Pockets & Monsters

Chapter 1: Flames in Frenick

It is the year 50 VP (Vernal Portal), and a newly-developed technology is taking the nation by storm. An enterprising halfling known mostly for his leadership of the Sweetmeat Factory and his Sweet Beats music business, invented a way to capture and store candy and toys in metal spheres the size of grapefruits. They were called Jawbreaker Balls, after their inventor as well as their cream-colored and speckled appearance.

Once the balls were made available, people used them for more than their intended use, most notably to capture and tame monsters. It wasn’t long before “pocket monster” battles became incredibly popular. Soon, all the adventurous youngsters, and a few older folks, were interested in buying a few balls to participate in this new craze. Tournaments were soon organized, and the country had the makings of a major league within a year of the release of Jawbreaker’s renamed invention: monster balls.

This new sensation inspired others to “travel across the land, searching far and wide” for the center of pocket monster action. We begin the adventure with four young travelers from southern realms:

Kelsier, a human trained in the metallic arts of the Mistborn, travels with a sense of justice. Having survived a near-death experience, he decided that a pocket monster quest in the tournament circuit up north would be the perfect way to begin to develop his abilities. Rather cocky, arrogant, and chaotic, Kelsier nevertheless cares deeply about his friends and seeks to further the cause of good with his special abilities.

Benaiah is a wood elf ranger from the forests in the far south. More than anything, he is very fascinated by this new “pocket monster” craze that he’s heard so much about. He has a simple mission, to “be the very best” in all that he does.

Papercut the Kneestabber is a halfling rogue with a personal vendetta against monsters. His village was raided, his parents were killed, and his life was ruined at an early age. At the center of this destruction: the halfling-run Mob Fia. As an orphan on the streets, Papercut got in trouble with the Mob Fia and decided to go up north to hunt for monsters, fight the Mob, and get his life back.

Bardied is a fun-loving human bard with very simple desires: to explore the world and every new thing he finds. Right now, we wants in on the “pocket monster” action. With a lute in hand and a song in his throat, he ran into the other young adventurers and joined them to the northern nation.

This party of four were aware that the first real sign of civilization they would find would be a village known as Frenick. It was here that they hoped to secure licenses that would allow them to capture wild monsters. As they approached the village, they noticed towers of black smoke. Upon closer inspection, the party found the entire village burned to the ground. Well, everything except for a few modest houses at the far north side. Out on the streets was a cloaked man bending over something on the ground. The players approached the man, who introduced himself as Magus the Inspector Detective.

According to Magus, the fire started at around midnight. Everyone in the village was able to escape safely to the nearby town of Horrington, but the cause of the fire is a mystery. All Magus could find so far were a dozen or more dead crows and small piles of straw that didn’t burn. The party decided to help Magus by exploring the houses that were intact.

In the first house they tried, a scared, squeaky voice shouted at them to leave them alone. The players entered the house to find a cowering halfling. Once the halfling realized he was among friendly folk, he introduced himself as Lolly. Magus asked Lolly what he knew about the fire. the halfling’s trembling reply revealed that he saw what looked like a cackling scarecrow that escaped to a small grove of trees just west of the village. When the adventurers said they were looking for pocket monster licenses, Lolly revealed that he was the one in Frenick to give out those documents. He agreed to give each player a license if they could capture or destroy the scarecrow. He gave them one monster ball to help them. Magus decided he would stay behind to investigate the other houses (which were all found to be empty. Lolly was so scared, he never noticed anyone else had left.).

Our four would-be heroes venture to the nearby grove and soon hear a strange voice. It was coming from the scarecrow. It was sitting on a stump, muttering to itself. “Paradox. In my gourd. I have flame. I am Flarecrow.” The party approached the Flarecrow and tried to talk with it. The creature seemed to have a childish understanding of the world, except this child could throw fire. What was more, it didn’t burn, not even the bits of straw that gave it form. The strange creature did mention that it was created by a farmboy who knew a little bit of magic. However, the Flarecrow, with a wicked grin on its pumpkin face, seemed intent on wandering the world to “have some fun.” With a little luck, Kelsier threw the monster ball from behind the Flarecrow and took it by surprise. The Flarecrow was captured inside the monster ball.

The party returned to the remains of Frenick to find Magus exploring the streets some more, with Lolly close by. When they noticed the adventurers approaching, Lolly leaped for joy, and Magus was curious about the scarecrow creature. He asked to see it. Though the party was hesitant, they decided to ready their weapons and surround the ball before they opened it. Once the Flarecrow was released, it flung fireballs with a fiery fury.

The Flarecrow turned out to be a formidable foe. It took Papercut the Kneestabber out of commission. Benaiah was getting unlucky with his bow and arrow, and Bardied was struggling to some real damage. Every move that Kelsier made, he tried to make as epic as possible (high jumps, throwing metal furniture, etc.), with varied success. At long last, the Flarecrow was taken down and recaptured, and all was silent and smoldering again.

Magus and Lolly were shocked but very grateful. Lolly followed through on his promise and gave a license to each of the heroes, as well as one monster ball each (not including the one he had given them for the Flarecrow). Everyone decided to travel to Horrington, so Lolly could join the rest of his village, so Magus could interrogate the farmboy he suspected, and so the party could officially start their journey as pocket monster trainers.

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