Our heroes leave Frenick with their new pocket monster licenses and monster balls, walking north toward Horrington. Magus is with them, hoping to find the farm boy responsible for the creation of the Flarecrow. Horrington can be classified as a town; it’s more than a village, but less than a city. The most prominent feature of the town is Horrington Academy, which specializes in the study and advancement of alchemy for scientific and peaceful purposes. it is also in this town that a pocket monster tournament will soon be held.
The party, along with Magus, finds the farm boy first, and Magus is able to quickly wrap up the case. It turns out that the boy was experimenting with magic in his spare time. He went so far as to try to animate a scarecrow and thought it would be a fun challenge to get it to throw fire on its own. Clearly, the boy didn’t think things through. The Flarecrow is still in the custody of the players, and Magus allows them to keep it for use in the tournaments.
With that out of the way, the next thing to do is figure out how to register for the tournament. They find a tavern, the Chemical Reaction, and look around for interesting characters. They see mostly humans and halflings hanging around, with the occasional dwarf or elf. The most interesting characters turn out to be a pair of oddly-dressed halflings at a table together, as well as a lone goliath at his own table, downing half a keg’s worth of ale and beating out a few rhythms on his tribal drum.
The players approach the goliath first. He is Duthrash, a teenage goliath druid from the Elkwyn clan, which resides in the very far north. Though young, he already stands at 6 feet tall, and his bright eyes (one a pearly white, the other colored like a ruby) augment his intimidating (or perhaps comedic) stature. Duthrash welcomes the group eagerly and is thrilled to discover that they, like him, are looking to get into the pocket monster tournaments. Back at home, Duthrash heard his tribal leader and the shaman tell of visions of strange things in the far south, visions of capturing monsters and battling them for sport. Young, rebellious, and insanely curious, Duthrash left the tribe without permission, in the cover of night, hoping to make a name for himself in the exotic southern lands. He decides to join the party.
Of the two halflings, one is wearing glitzy, shiny, colorful clothing that catches the eye immediately. The bright, clashing colors are reflected on the shiny cybernetic arm fitted on the other halfling. When the party approaches, the colorful halfling, calling himself Jawbreaker with equally colorful language (“Hey, what are you teffers doin’ here? You here to try your skill at the teffin’ pocket mon tourney?”), welcomes them enthusiastically. He introduces the group to his cousin, Pith. It turns out that these two halflings are in charge of the 2nd Annual Horrington Pocket Monster Tournament.
The halflings explain that the tournament has no entry fee, and only Tier 1 monsters are allowed into the battles. All this is meant to allow beginners to break into the pocket monster scene. Also, there are no individual battles. Participants are to enter as teams. There is a small cash reward and a badge of honor offered for the team that wins. The tournament is to begin the next morning. The players are excited to get out and catch some “pocket mons.” Jawbreaker even offers two additional monster balls to each of them (hinting that he was the one who invented them). This is especially useful as the players discover that the Flarecrow is considered a Tier 2 monster, which is too strong for this tournament.
So each of the players decide to break off from the group, venturing into the tall grass outside of town to try their luck and skill.
Kelsier consumes some metal when he sees a giant owl perched atop a boulder. Though the owl got a bit out of reach at times, Kelsier was able to fight the fowl to the ground and capture it as his own.
Benaiah, bow and blade at the ready, runs into a small, squarish, metal creature. It speaks back to him in some sort of robotic language. They fire arrows at each other, but the creature, a duodrone, was no match for the elf’s superior abilities.
Papercut the Kneestabber had a harder time of it, running into a giant spider that knocked him out easily. Kelsier was nearby and helped the poor halfing with his catch. Evidently, there were too many knees for papercut to stab. The spider’s poison didn’t help either. But eventually, with some assistance, Papercut managed to claim the spider for himself.
Bardied, free-spirited bard as he was, started his search for a monster, finding and capturing a warhorse. However, there were many other sights and sounds in and around the town that caught his attention, so the rest of the party didn’t see much of him the entire day.
Duthrash found a winged kobold. Due to his superior strength and height, it was an easy battle for the goliath.
At the end of the day, the group came together and met with the halflings once again, this time to officially register for the tournament. Jawbreader and Pith were impressed and signed them on (with the exception of Bardied, who was distracted with other interests). The four players in the team decided to call themselves something epic, something that would last them through their ascent up the pocket mon battle circuit, a name to intimidate and inspire: The Elite Four.