Pockets & Monsters

Chapter 3: Winners in Wozington

At last, the 2nd Annual Horrington Pocket Monster Tournament was set to begin. The players were thrilled to finally participate in their first “pocket mon” battles. All four of them entered the Horrington Academy building (Bardied was no where to be found, having run off pursuing other interests, so the group remained as The Elite Four). There was a large assembly hall in which the battles would take place. Pith the Glossy, the cyborg halfling the party met the day before, was the commentator of the tournament. The players were checked in (after they bought a few healing potions), and they were told to wait in a side room, as their battle was second in the order. Because there were only three teams entered in this tournament, if they won their battle, they would win the tournament.

Despite the small size of participants, the whole town was in attendance. It was a large, exciting spectacle for those native to Horrington. The players decided to relax in the room until they were called to come out for their battle.

“Ladies and gentlemen! On this the deciding battle, we have on the challenger side The Elite Four!”

Cheers from the crowd.

“Aaaand on the defending side, please welcome back our very own Team We Teffin’ Rock It!”

The crowd goes wild.

Team We Teffin’ Rock It was a team of halflings, with Jawbreaker the Glossy as its leader. It’s clear that Jawbreaker is a real star in this area. He still sports his glitzy outfit, with the addition of pink-tinted spectacles. He steps forward from the other three members of his team to shout cheerleading instructions to the crowd with great speed and confidence:

“You say ‘Team,’ I say ‘We Teffin’,’ you say ‘Rock It!’ Ready”

Team!

“We Teffin’!”

Rock It! Team!

“We Teffin’!”

Rock It!

Kelsier uses his Riot ability to “riot” Jawbreaker’s self-doubt in an effort to break the confidence of the other team (plus, he was a bit annoyed with the halfling’s whole act). The subtle spell was enough to make Jawbreaker stop shouting as his confident expression gave way to confusion. However, the crowd didn’t seem to notice as they were too busy continuing Jawbreaker’s chant:

Team! Rock It! Team! Rock It!

Eventually, the cheering died down and the match could finally begin. There was a flat 40′ × 40′ area for the monsters to battle, and all of the trainers were to stay out of it and command their monsters from the edge of the fight zone.

The players brought out their monsters: a giant owl (Kelsier), a duodrone (Benaiah), a giant spider (Papercut), and a winged kobold (Duthrash). Jawbreaker’s team released four mephits: magma, smoke, ice, and dust (note: although the black mephit in the first image is actually made of mud, it has the same color and general appearance as a smoke mephit).

The mephits were tiny, but they put up a fight. The players weren’t too worried about the little elemental sprites until they defeated one of them. Once the magma mephit was knocked out, it exploded, causing fire damage to all the monsters nearby. This caused the players to be more cautious about how they directed the attacks and movement of their monsters.

A few explosions of ice, dust, and smoke later, the players were victorious against Jawbreaker’s Team We Teffin’ Rock It. The crowd went nuts throughout the fight, with offered advantages towards those creatures that attacked with style and drama. Pith awarded the players with a modest sum of money, as well as the Horrington tournament badge (an “H” in front of an alchemy beaker filled with bubbly green liquid), and encouraged them to travel farther north to the capital city of Wozington and register for the next tournament at the Judiciary.

Before the players left Horrington, they looked for a place to heal their monsters. They found a center dedicated to that purpose. Inside, they met a female drow (dark-skinned elf with white hair). She had pink highlights in her hair and introduced herself as Joyn’ill. She took the players’ monsters (each inside their monster balls), rested them on round notches in a machine behind the front desk, and started to operate the machine by turning a crank. As Joyn’ill cranked the healing mechanism, colorful lights and pleasant notes of bings and dings started to emit from the machine. Once the monsters had been magically healed, Joyn’ill returned the monsters to the players. “Come again soon!” she chirped. Duthrash, taken aback by her pleasing voice and exotic beauty, started to play a little beat on his tribal drum, swinging his hips a little as he walked out of the center.

Wozington wasn’t too far away from Horrington, and it wasn’t hard to miss, although its imposing walls and regal rooftops were dwarfed by the shadow of Capitol Mountain just north of it. There was a lot more steam and smoke coming from the buildings here than in the town of Horrington, and the largest smokestacks came from the west side of Wozington, in the Sweetmeats Factory.

The players were welcomed in by the city guards, found out very quickly how easy it was for visitors to get lost. They wandered in the streets for a little while until they came into a city square. There were plenty of people going about their business, and at the center of the square was a fine copper statue on a stone pedestal. The statue was in the likeness of a young hunchbacked man wearing a top hat and large spectacles. Despite his deformities, his strict posture and wide, charming smile commanded respect for what must be a likeable and intelligent fellow. The plaque on the pedestal read:

BetterBorn Square
Dedicated to a man who gave his fortune and his life for the defense and prosperity of Wozington
BetterBorn; Born 20 BVP, Died 1 VP

Duthrash, ever thoughtful and curious, regarded the deformed figure and remarked, “Strangely beautiful.”

The players wandered some more and found what must be the Judiciary. It was a large, regal building with several dozen steps leading up to a row of stone pillars that nearly concealed the large brass double doors that led inside. Through those doors, the adventurers find an older female dwarf sitting behind a large desk. She regarded the group through her half-moon spectacles.

Upon learning of the players’ intent (to register for the Wozington poket monster tournament), the dwarf (who called herself Ilde) routinely pulled up a few paper forms for the team. She explained that this tournament allowed Tier 2 monsters, and that the team would have to pay an exorbiant fee or find a few sponsors to support their entry. Once again, Duthrash was charmed and wanted to impress the dwarfish woman with his drum beat and subtle dance moves. Kelsier decided, for fun, to “riot” the dwarf’s appreciation for Duthrash’s entertaining antics. Ilde seemed quite impressed, but managed to remain business-like as she asked if the group had any more questions. They had none, so they left, with Duthrash trailing behind them to the beat of his own drum.

The party walked out of the Judiciary into another city square. In the center of this area was a stone statue of a human male paladin, garbed in stately armor with lion symbols. The plaque revealed the man’s name to be Leo, the Lion Paladin. As the players wondered where they were going to find Tier 2 monsters, a crowd started to gather near Leo’s statue. The players approached to see what the trouble was.

At the center were two bickering boys, one in the green and red robes of Horrington Academy of Alchemy, and the other in the black and silver robes of the rival school, Battlement Academy, which specialized in combat alchemy (also known as “war alchemy”). The players learned that this verbal battle was typical between students of the rival schools, but this one was getting particularly intense, beginning to rise above a shouting match. The threats became more serious, and the Battlement boy started to take out a monster ball.

Just then, two police tiktoks (metal automatons with blue police hats, armed with powerful punches and a few concealed firearms) entered the scene. They recognized what was happening and remembered that settling an argument with a pocket monster battle in the square was not illegal as long as the public was safe and there were more than two people involved. Duthrash and Kelsier volunteered to help the Horrington boy, while Benaiah and Papercut stepped forward to the Battlement boy. None of the players had much of a bias, except perhaps a small one towards Horrington only because they’ve been there.

The skirmish commenced: a winged kobold and a giant owl for Horrington, and a duodrone and a giant spider for Battlement. The Horrington boy brought out a fire snake, while the Battlement boy released animated armor. The fight was on.

The fire snake against the animated armor alone proved to be an even match, although the flying monsters started to bring things in favor for Horrington. The armor took many hits without a problem, but it eventually fell apart, defeated. A sore loser, the Battlement boy reached to his belt for a second monster ball. He released it to reveal a ghast.

The players started to fight the newcomer, but the ghast quickly beat down the fire snake. Soon after that, the players began to overtake the ghast, and that is where the police tiktoks interfered. They considered the battle over, since the Battlement boy’s animated armor was clearly defeated first. Disappointed, the Battlement boy stormed off peacefully with his defeated monsters in tow. The Horrington boy thanked the players and soon walked away down a main street. The adventurers hoped that their monsters gained valuable experience from that fight.

When they were at a quieter part of the city, the players decided to take a look at their monsters to make sure they were alright. They got a very pleasant surprise!

Kelsier’s giant owl had evolved into a fearsome owlbear.

Benaiah’s duodrone became a mimic, gaining the ability to shapeshift and disguise itself.

Papercut’s giant spider became a phase spider and could now use a minor teleportation ability.

Duthrash’s winged kobold lost its wings, but more than made up for that with greatly increased strength and superior weapons in its new lizard king form.

Each of these pocket mons were now clearly Tier 2 monsters. The players were thrilled with this new development. They retired for the night in one of the many inns and taverns in the city (they could have been at the Warring Waffle, the Pitiful Pancake, or even the Emerald Ape, to name a few) to take their next steps at being the very best.

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