Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Ambra
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Ambra Mother of Doggos

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Feasting Hall | Shula Castle
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Never did Jiro think he was going to come here again.

Shula's feasting hall was as large and grand as ever. Tall ceilings arched above his head and the whole room seemed like it was miles long. Several wooded tables, each about the length of an Onix, lined the room. Upon said tables were endless types of foods: roasted meats, fishes, vegetables, and even fruits, which were diced and glazed with sugars or placed upon the roasts. It seemed like a festival paraded down and up every table. But nothing really peaked his appetite. Jiro was used to the raw fish and rice dishes of Yine. Everything Sher served to their guests seemed too... heavy. Greasy, at that. Yet, the soldiers and knights and even the countrymen of Atlas devoured every bite as if it'd be the last meal they would ever have. He caught sight of multiple faces, flushed under the influence of liquor.

It wasn't just the people that were enjoying their time drinking and eating. Pokemon darted to and fro, scampering after scraps or hiding to ambush servants that brought out more food. What caught Jiro's attention the most, however, was what occurred above.

Countless winged Pokemon flitted above them. They lined the wooden beams, chittering and squawking as they fought over space and food alike. Jiro saw the white, steely hide of Kaneki swoop up from a table, a dried morsel in his sharp beak. A pair of Pidgey followed after him, screeching in protest as he weaved his way through the airborne crowd of Pokemon. Eventually, he settled on a beam, quickly scarfing down the food as the Pidgey bickered around him. The three engaged in a heated debate before a large Fearow, clad in light armor, flew down to perch on the beam next to them and made them scatter in surprise.

Jiro shook his head, sighing as he made his way down the hall. Shuhei prowled beside him, a silver shadow at his side. The northern Ninetales held grace in his step, much like he did. But the Pokemon did not mind the crowd. Jiro did. That's why he bore his light armor, shielding his face from the curious glances of the rulers that sat at the front of the hall and ate among themselves. Of course-- why would they dare mingle with the lesser peoples? His eyes narrowed at the sight of Emperor Yataro, an aging man with a gaunt face and gray in his long, dark hair. He was as he always remembered; cold, calculating, and uncaring.

His already soured appetite soured even more. Shuhei tipped his narrow muzzle up to look at him, and Jiro stroked his frosty mane. "Come, Shuhei. Let us try to eat." he mumbled, deciding that he should at least submit himself to the celebrations at least for a little while. He settled down, not caring who or what kind of person he sat next to. There was a large, stuffed Piloswine in front of him. Its small jaws were open, an apple placed between its teeth. Jiro pulled a face. Ugh. How could people eat this? Sure, he had settled for dried meats when he traveled, but the sight of preparing a corpse in such a way disgusted him.

The people across from him stared for a second. He realized that he was sitting with Neridans, which were the allies of his home country. Yet, the looks they gave him were far from friendly. Their blue eyes bore holes into him, and Jiro ducked his head as he reached for a plate and served himself from a plate that bore a smaller, lesser creature-- probably a roasted bird. Quietly, he tucked into his food, trying to seem like he was enjoying its taste. Shuhei gnawed on a bone he had found on the ground, quietly sucking on the marrow that was exposed from the shaft.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Mr Nim
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Mr Nim Neverhood's Klayman

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Feasting Hall | Shula Castle
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If there was one thing she felt, it was how overwhelming this whole scenario was. Zella watched what seemed like countless people, and all of them were stuffing their faces with food. Alongside many were pokemon, who were also very busy with eating whatever they could get their hands on. And that was before even thinking about how long each table appeared to be, how impressive the hall entirely was, and how crowded the beams near the ceiling were with flying pokemon.

Zella just placed her hand on Mist's back, who gave a small grunt, clearly sharing in Zella's feeling of being overwhelmed. Or maybe it was an overall feeling of discomfort for the pokemon, as it was never one for large crowds. Wrapping an arm around Mist's neck, she started to walk forward, slowly and carefully. With how crowded the whole place felt, she had quite some doubt she would even find a spot to seat at. She also hoped no one would give her too much attention, even if she knew that Mist was a cause of attention. Not every day people saw the pokemon of disaster, or wanted him to be around.

Eventually, she found herself a spot next to a man, who had long black hair and a Northern Ninetails by his side. It was a somewhat comforting sight for her. Even if Zella's memories from her time in Nerida were slowly getting foggy, she did still enjoy the sight of pokemon that were associated with the north, or the cold. Settling down on the spot, she motioned to Mist to stay close, which the Absol was more than happen to comply to. Looking up at the table, she noticed many around had blue eyes. Perhaps they were Neridans? She wasn't sure. She first took a bit of the bird, and handed it to Mist to eat, before turning to grab some greens to herself and then beginning to eat quietly.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by UndeadSpartan
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UndeadSpartan Like a Lich, / but cooler

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Shareena Heartrender
Feasting Hall / Shula Castle
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Normally Shareena would've left this tournament for what it was, given that crowds always came with the risk of being recognized. Yet, with the tournament underway, many of the travelers she'd usually harass were capable combatants coming to Sher for the Firebrand Tourney, leaving her in a tight spot, money-wise. In the end Shareena had reached the conclusion that if she'd have to fight them anyway, she might as well do it in the tournament itself... But still, This stupid dress was so constrictive! She couldn't very well show up dressed like a bandit, but this was definitely one of those times that she regretted not having any simpler clothes. After running through her checklist one final time, Shareena joined the festivities in the feasting hall, somewhat reassured knowing that she was at the very least prepared.

As she stepped into the feasting hall with two seemingly identical Croagunks by her side, Shareena halted for a bit and sought a place to sit down. Much to her dismay, the crowd was even bigger than she'd anticipated, leaving nowhere even remotely calm. Resigning herself to being a part of the crowd, Shareena gestured for her pokémon partners to follow and headed for a table with a minimal amount of Sheran-looking people. Even if that was technically the group she belonged to, it was a people she'd broken off from years ago. The group most prominent at this table seemed to be the Hotaruans, though the only real evidence to support this conclusion was the overall red color that seemed to dominate the table.

With her own red dress, Shareena fit in pretty well. Still, she was quite clearly not Hotaruan, if the curly brown hair she'd tied into a ponytail and draped over her shoulder was any indication. On top of that, she seemed more like a spectator than a participant, carrying no armor or weapons of any kind on her. That part of the charade was probably her least favorite part, even if Sigunn was carrying her sword and axe under its illusion. Despite all the risks and the downsides though, there was one more thing beside the prize money that made this trip worth the effort; free food. Lots of it.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by jdh97
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jdh97 Hopeful

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Feasting Hall | Shula Castle
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“And that is why you should never trust a woman’s word on whether she is married or not; it is much better to ask her husband.”

That got a chuckle. Eon finished his story and lounged into an easy smile, well-worn, skin-deep. A small crowd hugged close to him; their banal smatterings added to din that flared about them, their eyes searched hungrily for any scrap of approval. Even here he could not escape that oily ambition that shrouded men’s hearts and twisted deep beneath them like gnarled roots. Contempt hid itself behind the goblet he drained for too long. The drink touched his lips, or even swelled into his mouth, between his teeth, across his tongue, but he never swallowed a drop. When he lowered it, once more the smile hung over his face.

Sweat, smoke and sin wove into smells of food to create a thick carpet of odour. The decision to sit with those beneath his station was borne of vain attempt to escape the political games and careful discussion. At least amongst the rabble there was some slight freedom, and they were entertaining in their ignorance. Of course, not all were witless peons.

Another conversation began to brew, and Eon made to look as though he was interested. The man immediately to Eon’s left stepped up in the lull. There then came a thought from outside his mind. A slight, gentle thing, that flowed smoothly into his mind, a feather floating along the swell of the sea, heedless of depths beneath.

Must we linger? All here are crass and the beasts are no better; they foul the air. I will surely catch a disease. The thought that was not his own sounded young inside his mind, feminine and clear as a crystal chime, tempered by a sense of maturity that exceeded the youth. Ira.

Without letting any of this touch his facade, Eon split his mind in two, focussing one half on the people, and one on his companion.

Of course. The blue-bloods shield their words. Here, people will give what they can, if they think I am important. And they do. It is prudent to feel out the tensions in this hall. It makes travelling easier if we know where treachery lies, and where foul weather broods, and where war shall soon carve into the peace.

His mind was still, a mirror-pond. Outside, he laughed with the crowd, and made a facetious remark that brought more titters.

And if we get to know which fighters are favoured, we stand to gain more from our gambled coin, if our paintings do not sell so well.

I know.
The voice conceded. Her form shifted by his leg. He did not look down.

Not to mention I like the attention.

You are always too fond of it.
Rue tinged the thought, like the wilt of a flower, as Ira’s mind retracted across the border, resting just outside Eon’s consciousness, rain on the other side of glass.

With his whole mind returning to his audience, Eon could tell they were beginning to tire of the sweaty man who led them now, so he snatched their attention with both hands and had them wrapped around his little finger before he had even begun his next sentence.

Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Eleven
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Eleven things are strange

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Courtyard | Shula Castle ☽ ☾ Interacting with: N/A
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Posted within Shula Castle's vast cliffside courtyard, The Marvelous Meloetta Minstrels—or the Three Ems, as they came to be known—were putting on the first of many performances for the festivities. Due largely to their troupe master's tireless but effective badgering of the officials, they had won the bid for prime entertainer in the prestigious Firebrand Tourney. It had been no easy feat, considering they were one of hundreds vying for the honor, and quite grueling work, but it paid incredibly well. They were to offer three days' worth of entertainment, bookending the events and feasts with opening and closing performances, with some more scattered in between during breaks and transitory periods. It was hours on end of dances and plays and songs.

And that wasn't including the troupe's actual main attraction: all the wealthy nobles gathered in one place.

Saiya peered through the curtains of their grand stage, scanning and assessing their audience as she waited for the current act to conclude. It was a smaller crowd, as most were still inside socializing and enjoying the feast, but even this was bigger than the usual, day-to-day ones they were accustomed to. Richer, too, judging from the expensive materials of their clothing. From the rare Krookodile and Feraligatr leather shoes, belts, and purses, to the myriad of exotic Pokémon fur skins and silk dresses—it was safe to say these people had more than enough to spare.

From where she stood, Saiya could spy her Captain already flitting about the distracted Atlans, into their pockets and satchels as one tiny Pokémon and out as another, loot in tow. Saiya knew how giddy he was today, with so many Pokémon around to mimic; it was more of a feast for him than the one inside the castle. She waited as he transformed into a Poochyena that an older, balding gentlemen had by his side then signaled for him to return with a discreet Fletchling call. Captain pretended to nuzzle at the old man's hand before gently biting at the golden bracelet that hung from his wrist, letting it fall into his snout. He ran back to the stage with the old man and his Pokémon none the wiser, mischief shining in the lavender flecks of his eyes.

Saiya welcomed Captain with a hug and pressed their foreheads together. "You were great out there, Cap!" she grinned, scratching behind his ears. Together, they packed up the day's haul to present to the troupe later in the evening, keeping a select few of their favorites for themselves. The curtains opened just as they finished storing everything, and the previous performer, a juggler doing a bit with his Machamp, beckoned her towards the stage.

"You're up, Kisa-kiss!" He puckered his lips in jest and hurried her along.

"Yeah, yeah," Saiya gave him a wink and blew him a kiss, her signature move to get the crowd riled up.

Today's routine was an easy one she had mastered years ago, a crowd pleaser with its more risqué movements. As the troupe's band began playing music, accompanied by their Kricketots and Kricketunes, Saiya stepped onto the stage and basked in the round of applause that greeted her. Captain transformed back into a more familiar form then, to a Fletchling so he can fly up and watch from above.

Saiya kept an eye on the crowd as she danced, looking for potential tourney victors and eventual targets. It was foolish to steal the reward money directly from the city—that was a one-way ticket to rotting in a cell. Stealing from the winners, however, seemed quite doable.


Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Typical
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Typical

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Himiya Masahiro

Shula Castle: Feasting Hall || Mentioned: @jdh97@Eleven

Shula was about what Masahiro expected of the capital city of Sher: luxuriously expansive and almost obnoxiously open, it flaunted its lack of defenses as a nod to the kingdom’s strength on the battlefield. That the castle was situated on a cliff only served to irk Masahiro further since though the mountain offered natural barriers, the city was still conspicuously open to an aerial attack—the exact type that Hotaru favored. The problem was that to lay siege to the capital, Hotaru needed to reach it first, and that was perhaps one of the many reasons why they lost the war ten years ago.

Similarly, Shula Castle was also grandiose, as royal castles often were. Besides their extravagant displays in the feasting hall and platters of over-seasoned food, the Sherans also decided to let their Pokemon roam wild through the hall, and currently the ceiling was obscured by a dysfunctional flock of flying-types scrabbling for scraps in some inane series of skirmish tactics. The carelessness given to the Pokemon guests would be insulting in his home nation, but here, on Sheran land, Masahiro held his tongue and did his best to ignore the offensive sights he saw. From the general mayhem that had welcomed the contenders into the hall to the disregard for each contender on their own, it was clear that the tournament was to be held on Sheran terms, and this brought to mind the scandals in the past, drawing a frown from Masahiro as he again scanned through the meat dishes for anything salvageable.

Despite the blatant edges of Sher, though, he was doing his best to like the country. Hotaru had lost the war, yes, and the general Sheran attitude was a clear divergence from Hotaruan custom, but these were things Masahiro had known coming in. Dealing with them on the daily would be annoying, of course, but nothing he couldn’t handle, and aside from that there were parts of Sher that he found admirable as well. For one, their lack of animosity towards the contenders was admirable, and from what he could tell, it persisted no matter which nation they came from or what their background might be. While it may in part have been the Sherans’ general disinterest in the foreigners, it was still refreshing to be largely accepted without question, treated like any other face in the crowd. Back in Hotaru, his family name would matter more than his samurai status, and it would show in the actions and attitudes of those around him, granting him preferential treatment or disdain depending. Here, though, Masahiro had received nary a second glance, even after he’d introduced himself as a Hotaruan. Sure there were a few smug faces here and there, and sure they might have hidden it better had they been Hotaruan, but the general crowd didn’t even bat an eye.

That said, while he didn’t mind the treatment he was getting, he did mind the treatment his Pokemon were getting. Now, he didn’t expect the Sherans to pay much attention to their bird Pokemon, but it was difficult to watch how scuffles broke out here and there in the rafters, feathers floating down when one side or another found a break in the others’ defenses. A glance to the head table where his Emperor, the young, red-clad Yatsuhiro, sat told him that such treatment was customary, but it still didn’t sit well with Masahiro. At least in Taranis or Nerida the hosts tried to appease to their guests’ respective cultures, but it seemed Sher simply wasn’t interested.

Thankfully, Ryo wasn’t marked as an easy target like other flying-types, and the few that had approached to try had been warded off with frosty breaths that hinted at an Ice Beam. Currently, the Altaria was perched on a beam directly above Masahiro, picking pieces off a seared Basculin he’d pinned to the wood with his talons. He ate slowly, watching the rabble around him with vague interest, sometimes looking down to meet Masahiro’s eye with a ruffle of his down.

Eibin, on the other hand, remained by Masahiro’s side. Sitting beside him, she waited patiently as he picked out relatively unseasoned portions of fish for her as she stared at the more savory choices. While they both knew that Masahiro would rather starve than feed his Pokemon such salty, fatty foods, Eibin was still one to keep her hopes up, though not so presumptuous as to think Masahiro would agree to it. As far as Masahiro was concerned, his bird Pokemon were to eat before and better than him. They were the ones who he relied on in battle, and keeping them in perfect flying weight was his first responsibility, given that it was key to maximizing their agility on the battlefield and therefore his chances of success.

After his Pokemon had been fed, Masahiro put his hands together, closing his eyes to recite a mantra to Ho-oh before opening them to put together his own meal. For himself, Masahiro chose portions of meat and vegetables, doing his best to sample cuts of Tauros and Gogoat without betraying his thoughts on his face. As salty as the food was, to waste or fail to at least try to appreciate the food of his hosts was an insult to his god, so Masahiro did his best to enjoy the meal—or at least the parts he could.

He chatted idly with the Sheran and Tarani seated around him, mostly listening as they regaled him with one tale or another. Further down the table was a more rambunctious conversation headed by a tanned man dressed in fine silks Masahiro tended to associate with Taranis. Personally, Masahiro wasn’t too keen on getting to know his competitors lest he feels some sort of obligation towards them during the tournament itself, but then again he was honor-bound to try and do so, and knowing one’s enemy could help too.

Another show started up at the head of the room, this one featuring a stunning young woman clad in silk, gold, and skin. Drawing a chorus of wolf-whistles and cheers from the crowd, her dance was a drastic change of tone from the previous performer’s routine with his Machamp. When Masahiro averted his eyes to finish up his meal, however, he found Eibin staring up at the rafters, and he traced her eyes to another Fletchling. Curiously, this one seemed to be completely uninterested in the food and ruckus around him, instead scanning over the room. On a battlefield, Masahiro would have been wary, but at the moment he was attending a feast with people from all five countries, and the thought of someone stirring up trouble seemed unlikely. Still, here, on foreign soil under the pretense of fair game and peace, he wasn’t too inclined to feel safe.
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