Changing Tides, Staying True (Athela Valemore)

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Changing Tides, Staying True (Athela Valemore)
Date of Cutscene: 11 December 2016
Location: The Great Ocean
Synopsis: Fall of the factions doesn't stop heroes from doing their duty.
Cast of Characters: Athela Valemore

The island was just one of many that dotted the endless expanse of the Great Ocean. Isolated and mostly left alone by the greater threats it was home more to fishing boats and traders than any sort of combative force. There had been maybe one pirate ship using the island as a neutral port at the one small tavern it possessed, and that was it.

It was from that one pirate ship that a cannon now screamed loudly in the night. The disruptions across the Multiverse had stirred up a torrential sea storm, almost as if thrashing in its own pain. Whitecap waves crashed through the docks that extended from much of the island's coastline, making using ships to flee possibly more dangerous than staying.

Only to make matters worse the churning seas had also disturbed one of the sea monsters that slept deep beneath the waves, and the imposing beast of a kraken thrashing to the surface in a rage at being disturbed. That was what the one moored pirate ship fired at, trying to compensate for the rocking and rolling motion of the angry waters. But the cannonballs rebounded against the squid-monster's rubbery hide, absorbing much of the force of the impact. It slung a huge tentacle up and back, aiming to whip forth and rip the firing ship in two...

And then something slammed into it's side like a torpedo. Something larger and heavier than a cannonball, the lance-like prow upon helmeted head plunging through the rubbery flesh and giving the Samurott penetration the cannonballs did not have. The prongs on his helmet prow snagged in the rubbery hide, preventing it from flexing away the impact and allowing his momentum to actually shove the creature aside, it's strike falling short into the waters near the ship instead.

The monster gurgled and hisses as the prow was pulled free, leaving an oozing wound in its wake as the Pokemon drifted over to the docks so Athela and her other pokemon could disembark his backside.

"Seek shelter inland, keep away from the shores!" She shouted at the few people still scrabbling about the docks. The pirate ship fired another cannon, trying to keep the monster at bay despite the ineffectiveness of their shots. Wet wind blew through red hair as Athela grabbed the hilt of Resolute Blade and drew the ancient sword, despite the wind and rain the weapon gleamed with purpose as droplets splattered across it's surface.

A true hero did not just fight for justice where they stood. They went where they were needed, fought for those unable to defend themselves, regardless of the circumstances. Bayern had the Orders of the other Swords of Justice and the clerics of Xerneas to watch over it, these scattered islands had no such guidance in trying times. They needed her more than her homeland did.

The loss of the Union's infrastructure and communications was frustrating as it meant there would be no farther help, but Athela would not let it falter her. These isolated islands had no other help to come, no greater force watching over them. There would be time to find what had become of friends and allies later, she had duty to do regardless if it was by faction or by her own virtue.

The kraken was coming back, despite the cannon fire. A smaller tendril lashed towards the docks, only to be sliced off by Resolute Blade's divine edge. Another was turned aside by the flat of the sword as Athela sidestepped and deflected it the other way.

"Bind it!" She expected Mizzen to simply use his vines, but instead heard the rattle of metal behind her as the Timburr hefted one of the ship anchors and after a few swings overhead to build momentum flung the heavy chain towards the monsters. It caught around several tentacles, and more importantly, the anchor hooked into the rubbery flesh, giving it actual hold. The stout but powerful goblin-mon pulled back with all his strength, teetered at the edge of the dock. But as the chain clanked over the edge it was grabbed by Lancer, adding his strength in holding the beast at bay.

Several of the smaller tendrils grabbed onto the docks, but in doing so the beast's hideous beaked face and eye was visible. "Now! Slurry, Sludge Bomb! Aim for the eye!" The small Goomy on her shoulder bulged its body almost comically for a moment, then expunged the globe of poison hurtling right into the monster's eye. It screeched and thrashed as it was blinded, trying to get a hold on the docks to get at the young woman and her little beasties.

"Break off the tendrils!" Athela darted forth, slicing through several of the grappling limbs with her sword. Others were bitten by her Vaporeon to make them release, the monster still thrashing in the water. Slurry kept spitting poisonous slime, burning and weakening the grappling limbs. With Lancer taking the chain back out into the sea Mizzen let go, instead using his strength once more to grab one of the fishing boat's nets and fling that, farther tangling the flailing monster up so it couldn't grab back onto the docks.

As it was knocked free Lancer dove into the water, surging down and away from the shoreline. The chain and anchor pulled taunt as he raced past the monster, causing it to heave heavily sideways as it's bound tendrils were yanked violent. The Samurott could pull the wounded monster back out to sea if they could just get it away from gripping the shallow seabed.

"These people need not your anguish on such a night." At the edge of the dock Athela gripped Resolute Blade as it glowed bright shimmering blues with it's power. The wind of the storm blew past her, cloak flaring out behind her, red locks blowing aside despite the dampness of the rain weighing them. "Keldeo commands ye back to the depths that spawned ye!" She swung the sword not to strike, but in a sweeping motion channeling her Tide Caller powers as well as the divine calling within her. Her power was actually bolstered by the rains of the storm, along with the waters around the docks surging away at her command, rolling up into a large wave. That as it roared forth the wave briefly took the visage of a majestic horned equine, looking for all the world like Keldeo itself had come to slam into the kraken with all the force of a tsunami! The empowered impact rocked it backwards, pulling the rest of it's gripping limbs from the seabed.

With it's grip on the docks and seabed broken the monster could not resist the chain and anchor pulling tight upon it's form, and the Samurott dragging it through the rough waves back out to sea. Once at the depths the valiant pokemon would finish the job, and leave the monster to sink back to depths where it would not threaten helpless isles again.

The sword was sheathed, cloak fluttering a bit as Athela turned and walked down the dock with her other pokemon following. "Let us make sure the locals are in no other need before we move on." There was a lot of islands out here to check yet, and it would be a few minutes before her Samurott returned from disposing of the monster back in the depths.

The young knight had no idea that her activities on this night would attract the attention of some new and interesting allies. But now was not the time to interrupt her, not while she was putting her efforts to work for these people out where the 'big' nations would not reach; would not look beyond their own desperate borders.

The shadowed figure slid back into the darkness of the night. He had other instances in the chaos to investigate, other potentials to scout out. He would return to approach the young knight later, when things had calmed down.

She was willing to act where she was needed, to serve justice regardless of who was in charge or no charge at all. That was exactly what the Watch would need in the times to come...