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Eryn Montero

Frozen Cave || Evening

After apologizing to all the miners attracted by Peri’s roar, Eryn and her team headed to the cave’s tunnels and into the interior of the mountain network. The whistling of wind prompted her to recall all her Pokemon except Dei, who she picked up and stepped outside with.

The Frozen Cave was, in short, magnificent. Snow swirled through the air in plumes, and even in the shade of the mountain, the dazzling white landscape was hard to look at.

“Wow,” Eryn said, shielding her eyes with a hand as she walked towards the edge of the platform. The spikes at the bottom of her boots had proved useful in the cave’s icy interior, but they were pivotal to her safety now.

A passing gust blew a piece of snow into her open mouth, which prompted her on her way. Through the snow she went, searching for wilds as she headed to the next tunnel. Her team performed mostly as expected, though Atha’s Ember proved too weak to one-shot the stronger wilds. As such, she was relegated to the weaker ones—and given an Oran berry for her troubles, courtesy of a passing Delibird.

Just like those in the cave, the Delibird out here made a point of stopping by Eryn and handing her a treat. By the fourth berry, she’d learned to expect such, but then came the unexpected: The fifth Delibird handed her something spiny, black, and curled into itself. Upon closer examination, Eryn realized that she was, in fact, holding a dead bug.

“I, um?” Eryn looked to the Delibird and was met with a cheery “Del!” and wave before the Delibird turned to leave. So there she stood, holding the dead bug, trying to come up with her next action.

Dei, having apparently gotten tired of her inaction, leaned out and blew on the dehydrated husk, which flew right out of Eryn’s hand.

“Dei!” Eryn gave in to her first instinct and chased after the husk, but she could only watch as it drifted over the edge of the mountain and disappeared into the snowy abyss below.

“Well,” she said when they weren’t able to see the husk anymore, “maybe that’s for the best.”

A sharp noise echoed out from deeper within the cave. It sounded suspiciously like… a shout?

“Alright, one more adventure before bed,” Eryn said, adjusting her grip on her grumpy source of warmth. “Maybe they need help.”

Eryn Montero

Frozen Cave || Afternoon

Eryn exhaled when the ball clicked, , walking over and picking it up with a grin. “That was easier than I expected.”

Her Pokedex prompted her to transfer one of her Pokemon to the box, and she sent the “Voltorb’s” Pokeball right along. Then, after checking the time, she stretched her limbs, looking over her Pokemon. “You all up for some training before bed? Or are we all tired?”

Atha jumped, immediately outraged by the accusation of tiredness, and Dei shared her look of displeasure. Peri, however, decided to voice her opinions, and a loud roar echoed through the halls of the Frozen Cave.

“Okay, okay, not tired, got it,” Eryn said, uncovering her ears with a wince. Still, she smiled; she couldn’t ask for more than enthusiasm. So, after calling out the rest of her team and having Eri take on the form of a Delibird—“To blend in, of course!”—they were on their way to explore further offerings of the cave.

Eryn Montero

Frozen Cave || Afternoon

Seeing that Geodude was among the Pokemon helping to mine, Eryn called out Peri as well, explaining the mining basics she’d heard to the Onix. Peri, though, wasn’t too interested in what she had to say. Instead, the Onix glanced repeatedly at the newest member of the team, prompting Eryn to stop to make introductions.

“Peri, meet Atha. Atha, Peri.”

Atha looked up and gave the towering Onix a cautious grin. Peri, however, looked down with some amount of contempt, glancing between Atha and Dei. Eryn got the feeling that she wasn’t too impressed by the addition of yet another small Pokemon to the team.

Between that, Dei’s sour expression, and the growing uncertainty in Atha’s, Eryn figured she had her work cut out for her.

“Alright, let’s get to mining, you three,” she said, herding them over to a free face of ice. She rapped her knuckles on the ice, noting that it was hard and cold enough to attempt to freeze her knuckles to it rather than melt. “Atha and Dei, get started with Embers. When they let up, go in with a Dig, Peri.”

Her Pokemon got started, then fell into a rhythm of sorts. Peri made a lot more progress with every swipe than Atha and Dei as it was faster to cast aside ice than it was to melt it. Together, though, the group made respectable progress, and they quickly came across their first frozen Pokemon, which her Pokedex identified as a Numel.

“Huh, wonder how it got frozen.” Eryn looked the quadrapedal fire-type up and down.

As she circled it, her feet knocked into a rock that was quite out of place, least of all because it was surrounded by a landscape of ice. The strange markings on it prompted Eryn to pick it up, and after looking over it, she pocketed it, figuring that she’d ask the miners about it later.

Further digging uncovered an orange and tan sphere, which seemed like it was made of wood at closer examination. The strange groove on its surface, as well as its size, made Eryn suspect that it may be a Pokemon, but the Pokedex entry that popped up didn’t match at all.

“A wooden Voltorb?” She looked between the screen and frozen sphere, frowning. It wasn’t like the Pokedex to make an identification error though. “All right, that warrants some digging. Let’s get it out—but be careful now!”

Dei and Atha did most of the work here, spewing controlled flames to lick off all the ice surrounding the sphere. Peri watched mildly from the side after being repeatedly shooed off by Eryn when she tried to “help.”

Soon enough the sphere was freed, and it sat on the icy floor, barely moving. But, when its eyes opened, Eryn grinneed.

“Alright, you got me. This is too interesting to pass up,” she said, whipping out a Pokeball. “Hopefully the professor likes gifts!”

She tossed the Pokeball at the ‘Voltorb’, watching as it was absorbed by the ensuing beam. The frozen Pokemon seemed relatively dazed already, but if a fight was necessary, a fight it would be.

Eryn Montero

Frozen Cave || Afternoon

“Yes please! Thank you,” Eryn said, putting Dei down and taking one of the offered coats. She made a mental note to remember to return the coat later as she rubbed her hands together and blew warm air onto them.

The revelation that even the miners didn’t know how the Lord got there made Eryn’s eyes sparkle. What other mysteries lay frozen in the ice? So much of the world seemed full of mysteries. Her meeting with Azelf and Palkia proved that not everything was as it seemed, but natural phenomenon were everywhere. One only had to look.

Eryn took the offered Escape Rope with a “thank you.” Braith’s warning not to go deeper into the Frozen Caves was brought to mind, and she already had an Escape Rope in her bag, but better safe than sorry. She wasn’t planning on making it through the cave for a while, but she’d hoped to get a good look despite the dangers. Now, hearing about the Glalie and other strong, aggressive Pokemon, she realized that she should have more realistic expectations.

“I’ll give it a shot, yeah,” Eryn said, surprised but again grateful to be loaned equipment for free. The caves were a community, she was beginning to realize, and giving back was probably the least she could do.

She glanced over the equipment available. Since she had both Dei and Atha, she had a decent amount of firepower to go by, she figured. Not so much that she’d be carving through cave faces, but enough to sate some light curiosity.

“Let’s try the old fashioned way,” she said, picking up the pickaxe and giving it an experimental heft. Not particularly heavy, but she was sure she’d feel different after some actual ice work.

“Any tips on mining in the ice?” she asked. What she’d find, she’d find out, she figured. “Also, is there an inn or somewhere to stay the night here? Paid?”

She checked her Pokedex for time, hoping the miner would say yes. Exploring the Frozen Caves at night only sounded fun if she had a place to crash right after.

Eryn Montero

Frozen Cave || Afternoon

Mt. Chill lived up to its name, and Eryn quickly realized that she was a bit underdressed for the occasion—as were some of her Pokemon. After her team had shivered for a few minutes, she’d ended up recalling everyone except Dei. Instead, she scooped up the Charmander and marched forth, patting him on the head.

The cave started out dark, and her eyes had to adjust to the darkness, but the ice soon opened up, and Eryn couldn’t help a quiet “wow.” Ice towered above her, huge and jagged, forming everything from floor to ceiling. While she’d expected a good amount of ice in the Frozen Cave, she certainly hadn’t expected everything around her to be made of ice.

A cold breeze encouraged her to squeeze Dei tighter as she stared at the huge creature frozen in ice overhead. “Well, glad we aren’t fighting that,” she said, then paused. “How… did it get there anyway?”

A Delibird came up to her, holding a berry up to her with a cry. Eryn stared at it for a second, then realized she was being offered something.

“Thank you!” she said, taking it with a grateful smile.

The Delibird left after that, and Eryn headeed towards the settlement under the frozen Wailord. To the largest one she went, hoping that she could buy some environment-appropriate clothing and shoes. She’d managed to avoid slipping thus far, but the close calls hadn’t been pleasant.

Eryn Montero

Lakewatch || Afternoon

“Yep, nice meeting all of you! We’ll see each other again someday, I’m sure,” Eryn said with a grin and a wave, and then she was off to the Pokemon Center to get her Pokemon healed.

Further training was on her mind as she wandered towards Route 5, the high of a lost battle keeping her in silent thought. She was fairly overdue for a gym battle, as Lesley had pointed out, but she’d also caught one Pokemon after another. How was one expected to challenge gyms with Pokemon as fresh to the team as hers?

More importantly, though, was the matter of her battle with Oaken tomorrow morning. Her loss to Basil had reminded her that battling wasn’t light work, and Atha needed a win now. No Pokemon of hers was going to suffer two losses in a row, not on her watch.

After some time consulting the map on her Pokedex, she settled on training in the Frozen Caves, and she kept a brisk pace there, throwing out Pokemon to battle wilds she came across on the way. Ember was Atha’s main move right now, as was it Dei’s, so she was looking forward to seeing what sort of ice-types they’d be able to hone their skills against.

Plus, the Frozen Cave had such an ominous name. Hopefully there would be lodging there, or she’d have to make the trek back early—or in the dark.

Eryn Montero

Lakewatch || Afternoon

Eryn’s jaw dropped. Lesley? All this time, she was talking to he Lakewatch gym leader who specialized in dragon-types?

“Oh, Braith!” Eryn grinned. “He’s definitely going to utilize that to his advantage.” And flattered to hear that the match had been so close, Eryn figured. Unless he already knew that.

At Lesley’s apology, Eryn chuckled. “It’s fine! It was a bit weird being interrogated, but I get it.”

The other two trainers introduced themselves as Basil and Amelia, and they both knew each other—and went through Professor Kalmia too. What a small world.

“Yeah! I guess we just missed each other,” Eryn said. “I’m Eryn.”

Basil’s Hawlucha let out another cry, challenge clear in his eyes as he looked between Atha and Lesley. Atha, futher clarifying her future track record, smirked and met his gaze with a huff, and Eryn figured it’d be good to step in there.

“Alright girlie, let’s take a moment to get to know each other before you start picking fights,” Eryn said, reaching down to pat Atha’s head.

Atha dodged out of the way, shooting Eryn a glare. Another proud, stubborn personality for the tally. Eryn was getting good with those.

“Well, I’m not one to say no to a battle,” Eryn said, looking to Basil with a grin. “How about a 2-v-2? Just to give Atha a taste of the action, with some backup?”

Eryn Montero

Lakewatch || Afternoon

A flustered girl apologized on behalf of the Phantump, marking her as the ghost-type’s trainer.

“Well, she definitely got both of us,” Eryn said, looking at the snickering Phantump. Its mischievousness was rather cute, even if its sport was scaring unsuspecting strangers.

Atha, on the other hand, seemed to regard the Phantump with some form of hostile contempt, watching the ghost-type return to their trainer’s side with narrowed eyes. But, once the threat had left, her attention was quickly absorbed by the woman in red, and she lowered her head as soon as the woman did, a smirk on her lips.

The woman’s concerned questioning quickly transformed into threats that had Eryn’s eyes wide, but Atha simply grinned, chirping in amusement.

“Bay!” Atha said once she stopped chirping, and she nodded her head towards Eryn, starting on what was, in Eryn’s opinion, a rather long-winded story about their meeting. But, judging by Atha’s clear eyes and easy smile, Eryn figured she had little to worry about. It seems she had a storyteller on her team.

When Atha had finally finished chattering, she paused, then smirked again, lowering her head. She hadn’t forgotten about the armored woman’s challenge, it seeemed.

Unfortunately, it was at this moment that a multicolored bird burst from the sidelines, leaping into the fray with a call. Atha raised her head, a scowl evident as fangs peeked through.

“Well, nice to meet you two too!” Eryn said, rather amused by all the people gathering around them. But, considering the bright red armor the woman sported, she supposed it wasn’t that surprising after all.

Eryn Montero

Wet Caverns || Afternoon

The woman’s statement that her background made her “easy to find” was a bit unsettling. Easy to find for what?

“Oh, that’s pretty cool!” Eryn said, grinning. “You’ll have to give me some tips on training a Bagon. Do you? Breed Bagon?”

It didn’t slip Eryn’s attention that the woman had dodged through giving her name, and although that was again quite suspicious, the fact that the woman might be a dragon breeder was much more exciting. It also explained her general wariness towards Eryn having caught a wild dragon-type, so Eryn held onto her reservations for now.

“Alright, give me just a second,” Eryn said, heading into the Pokemon Center. There, she recalled all her Pokemon and turned their Pokeballs over to the nurse, heading back out after she got them back.

“Alright, Atha,” Eryn said, pressing the trigger on the Bagon’s Pokeball. “Hope you’re feeling better.”

Atha emerged from the glow in one piece, looking around quizzically. Her gaze quickly zeroed in on the woman in red armor with her two dragon rivals draped over her shoulders.

Just then, a loud cry from beside Eryn sent her flinching back in surprise. Somehow, a black, spirit-like Pokemon wearing some sort of horned helmet had crept up next to her without her noticing.

“Woah, is that a ghost-type?” Eryn peered at it, trying to place it. Its mask was strangely shaped, the rough surface riddled with grooves, and the red things attached it the projections on either side were shaped rather like leaves.

“Oh!” Her eyes grew round. “A shiny Phantump? That’s so cool!”

Eryn Montero

Wet Caverns || Afternoon

Eryn watched as the woman hoisted the two fainted Bagon up, rather impressed at how effortlessness it looked. She herself was carrying Tula at the moment, and while the Magikarp was rather light, she wasn’t sure if she could throw two over her shoulders with the same ease.

“Let’s walk together! I insist.”

Eryn blinked. “Oh, um, okay.” Now that she was essentially off the hook with her little deception, she wasn’t as concerned, but the woman’s pushiness was at least a bit suspicious. Were all Lakewatch locals this protective over their dragons?

“Um, yeah! Like I said, I’m Eryn, and I’m honestly a pretty new trainer, but I think I've made a good start with all the Pokemon I've caught so far,” she said, gesturing at her team around her. “I'm helping Professor Kalmia with her Pokedex project, but honestly it's probably helping me more than I'm helping it. As for why I decided to become a Pokemon, trainer well, it’s honestly been a lifelong dream of mine,” she said with a grin. “I would’ve started way earlier if it weren’t for my parents pushing me to go to school and all, but I’m here now and that’s all that matters.”

She pulled out her trainer card when prompted, offering it to the woman in case she wanted to see it up close.

“So, what about you? Are you from around here?” she asked, rather unsure of the whole situation now. The woman didn’t exactly strike her as a shady figure, but she’d answered an awful lot of questions in the last few minutes. “Also, I don’t think I ever got your name.”

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