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Oct 21, 2019 9:01 AM
Solar Ari in Pokémon
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Aril is walking through a forest. No two trees are alike, and there's a glittering fog around him which, were he mortal, would probably have turned him into a fourteen-limbed monkey-lizard by now. As it is, his form is inviolable, but it still kind of itches.

He begins to notice that something is wrong when the trees all start to look the same. Then there aren't even any trees. He looks around, wondering if he somehow got turned around and wandered back into the lands of Creation - but no, that would be stupid. He's an Exalt. Something's fucking with him.

He's never really given a shit about survivalism, being a warrior of the Unconquered Sun, but he's still an Exalt; he will not be thwarted by something as simple as not knowing something. He looks and listens for signs of civilization within a few miles.

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He appears to be on a small island, with rock-studded ocean all around and a couple of whirlpools. There's a cave entrance a little ways up the rocky beach.

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Well then.

Lacking many other options (he can swim more or less forever, but what if he's facing West and he literally has to? sounds like a bad plan), he'll check out the cave.

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There are bats in the cave! They fly at his head, shrieking "zuzuzu!".

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He swats one, pulling the blow such that he'll injure it but not kill the poor dumb thing. (Why does it not have eyes? Why is it making such clearly audible phonemes? Who knows, who cares.)

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That one goes "Baaaaat!" and clears out; the rest seem undeterred.

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Irritating. (How does it know that it's a bat???)

A brilliant sunburst flares to life on his forehead and he seems to double in size, coruscating with golden flame. The bats are abruptly aware that they are facing something beyond their very comprehension, something that holds within itself the glory of the Unconquered Sun, and that it would behoove them to flee.

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Now they all clear out, and he can proceed down the cave unbothered by anything except occasional slippery frozen puddles.

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Slippery frozen puddles: not a problem. He doesn't even notice them, actually, his feet just grip them as they would normal terrain.

He wonders idly if he's still in the Wyld. This cave seems kind of boring for it, but those fucked-up bats were certainly fucked-up. Ultimately inconclusive.

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Up ahead is an underground lake, or possibly a bit of ocean intruding into the island. Something is moving around in there.

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Ooh.

Aril considers conjuring his twin Grimcleavers, but ultimately decides against it. It's been days since he could just beat something. Instead, he leaps into the lake, his heavy orichalcum plate vanishing off his otherwise nude form as he does so, and opens his eyes to examine whatever beast lies within.

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The beast is a twenty-foot-long dragon-serpent-thing!

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YES.

Aril stares the serpent directly in the eyes and bares his teeth, the mark of the Sun still burning on his forehead. (He's not going to make the first move, that'd be mean. But anything that big has to be aggressively territorial. That's how it works.)

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It's aggressively territorial, all right! Four sharp fangs are coming his way, at the front of a column of solid muscle.

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And Aril darts backwards through the water, evading by a hair's breadth.

He doesn't want to kill this thing, at least not before he gets a decent fight out of it. So instead of invoking a Fire and Stones Strike or Heaven Thunder Hammer, he merely slams his fist into its massive, square jaw with the force of ten lesser men.

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It reels back, but seems neither surprised nor deterred by how strong he is for his size. The head comes at him again, and the tail comes around from the side.

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EEE IT'S STRONG!

He's gotta see how bad this thing can fuck him up. He evades the teeth again (bleeding seems like not a great idea) but tanks the tail shot. How's the power on that?

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It's like getting hit by a small bus, if busses hung out in sea caves and had spikes on the end!

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THIS FISH FUCKING RULES, Aril notes as he careens into the wall of the grotto. Also, he may have cracked a rib.

He speeds back towards it and launches a Heaven Thunder Hammer at its jaw. It's only fair.

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It's better at whacking than dodging, and gets blasted across the cave and into the wall. It's dazed for a second or two, then shakes itself and comes back at him, slightly slower.

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Aril observes the serpent tiring and decides to wrap this up.

Fire and Stones Strike is generally overkill on anything that isn't at least a minor god. However, he's made some observations about this creature, and he's pretty sure he's got its number. He gathers a precisely calculated amount of Essence into his fist and releases it in a sweeping haymaker. Naptime.

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Naptime. The dragon-serpent says "Gyar . . ." and switches from attacking to drifting semiconsciously in the water.

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...he kind of wants to keep this thing now. It was fun.

He should've invested some Essence into animal handling charms when he had some going spare, that'd guarantee him a new pet. Well, whatever, he's got Glorious Solar Healing, hopefully it'll appreciate not being beaten up anymore. His brow shines as he invokes Wound-Mending Care Technique, then channels Instant Treatment Methodology. He and the serpent both flare with golden light as its bruises fade away. The light around the serpent fades quickly once it's healed; the light around Aril stays.

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The dragon-serpent seems pleasantly surprised by this development! It investigates its apparent source by swimming in a circle around Aril, staring at him with red slit-pupiled eyes. One of its blue face-tendrils nearly brushes against his leg.

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He gently strokes the creature's face as it passes by. "You're a good serpent, aren't you? Do you want to come with me? We can destroy our enemies together."

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"Rados!" says the creature, bumping its enormous head against Aril's hand in an oddly catlike manner.

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