttered to himself. He hesitated, caught between his desire to go over and take a closer look at the shadow pokemon and the small shrill alarm bell of self-preservation ringing in the back of his head.

The skorupi lay there, crumpled, occasionally twitching.

...could it be over?

Whole seconds had passed. Ridley didn't relax, exactly, but his curiosity won out over his desire to not suffer a repeat of the shadow charmeleon incident, and he started to edge closer to the skorupi.

However, any sense of victory or satisfaction was swiftly quashed the moment anyone attempted to approach the skorupi. It let a low hiss, though it didn't appear to be capable of attacking anymore, just sporadically twitching. But then, it felt like something in the air shifted, a great pressure in the air that wasn't there before.

"Shit," Ridley hissed. He backpedalled, but not fast enough to avoid the sudden onslaught of dark smoke pouring from its body. The blackness was total, cloying; he felt the same sense of helplessness and uncertainty he had when facing the shadow charmeleon, waiting in the darkness for an attack from an enemy he couldn't even see.

Panicking now, he fumbled his way to the door, less running out into the hallway and more falling into it as wall suddenly gave way to emptiness.

And then a fucking drapion burst out after him, spraying pin missile spikes in every direction. One skewered through the fabric of Ridley's disguise, pinning him to the ground; two more thudded into his body. They hurt with the same horrible burn he remembered from the shadow charmeleon's attacks, as though they were damaging something deeper and more fundamental than his mere physical body.

Ridley grabbed at the spine pinning him, trying to work it free from the ground. Koa's warning gave him barely enough time to squeeze his eyes shut before the hallway exploded with light.

Ridley (Aux Rogue/Spotter)
- Rogue Aux: Lower RES @ Shadow Drapion
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Astrid (36 STM, 11 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- Protect (-18 STM, +2 TMP)
- **Bonus Action:** Item (Leppa Berry) (+40 STM)
- Dash to Hallway (-2 TMP)
- AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath @ angery (-15 STM, hit, -2 TMP, +2 TMP)
- CRITICAL Frost Breath @ angery (-10 STM, Sure Hit, +2 TMP)
- Powder Snow @ angery (-8 STM, effect, -9 TMP, +2 TMP) — inflict **Frostbite**
- Activate feat (Spotter T0) @ angery’s Defense and Resistance
- Walk to Guest Room 5
Net change: -11 STM, -5 TMP
Net totals: 25 STM (43 after regen), 6 TMP
Dave: +4 Attack timer renewed
Wes: +2 Attack --> +3 Attack
Astrid: +1 shield
1. Ridley
2. Dave
3. Wes
4. Kimiko
5. Odette
6. Astrid
Ridley lowered Shadow Drapion’s Resistance by 1!

Shadow Drapion dodged Wes’s Cacnea Spike!

Shadow Drapion dodged Kimiko’s Mega Drain!
Kimiko's CRITICAL Round dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!

Astrid's AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's Powder Snow dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's Spotter Feat! Shadow Drapion’s stats:

Odette’s Steel Brawler strike dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
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Player Phase, Turn 3

There was little that could stand in the way of a rampage from a large and aggressive shadow and that showed in how much better it seemed in taking the attacks. Astrid could clearly see that its armour was more durable, thicker, it was going to take a lot more than what they brought out when it was a skorupi to make any meaningful headway here.

Ridley's Rogue Skill! Lowered Shadow Drapion's Res by 1!

Wes's Cacnea Spike dealt 0 damage to Shadow Drapion! Dodged!

Kimiko's Mega Drain dealt 0 damage to Shadow Drapion! Dodged!
Kimiko's CRITICAL Round dealt 16 damage to Shadow Drapion!

Odette's Brawler strike dealt 11 damage to Shadow Drapion!

Astrid's Protect granted her +1 Shield!
Astrid's AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt 40 damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt 49 damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's Powder Snow dealt 32 damage to Shadow Drapion! Frostbitten!
Astrid's Spotter Feat! Shadow Drapion's Defences:

Def – 98
Res – 78

Drapion appeared to shake itself off after each attack, as if taunting its foes for their more ineffective attacks. Its gaze fell and focused on Astrid who looked to be the only one left putting up any real fight. It could consume the weak ones later, this one appeared to still have some life in it. It was quick in reaching the fox in the hall, towering over and cornering her. It raised its stinger, ready to strike...

Interaction! Koa's Flash lowered Shadow Drapion's Acc by 2!

Only to be blinded by Koa's flash, giving Astrid a window to hide in one of the rooms and recuperate. Drapion let out a frenzied roar, blindly trying to follow any sound while swinging its arms. The first sound it heard was that of Archie's voice and while it was hard to tell between what was nothing more than incoherent babble to it, a noise was a noise and it swiftly threw the oshawott aside whislt trying to find Astrid. In its path, towards where it believed she ran, it happened to run into the source of the horrible, horrible light. With a blind and furious swing, Koa was struck hard by a back-handed motion, sending the little electric-type flying right into the wall.

Left to blink away the momentary blindness, the shadow drapion began to swiftly stalk the hall, trying to find any living prey in one of the rooms.
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Enemy Phase, Turn 3

It wasn't long at all before Drapion managed to find its target. In one swift motion, Astrid found herself at the mercy of a giant pair of darkening claws. There was a brief moment of respite for her when instead, the drapion's claws were instead met with a weakening shield, but it was a short lived victory as in the very next moment, Astrid was on the receiving end of a deadly tail swipe, toxic fangs driving into her as she lay prone.

When the fox showed no signs of movement, it lumbered out of the room, looking into any of the other guestrooms from the hallway. Sharp pins (though just a bit less than before) readied themselves to fire at whoever it found lingering by the doorway, trying to steal a sneak peak at the action.

And it found Kimiko.

Shadow Drapion walked to Guest Room 5.
Shadow Drapion focused...
Shadow Drapion's STRONG CRITICAL Night Slash dealt 0 Damage to Astrid! Protected!
Shadow Drapion's CRITICAL Poison Tail dealt 34 damage to Astrid! It's super effective!
Boss Action: Drapion's next move will be CRITICAL.
Shadow Drapion's CRITICAL Shadow Sting dealt 32 damage to Astrid! It's super effective! Astrid was Badly Poisoned... KO!!!
Shadow Drapion dashed to the Hallway...
Shadow Drapion used Pin Missile on Kimiko dealing 14, 15, 14, then 15 damage! It's super effective!
Warning: Shadow Drapion is preparing a Fell Stinger targeting the Hallway!
Shadow Drapion takes 15 damage from frostbite...
Kimiko takes 10 damage from poison...
Kimiko recovered 4 HP total from her Heal Ribbon!
Astrid revived with 11 HP!
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Kimiko scrambled backwards with wide, fearful eyes as the drapion appeared in her doorway, pushing through the sizzling sting from her shadowy puncture wound, numbed only faintly by the berry she'd managed to finish. Must have followed the blood. She hadn't even realized she'd left a trail. Too late now.

Well, at least if it's coming after you, it's not hurting anyone else, she reasoned. That did exactly nothing to quell her terror.

She stared at the creature from her spot on the ground, prone, vulnerable, trembling. "Let's have it, then!" she shouted frantically. "Hit me with your best shot."

And then she squeezed her eyes shut and waited, and the pins came shooting forwards like bullets. It was all she could do to just roll onto her injured side and curl into herself, shielding her open wound from any stray needles as shadowy death rained down on her. They burned as they made contact with her skin, the same as her wound did, like sharp, tiny, toxic raindrops, except they stuck where they landed.

And no one was coming to save her. Her allies were just as injured, if not worse, than she was. What would they do then? Would they try to stop the drapion from... eating her, or whatever it was going to do next? Gods, she hoped not... she'd be dying alone, but if they were smart they'd at least try to take advantage of the distraction she caused. She just hoped it didn't hurt.

Ah fuck, there were the tears.

Well, Bee said that the summoned spirits would just return home, right...? She'd get to see her team again, and Alex, and Michelle, and... and what about Betel? What about Greasewood? What about Felin and Archie and Odette and the rest of the Wayfarers?

Suddenly she could see Farin and Valere clear in her mind. Testing her conviction. She'd been summoned for a reason... right? It was time to prove it.

She clutched her necklace, searching for any scraps of inner strength she still had, pouring all her focus into simply enduring the pain. Surviving.

Don't die. Don't die. Don't you fucking die here.

When she finally dared to open her eyes, the assault had stopped. When had that happened? Kimiko wasn't sure. She could still feel it. Probably cause a dozen spikes were lodged in her side. She could also see the shadow drapion, still in the hallway, prepping some other attack. Looked like one of those big ones. Well, that was fine, she wasn't planning on sticking around.

She practically had to drag herself to the doorway. She could feel the shadowy poison sapping the remains of whatever resevoir of strength she'd borrowed from, but she had enough drive to hit the drapion with one final assault.

Kimiko (70 STM, 12 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- **Bonus Action:** Focus (+5 TMP)
- Dash to Hallway (-2 TMP)
- AGILE Magical Leaf @ shadow drapion (-12 STM, Sure Hit, +3 TMP)
- Magical Leaf @ shadow drapion (-8 STM, Sure Hit, +3 TMP)
- Mega Drain @ shadow drapion (-5 STM, +3 TMP)
- CRITICAL Round @ shadow drapion (-11 STM, -20 TMP, +3 TMP)
- Walk to Guest Room 1
Net change: -36 STM, -5 TMP
Net totals: 34 STM (52 after regen), 7 TMP
[Flavor TBA]

Astrid (61 STM, 6 TMP, +0 SPD, +0 ACC)
- Nasty Plot (-18 STM, +2 TMP)
- Dash to Hallway (-2 TMP)
- AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath @ angy (-15 STM, hit, -2 TMP, +2 TMP)
- CRITICAL Frost Breath @ angy (-10 STM, Sure Hit, +2 TMP)
- Powder Snow @ angy (-8 STM, +2 TMP)
- **Bonus Action:** Item (Whiskey) (+36 STM)
- Walk to Guest Room 5
Net change: -15 STM, +4 TMP
Net totals: 46 STM (64 after regen), 10 TMP
Dave: +4 Attack timer renewed
Wes: +3 Attack --> +4 Attack
Astrid: +3 Magic --> +4 Magic
0. [Wes walks to Hallway]
1. Ridley
2. Dave
3. Odette
4. Wes
5. Astrid
6. Kimiko
Ridley lowered Shadow Drapion’s Defense by 1!

Shadow Drapion dodged Dave's AGILE Rage!
Shadow Drapion dodged Dave's Rage!
Dave's Leer lowered Shadow Drapion's Defense by 1!
Dave's CRITICAL Bite dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion! It's not very effective...

Odette’s Steel Brawler strike dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!

Wes's Quick Attack dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Wes's Quick Attack dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Wes's AGILE Rock Tomb dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Wes's Rock Tomb dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Wes's Rock Throw dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Wes's CRITICAL Stone Edge dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!

Astrid's AGILE CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's CRITICAL Frost Breath dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
Astrid's Powder Snow dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!

Kimiko's AGILE Magical Leaf dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion! It's not very effective...
Kimiko's Magical Leaf dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion! It's not very effective...
Kimiko's Mega Drain dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion! It's not very effective...
Kimiko's CRITICAL Round dealt XXX damage to Shadow Drapion!
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