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There was an art to making an entrance and Henrietta, by extension, was an artist.

She strode down the central street that ran through the middle of Motostoke, from the archway that led into the city to the elevator which would take her the stadium, walking as if the crowd in front of her didn’t exist. With the way people cleared a path for her there might as well not have been, the throng of people parting like the Red Sea at her approach; some of that was no doubt down to the imposing Garchomp that walked behind her, but the rest was all Henrietta. She walked like she expected people to move and they did.

Image and notoriety. That’s what it was all about. People knew who she was, what she was, because she had worked hard to create an identity that people would recognise and a reputation that would garner respect. The clothes might change day to day but the beret? The shades? The hair? They were a brand, her brand, and she’d made sure that brand meant something to people.

Add in a splash of the right attitude and the rest took care of itself.

Henrietta stepped on to the elevator and hit the button for it to take her up, the whole platform rotating around a giant set of cogs and gears as it took her up to the next level. At the top she found herself face to face with a sea of fans, reporters and paparazzi. Camera’s flashed, microphones were pushed into her face and fans waved at her and tried to catch her attention. It seemed her approach hadn’t gone unnoticed.


There was something to be said for making an unstated appearance. She didn’t demand attention with a flashy entrance, she simply waited for people to notice her, which they would, realise who she was, which they would, and approach her themselves, which they had. The press assaulted her with a litany of questions, barely giving each other time to finish before the next began to speak, let along giving her time to answer.

”What are your hopes for this year’s League?”

”Do you think you stand a chance of winning the Champion’s Cup this year?”

”What do you have to say to the rumours that you and Joseph are romantically involved?”

Henrietta weathered the storm patiently, expression unchanging and eyes an enigma behind her shades as she waited for them all to finish before she spoke.

“I hope that things are more interesting than they were last year; there weren’t many challengers that made it as far as my gym. I always stand a chance of winning, only time will tell if I can beat Moira this year. And Joseph wishes those rumours were true; that’s all I’ll say about that.”
The stone turned out to be more brittle than expected, cracking on the first non-shielded hit, but that only helped to confirm that the Shield spell did indeed make the stone harder and more durable. The Shield spell was also more brittle than expected, lasting only a single hit before breaking; a temporary buff then, good for only one good hit at the lowest level. Interestingly, hitting the tree trunk with the shielded stone also yielded better results offensively than the non-shielded stone; though that could just be due to the fact that the stone didn’t break the first time.

Still, it was a solid proof of concept. He could buff items and non-organic materials and those materials benefitted from those buffs, either defensively or otherwise. The next step was to try and create elemental variants of the Shield spell, or to try and shape the Shield spell into something that provided different effects.

There was also the dagger, which had been a part of the loot they had taken from the Goblins and which had yet to be claimed by anyone else. Oberon flew over to where he had seen it last and was quickly able to pick it out from amidst the other items due to its obvious quality and man-made nature; man-made as opposed to Goblin-made in this case. It was made out of some kind of metal, iron most likely, and while it was a just a relatively simple dagger in his current form it seemed more like a short sword than anything else.

The Sprite picked it up, requiring two hands to do so, and examined it using his Material Analysis skill. Once he had read over the information provided he began to channel Mana into the weapon, the magic collecting within his palms before flowing into the hilt of the blade. Oberon then pushed the Mana further, focusing his attention on the blade itself and letting the Mana gather there.

He activated his Mana Sense and observed the magic as it hopefully turned from its usual colourless state into something else. Metal Mana would be a useful attribute to add to his list of skills, but he also wanted to see if it was possible to concentrate Mana into one particular part of an object and keep it there. In this case, pushing Mana into just the blade and nowhere else.

“So, er, hunting. We should get going sooner rather than later; before it gets dark.”

@Zeroth@Gardevoiran@Rune_Alchemist@Old Amsterdam
Just curious, what's the period of time that this all takes place? One season?

Hard to say. Although the game does seem to have a day/night cycle outside of the wild area that progresses as you go through the game, and although there are a few points where you sleep in hotels and so on, if we took it seriously then the Gym Challenge would only last like a week, week and a half tops. Realistically it would be longer than that, I would think, to give people more time to beat every Gym; but then again, maybe the short time period is part of the challenge.

It definitely takes place over a set period though, with challengers requiring an invitation from someone from the league (including Gym leaders I would assume) to take part. They have an opening ceremony at the start and a Champions Cup at the end and only those who managed to get all eight badges in that time get to take part in the latter.
All of the challengers face the gyms in the same order, which is why there is always a crowd of people waiting for you; they are there to watch the challenge take place. It's also why the first three leaders all show up to see you off once you beat Kabu; because most challengers don't make it past the third gym. Kabu is the first big hurdle and most challengers fail at that point.

I was trying to find a source that says the order is based on strength, but I can't find one. Maybe I'm making that up.

But they do also have multiple teams depending on how many badges the challengers have, it's just that they know exactly where in the order they will sit.
Yeah, the order is determined by the placement each Gym leader gets in the Champion's Cup I believe; it's essentially a strength ranking. Milo is first because he's the weakest of the leaders, Raihan is last because he's the strongest.
Zeke can go wherever, but ideally his gym is later in the order.

Yeah, arguing over the order is going to be fun.
If I read correctly, Hestia, Henrietta, and Pastille conflict for leadership of the Circhester Gym.

There's no conflict with Henrietta.

I didn't specify because I knew there would likely be overlap, but I'd always intended for her gym to be anywhere but her hometown. Or Ballonlea, but that's just because the aesthetic doesn't fit.

I have some places I'd like it to be, but I'll just take whatever's available at the end most likely.
Which ones specifically?

I think both your character and AThousandCurses characters are said to be the Circhester gym leader, stuff like that.
I was going to ask if nicknames were allowed but obviously they are. I'll go back and add some more details to my Pokémon teams tomorrow.
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