Welcome to another exciting installment of Spacemon, the tale of a Pokemon TRPG campaign! This is a spinoff of the sci-fi space epic played using the Pokemon Tabletop United (PTU) system, this time GMed by yours truly. You can get caught up the entire Spacemon saga here!
“Well gentlemen, it has certainly been quite the exciting adventure these past few weeks,” Roland said, planting his cane firmly on the ground at the foot of the Maverick’s cargo ramp. The merchant had what few belongings he owned with him as he prepared to depart from the ship.
“Indeed it has,” Cyrus replied with a nod. “Good luck on your future ventures, Roland.”
“Thank you, sir,” Roland said, smiling. “And to you as well,” he continued, looking around at the Maverick’s crew, who had gathered to see him off. “All of you. I am forever in your debt for the hospitality you have shown.”
Roland had grown to quite like the people he had come to call his friends and crewmates, and he couldn’t help but feel a little sad to part ways with them. However, an opportunity that was too good to pass up had presented itself. That was how the Maverick had ended up on Araimia. An old friend of the merchant had reached out to him regarding an archaeological site that had been recently uncovered on the planet, requesting his assistance in researching the artifacts that were being recovered. This was no mere favor either; Roland was being offered quite the sum of credits to work on the project.
“Don’t mention it,” Cyrus said. “We’re always happy to help those in need.”
“Try not to get yourself killed,” Axel said, grinning.
“Oh, I can assure you, sir, that I have every intention of staying alive,” Roland replied.
“Parting ways with us is a wise decision then,” Taraka said. “Your chances of survival have surely gone up.”
“That’s probably true,” Axel agreed, letting out a loud laugh.
“Is there something you’re not telling me?” Gaster asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Oh don’t mind them,” Cyrus told the newest addition to the crew. “Danger seems to have a way of seeking us out, but we’re more than capable of handling it.”
“That’s good to know,” Gaster said.
“Well then, gentlemen,” Roland said. “This is the part where I take my leave.”
Cyrus gave the merchant a nod. “Take care of yourself, Roland.”
Roland nodded in response then turned to grab the case containing his belongings. “Farewell!” he called out, giving the Maverick crew one last wave. And then he went on his way, off to the exciting new opportunity that awaited him.
“Ah,” Axel sighed contently as he stepped off the cargo ramp out into the spaceport on Araimia where the Maverick was parked. “It’s a lovely day to make some money.” A wide grin formed on the mercenary’s face as he took a look around at the various ships, paying no mind to the group of shady looking men hanging out by one of them. An Outer Rim world like this one was the perfect place to make some quick cash.
“It’s always a lovely day to make some money,” Gaster said as he walked up behind Axel.
“Hah,” Axel laughed. “True enough. Now, what do you say, boys? How about we head into town and find a job?”
“A sound plan,” Taraka agreed, joining his two crewmates.
With that, the trio departed from the spaceport and made their way into town, one of of the many settlements on Araimia. In terms of Outer Rim colonies, the place was pretty nice looking. It was also situated in a lovely spot at the foot of the rocky rolling hills that dominated the landscape and not too far from the shore of Araimia’s massive ocean.
After some searching for a job board without success Axel, Gaster, and Taraka found themselves at the town’s colonial security office. It wasn’t much to see, being just a small building with a handful of security officers inside.
“How can I help you folks?” one of the officers asked as the three crewmates walked in. He seemed to be sizing them up just in case they were there to start trouble.
“Just lookin’ for work,” Axel said. “I don’t suppose you know of anything in this town that needs doing?”
“So you’re bounty hunters, then?” the officer asked.
“Something like that,” Gaster said.
“Well you’re in luck. The town’s having some trouble with wild Pokemon attacks,” the officer explained. “We’re too few to properly deal with them and no one from the other settlements on Araimia can be bothered to come lend a hand.”
“I think we can handle that for you,” Axel said, an eager grin on his face. “Just point us in the right direction.”
“Up in the hills,” the officer said. “That’s where its den is.”
“What’s den?” Taraka asked.
“The huge Tyranitar that’s been terrorizing the town for the past several weeks. It’s a mighty beast and no one is brave enough to take it on despite the reward.”
“Oh, don’t you worry,” Axel assured the man with a chuckle. “We shall go take care of this Tyranitar for you.”
“Good luck,” the officer said, an incredulous look on his face. “You’re gonna need it.”
“I think you’ll find that we’re more than capable of handling this,” Axel said confidently. “What do you think, boys?” he then asked, turning to Gaster and Taraka.
“I’m all for it,” Gaster said. “But I want to pick up some more Pokeballs first. Maybe we can catch it.”
Axel’s grin widened. “I like the way you think, Gaster.”
The midday sun was still shining brightly as Axel, Gaster, and Taraka made their way up through the rocky hills on the outskirts of town. Reaching the top of a rather large outcropping, Gaster paused to look around and get the lay of the land. They had been searching the hills for a few hours now, and the former smuggler had yet to see any sign of the Tyranitar’s den.
“And here I thought this was going to be an easy job,” Axel grumbled. He was clearly starting to get impatient.
“We haven’t really been searching that long,” Gaster told the mercenary. “We just need to find a trail or something, then we can track it back to its den.”
“That’s gonna take too long,” Axel replied. “Tyranitar, show yourself!” he then shouted loudly. He was answered only by the faint echo of his own voice and the wind rushing between the rocks.
Gaster sighed. “I honestly don’t know what you were expecting to happen.”
“He does this a lot,” Taraka said. Gaster looked in the monk’s direction to see him shrugging.
“Hey, it was worth a shot,” Axel said.
“Well, since that didn’t work, how about we find a trail to follow?” Gaster said. “C’mon. Let’s get moving.”
Sure enough, after a bit more searching, Gaster soon located a set of large tracks leading between the rocks. As there wasn’t much sign of other life in the hills, Gaster’s keen survival instincts told him these likely belonged to the Tyranitar they were looking for. After being stranded on a planet for months, he liked to consider himself a pretty good tracker. He knew they would be able to follow the Tyranitar’s tracks back to its lair.
Doing just that, the trio soon arrived at another large rocky outcropping. Upon further approach, Gaster could see that the tracks led into a path between the rocks and to a large cave entrance.
“This must be the Tyranitar’s den,” Taraka said.
“What did I tell you?” Gaster asked him comrades.
“Great, let’s go,” Axel said, taking a step toward the cave entrance.
“Now hold on a minute,” Gaster said. “Let’s be smart about this. We should wait outside and set up an ambush.”
“Oh, come on,” Axel replied. “We can take it no problem.”
“I’m with Gaster on this,” Taraka said. “We should wait for it to come to us.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Axel asked, taking another step toward the cave. He then inhaled deeply before shouting at the top of his lungs into the cave. “Tyranitar, show yourself!”
There was a tense moment of silence as the trio waited to see what would happen, then a powerful roar echoed out from the cave. It was followed by a loud thud that shook the ground beneath their feet. Then another. And another.
“Great, now you’ve done it,” Gaster said. He released his recently captured Quilava, then took cover behind the nearest rock.
“Don’t worry,” Axel said as he released two of his own Pokemon. “This is gonna be fun.”
“I think you have a very different idea of fun than the rest of us,” Taraka said, sending out a Pokemon of his own and throwing up a psionic barrier.
A moment later, the Tyranitar emerged from the cave and let out another roar at the sight of the trespassers in its territory. Tyranitars were large Pokemon, but this one was massive. It reminded Gaster of the giant Garchomp and Venbaxxen that had terrorized him for so many days and nights. This time, however, he had the means to capture the beast.
“Alright, let’s do this!” Axel called out. “Tsumugi, use Icy Wind! Ryner, use Ice Beam!” the mercenary ordered his Pokemon. His Ninetales and Alakazam unleashed their chilling attacks, but the Tyranitar brought its arms up to protect its face, and deflected the freezing assault with its rocky hide.
Letting out another ferocious roar, the Tyranitar drew its arms back, then took a swing at Axel’s Ninetales. “Look out, Tsumugi!” the mercenary called out to his Pokemon in warning. Heeding her trainer’s words, Tsumugi dodged back just in time. Chucks of stone went flying as the Tyranitar’s fist collided with the rock instead of its intended target.
“Damn, that thing hits hard,” Gaster said. He definitely wanted to avoid taking a blow like that. “Rusty, use Smokescreen and give us some cover!” the former smuggler commanded his Quilava. As his Pokemon laid down a cover of thick black smoke between the Tyranitar and himself and his crewmates, Gaster moved into the haze. The massive beast would have a hard time hitting him as long as he stayed in the smoke, but his cybernetic eyes allowed him to see just fine. Aiming down the sight of his rifle, Gaster fired off a shot, piercing through the Tyranitar’s rocky hide.
“Arctos, use Icy Wind!” Taraka then commanded his Beartic. As a layer of frost began forming on its body, the Tyranitar stomped forward against the chilled air blowing it back, then took a bite out of Arctos, doing some serious damage to him.
“Ryner, you too!” Gaster heard Axel call out. “Icy Wind! Tsumugi, Dazzling Gleam!” As the mercenary’s two Pokemon unleashed their attacks, the Tyranitar managed to evade the Tsumugi’s fairy type attack, only to be hit by Ryner’s blast of cold air that left its legs encased in a thin layer of ice.
Now seeming even angrier, the Tyranitar lashed out at Taraka’s Beartic again, but the ice that had formed around its legs hampered its movements, buying Arctos the opportunity to evade. “Now, use Brine!” Taraka commanded. The Tyranitar let out another angry roar as it was blasted with a tide of water. The ice immobilizing it shattered as it lunged forward, this time landing a decisive blow. The only reason the Beartic managed to stay standing was the protection of his trainer’s psionic barrier.
While the Tyranitar’s attention was drawn by Taraka’s Pokemon, Gaster took the opportunity to recall Rusty and send out a more effective Pokemon. His Quilava had done his job already. Now it was up to Gaster’s other new Pokemon, Oddish. “Ficus, use Stun Spore!” the former smuggler ordered his newly sent out Pokemon. The Tyranitar quickly seized up as it was coated in a dusting of immobilizing powder.
Axel was quick to jump on the opportunity Gaster had provided, ordering both his Pokemon to attack. “Tsumugi, Icy Wind! “Ryner, Ice Beam!”
Gaster followed suit, firing off several shots from his rifle. ‘Now Poison Powder!” the former smuggler commanded his Oddish. Another spray of powder later, the Tyranitar was showing signs of weakening as the last of its strength began to sap away.
“Now’s the time to catch it!” Taraka called out as he blasted it with psionic energy, further dazing it.
“You got it,” Gaster said, wasting no time in pulling out a great ball and throwing it at the Tyranitar. The ball hit dead on, pulling the powerful Pokemon inside. It shook once … twice … three times … then it fell still.
“Nice work, Ficus,” Gaster said to his Pokemon as he walked over to claim his prize. Turning back to look at the Oddish, he could see her beginning to glow, a sign of evolution. A moment later, he was looking at a Gloom. “Well, that was easy,” he said.
“Almost as easy as fighting that Tyranitar!” Axel laughed loudly.
“No thanks to you angering it,” Taraka said.
“I believe the words you’re looking for are ‘thank you Axel for luring the Tyranitar into our ambush.’”
“Right,” Gaster said dryly.
“Now, let’s see what’s inside its cave,” Axel said.
After a quick search of the beast’s lair, which revealed nothing but a few old Pokeballs that likely belonged to the last trainers brave enough to try capturing it and a pile of bones that Axel assumed were left behind from its last meal, the trio headed back to town to claim their reward.
“So you’re back,” the colonial security officer from earlier said upon their return to the office.
“Back for our reward,” Axel said bluntly, a grin on his face. “That Tyranitar won’t be bothering this town anymore.”
“Oh really?” the man asked incredulously.
“I got it right here if you want proof,” Gaster said, holding up the ball containing his new Pokemon. He then stepped outside and released the Tyranitar right outside the window.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” the officer said. “Let me get that reward for you.”
“Damn right,” Axel said. “Anything else need doing while we’re at it?”
“This is a small town,” the officer replied. “There’s not a whole lot of need for people of your skillset around here, but we are grateful for the service you have done for us.”
“We are happy to be of service,” Taraka said.
Axel nodded. “As long as we get paid.”
Notes: This was a fun little chapter to write. Since this was the first session after Roland’s player officially dropped out of the campaign, I added a scene at the beginning of the chapter to explain his departure and to give the crew a reason for visiting the planet other than just cause. It was something we never really handled in game for some reason. So yeah, this is the first bit of session 22. They went to a random planet and went looking for jobs and fought a slightly oversized Tyranitar. It wasn’t nearly as big as that Garchomp a few chapters back, though, even though I made a comparison in the writing. The fight was fun, but I missed a lot so the Tyranitar didn’t do nearly as much devastation as I expected. It didn’t even get to benefit from Guts stages because it was immobilized by paralysis on the one turn it had after getting poisoned before it got captured. There were some fun moments here too, such as Axel yelling into the cave like an idiot. We all got a good laugh at that. I did add a bunch of party banter too just to make the chapter more fun. They did more on the planet this session, but it made more sense to put that in the next chapter, so look forward to more Araimia adventures next time!
Post-Chapter Challenge: We said goodbye to Roland this chapter, but I wanted to make more use of him as a character with some details that I came up with months after he left which never really came up in game for reasons I don’t want to mention just yet. Anyway, what do you think Roland is going to be researching on Araimia?
That does it for this chapter. As always the Spacemon gang and I will be monitoring the comments to foster discussion and answer any questions. Feel free to give feedback and critiques of the writing so I can improve it for the future, or just leave a comment with what you think about what went down in this chapter or what you think might happen next! You can also revisit past chapters, check out the rest of the Spacemon saga, join the Spacemon Discord server, or like our Facebook page to stay updated on all things Spacemon! Click here for the next exciting installment of Spacemon: Frontier!