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Spacemon: Frontier - Chapter 5: Specters in the Swamp!

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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!

The crew of the UAS Maverick gathered in the cockpit as the ship dropped out of warp space in the Vega system on the fringe of Sector 32. As the ship drew near the coordinates the crew had acquired from the job board on Meridian, Taraka watched a ball of greens and browns surrounded in swirling masses of gray clouds slowly fade into view out the front viewport.


“This is it,” Anya said as she brought the Maverick into orbit. “Starting scans now.” The ship’s pilot hit a few buttons on the console, and data began scrolling across the main viewscreen.

After several moments, an alert popped up, marking a point on the planet’s southern hemisphere. It read ANOMALY DETECTED in large, flashing red text.

“I’m willing to bet that’s where these ruins of ours are located,” Cyrus said.

Taraka nodded in agreement. “I concur,” the Sinai monk said.

“Anya, take us down,” the captain instructed the pilot.

“You got it,” she replied. Anya angled the controls forward, and the Maverick began descending toward the planet below.


As the ship broke through the atmosphere, the crew was greeted with the sight of thick forests and muddy swamplands. It wasn’t the most hospitable planet Taraka had ever laid eyes on. The Maverick continued to fly over the treetops until it reached the anomaly: a crumbling mass of towers and other structures built of stone and metal, overgrown and partially sunk into the swamp.

“There they are,” the captain said. “Now we just need to find a place to land. It’s definitely gonna have to be a ways off if we don’t want to get stuck here.”


“Over there,” Ace said, pointing at a flat, open patch of solid ground between the trees a few kilometers out from the ruins. The clearing in question appeared to be just large enough for the Maverick to land. “I think we can land in that clearing there.”

“I see it,” Anya replied, steering the ship in that direction.

“Looks solid enough,” the captain said. “Might as well give it a shot.”

Anya flew the ship over the clearing, then brought it back around and set it down, finessing the controls to fit between the trees properly. Upon touching down, the ship listed a bit as it settled into the mud, then fell still.


“Alright, you three with me,” Cyrus said, turning to look at Taraka, Ace, and Axel.

Taraka followed the Maverick’s captain and his two crewmates to the back of the ship and down the cargo ramp. Stepping out onto the muddy ground, the Sinai monk looked around at his surroundings.


“This place gives me the creeps,” Axel said what Taraka was thinking. Something about the place was giving him a strange feeling.

“Creeps or no, we’ve got a job to do here,” the captain said.

“Yeah, let’s just be quick about it,” the mercenary replied.

“Right,” Ace agreed.

Cyrus took a step forward, toward a muddy pathway leading between the trees and away from the clearing. Taraka and his crewmates followed close behind. The group pressed onward, moving around large, gnarled tree roots and pools of putrid brown water. The further they walked, the more Taraka got the feeling they were being followed. The monk calmed his mind and reached out with his senses. He felt a presence lurking amongst the trees.


“There’s something out there,” Taraka announced, looking into the brush.

“We’re not here to fight you!” Axel shouted out.

“Keep it down,” Cyrus ordered the mercenary. “We don’t want to provoke whatever’s out there.”


“Yeah, whatever,” Axel replied. “Let’s just hurry up so we can get out of here and get paid. The sooner we leave the better.”

Before the Maverick crew could proceed any further, Taraka suddenly spotted three shadowy shapes with glowing red eyes moving amongst the trees. The monk quickly recognized what he was looking at. “Ghost Pokemon,” he said, pointing in their direction.


“What?” Axel asked, turning to see what Taraka was looking at. As the mercenary spun around, a Gastly, a Shuppet, and a Duskull floated out toward the crew.


“I suggest we get out of here and make for those ruins,” Ace said as the three ghostly Pokemon began circling around them.

“They’ll just chase after us,” Cyrus responded as he reached for his pistol. “We should fight them off.”


Taraka nodded and reached for his Togetic’s Pokeball. The captain was right.


“Alright then,” Axel said, tossing out a Pokeball of his own. “Ritsu, Ember!” the mercenary shouted as his Charmander emerged. The fire lizard Pokemon spit out a jet of flames at the Gastly as she landed, but the gaseous ghost floated up and out of harm’s way. The Gastly then flew down at the Charmander and licked her face with its long, spectral tongue, causing the Pokemon to tense up.

Seeing his crewmate’s Pokemon in a tough situation, Taraka cast out a psionic barrier to protect it from further harm. “Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” the monk then commanded his own Pokemon. The Togetic flapped her wings furiously, sending out a blast of air that struck the Shuppet and sent it flying back. Angered by the attack, the puppet Pokemon fired back with a blast of ghostly energy, but Sirius didn’t seem to mind it.


Meanwhile, the Duskull moved up on Ace and unleashed its own ghostly attack. The captain quickly fired off a few shots at it, forcing it to retreat, freeing up Ace to let loose his own attack. He took aim at the Gastly with his rifle, dealing a decisive hit. Axel immediately chucked a Pokeball at it, capturing it instantly.

Taraka then pulled out a Pokeball of his own. The Shuppet attempted to float away as the monk tossed the ball at it, but it was no use. The ball found its mark and pulled the Pokemon inside. It then fell down into the mud and began to shake. It wobbled a couple times, then fell still.


“Ritsu, use Ember!” Axel commanded his Pokemon. The Charmander spit out another tongue of flame, this time targeting the Duskull.


“Sirius, use Fairy Wind!” Taraka ordered a follow-up attack. His Togetic sent a surge of wind in the Duskull’s direction, causing it to dissipate.

“That wasn’t so bad,” the captain said, holstering his pistol. “Now let’s head for that ruin.”


After a few hours spent traversing tangled swamp plants, twisting roots, muddy sinkholes, and pools of disgusting water along the winding path through the quagmire, the Maverick crew eventually drew near the ruins. The path grew wetter and wetter as they moved into the ruins, passing through fallen towers poking out from beneath the deep pools of muddy water. It was quite clear to Taraka that whatever lay sunken in this swamp was very old.


Approaching the center of the ruins, the path all but disappeared. Right at their heart, Taraka could see a large structure rising up from the depths of the swamp. Of all the crumbled buildings, this one seemed the most intact. Unfortunately, there was no clear way of reaching it.

“This looks like a fine predicament,” Ace said as he walked up beside Taraka. “How are we supposed to get there.


“There must be a way,” Cyrus said. The Maverick’s captain pulled out a Pokeball and released his Talonflame. “Peregrine, see if you can find us a way across,” he commanded the Pokemon. The Talonflame flew up high and began circling, searching for a path.

In the meantime, Taraka decided to see what he could pick up from the ruin they now stood in. The monk found his way to a large, dry chunk of stone and climbed on top of it. He sat himself down in a meditative position and reached out with his mind. Closing his eyes, Taraka was able to glimpse flashes of images, but nothing that made sense. It was all just a convoluted jumble, except for one thing. Something lay within the central structure of the ruins.


Taraka slowly opened his eyes to see Ace looking at him. “What is it?” the monk’s robotic crewmate asked him.

“That structure is indeed where we must go,” Taraka answered.

“I bet that’s where we’ll find what Baker’s looking for,” Cyrus said. “Peregrine what did you find?” the captain asked as his Pokemon returned.


The Talonflame let out a piercing cry, then began flying off, around the side of the central structure. The Maverick’s crew followed the Pokemon, which led them to the far side of the building, to a narrow, winding strip of muddy ground leading to the structure between the large pools of water, to a large opening in the stone and metal wall.

“I guess this is the way we need to go,” Axel said.

“Sure looks like it,” the captain agreed. He took a step forward. “Shall we see what’s inside?”


Notes: And that’s the end of session 2. It was another shorter session since IR ended up needing to leave to eat dinner and we couldn’t really proceed anyway since I needed time to prep the interior of the ruins. It made sense to end the chapter here as well and make exploring the interior its own chapter, so this one is a little on the short side. There wasn’t a whole lot that happened here aside from the combat encounter, and checking out the exterior of the ruins. I added a lot of dialogue to the opening part, and to the end. For better narrative pacing, I added the part with the Talonflame, and I’m happy with how it made the scene flow. As for funny things that happened during the session, Axel rolled almost all 1s on his focus check when first heading out into the swamp, despite it being his highest skill. We all had a good laugh about that. For the combat encounter, I decided to throw some weaker Pokemon at them, since the wild encounter on Scoria was almost too much for them with Pokemon near their Pokemon’s level. It was a nice quick fight that set the tone for the planet. I used the planet generator and it spat out forest, wetland, and ghost, so I put the ruins in a spooky ghost swamp! What lurks within?


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!

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