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 on the entire Spacemon saga here!
“You sure you wanna do this?” Anya asked as she brought the UAS Maverick down through the atmosphere of Snezhok, a frozen tundra world in Romanov Sector 14. “It almost looks as bad as Mir Zimoy out there.”
“We’ve been to snowy planets before,” Taraka reminded the pilot. “A little cold once in a while never hurt anyone.”
“... You’ve never been to the capital, have you?”
The monk shook his head. “Not yet.”
“You probably don’t want to go there,” Anya said. “I lived there for a couple years and it almost made me miss Voskova … almost.”
“Is it really that bad?” Taraka asked.
“Yes, it was,” Anya replied. “If this planet is as cold as the nav chart says, Mir Zimoy is at least twice as bad.”
“That sounds cold alright,” Taraka said.
“Cold is an understatement.”
A shiver ran through Gaster’s body as the frigid air of Snezhok’s southern polar region hit him. Even through his winter gear, the former smuggler could feel the stinging cold. It was still better than the desert, though.
“Alright, let’s go find some Pokemon,” Taraka said as he started down the Maverick’s cargo ramp. Gaster glanced at Ace and the android nodded back at him before following the monk.
Snow crunched underfoot as Gaster stepped off the ramp behind his companions. Other than the wind, that sound was the only thing the former smuggler heard as the trio set out into the snowfields of Snezhok. As they walked along, Gaster gazed out across the snowdrifts.
There was no particular reason the Maverick had stopped on this planet. Cyrus had taken on a simple delivery job to the sector to test the waters. The crew hadn’t been back to Romanov space since the incident on Troyva and the captain wanted to make sure they wouldn’t face any trouble from the authorities before beginning their investigation into Boris Yong. It seemed that Simon Dolohov had been correct in that they weren’t wanted for involvement in the assassination of Mikhail Yong, as they faced no difficulty in entering Romanov space nor in making their delivery. On the return trip, some members of the crew had expressed interest in stopping on an uninhabited plant to look for Pokemon, which is what had brought them to Snezhok.
Gaster hadn’t been super interested in going out to explore a freezing planet like this one, but there was nothing better to do while they were here. Besides, he wanted to be there in case Ace and Taraka ran into trouble. And so, here he was.
As the trio walked along, Gaster didn’t notice any Pokemon around. The Maverick’s scanners had indicated there were a lot of life signs in this particular region, but so far none had made their presence known. That was until the three explorers crested a slight hill. On the other side they spotted a Bergmite as well as a couple of Delibirds.
“I want it,” Taraka said, pointing out the Bergmite.
Making their way down the hill to engage the Pokemon, the three crewmates sent out Pokemon of their own. Ace sent out his Dusclops while Taraka went with his Spritzee. Gaster opted to go with his recently evolved Galvantula. After the big brawl in Markovic’s club, it hadn’t taken much additional training for Gaster to get her to evolve. The former smuggler knew she would be useful for capturing Pokemon.
“Nicole, use Spider Web on that Bergmite!” Gaster ordered the EleSpider Pokemon as they reached the bottom of the hill. After skittering forward to get in range, the Galvantula launched a sticky net of webbing at the Bergmite, trapping it in place.
Moving up alongside his Pokemon, Gaster took aim at one of the Delibirds with his laser rifle. He landed a direct hit, eliciting a squawk of pain and anger from the Delivery Pokemon. The Delibird then responded by pulling something out of its sack and throwing it at the former smuggler. The object landed at Gaster’s feet, then it exploded. However, instead of inflicting pain, it reinvigorated him.
As he moved toward the Bergmite, Taraka sent out a couple rays of psionic energy, targeting the two Delibirds. Both rays found their way to their targets, leaving the pair of Pokemon in a dizzy state. Fighting through its disorientation, the second Delibird responded by throwing an object from its sack at the monk. This time, the object detonated with a forceful explosion that caused Taraka to stumble.
“Let’s not have any more of that,” the monk said, shooting a burst of psionic energy back at the Delibird, causing it to drop its sack. “Snoops, use Fairy Wind!” he then commanded his Spritzee.
As his Pokemon made her attack, Taraka turned back toward the Bergmite. It continued its struggle against the webs as he began to approach. It soon gave up, though, and let out a cry. As it did so, hail began to fall from the clouds overhead.
Meanwhile, Gaster and Ace focused on the other Delibird. Ace ran up to it and struck with his laser sword, then had his Dusclops burn it with a Will-O-Wisp. After having his Galvantula stun the Delivery Pokemon with Thunder Wave, Gaster chucked a Pokeball at it. The ball shook for a few moments in the snow before falling still.
Seeing its friend get captured, the remaining Delibird started running over where it had been standing. However, in its dazed state, it tripped and fell face-down in the snow. While it was down, Ace commanded his Dusclops to attack, “Cyclops, hit it with Shadow Punch, then follow up with Shadow Sneak!” The Beckon Pokemon floated over to the Delibird struck with her shadowy hands, knocking it out as it tried to pick itself up. As the Delivery Pokemon dropped, Cyclops began to glow, signaling her evolution into a Dusknoir.
With the two Delibirds dealt with, Gaster turned his attention back to Taraka and the Bergmite. The two were trading blasts of psionics and ice, respectively, but the Ice Chunk Pokemon appeared to be healing its wounds with the hailstones dropping on it.
“Nicole, use Gastro Acid!” Gaster commanded his Galvantula. The electric spider skittered across the snow at the Bergmite, then doused it with acid, which prevented the hail from rejuvenating the Ice Chunk Pokemon. The former smuggler then fired a few shots at it, softening it up for Taraka.
“Go to sleep!” Taraka shouted, shooting the Bergmite with a hypnotic beam.
Once the Bergmite dozed off, Ace tossed a Pokeball at it. “All yours,” the android told the monk as the ball fell still.
“Thank you for your assistance,” Taraka said. “I shall return the favor in the future.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Ace replied. “Cyclops evolving was enough of a reward. And it looks like your Pokemon is too.” The android pointed to Taraka’s Spirtzee, which, sure enough, was going through the evolution process.
“Nice,” Taraka said as Snoops’s transformation into an Aromatisse completed.
“We can celebrate later,” Gaster told his crewmates. “Let’s find somewhere to take shelter until this hail dies down.”
“Good idea,” Ace said, nodding in agreement. “I think I see a cave over there.”
“Looks like this goes pretty deep,” Gaster said as he peered down into the icy cavern.
As it turned out, the cave that Ace had spotted was a deep crevasse in a nearby glacier. The entrance to the crevasse was functionally a cave made of ice and provided shelter from the hail, but it continued on, leading down into the heart of the glacier.
“I don’t want to get lost in there,” Taraka said.
“Fine by me,” Gaster replied. “Let’s just wait here until the hail lets up.”
“I like this plan,” Ace chimed in.
As the trio began to settle in, a sudden rush of cold air came from within the crevasse. Suddenly, a Froslass floated out from the darkness, a curious look upon its face.
“Wow,” Taraka said, taking a step toward the Snow Land Pokemon. The Froslass didn’t seem to take kindly to this because it summoned forth another blast of chilling wind, this time directed right at the monk.
“Nicole, use Electroweb!” Gaster responded to this hostile action. The former smuggler’s Galvantula sprang to action, shooting the Froslass with an electrified web. While the Froslass was briefly immobilized, Gaster raised his tesla coil rifle and fired, landing a direct hit.
“Snoops, use Sweet Kiss!” Taraka commanded his Aromatisse as he threw up a psionic barrier.
As the Aromatisse made her attack, Ace struck the Froslass with his sword, then issued a command to his Dusknoir, “Cyclops, use Will-O-Wisp!”
“Nicole, use Thunder Wave!” Gaster then followed up with a command of his own. The former smuggler then chucked a Great Ball at the Froslass, but it broke free. Taraka tried next, but he too failed to capture the icy ghost.
Floating back from its attackers, the Froslass closed its eyes and entered a trance in an attempt to recover some energy. The trance didn’t last long, however, as Taraka had his Aromatisse wake it up with a Fairy Wind attack. A slash from Ace’s sword and a Thunder Punch from the android’s Dusknoir soon brought its stamina right back down to where it had been.
“One more hit should soften it up enough for the capture,” Gaster mused aloud. “Nicole, use Electroweb!” The former smuggler’s Galvantula shot another electrified web at the Froslass, knocking it out. It seemed that he had miscalculated.
“Woops,” Gaster said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was so weak.”
“That’s okay,” Taraka said. “On the bright side, it sounds like the hail stopped.”
“You’re back,” Cyrus observed Ace, Gaster, and Taraka boarded the Maverick.
After several more hours of exploring the glaciers, all the three crewmates had found was a large colony of Delibirds, which they elected to leave alone. It didn’t seem worth the trouble, so they decided to head back to the ship.
“Any luck?” the captain asked.
“Some,” Taraka said. “I caught a Bergmite and Gaster caught a Delibird.”
“We’d like to go check out the tundra region of the planet too, if that’s not too much trouble,” Ace said.
“Fine with me,” Cyrus said. “Go let Anya know.”
Ace nodded. “Will do.”
“Hey, Captain, I was thinking,” Gaster said as his two crewmates departed. “It occured to me that the Red Riders were looking into that psychic assassin too. It’s been what, like eight months or so since we last saw them? It might be worth giving Lars a call and see if he’s learned anything. At the very least, he’d probably like to know what we found out.”
“Good idea,” Cyrus said. “I’m working on taking inventory here, so why don’t you go ahead and contact Lars without me?”
“Alright, sounds good,” Gaster said before heading for the comms room.
As the Maverick lifted off, Gaster sat down at the comms station and called up Lars Rickets. He didn’t receive a response, so he opted to leave a message. He assumed that Lars must have been on a job or something, but a part of him couldn’t help but worry that the psychic assassin had got to the Red Riders, however unlikely the idea seemed.
Taraka breathed in the cold tundra air as he made his way across the frozen plains of Snezhok with Ace and Gaster. It was definitely a bit warmer here than in the polar region, but it was still quite cold. The monk didn’t particularly mind, though.
“Hey look,” Ace suddenly said. Looking to where the android was pointing, Taraka saw a Cryogonal floating around as well as a pair of Pidgeys pecking at the frozen ground.
“It’s just a couple of Pidgeys,” Gaster said.
“I’ll take that Cryogonal, though,” Ace said.
“Alright,” Gaster replied. “I’ll clean up those birds then.”
The former smuggler sent out his Galvantula and ordered her to attack, “Nicole, use Electroweb!” The EleSpider Pokemon moved up on the unsuspecting pair of bird Pokemon and shot an electrified web at one, taking it down instantly. Gaster then shot a burst of laser fire at the remaining Pidgey and the Cryogonal. It didn’t seem to do much to the Crystallizing Pokemon, but the Tiny Bird Pokemon was another story. Gaster was surprised it hadn’t been knocked out.
“Might as well capture it,” Taraka said, procuring a Pokeball. The monk threw it at the Pidgey, but the Tiny Bird Pokemon took to the sky, narrowly avoiding it.
As the Pokemon lifted off, Taraka noticed that its lighter colored feathers were more white than the tan color that was typical of the species. This led him to believe that it was a special variant indiginous to the planet. The monk’s theory was confirmed when the Pidgey stirred up an Icy Wind, pelting him and Ace with a frigid blast of air.
Ignoring the Pidgey, Ace kept his sights set on the Cryogonal. “Cyclops, Will-O-Wisp!” he commanded his Dusknoir. The Gripper Pokemon burnt the Cryogonal with a ghostly wisp of flame, drawing its ire. However, the Crystallizing Pokemon barely had time to fire a shard of ice back at Cyclops before Ace chucked a Great Ball at it, capturing it instantly.
That just left the Pidgey. A Thunder Wave from Gaster’s Galvantula dropped it out of the sky, leaving it quite vulnerable to capture. Taraka was quick to seize the opportunity and make another capture attempt. This time, his Pokeball hit dead on and the Pidgey was caught.
“Another successful venture,” Taraka declared as he claimed his prize.
“I’m ready to head back, though,” Gaster said. “It’s starting to get too cold for my liking.”
As if on cue, a massive gust of freezing wind blew through. The cold seemed to pierce through Taraka’s winter gear. The monk shivered.
“Agreed,” Taraka said. “Let’s return to the Maverick and warm up.”
“Ah,” Gaster sighed as he settled in at the Maverick’s comms station with a hot cup of coffee. He took a quick sip before bringing up the logs.
Seeing that the ship had received a return call from Lars, Gaster thought he would try calling the bounty hunter up again. After a few moments, Lars’s face appeared on the screen.
“Hello,” Gaster greeted the man.
“Gaster,” Lars replied with a nod. “Good to hear from you. It’s been quite a while.
“That it’s been. How are things?”
“As good as they can be, I suppose,” Lars answered. “It’s been hard since losing Jim Bob and then Bobbie Jo. The monks did their best, but she didn’t make it.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Gaster said. “You have my condolences.”
“Thank you,” Lars said. “Anyway, your message said you have some information we might be interested in?”
Gaster nodded. “”Right. Boris Yong, you know him?”
Lars shook his head. “I know of the Yongs, of course, but that name doesn’t mean anything to me.”
“We think he has something to do with that psychic assassin from back on Troyva,” Gaster informed the bounty hunter. “The one you’re after ... the one that might be after us as well ... and by ‘might be,’ I mean she’s almost certainly after us.”
“We’ve been doing some digging of our own,” Lars said. “So if she’s after you then she’s after us too. We’ll stand more of a chance if we work together.”
“Agreed,” Gaster replied. “I don’t suppose that digging has uncovered anything, has it?”
“Not much, I’m afraid, but if you think this Boris guy is involved somehow, that’s certainly where we need to focus our efforts.”
“That’s the plan,” Gaster said. “We’re actually in Romanov space right now. It seems like no one’s after us for the assassination, so we’re going to head back to Troyva to do some snooping.”
“You don’t mind if we tag along, do you?” Lars asked.
“Of course not,” Gaster said. “If that assassin comes knocking, we’re gonna need all the help we can get.”
“Alright, that settles it then,” Lars said. “We’ll see you on Troyva in a few days.”
Gaster nodded. “Stay safe.”
Notes: This was one of the last of the looking for Pokemon sessions. Aside from the opening moments of the session, which were used to close out the previous chapter, and a little bit at the end, the entirety of session 54 is covered in this chapter. After all the big stuff over the past few sessions that took a lot of preparation on my part, I didn’t have anything specific in mind for this one. After checking in with Simon, the party decided to go to Romanov space to test the waters, so to speak. I don’t remember the exact reasoning, since they didn’t even go to the sector where Troyva is located, but I think they just wanted to make sure that they weren’t wanted there or something like that. At the very least, that’s what I ran with for writing this chapter. From there, they just decided to look for Pokemon so I generated a random planet for them.
The opening scene was one I added for the writing just to introduce the planet a little and to just give Anya some fun banter because I felt like it. Aside from that, I mostly just adapted the Pokemon searching, adding in details where necessary. During the Froslass battle I accidentally closed the window with the Pokemon generator in it just after it used Rest, so it basically just Rested into a completely different Froslass. After that, they went back to the ship to go to the other part of the planet. I added some extra dialogue for that scene and pulled some from later in the session with Gaster getting the idea to call the Red Riders. It made sense for the sake of breaking things up a bit. For the next batch of wilds, I threw some special Pidgeys at them just because. They weren’t type-shifted or anything, but they had Icy Wind and could learn some better ice moves down the line. I gave them so many Pokemon catching opportunities here because the planet I generated was the perfect spot to have an Articuno encounter if they rolled well enough. Sadly, they didn’t.
To wrap things up, I had the players figure out what to do next and unknown thought about contacting the Red Riders. Originally, they learned of Bobbie Jo’s passing much sooner. It was just before they left Khalimuck where they had last seen the Red Riders, but that moment got lost from the chapters around that point for some reason. It was so long ago that I don’t remember if I intentionally left that out or if I missed it somehow. In any case, the players decided to meet up with the Red Riders and made a plan to go back to Troyva to investigate the lead Markovic had provided them in the previous session. The last few moments of the session were them actually going to Troyva and doing some stuff, but I decided to push that to the next chapter, mixing it with some stuff at the beginning of the next session.
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!