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.”
Add "Iron Dagger" to inventory Used "Material Analysis" on "Iron Dagger" Pushed Mana into "Iron Dagger" Used "Mana Sense" on "Iron Dagger"
Give everything your all; that’s the only way to live. Let me see your determination!
NAME: Henrietta Durand
GYM TYPE: Ground
APPEARANCE: Henrietta is fairly tall for a woman at 5’ 10", while also being quite slim, which makes her look even taller. She has an athletic build due to her active lifestyle and her arms and legs, when they are visible, are noticeably toned with muscle. Her skin is naturally pale. She has short dark-brown hair and dark-brown eyes. Her hair falls in wavy locks on one side of her face, dyed with a gradient that starts as dark brown and transitions to caramel at the tips.
She learned fashion from her mother, who worked in a boutique, and as such pays a lot of attention to her appearance. Her clothes consist of a long, cocoa-coloured shirt with an upturned layered frill collar with a black single strapped waist cincher. She wears black trousers that have golden lining around the pocket and ribbons attached to the back of a golden zipper seam around her knees. She wears a pair of dark black, high-heeled leather calf-high boots with golden buckles. She also wears a number of accessories, including her black gloves with the index finger missing, a black beret with a cocoa brown trim and a pair of black, wire-rimmed aviator sunglasses.
PERSONALITY: Above all else Henrietta is someone who always seems to display a level of quiet confidence. There is self-assuredness to the way she moves and the way she conducts herself which is displayed in the straightness of her posture, the tilt of her chin and the little knowing smile she often wears; she has a certain poise to her that is hard to describe until you see it for yourself.
Henrietta is driven by an aggressive determination which pushes her to move forward no matter who or what is in her way, something which is apparent both in the way she battles and the way she interacts with others. She has a forceful personality and isn’t easily swayed by others; once she has set her mind to something there is little that can divert her unless she makes that decision herself and she has a bad habit of ignoring the concerns or needs of others.
She feels strongly about things and her emotions tend to be clearly on display, which can get her into trouble or rub people the wrong way. Her temper burns hot but is also short-lived, her mood can be changed drastically by small things but never for too long; she can come across as mercurial at times.
BIOGRAPHY: Although born and raised in the Galarian city of Circhester, her parents hail from Kalos originally and this has certainly had an influence on her upbringing. Her mother worked at the boutique in the city and her father was a trainer at the Pokémon Gym when she was young, though he had retired by the time she became a trainer herself. She inherited traits from both of her parents; her poise and bearing came from her mother, her love of Pokémon and battling came from her father and her confidence and determination came from them both equally.
Henrietta was always around Pokémon from a young age due to her father’s work and also because her mother also raised Pokémon of her own. She always wanted to become a trainer someday, a fact that she didn’t keep secret from anyone, and it was always a question of when, not if, she would begin her journey. Her parents were supportive of the idea, but they always expected her to keep her travels within the Galar region for a few years before becoming a gym trainer like her father or even a gym leader someday; when it became apparent that Henrietta wanted to travel the world, see every region from Galar to Kalos to Alola, they were less supportive.
After much arguing and persuasion a deal was eventually struck where Henrietta would be allowed to travel if and only if she could prove herself a capable trainer; one who would be able to manage travelling by herself where he parents wouldn’t be able to easily bail her out of difficulties. Her parents gave her an egg at the age of fourteen and tasked her with hatching, raising and training the Pokémon by herself. The egg soon hatched into a Mudbray and Henrietta began rearing and training the Pokémon to prove herself to her parents.
She and her Mudbray took to each other immediately and it wasn’t long before the two were inseparable. They began training together not long after and once Henrietta was satisfied that they were both strong enough she began battling as many of the local trainers as she could. Battling, it seemed, came naturally to her and although her parents tried to delay as much as possible they couldn’t deny that Henrietta had met their condition. Eventually her parents relented and gave her their support to begin her travels.
Since then Henrietta has visited many regions, battled many opponents and faced many challenges. Her team is drawn from the Pokémon she met across her journeys, from Sinnoh to Alola and some from much closer to home.
After several years of travel she eventually returned home to Galar. Upon doing she discovered that a position as Gym leader had recently opened up due to the previous leader’s retirement and on a whim she applied for the position. It was a chance to take on a new set of challenges, to face strong opponents and, most importantly, provided a path to the position of Champion.
How could she resist?
Atlas (Mudsdale) – The first Pokémon Henrietta ever had. Atlas is a reliable companion who is loyal to the end as well as being a hardy and stubborn battler, but years of being doted on by his trainer means he is just a big teddy bear at heart. Atlas has occasional moments of possessiveness towards his trainer, especially around strangers. Sheila (Gastrodon – West Sea) – Air-headed and forgetful. Sheila is the type to let the world pass her by as she sits and stares at the clouds. Everest (Mamoswine) – Stubborn and hard-headed. Everest is a grumpy old man in a Pokémon’s body; his temper is easily provoked but luckily he is the type to sulk rather than throw a tantrum, though this does make him hard to work with at times. Heracles (Rhyperior) – Arguably Henrietta’s most powerful Pokémon, Heracles loves to battle and love even more to showboat; he is right at home in the stadiums of the Galar region where he can show off to a crowd. Unfortunately he doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘restraint’ and Henrietta has to be careful which battles she uses him in. Has a one-sided rivalry with Grace. Grace (Garchomp) – The other contender for Henrietta’s most powerful Pokémon, but far less concerned with the title than a certain Rhyperior. Grace is calm and poised and as such she tends to be the balancing aspect her team needs to function. Sahara (Hippowdon) – Lazy and unsociable. Sahara would gladly sleep the whole day away if she could.
Ferrous (Steelix) – The much put-upon leader of Henrietta’s second team. Ferrous spends most of the time trying to keep the peace between Henrietta’s other Pokémon. Forrest (Torterra) – There are two things Forrest cares about; food and sleep. Gregor (Gliscor) – Mischievous and energetic. Though he has been with Henrietta longer than most, he often falls into the role of younger sibling to the more serious and stern Pokémon around him. Charles (Nidoking) – The king of his kingdom of one. He doesn’t like to follow anyone’s lead but his own and can be unruly at times, but is also easily provoked into wanting to prove him strength to others.
Digby (Diggersby) – A joker who can see the humour in almost anything. Not the most responsible of Pokémon, as he is more likely to watch in amusement than put a stop to things. Fio (Trapinch) – One of Henrietta’s youngest Pokémon. Fio likes to burrow into the ground no matter where she is, so a diligent eye must be kept on her to ensure she doesn’t ruin the floorboards. Gobi (Sandyghast) – The newest addition to Henrietta’s team and one who is still finding her place.
RELATIONSHIPS: Henrietta sees her fellow Gym leaders as rivals first and friends second. She takes her position and Gym leader seriously and views the Pokémon league as a constant competition for the top spot.
Elijah Grayson: “A good man, but I’ve never met anyone who could suck the fun out of battling like he could. Elijah needs to have more fun with his position. I admire his drive to teach and help people improve, but the best teachers were always the ones who spoke passionately about the subject.”
Hestia Quintell: “I love Hestia, I love her spirit, but even I think she can be a bit much at times. She’s perfectly suited to being a Gym leader and she’s always good for a battle but she needs to learn to take her losses a little better. Don’t be surprised if she becomes Champion one day, but at the moment I think I’ll beat her there.”
Thomas Tyrell: “He’s a good person, very down to earth, but he could stand to add a little more ‘flair’ to his life.”
Ezran Hawthorne: “He’s someone that has things figured out for himself, which I respect. He’s very demanding of himself and sometimes pushes those same expectations on others; I don’t mind it but I think he can be unfair to some of the challengers that come his way.”
William "Liam" Prescott Anwell: “Garish, flamboyant, over the top; but he owns it and that’s all that matters in the end.”
Fiona MacConnell: “She’s a free spirit, to say the least. I have a hard time reading her, sometimes I don’t know if she likes me or hates me, but she’s sharp and she’s strong. I don’t know how tied down she is to the whole Gym leader thing though.”
Moira Kingsley: “Beautiful, powerful, imposing, stylish; she has it all, yet she’s one of the quietest, meekest people I’ve ever met. She’s the final hurdle for all of us, I think, before the Champion herself. I don’t see her ever becoming Champion herself, unless someone forces her to.”
Joseph Johannes: “I hear his acting career is going well, but I don’t think he takes being a Gym leader as seriously as some of the others.”
Zeke Webber: “He’s driven, I like that. He doesn’t let a loss keep him down, which I like even more. Too bad he’s such an asshole.”
Isla Owens: “I’ll never stop challenging her; it keeps both of us on our toes. She’s new and has a long way to go but she’s strong and with that spirit she’ll get their quickly. She’ll be big.”
Nordrin Yasmar: “Ha, he’s a jerk; he’s full of ‘tough love’ and doesn’t hold back on anyone and he’s far too full of himself. I like him. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when I beat him.”
Malik Harvey: “There’s more to that one than meets the eye. He should have a higher standing than he does; sometimes I think the league might fall apart if not for him. Don’t believe the rumours though, he can’t communicate with Pokémon telepathically… probably.”
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.