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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody

    [BGM: Overture: The Legend of the Rainbow Symphony]

    Long ago, the world of Pokemon was not the world you see today--it was a wild world with deep forests, high mountains, and vast oceans. Pokemon roamed freely with fantastic creatures, and even more amazing--humans could harness the power of the elements created by the gods.

    Of course, not just anyone could harness magic, as the power of the elements had come to be known, but those with the talent and the desire to learn could easily find a mage to teach them within the many academies scattered across the land.

    But that was not the only way to harness magic--some of the many minstrels across the land sang so passionately about fantastic Pokemon, great battles, and larger than life heroes that even their songs became spells--creating Song Magic. However, those minstrels that could harness Song Magic were few and far between. One such minstrel managed to defeat a demon uprising by collecting the powers of all eight elements into a magical necklace, then unleashing the ultimate Song Magic--Rainbow Symphony.

    Many years have passed since then, but there are rumblings from the underworld once more...and a young mage will unknowingly guide the next bearer of Rainbow Symphony on his quest ...


    Episode 1: The Legend of the Symphony

    BGM: [Welcome to Asimiro Lodge ]

    A black haired boy carefully cut into a lump of porcelain, the thunking and scraping of his tools echoing across the hills and the ivy covered stone walls that encircled the East Garden. He often liked to come to the garden in the morning before his teaching duties began, be this to read, play music, chat or tell stories with his fellow mages, or carve saefleitas, like today--it allowed him a few moments of peace and quiet before the apprentices awoke, where he would then be occupied with teaching spells, creating potions, and telling tales until the sun set. It helped that he had his own mentor alongside him to help--although he was no longer an apprentice, she could still offer him advice on the best way to explain incantations, whether mint was the best herb for a spell of protection, or just talk about life in general.

    He brushed the white porcelain dust from his blue and gray tunic into a tiny heap in the grass, then examined the vaguely bird shaped lump for just the right spot to put the air hole as the breeze carried away the dust through one of the many stone arches that made up the hallway, then slipped on the gloves that were the same blue as his tunic and boots and picked up a drill to begin drilling the air hole in one of the wing-like sections of the lump, using his own saefleita, which hung proudly around his neck, as a reference. Once that was done, he would drill six fingerholes, three on each side of the "bird"'s stomach, and polish it before it went in the bag of other saefleitas he carried--then it would be given to an apprentice, where he or she would use it to summon a familiar.

    [BGM: Milina and Ash's theme]

    "Ash?" a female voice called, causing him to drop the drill in the grass. He whirled around to see a brown haired girl clad in the black, red, and gold tunic of a high mage standing in the stone arch at the entrance to the garden. "How are those saefleitas for the new class coming along?"

    "I'm almost finished with the last one, Milina." Ash replied before retrieving the drill. "How many are in this new group?" he asked as he began drilling the air hole in the unfinished saefleita.

    Milina inspected the black bag of finished saefleitas lying in the grass. "You've made too many, Ash--I'm only expecting twenty apprentices in Class Lume this year."

    "I could give the extras to those that need them." Ash offered as he fished out the ten extra saefleitas that rattled in the bag before setting it on his belt nearby his sword.

    "You always were very generous, Ash--and you're one of the better saefleita makers here at the lodge." Milina smiled as she took the extra saefleitas. "Have you considered making and selling saefleitas full time? Yours always seem to sell at the Magical Bazaar every year..."

    "I'm not sure if I could handle making hundreds of saefleitas a day." Ash confessed. "I really only make them for fun and to give to apprentices...but besides teaching, I want to see the world alongside a knight, another mage, or a minstrel, even!"

    "Then you know what you have to do--make a potion and offer it to a prospective companion as a sign of your loyalty and see if he or she offers to have you serve in return." Milina replied. "That's how I met Lady Fleur."

    Ash stifled a giggle--while he had not asked Milina just WHAT it was she did when she was with Lady Fleur, he imagined it involved magically cleaning poofy dresses, commanding the kitchen to clean itself, or some other menial task.

    Fortunately, Milina had not heard his giggle. "Well then...I will see you this evening--good luck with the class." With that, she disappeared down the hallway and into the lodge. Ash waved goodbye, retrieved his drill, and resumed work on the last saefleita, ever aware of the voices of children he could hear coming from the lodge.

    ---------


    [BGM: Aspiring Mages]

    Ash rounded the corner into the lodge's east wing and counted down three doors on the right until he found one marked with a star--the sign that the classroom was used for teaching apprentices. The room didn't look very much different than he remembered--there were four long tables overlooking a blackboard and a shorter table, with storage holds close by the chair at the left side of the table to put items. He quickly stashed his bag of saefleitas in the bottom left storage hold and surveyed the bookshelves that circled the room--as this was a brand new addition to the east wing, the books on them were in pristine condition--a far cry from the ratty old spellbooks he had studied as an apprentice. Some apprentices were already seated at the table at the front, whispering excitedly about what their first year would bring as their dull red robes fluttered in the breeze coming in from a window by the door.

    Once all twenty apprentices were present, he addressed the group. "Good morning, everyone--I am Ash of the Seuta Class, third year of the Seventh Raikou." Excited whispers filled the air--any apprentice in the Seuta Class was said to go on to do great things, and many a minstrel told of the deeds they had done. "It's a pleasure to see all of you, and I wish you all the best in your magical training." He paused to retrieve the bag of saefleitas. "Over the course of this year, I hope to get you off on the right foot in your training, where you can cast some basic offensive and defensive spells, mix potions, and care for a familiar."

    "What's a familiar?" a girl in the right corner asked as she strung up her dull blonde hair into a ponytail.

    "A familiar is a Pokemon companion that aids a mage in some way." Ash explained. "Some battle alongside their masters, some heal and protect them, and still others take care of daily tasks for them--what your familiar will do for you depends on what makes the familiar happy. That's where this comes in..." Oohs and ahs filled the air as Ash took off his own saefleita for the apprentices to see. "This is a saefleita, or 'bird's flute'--you can use it to call a familiar to you, like this...." With that, he played a simple four note melody that reverbrated through the room, particulary on the high third note.

    [BGM: Saefleita Call-Pikachu]

    "Pikachu!" a yellow mouse called as it struggled to climb in the window from a bush. Giggles wafted through the air as it tried several times to climb inside, but kept slipping on the windowpane.

    Ash quickly put on his saefleita and helped the struggling Pikachu onto his shoulder, to some applause. "Anyway, this is my familiar...he will often scout ahead and battle alongside me when we travel." he explained as he reached for the bag of saefleitas. "As a gift to welcome you to your first year of magical studies, I want to give you a saefleita of your own." He stiffled a giggle as the crowd of twenty apprentices stormed up to the head of the class, took a saefleita, and eagerly began figuring out the notes, making various squeaks and squawks fill the air.

    Once sure every apprentice had a saefleita, Ash lifted a hand for silence, quieting the noise. "If you have called a familiar already, you'll notice that some of the aura around it has dimmed." Some gasps came up from the crowd at this. "This is because calling a familiar takes a little of your own magic power--how much depends on what you want to summon." He nodded in approval at a boy that had called a Spearow. "In addition, remember what you played to summon your familiar--your familiar will only come to you if you play that song." He proceeded to play a little flourish on his own saefleita to wake up a auburn haired girl that was dozing off, making everyone laugh as those with familiars copied down their summon songs in their spellbooks.

    "Is it possible to summon a Legendary with these?" a navy haired boy asked as he toyed with his saefleita.

    "Yes--but it takes a lot of power." Ash replied. "That's why you should only summon them in an emergency." With that, he ran to help a girl tame the Growlithe she had summoned, which was playfully pulling the spellbooks from the shelves as the other apprentices howled with laughter.


    ---------


    The sky outside the potion lab was beginning to darken as Ash arrived, only pausing to set his lantern on the stand by the entryway before strolling over to one of the many large tables that were littered with bottles, boxes, and bags of all kinds. After putting what materials were already on the table back on the shelf above it, he eased one of the heavy recipe books from the shelf and set it on the table. "Let's see here...turning fire blue, teleportation, protection from dragons...here we go! The Misty Potion of Vigor." He next grabbed an empty flask from the shelf before reading the recipe first. "Cerulean tea as a base..." he mused before grabbing a flask of blue liquid from the shelf and pouring some into his empty flask. "Rosy ink to boost the strength of the healing components..." he mused as he reached for a bottle of reddish liquid and poured it inside, turning the cerulean tea to an omnious purple mixture.

    "What brings you to the potion lab this late, Ash?" a voice asked.

    [BGM: Milina and Ash's theme]

    Ash looked up to see Milina in the doorway. "I was thinking about what you said about making a potion to find a prospective companion this morning, and decided it was worth a try--I've already informed my group about my departure in the morning."

    "Must you leave so soon?" Milina asked as she walked over to where Ash was working. "You have every right to leave on an adventure when you see fit, but it would make your group feel better if you spent one last night with them before your departure."

    "You're right..." Ash reached for a cork to close his flask and began shaking it to mix the first two ingredients of his potion. "They may wonder why I am leaving them after just one day together."

    "Pika." Pikachu agreed as he joined Milina by the table.

    "Just explain to them that sometimes, a mage will seek out a companion to serve in addition to their duties here at the lodge. Not every mage does, but the Archmage encourages every mage to do this at some point." Milina continued.

    "Just out of curiosity, how many times did it take you to find Lady Fleur?" Ash wondered as he studied his recipe.

    Milina thought for a moment. "It took three journeys before I found Fleur--just remember that as you travel, you may not find a companion the first time. That doesn't mean you should give up if you fail, though--some mages get lucky and find a companion the first time. If that happens with you, cherish your companion for all time." With that, she departed, leaving Ash and Pikachu alone in the dim firelight.

    Once the cerulean tea and rosy ink were mixed thoroughly, Ash uncorked it and dropped some glowing seeds into the purple liquid, making them burst open with a pop and a flash of light. "Grian seeds for healthy skin." he explained to Pikachu, who was fascinated by the pale yellow mist wafting from the flask. "Normally, they release liquid when they burst open, but when exposed to liquid themselves, their liquid becomes mist." He next shook some dull brown powder into the flask, turning the liquid a lighter shade of blue. "Powdered birch root, to protect against evil spirits and the Song Magic spell Amethyst Eye..."

    "Pi pikachu pi?" Pikachu asked.

    "Some evil spirits of the siren variety tend to sing to bring about their dark magic." Ash replied. "Amethyst Eye is especially dangerous--for then the spirit can possess you while you sleep. Song Mages can do this right back at the spirit, but for the rest of us, we have birch root." He next added some mint leaves, turning the liquid a pale green. "Mint for general healing purposes..." Some small white flowers turned the liquid yellow. "Meadowsweet for pain relief..." Some drops of a glowing clear liquid turned the mist in the flask pale blue. "Anima's tears for healing of deep wounds, and finally..." He carefully stirred in a shining silver dust, boosting the mist inside the flask and making a sweet minty aroma fill the air. "Wish dust for renewal of strength." After replacing the cork on the flask, putting it inside a bag, and tidying his work area, he motioned for Pikachu to follow him as he took his torch and started down the hall out to the stone walkway that connected the south and east wings. The garden was close by, so he figured that would be the perfect spot to relax on his last night in the lodge for a while.

    He noticed that his group was waiting for him when he arrived in the garden. "Why are you leaving us in the morning, Sir Ash?" a boy asked. The boy's familiar, a Yohteri, eagerly danced around Ash's feet, piqued in what was inside the bag around Ash's shoulder.

    "Well, many mages, in addition to teaching and adventuring, often serve someone." Ash replied as he made himself comfortable under a tree and invited the apprentices to gather around. "What they may do depends on their companion's needs--some escort nobility, others help with daily tasks, and still others tend to their companion's mind and body, to name only a few possibilities."

    "Well, what kind of person would you want to serve?" a red haired girl asked.

    "I haven't really gave much thought to that, but I figure it might be fun to serve a minstrel--assist with tricks or stories, protect his props, write new material...." Ash mused.

    "Is it really true that there are minstrels that can sing magic like songs?" a pink haired girl wondered.

    "Yes--although they are very few in number." Ash replied. "In fact..." He reached for his saefleita. "I don't normally do this, but our lodge's guardian, Lugia, once helped to aid such a minstrel in saving the world."

    [BGM: Summon Cycle-Lugia]

    With that, he began playing the summon cycle for Lugia: the sad sounding Earth melody, which segued into the mystic sounding Fire melody. The wind began picking up strength and speed as Ash played the joyful sounding Wind section, culminating in a bright flash of silver light as he concluded the prayerful Water section to complete the cycle. The apprentices gasped and looked up at the starry sky as a large white dragon-like bird emerged from the light with a cry.

    "Hail and well met, Silver Guardian." Ash began as he bowed before the dragon bird Pokemon hovering above him.

    "And to you likewise, Ash of Asimiro...how may I be of service this evening?" Lugia replied.

    "Please, tell my apprentices the tale of the ultimate Song Magic and the necklace that held the colors of the gods." Ash replied.

    "It is a long story, but I will attempt to tell it in a reasonable amount of time." Lugia replied.

    [BGM: The Rainbow Symphony]

    "Long ago, the demon lord Kione looked down upon the world that Our Lady Anima had made--why couldn't he have such a beautiful world to rule? He searched for something--anything at all--that he could use to destroy the Holy Realm and create a world he could rule filled with despair and grief. Eventually, his spies told him that the best thing to do was to destroy Anima herself, and to do that, he had to slay her Guardians--us--before he could do battle with her personally."

    "So what did you do?" the navy haired boy asked.

    "Our leader, the Great Arceus, feared for all of us when he heard the rumors of Kione's plot, and asked Anima and the other gods what we could do to save ourselves. " Lugia continued. "Anima told us not to worry, for the songs of those that could sing magic would save us and the universe--when they created the world, the gods each formed a little of their power into a bead, and hid these beads all across the world. But what Anima did not know was that Kione was infiltrating these places and filling them with monsters to deter those minstrels that would find these beads--he knew very well that if all eight were brought together in the hands of a Song Mage, they would create the ultimate Song Magic spell--Rainbow Symphony. Many minstrels tried to gather the beads, and many minstrels and adventurers died making the dangerous journey. We all feared that we too would fall by Kione's hand."

    "And then?" the auburn haired girl asked as her Taillow fluttered by her side.

    "Just as all hope seemed lost, a minstrel whose name is only known to Lady Anima finally managed to assemble all eight beads in a necklace, and unleashed the spell Rainbow Symphony atop Voima Hill, the one place in the north lands that is not affected by its harsh cold. Lugia replied. "The song was strong enough to banish Kione to the underworld, and when it concluded, his necklace shattered, scattering the beads to eight new locations should Kione try again to storm the Holy Realm. This necklace, the Necklace of the Mystical Rainbow, should only be assembled in a time of great need, and by a minstrel with the ability to sing magic."

    Everyone applauded. "Thank you, Sir Lugia!" the apprentices chorused.

    "My thanks as well." Ash added.

    "You're most welcome." and Lugia soared off into the sky. Ash waved goodbye and relaxed under the tree, contemplating what would happen on his adventure.

    ---------


    [BGM: Setting Out]

    After bidding Milina and his apprentices goodbye, Ash set out early the next morning with Pikachu for Hopea, a town on the northern edge of the Luse Forest. They made good time across the Raduga Plains from Masuliro to the town of Hijau, but the sun was setting by the time the two of them arrived in the forest and made camp by a stream.

    Once sure that the pile of sticks he had gathered was the right size, Ash began focusing a ball of red energy in his hands. "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire!" The red energy ball went flying at the sticks, starting a campfire.

    "Pika!" Pikachu romped up to the flickering flames and began warming his paws.

    "You want to help with dinner?" Ash asked. Pikachu nodded as his master slid some Pidgey meat onto a spit over the fire. "Go see if you can find some Berries to go with this meat."

    [Cut BGM]

    "Chu!" With that, Pikachu darted off into the brush, leaving Ash to doze beside his campfire, periodically turning the meat or looking to see if his familiar had returned.

    Some rustling in the grass woke him from his nap twenty minutes later. "Pikachu?" he stammered as he got up from the grass to see what was rustling in a nearby bush. "Is that you?"

    [BGM: Fight to Survive!]

    "SCYTHER!!!" a large muscular mantis cried as it sprung from the bush, knocking Ash backwards. He scrambled to his feet and drew his sword seconds before the Scyther could raid his camp and snatch the roasting meat. The Scyther bared its claws and tried to scratch Ash's face, but impacted the sword's blade with a CLANG! It tried again and again to get to the frightened mage wielding the beautiful blade with angel wings inlaid with rubies forming the guard, but was blacked every time by the sword.

    Ash gritted his teeth as he deflected the Scyther's claws again and again--he hadn't counted on being ambushed by a hostile Pokemon. He finally stabbed at the Scyther's stomach seconds before the Scyther could slash his face, making his attacker rear back in pain.

    With the Scyther wounded, Ash decided to try focusing some lightning energy through the emerald in the pommel of his weapon in hopes it would drive the Scyther away. "Swirling bolts, gather and strike with power! Thunder!" The Scyther was not prepared for the thunderbolts that came streaking from Ash's blade, and howled in pain as it fell to the ground.

    "Good riddance..." Ash grumbled as he sheathed his weapon and started down a path by the stream. Suddenly, he heard a keening scream as he was thrown to the ground--the Scyther had apparently recovered from his spell! He cried again and again as the Scyther's claws tore his cloak and into his clothing, making dark red stains form on his back and legs. An attempt to roll over and get up only resulted in more large gashes on his chest.

    Finally, the Scyther flew off into the brush, chittering happily over its revenge it had gotten over the mage that lay bloodied and beaten on the path.

    [Cut BGM]

    Just then, Pikachu appeared in the distance. "Pikapi!" he gasped when he saw his master bleeding on the ground. "Pika pika?" he asked as he set his berries aside, hurried back to his master's bag, and tried bandaging Ash's wounds with pieces of a blanket.

    "Scyther....attacked....me...." Ash groaned in pain. "Go...get...help...."

    "Pika! Pika chu, Pikapi!" Pikachu assured his master. Ash moaned again and collapsed into the dirt, the last thing he saw being Pikachu darting off into the grass in a mad dash attempt to find someone that could save his life....

    To Be Continued....
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 14th March 2011 at 03:23 PM.
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

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  2. #2
    May Still Have Hope TeamGalacticMercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Nice!!!! I can't wait for more!

  3. #3
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    I'm working on Episode 2 right now--I've having to combine Episode 2 and Episode 3 of my original plan into my new Episode 2.

    If you want to hear the soundtrack, I have added BGM links throughout the episode if you want to listen
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

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    Vile Insect. RaccoonGoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Its different, but I'll read it.

  5. #5
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Unique story here! I'm looking forward to Episode 2!

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    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Very LoTR meets Pokemon meets The Ocarina of time. Overall I liked it.

    Definitely interesting, but I feel most of what's interesting about it comes from the blend of prose and music more than the actual story. At this point, I'm not really moved by the character of Ash, not really getting a sense of his personality. He leaves me a bit cold. I'm not relating with the characters so far. Maybe also explaining some of the customs. Why is it so important for him to find a companion? Why did he stay at the academy so long? Also, I get the feeling that it'll come real soon, but having him interact with someone that has a strong personality will help define Ash's.

    Though I like the originality of it. The idea of familiars that you call forth with songs is quite interesting and it really fits with some of the tracks you've chose. The Zelda-like tracks worked because you're setting your story in a Zelda-like world. Though, the pokemon and mario tracks... they didn't really work and sorta took me out of the mood you were trying to set. If you're limiting yourself to video game music, then I suggest taking a look at the soundtracks for both Morrowind and Oblivion as they both have pieces that set the mood you're trying to create or other similar games. If you're not limiting yourself to VG music, then I would look at the soundtracks of movies that share the atmosphere and the setting you're trying to create or even some instrumental pieces from celtic musicians (the first three minutes of Loreena McKennith's The Mystic's Dream came to mind while reading your fic).

    EDIT: Since you seem to have a clear idea where you're going with the music, I won't hodl grudges if you disregard my musical advice. Still, I have to say that some of the songs, like Mario Party3 and the HGSS song, I felt didn't fit with the mood of fantasy you were setting.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. Overall I like it and the concept blows me away in a good way. Good job.
    Last edited by Hellion; 29th October 2010 at 12:04 AM.

  7. #7
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Believe me, Ash will get character development and some of the customs will be explained as we go along. (I'm planning to answer some of your questions in the next episode)

    I'm mainly using VGM (with some tracks from the anime Fairy Tail) for the soundtrack--the Pokemon tracks and Mario tracks are meant to help set a mood.
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    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    Believe me, Ash will get character development and some of the customs will be explained as we go along. (I'm planning to answer some of your questions in the next episode)
    Never doubted you for a minute.

    I'm mainly using VGM (with some tracks from the anime Fairy Tail) for the soundtrack--the Pokemon tracks and Mario tracks are meant to help set a mood.
    I know they're meant to set a mood but in my opinion, they clash with the rest of your selection. Your descriptions are very good and they plunge the reader into a very mystical, earthy natural realm. There's something about Mario Party 3 and the HGSS piece (not the Lugia one though) that just screams modern, almost urban. My point is that more "modern" pieces sorta took me out of the fantasy world you created while others just echo (for lack of a better word) the settings your describing and the genre you're exploring.

    But as I said, I'm liking this story. I'm intrigued by it.

  9. #9
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    I was looking for a "mystical" sounding song, and that particular Mario Party song fit the bill (at least in my eyes).

    On Our Way (the Route 1 theme) just sounded like a nice "setting out" song, and to assure the audience this was still Pokemon.

    Episode 2 will be mostly more setup (and a chance for you to see Brock work his storytelling prowess)
    Last edited by LightningTopaz; 29th October 2010 at 01:15 PM.
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  10. #10
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Episode 2: A Minstrel's Quest

    [BGM: Safe at Home]

    A furry sensation against his arm spurred Ash to groan a little. He wasn't in the forest anymore, and the Scyther that attacked him was nowhere to be found. But where was he? Was the soft harp playing a calm melody a sign he had ascended to the Holy Realm? I couldn't have died back there... he thought as he felt his shoulder and heaved a sigh of relief at the warm touch. Then why am I hearing a harp?

    His eyes flickered open, allowing him to see the large pale yellow cat circling the bed he lay on and the harpist that was performing by the entrance to the room-judging from his age, he appeared about eighteen to twenty years old, his earthen hair and tan skin the perfect complement to the dull red and gold tunic and white leggings he wore. A dull red cloak identical to the tunic's color hung on a hook by the door. Ash recognized the cloak's clasp--a Taillow spreading its wings signified that the cloak's owner was a minstrel.

    When the hypnotic melody concluded, the small silver tiara the cat was wearing glowed. "The mage has awoken, master." she began. "I was able to heal the wounds on his arms and hands, but the ones on his body are too deep for my simple magic to heal."

    [BGM: Wisdom of the Heart] (begin at :23)

    Ash couldn't believe his ears--Pokemon speaking the language of humans only existed among archmages and those they favored. He sat up and prepared to ask the minstrel how his Persian could speak, but a sharp pain in his chest forced him to lie back down again.

    "Peace, Master Mage--you're safe now." the Persian replied. "I found you in the woods and carried you to my master's house, where you now lie."

    "Th-thank you...." Ash stammered, his mind swimming with questions and his chest throbbing with pain. "Although, might I know your name, lady Persian?"

    "My name is Kissa." the Persian replied. "I speak because of the Archmage's Tiara given to my master from the archmage of the northern lodge of Miranai as thanks for performing for the archmage's 30th year of service."

    "Kissa found you bleeding and beaten in the forest and brought you here." the minstrel replied before lifting his hands to the harp strings again. "Healing water, immerse this hurting and weary soul...Cleansing Pool." With that, he started playing a soft and gentle melody, creating a warm and wet feeling around Ash. Although he knew full well that he was actually lying in a bed, Ash was shocked that as long as the minstrel played his harp, it looked very much like he was in a puddle of water--yet neither the bed he was on, the linens on it, nor the floor showed signs of being wet!

    "Suprised?" the minstrel smiled as Ash examined the wounds on his chest--they had shrunk significantly and were not causing him quite as much pain as before.

    "Yeah...was that...Song Magic?" Ash gasped.

    "You speak the truth." Kissa replied. "My master discovered he had the talent when he was just an apprentice--every song he sang caused plants to grow, dying embers to reignite, and dry springs to fill with water once more, among other things."

    The minstrel set his instrument on a shelf as he studied Ash's healing wounds. "Your wounds are deep, and I may have to play Cleansing Pool a few times before they heal completely...you were fortunate to have Kissa find you, or you would've died out there."

    "Oh, but it was not mere chance I found him there--his Pikachu guided me to him." Kissa assured the minstrel. Pikachu romped in the room, elated that his master was alive.

    [BGM: The Mysterious Singer]

    "I owe you my life, Sir Minstrel..." Ash began as he cuddled Pikachu.

    "Sir Brock of Hopea, trained in the Amhran Order of Minstrels." the minstrel replied. "Now that I have told you my name, might you tell me yours?"

    "I am Ash of Asimiro Lodge--I was on my way to Hopea when that Scyther attacked." Ash said. "Although I must ask how you know Song Magic--or why so few minstrels can wield it."

    "The first question I cannot answer so easily--you would have to ask a High Minstrel how it works." Brock replied before sitting down in a chair beside the bed. "Your second question has an easier answer--the reason why Song Magic is so rare is because it is a very difficult art to learn even if you have innate talent. Most minstrels often don't teach anyone for that reason alone."

    "Forgive for intruding in your discussion, but what were you doing out in the woods so late at night, Master Ash?" Kissa asked as she trotted up close to the bed. Pikachu decided to hop off the bed and hurry off into the house's foyer, where he returned carrying the bag containing Ash's saefleita, sword, and potion.

    [BGM: Dreaming of Adventure]

    "Many mages, in addition to teaching apprentices, also serve a companion, as a reminder of our founder's devotion to serving others." Ash explained.

    "Although the founder of Asimiro Lodge is now known only to Lady Anima, his passion for serving others spurred other lodges to command their mages seek out companions, a practice continued today." Brock interjected before beckoning Ash to continue.

    "So even though I have only been a full mage for a short time, I made myself a Misty Potion of Vigor and set out for Hopea in hopes I would find someone to serve there. But since I've met you two and actually seeing Song Magic with my own eyes, I've decided that maybe I don't need to search any farther for a companion." Ash mused before inviting Pikachu into his arms. "That, and I really want to learn Song Magic."

    Brock thought for a moment. "If you need someone to serve, I could teach you Song Magic in return for your service..."

    "I accept your offer." Ash smiled as Pikachu gave Kissa the potion. "Please accept this Misty Potion of Vigor as a sign of my loyalty to you."

    "Consider your gift accepted." Brock replied as he went to set the potion on a shelf in the kitchen before returning. "But before we begin any service at all, let's have your wounds heal first."

    [Cut BGM]

    A sudden spasm of pain caused Ash to moan a little, but he was soon calmed by the soothing melody of Brock's harp wafting around him. Kissa resumed her patrol around the bed as her master performed, allowing both Ash and Pikachu to doze.

    ---------

    A few days later...

    [BGM: Safe at Home]

    Kissa watched as Brock examined Ash's wounds--after several days of rest and many performances of Cleansing Pool, the bloody gashes that once dotted the mage's body were either pink outlines or healed completely. "He appears to be fully recovered, master..."

    "I know, but if he needs more time to heal, leave him be." Brock cautioned. "Anima knows when it is time for a full recovery."

    "But I'm ready to get up now..." Ash yawned as he groggily sat up in the bed. He heaved a sigh of relief that there was no longer any pain in his chest, just some stiffness in his legs. "I want to set out on an adventure, travel across the land, learn Song Magic...."

    "I don't know about the first two things, but we can start with the third after you get up and eat." Kissa replied, stiffling a giggle as Ash stepped behind a screen to dress. Ash sighed--he had been cooped up in bed, and now Kissa was seemingly laughing at his eagerness to get out of bed? He wasn't sure if that was the real reason for Kissa's giggles, but for the moment, he assumed she meant well and found his enthusiasm charming.

    [BGM: Carried on Heartstrings]

    "You're here..." Brock smiled as he offered Ash a place at the table overlooking the window with a view of the forest and Hopea, with its stone houses and grey tile roofs, in the distance. Ash made himself comfortable at the place his new friend offered him, and smiled as a plate piled high with fresh bread, some meat, and a dizzying array of Berries was set before him--this was way better than the stale bread and hard cheese he often had to eat at the lodge! Of course, his becoming a teacher not long after he had become a full mage meant he got slightly better food, but that didn't matter now. Just the fact that Brock had clearly made the food with just as much love and care as his family or the bakers in towns showed how much he cared for his guests.

    "Tell me...how does a mage hone their skills?" Brock asked as he bit into a piece of bread, every so often offering a piece of ham for Kissa.

    "Likewise, how does a minstrel train?" Ash replied. "I'll tell you about my time at the lodge if you tell me about the minstrel's hall."

    "Well, minstrels begin training at ten years old, like most any profession, and become a full fledged minstrel at age fifteen or sixteen." Brock replied. Ash thought for a moment--assuming Brock had fledged at that time, that would mean he had been a minstrel for about three to five years, judging from his age. "Although if they have the talent for Song Magic, they may stay longer, depending on when the talent is discovered."

    "Mages fledge after three or four years, and many stay at the lodge to teach new apprentices..." Ash started as he got up from the table and retrieved his sword. "When we fledge, we receive a weapon to commemorate the occassion--I received mine six months ago." He procceeded to show Brock a few fighting moves to illustrate his point.

    "Strong enough to wield a sword, are you?" he heard Brock say before another sword met his blade with a CLANG! "Most mages I see wield staves or bows...."

    "The apprentice can choose what sort of weapon they want to receive when they fledge." Ash explained as he disengaged. "and I chose a sword because I admired the many heroes in tales minstrels like you told."

    "Oh, master, must we spar where there are many precious items about?" Kissa sighed--she had not expected a swordfight to almost break out in the kitchen.

    Brock blushed. "You're right, Kissa..." He waited for Ash to sheathe his weapon, then offered his blade for Ash. "This is the Mystical Sword of Colors--most blades we minstrels receive have eight gems in the guard in rememberance of the first wielder of Rainbow Symphony." Ash nodded as he admired the butterfly shaped guard of Brock's weapon, each section of its wings inlaid with a gem. "But now is not the time to spar..." he continued as he too sheathed his weapon and began clearing the table. "I have a gift for you too, in return for the gift you gave me."

    [BGM: Basics of Song Magic]

    "What is it?" Ash wondered as he watched his friend place a small gold flute in his hands. Unlike his saefleita, which was sideblown, this flute appeared to be endblown, judging from the small mouthpiece.

    "That is a Dreamer's Flute--an instrument specifically designed for using Song Magic." Brock replied.

    "But why do I need another flute? I have my saefleita..." Ash protested as he fished his saefleita from his bag and played the four note melody to call Pikachu to his side.

    "The bird's flute is all well and good for calling familiars, but didn't the archmage or high mage tell you why every summon song was so short?" Brock asked, taking his harp and motioning for Ash to follow him outside.

    "So that if a mage had many familiars, they could remember and keep track of them all." Ash replied as he followed Brock and Kissa out to a clearing not far from the house.

    "Song Magic is not meant for short bursts of magic like the bird's flute--to get the full effect of a spell, you need to play for as long as you can, like a lucid dream." Brock explained. "The Dreamer's Flute can play more than six or seven notes at a time, which will help you tremendously with casting Song Magic." After pausing to tune his harp, he continued. "Flutes aren't the only instrument you can use--harps, fiddles, horns, anything that is capable of making continuous sound is a viable way to cast Song Magic."

    "Even drums?" Ash challenged.

    "Even drums, if you keep a steady beat going." Brock assured Ash before readying his harp to play. "Now, draw your blade and watch what happens here." Ash complied with the request and watched as Brock commanded "Flames of passion, give this blade an anger that burns! Fire Blade!"

    As Brock began to play, Ash gasped in awe as his blade began to turn red, then burst into flames--and his weapon didn't even melt! "How...is this happening?"

    "For as long as I played, I willed for your blade to gain the power of fire--that's the other part of using Song Magic." Brock explained.

    "So I have to want the desired spell to happen? Easy!" Ash smiled before taking his new flute and playing a stream of random notes in hopes his blade would ignite again. Pikachu laughed as Ash's song grew more desprate and out of tune, his face scruncing up with determination all the while.

    "Just wanting the spell to happen and playing something won't do a thing." Brock cautioned, stopping Ash's song. "You have to name the desired spell first."

    "So that stuff about flames of passion wasn't just for show..." Ash noted.

    "Now..." Brock paused to set his instrument aside and draw his own blade. "Can you enchant my blade with fire like I did yours? Let's see if you have the talent to sing magic!"

    Ash took a deep breath and stammered "Flames o-of passion, give this b-blade a fire that burns! Fire Blade!" With that, he started to play the tune 'The Silver Sword', making Brock's sword begin to glow red--until he stumbled over a wrong note, making the glow fade.

    Brock grimaced. "It's a start--you may have a little talent in you after all."

    "I apologize for interrupting the Song Magic lesson, but the Midday Hour grows near, and the children of Hopea await you." Kissa interjected.

    "Very well." Brock replied as he sheathed his blade, gathered his supplies, and followed Kissa down the forest path, Ash not far behind.

    ---------

    [BGM: A New Day in Town]

    The sun was already high overhead as Ash and Brock arrived in Hopea that afternoon. "So, what sorts of stories do you tell?" Ash asked as he followed Brock to the town square.

    "It depends on my audience--if it is a mixture of children and adults, they are tales of heroic deeds or magical Pokemon." Brock replied as he accepted his harp from Kissa. "If it is mainly children, like it is today, they will mainly be tales of how things came to be and tales of virtue."

    "What do you want me to do?" Ash asked, toying with the Dreamer's Flute.

    "Depending on the tale and your acting ability, you may play a role--otherwise, assist with props, and play the Flute at the appropriate time." Brock replied before beginning a calm melody. Come one, and come all, for I have stories to be told, of adventure, and magic, and treasure worth more than gold. Ash nodded and found an outcropping by the fountain as a variety of children and some adults gathered around Brock's feet.

    "Sir Brock, who is your new friend?" a woman asked.

    "This is Ash, a mage from the lodge at Masuliro--my new companion." Brock replied. "He will be assisting with performances."

    One girl saw Pikachu peeking from Ash's cloak. "Sir Brock, why do Pikachus have stripes on their backs?" she asked.

    "It is because of Sorin's boasting to an Ursaring--perhaps you would like to hear the tale?" Brock asked the crowd. Ash's eyes lit up--aside from tales of heroes, tales of the crafty Pikachu Sorin were his favorite stories when he was younger. He would always laugh at Sorin's over the top tricks, and revel in how Mightyenas, Raikous, and the occassional Ursaring got their just desserts by the paw of a tiny Pikachu. But this was a Sorin tale he had not heard before, so he crossed his legs and listened as Brock began a quiet melody.

    [BGM: A Tale of Wonder]

    "Long ago, the Pokemon of the world lived in peace and spoke the language of humans." Brock began. "Sorin was a confident and brave Pikachu, and always had something to say on even the most trivial of matters. Yet the Pokemon listened anyway, because in those days, everyone listened to everyone. The problem was, Sorin did not know when to stop talking." He played a brisk yet steady melody, as if mimicing someone talking. "When anyone passed his burrow, he would run up to them and talk for hours. Shinkijika, for example, would smile, nod, and continue on her way, but Sorin would be right behind her, eager to talk even more."

    The crowd laughed at this before Brock's melody turned quiet again. "One day, Ursaring happened to pass by Sorin's burrow. Sorin saw him and called. He then switched to a high pitched male voice. "Good day, Ursaring! Won't you walk with me?" Even Ash couldn't help laughing at how very similar Brock's "Sorin" voice sounded to a Pikachu cry.

    As himself, Brock continued. "Now, Ursaring was a proud Pokemon, and fancied himself as the strongest among them, so he had little patience for smaller creatures. So he said to Sorin..." he next switched to a deep, gruff voice. "No thank you, Sorin--I have more important matters to attend to today."

    "Why do you think so highly of yourself?" he asked as Sorin.

    "Uh...I'm big...I'm strong, and I can do anything!" he replied as Ursaring.

    "ANYTHING???" he challenged as Sorin.

    "Anything." he replied as Ursaring. Ash joined the crowd in applauding Brock's ability to singlehandedly carry a complete conversation between two personas.

    Brock waited for the applause to die down before continuing as himself "Sorin began to laugh, and Ursaring was angry that someone had the nerve to laugh at him." The children giggled as Brock mimiced someone laughing on the harp before demanding as Ursaring "Why do you laugh at ME????"

    "I know one thing you can't do!" he proclaimed as Sorin. "You can't stop Ho'oh's journey across the sky!" The crowd gasped at this, but Ash was chuckling at how Ursaring would likely react.

    "You could've heard a pin drop all through the forest at Sorin's challenge." Brock continued as himself. "The birds stopped singing, and Shinkijika, who had been passing by at that moment, stopped to hear Ursaring's answer. The Ekans, the Squirtles, the Bunearies, and the Rattatas all stopped what they were doing--every Pokemon waited to hear what Ursaring's answer would be." He lets that hang for a moment.

    After a few tense seconds, Ash worked up the courage to ask "So, what did Ursaring say?"

    "He thought for a moment before replying..." Brock pauses to switch to his Ursaring persona. "I have not tried that, but I'm sure I could if I wanted to."

    "Oh no, you can't!" he mocks as Sorin.

    "Yes, I can!" he counters as Ursaring. "Tomorrow, I will stop Ho'oh's journey to the west!" Some "oh"s waft through the crowd at this before Brock began a panicked sounding melody. "The forest erupted into a panic, and many Pokemon stayed up all night in fear of what would happen in the morning. But Sorin slept peacefully that night, confident Ursaring could not stop Ho'oh." His song calmed down as he continued. "Naturally, Anima commanded Ho'oh to begin her daily flight the next morning, and try as Ursaring might, Ho'oh paid no mind to his commands."

    "Now, see? Ho'oh ignored you, you're not that powerful!" he taunted as Sorin. As himself, he continued over his panicked melody "This was the last straw for Ursaring, and he ran after Sorin, swiping him all the while with his great claws." Gasps go up from the crowd--even Ash had a lump in his throat in fear that Sorin didn't survive. "Sorin made it back to his burrow alive, but he had scars on his back where Ursaring had scratched him. In time, these claw marks turned brown and healed no further. Since then, Pikachus bear these stripes as a reminder of Sorin's folly." Applause filled the air at the story's conclusion.

    "See why my master is so respected?" Kissa smiled before running to collect the coins the crowd threw on the ground.

    "I do..." Ash smiled--maybe he had made the right choice of a companion! He wondered what Milina would say if he told her about Brock and Kissa....

    To Be Continued....
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    SuBuWriMo status: 28,103 words in all!

  11. #11
    May Still Have Hope TeamGalacticMercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    nice job on chap. 2! lol does anything come easily for Ash?

  12. #12
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    The reason why he struggles is because Song Magic is so different than what he knows
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  13. #13
    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    I liked this chapter. There was quite a few exposition parts in it and they didn't feel foreced or boring. We got to know the world and the mythology a lot better, start getting more on Ash's motivations. I liked the part where Brock tells the story about Pikachu. It had a real troubadour feel to it.

    If I had to nitpick, I would say that on more than one occasion, the dialogue between, Ash, Brock and Kissa felt somewhat wooden and robotic. It needed a bit more flavour in my opinion. As before some music pieces didn't really fit with the mood and setting of what I read, but it wasn't anything that really took something out of the enjoyment of the story.

  14. #14
    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    I am just going to talk about Chapter 1. but I like it actually.

    The hybrid of "classic fantasy" and Pokémon is actually pretty cool.

    There is one big note I want to make with your dialogue:

    r."
    The period should be a comma.

    And personally, I think Ash's manner of speaking is a little too stiff and formal... like something from Fire Emblem.
    What are the Legendaries really like? Find out in The Life of the Legendaries

    Humans and pokémon no longer live in harmony. Hear their tales in The Poké Wars Chronicles: Tales From A World At War

    Cynthia once had it all: powerful pokémon, fame and hordes of adoring fans. But Ho-oh's campaign tears her life asunder. Now to survive this deadly new world, she must do the one thing that she never wanted: kill. Follow her trials through a world at war in Poké Wars: Downfall of a Champion

  15. #15
    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon: The Magic of a Melody (rated E10+)

    Thanks for the feedback, guys--I'll work on making the dialogue feel natural. I was aiming to make it sound "different" from the Pokemon we know, but looking at it again, I can see why it sounds robotic and stiff.

    Next episode is where we wind up all the setup and get this adventure started.
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