Prologue? Lost the Choice

May 10, year 58

There was a chime over the train's intercom. A woman's computerized voice announced, "Arriving at Tipa Station for eight PM scheduled stop. All passengers disembarking at Tipa, please be ready. Next station is Aetha City Station B at eight thirty PM. Repeating."

In the seats of the second car, a young man looked up to the notice, then stretched. "This would be our stop. Ready Stan?"

The boy beside him grinned. "Ready? I've been waiting for this for months, Diego."

He laughed, messing up his younger brother's black hair. "I know; you've been talking about it non-stop. You did well, getting the Professor's approval."

Sitting up straight, he clasped the arms of the seat, waiting for the train to stop. "But I'm gonna do better than just that. I'm going to catch lots of strong Pokemon, become the League Champion, and be the most famous Trainer ever, more famous than you."

Diego took that in good humor. "Now, now, Stan, it's not going to be that easy. I've been at this for eight years now, and you know how far I've gotten. I haven't even qualified to take on the Elite Four."

The train hissed as it stopped. Stan rolled his eyes as he got out of his seat. "That's because you wasted a bunch of years in being a Gym Trainer instead of beating the Gyms."

Picking up his hefty backpack, Diego shook his head. "That wasn't wasting time, if you think about it. Are you sure you want to start off with the League immediately? It's tough."

The boy took his own backpack. "I'm ten years old now. I can take the League challenge."

"You can, but the question is, should you? I'm letting you travel along with me, but you'd best be willing to put good effort into everything."

He was starting to get annoyed with this conversation. Lately, it seemed that everyone was insisting that Stan 'put in good effort' and 'consider your future'. He was ten and he had his Trainer's license. That meant that he wasn't a kid anymore. So why was everyone still treating him that way? "I'll be fine; I can do this."

"Just making sure you know what you're getting into." They seemed to be the only ones getting off at this station, so they headed on out.

Tipa Station was made of local stones and wood; it seemed old based on the wear of the walls and the warping of the old windows. Around them, the town seemed like one a generous adult would call quaint: old wooden houses, dense flower gardens, stone paths, white fences, and even an old well. A few touches of modern technology could be seen: the train when it wasn't hidden behind a tall brown fence, satellite dishes on the houses, and a group of modern windmills for power. In the center of town, there was an old church built of huge logs, sort of like a cabin. Over the door, it had a symbol of Arceus, so it was probably part of the Sinnoh church.

To Stan, Tipa was a frumpy backwater town. He was used to Graystone, a truly modern city. This place couldn't even claim a thousand residents. And this was where he was expected to start his illustrious career of Pokemon, fame, and fortune? At least he wouldn't stay here long, and there was no obligation to come back at any time. Sure, as one of the professor's chosen youth assistants, he had to take readings for the Pokedex project. But he could do that over the internet and never return to Tipa again.

Diego seemed to like the place, though. "This is such a relaxing place. It's a good town to take a break in. But first, we have your first lesson in being a League Challenger."

Stan perked up, coming up onto his toes. "Really? I don't even have a Pokemon yet."

"I know, but this is an important one. Come out, Jacafrare, you're helping." He pulled a Pokeball with a flame-patterned top and pressed a button to release the Pokemon inside.

Diego's starter Pokemon, from ten years ago, came out obediently and looked at the two brothers. The rabbit-like Jacafrare came up to Stan's shoulder, when he wasn't tilting his long ears up. Yellow-orange flames covered much of the Pokemon's body, on top of a layer of fine ginger-brown fur. Twitching his ears between his brown antlers, Jacafrare starting bouncing in place.

The older Trainer smiled at them both. "Okay then. When you're a League Challenger, you're going to be traveling a lot. The Gyms are all in different cities, and some are spread far apart. Sure, you can take the trains and ferries to get to places quicker, or even your own Pokemon if you're good enough. But the smart Trainer ignores all that. The smart Trainer travels from town to town on foot. That way, you can fight a lot of battles, with other Trainers and with wild Pokemon. You can capture new Pokemon if need be, you can pick berries and other items to trade for supplies and services, and sometimes, if you're really alert, you can find unexpected gifts alongside the road."

"I could have told you that," Stan complained.

Diego just laughed. "Yes, but could you have told me the next part of this lesson? In order to travel on foot the whole way around the League's area, you have to travel through most of the Sea of Jasper's land regions. You must be in good physical fitness in order to do that. So we need to test you on that. Jacafrare! To the Professor's lab!"

Perking his ears up, Jacafrare clicked once, then took off like a crazed fireball through the center of the town of Tipa. There was no way in the world that the two humans could keep up with him. However, Diego took off running after his Pokemon anyhow.

"H-hey, wait up!" Stan called, then ran after them. Clutching his backpack as to not lose it, he tried to catch up to his brother at least. But Diego was much faster than him.

As if to taunt him, Jacafrare rushed back to the boy and started hopping around him, all while not losing any speed. Stan tried to avoid colliding into the tall rabbit, but also had to watch his own steps. His backpack changed his weight balance, so he kept feeling like he would stumble. By some luck, he managed not to fall flat on his face and arrived at the Professor's lab intact.

"What was that for?" Stan asked, clasping his backpack's handles. It hadn't been far enough to wear him out, thankfully. Still, some sweat was showing on his brown skin.

"I told you," Diego stated calmly. "A traveling Trainer has got to keep in great shape. It's mostly walking, but sometimes you have to run after a Pokemon that bolts."

He looked at Jacafrare, who was bouncing in place again. "But if it's your own Pokemon, you can just recall them to their Pokeball."

"But if they're annoyed at you, that would make them angry instead. So here we are. Let's go inside."

Stan looked over the Pokemon Lab and felt a little disappointed. Earlier, he had pictured something like a mad scientist's lair, with strange machines, blinking lights, a metal fence, and all sorts of interesting things lying about. This lab was quaint, much like the rest of the town. Outside, it had been painted an orange peach color. A rose garden lined with smooth rocks was set along the walls of the small building, while potted plants were hanging from the rooftop. Attached to it, there was a giant greenhouse that seemed to house some kind of jungle. Nearby solar panels helped to power this particular building.

Inside, it was much the same. There was a group of computers, but more prominently, there were many plants in pots: small trees, flower clusters, vegetables, and even an aquarium water garden. It was a nice clean place with some garden-themed decorations. It was much like his grandmother's house, which annoyed Stan. Couldn't his epic journey start in a cooler fashion?

There were two people in the small lab, a middle-aged woman with long black hair and black skin, along with a girl Stan's age who looked similar. The woman smiled at them. "Diego, I was wondering if you would come. It's good to see you again."

"You too, Yvette," Diego replied, shaking her hand. "This is Dr. Yvette Arboreal, and this would be my youngest brother Stan."

She nodded, then shook Stan's hand. "And it's good to meet you, Stan Cartwright. I quite liked your essay on the habits of the Rhyhorns."

"Yah, they're pretty cool I always thought. That's gonna be one I'll definitely catch and train."

"Good. We've still got a few minutes to wait on our last youth researcher. This is my niece, Eve; she'll be working on the same project as you."

"Good afternoon," Eve said with a polite bow.

Diego and the professor started talking, but Stan didn't feel like listening. Or talking to a girl. Instead, he looked over at the nearby table where the three regional starters were waiting. The three young Pokemon were out, passing time as much as the others in the room. There was the Fire type Frare, the unevovled version of Diego's Jacafrare. Noticing that older Pokemon there, the young fire rabbit twitched his ears and watched the Jacafrare. There was the Water type Drizzy, a whirling cyclone which was hard to look at while it was spinning. If it would stop, Stan knew it had a bovine's head and tail. Lastly, there was the Grass type Petifleur, a flower bulb that sat on legs of leafy vines. It seemed to be asleep, because it looked no different than the plants all around the lab.

Before he could go over there for a closer look, the door opened again. This time, it was another girl, this one with pale freckled skin and pink hair. "Good afternoon, Dr. Arboreal," the girl said, bowing. "I'm Amy Roselia; I just got here riding my bike from Aetha."

"That's quite a trip," the professor said, shaking her hand. "Good to meet you, Amy. Okay, since we're all here, we might as well begin. You three have been chosen through a regional essay competition to become a Pokedex youth researcher, and you've all done wonderful jobs. So congratulations, and welcome to the project.

"As you may know, humans and Pokemon have lived together for centuries. But due to technological restraints and religious beliefs, we have not understood Pokemon fully. Many things about them are still a mystery, and there are certainly undiscovered Pokemon out there waiting to be found. That is where the scientific advancement of the electronic Pokedex helps us the most. By recording a large amount of data and many cases of raising Pokemon, scientists have now begun to crack the mysteries of Pokemon. The data collecting you will be doing will lead to great advancements, I'm sure.

"As for myself, I study what makes Pokemon Pokemon. I look at the differences between these plants here," she gestured to the potted plants around the room, "and the plant Pokemon that have emerged," she then pointed back to the Petifleur, who finally woke up and looked around at the humans. "There are also bugs that are or are not Pokemon, as well as fish and some birds. But my research is narrow, I admit. We also have the problem of our region being behind in Pokedex data entries.

"Back when I got Diego as an assistant, we didn't even have research Pokedexes to hand out. We were dependant on data from other regions, which was often inaccurate to the local Pokemon." Then she smiled. "But I've finally got things arranged so that I can give you research Pokedexes, to automatically record the local Pokemon and notice the differences between our region and others. Firstly, you get to choose your research partner, a Pokemon that will assist you as yur very first one." She then looked back to the three starters.

Finally! This was the moment Stan had been waiting practically all his life for, the moment when he would choose his starter Pokemon from the regional Professor. Once this was done, he was free. He would no longer be a child, but a Pokemon Trainer. Everyone would come to respect him. This was just the first step, but it was such an important one. He would take his Pokemon asd rise to stardom.

Professor Arboreal then pulled three cards out of her pocket and had them each take one. "I want to do this fairly, so turn your cards over and see what order you choose in."

Please let it be 1, Stan thought, looking at the white notecard in his left hand. He knew exactly the Pokemon he wanted, but he had to be first, so that he could choose it right away and be gone. Let it be one… he turned the card.

It was 3.

Not wanting to look childish, the ten-year-old bit his lip. Great, he was last. Just his luck. Looking over the other chosen ones, he thought that maybe he could still get the Fire starter. There were two girls standing in a line with him. The girl in pink curls hopped up excitedly. "Oh, I'm first!"

"All right then," Professor Arboreal said. She gestured to the three young Pokemon, who were now eyeing the children as eagerly as they were being eyed. "Amy Roselia, which Pokemon do you want?"

Stan crossed his fingers under the notecard. He wanted the Fire starter. Although he had never met Amy before, he silently begged her not to choose…

"I want Frare," Amy said.

Curses! Stan changed his crossed fingers to a fist. The ginger furred rabbit hopped off the table and bounded up to his new Trainer. "Currrku," he greeted her, holding his enflamed long ears up in a pleased look. While he was hunched over and a bit too much on the cute side now, the Frare would grow up to be an impressive and speedy Pokemon. The Professor then gave a flame patterned Pokeball to Amy. It was nothing more than a decorative skin, but it looked so cool.

Diego, who had been standing beside Stan, gripped his shoulder in consolation. Diego had chosen Frare when he had started out eight years ago. Well, at least no one could say Stan was imitating his brother. But he had really wanted Frare and not even because his brother had one. He looked at the last two in order to decide which one of those he wanted.

"Aunt Yvette, I'm next," the girl in black pigtails said, holding up her card.

"Okay then, Yew Eve Aboreal, make your choice."

In spite of his disappointment, Stan snickered, earning a 'shut up' glare from Yew-Eve. But, she was a girl, so hopefully she'd pick the more girly of the two Pokemon left. She then looked back over and smiled at the Professor. "I'd like Drizzy, please."

And another punch of disappointment hit Stan. Drizzy, the pale blue bovine calf, whirled over from where it had been standing by the table and mooed at Eve. It was taller than either of the other two, and had no legs. Instead, it has a whirl of blue water, like a cyclone. The whole time he had been here, the Drizzy had amused itself by spinning in circles. The Professor gave Eve a blue bubble-patterned Pokeball.

That left him with, "Stan Cartwright, it seems that you end up with Petifleur," the Professor said. She handed him the leafy designed Pokeball. "She's quite a talented little Pokemon, so I'm sure you'll do well with her."

"Yes, thank you," Stan forced himself to say. The Professor might have favored plants and Grass-types, but he didn't.

The Petifleur… his Petifleur… she dropped off the table and crawled over to him on her leafy vines. She had a dark chestnut brown body, shaped like a round walnut, which was topped with a lighter brown bulb tipped with a dainty pink flower. As the vines she used for legs were dense with little green leaves, she seemed like a short moving bush. "Hooowah?" she asked, shyly spinning her bulb to in front. It was almost like a smooth mace on a vine… but tipped by a flower and therefore girly.

Still, she was his starter. He might as well get used to the idea. "Hi," he said.

"Dude, you got a female starter," Diego said, strangely pleased. "That's pretty uncommon. Most breeders keep the females."

"I guess," Stan said. Still, couldn't one of the girls have picked the girl Pokemon? He was going to get made fun of back home now, all because he had to pick last.

"Oh, Mr. Cartwright?" Eve said, skipping over with her Drizzy. She bowed to Diego.

He chuckled. "No need for the mister, now. Just call me Deigo, all right?"

She smiled. "Sure. Most people call me Eve. I know you're one of the top Trainers in the Jasper League and you must be really busy, but could I travel with you for a while? I'm not really interested in battling myself, but I want to be a Professor and I need to study a lot of Pokemon to do that. And you must run across a lot of different ones at your ability level."

"That I do," he said. But he put his hand on Stan's shoulder. "Actually, I'm taking on my kid brother here as an apprentice of sorts."

Quickly, her enthusiasm deflated and she stopped bouncing on her toes. "Oh, okay."

"I didn't say I wouldn't take you too," Diego pointed out with a grin. "You know what they say: the more the merrier."

Eve jumped up and clapped her hands. "Thank you so very much." She bowed again. "May the spirits of the land bless our path."

"Isn't that some religious nonsense?" Stan asked. "You really believe in the god Pokemon?"

She nodded and started speaking respectfully. "Of course I do. They're not just extraordinary Pokemon, they're gods. And they're watching us all the time."

"That's silly," Stan protested, crossing his arms over his chest. Great, now his Pokemon journey would be completely ruined. Having to travel with some girl who was all religious would be annoying.

"You never know," Diego said.

And they were being watched. It was one spirit, intangible and invisible to their senses. All evening, it had been watching them. It was common in stories to start with children like these, wasn't it? Taking the innocent children, guiding them to become heroes, and watching as they made the world a better place; that was how it went.

But as the spirit watched these three chat in various degrees of excitement, it felt that they wouldn't work this time. They might work for most of what needed to be done. It would all be for naught if they couldn't fix one problem though. And these children… they couldn't do that. They couldn't get her to listen. If it wanted someone who could reach her, it needed…

It needed someone who could sympathize with her. It needed someone who was lost without light, someone who had suffered. Down below, those children had not felt depression. But there must be some human out there who did, but was willing to see hope and keep striving for a better place. That was the kind of person she needed to hear.

Unnoticed, the spirit moved on.

Prologue: Lost in Festivity

May 14, year 58

The Grand Festival was a marvelous time for the city of St. Rosaline. Coordinators from around the Sea of Jasper, and even the world, came together to show off their dazzling Pokemon. Everywhere one looked, there were Pokemon to see. There were the darlings of the participating Coordinators, dressed, cleaned, and primed to look at their absolute best. There were the oftentimes equally beautiful Pokemon of up and coming Coordinators who were here to watch the competitions, hoping to come away with the secrets of winning. And then there were the Pokemon that everyone else brought, the companions, the pets, and the partners of the wandering crowd.

Everyone had a Pokemon with them. The smallest like Budew and Pichu were given shoulders or strollers to ride on, preventing them from being lost or trod upon. Many normal-sized Pokemon followed around their Trainers; a few Trainers even had two out. Occasionally, one saw a human without a Pokemon, but they invariably had a Pokeball or several on hand. These ones often trained giants or wildly-behaving ones, and were keeping them away because of the crowd. Even the children, too young to own Pokemon themselves, were often accompanied by a parent's Pokemon. These patient Pokemon kept an eye on the children in case the adults got distracted.

Yes, everyone had a Pokemon, except for him.

He stood out in the crowd. Maybe not immediately, but a careful eye would notice that this man carried no Pokeballs and was followed by no one. He tried to absorb himself into the crowd, feeling the excitement and celebrating the event. However, he couldn't. The crowd flowed around him, because he was alone.

"Hey, mister!"

Not expecting the call to be for him, he looked anyways and saw a group of three kids approaching him. They each had a Pokemon with them. And not just any old Pokemon. These were the starter Pokemon given out by the League to qualifying young Trainers. The oldest of the group had a fully evolved Jacafrare, a two foot tall ginger brown rabbit with branched antlers and a vest of fire. As the other two were just starting out, they had young Pokemon in their first stage; the boy had a leafy Petifleur and the girl had a bovine Drizzy.

They had been looking for him, as the oldest one said, "You're that artist that works at this Contest Hall, right? Are you drawing caricatures again this year?"

He felt a twinge of guilt as he replied, "No, not this year. Sorry." Last year, he had drawn over a hundred drawings over the course of the three day festival, all having been of good quality. This year, his art was so terrible and lifeless that he hadn't dared pick up as much as a pencil in the past month. Of course, there were other reasons for avoiding art.

"Hmm, that's too bad." His Jacafrare put a paw to its nose, as if disappointed as well. "I got one of my team last year and it was excellent."

He felt bad all over again for skipping out on this year. But he really wasn't in a mood to be drawing and everything would turn out horrible as a result. Then the girl asked, "Sir, is your name really Polaris Starr?"

"Um, yeah," he replied.

"It's still not as awful as your name," the younger boy teased.

"Hey!" She went to smack him, but he ran off into the crowd. The other two humans and the three Pokemon soon chased after him.

He wondered for a moment what tease-bait name she had. He rather liked his, despite having endured many taunts back when he'd been in school. And the kids had probably found him because of his bright pumpkin orange hair, another old source of teasing. He still let it grow out, as he liked that too. But for the moment, he wished he had a hat.

Moving on, he glanced at the stalls set up along the cobblestone streets. There were so many things to see and buy. Trade demonstrations; he saw an obedience school giving one with a highly-venomous Seviper. Non-profit organization educators; he saw a Pokemon adoption agency making public appeals. Carnival style games; he saw a tossing game with a Phanphy. And the food stands, such a variety. Different styles of local flavors, transports from other lands, and the usual suspects of popcorn, cotton candy, corn dogs, hamburgers, and so on…

And then there was the famous deep-fried Poffin stand. Berry rich Poffin bread was already a special and nutritious treat for Pokemon and humans, but then somebody had the idea of frying the dough instead of baking it. The result was heavenly to taste, but considerably less nutritious than the normal Poffins. And they couldn't be saved either; an hour after the Poffin had been fried, it was already considered bad by many. Polaris thought about getting one. He liked the sweet, but she liked the spicy…

She wasn't here anymore. He clasped the pendant he wore around his neck. It was of a leaf-shaped green stone, connected to a leather string. Not a Leaf Stone; that wouldn't have done her any good. The stone was a reminder of her, but it seemed like everything reminded him of her. It was just a month ago now.

Trying to think of something else, he moved on and kept looking. There were booths selling things, most prominently accessories for all Pokemon, not just the Festival competitors. There was a troupe of dancers, both human and Pokemon. There was the local Gym Leader, Adrian

Jensen, who was putting on a display of Pokemon acrobatics along with his daughter Arianna. Looking past the Festival, there was a church built by a priest from Sinnoh; it had gorgeous stained glass windows, mostly of Pokemon and humans getting along. There was a local antique store, which had advertisements picturing various Pokemon. And there was the Pokecenter…

Polaris paused, feeling his heart drop into his stomach. The noise of the crowd, just a couple of feet away on every side, seemed to be miles away. It was in that Pokecenter where she had died.


The crowd made itself known again, thankfully disrupting his mind before his emotions slipped through. He turned to see a woman with an Ariados moving closer to him. When he glanced down, the Bug twitched his striped antennae. "Sessri," he called as a greeting.

"Oh, hi Megan. Hello Greeble."

Greeble the Ariados was pleased to be acknowledged kindly, as always. "Ssissri."

"It's been a while since we've seen you," the blue-haired woman said. "It must be pretty tough coming out here after what happened."

He smiled slightly at the comment. She had been the first one all day to say something about it. "Yeah, but I've been coming to this Grand Festival every year. I got your card the other day; thanks."

She patted his arm in a gesture of sympathy. "It must be something awful to lose your only Pokemon. Besides, I miss little Sienna too. She was a sweet one, one of the best behaved that I've ever met."

"She was wonderful." He glanced around; everyone seemed to be ignoring them, wrapped up in their own enjoyment. "I thought I might feel better getting out and being here, but I feel terribly out of place."

"Why don't you come with me? You might as well not be alone." She rocked on her feet up to her toes in waiting for a response.

He hadn't expected that. Maybe it would make him feel better, or maybe she could give him an excuse to go back home if things got too overwhelming. "All right, if it's okay with you both."

"Gre ah!" Greeble chirped happily.

"Sure, we don't mind. Come on; I promised to visit a friend's booth before the next round of Tough comes up."

It was easier enduring the crowd because someone was with him. Megan's casual way with conversation deflected his mind from the usual ruts of his loss. Having no particular reason to be out in the Festival, Polaris didn't mind following her agenda.

The booth they came to had a three foot long paper scroll on display up front. He was disappointed to see that it was a printed scroll, not a painted one. Since it had the scroll, it was probably for an Arkahna group. The Arkahn were the native people of the Sea of Jasper. With dark hair, brown skin, and short stature, they were easily distinguishable from the fair-skinned immigrants such as himself.

Running a little carnival game was Jynana Kefris. "It's a little thing that we've used in our own festivals for centuries. Take one of the stones and make a wish, then try to get it into the jar. If you make it, your wish could come true."

"What's it cost?" Polaris asked, skeptical that having a 'wish' was all one got for playing.

"Nothing," the priestess said. She pointed to a jar of change and a few bills. "That's for donations to make repairs to our church and doesn't have anything to do with the game."

"They've got that lovely little building on the end of Cinem Drive," Megan explained. "But the roof is in bad shape and they weren't able to get funds for it from the Prophet."

"We've only been giving our tithing dues to specific organizations, not the church main." She shook her head. "The prophet wants us to seclude ourselves from our neighbors, people like you. Many of us don't agree with him."

"I see. It's a pity when religions fall to in-fighting like that." Figuring a church was a worthy charity, he took out a dollar and put it in the jar.

In the meantime, Megan picked up a stone and tried to toss it into the jar. Although the main body of it was a large sphere, the opening was a small funnel. She missed with her try, bouncing off the rim and onto the street. "Ah darn. Go ahead and try. Maybe you can get Sienna back as a Ghost Pokemon; I hear loyal ones will do that sometimes."

He laughed sheepishly. "I don't know about that. She knew how I felt about ghosts."

He glanced over the bin of stones; they were various river and sea rocks, all kinds of colors and shapes. His eyes soon fell on one, a dark green one shaped like an oval. Like his leaf-shaped stone? Yes and no; it was enough to make him think of it. He took that and wondered what to wish for. The one thing on his mind was impossible. So he wished that, no matter how long it took, his life would turn around and become better than before.

Not really bothering with taking effort to aim, he tossed it to the clay pot. It bounced off the upper rim and went inside.

Carrying the jar and basket of collected wish stones, Jynana walked down the Rosaline streets. She still wore the costume she had for the festival, a black dress with silver lining. She brushed her fingers through her black hair. Like all of her tribe, her hair had highlights of color; hers in particular was deep blue. But genetics dictated it was mostly black, like genetics dictated that she would have brown skin and black eyes. The tribal distinctions should be a source of pride, she often told other young people.

A man walking the opposite way as her shoved her aside with a drunken laugh. "Hey fruitcake, why don't you stop believing in fairy tales and come with me for a real good time?"

With a practiced mask over her indignation, she pressed on, ignoring the heckler. Once safely a block from him, she whispered to herself, "Do not hate the faithless, for they walk without the sun."

It was still difficult at times, she thought with a pain in her soul. There were fantastic stories of when the six spirits of Arkahn legends were active, of how ordinary events became magical and there was a real equality between human and Pokemon. But for many generations now, there was nothing but faith holding the Arkahn tradition together. And when a priestess like herself encountered doubt in that which she taught, it was barely held together at all.

Jynana began humming a hymn, to soothe her mind. If they held on, their faith and loyalty would be validated and rewarded. But when? There was a man who called himself the Prophet of Desolaire, but she did not know if she should believe in him as she believed in the soul of the sun.

As times were tough, her church was her home. Opening the front doors led to the large worship area, while her living quarters were tiny, hidden away behind curtains and large potted plants. She brought the wishing stones to the table in front of a wall scroll. It depicted the six spirits, along with basic tenants of the Arkahna religion.

Placing the basket aside, she spread the stones from the jar out on the table. "Loving spirits, the mothers of our tribe and their followers, I bring to you the wishes of our people. For peace, for prosperity, for luck, for children, I know not what. Take these private thoughts and..." a flicker on the scroll caught her eye.

She paused in her prayer, worried for a moment that the scroll had caught on fire. But it wasn't flames or even a spark. However, something felt different. She was used to a tranquil sense of peace when praying like this. It was only in the old days that the flashy things happened.

Taking a deep breath, she passed her hands over the stones. "Take these private thoughts..." one of the stones sparkled.

Jynana stopped again and picked up the stone. It was dark green, shaped like a leaf but not a Leaf Stone. Although a little glossy, there was nothing about it that should have sparkled like that. She held it up to the scroll.

Now the scroll began to glow. It was faint, not even as strong as a candle, but enough to see in the dim room. The symbols of the six spirits glowed in response to this wish stone.

"We have heard," a faint voice said.

Jynana felt her blood turn cold. She gripped the wish stone to her chest. "I hear you…"


Jasper Regional Pokedex

Key Search: starters

Frare -Frabbit -Jacafrare

The Wildfire Pokemon

Type: Fire/Normal

Ability: Blaze

Description: Frare has ginger coloration, orange-brown main coat and cream-tan accents on its belly and paws. All of its fur is short. With its back legs larger than its front, it stays hunched over most of the time. It has long slender ears that stand upright. Orange fire sprouts naturally from the backs of its ears and a small bit off its paws. It has round black eyes and short white whiskers.

Notes: Frare developed in wide open areas and, as such, is keen on running. Trainers should make sure to allow a Frare to run freely at least once a day. Similarly, attempts to use training or battling methods that downplay speed will make the Pokemon upset, often unruly. They have a tendency to start fires when disobedient, so if you must be firm, make sure there's nothing highly flammable nearby (S. Redbird)

Drizzy -Cirrow -Stratosteer

The Stormcloud Pokemon

Type: WaterWater/Electric(3)

Ability: Torrent

Description: Drizzy's main body is a misty water vortex about two feet high. It has a calf's head, though, light blue like water vapor. It also has a light blue tail like a calf. Although it appears to have no body past the vortex, research has shown that it is just well hidden. The hidden body is fairly plain, though: a quadrupde with tall legs and a small body. It balances perfectly on the vortex's tip.

Notes: Drizzy will grow naturally to be defensive, although you may need to get it to focus on increasing attack power. It's usually a tolerant Pokemon, although stubbornness is known to be a problem in males and every individual is different. They do like to spin needlessly (almost endlessly) in this stage, but they will grow out of it. (M. Shariden)

Petifleur -Fleurmber -Fleurdifir

The Passion Flower Pokemon

Type: GrassGrass/Fire(2)

Ability: Overgrow

Description: It has a round nut-like head/body, mostly dark brown with a tan face. This sits on top of a bushy growth of small leaves, medium green in color. Growing out of the top of the nut body is a thick stem holding onto a dark brown bulb. The bulb is almost as large as Petifleur's body, but narrows to a tip where a small orange flower grows.

Notes: Petifleur should be allowed out in the sun regularly, like all other Grass Pokemon. But one should note that they can get aggressive and will lash out if disturbed during a nap. Trainers should also take special care when Petifleur gets close to its first evolution, as it sometimes produce its fire-starting chemicals before it can control them properly. They start out with a fair defense, but their natural attack growth will overtake that before long. (L. Dawson)