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!
“Now that’s one hell of a view,” Kasey said as she gazed down from the cliff edge into Zintau’s Great Rift and out across the fault line to the jungle on the far side. From here, she could see down into the dark depths of the Rift as well as over the treetops on the opposite side of the divide, which sat at a much lower altitude than where she and her two crewmates stood.
“Indeed,” Taraka said, nodding his head in agreement. “And look,” the monk continued, tracing the path of the far side of the Rift in the air with his finger. “You can see the ruins amongst the trees.” Looking closely, Kasey could in fact see ancient stone structures poking up through the treetops in various places all along the edge of the Rift. The bartender back in town hadn’t been kidding when he said there were a lot of ruins beyond this point.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Gaster asked. “Let’s get over there and see what treasures we can find.”
“And how, exactly, are we planning on doing that?” Kasey asked the former smuggler. As far as she could tell, there was no apparent way of crossing the Rift. It was quite the distance, after all.
“Easy. No problem,” Taraka said confidently. “Fels Vogel can get us over there in no time.”
“Fels Vogel?” Kasey inquired, not quite sure what the monk was talking about.
“His Aerodactyl,” Gaster explained.
“Oh, you have an Aerodactyl? Well, that’ll certainly make things easier,” Kasey said with a laugh.
Taraka smiled as he reached for one of the Pokeballs on his belt. “That’s what I brought him along for.”
“At least one of us was planning ahead,” Kasey said.
“I may not look it, but I’m pretty smart, you know,” Taraka said jokingly.
Kasey couldn’t help but chuckle. “I didn’t doubt it. Now, how about that treasure?”
The dense brush began to give way to jagged, rocky terrain as Taraka and his two crewmates moved through the jungle on the far side of the Great Rift. After flying across on the monk’s Aerodactyl, the trio had landed in an open area near the cliff edge. Finding nothing of interest in the ruins in the immediate area, they had pressed further into the thick jungle, but now it seemed to be opening up again.
As they moved further into this rocky area, Taraka began noticing lots of rubble and fallen trees all around. “This damage must be from that earthquake the bartender mentioned,” the monk said to his crewmates.
“That must mean the site he mentioned are close,” Gaster replied.
“I’m not sure how much of an indicator that is,” Kasey said. “The guy didn’t mention how big an area was impacted.”
“True enough, I suppose,” Gaster conceded. “But we should keep an eye out.”
Kasey nodded. “That’s the plan.”
“I am sure we’ll find it,” Taraka said. “I have a good feeling.”
As it soon turned out, the monk’s feeling was correct. Not much later, the trio of explorers came across a large, somewhat rounded structure half covered by rocky rubble and jungle overgrowth. The half that was exposed had obviously only just been uncovered, as evidenced by the recently uprooted trees scattered about the area. He couldn’t quite explain it, but Taraka felt drawn to this structure. It was the same feeling he had experienced earlier, only stronger.
“This must be the place,” Taraka said to his two companions. “I told you we’d find it.”
“You certainly sound sure of yourself,” Kasey said. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to hear the senses of a Sinai monk were right.”
“That’s great and all,” Gaster said. “But how are we going to get inside?”
Looking around, Taraka could see that there was no discernable entrance to the ruins, neither a planned one nor one caused by damage to the structure. Turning back to Gaster, the monk nodded. “That is indeed a good question,” he said.
“I don’t suppose those monk senses of yours can find us a way inside,” Gaster said.
“Only one way to find out.” With that, Taraka closed his eyes and reached out with his senses. He was soon met with flashes of strange, jumbled up visions that he couldn’t make sense of. He could also feel that same feeling drawing him to the ruins, but it gave him no indication of where an entrance might be. Unsuccessful in his attempt, Taraka opened his eyes and looked at his crewmates.
“Well?” Gaster asked expectantly.
“I’m afraid not,” Taraka informed his companions.
“I guess we’ll just have to make our own entrance then,” Gaster said. He then pulled out one of his Pokeballs and sent out his Krokorok. “Jimothy, I need you to help us tunnel into these ruins.”
“Be careful,” Kasey said. “We don’t want to bring the ruins down.”
“Yeah,” Gaster said, nodding. “That’s why I didn’t send out my Tyranitar. Jimothy here will be much more precise.”
“If you say so.”
“Alright Jimothy, make us an entrance.”
Heeding the command of his trainer, the Krokorok approached the outside wall of the ruins and began digging into the crumbling stone bricks and corroded metal of the structure. Given the age of the structure, it was rather easy for the Pokemon to break through to the other side. Peering into the hole Jimothy made, Taraka saw what seemed to be a long corridor.
“Shall we?” Gaster asked, taking a step toward the entrance his Pokemon had created. He then proceeded to climb through.
Taraka followed close behind and stepped into the dark corridor, which was lit only by the light flittering in through the newly created entrance. As Kasey entered after him, Taraka looked down the corridor in both directions, but he saw nothing interesting down either due to the slight curvature of the corridor.
“Which way should we go?” Kasey asked.
“How about right?” Taraka suggested. He then began walking in that direction without waiting for an answer.
“Right works,” Kasey said, following the monk.
As they walked on into the darkness of the corridor, Taraka soon spotted a faint light up ahead. Once they got a bit closer, the monk saw that it was originating from glowing runes along the metallic surface of the inner wall which cast a pattern onto the opposing wall made of mostly stone brick. Taraka couldn’t quite place it, but something about the runes seemed familiar.
“It’s crazy that this place still has power,” Kasey commented, approaching the wall to get a better look. “I’d love to get a look at whatever power source is here. Imagine what we could learn from something that’s been running for so long.” She then fell silent as she began examining the runes more closely. “I do wonder what the purpose of these runes is.”
“I am not sure,” Taraka told her. “But for some reason they feel familiar.”
“This is nothing like Ace is it?” Gaster asked.
“Oh goodness,” Taraka said, coming to a realization. “That’s why they looked familiar. We saw runes just like these on the walls in the ruins where we found Ace and several other sites we visited before we picked you guys up that we believe were built by the same people. But how did you make that connection?”
Gaster shrugged. “They’re glowing the same color as the lights on Ace’s body.”
“Maybe we should have brought him along,” Kasey said.
“Too late now,” Gaster said. “We can always come back here with him another time, but for now let’s keep checking this place out.”
“Right,” Taraka said. “Let us proceed.”
Continuing on their way down the corridor, the trio eventually came upon an intersection. The corridor continued on along the perimeter of the structure, but another branched off and led to a staircase leading upwards. The faint glow of daylight shimmering on the stairs led Taraka to believe that they led back to the outside.
“Which way now?” Kasey asked, glancing down both corridors.
“I say we go up,” Gaster said, peering down the corridor they were in. “I think this way will just take us in a big circle.”
“I agree,” Taraka said, nodding.
“Up it is then,” Kasey said.
Upon ascending the stairs, the three explorers emerged into an open courtyard that appeared to sit at the center of the structure. Looking around, Taraka spotted another staircase on the far side of the courtyard that led up to a higher balcony level that wrapped around the entire wall. The ground was cracked and overgrown in many places, especially the grassy patch near the middle, in the center of which stood a statue. The statue was rather eroded, but Taraka was able to make out a humanoid shape.
“I’m surprised this is even standing at all,” the monk said as he approached the statue. “That’s some fine craftsmanship.”
“Can you sense anything about it?” Gaster asked, walking up beside Taraka.
Taraka nodded. “I can try.” He reached out with his senses, but he was only able to reach into the recent past. He saw a vision of the statue as time shifted around it. A group of Chatots flew in and landed on it for a brief time, one leaving a gift of droppings before they flew off. When the monk opened his eyes, he spotted the stain that particular Pokemon left behind.
“Anything?” Gaster asked.
“Just some Chatots using the bathroom,” Taraka replied.
“Well that’s not very useful,” Gaster grumbled.
“I guess we should check upstairs then?” Kasey suggested.
“As good a plan as any,” Taraka agreed.
After climbing the stairs, Taraka led the group off the balcony through a large arched doorway and into another curved corridor. This one, however, was much brighter, with large windows that looked out into the courtyard. A series of doors, meanwhile, lined the outer wall, each leading into a different room.
“What’s behind door number one?” Gaster asked, approaching the first door one the right. The former smuggler pressed against the door and it opened, allowing him to step inside.
Following his crewmate in, Taraka took a look around the room. The floor was littered with what appeared to be rotted and destroyed furniture, but it was hard to say for sure. As the monk peered at the mess from a distance, Gaster approached one of the more intact object in the room, the remains of what might have once been a couch.
“What do we have here?” Gaster said after a few moments.
Taraka approached his crewmate and took a look at what he was pulling out from beneath the ruined piece of furniture. “Looks like a bunch of coins,” the monk said upon seeing the pile of small metal discs Gaster had found.
“Might be valuable,” Gaster said, pocketing the coins.
“It’s crazy to me that they used to have coins,” Taraka commented. “Actual physical currency that people carried around with them.”
“Seems cumbersome,” Gaster said, standing up. “These things are kind of heavy.”
“Good thing it’s all digital now,” Kasey said with a laugh.
“Yeah,” Taraka said. “But at least with coins you could through them at people. You can’t do that with credits.”
“There are plenty of other things that are better for throwing at people,” Kasey pointed out.
“Yeah, whatever,” Taraka replied before wandering off to another part of the room.
Coming across another mostly intact piece of furniture, this one appearing to be some sort of desk, Taraka began rummaging around through it. Pushing aside a large chunk of rotted wood with his staff, the monk uncovered a small metal box.
“Hello,” Taraka said, fishing the box out of the rubble. He attempted to pull the lid off the box, but he soon discovered it was locked tight. “Hmm,” he said, setting the box down on the desk to get a better look at it. He located the lock, which appeared to be completely rusted over. With enough force, the lock could probably be broken open. As there was only one way to find out, bashed the lock with his staff. Lo and behold, the lock popped off, flying across the room.
“Woah, careful there!” Kasey called out in surprise as she instinctively ducked.
“Heh, sorry about that,” Taraka chuckled. “I didn’t expect that to work.” He then turned back to the box. “Let’s see what we’ve got here.”
Pulling off the lid, Taraka found a few items. There were a couple glass vials containing what appeared to be some sort of medicine, not unlike a potion or burn heal, but the thing that captured the monk’s interest was an old, leather-bound book. Something about it seemed so familiar. It soon dawned on him that he had seen a very similar book in his vision back in the Grand Monastery on Mechorah. An overwhelming sense of curiosity and excitement overtaking him, Taraka picked up the book and opened it to a random page.
As soon as he laid eyes upon the unfamiliar script on the page, Taraka found himself in another place altogether. Just as soon as he realized he was somewhere else, the monk found himself somewhere else entirely. He soon realized that he was experiencing another vision. A rapid flow of information flashed before him, seemingly all at once. Places. People. Events. It was all jumbled up and he couldn’t make much sense of it, but the monk got the feeling he was seeing different moments from the same person’s life.
It’s a diary, Taraka realized. As soon as he discerned the nature of the book in his hands, Taraka found himself back in the room with Gaster and Kasey. The vision was over. Setting the book down, Taraka immediately pulled his scroll out. Sure enough, the third section of it was glowing with the same pale purple light as the first two.
“Whatcha got there, Taraka?” Kasey suddenly asked.
“A diary of some sort,” the monk explained. “And the catalyst for my third vision,” he added, holding up his holoscroll.
“Incredible,” Kasey gasped. “I’ve never seen a Sinai holoscroll up close before. You’ve gotta tell me what you saw.”
“I am not sure yet,” Taraka told her. “As with all visions, I will need time to meditate with my scroll and learn its true meaning.”
“Amazing,” Kasey said, her excitement clear in her voice.
“You’ll have plenty of time back on the ship,” Gaster said. “Right now we should focus on exploring the rest of this place.”
“Indeed,” Taraka agreed.
Returning his scroll to his bag along with the contents of the metal box, Taraka followed his crewmates out of the room. Moving on to the next room, the trio entered into what appeared to have once been a bedroom. Unfortunately, they found nothing of interest within. The same was the case for the next room. This one appeared to be nothing more than a broom closet containing only a Rattata which fled to a hole into the wall and out of sight. In fact, the entire remainder of the floor was made up of rooms containing nothing of value.
Deciding there was nothing left to find on this floor, the three crewmates ascended another staircase they came across during their sweep of the place. As before, this staircase led to another corridor, but this one was wider, hanging over the courtyard below a bit. There were doors lining the outer wall as well, but these ones were made of strong, durable metal, all of which were well secured.
“Don’t think we’ll be getting through any of these without a considerable amount of force,” Gaster said as he made one last attempt to push one of the doors open. “But sending out my Tyranitar here is definitely not a good idea.”
“Maybe use your Krokorok again,” Kasey suggested. “If he teams up with my Fraxure, we might be able to get this door open.”
“It’s worth a shot,” Gaster agreed.
Taraka stood back as his two crewmates released their Pokemon and instructed them to work together to break the door down. After first trying to bash it down, they tried prying it open. After a few moments, the sound of creaking metal began to echo through the corridor. Eventually, after several minutes, the two Pokemon managed to tear the door down. A loud bang sounded as the heavy duty door fell to the floor.
“Well, that was something,” Gaster said as he stepped over the door into the room. Taraka quickly followed behind. Once his eyes adjusted to the low light within the room, he could see some form of ancient technology lining the walls.
“Looks like some kind of lab,” Kasey said.
“I think you’re right,” Taraka agreed. “And I think this might have something to do with how Ace was created. It will definitely be a good idea to come back here with him. Maybe it will help him recognize something, or trigger his memory.”
“Great idea,” Gaster said. “We should also bring something to carry all this stuff. It’s got to be valuable. We can strip this place for salvage to sell. We should take some of this with us on our way back though. Kasey, do you think you can figure out what might be the most valuable since we won’t be able to carry that much?”
“Can do,” Kasey said, a smirk on her face. “Let’s see what we’ve got here.”
After several minutes, Kasey had put together a small pile of items that could easily be carried out. “That should do it,” she said, looking up from the pile to her two crewmates. “I think this stuff will be the most useful salvage.”
“I’ll trust your judgement on that,” Gaster said. “Now, let’s get this stuff loaded up and get out of here.”
Notes: And there you have it, the rest of session 29. This was a relatively easy chapter to write compared to the last two, I just didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on it. Splitting this session into two chapters was definitely a good idea and not having to deal with combat was nice. Writing fight scenes can be taxing. The first scene is a little extra bit I added for better flow, but the rest is all pretty much spot on to what actually happened in game. There was some really good party banter and small bits of RP in this part of the session and a lot of that is featured here in the writing with almost no changes. All I really did was add some details here and there to enhance things, and it came out really great. The best part was that all of this was improvised. I made up the ruins as we went along, even deciding to throw in Taraka’s scroll vision. It was actually right around this point in the campaign where I actually finally nailed down what all of his visions would be, at least I think it was. It was so long ago at this point. That’s part of why I’m glad I planned to write the chapters well after the sessions so I could add the details in earlier chapters to foreshadow things I planned later into the campaign. All in all, this was a fun session while we waited for Axel to be present again.
Post-Chapter Challenge: So Taraka has now filled three of four sections of his scroll. Only one final vision remains. At this point I’m curious as to where you think his pilgrimage will lead him. For this challenge, I’d like to know what you think the final vision trigger will be and how everything so far fits together. I’m excited to hear your theories!
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!