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Fanfiction Pokemon: The First Sparkling Stage (complete!)

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
    Level 24
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    (rated E10+ for fantasy stage violence and frightening images)

    To celebrate Pokémon Legends: Arceus coming out, I've decided to reboot my ancient theatrical fantasy to show more of the Kagayou Theater's rise to fame before embarking on tours.

    This takes place after Sword/Shield and the DLC, in my imagined animeverse.

    Episode 1: Six Spirits Begin Training on Celestial Crown Mountain

    Ash smiled as he gently set a Meloetta doll on top of a swing overlooking a grand theater's foyer. "There...Meloetta's in a place of honor overlooking our theater's foyer. Hopefully, she will bring good luck as we perform here!"

    "Forgetting something, Ash?" Misty grinned as she cleared a wisp of her orange hair from her face, snapping the black haired boy to attention. "None of us--not even all the actors we've hired--know how to perform a Tawame play. So if we're going to be performing, it would be best to learn how to perform these high flying adventurous plays correctly!"

    Some gentle laughter seemed to calm Misty as the Niji Troupe's impresaria--a deep brown haired woman in a puffy white blouse and black leggings--arrived in the foyer. "Don't worry, Misty--I have some of my team working on training the other troupes--and I plan to personally train you and the rest of the Niji Troupe for your first show. So you'll learn all about performing in the Tawame style as we rehearse."

    "Okay...so what are we doing for our first play?" Misty wondered as she hung up signs around the swing gently reminding visitors to not touch the Meloetta doll, and explaining why the doll and its swing were there.

    The woman smiled. "I can think of no better play than 'The Legend of Celestial Crown Mountain'. Interest in Shinou's Jade Era is booming right now, and that play is both an iconic story in the Tawame community, and surprisingly easy for new troupes to perform."

    "Shinou...maybe Dawn knows something about the play!" Ash smiled as a yellow mouse Pokémon happily jumped on his right shoulder.

    "If you two will join me in the briefing room, I'll explain to you what the play is about with Dawn's help." the woman explained. "From there, I'll give you a timeline on the play's performance, and measure you for training wear."

    Ash pictured himself in a pink tutu and tried oh-so-hard not to laugh at the mental image as he and Misty followed the woman into the theater's main hall and through a hidden tunnel leading into the actor's residency halls and training complex. After winding through more hallways, they came to a large lecture hall, where the many actors and crew of the Niji Troupe were quietly whispering their predictions as to what their first show would be.

    "Over here!" a blonde haired girl in a red and white outfit called from one of the front rows, waving to get Ash's attention.

    Ash nodded, and took advantage of Misty being occupied talking with someone to make his way down to the row where the blonde haired girl was sitting. "Hi there, Serena...I got the Meloetta doll up in the foyer. Misty helped by making some signs warning people not to touch her."

    "That's a first--I'm surprised you didn't fight over something like the 'perfect' position for the doll." Serena smiled--she was very well aware that when Misty was around, she and Ash could often fight over the silliest of topics.

    "Nah--she was more worried about how we were going to perform these plays correctly until Rona came." Ash replied, grinning a little over how the blue outfit he wore and Serena's red, white and gold outfit contrasted well against the gray chairs in the room.

    The crowd's chatter began quieting as Rona arrived in the room, with Dawn not far behind her. Seeing Dawn's familiar pink and black outfit made Ash smile at a memory of adventuring through Shinou. I'm sure she had to learn about Shinou's Jade Era in school... Ash thought as Rona and Dawn set things up in the room's stage area. They say the truth is stranger than fiction...but I wanna know if the truth is cooler than fiction or not.

    "Okay, everyone...for the next few weeks, you will be learning how to perform in the Tawame style." Rona began. "You'll all learn how to act, sing, dance, fight..."

    Ash perked up at the mention of fighting onstage. Wow...we get to fight onstage? I have my martial arts training from the Isle of Armor--including some sword skill, and some archery skill from Brock...

    Serena just smiled and touched her friend's hand to gently remind him to pay attention. "...all your training will culminate in a performance of an iconic story from Shinou's Jade Era--'The Legend of Celestial Crown Mountain'." Rona continued.

    She motioned to Dawn to approach the podium on the stage. "Dawn...you know this tale well. Would you like to tell us a little about the play's story?"

    "Okay..." Dawn replied as she organized some of her notes on the podium. "The Legend of Celestial Crown Mountain' is probably the best known and best loved version of the story of how the Six Guardian Spirits traveled to Celestial Crown Mountain--Mt Coronet's ancient name--and awakened Arceus--helping people, battling corrupt warlords, and evil sects of martial arts along the way. It is considered a regional treasure for Shinou, and most residents of Shinou are familiar with at least one episode of the story. Like many Tawame plays, it has been retold, reimagined, and remixed many times down through the years."

    "Question!" Ash called as he raised his hand. "Who are the Six Guardian Spirits?"

    "They are human incarnations of two mythical creatures and four Pokémon that are considered gods in Wakunese mythology and in martial arts tales." Dawn explained. "So it's no surprise they show up as the main characters in many Tawame plays."

    She gestured to a screen behind her, which depicted the Six Guardian Spirits. "In order, they are the phoenix, the dragon, the Raikou, the Delphox, the Beautifly, and the Deerling."

    The buzz of his PokeNav snapped Ash from Dawn's lecture. He smiled when he saw the message from Serena. I think the phoenix would b the perfect role for you.

    Ash looked to make sure Dawn was still talking about the character of the phoenix spirit, then discretely typed a reply. aww, thx--I think Delphox would fit you well.

    After adding a smiling Pikachu emoji to his text and sending it, he turned his attention back to Dawn and the slide depicting the phoenix on the screen. When Dawn is passionate about a subject, you know it! You could have her read the phone book and it would be interesting. he thought as Dawn changed the slide to talk about the dragon spirit...

    ---------

    "Thank you, Dawn..." Rona smiled as Dawn concluded her lecture some time later. "Here is the timeline of our performance--since this is your first ever Tawame play, we are going to assign roles just this once. But you will learn what a Tawame audition is like, and how to do well in one, as we train and rehearse. Once you have been assigned a cast role, a performer role, or a crew role, cast and performers will be measured for training garb..."

    "What's the difference between cast and performer?" Ash whispered.

    "Cast are the actors playing characters, and performers are extras needed for acrobatics, martial arts, fights, and any other stunts we may do." Serena explained. Ash nodded to show he understood.

    "Once cast and performers have their training garb, cast will join me for a readthrough of the script, while performers rehearse their acts." Rona explained. "Cast will also need to know how to play traditional Wakunese instruments, dance, fight, and perform acrobatics as their role demands. If you need lessons in any of that, that will be part of your training."

    She went on "Rehearsals will take place over six to eight weeks, with two dress rehearsals, and the opening that Friday."

    With that, she started a pile of index cards down the rows. "In deciding what role to assign you, I took into account your strengths, talents, and abilities--so you should receive something you can perform well. If you want to change your assigned role, let me know by the end of this week."

    Ash accepted a card from the stack, then passed it on to Serena. He gasped in amazement when he saw his role: Ruby Phoenix, the Spirit of Joyous Victory.

    Ash, I gave you this role because of your enthusiasm, your courage, your skill with the bansi and other flutes, and your dedication to all you do. Rona's writing explained. This is a demanding role, but I believe you could be this troupe's yuushi--the lead heroic actor.

    "Once you have your role card, you are free to go receive your training garb." Rona announced.

    "What role did you get?" Ash asked as he and Serena departed the hall. "I got Ruby Phoenix..."

    "I got Golden Delphox, the Spirit of Playful Cleverness." Serena replied. "The phoenix is the yuushi role, but I think you can handle all the music, dancing, fighting, and acrobatics you have to do." She let that hang as the two of them arrived in the wardrobe wing...

    ---------

    Ash emerged from a dressing room in a metallic red shirt, a white undershirt, and black leggings. "How do I look, Tintri?" he asked his faithful Pikachu keeping watch over the bag holding his cap and everyday clothes.

    [You look great!] Tintri squeaked. [Almost like the hero ready to dance out for the show's grand finale!]

    Serena emerged from the dressing room in a gold leotard and white tights. "Wow, Ash, you look handsome!"

    "Thanks--that looks great, Serena." Ash smiled. "I can't wait to do a swordfight in this."

    "You'll get to do plenty of those, don't worry." Brock assured Ash as he emerged in a similar outfit to Ash with a metallic green shirt. "This is surprisingly comfortable..."

    Misty arrived some moments later in a deep blue leotard with a shimmery wave design and white tights. "Like it? I get to play Sapphire Dragon, the Spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge."

    "A fitting choice..." Brock smiled. "The dragon and phoenix are said to have an unbreakable bond, after all." He let that hang as May emerged in a deep blue leotard with sapphire studs and white tights, with Dawn not far behind in a purple leotard with a star design and white tights.

    "Well, everyone...the Six Spirits are here." Serena smiled. "Let's do our best to make this the first of many successful plays."

    "I promise to make my Jade Beautifly both beautiful and strong..." May vowed as she laid her hand on top of Serena's.

    "I'll make my Pearl Deerling the picture of what she is--the Spirit of the Faithful Divine Messenger..." Dawn agreed, adding her hand to the pile.

    "I promise to have Emerald Raikou embody the way of Raikou--strong, and yet gentle." Brock vowed as he too added his hand.

    "I'll do my best to be a brave and strong Spirit of the Dragon." Misty agreed, adding her hand to the pile.

    "And I'll do my best to make Ruby Phoenix every bit the hero he is." Ash vowed as he added his hand to the pile.

    "Shimmering! Sparkling! Light! Go, Ka-ga-YOU!!!" the group cheered as they separated their hands...
     
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  2. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
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    Episode 2: Six Spirits Study Their Grand Adventure


    "Readthrough of 'The Legend of Celestial Crown Mountain' starting soon!" Brock called as he made his way to the reading room a few days later. "Bring your scripts!"

    "We're actually reading through the whole play?" Ash wondered as he thumbed through his script.

    "Not necessarily--this is more of a round table discussion than a dramatic reading." Serena explained as she joined Ash in the hallway. "Rona felt this could help us get to know our roles, how they relate to other parts, and how they relate to the play as a whole. We can also ask about songs, dances, acts, solos, and other things."

    "I see..." Ash mused as he made his way inside the massive reading room, where many of the troupe's actors were settling in at a long white table with their scripts. Some of the troupe members had notebooks and pencils, just in case they needed to write something down.

    After a few tense moments, Rona arrived with her master copy of the script and her own notes, with Dawn not far behind her. "Good morning, all, and welcome to your first readthrough as a Tawame performer. Together, we will go through and discuss the play scene by scene, so you can better understand how your role fits into the epic story, what has changed from other adaptations and the source material, and what you will have to do to play your role well. So I encourage you to ask questions and engage in civil discussion."

    Affirmative murmurs filled the air at this. "Since Dawn knows the story well, she will help me lead our discussion." Rona explained. "So, let's open our scripts and begin with Scene 1 of Act 1."

    The ruffle of paper filled the room as the crowd in the room opened their scripts and notebooks to take notes. Good thing I remembered my Pikachu notebook... Ash smiled as he opened a notebook decorated with gold Pikachu heads.

    "A Tawame play is divided into a three act structure." Rona explained. "Act 1 is the beginning, or hajime. This introduces the main characters, the main conflict, and typically ends with the main characters resolving to do something about the main conflict. Act 2 is the journey, or tabi. This is usually the longest of the three acts, as it features the characters on a long journey to their goal, helping others, growing stronger, and clashing with evil along the way. Act 3 is the victory, or seishou. By this point in the journey, the characters are ready, or nearly ready, to face their main adversary once and for all. After tying up any subplots and final preparations, the heroes and the villains clash for one final fight. In the end, the villains are soundly defeated, the heroes and their allies are rewarded for their courageous acts, and all is well in the realm or martial world once again."

    She cautioned "There is a good reason why this style of theater is called the Theater of Dreams. It is considered very bad luck to have a tragic ending on the Tawame stage. Should a troupe try this, Meloetta will curse the troupe to ruin. If anyone must die at all in a Tawame tale, it is usually the villain meeting their judgement."

    Many in the room shuddered at the thought of the troupes being cursed to bad luck. "I can safely say this is no mere urban legend..." Brock agreed as he passed down copies of historical information and newspaper articles through the years. "In researching this style, I have found countless historical accounts and news accounts of troupes being brought to ruin because they tried to perform a tragic tale--so you don't want to take Meloetta's curse lightly!"

    Concerned murmurs filled the room as the other troupe members read the stories. "This is also why we have Meloetta dolls around the theater, and why we leave a ghost light on the stage whenever we are not performing." Rona added. "It is believed Meloetta performs when the actors do not, and she will leave blessings and gifts to a troupe that leaves a light on for her."

    "Oh"s went up at this. "But for now, let us focus on our play..." Rona motioned to Dawn. "Dawn, would you summarize the first scene of Act 1 for us?"

    Dawn nodded. "At the start of the play, the narrator explains that what we are about to see is a tale long treasured in Shinou myth--the Six Spirits' journey to Celestial Crown Mountain. Since we are putting on the traditional version of the story, the villains are an iconic evil sect in the Tawame canon--the Ruinous Mountain Sect. Different versions of the play might make it a different sect or a completely different villain altogether."

    She went on "Once the narrator finishes explaining to the audience what they are about to see, Arceus--represented by an offstage voice--awakens the Six Spirits, and commands them to journey to Celestial Crown Mountain in hopes of stopping the Ruinous Mountain Sect. Some versions of the show have the Six Spirits introducing themselves in song, but we're not doing this for our show. After seeing a town is close by where they awakened, the Six Spirits decide to travel there, in hopes of learning more about their foe--and how they can stop them."

    "Any questions so far?" Rona asked. When no one said anything, she motioned for Dawn to continue.

    "When the Six Spirits reach Cheri Blossom Village, they hear all the rumors about the Ruinous Mountain Sect, and how powerful they are." Dawn went on. Sapphire Dragon assures the townsfolk, in song, that she and the other spirits will do what they can to stop the Ruinous Mountain sect. Elated that Arceus has heard their prayers for deliverance, the townsfolk celebrate. This is where we have some musical solos, acrobatic acts and dancing."

    She smiled at Ash. "Of course, Ash, there's a bansi solo for you in this scene."

    "I noticed..." Ash smiled as he saw the sheet music to the tune 'The Cheri Blossoms Are in Full Bloom' in his script. I don't believe I have played this tune before...but I'm looking forward to learning it!

    He glanced through the sheet music. "Lots of fast runs and trills in here..."

    "I knew you would appreciate a challenge, but nothing so challenging that it is beyond your skill level." Rona assured Ash. "But you should have no trouble with your steel tongue and fingers of lightning!"

    "Yeah, you have double and triple tonguing down to an art form!" an actor agreed.

    Ash smiled as more affirmative calls came in his direction. Thanks, guys--I promise to make this tune one the audience won't soon forget!

    "Let's continue with Scene 3 of Act 1 then..." Rona's instruction quieted the excited chatter.

    Dawn found her place in her script. "Later that evening, the village elder meets with the Six Spirits, and tells them what they must do to defeat the Ruinous Mountain Sect--bring ten sacred jewels and combine their powers to awaken Arceus. He warns them that the way will not be easy, and filled with many trials. But he also tells them that there are some willing to help them--martial arts masters, other wandering heroes, loyal warlords, the Legendary Pokémon, friendly spirits, and even the Emperor and the Empress. Ruby Phoenix vows that the group will do everything they can to succeed on their quest, and the group makes plans to depart the next morning."

    "I promise you this: we will do everything we can to make it to the mountain and awaken Arceus!" Ash read the line from his script, to cheers from the others.

    "Very good!" Rona smiled. "We'll discuss how to make that delivery even better when we begin acting training!"

    She looked at the clock on the wall. "And on that note, let's take a break before we begin discussion of Act 2. If you'd like a snack or drink, there are vending machines in the common area. If you need to use the bathroom, bathrooms are around the corner from here."

    Brock gathered up his research from a corner of the table. "I'm gonna go drop these off back in my room, then get snacks and drinks. You want anything?"

    "Just a Fizzo and some chips." Ash replied. Act 2 is the longest act, so I'd better get some caffeine for the long haul!
     
    #2 Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  3. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
    Level 24
    Joined:
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    Episode 3: The Six Spirits Awaken Their Powers



    A few days later, the Kagayou's backstage area hummed with activity as the Niji Troupe convened for their first rehearsal. "Okay...we have a lot to rehearse over the next several weeks." Rona began as the last of the troupe settled in the backstage briefing room. "As we rehearse the play, you'll also be learning to sing in the Tawame style, play any traditional Wakunese instruments as your role requires, dance in the Tawame style, fight in the Tawame style, and learn any athletic and acrobatic feats your role requires. If you have theater training, this is not like your traditional musical. If you have martial arts, dance, or athletic training, you already have a head start there. If you can play a traditional Wakunese instrument, you have a head start if your role requires your instrument."

    She went on "I have divided up rehearsals into group sessions--and each rehearsal day, your group will rotate among a number of stations as your role requires--instrumental music, vocal music, dance, acting, fighting, and acrobatics. Your group will follow the same schedule each rehearsal day, to maintain consistency. As you get better at acting in this style, rehearsals will become more freeform, but for now, this will help you learn the skills you need for the Tawame stage, and learn them consistently."

    She offered piles of papers for the group. "So come on up here, and get your group assignments and schedules for rehearsals."

    Brock arrived with the group's schedule some moments later. "Okay...we all have fight training first, then dance training. We've worked our way out of instrumental training--Ash can already play a bansi, I can already play the vina, and instruments are not needed for the girls' roles, so we can take a break or have lunch during that time."

    "Give me anything you cook over mystery meat any day!" Misty smiled.

    "I'm still thinking about today's menu..." Brock confessed before turning his attention back to the schedule. "After lunch, we have acting training--which includes vocal music training, since singing is important in Tawame acting--and acrobatics training, then we're done for the day, since athletics training is not required for our roles."

    "Let's get started!" Ash smiled as the group departed the briefing room and made their way to the dressing rooms to change into their training garb. "I have my sword training from the Isle of Armor, so how hard can this be?"

    He was snapped from his thoughts when he found the group's dressing rooms, each one with a star over their names. "Well, we'll have no trouble finding out which dressing rooms are ours..."

    "I guess Rona believes in us that much to already consider us the stars of the troupe." Misty assured Ash. "So let's not let her down!"

    ---------

    In the training dojo, the fight trainer smiled with pride as Ash managed to parry her blade successfully. "Very well done! A lot of what you learned in Arcanine style swordsmanship will serve you well on the Tawame stage. But for this play, we need to teach you Moltres style--both unarmed and armed. This will help you play many phoenix and phoenix-born roles."

    "Okay, what is Moltres style?" Ash wondered.

    "Moltres style builds on Suicune style to create an offensive style that helps their allies and harms their foes." the trainer explained. "Much like Moltres rises anew from the ash, a Moltres fighter is very tenacious, and will keep fighting for as long as they can. But Moltres knows her limits, and that there a time to keep fighting, and a time to retreat."

    She went on "The signature move of unarmed Moltres style is Moltres Eye Fist, and when armed, can use many of the same weapons as Suicune."

    "Good to know." Ash smiled as he sheathed his blade, then retreated to the bench where everyone was waiting to have their fighting skills assessed.

    "That means that Moltres style borrows many elements of Suicune style." Misty smiled as she made her way into the arena. "So if you don't understand something that comes from Suicune style, let me know!"

    "Nice work out there!" Brock smiled as he watched Misty and the trainer spar. "Archery is a breeze, but I wouldn't mind a Wakunese style swordplay refresher--just in case archery's not feasible or possible for my character to use in a scene."

    "You do very well with Western style fighting, actually." Serena assured Brock. "Having fought with both styles before, the big difference is how you fight with each weapon. Europan swords focus on raw power, while there are hundreds of thousands of millions of Wakunese styles, each with their own quirks and moves, so they likely have several ways to counter a Western sword."

    "Power vs. technique, huh?" Brock mused.

    "If you wanna learn more, Pokepedia's a good place to start." Serena smiled. "I'm looking forward to showing off what I know of both styles when it's my turn!"

    ---------

    Later, in the dance training room, the group stumbled their way through a festive melody. "How pro Tawame actors do this, I'll never know..." Ash grumbled when the song ended.

    "Practice." Misty replied. "No troupe got to be as good as they are today overnight, so we shouldn't expect to be masters overnight."

    The dance trainer nodded in agreement. "For now, we need to not be afraid of wide open movements. Tawame dance has no place for dainty movements with surgical precision. Tawame dances are wild, spirited affairs very much like the plays they are part of. To use a sports analogy, we need to get you out of a figure skater's mindset, and into a snowboarder's mindset.

    The lightbulb went off in a Dawn's head. "That makes sense! Figure skating is pretty to look at, but requires grace and precision to do well. While snowboarding has its share of precision, they focus on high flying tricks to dazzle and impress."

    "So, are we ready to try this easy routine in slow motion?" the dance trainer asked.

    Cheers came back in reply as the group hurried into position to attempt the dance in slow motion. Maybe this won't be so bad... Ash thought as he followed along with the trainer's directions. We may not be using this routine in the show, but it is teaching us what we need to know when we actually DO start learning the dances in the show!

    ---------

    "I am SO glad to be back in my normal clothes for a while!" Ash smiled as the group met back in the common area of the training complex. "All that dance training was hard work!"

    "I'll say...Serena and Dawn made the spinning look easy!" Misty agreed as she massaged her sore legs. "But to be fair, they both have gymnastics and some dance training."

    "Yeah, but this was VERY different from what I learned to do." Serena explained. "But the more you do it, it won't hurt as much."

    [You okay, Ash?] Tintri asked as Ash located a medicine cabinet, shook out two pills, and took one with a gulp of water.

    "Yeah...just very sore from dance training." Ash explained before taking the other pill. "At least acting training we can do in our normal clothes, then it's back in the training garb for acrobatics."

    "I'm looking forward to that the most!" May smiled, her mind spinning with ideas on what high flying feats they would learn to do for their first play.

    "Me too." Ash smiled as he watched Brock throw on an apron in preparation to make lunch. "Imagine how amazed everyone would be as we dance, fight and walk in the air!"

    "Well after we're done with acting training, you can do tricks on the trampolines all you like." Misty assured Ash. "But these aren't your average backyard trampolines--these are what gymnasts would use."

    Dawn nudged Ash. "Trampoline was one of my favorite events when I took gymnastics, so I can give you guys some pointers."

    "But for right now, let's have some lunch, rest, and look over the script for acting training." Brock smiled as he turned on the oven in preparation to make tacos...
     
  4. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
    Level 24
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    Now that I've had time to enjoy Pokémon Legends: Arceus, let's resume the story!

    Episode 4: Six Spirits Begin to Tell Their Tale

    Later that afternoon, the theater hummed with activity as the members of the Niji Troupe convened for acting training. "After looking over Act 1 over lunch, I'm pretty sure I have an idea of how to play Ruby Phoenix..." Ash mused as he arrived onstage with his script.

    "Even though he appears in many Tawame plays, he has a fairly consistent personality description." Rona explained as she arrived on the stage. "He is courageous, energetic, and doesn't let even the worst of circumstances get him down. Even in the darkness, he knows how to find the light again."

    "Sounds easy enough..." Ash mused as he read through his script. "Are we going over my solo and the celebration scenes?"

    "No--for right now, we are only going over the dialogue and blocking for Act 1." Rona replied. "We'll work in your solo and the dances once you feel confident enough to perform it."

    "I do plan to start practicing that once we get done training for today." Ash grinned as the others joined him on the stage.

    "Now then--for the moment, I will read Arceus' role in Scene 1." Rona replied. "When your character awakens, everyone, show the audience a pose and a little movement that conveys a little about your character. In order, you are called 'Rise, Ruby Phoenix, Fly, Sapphire Dragon, Roar, Emerald Raikou, Leap, Golden Delphox, Take flight, Jade Beautifly, and Run, Pearl Deerling'."

    "Is it okay if I can sing a little when I appear?" Brock asked. "Not so much a literal Raikou roar--which I can do with some time to warm up--but some nice sounding nonsense that conveys his musical ability."

    "Well, whatever you decide to sing, give the words the power and strength of a roar." Rona explained. "It doesn't even need to be Wakunese, either. It can be any language you can speak and sing in well."

    Brock thought for a moment, then sang Puhi mai ka lā ma ka honua ʻōmaʻomaʻo...

    "Huh?" May asked as the last low F echoed off the theater's back wall.

    "In other words, 'The sun shines upon the green earth' in Native Alolan." Brock replied. "It comes from one of the traditional songs you often hear during luaus--although the name of the tune escapes me right now..."

    "That's beautiful!" Rona smiled. "My only suggestion would be to turn down the proverbial volume on the song just a bit. Of course you want to enunciate to the back, but not so loud you can hear it echo off the back walls."

    "Ease the volume on my sung phrase--got it!" Brock reminded himself.

    "Let's see what everyone else has in mind for their appearance..." Rona suggested.

    "Will my costume have wings?" Ash wondered.

    "This version of Ruby Phoenix will have spreadable wings on the costume--that would make a flashy and heroic entrance for your character." Rona replied. "So spread your arms into a Y shape for me...

    Once Ash complied, she winced at the stiff looking Y. "Let's open up the Y shape a little, but not to the point where your arms become a T."

    She watched as Ash lowered his arms a little. "That will do for now--we'll refine how the pose should look once you have your costume."

    She moved on to Misty. "Can you do a spinning jump from a running start?"

    "Well, where am I going to land when I'm announced?" Misty wondered.

    Rona lead Misty to a point near the center of the stage at stage right. "You'll be here, next to Ash..."

    ---------

    Serena stretched as Rona led Misty backstage to rehearse her song for Scene 2. "I presume we'll be going over our lines for Scene 2 once Misty's done practicing her big number..."

    Brock thumbed through his script. "Ash has his solo, and Misty has a song in this scene. The rest of us do in fact have lines..."

    "I still need to practice my solo..." Ash admitted.

    "So if Misty's practicing her song right now, and Ash needs to practice the bansi solo in this scene, how much of this scene can we practice right now?" Dawn asked.

    "Not much--a lot of this scene is performance--and at the moment, not too many of us are ready to attempt that yet." Brock sighed. "Once we do get some practice down, I'm sure it will look and sound beautiful."

    "It is nice of Rona to have a separate room backstage to practice the songs." May smiles. "A piano is a lot less intimidating to practice with than a full orchestra."

    "Well, we all have at least two vocal numbers to learn..." Brock explained as he thumbed through his script. "So we'll all have a chance to sing with the piano as we rehearse."

    "It's a nice piano, too." Misty smiled as she met the others onstage, with Rona not far behind.

    Inspired, she sang a little of the song. When I look up into the vast sky tonight,
    I see the wishes of a million stars...
    All of them long to be freed from evil's oppression,
    And for peace restored to the land!


    Rona led the applause. "Not bad for singing a capella! You'll have the orchestra with you on opening night, but for now, we will continue practicing with the piano."

    She turned business-like again. "Let's go over Scene 3 before we finish for today."

    ---------

    "Now then, let me recap the synopsis for this scene." Rona explained. "Later that evening, the village elder meets with the Six Spirits, and tells them what they must do to defeat the Ruinous Mountain Sect--bring ten sacred jewels and combine their powers to awaken Arceus. He warns them that the way will not be easy, and filled with many trials. But he also tells them that there are some willing to help them--martial arts masters, other wandering heroes, loyal warlords, the Legendary Pokémon, friendly spirits, and even the Emperor and the Empress. Ruby Phoenix vows that the group will do everything they can to succeed on their quest, and the group makes plans to depart the next morning."

    She told the group "I will read the elder's role for now."

    With that, she began the scene. "Holy ones, it is fortunate you have come. For far too long the people have groaned under the Ruinous Mountain Sect, and I believe it is time for them to meet their divine judgement!"

    "We have come on Arceus' authority to bring His divine judgement on those who oppress you." Misty explained. "So how are we to do that?"

    "Travel across the land, and find the ten sacred jewels of the elements." Rona replied. "Then, combine their power at the peak of Celestial Crown Mountain to awaken Arceus from His divine slumber. But do not take this to be a simple task...there are many more besides the Ruinous Mountain sect that would seek to destroy you! But just as there are many willing to destroy you, there are many more that wish to help. The masters of the noble sects, other wandering heroes, loyal warlords, the Legendary Pokémon, friendly spirits, and even the Emperor and the Empress, all stand ready to help you on your journey."

    "I promise you this: we will do everything we can to make it to the mountain and awaken Arceus!" Ash vowed, to cheers from the performers and crew in the audience.

    Rona smiled, pleased at Ash's heroic pose. "Let's stop here for a moment, and refine how your character makes his vow..."
     
  5. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
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    Episode 5: Six Spirits Take to the Sky

    "So, how's learning the solos going?" Misty asked Ash as she caught up to Ash in the hallway leading to the acrobatics wing. "I've gotten the hang of singing in the Tawame style--it helps if you just pick a line of an easy song, and sing that line up the scale across all the keys. Unlike traditional Western theater, there's not so much a wide variety of different individual voices as there are slight variations of voices for a type of character. So every yuushi role will have a specific sound with some slight variations to set them apart, every bushihime will sound somewhat consistent, and so on."

    "What about houkaku roles, like Brock?" Ash wondered as he and Misty arrived near the dressing room area to change into their training garb.

    "Actually, hokaku roles are probably the closest to what is seen in Western theater..." Brock explained as he emerged from a dressing room in his training garb. "Since they can play any type of role, they have to learn every different role type's singing style, instead of just one specific type."

    "Which role type is easiest for you so far?" Ash wondered as he watched Misty disappear inside a vacant dressing room.

    "So far, I'm finding shidou roles--royals, officials, gods, and other mentor, leader, and guardian like roles--easiest to sing so far." Brock replied. "This is because it's fairly close to normal singing most of the time--but depending on the role, you may have to bring the power, or keep it soft. No matter what role you play, remember that song is an extension of acting--so your voice has to sell your role type. Even different incarnations of the same character--which is VERY common in the Tawame canon--will have very slight differences in their sound to tell them apart. So even if two different actors are playing the same role, you would hear a difference in their song."

    He smiled. "You and Serena, meanwhile--and Misty and Dawn, to a point--are great belters. I can always tell when you or Misty are singing during rehearsal--your voice has a powerful strength, with just enough sweetness to sell that you are the hero. Belting well is what gives the yuushi and eiyuna voices their sparkle."

    "Aw, thanks..." Ash blushed a little, flattered his friend had given him a compliment. "I just do what Rona says to do in rehearsal and channel how my character is feeling into the song, while trying not to over sing."

    Brock nodded. "That will serve you and Serena both well, as our yuushi and eiyuna."

    He turned business-like again. "Go on and get into your training garb, and we'll meet up in the briefing room."

    "Okay!" Ash smiled before dashing into a vacant dressing room to change...

    ---------

    "All right everyone--before we go out into the trampoline room, let's go over how to use the most important safety tool you will have..." the acrobatics trainer began before showing the group a thick clip with a thin but strong wire. "This is a catch tether--when clipped to your costume, it will catch you if you fall, allowing the safety spotters to reach you and guide you to safe ground. No matter how high up you are, it will catch you."

    She explained "Even when we're only training like this, if you're doing acrobatics, always arm your catch tether before you attempt anything, and never train without your catch tether or spotters present."

    "Right!" the group replied as they received a box of catch tethers from a spotter.

    "This is also why many costumes--including your training clothes--have what resembles a pocket near your legs." the trainer went on. "This is where the catch tether is attached and armed. If its gyro sensor indicates you are falling at a certain speed, it will pop out from this pocket and hold you in place. Once this happens, you are not stuck in place--you can roll and move your body, but you won't fall."

    She smiled. "Some companies call catch tethers 'pop-clinks' because of the sound they make when they trigger."

    She motioned for the group to follow her to the door leading to the trampoline room. "So if you guys are ready to go, come on up here and get your catch tethers on."

    ---------

    Ash sighed with boredom as the trainer discussed safe jumping form from a hard surface. When are we actually going to get to jump? We've been doing drills for hours...

    Misty noticed Ash's bored look. "I know...I'm bored too. But we have to know all this safety stuff and proper form before we jump for a reason. You wouldn't want to be hurt because a stunt went horribly wrong, would you?"

    "No..." Ash replied, shuddering at the thought of a career ending injury.

    "Then pay attention." Misty gently reminded Ash, then turned her attention back to the trainer.

    The trainer's voice snapped Ash to attention. "Okay, now let's practice our first jumps--!"

    "WOO-HOO!" Ash raced as fast as he could to the closest trampoline, trying to channel his inner Mario as he made a flying jump, then successfully performed a higher bounce...only to hear a POP! and a CLINK! before finding himself hanging over the trampoline instead of a mess on the ground. "I'm okay!" he called as some safety spotters arrived to assist him. "Last part of the triple jump didn't go how I imagined."

    The trainer just smiled as Ash was guided back to the ground, and his catch tether re-armed. "Let's try the Triple Jump again once you actually know how to jump properly."

    "A for effort and enthusiasm, though!" Dawn assured Ash.

    "Yeah, doing a Mario style Triple Jump can be one of your first goals." May agreed.

    "Not to mention would look cool as the ultimate jump slash in a fight." Brock added. "But let's learn the basic jump form first."

    "Yes, let's." the trainer agreed as she led the group over to a smaller practice trampoline for their first jumping drill.

    Ash smiled as he admired the armed catch tether in his training garb. Well, at least I know this thing works as advertised... he thought before turning his attention to the trainer's instructions...
     
  6. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
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    Interlude: Six Friends Become the Six Spirits


    "We're getting our costumes for the play today!" Misty called, alerting Ash from studying the script. While he already knew all his lines, his script was covered in notes--reminders of blocking and expression from Rona, cues for his solos and performances, and other reminders on how to play his character well.

    "It's costume day?" he asked, still halfway interested in the thoroughly written on script.

    Misty nodded. "In lieu of a real rehearsal today, we can try on our costumes and see how they feel onstage--we'll also get instructions about dress rehearsals and opening night."

    Ash's heart started to race at the thought of opening night. It seems like only yesterday we were struggling to find actors and crew, and now we're on the verge of putting on our very first play! I hope it is the first of many more plays to come!

    "Hello?" Misty's call snapped him back to reality. "Go notify everyone that the costumes are ready!"

    "Okay!" Ash put the script away, then hurried out of the common room to the music wing, making sure to follow the relaxed chords of an acoustic guitar to a rehearsal room, where Brock was attempting to adapt one of the play's songs for guitar. "The costumes are ready!"

    "I'll be over there shortly." Brock smiled as he started tidying the rehearsal room. "I can't wait to see what Emerald Raikou's costume looks like."

    Ash nodded back in reply, then dashed off to the acrobatics wing. After locating Serena in one large practice room balancing on a block of wood, he waited for his companion to be steady on both feet again before telling her "The play's costumes are ready."

    "Okay...I'll be there as soon as balancing training is over." Serena assured Ash. "We still have a few minutes." With that, she bent down to balance on her left leg as Ash departed for the training dojo.

    The clangs of swords and May's determined grunts clued Ash in as to where May was--rehearsing one of Jade Beautifly's fights. She's been taking this sword training seriously... Ash smiled as he watched May nimbly dodge the trainer's attack, then parry another attack. Maybe I should have a friendly duel with her at some point...

    He applauded as May completed the fight progression by knocking down her opponent. "That was amazing!"

    "Yes, that was a wonderful fight." the trainer agreed as she got up from the mat. "You did well following the rhythm of the fight, and following proper form."

    "I came to inform you that the costumes are ready." Ash explained. "Once you're done with fight training, meet me backstage."

    "Okay..." May wheezed before taking a gulp of water.

    If memory serves, Dawn is in the dance wing... Ash reminded himself as he left the dojo and made his way to the dance wing.

    He smiled as he found Dawn in one room practicing a ribbon dance in time to a recorded orchestra, with the dance trainer keeping a watchful eye on her form and movement. Once the song and Dawn's routine ended, he applauded. "When you're done, the play's costumes are ready."

    "Great! I wonder how this routine will look as Pearl Deerling." Dawn smiled. "Let me clean up, and I'll be over there soon."

    ---------

    "All right, everyone..." Rona began as the excited troupe members arrived in the backstage common area. "Our next few rehearsals will be in costume, and we will try to get through as much of the play as possible each time. In two weeks, we will have two dress rehearsals, and then open that Friday for a three week run. Once the run ends, we'll have a little celebration to commemorate a--hopefully--successful show, and thank you for your hard work. Then we'll do it all again with a new show after you've had some time to rest."

    Excited chatter filled the air. "For today, however, I want you to try your costumes on and see how they feel onstage. If something is too large or too small, notify the costume crew, and we'll work on getting you a costume that fits."

    She smiled at the excited group. "Okay...come on up and get your costume. I know all of you have looked forward to today for a while, but try and keep things orderly."

    Cheers filled the air as the troupe's members hurried to get in line for their costumes. Once they had the elaborate costume from a costume crew member, they dashed to a dressing room to try it on.

    He smiled when he saw Dawn emerge in an elaborate lavender robe with flower designs that evoked an Autumn Forme Deerling. "Wow! That's beautiful!"

    "Thanks!" Dawn smiled as a costume crew member slipped a prop flower behind her left ear. "I can't wait to dance in this!"

    "I need Ruby Phoenix next!" he heard a voice call in the excited chaos.

    "Coming!" Ash called as he hurried to claim his costume...

    ---------

    "Wow! You look cool!" Dawn raved as Ash emerged from a dressing room in a magnificent red, orange, gold, and white costume that evoked fire The arms of the costume had "fiery" feathers attached to create glittering red, orange, and gold "wings" when Ash spread them.

    She noticed the wings on Ash's costume. "Go on, spread your wings! Let me see Ruby Phoenix in all his heroic glory!"

    Ash happily complied--just as Brock emerged in a green, gold, and white costume that blended Raikou motifs in a martial arts master's costume. "Oh! That looks amazing!"

    "I'll probably fine tune the wing spread over the next few rehearsals, but I thought it looked okay for the first try." Ash admitted.

    He saw Serena emerge in a golden robe that resembled a Delphox with some red and white decor. "That looks great!"

    "Thanks." Serena smiled as she accepted some costume Delphox ears from one of the costume crew. "You look great yourself."

    Inspired, Ash performed the wing spread again, just as Misty emerged in a lady warrior's costume that evoked water in several shades of blue, white, and gold. "Oh my! Look at you!"

    "That's amazing!" May agreed as she emerged from the dressing rooms in a colorful costume that evoked the many colors of jade and Beautifly wings.

    "I take it our six stars like their costumes?" Rona asked as she came to look the group over.

    Affirmative murmurs wafted in Rona's direction before Rona noticed Ash's spread "wings". "Not bad for the first few attempts--we'll work on perfecting it in rehearsal, okay?"

    Ash nodded. "Everyone--let's make this out best debut ever!"

    "Yeah--and do so many successful plays, the Kagayou will be a household name everywhere!" Misty vowed, to cheers of agreement...
     
  7. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
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    Episode 6a: Six Spirits Take the Stage (part 1)



    A few weeks later, the Kagayou's main auditorium buzzed with excitement as hundreds of people arrived to watch the Niji Troupe's premiere of "The Legend of Celestial Crown Mountain." Backstage, the troupe's members were just as excited as actors and performers threw on costumes, got in some stretches before the show, and warmed up voices and instruments. Crew members were briefing the effects Rotoms on which sets to project when, checking the lights and sound, and that all the props, puppets, and effects were accounted for.

    Ash emerged from his dressing room in costume and smiled as he watched the audience take their seats. "Well, everyone...this is it--what we've all been working towards the last few months. Our first official performance as a Tawame troupe."

    "All those hours of learning lines, learning songs, learning dances, learning fights, learning acrobatics--all of that comes together tonight." May agreed as she joined Ash in the wings.

    Footsteps alerted Ash and May. "Before we go on, here's a delivery from the music team..." Dawn smiled before giving Ash a wooden flute decorated in exquisite flame and phoenix designs. "Your very own bansi to play for your solos."

    Ash grinned as he admired the beautiful instrument and the red tassel near the embouchure hole. "This is way better than the one I've been using to practice with..."

    "Well, as much as you probably want to play it, don't play it just yet--it's not quite showtime." Brock cautioned as he joined the group in the wings.

    Ash located a pocket in his costume, and slipped the bansi inside. "There...now I know where it is when it IS time for me to play it in Scene 2."

    "Weapons delivery from the fight team!" Misty called as she arrived with a variety of prop weapons. "These are for me..." she explained as she set aside a pair of sheathed twinblades. "The smithies on our fight team made these for us to use in all our shows..."

    She located a sheathed blade in a deep red scabbard. "Sword for you, Ash..."

    "Thanks..." Ash smiled, drawing the sword long enough to admire the beautiful flame inlays in the blade, the phoenix wing inspired guard, the red and gold grip, and a large ruby in the pommel before sheathing it again.

    Misty noticed Serena arriving to join the others, and dug out a glittering gold whip-like ribbon. "Ribbon for you, Serena--a gift from the fight team."

    "I'll tell the fight team chief we said thank you after the show." Serena replied as she set the ribbon at her right leg, similar to a whip.

    Misty next offered Brock a sparkling green emerald studded bow with matching sparkling green arrows. "Bow for you, complete with 50 arrows and some green bracers that match your costume."

    "Wow..." Brock smiled as he accepted the bow, then started putting on the bracers. "I can't wait to fire these...thank you." With that, he slung the large quiver of arrows on his back.

    Misty next gave May a colorful war fan and Dawn an ornately decorated staff. "Fan for May, and staff for Dawn...gifts from the fight team."

    "It's beautiful!" May smiled as she unfurled the fan for a moment. "I can't wait to fight with it!"

    "Even the simple staff looks nice..." Dawn agreed as she admired the leaf and star designs on the staff.

    Just then, the group saw the lights flash the five minute warning. "Here we go!" Ash smiled as he set his new sword by his right leg.

    "Many months of hard work come to a head right here." Misty agreed as the group placed their hands on top of each other for a good luck cheer.

    "Let's give everyone a show to remember tonight!" May agreed as she added her hand to the pile.

    "Shimmering! Sparkling! Light! Go, Ka-ga-YOU!!!" the group cheered as they separated their hands, then hurried into position for the play's first scene...

    ---------

    As the play's grand overture tapered off into a soft mystical melody, a large Arceus silhouette appeared in the "fog" that filled the stage before the curtain. "People of Hisui, I hear your cries even as I sleep..." a gentle deep male voice began. "Long have you been oppressed by evil, but this age of darkness will some come to a close...and a new age of light that never ends will begin!"

    Cheers went up from the audience at this. "I am sending you six divine spirits, who will battle your oppressors, and set you free." the male voice continued. "Rise, Ruby Phoenix..."

    Ash made a long jump onto the stage, spreading the wings of his costume on the way down. Remember, don't make it look too much like a Y... he reminded himself as he held his arms in the spread wing pose for a few moments at stage right.

    "Fly, Sapphire Dragon... At this, Misty made a flying jump next to Ash, rotating in the air before she landed in a dramatic pose. "Roar, Emerald Raikou..."

    "Puhi mai ka lā ma ka honua ʻōmaʻomaʻo..." Brock sang as he appeared in a spotlight towards the center of the stage, striking a triumphant pose as the last notes of his sung phrase swirled into the mystical music.

    "Leap, Golden Delphox..." Some in the audience jumped as a whip-like crack filled the air, just as Serena landed from a triumphant jump.

    "Take flight, Jade Beautifly..." At this, May elegantly twirled into her place near stage left, to some oohs and ahs from the audience.

    "Run, Pearl Deerling...." At this, Dawn made a running jump into her place at stage left, striking a graceful pose as the lights went down. "I am sending you forth into the world, so that you may defeat the Ruinous Mountain and their allies, and awaken Me. It will not be an easy journey, but if you trust Me, and trust each other, you will return to heaven triumphant. Good luck..."

    With that, the fog dissipated, and the curtains opened to reveal a flowery field set. "Mm...took long enough to GET to the mortal realm..." Misty mused as she stretched, to some giggles from the audience.

    "Our first order of business is to get some information about the evil sects in this area, and where to find the jewels that will awaken Arceus." May explained.

    She pointed at something in the distance. "I see a town that way!"

    "But suppose they are so proud as to turn away gods, Beautifly-san?" Misty asked. "Do we have the authority to judge, or can Arceus still do that, even as He sleeps?"

    "Peace, Lady Dragon--for the most part, the mortals revere us, so it would be harsh to punish the many over the actions of a few." Brock assured Misty. "Arceus has given us His authority to reward the good and pure, and punish evil. For the moment, let us travel to the town over there, and begin our search."

    Ash nodded in agreement. "We won't get very far in awakening Arceus if we just stand here in the flowers and talk, so let's go!"

    Ripples of laughter went up in agreement as the lights went down...
     
  8. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
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    Episode 6b: Six Spirits Take the Stage (part 2)



    The lights came up on a set of a town in a Waku that never was. "This is very strange..." May mused as the group arrived on the stage. "Normally a town would be full of hustle and bustle, but here, it is strangely quiet..."

    Inspired, Ash called to no one in particular "Is there anyone here? Why is this place so quiet?"

    "It is because of the Ruinous Mountain Sect, traveler." a male actor explained as extras playing townsfolk emerged from the houses on the set. "Many fear for their lives, as one wrong move could attract their fury."

    "Why have they decided to oppress this place?" Serena asked.

    "That is just how they are, lady of the Delphox." a woman explained. "If we do not pay the tributes they demand, and follow all their harsh laws, they will take everything we own, kidnap our children, and burn our houses to the ground!"

    "If only Arceus were here...then he could judge the Ruinous Mountain for the suffering and despair that they have caused." another extra sighed.

    Brock nodded as the orchestra's sad melody turned hopeful. "By authority of Arceus, we have come to deliver this land from your oppressors!"

    Surprised gasps filled the air. "But how?" a child actor asked. "The bad mountains are very strong!"

    Brock knelt down to the girl's level. "Strong as your oppressors are, the light of Arceus is even stronger."

    "If you will trust us, we will drive out the Ruinous Mountain, so you all can live peaceful lives without fear." Serena agreed.

    "We will go to the very ends of the world to defeat the Ruinous Mountain, or die trying!" Dawn vowed, to cheers from the crowd of actors.

    Rising winds bring a myriad encounters for countless of ages,
    Falling blossoms touch the heart to create ripples in its wake...
    Misty sang over the orchestra.

    When I look up into the vast sky tonight,
    I see the wishes of a million stars...
    All of them long to be freed from evil's oppression,
    And for peace restored to the land!


    Pierce through the misty veils!
    The world opens free to its extent
    Wandering together through the mountains and rivers
    The sun and the moon pass by like flowing waters...


    The stars around scatter like pieces across the board
    One can dream in many a morn, unfading among the soaring clouds
    For thee, I'll make the move with no regrets!


    Ready to walk by your side to the ends of the earth
    In the bold pursuit of the dream with a heart so pure
    Even as the misty rain fades, bonds this deep shall still remain
    May you be in the road ahead to share the joys and sorrows!


    Dreams are but reflected illusions that lead one to indulge
    Upon the checkered battlefield where dreams can come true
    To only dream in the now, unfazed of its distance like yonder clouds
    In jubilee, I'll stay true to self no matter what.


    Ready to walk by your side to the ends of the earth
    In the bold pursuit of the dream with a heart so pure
    Even as the misty rain fades, bonds this deep shall still remain
    May you be in the road ahead to share the joys and sorrows!


    Ready to walk by your side to the ends of the earth
    In the bold pursuit of the dream with a heart so pure
    Even as the misty rain fades, bonds this deep shall still remain
    So glad to have you in this life to share the joys and sorrows!


    Cheers filled the stage as many of the actors, as well as many performers, arrived on the stage to dance and celebrate.

    "I can't believe it--the first real festival we've had in years!" a female extra at stage right smiled as she watched a crowd of dancers weave and whirl across the stage in cascades of pink, purple, gold, and blue. "For many a year, the Ruinous Mountain has forbidden us to have any kind of celebration..."

    Ash retrieved the bansi from his costume's pocket, bringing the music and dancing to a stop. "Then let us have a festival of defiance against their harsh laws! Soon the years of oppression will end!"

    With that, he played the first triumphant high D note to kick off the tune 'The Cheri Blossoms Are in Full Bloom', making the stage erupt into a grand display of color...

    ---------

    "Later that evening, the Six Spirits met with the elder of the town, in hopes of finding a way to release them from the Ruinous Mountain Sect's oppression..." a narrator explained as the group met a male actor in a beautiful elder's robe on a set of an ornate ancient house.

    "Holy ones, it is fortunate you have come." the actor playing the elder began. "For far too long the people have groaned under the Ruinous Mountain Sect, and I believe it is time for them to meet their divine judgement!"

    "We have come on Arceus' authority to bring His divine judgement on those who oppress you." Misty explained. "So how are we to do that?"

    "Travel across the land, and find the ten sacred jewels of the elements." the actor playing the elder replied, unrolling a prop map of Hisui for the group to see. "Then, combine their power at the peak of Celestial Crown Mountain to awaken Arceus from His divine slumber. But do not take this to be a simple task...there are many more besides the Ruinous Mountain sect that would seek to destroy you! But just as there are many willing to destroy you, there are many more that wish to help. The masters of the noble sects, other wandering heroes, loyal warlords, the Legendary Pokémon, friendly spirits, and even the Emperor and the Empress, all stand ready to help you on your journey."

    "I promise you this: we will do everything we can to make it to the mountain and awaken Arceus!" Ash vowed, to a triumphant flourish from the orchestra, and cheers from the audience...
     
  9. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
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    Episode 6c: Six Spirits Take the Stage (part 3)


    "As the Six Spirits went forth on their grand quest, they soon came to a sacred grove filed with willow trees, and pink flowers." the narrator went on as the orchestra finished the interlude that signaled the start of Act 2. "Emerald Raikou recognized the grove as sacred to the Sky Warrior Shaymin, and attempted summoning the Gratitude Pokémon for some direction for the long journey ahead..."

    Awed murmurs filled the theater as the lights came up on the set of the willow grove, complete with prop Gracidea flowers. "Wow...such a beautiful place!" Ash gasped as the group arrived in the scene.

    "I wonder who could've planted such a beautiful grove all the way out here..." Dawn agreed as she admired the digital Gracidea petals elegantly fluttering to the imagined ground.

    "This is no ordinary willow grove..." Brock explained. "The flowers here are Gracidea flowers, sacred to Shaymin."

    "I have been told you give them to someone you are thankful for...May mused. "So if a town is nearby, this is where the Gracidea flowers grow for the spring festival."

    Brock nodded. "In addition to the spring festival, you can also give them during any summer festival, or at Harvestide in the fall."

    Inspired, he sang Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... making his Mega Ring glow in response as a beautiful bow shaped harp with ivy inlays seemingly materialized in his hands from thin air, to the awe of the audience.

    Serena seemed surprised. "Raikou-san, I didn't know you could play the vina!"

    "How else can I send Ho'oh off on her daily journey at dawn, and lull the mortals to sleep as Lugia takes his nightly flight?" Brock smiled as he quickly, yet carefully slipped on a well loved set of pale green fingerpicks onto his right hand. "This is the instrument I use for that purpose. So if it can call forth the sun and the moon, it could very well summon the other Legendaries if we need their help on our journey."

    "Well, what sort of song would Shaymin like?" Misty asked as Brock checked to see if the vina was in tune. "Something to do with flowers? Or thankfulness?"

    "I have just the one..." Brock assured Misty as he located the strings he needed to start on. "Hear now 'Thankfulness for Spring Flowers'."

    Even Ash couldn't help but smile as Brock played a majestic sweeping D chord to start the prayerful and yet festive tune. Wow...this is beautiful! I don't think I've heard Brock play this one before...

    A thought occurred to him as he watched digital flower petals and CGI Pokémon swirl around Brock as he played the beautiful melody. Then again, there are plenty of solos written just for a Tawame play...maybe it's one of these.

    Applause for Brock's song filled the theater, only to erupt again as a Shaymin puppet materialized in a hallow of a prop tree. "Thank you once again. Emerald Raikou, for your exquisite song." it replied, to some "aw" s at its cute wispy voice. "What is it you require? Name what you wish, and it is yours."

    "All I ask is for some direction as to where to find the ten sacred jewels we need to awaken Arceus at the peak of Celestial Crown Mountain." Brock explained. "Do you know where they may be?"

    "Not far from here lies Summer Breeze Village." Shaymin replied. "Its sacred treasure is one of the jewels you seek--the Spring Emerald. If you do a great deed for the villagers, they may allow you to have it."

    "We'll do it!" Ash vowed.

    "You have our word that we will do our best to help Summer Breeze Village and beyond!" Serena agreed. "Even if we have to go to the very ends of the world before we awaken Arceus!"

    ---------

    Later, Ash heaved with exhaustion backstage. That climbing wall was hard work! This will make the receiving the Spring Emerald scene even sweeter!

    "Need some water?" Rona asked as she offered Ash a bottle of water.

    "Please...." Ash wheezed. He opened the bottle and took a long drink as he watched Serena and the actor playing a village elder talk with each other. I have to play for Serena's dance here in a minute, so any chance I can get to get some water after that last scene is critical!

    He then heard the actor playing the elder give his next cue. "If your phoenix-born companion is as talented as he says, then we would love to see your dance! It would be the first real celebration we've had in years since the tengu came..."

    "Minna-san! The Golden Delphox is going to dance!" May announced, to cheers as Ash joined Serena and the others onstage.

    "Thank you--if the Dance of the Sunrise doesn't attract a tengu, I don't know what will!" Serena explained as she discretely accepted a gold ribbon with star designs from a stage ninja.

    Ash smiled as he prepared to play. This is a little slower than how I like playing the Dance of the Sunrise, but at least it still sounds festive!

    With that, he led the orchestra into the festive tune, with Brock gently plucking a walking bass line on the vina to help mark the time as Serena jumped, stepped, and spun in time to the festive beat...
     
  10. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Kala
    (Steenee)
    Level 24
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    Episode 6d: Six Spirits Take the Stage (part 4)


    The group arrived backstage breathing heavily as the lights come up for intermission at the midpoint of Act 2. "How are we doing so far?" Ash asked Rona as a stage ninja delivered him a bottle of water.

    "You're all doing very well so far." Rona assured Ash as more of the stage ninjas delivered water and towels to the group. "You've remembered what you've gone over and practiced for the last few weeks, and recovered gracefully from any mishaps."

    "I was afraid I was gonna be knocked down in the fight with the Ruinous Mountains to get into the Shrine of the Seven Stars earlier..." Misty admitted before taking a long drink of water. "Luckily, I regained my footing and my other blade and finished the fight."

    "That roll and jump to catch yourself was a great recovery." Rona assured Misty. "Yet you managed to make your recovery look like it was meant to be in the play all along."

    "That's part of 'the show must go on'." Dawn agreed as she found a copy of the script on a table, open to the next scene in Act 2.

    She swallowed hard as she studied the scene. "Not gonna lie, but I'm a little nervous about my acrobatic routine to reach the Luna Amethyst right now..."

    "You'll have a catch tether on, and the spotters will be watching the whole time." Serena assured Dawn. "That's why they're called 'angels in the wings'. If something does go wrong, they're trained to intervene and keep you safe."

    "Stand by for Flying Deerling act, over." the group heard the chief spotter say to another spotter over a radio.

    "It's time--let's get you rigged up for your big moment in Act 2." Rona told Dawn as the others found their places for the next scene on the darkened stage...

    ---------

    Dawn's heart raced when she saw a variety of fallen set pieces and acrobatic implements designed to look like pieces of a ruined shrine on the stage as Act 2 resumed some time later. Focus, Dawn... she reminded herself as she looked out at the glittering white, purple, and gold acrobatic obstacle course on the stage. You practiced the route, and did it well. You have a catch tether on, and the spotters are watching, even though the audience can't see them.

    She took one last deep breath as the orchestra played a climatic stinger, then made an elegant leap down to a trampoline, catching onto a bar seconds later to some applause.

    "You can do it!" Misty whispered a cheer of encouragement from the wings as Dawn worked her way across the bar, then did an elegant arc jump up to a balance beam high above the stage.

    The theater fell silent as Dawn carefully, but quickly walked across the narrow white beam. Once on the other side, she elegantly jumped into a launch tube, swinging across a few ropes before reaching the large pedestal holding the prop amethyst to a triumphant stinger and thunderous applause!

    "WOW!!!" Misty was impressed. "That was a different route than the one I saw her practicing before..."

    "The acrobatics team set up the course in such a way that Dawn has a choice in what kind of route to take to reach the Luna Amethyst." Brock whispered as the lights went down for a scene in the Ruinous Mountain Sect's lair. "So Dawn's acrobatics act is never the same twice."

    "I took the route I did so I would still have the strength for the final fight later." Dawn explained as she accepted some water from a stage ninja. "Otherwise, I would be too tired to face Fallen Mountain and his cronies in the final fight."

    "This is fair." Ash assured Dawn as he watched the actor playing Fallen Mountain berate the actors playing sect students in the Ruinous Mountain Sect's cavernous lair...

    ---------

    "The game is up, Fallen Mountain!" Ash roared as the group arrived on a set depicting the peak of Celestial Crown Mountain some time later. "We have the ten jewels!" Brock drawing his bow in preparation for the play's final battle punctuated his point.

    "Do you now?" the actor playing Fallen Mountain sneered as he approached the group over some ominous music. "Ever since I became convinced that Arceus really does exist, there has been one question that consumed my thoughts... How can I meet such a being myself?"

    Ash grimaced as the actor went on "It was in an attempt to answer this question that I originally began my search for the Ten Jewels. Yet for all the times you have beaten me and the other members of the Ruinous Mountain, you realize you forgot one small detail?"

    The orchestra played a dramatic stinger as "thunder" rolled on the stage. "Hand over the Ten Jewels! I will be the one to awaken Arceus!"

    "NEVER!" May roared back in reply.

    Brock fired his shot, causing chaos to erupt on the stage. The group and some actors playing Ruinous Mountain students clashed on the set of the mountain, spurring the audience to cheer. The orchestra played an exciting theme all the while as "rain" fell on the set and "thunder" flashed.

    Ash rolled away from one fight actor's blade, then shoved away two more as he saw out the one he was supposed to duel. Misty was over by stage right, easily whacking away fight actors while Brock supported the melee fighters and magic users with his bow.

    He smiled when he located the fight actor he was supposed to fight about to hit Dawn! "Get away from her!" he called, drawing his own sword to go through his fight progression.

    As he kept an eye on his own fight progression, he caught a glimpse of May confronting the actor playing Fallen Mountain at the peak of the mountain set! Wow...she's fast! he thought, almost losing focus on his own fight as May nimbly jumped and rolled around the actor playing Fallen Mountain's blade, before charging hard at him before the actor had any time to react.

    After the epic fight had raged for a few moments longer, the fight music neared a crescendo as May sent her opponent's sword flying! "Everyone! This is our chance! Let us unite the ten jewels, and deliver the final blow!"

    With that, she led the group in singing Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    ---------

    The orchestra started a victorious theme as a majestic Arceus puppet appeared on the now sunny set of the mountain. Thank you for awakening me, heroes. The Ruinous Mountain Sect will trouble this land no more. You have fulfilled the mission I have called you to complete, and now it is time we return to the heavens.

    "But what if evil rises again in the mortal realm?" Ash asked the beautiful puppet. "We can't leave the people to suffer again!"

    Worry not, Ruby Phoenix...if evil ever returns to this realm, the six of you will rise to meet it, as Guardians of the Realm. the Arceus puppet assured Ash as the lights went down.

    "And so it was that the Six Spirits were immortalized as Guardians of Waku." the narrator concluded as the curtains closed. "The tales of their many adventures were passed down through the generations...where we have now told it to all of you." With that, her spotlight blinked off to end the play.

    Ash heaved with exhaustion as the audience roared with applause. We did it...we performed our very first Tawame play!

    Serena smiled back as the lights came up for the curtain call. That we did--and I have a feeling there will be many more plays to come!


    THE END


    BUT

    THE SAGA CONTINUES....
     
    #10 Apr 30, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2022

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