The Illusion of Dragons: Part 1 [Write-a-Roll]
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    Default The Illusion of Dragons: Part 1 [Write-a-Roll]

    The island of Draconia wasn’t particularly large, but to its people it had been the entire world for centuries, as far back as their history dated. They lived happily on their island, having no form of travel capable of taking them to see the rest of world, which for all they knew could be nothing but water or massive amounts of mystery and unknown riches. The people of Draconia had recently found some odd creatures coming to their island. While many of the people possessed some sort of magical ability, they weren’t sure if these odd animals were friend or foe and left them in peace.

    However, one day soon after they started appearing, a swarm of flying monsters appeared coming towards the island from the sky, blocking out the sun. There were several different types of them, but there were also many among them that looked the same as each other. Leading the pack was a pair of mostly white creatures who were identical except for the rest of the coloration of their body. One was red and the other was blue, both had little wings and short arms and hands that could tuck into its body. Neither of them really had legs.

    Some of their followers were blue, four-legged creatures with red wings on their back and a tail. Some were orange two-legged beasts with tiny wings on their back and a belly and tail that had stripes on the front and bottom. Others looked like clouds with a neck, head, and feet. Still others were green with red outlined wings and large, round red eyes that stuck out from its head.

    All of them started breathing fire down upon the island. The islanders quickly used their magic to produce a short-lived shield above their island, protecting it from the fire of their draconic opponents. However, the fire lasted a second longer than the shield, and a few trees and buildings began blazing brilliantly.

    Jack and Allison, a pair of islanders who were both a bit small for their age but also both extremely intelligent, used their magical abilities to drain the oxygen from air over the island, forcing the pack of dragons to land and stopping their attempts to create more fire. Once they were on the ground, the majority of the islanders came to confront them. A fierce battle raged for several days, with some of each side staying up each night to watch for attacks from the other side.

    Jack was a teenage boy who was about average height for their people, very skinny, and extremely intelligent. He had used his magical abilities to color his hair a brilliant blue. He was extremely close to another islander, Allison. Allison was about his age and height, also quite skinny, and had magically colored her hair a fiery red. Sometimes people swore her hair was ablaze because it looked so real.

    The people of Draconia had not yet developed any concept of marriage or even relationships, but Jack and Allison were so close they shared anything and everything with each other. They always walked holding hands and often brushed their lips against each other.

    One day, Jack and Allison followed their foe’s leaders to discover two large, round objects, one red and one blue. Allison used her magic to sense what was inside it and gasped, whispering to Jack, “There’s something alive in those things!”

    Because the people of Draconia lived on an island that until recently had only had themselves for animals, they had never seen an egg before and thought that the eggs must have contained captives of their enemies. When the dragon’s leaders went off somewhere, Jack and Allison rushed into the clearing and grabbed the pair of wondrous objects.

    For the next few days, the dragons’ attacks were extremely ruthless and relentless, with their leaders often flying over the island using a variety of extremely destructive attacks. During that time, Jack and Allison hid in an underground hideout of theirs; working restlessly to free the beings inside the mysterious objects they snatched from the dragons. They tried many different magical and physical attacks and charms on the objects to release their captives, but no matter what they tried, the stubborn objects remained unchanged.

    When Jack and Allison were ready to give up after their efforts of several days achieved nothing and they both knew they had a responsibility to help the fight above, they decided to finally take a break and sleep, then go back above ground when they woke up. They kissed and fell asleep almost instantly, having been so exhausted from barely sleeping the past few days.

    During the night, the blue object began to shake violently and make odd squeaking noises. Jack managed to sleep through the racket, but it woke Allison up. She curiously picked it up off the simple wooden table it had been resting on, hoping that the captive trapped within had finally found a way out. The blue ball of mystery began to crack, and a tiny blue head popped out. It looked just like the head of the blue leader of their enemies, only much smaller. The little creature stretched out its arms and the shell it was in shattered and fell away. It levitated slightly above Allison’s hand. She decided she should talk to Jack about this odd turn of events before doing anything with the little creature.

    Allison frantically went to wake Jack, but he seemed to be way too fast asleep. Then suddenly, the red object began to shake, and Jack quickly woke up with some more help from Allison. Jack went and picked up the second ball of mystery, oblivious to the little blue creature that was just floating around near Allison. Again, a little head popped out amongst the cracks at the top of the object, although this one was red. Just like last time, the cute little dragon stretched out its little hands, shattering the rest of the shell it was in, leaving it floating an inch above Jack’s hand. The two creatures quickly came together and grabbed hands, hovering a few feet in front of Jack and Allison, who were also holding hands now.

    Jack and Allison looked at each other, seeking out what to do in each other’s eyes. They silently agreed to reach out their hands to see if these new creatures were friendly or dangerous. They each reached out a hand, Jack’s left hand and Allison’s right hand, to touch these mysterious creatures who were hovering before them. Both pairs, human and unknown, were holding hands with the one whom they shared the most with. Both Jack and Allison touched the mysterious creatures at the same time.

    An explosion of light and energy occurred the instant their hands made contact with the mysterious creatures in front of them. A massive amount of energy rushed through both of them, momentarily paralyzing them. The energy flowed from the creatures into their hands, then up their arms, where it expanded outwards from their shoulders. It seemed that a similar rush of energy ran through the creatures at the same time. It was over within a few seconds.

    Jack and Allison withdrew their hands, but were amazed when they heard a voice they had never heard before, broadcast to them telepathically. There were two of them, speaking in turns. The first said, “I am Latias, and this is my brother, Latios. We mean you no harm.”

    Latios added, “We are creatures known as Pokémon. Pokémon are amazing creatures who possess unique abilities.”

    Latias continued, as if reading their minds, “The objects we just hatched from are known as eggs. They are Pokémon’s method of reproduction.”

    Latios picked up by saying, “Your people have the wrong impression of our people’s intentions. We came here seeking a Pokémon that has been causing trouble in our order.”

    Latias finished, “That Pokémon is Zorua, a Pokémon capable of disguising itself as anything it wants. It has been wreaking havoc among our kind, the Dragons. We tracked it here and began bombarding the island in hopes of drawing it out. However, we did not expect to find other people living here.”

    Jack asked, “If you just hatched, how do you know all this? Also, what was that massive amount of energy released when we touched you?”

    Latios replied, “Our people are telepathically linked, until either that member of our order decides to permanently disconnect from our mental link or the rest of the order agrees to disconnect them.”

    Latias added, “That burst of energy was us linking with you. I am now permanently linked to Jack and Latios is permanently linked to Allison. We share thoughts and emotions, and can feel when each other is hurt. It has also linked our two peoples, but to a much lesser extent. The telepathic link formed between us gave us the ability to speak your language, and our telepathic connection with the rest of our order passed that ability to them. We are not the only ones to benefit from this linking between peoples. While our people gained language, yours gained immortality.”

    Allison suggested, “We should go fix this misunderstanding between our people and end this terrible conflict. It’s terrible that we’ve been fighting simply because we were previously unable to communicate to fix it.”

    All of them agreed and rushed out of the tunnels. Jack and Allison were running with Latias and Latios floating behind them, still not very fast because they had just hatched. They all emerged from the tunnels together to see the island ablaze. Latias and Latios’ parents, who they said were also a Latias and Latios, were leading a group of Dragons trying to get away from the people of Draconia who were hunting them.

    Jack and Allison, along with the baby Latias and Latios, rushed towards the warring parties. All four of them yelled as loudly as they could, both vocally and telepathically, “Stop!”

    Everyone stopped fighting to look at the four newcomers. Allison started by saying, “They mean us no harm. This whole battle has been a misunderstanding.”

    The parent Latias confirmed, “It is true. We came here seeking a Zorua who has been causing devastation among our order.”

    Her partner Latios added regretfully, “We rained down destruction upon this island after tracking Zorua here, but without realizing that civilization existed here. We tried to only fight for defense after we realized our mistake, but couldn’t communicate with you until our children bonded with Jack and Allison.”

    Jack continued, “Zorua can change its shape, to appear as anything it wants. The Dragons believed Zorua was hiding among us, and they were hoping to find and imprison the terror of their order.”

    The parent Latios finished, “We’re sure Zorua is here, but we’re not sure what form Zorua has taken on right now. Be on the lookout for anyone who you don’t recognize. Spread the news to your people that we aren’t your enemies, but to be on the lookout for people they don’t recognize.”

    The next few days proceeded as usual, with many of the introverted people of Draconia remaining indoors even more than usual. They clearly feared that people would think they were Zorua because they rarely interacted with other people. Jack and Allison, followed by the baby Latias and Latios, were walking down the main path of Draconia one day and passed their friend Douglas, a total klutz who always messed up everything he tried to do. As they passed him, he dropped the food he was carrying. As they continued walking, they saw Douglas again, going in the opposite direction without carrying the food anymore, which they had seen him successfully pick up earlier.

    Jack telepathically suggested to Allison and the baby Latias and Latios that this was probably Zorua. Jack ran straight towards the supposed Zorua and used magic to jump over it. The sudden action of someone jumping over it startled Zorua and made it reveal its true form, a little black fox. The startled Zorua fled immediately and the four of them began chasing it.

    The illusionary fox kept running until it reached the edge of the island of Draconia. When it got there, it turned into a pathetic looking red fish with whiskers that Latias identified as a Magikarp. The pathetic fish flopped about for a moment before landing in the water, where it swam away.

    Latias and Latios flew over the water in an attempt to chase it, but the fish simply used Agility to greatly increase its velocity. Latias and Latios could not keep up, so they returned to Jack and Allison. All four of them went to the parent Latias and Latios to report their findings.

    The order of the Dragons already knew what had happened by the time the four of them got there because of their telepathic link with the child Latias and Latios. They had sent out all of the Dragons who had come to Draconia except the parent Latias and Latios to search for this Magikarp that was actually a Zorua. The Dragonites, the orange two legged beasts with tiny wings on their back and a belly and tail that had stripes on the front and bottom, and the Altarias, which were the ones who looked like clouds with a neck, head, and feet, all used their own Agility to try and keep up with Magikarp-Zorua. The Salamences, who were the blue, four legged creatures with red wings on their back and a tail, had all danced in a very particular, draconic way before departing.

    One major problem they faced was that there were so many Magikarp populating the ocean, it was very difficult to find the right one. Allison suggested following primarily Magikarp who were moving quickly and headed in an approximately straight line, most likely in a direction away from Draconia. Jack and Allison wanted to follow the Magikarp-Zorua, but they had no way of doing so as their bonded Latias and Latios were not yet large enough to ride. Their parents suggested seeking out Dialga, a former member of the Dragon order who had cut itself off in order to rule over all of time. Dialga would be able to speed up time for the bonded Latias and Latios enough that they could carry humans.

    Since Jack and Allison’s partner Latias and Latios could not take them to seek out Dialga, their parents went in search of the master of time. They were gone for many days, during which Jack, Allison, and the children of the adventuring Latias and Latios became very concerned for their safety, but were still unable to do anything. They could feel telepathically that the journeying Dragons were still alive, but because Dialga lived in a different dimension, they were unable to contact their parents.

    Almost a week after setting out, Latias and Latios returned. They were being pursued by a giant, four-legged silver and blue Pokémon that was apparently Dialga. Dialga also had a diamond on its chest in the center of a silver frame, a head that was very long, a tail, a silver piece with five connected spikes right above its tail, and three silver spikes on the back of its neck. Dialga roared out with its mind, “Why have you disturbed my eternal isolation, where I may rule over all of time?”

    The parent Latias replied, “We were once good friends Dialga! Can you not help us in memory of our good times, back when you were a member of our order? Back when you were a leading member of the order of the Dragons?”

    Her partner Latios added, “We respected you once Dialga! We were good friends! Can you not help us in our search for the bane of our order, Zorua?”

    Dialga considered what its old friends had said for a long moment. Finally, it said, “I will help you in memory of what once was and in hopes that it may continue forevermore. Everyone who does not want to be affected stand as far away as you can.”

    The parent Latias and Latios, as well as Jack and Allison, stood as far away as they could from their children or partners of mind and soul. Dialga floated above them, and the silver spikes above its tail seemed to grow. The diamond on its chest glowed bright blue, and it began gathering energy to use Roar of Time. Dialga finished gathering energy and fired a very intense indigo beam at the child Latias and Latios.

    A few minutes later, although it felt like an eternity to Jack and Allison, whose hearts were beating like crazy worrying about their partners of mind and soul, the attack ceased. When the Roar of Time cleared, Latias and Latios were left unharmed where they had been. However, they were now the same size as their parents and when they spoke, they sounded older and wiser.

    Latias started, “Thank you Dialga. We will never forget the assistance you have given us this day.”

    Latios added, “Yes, thank you Dialga. We owe you for this. Someday we will repay you for what you have done today.”

    Jack and ran up to Latias and hugged her, saying, “I’m glad you’re alright, I was really worried there.” Allison likewise ran up to Latios and hugged him, saying almost the exact same thing.

    Dialga said, “There is nothing really that one who controls all of time itself seeks. If I discover there is something that my life is missing, I will easily be able to find you and ask for your help getting it. However, what I have done today was in memory of the past, not in hopes for the future. Today I seek only the knowledge that I have helped my old friends and the order of the Dragons.” Even as Dialga spoke, it began charging up another Roar of Time. This time, it fired the indigo beam into the sky, where it tore open a gateway to another dimension. “So long, my old friends. I have foreseen that someday, somewhere, we will meet again. Now the future of your order lies in your own hands,” Dialga said as it stepped through the portal back into the dimension from which it ruled over time.

    They all knew that getting the help of Dialga had cost a lot of time and given Zorua a massive head start on them. The parent Latias used the telepathic link to try and discover where Zorua had gotten to in that time. Most of the Dragons chasing Magikarps had given up because the Magikarp no longer seemed like a possibility for being Zorua. However, one Flygons reported seeing a Magikarp that turned into a Relicanth, an ugly prehistoric fish with a brown and tan body. Once Zorua changed its appearance to that of Relicanth, it dove down underwater and continued swimming. It was too deep for Flygon to continue seeing it from above the surface and Flygons weren’t too fond of getting wet, with this particular Flygon actually being afraid of water.

    Jack quickly jumped on his partner Latias’ back and Allison likewise jumped on her partner Latios’ back. Both Latias and both Latios set off immediately for where that particular Flygon was. When they reached the spot, they had to decide how to proceed. Allison suggested splitting up to look for where Relicanth-Zorua had gone, hoping it hadn’t changed into another disguise. While Jack hated the idea of being separated from Allison, he had to admit it was the most logical course of action.

    Jack and Allison each cast a spell on themselves to allow underwater breathing. All four Dragons dove underwater to about the depth they estimated Relicanth-Zorua would have gone to, then headed in different directions. Latias and Jack went slightly left of straight out from the island of Draconia. Latios and Allison went slightly right of that path. The parent Latias went further right than them and the parent Latios went further left than Latias and Jack.

    After a while of searching, Allison and her Latios found a Relicanth about to make landfall on a very large island. She used her magic to make a wall appear in front it. The Relicanth swam straight into the wall and transformed into the black fox they knew as Zorua. Latios immediately signaled the others telepathically. Zorua couldn’t swim very well and was desperately trying to get above the surface for air. Allison used more magic to trap Zorua in a sphere filled with air, so the fox could breathe but wouldn’t escape. All three of them then came to surface and went onto the beach, with Allison controlling the movement of Zorua’s prison.

    Upon receiving the message from Latias, all of the others came above the water as quickly as possible and flew to where Allison and her Latios were waiting. However, upon arriving, they found that Zorua had used a technique called Night Daze to break out of the magical sphere and run off, while leaving Allison and Latios unable to pursue immediately.

    Jack rushed to Allison’s side as soon as he saw her lying on the ground. His partner Latias likewise rushed to her partner Latios’ side as soon as she saw him there. Jack was crying out for his lover to wake up, while Latias was doing the same for her brother. It only took a few minutes of relentless attempts for both of them to wake up, but to the ones who cared most for them it seemed much longer.

    It was clear Zorua had run into the jungle and they knew that it would be too hard to chase Zorua in an unknown form through a vast jungle with an unknown amount of other Pokémon. The two Latios flew above the jungle and began radiating a pink aura over the forest. When Jack asked Latias what was happening, she explained that they were using Luster Purge, a technique that purged the area of all trickery, such as Zorua’s ability to create the Illusion of anything it wanted. The effect wouldn’t last forever, but it should last long enough that they could find the Zorua they had been seeking.

    The two Latios then flew back down to the beach where Jack, Allison, and the pair of Latias were waiting. The six of them paired off and went exploring. Jack and Allison went off as a group, the bonded Latias and Latios went off as another group, and the parent Latias and Latios went off as the third group. All three pairs headed in different directions and move quickly at first, but then slow down as they go on, figuring Zorua would have taken advantage of its head start but they needed to look more carefully as they got farther away.

    Allison devised a spell that let her see through plants, including trees, and shared the spell with Jack. However, the two Latias and two Latios didn’t possess the ability to utilize the spell. All of them kept looking, with the Latias and Latios having to stay on high alert for the slightest hint of movement hidden in the trees and bushes. Not too much later, Allison noticed Zorua darting between what she could only assume were trees, as she was currently unable to see them. When she looked at her soul mate, she could tell he saw it too. They both moved quickly but stealthily towards the illusionary fox, which was getting close to the edge of the jungle. They combined their magic to enclose Zorua in a box of very solid but not quite as visible walls.

    Jack immediately contacted the pairs of Latias and Latios to tell them that Zorua had been caught. Meanwhile, Allison examined the cute little black fox through the transparent prison they created for it. It had a tuft of hair on the top of its head, with the top of it being colored red. The bottoms of its feet were also red. Zorua’s eyelids were also red, with red spots right next to them on its face.

    Even as Allison took in the last details of their illusionary foe, it began to glow blue. The bonded Latias and Latios arrived just in time to see this, and explained in horror, “Zorua is beginning to evolve!” The tiny fox Pokémon, still completely glowing blue, grew to many times its original size, seemed to get up onto two lets, and grew hair that was much wilder. Because it had grown so much, the prison that had been holding it shattered, unable to contain or prevent the evolution.

    The newly evolved Pokémon, which was quickly identified as Zoroark, stood on two legs with two outstretched arms, with both red fingers and toes, a gray body, red markings on its face, and ridiculously wild hair that was mostly red with some black and had a green ring around it at one point. Zoroark fled, saying, “There is a lot about me you still don’t know.”

    The parent Latias and Latios arrived just as Zoroark was fleeing, remarking, “This is bad. Very, very bad.”

    The group decided to pursue Zoroark through the air, so Allison climbed on her partner Latios and Jack climbed on his partner Latias. Together, the four Dragons flew out of the jungle to see a Raikou, the legendary beast of thunder, running as fast as it could away from them. Jack and Allison combined their magic again to create an invisible wall in front of Raikou, and again it slammed into the wall and transformed back into a Zoroark.

    This time, Zoroark decided to fight off its opponents rather than keep trying to run. Zoroark stretched out its arms and created shockwaves of crimson, making the whole world seem distorted to whomever it hit. The Night Daze knocked Jack off Latias and Allison off Latios, but they weren’t too high as to be injured by the fall. The parent Latias and Latios tried to both fire off green orb of Dragon Pulse, but in their disoriented stated they aimed at each other, causing a collision, explosion, and smokescreen.

    Allison used magic to blow away all the smoke in an omnidirectional gust originating from herself, cleverly avoiding the disorientation by doing it that way. When the smoke cleared, it became apparent that the parent Latias and Latios had knocked themselves out in their disoriented attempts to attack Zoroark. Zoroark jumped in the air and spun, emerging as a massive, six-legged monster with a gray body with red and black stripes covering a lot of it, three yellow-tipped spikes on each side, six red-tipped black wings, two more yellow spikes protruding from black rings around its tail, and yellow fins and a crest on its face.

    Giratina-Zoroark roared at the four dazed opponents to reorient them. All of their vision had been too distorted to see Zoroark change into the form of Giratina-Origin. When they regained their senses, Latios said, “Giratina, a pleasure to meet you. Have you seen a Zoroark around here?”

    Giratina-Zoroark pretended to think for a moment before answering, “Yes, just as I was arriving I saw a Zoroark rushing off towards that mountain over there. It must have been scared of me.”

    Jack was a little suspicious of this Giratina and began digging through the Dragons’ shared memories of Giratina. Meanwhile, Allison asked, “Are you sure? This is very important.”

    Giratina-Zoroark said confidently, “I am sure of it, Zoroark was running very quickly, clearly trying to run from something. If you start running now you might catch it.”

    Right as Allison, Latias, and Latios were beginning to head off, Jack shouted, “Wait!” Everyone looked at him puzzled. “I’ve been going over the Dragon’s memory of Giratina and I noticed something that doesn’t add up. Giratina is always in its Altered Form in our dimension. It is only in this form, Origin Form, when in the Reverse World. The Reverse World is a world on the flipside of ours, which embodies antimatter and has different gravity, changing Giratina’s appearance. Therefore, this Giratina is actually Zoroark!”

    Giratina-Zoroark chuckled and unleashed another orange shockwave. This time, Jack was prepared and put up a protective barrier, having been anticipating exactly that. Latios flew up above everything and unleashed another Luster Purge, clensing Zoroark of its assumed form and preventing more illusionary tricks.

    Zoroark loosed another shockwave, this time black and horizontally sent out around it. Dark Pulse hit Latias really hard, and she collapsed, still attempting to get back up. Jack and Allison ducked under the attack. Jack cried to the one still battle able Dragon, Allison’s Latios, “Can you use Heal Pulse on your sister and parents? We’ll put up a shield while you do!”

    Jack and Allison put up an impenetrable, but short lived, wall between themselves and Zoroark. Latios sent out pink waves of light and let them wash over his three fallen comrades. Zoroark saw that it was unable to stop what was going on, so it fled as quickly as possible, up the mountain Giratina-Zoroark had earlier claimed it had scaled.

    Once everyone was capable of continued travel, Jack and Allison mounted their partners of mind and soul and all of them flew off to the distant mountain. Allison realized that if Zoroark was allowed to turn into a mountain Pokémon, it could easily hide underground. All four Dragons flew at Mach speed to the top of the mountain, where both Latios emanated the pink aura of Luster Purge again, using Jack and Allison’s magic to boost the range to the entire mountain.

    As soon as that was complete, the four Dragons, two with riders on them, split up to search the mountain for Zoroark. It didn’t take very long before Allison and her Latios found Zoroark climbing up towards the top of the mountain. That Latios signaled the others and they all followed stealthily, letting it reach the peak on its own but followed so it couldn’t escape. When it reached the peak, they found that there was a Pokémon with a white body that mostly looked like a flowing dress, green arms and something that resembled hair, and a red spike in her chest. However, this Gardevoir was emanating a black aura that gave the impression of extreme evil and hatred.

    Zoroark approached Gardevoir and said, “They are chasing me, I don’t know if they’ve tracked me here or not.”

    Gardevoir seemed outraged at this news and slapped Zoroark hard. Zoroark fell to one knee and began begging for mercy. It said, “I have done what you asked, Gardevoir! I have sewn destruction among the ranks of the Dragons! I have kept them all focused on me for quite a while! I have drawn them out into the open! Why then have I failed you?”

    Gardevoir replied harshly, “If they followed you here, they will have discovered that you didn’t act alone. That would ruin everything!” Gardevoir emphasized the last word heavily.

    The wind direction changed to start blowing from behind the Dragons and their riders. Gardevoir apparently noticed something, as she used Psychic to remove and pulverize the rock they were hiding behind. Gardevoir said dramatically, “So they did follow you here. Help me deal with them now!”

    Gardevoir immediately called upon the dark aura surrounding her and sent it out towards the six opponents. Jack and Allison immediately called upon their magic to try and create a large wall between them to absorb the entirety of the attack, but upon discovering that such a thinly spread use of magic wasn’t strong enough, they hastily switched to just a bubble around themselves and their partners. The dark aura tried to ensnare the bubbles, but it couldn’t penetrate them. However, the dark aura was much more successful on the unprotected parent Latias and Latios. It coiled around them like snakes, even sinking into their skin and temporarily tainting their own auras. Their eyes turned solid black for a moment, and then their auras and eyes returned to normal.

    The bonded Latias and Latios immediately shrouded themselves and their partners in the veil of Safeguard to prevent whatever just happened from happening to them too. Slightly to their surprise, their parents created green orbs of energy and hurled the Dragon Pulses at them. Jack created a strong gust of wind in the opposite direction to send the attacks back to their users. Zoroark created the crimson shockwave of Night Daze, befuddling the minds of the four who stood against it and destroying the Dragon Pulses.

    Much to Zoroark’s surprise, the Night Daze’s bewildering effect didn’t last very long, thanks to Safeguard. Both the bonded Latias and Latios glowed purple for a moment. They then both summoned crimson shockwaves to attack with their Mimicked Night Daze. Latias aimed at her parents while Latios aimed at Zoroark and Gardevoir.

    Jack and Allison took the opportunity to create an anti-magic bubble around the parent Latias and Latios. The bubble would remove the mind control spell, but lasted for a very short period of time and took a ton of strength to maintain. Allison cried out, “I have so much I want to ask you, but so little time in which to do it. Do you know of a way to remove this Shadow Hold permanently?”

    Latios answered first, “I don’t have any ideas. In another moment I’ll fall back under the spell and you won’t be able to do this again. Don’t worry about us, kill us if you have to!”

    Latias answered tearfully, “There is a way, but you’re not going to like it.” Latias then calmed her mind and radiated out all of her aura, sending the entirety of her life force to Gardevoir.

    Her daughter cried out in alarm, “No! There must be another way!” But deep in her heart, she knew that Healing Wish was the only answer.

    All in a matter of seconds, the parent Latias collapsed to the ground, Night Daze ended, the anti-magic bubble faded, Jack and Allison almost fell off their Dragons from exhaustion, Gardevior’s dark aura faded, and the darkness came out of Zoroark, Latias, and Latios.

    The parent Latios cried out, “Live Latias! Live!” As he spoke, he repeatedly fired Heal Pulses at the unmoving body of his lover. He continued firing Heal Pulses, but also said, “No! No! This can’t be happening! Why did you have to be the hero and sacrifice yourself?”

    Gardevoir replied to the rhetorical question, “If she didn’t, both of you and Zoroark would remain under my command, while I would remain under the command of my now former master who locked the door to my heart so I couldn’t feel any positive emotions, only anger, rage, and similar emotions. I am truly sorry for what has happened because of me, and I will repay you in two ways: first, I will tell you everything I know about what’s happening. Second, I will give back the life that Latias has given me.”

    Latios gasped in awe at that idea, surprised that a Pokémon who had just taken over their minds to use them for evil would sacrifice herself for them. Almost as if reading his mind, Gardevoir said, “I know what you are thinking. However, I am not actually a bad Pokémon. I was manipulated. I am actually a very kind and caring Pokémon. We have more important things to discuss though. Zoroark was used to set a trap to separate all of your order and catch them one by one. I do not know where they are being held, but I know who it is that is hunting you. A former member of your order, Druddigon, seeks revenge for the wrong it feels you have committed. Druddigon believes that it was one of your most loyal subjects until you just excommunicated it out of nowhere and for no reason. Your order’s shared telepathic knowledge pool probably knows what really happened better than I do. Druddigon found me in a cave where I used to live, and has done unspeakable horrors to my husband, Gardevoir, and our children, Ralts and Kirlia. The cave lies on the other side of this island, but be forewarned, this island is very large and dangerous. The cave is built into the side of a volcano. I have told you all I know. Do you have any questions for me before I heal your beloved?”

    Jack asked quickly, “Do you know of any way to cure Shadow Pokémon, other than using Healing Wish? If this Druddigon made you a Shadow Pokémon, there may be others.”

    Zoroark answered, “There is another way. You must know the Pokémon who has been tainted by this foul monster and connect to the part of them that deep down is still their true self. Only if you truly know them, almost as well as yourself, will you be able to perform this method.”

    Allison inquired, “If we should happen to come across your family, what should we tell them?”

    Gardevoir thought long and hard before answering, and looked immeasurably sad the whole time. Finally, Gardevoir replied, “I doubt you’ll find them alive. However, if you do, tell them that their mother was twisted to serve the dark powers, but in the end honorably sacrificed herself for all things goodness. Tell them that I will always love them, and I will always be there for them in spirit. Tell them that wherever I am, I am looking out for them.”

    Latios promised, “You are doing the greatest thing I could ever imagine. If there is anything at all that you want from us, please say so. The same goes for your family, if we should find them alive.”

    Gardevoir spoke her final words then, “I thank you for your offer, brave Latios. However, I seek nothing more from this life except knowing I died doing the right thing. Now for my final atonement for my sins.” As Gardevoir spoke the last words, she began calming her mind and sent all of her aura to the unmoving body of the parent Latias, who had done the same procedure in reverse not very long earlier. Gardevoir collapsed, completely drained of the aura that provides life to all creatures. Latias awoke, revitalized by the return of her missing aura.

    Jack and Allison were barely conscious still, so the six of them flew off to find a quiet, safe place to rest. They knew the adventure ahead would be much more challenging than what they had already been through. When they were just getting ready to fall asleep, Zoroark came into the cave saying, “Where do you think you’re going without me? I want revenge on this Druddigon too!”

    TO BE CONTINUED


    URPG Champion, Official, Senior Referee, Head Judge, Johto LO, Mistralton City Gym Leader, Kumquat Island Gym Leader, Celestic Town Division Head
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    "if you think anything about ash in a battle is going to necessarily happen besides him proving you wrong think again" – Swift
    "When you can have anything you want by uttering a few words, the goal matters not, only the journey to it." -Rhunön the Elf (Eldest: Inheritance Book 2)
    "You might think it’s to help you be a better battler. Really it’s just to make your battles less painful for the poor referee that has to face-palm every turn." - Monbrey

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Illusion of Dragons: Part 1 [Write-a-Roll]

    Claimed for Mother Russia.

    Up in a few days, most likely.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Illusion of Dragons: Part 1 [Write-a-Roll]

    Introduction: Your story began with a pretty straight-forward introduction. We were immediately introduced to the island and were given a brief backstory so we weren’t completely lost, and then you just about jumped right into the story. From the beginning of the story, I was able to easily tell what the pace of this story was going to be, and I’ll go deeper into that later on. Regardless, it accomplished its “definitional goal” by giving us a start, no matter how brief.

    However, I’m not certain that this was the most effective way to begin your story. These types of introductions work just fine for stories of short length, but they’re harder to pull off for longer stories. An introduction has more than one goal of simply starting the story. It’s supposed to invoke curiosity and pull in the reader. This is essential for keeping them interested throughout the story, which they otherwise might not stick around for the whole thing.

    The dragons attacking the island was a nice attempt at this, and it definitely did make me start to think about your story. However, the way you wrote it was as if it was simply fact – there was nothing to explain it necessarily, so why should I think about a prediction if I know that I can’t be right? Instead of people soaking in some marvelous questions that would normally have been created (WHY are the dragons there? WHAT are they going to do? HOW are they going to be stopped?), all that potential is wasted. This is kind of a confusing subject, I realize, but the key moral I’m trying to get out of this is: a introduction’s purpose is to hook the reader. Sadly, because your introduction was rushed and provided little opportunity to really “think” about your story, that hooking factor was lost.

    Not only is your story long and would presumably require a longer introduction, but it falls under the genre of Fantasy. One of the most recognizable aspects of Fantasy is a well-developed backstory that’s seeded into the story. Because of this distinguishable factor, a thorough introduction can really put the reader into a “Fantasy” mood. Take, for example, the Lord of the Rings. There is SO much backstory in that series, and it really immerses the viewer into the world that Tolkien had created. I’m not asking you to write a set of novels to explain your backstory but instead asking for you to pay attention to the details that would label this story as Fantasy, especially in the introduction. Accentuate them to really hook the readers.

    Plot: Brief summary: An island known as Draconia is suddenly invaded by a strong race of Pokemon known as the Dragons. Two humans on the island, Jack and Allison, encounter two eggs which soon hatch into baby forms of Latias and Latios. They bond with the humans, and explain the reasoning behind the Dragon Invasion – they’re searching for Zorua, an enemy of the Dragons. The rest of the story is essentially spent down chasing the Zorua until we find that Zorua (or Zoroark at that point) isn’t working alone. Latias sacrifices herself to combat the powerful Gardevoir, but once Gardevoir was set free of Druddigon’s curse, she gives her life to revive the Latias. Story ends when they begin the search for Druddigon.

    One of the parts you struggled with most was simply rushing. Your story had a long timeline, changed settings very frequently, and simply had too much to say in such a little time. As such, I felt that the plot was rushed because there was SO much crammed in, I never really grew accustomed to the setting because it changed so frequently, and I never really “felt” emotions at the emotional scenes because I was still trying to process it. So my first advice is to SLOW DOWN. The pace for your story was far too rapid for your length – it’s as simple as that.

    So with that, I encourage you to spend some more time finding a solid base of your plot. What needs to be in the story? Do all the chase scenes have to be present? What could be taken out of your current story without a massive impact? Or, if you think that everything you wrote was necessary, I suggest you make your story significantly longer. Delve into all that potential in each scene; take the time to describe the location, explain how the characters are feeling, and any other details that would make the story more immersive.

    Another option that I think you should consider is condensing parts of your story. This sounds quite contradictory to what I previously said, but I mean only when applicable. I’m certain that you could combine more than a few scenes in your story. Not only would this get rid of the “fluff” that was sometimes found in your story, but it would also help you align your plot into a concise model. If that makes sense. Just combine things where you can so that you have additional time to explain things elsewhere!!

    There were certainly noticeable repercussions regarding pacing in your story. First of all, Jack and Allison were never really explored and fleshed-out as characters. We received a brief physical explanation of them and were told that they were smart. Normally, that’s enough to start us off, and we’ll develop the characters in our own minds. But because we never really slowed down to learn about your characters, we never really thought about your characters. Your emotional moments would’ve been infinitely more impactful towards the reader if we had been emotionally attached to the characters (and we’ll become emotionally attached after you give us things to attach to, trust me). There were other characters that were lost in the blur: Dialga’s story could’ve been explained, Zorua’s mischief could’ve been demonstrated, and even the Draconia’s culture/history could’ve been explored. So much potential that the readers never discovered!

    Climax: I kind of summarized it in the Plot section, so I’ll hop right in instead of explaining it again!!

    First and foremost, your literal climax was simply a continuation. I say this because we never really received closure for your story. Sure, Zoroark and Gardevoir were dealt with, but I saw that as more of a temporary solution to the problem at hand. That final battle was certainly a step in the right direction, but the underlying evil (and thus, the central driver of the plot) was never conquered. I wanted so badly to see Druddigon and the intense showdown that followed, but I never saw it!

    Of course, I understand that you plan on continuing this series, but the readers are still expecting something at the end. The Gardevoir and Zoroark showdown was definitely something, but it wasn’t quite as impactful as I feel the conclusion should’ve been. The conclusion is supposed to be the remedy to most/all of the story’s problems, and your conclusion simply put a band-aid on. It’s quite hard to do this in URPG because graders are supposed to grade each story as if it’s a single piece. I’m sure I would have a different opinion if I knew how everything ended, but because this is all that I’ve read, I had a hard time seeing this as an actual conclusion.

    Description: This is one of the hardest parts of a story to balance, in my opinion. There’s a very faint line that’s easy to cross, which means either not enough description or too much description that it’s overwhelming. You swayed across this line several times throughout your story. At the start of your story, I felt that you were giving much more description than towards the end of it. It’s a natural thing because you assume that readers will start to assume things for themselves, but this didn’t pair too well with the constant scenery changes towards the end of the story. Just try to stay constant and you should be fine.

    Regardless, the description that you gave us was strong enough to get us started. However, I felt it was somewhat straight-forward, which in turn can make it seem bland. My suggestion is to try and make it natural, or at least try to be subtle about it. Work it into your sentences instead of making it its own sentence. Outright explanations can be quite jarring, but if you sneak it into the rest of your story, we’ll subconsciously pick up your descriptions. You could prove the main characters’ intelligences instead of just telling us, among other things. This would make your description much more hidden, and it would allow the readers to form their own opinions of your characters.

    Grammar/Conventions: Overall, you’re pretty solid! There weren’t many errors at all (I think I only spotted a few, and the only one I can even remember was an incorrectly used semi-colon) so I’m pretty sure you have a solid handle of the physical sides of grammar.

    However, you did have an issue with run-on sentences. While technically not wrong, they’re definitely distracting while the reader is reading. Try and look for suitable places to end your longer sentences, and you’ll be fine.

    Length: Physically, you’re awesome. I count just under 37,000 characters, so you’re in the upper half of the suggested character count. Can’t complain!

    However, internally, you need some work. I’ve already explained this pretty thoroughly, but your pacing was subpar. Your story seemed much longer than it should have because there were constant changes in time/location. We were taken around to countless places, so reading kind of dragged from each transition.

    As you change your pacing/layout of the story, the length will almost have to change. The pacing has a massive impact on the actual length of your story. If you slowed down the pace throughout your entire story, you would have a much longer plot. Again, I recommend taking out/condensing the non-essential stuff to allow more time for the other parts of your story. Or you could make it longer as a whole. It’s completely up to you, but either way, pay attention to how fast you’re progressing.

    Overall Advice:

    1. Solidify that introduction! While you completed it in its most general term by giving us a start, we still needed more. Include some hooks that will generate questions in the reader, make certain that you have begun expressing the tone of the story, and simply make it longer to accommodate the length.

    2. Slow down. Like seriously, take your time. This story was rushed in every sense, and there was so much potential that was wasted simply because you had to move on. The backstory of the island, Dialga, Druddigon’s story, even exploring Jack and Allison’s personalities. SO MANY THINGS I WANTED BUT NEVER GOT. You could’ve even taken out some things simply so that you could spend more time on other things. However, because you were constantly dragging the readers to a new place, they could hardly get used to your universe, making for a very confusing reading experience.

    3. Condense. This somewhat contradicts what I said above, but I mean only when applicable. Parts of your story that took up a lot of time could’ve been compressed into one small piece. This would free up time for the other parts of your story that I suggested above.

    4. Make your description natural and constant. Outright descriptions are completely jarring, so it takes away from the “immersion” factor you normally would’ve had going. Be subtle. And make sure that your description is throughout – readers might understand what your character looks like towards the end of the story, but they won’t know what that other dimension in time looks like unless you explain that as well!

    5. Run-on sentences. Speaks for itself, honestly. Split those sentences into smaller pieces and we’ll be good.

    Outcome: Zorua Not Captured. This was just not up to par with Complex. While your plot itself was fairly strong, your story was basically a “telling of events.” There was little attempt at a backstory/exploring your universe, very few hooks to keep the reader interested, and the story seemed to drag on longer than it should have. Your description was irregular, and the flow of your story was pulled constantly. If this had been Hard-ranked, my decision would’ve been much more difficult, but I don’t feel comfortable passing this as a Complex story. If you do decide to rewrite this story, I would be more than happy to re-grade it.


    The Prompt

    Genre: Fantasy. Quite unsure about this, Mr. Ketchum. Fantasy wasn’t exactly the genre of this, I have to say. It was more of a recurring theme, with only the dragons and magic tying it into the story. However, these two are often mixed up, so it’s not really a big deal. I would probably classify this as a thriller/mystery mix because it constantly deals with Illusions, hence the title. However, Fantasy certainly had a large influence on the story.

    Setting/Time Period: Victorian/Steampunk. Not really. Your story was more Primitive or possibly Dark Ages, but it definitely wasn’t early 1800’s with advanced technology powered by steam. Victorian and Steampunk take place during the time of industrialization and exploration, and while your characters definitely explored, it wasn’t on the scale of the Steampunk era. Gender equality seemed about the same, there wasn’t any technology in the story, and the year, if even mentioned, would’ve been irrelevant. Sorry, not really budging unless you can point out something that I’m missing.

    Character(s): Human and Pokemon, Together but Separate. Yep, this makes perfect sense! Jack and Allison, as well as their respective Eon legends, are clearly the main characters.

    Results: If your story had passed, I would’ve awarded you with a Hard-ranked Pokemon as a prize. Primarily, it’s the time period that took you down a rank. It was basically excluded from your story, so I don’t feel comfortable giving you the whole prize. If you choose to rewrite your story, however, this can change as well. Make sure to utilize certain aspects of the Steampunk and Victorian eras and this would likely change!

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