The sun was just setting as a small party climbed up the sides of Cinnabar’s Mount Ember volcano. To the casual observer, they were just like any other travelers hoping to find some fire types inside the crater of the not-so-dormant volcano. But if anyone had gotten close enough, they would have found something far different.

Just a little farther,” an almost gruff voice called down to the other members of his party that lagged behind him, “We’re almost to the top.” It was Blaine, the fire type gym leader of the island. For years he had been trying to find the nesting place of the legendary bird Moltres, and, after a lifelong search, he had found it. Or rather, he thought he had.

No one believed him, but he was certain that this was where the legendary avian resided. Somewhere within the heat of Mount Ember. For hundreds of years, trainers had searched for Moltres, and the inside of Mount Ember was painstakingly mapped. Everyone was certain that they had found every passageway within the volcano, but Blaine wasn’t so sure.

There had been cryptic messages in a series of journals that became known as “The Triad,” which had been written back in the depths of time, which referred to “the Revealers.” For centuries, authorities had argued over what exactly the Revealers were, but they couldn’t reach a consensus.

But Blaine was pretty sure that he knew exactly what the Revealers were. And he was pretty sure he knew where to go and how to use them, too. It had cost him nearly his entire life savings, but if he could just find Moltres again, it would be worth it.

The first time that he had seen Moltres, he had been nine years old, separated from his parents on the upper slopes of Mount Moon. Just when he had been about to give up, Moltres had flown overhead, and shown him the way to the exit, where his parents were waiting for him. They claimed not to have seen the legendary, but Blaine knew that it had been up there in the sky, showing him the way.

It was with that same feeling now that he charged ahead towards the lip of the volcano, and looked down into the boiling magma that churned several hundred yards beneath his feet. He KNEW that Moltres was down there, somewhere. He listened as his men hurried up behind him. In their backpacks were the oxygen filters, shielded clothing, and the twenty-six Pokéballs that held what he believed to be the Revealers.

The group quickly donned the needed equipment, dropped all the flammable equipment, and started the trek down into the smoldering caldera of Mount Ember.


Three hours later, they were approaching the bottom of the caldera, and the heat, even inside the protective clothing, was stifling. Blaine knew that if they had worn their ordinary clothes down to this depth, the heat and pressure would cause them to spontaneously combust. He also knew that there wasn’t a lot of oxygen for their filters to get out of the air, so that they had better hurry.

He hadn’t been able to bring a map down with him, due to the fact that paper would burn, and a handheld computer would melt, but he had memorized the map. Their Pokeballs, however, like all other Pokeballs, were specially made and treated to prevent any melting. If the map that he held in his head was correct, he wasn’t that far away from what the journals he had discovered in a Johtan book shop had described as “the Gateway.” The Gateway, the journals had said, looked like any other place, but when the Revealers were combined, whatever that meant, the path would become clear.

Just a little bit further. Blaine’s Arcanine had been out for the past hour to discourage any Pokemon from popping out and attacking him or his group, but Blaien wasn’t worried about Pokemon this far down. There weren’t many Pokemon that could stand this kind of heat. Arcanine could because he was from a family that had a remarkable ability to tolerate heat. Blaine had had him bred for this very purpose.

Pheonix, as the giant canine was called, plowed ahead, scouting for any interlopers or the spot that he’d been shown on Blaine’s maps. Pheonix nearly passed it, but he managed to catch his mistake, wheel around, and come back to the spot.

Blaine nodded, and turned to his helpers, fellow sojourners hoping to see Moltres. They were both around his age, which was sixty-seven, and both had seen Moltres before. “Let ‘em out.” Blaine said, his voice muffled by the protective garments that he wore.

The two men reached for their belts and began releasing the twenty-six Pokemon stored within them. Within moments, Unown of all shapes and letters were milling around them.

Blaine held his breath. This was his big gamble. It had cost a small fortune to find just one of the Unown, but to get one of each letter had cost him his entire life savings. But it would all be worth it if the Unown turned out to be the Revealers. He had studied the Ruins of Alph extensively, and was certain that the Unown were the Revealers. He couldn’t think of anything else that the Revealers could be.

Blaine waited with baited breath as the last of the Unown appeared, but nothing happened. He frowned and glanced at his associates, “Are they all out?” he asked them.

Yeah,” one of them replied, “They’re all out.”

Blaine frowned, then he thought of something, “Maybe they need to be in their natural state. Start smashing the Pokeballs.”

The two men stared at Blaine as if he had lost his mind. “Do you have any idea how expensive these things are?” one of them shouted at him.

I have a good idea!” Blaine shot back, “I bought them, remember? They’re mine! Start smashing!”

The other two glanced at each other, and appeared to be thinking it over. Blaine didn’t give them a chance to finish thinking. He grabbed the Pokeballs and started smashing them against the rocks. Half-heartedly, the other two joined in, until every single Pokeball was broken.

As soon as it was, something in the air changed. A low buzzing could be heard. The Unown formed up into a spherical formation, and began revolving around an imaginary fixed point in their midst. “I’m getting out of here!” one of Blaine’s companions yelled. He turned around and ran for the exit. The other glanced around nervously, but stayed with Blaine. For his part, the gym leader was staring at the Unown with something of awe.

Few men had ever seen a Unown, let alone all of them at once. If they were the Revealers, as he thought they were, they would be about to do something beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations.

He wasn’t disappointed. Within seconds, they began to spin even faster, and then began closing in on each other. Finally, they touched, and a massive burst of energy was hurled out in all direction, knocking Pheonix, Blaine, and his remaining companion sprawling amid a giant cloud of dust.

When the cloud cleared, Pheonix and Blaine were alone, but could hear the sounds of feet quickly fading into the distance. Then Blaine saw something that no man had ever seen before. A passageway that led deeper into the mountain, with the Unown symbols stamped—or was it engraved?—onto the rock around the opening.

Revealers indeed,” Blaine breathed, and moved towards the passageway, gesturing for Pheonix to go ahead of him.

The pathway was brightly lit, probably by the light of magma far below reflecting off of the Fire Stones that studded the sides of the passageway. Blaine broke off several pieces, realizing that he could make his fortune off of the tunnel, then continued on down the tunnel.

A long time later, he reached the end, and a large room with a high ceiling. The floor consisted mainly of magma, but there a narrow pathway that was just wide enough for him to cross, but much too narrow for Pheonix. Blaine smiled sadly, “I’m sorry, old friend,” he said quietly, “But you have to return.” The majestic dog bowed his head gracefully as he was taken by the red beam, as if to say that he understood.

Blaine took a deep breath, and started along the walkway. It was very treacherous, and only nine inches wide. One wrong step would send him plunging into the lava on either side of him, but he kept going.

After he had crossed over the walkway, he came up to a wall with an opening, studded with Unown writing. Because of his extensive studying of the Ruins of Alph, he could read what it said.

You have come far, and endured much to find the treasure of this isle. In the next room you will find thirty paths. Beyond each of them is a reward. Only one leads to the treasure, however. Choose carefully, as you will only be able to choose once. If you choose the wrong path, you will die.

Blaine swallowed, and walked through the opening into the next room. As the writing had promised, there were thirty openings in addition to the one that he had just walked through.

Then a giant slab of rock slammed down behind him, sealing off that exit. Blaine swallowed. He had to make the right choice, or he would be dead. He looked around, and noticed that above each doorway, there were two symbols.

He wracked his memory, then remembered that some scholars speculated that in addition to their written language, the people of the Unown, whoever they were, had a second, pictographic written language. Not much was known about the second language. Blaine grimaced as he recognized some of the symbols from what he had seen at the Ruins of Alph.

Blaine frowned, walking to the center of the room and turning around, wishing that the heat weren’t quite as oppressive, even with his protective gear on. He had to choose once, and he had to make it count. There were many openings that scientists speculated dealt with fire, and many that dealt with birds. With some, both were on the same opening.

Blaine turned around until something caught his eye. The symbols above the opening that he was now looking at did not have anything to do with flying or with fire. They were the supposed Unown pictosymbols for ice and electricity. Blaine felt his heart skip a beat. Ice and electricity. Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos were often thought to be in a powerful trio of legendaries. Moltres was fire, Articuno was ice, and Zapdos was electricity. Could it really be that simple? He was looking for Moltres, and Articuno and Zapdos’ symbols were above one of the openings. He decided to take the chance.

Blaine hurried towards the opening, peeked inside, then darted through. Immediately after he was past the threshold, another stone slab slammed down behind him, blocking his exit. “Well,” he said ruefully, grinning, “I guess they meant it when they said I had only one try.”

He couldn’t see anything. It was just pure, total darkness. He reached for his belt, fumbled with the Pokeballs through his thick gloves, then released Pheonix. Immediately, the warm, protective light of the dog’s fires spread down the tunnel, and Blaine felt much better.

I think that Moltres is at the end of this tunnel,” Blaien explained to Pheonix quickly, “Let’s hurry and see if he is. If he’s not, then we’re both dead men.” Pheonix shot him a quick glance, and a quick, corrective growl. “Fine,” Blaine grumbled, “Then we’ll both be dead man and dog. Satisfied?”


Several hours later, Blaine, exhausted, stumbled out of the tunnels and into a much larger room. Pheonix wasn’t in much better shape. Both had been taped by fatigue and the ever-increasing heat. Blaine wasn’t sure how much farther he could go on, but he knew that he had to. He had to find Moltres. He had to!

He’d come all this way, and he wouldn’t be stopped now.

Welcome, mortals,” he heard a soft voice say. Blaine looked up, and, to his amazement, saw Moltres. Blazine blinked, then struggled up to his knees. “You have come a long way to see me. You are the first to do so.”

Blaine struggled to maintain consciousness, “I’m going to catch you, Moltres! Pheonix, go!” obediently, the fire type leaped between the two.

Moltres only laughed, “Your Arcanine could not defeat me, mortal, if he were the most powerful water type on earth.”

Blaine narrowed his eyes, “He could if he were Kyogre,” he said, grinning. The mere mention of water had been enough to make him realize exactly how thirsty and dried out he felt.

Moltres laughed, “Not even Kyogre could defeat me, I’m afraid. He is of this plane.”

Blaine frowned. “What do you mean, of this plane?” he demanded.

In due time,” Moltres said quietly, “You will learn. But now it is time for you to depart. I will take you to the surface.”

Blaine shook his head, “No way!” he exclaimed, “I want a battle!”

Moltres seemed to sigh, “Very well. Your Arcanine may have the first move, and then I’ll

use Ember.”

Blaine laughed, “For all the good it will do you! Pheonix, Extremespeed!”

The Arcanine was a blur, and struck the legendary bird squarely in the chest. “Are you done?” Moltres asked, a smug smirk on its countenance. “Because if you are…” it began, and let out an attack that Blaine had seen many times. Ember. But the intensity of this ember and its speed were beyond anything the gym leader had ever seen before.

When the attack hit Pheonix, the Arcanine was hurled backwards, and Blaine knew that he had fainted the moment the Ember had hit him, well before he smashed into the back wall and fell to the ground.

Blaine stared at Moltres in horror. Pheonix had been his strongest Pokemon. If the bird could do that to him, and the bird decided to come after him, he didn’t stand a chance. Moltres seemed to smile as the Arcanine was recalled, “It was very nice meeting you, Blaine. I shall see you again in many years.”

Blaine frowned, “You’re letting me go? I know how to get down here, I can do it again!”

Moltres seemed to laugh, “I’m afraid that the entrance that the Revealers opened has already resealed itself. And because it’s been opened, it can never be opened again.”

Blaine frowned. “Will I ever see you again?”

Moltres nodded his majestic head, “Most definitely,” he said, “I look forward to it.”

Here?” the old man asked.

Moltres shook his head, “I’m afraid not, Blaine. Until we meet again.”


Blaine woke up, and was suddenly staring up at a blue sky the stretched above him as far as he could see. The cries of children and adults filled the air. Blaine shook himself, and sat up. He was on one of Cinnabar’s famous beaches, and the water stretched as far as the eye could see.

Blaine leaped to his feet and looked around. He instantly knew where he was. He wasn’t actually that far from Cinnabr Town, and was on one one of the least frequented beaches. Of course, that was because it was only for Pokemon trainers going to and from the Seafoam Islands.

Blaine put a hand to his head. He felt like he had just woken up. He shook his head and headed up towards the gym. He must have been dreaming.


Far above, so high that he was only a speck, Moltres watched as Blaine got up from where Moltres had put him down, and moved towards Cinnabar Town. It would be interesting to see how the old man would fare in the coming turbulent times. Moltres knew basically what would happen, but hadn’t been briefed on the specifics. Indeed, it would be VERY interesting to see how things turned out.

Blaine was definitely somebody to watch.