It's likely the journal will be released tomorrow so keep an eye out!
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At dusk, a mountain range in the far distance can be seen as a bunch of sleepy-eyed pokemon walk along the side of a river. A Delcatty is trudging along with a nearby frillish, looking pretty worn out as she nervously eyes the setting sun.
“Ah, it’s getting dark. Do you think we’ll make it in one night Tring?”
The frillish smirks and attempts to answer, but is cut off quickly when a distant voice of Tiva calling out. “Hey, out there on the water! Is that them, Jay?“
“Yeah, I think it is!”
The teams stare forward as the dwindling remains of a sunset glow behind the silhouette of an large, old steam boat, it’s deck speckled with the lights of several lanterns. At its front, a lovely voice can be heard singing out a gentle tune as the vessel gently glides across the water:
Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossin' you in style some day
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way
Several ‘mon stop to listen as the voice continues on, mesmerized by the pleasant, lilting melody as it drifts by.
Nuri and Jay alike are caught listening intently when the heavy beat of wings is heard overhead. Looking up, they back away as two dragonite land in front of the wandering group. The dragons seem cheerful, each wearing a green armband which sports a strange shell-like design.
Having fully caught the attention of the guilds, one of them begins to speak. “Hey there! We couldn't help but notice such a large group was heading up the river towards town. You looking to have a chat with the Spiked Cannons?”
The second dragonite chimes in, all while snapping his fingers, face bent in thought, “Oh, come on now, what was that name? Looks like you all came from… Ah! Rift City! Am I right? So that means you might be the, uh- Rift Wardens, right!?”
Having successfully recalled their names, the dragonite excitedly points a finger towards the guild leaders. Jay mildly flinches at the gesture and Nuri huffs.
“Hardly; we are the Ardent Cinders and Roaring Iceberg guilds, respectively. But yes, we would enjoy having a chat with the leaders of Attwell if they'll have us.”
The dragonite nod in unison at the request, looking giddy as they reply. “Oh yes, of course! We haven't had guests in a long while - I'm sure Nami will be pleased.”
“Hah, as if!” jokes the other. “Probably going to have our hands for pointing them in her direction.”
The two laugh in unison and take back to the sky, addressing the pokemon below one more time before taking off in the direction of the boat resting on the water. “Wait here, we'll get Riptide to bring the boat over!”
Jay, having recovered from earlier, smiles as he rears back on two legs to yell a response back at the two.
“Alright, but if you see Fjord let him know Jay is back!”
The steady drum of footfalls on wood crowd the night air as several pokemon excitedly board the large steamboat. They had waited patiently off to the shore as a gyarados steadily brought the ship and its glowing lanterns over, just in time to ward off the darkness of the approaching night.
Many watching the boat approach had been surprised to find that gentle voice they’d heard before belonged to the gyarados, but were now enjoying her lovely greetings as they boarded.
“Good evening, travelers! You all must have come a long way! Do watch your step, and I hope you don't mind the fish smell!”
The actual crew aboard of the boat proved to just as lively if a bit less vocally soothing. Consisting of a large array of rough yet jolly water and flying types, their welcome felt warm as Jay and Nuri walked ahead of the rest to greet the small group of pokemon waiting to meet them: an unenthusiastic looking marill wearing another green armband, a swanna and her pack of roughhousing duckletts, and most importantly to Jay, their good friend Fjord.
The elderly slowbro, sitting on a small slab of wood, smiled and let out a wheezy laugh as Jay ran up to him. The Iceberg leader wrapped his hoofs around the pink ‘mon’s back in a quick embrace.
“Harhar!” laughed the older ‘mon, patting Jay on the back. “Take it easy there, boy! Looks like that trip o’ yers did ya some good, yer ‘boutta knock the wind out o’ my sails!”
As Jay backs up, he laughs, saying, “Sorry about that Fjord! I-”
Before he can finish he's cut off by an annoyed grunt from the marill, who inspects the amorora and heatmor before her. “You better be sorry - the captain and this ship deserve more respect! You bunch just can't show up in droves unannounced!”
The slowbro chuckles another wheezy breath before brushing her off, “Aw come off it Nami, I've known these two since they were but screaming lil’ wishiwashi. They be welcome on our ol’ ship any day.”
Nami looks disappointed but doesn’t put up a fight. “Right… okay, whatever you say captain. But I still woulda liked a heads up! Strike and Whips said they just about mistook ‘em for a bonafide raiding party coming up the river!”
Nuri steps forward with a small apologetic dip of her head. “My apologies. This decision to make this journey came suddenly; if we’d had any time to prepare I would have made a formal announcement on behalf of my guild. At any rate, it's my pleasure to finally be able to meet you all again. You've done a lot of good work here at Attwell. Your fish help supply Rift City with an ample source of protein for those who need it.”
With that the maril gives a quick snicker. “Well, least one of you knows how to greet someone.”
The finely dressed swanna, who had been patiently observing the two guild leaders, smiles before extending the tips of her wings out to greet Nuri.
“Quite, it's lovely to see you again as well, Nuri.” She pauses a second, looking the heatmor over, and for a beat a wave of pride washes over her. “It seems like you've grown a lot since I last saw you. I wished you would have visited when Jay, had but I'm sure you had your reasons. So, what are you two doing out here? I imagine Izel sent you, but last we spoke, our trade deals had been negotiated thoroughly.”
Nuri doesn't waste time in responding, turning to motion at a nearby Konjac, who excitedly hops off Glitch’s head to join her.
“No, that’s not why we are here. You see, we’re here on a sort of... impromptu search mission. Thanks in part to our my friend Konjac here, we have reason to believe that an important artifact needed to retain Rift City’s safety is hidden within your labyrinth.”
“An artifact?” Lunette eyes the duo in confusion before making a questioning gesture towards Nami, who only shrugs in response. Before they can really say more, Jay, who had gotten preoccupied with Fjord, rejoins the group, now being trailed by a peppy Tiva.
Jay hurriedly begins to explain further. “Yeah, we found this incredibly weird gate buried near Rift City! Izel thinks it could be dangerous, so we've been deciphering clues!”
Tiva excitedly joins in too. “Konjac read some weird writing we found and we think their might be an object we're looking for here under the water somewhere!”
The scraggy nods and ties it all together by exclaiming, “Yes, in a place called the drowning depths!”
Lunette is taken back and pauses a second before responding. “Well that's certainly a lot to take in…”
Nami interrupts, scowling. “So wait, what? You think some weird doomsday object is here under Attwell? And what in the world is the drowning depths? Are you talking about the fishery mines?”
Nuri pushes the excited trio to the side, holding up a hand to calm the marill’s questions. “Please, allow me to clarify. No, it's probably not dangerous. What we are looking for we assume functions more like a key to the potentially dangerous gate near Rift City. If there is something we can do to better understand this object and protect our city, it was within our best interests to investigate. Our clues have led us to believe that your fishery mines may harbor what we are looking for.”
Nami lets out a harsh laugh before calming down and looking at everyone. “Well, Nuri was it? Believe it or not, I've been the captain of Fjord’s crew for a few years now, and in the time we've never encountered any mysterious magic gate key while working in the fishery mines.”
“And up until a few months again we hadn't found this gate, miss Nami,” Nuri retorts. “ It seems things you're not looking for can go unnoticed for quite a while, wouldn't you say?”
Nami huffs, ready to make a comeback until Fjord walks up behind, surprising the marill by putting a hand on her shoulder.
“I’ll be damned,” the slowbro muses thoughtfully, a wistful smile on his face. “Looks like the youngins went an’ found their own grand adventure! Maybe if yer lucky, it'll be just as great as the fights the old gang had back in the day!”
As Nuri and Jay begin to beam at the thought, Lunette speaks up once again. “As far as I can see, you just want to explore the mines, correct?” She turns her long, elegant neck down to address the marill at her side. “I must admit, see no harm in letting them try, Nami.”
Nami takes a moment to look between the guild leaders, and the number of teams wondering about, meeting members of the Spiked Cannon guild before eventually sighing. “Right... well. There isn't enough room on this ship to house everyone if you plan on staying a few days. You can bunk in the warehouses and in the common area in Attwell.”
The marill pauses, her small arms crossed as a sour look plays across her face. Soon, though, she shakes her head in defeat and says, reluctantly, “You have my permission to search the area until you find what you're looking for...”
Jay beams, stamping his feet in excitement. “Alright! Your the best Nami! Izel is going to be so happy to hear your letting us look,” he exclaims, then runs off, calling out Esther's name before disappearing into the crowd.
As he and Tiva head off, Nuri turns to the group and thanks them all one last time before she too walks into the crowd ready to prepare for the days ahead.