POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: GATES INTO SHADOW
unedited campaign notesthis is very messy and none of this is final
ambur and hazy scout out carson's wagon. it's burnt to shit and missing most of his tools, along with his wishing stone. ambur goes to bed, hazy goes to the café. it's closed. racist pokémon are gathered outside angry about ghost types. hazy eats at the inn instead then also goes to bed. ambur wakes up in the middle of the night to some armored figure searching around their house. they tell it to fuck off and it runs away eastward.
the next morning ambur and hazy meet up outside the café. ambur confronts a racist bellsprout. asks if he doesn't feel embarrassed calling all ghost types bad when there's a grass type crook in town right now. asks whether he'd throw ambur under the bus if a gang of poochyena rolled through. he says yes. ambur calls him a cunt hard enough to knock him across the street. he says he'll file a complaint to the guild. hazy's the current most senior guild member so he takes the complaint and ignores it.
they go into town. breloom and truffle are helping repair the guildhouse. ambur grabs some snacks from the inn. mike n ike are closed for repairs.
they head into old oak. the rock the ghosts threw at them is still there. the path's about the same, crumbling stone lanterns with wiggly flames inside. they're obviously litwick. hazy intimidates one of them. ambur just carries on down the path determined to storm into burnwillow all cool looking. the weird red dog escorts them in and makes ambur feel a lot less cool. can't storm in if you've just been invited all friendly like.
they reach the mansion. it's shifted around a little. the mural seems bigger and the red dragon's eye blinks. carson and strawberry are having tea and seem content to stay. wisp is oblivious to any ghostly attack on pannacotta. bonsly acts suspicious. they intimidate wisp for a bit, then hazy gets pissed and fires ghostly beam at the painting. it screeches and the mansion unfolds. it's a dynamaxed runerigus. wisp is very confused.
bonsly and ninjask are actually phantump and shedinja. they try to distract hazy while he dynamaxes and starts fighting ormendahl. ambur gets wisp to carry carson out of falling rock danger while they haul strawberry out. hue the larvesta-litwick tries to lead the townsfolk away out of danger but ambur stands in his way. the ghost sword flies at them but they bite it out of the air and bury it in the ground. hazy keeps slashing through whatever shield ormendahl puts up. ambur insists the townsfolk stay right there but hue tries to confusion-gaslight them. they darkpulse him pointblank and he collapses against the buried sword. strawberry snaps out of her confusion and a few illusions around town start to falter.
runerigus traps hazy in a shield-bubble with benji and bow. he knocks benji out immediately while flame charging his way out. ormendahl tries to charge at ambur but they dynamax and hit it with darkpulse after darkpulse, breaking through whatever shields it pops up. it tries to call a swarm of litwick at them but hazy freezes them with a foe-hold orb. combined, they both hit it hard enough to explode and send chunks of rock flying across the village. hazy picks up one of the rocks and eats a bit of its soul while ambur goes looking for whatever chunk had the wishing stone. the sword unburies itself and tries to fly at hazy but ambur intercepts it and buries it again. bow runs off in search of the head rock. a swarm of litwick and seedot encroach from outside town as ambur carves the wishing stone out of the rock with their basic bronze explorer team badge. hazy works on melting the sword down with a flamethrower. bow succeeds in whatever they were doing and the rocks start to move again.
the sword wriggles out of hazy's grasp and flees down a path away from town, deeper into the forest. litwick swarm's candlelights start pointing toward where bow had gone. ambur and hazy start running toward it but hazy stops when he feels like his soul's being ripped out. ambur witnesses the runerigus' headstone absorb the flames from all the 90-something litwick, cracks in the rock glowing pink and green. bow is gone, already among the spiritomb's collected souls. dark pulse does nothing. ambur runs back toward town and warns them of what's happening, explaining what hazy felt. they brainstorm solutions but can't find anything. no escape orbs. hazy pulls out the RKS sword and ambur starts examining it. it's got sigils somewhat like entercards that can apparently be rearranged. considering deneb was trying to use it to escape, it's probably coded to warp to star league hq. not much of an escape route. but maybe they can send it back with a little present attached. with wisp's help they douse out a leyline intersection, scooping up a few litwick (including hew) to use as bait. hazy makes sure to take rin along for the ride. they reach the leyline and ambur writes a little note with their cartography kit. "you dropped your sword. with love, the midnight crew"
ambur passes the sword to hazy cause he's got thumbs. he somehow activates it and stabs the spiritomb, with ambur tossing hew into the middle of the leylines as a final piece of bait. it works. ormendahl is now the star league's problem.
they take a moment to rest before ambur tries to find another exit to the dungeon, closer than the one way back at the start. they find one but hazy says it feels weird. they step through the threshold into burnwillow. the real burnwillow. like fifty years after hazy left. meaning it's 950 years in the past. we've fucking time travelled. that's not how it's supposed to work.
there's a little memorial shrine to wisp the hisuian zorua outside town. wisp the "suicune" feels awkward about it. we head into town and meet lady burnwillow who welcomes hazy back. hazy doesn't want to stay. she insists on holding a celebration for his return. a bunch of other talk that ambur doesn't care about. isn't it fun that the recap is from the perspective of the least interesting character? they're offered a room to stay and they go to bed.
wake up in burnwillow, conversation with hazy about whether he wants to stay. he obviously doesn't. wisp is pacing outside, hazy tells her to drop the suicune disguise. she says one of lady burnwillow's friends from the war will be coming to the feast. checking in on carson and strawberry, carson thinks he might stay and strawb's just very confused but trying to take it like a vacation. they head into town for shopping, ambur buys a revival herb and a couple escape orbs, carson tries and fails to barter for some fancy silk. hazy trades some future fruits for weird extinct past berries. the old coins have a falling star design on them that reminds ambur of the star league emblem. they're minted east, past dragonsgrave, where polaris lives, and also the future location of star league hq. someone else remarks that hazy reminds them of a family that used to live here before they all moved out with polaris. also the mountains to the east look bigger in this time period.
polaris shows up for the feast. it's a deoxys.
the gang goes back to the mansion and relaxes for a while before the festivities start.
lady burnwillow gives a speech before the feast about how great it is that wisp and hazy and carson and rin are home. polaris and burnwillow are side by side at the head of the table with ambur and hazy on polaris' side and carson wisp and strawberry on burnwillow's side. burnwillow tries unsuccessfully to reconnect with wisp who is basically her adoptive kid. polaris recognises hazy and has some of his "hisuian" cyndaquil compatriots hand over a family heirloom. it's a sword. he also recognises ambur as an umbreon when no one else here knew what those were. ambur asks him if he knew any other umbreon and he says yes, from before he arrived on this world and turned the tide of the war against the ghost lord skithrix. some explorers, some researchers. ambur says that they're both, and that they're researching mystery dungeons still a thousand years in the future. polaris says that he and his organisation will have to redouble their efforts in mystery dungeon reserach in that case. he asks them what the future is like and they say it's pretty good. less swords around says hazy, besides some fanatics who get kinda weird about them. this gives polaris the idea to limit swords to a select exclusive guard class. oops we might have just invented the star knights. also apparently something in the mountains also came from space?? the feast wraps up. ambur has the chance to ask polaris for any favour he can provide. they don't know what to ask for.
ambur wakes mid sleep and overhears carson and wisp in the adjacent room talking about whether they're staying in burnwillow. carson's keen to leave, wisp is unsure. wisp leaves, and ambur decides they also need a little fresh air, not used to sleeping during the night. wisp sits undisguised until she notices ambur. they talk for a bit about whether to leave or stay. ambur says she's welcome in pannacotta. she's worried about choosing wrong. ambur says everyone chooses wrong sometimes, statistically. they are book-smart not people-smart. re-entering the mansion, lady burnwillow is observing ambur. they lock eyes, she gestures them toward a small study room. she tells them to keep wisp safe, they say sure thing. she gives them a flame scale.
it's morning, they're having breakfast in the main hall. polaris needs to leave early. they give a few enchanted items to the party. ambur gets a cool cloak. hazy gets a power band, carson a luck vest, strawberry a recovery scarf. polaris also gives ambur a badge that looks like an old timey version of the star league ID badge. he leaves through the other path out of burnwillow, through the dragonsgrave mountains. lady accompanies the crew to the dungeon entrance, which seems to have shifted a little? wisp is coming with them. lady says wisp will know how to reach her in the future. they say their goodbyes and all step through.
whatever they did with ormendahl has kinda broken the seal on the dungeon's shape. the path is different, and chunks of town are randomly appearing well before they reach the real fake burnwillow. they stop to serch for carson's stolen goods but don't find any. they eventually navigate to the stairs back to the first floor. it's again very reorganised, no pattern to the empty lamps strewn about. they reach a fork in the road, ambur mapping things out, finding that the shorter path is crawling with seedot and nuzleaf and maybe some fire types, while the longer path still also leads to that big tree clearing they ran through the first time around.
they decide to go through the clearing. better the known danger than the unknown danger. the seedot seem intimidated by wisp's vulpix disguise. a nuzleaf hops down in front of ambur, they stare it down, and ask polite yet firm to simply pass through without disturbance. they succeed, and manage to reach the exit. ambur voices worry about whether they'll even get back to the present, strawberry tells them not to Manifest bad things, ambur says Manifesting is stupid and Manifests what if the inn burned down, strawberry bonks them on the head. they step back through like a week after they left. they walk and talk all the way back to town. strawberry goes to the inn while they head up to the guild tower to meet with cinni (who is finally out of bed) and rigatoni and meringue. they update guildmaster on a few things then talk more out of earshot so he doesn't need to worry about Learning too much and being a liability. turns out cinni didn't actually offer the wishing stone to breloom as payment for his help, breloom either just assumed as such or they made it sound like that was the discussion because they're generally sleazy. cinni also talks shit about wisp because she tried to hypno them to stay in the dungeon while she was under ormendahl's control. wisp and carson stay at the inn.
hazy's gonna go check on the café first thing next session. ambur's just gonna go to bed.
ambur goes home to spend the evening reading then sleeping through noon the next day, while hazy checks in on the café. it is still closed but turmeric's outside and says that lavender was waiting for hazy to come back and give the all clear before reopening. they talk a bit, eric's still worried about chip acting shadowy, also a bunch of people just left town as soon as the roads cleared up. hazy spends the rest of the night weeding his overgrown garden.
next day, hazy goes to the café and finds it open though nowhere near as busy as it used to be. chip and eric are outside, chip standing guard in case anyone wants to start trouble. he goes inside and chats with lavender. talking about myths and legends, lavender's been around here for a loooong time and things used to be a little weirder, but also recently is maybe the weirdest they've been. hazy can't actually read their menu because it's in cursive and he still hasn't learned modern writing systems.
ambur wakes up at noon and goes around the town square. mike and ike are like entirely out of supplies, shallot is frazzled because most of his staff left. construction has started on carson's new wagon. mars asks ambur to deliver some mail and packages to licorice because he's really busy sorting through the months of backlog he's just received. ambur does exactly that, licorice says he hasn't been able to do much with the mouldy book they left behind but they did reach out to their contact in nori and they said they'll try their best (and do it for free). ambur tries doing a little research on the star league's history after having met polaris in the past, but can't find much besides what's basically a borderline propagandistic brochure. turns out the star league lab facility is like, part of a whole town called moonstone, out east beyond dragonsgrave. they also pick up a map of nori while at the library.
ambur heads to the café to relay the info to hazy and lay out their plan to head to nori and get gumdrop to clean up the book. eric also comes over after a bit and they talk with him about a couple things. him and chip came from soda springs and were called to pannacotta by giri in nori, but they're not in any hurry to go back there so they're not gonna accompany them to nori. he's still worried about chip, but he's glad that things have kinda gotten better in that regard. ambur calls their relationship cute and eric gets awkward and leaves.
ambur ends up massively oversleeping. hazy goes to meringue to talk about their team rank and meringue admits they're supposed to be gold rank, and offers him their new badges, then takes them back after getting the idea to make more of an event out of it for town morale. hazy goes to talk to strawberry about it (accidentally catching sight of eric and chip cuddling in one of the rooms. ambur was right all along) and she says to talk to cinnamin about it too. wisp is hanging out with the breloom and telling him about the mysterious history of nori. hazy casually drops info about the breloom's less than heroic past and he gets awkward and leaves. hazy also offers to take wisp to lavender's café since she doesn't know about it.
they go there and lavender immediately sees through wisp's vulpix disguise and treats her very very nicely as hazy talks to lavender about the rank up celebration.
ambur wakes up way after the town's kinda started falling asleep so they don't bother heading out, just doing some midnight reading and research. a shadow passes over the moon and they climb onto their roof to investigate. the shadow lugia is flying overhead seeming to search for something. its red eye focuses on them for a moment as it sweeps over emmental, then dives into the dungeon at black forest. hazy got fucking blazed and missed the whole thing.
the next day ambur wakes up to the celebration they had no idea about. hazy fills them in on their promotion then starts talking about the weird pirate dream he was having all night. in the middle of his explanation of what the fuck a devil fruit is, chip interrupts and congratulates them on getting gold rank, explaining that him and eric would be technically under their authority when doing a multi team excursion. they all go grab some breakfast at lavender's little café stall, then sitting with wisp and eric as they talk about the history of nori.
cinnamin and rigatoni are being very loud on stage and without very much rhythm. eventually meringue calls them up on stage, giving a little speech and preparing to hand out the gold badges. hazy is actively toking it up on stage. ambur, already a little wigged out before the crowd, spots a clefable way at the back and just stares wide-eyed. he meets their gaze and smirks, interrupting his conversation with a bellsprout farmer to duck away behind the inn. ambur dives off the stage and chases after him, barely missing tackling him as he tries to raise an RKS sword but still interrupting his escape.
it's syr orion and he wants to be a little more diplomatic than deneb and rigel were. he explains the rest of the star league wants to take more drastic action against them but he thinks he can convince ambur to hand over the wishing stones peacefully. ambur tells him to go fuck himself, they know the star league's been stalking their house at night. hazy shows up as orion tells them he'll be in nori if they want to talk -- but deneb is also in nori, taking some anger leave after the spiritomb incident. he teleports out. ambur swipes at the swirl on the ground as chip also shows up. they just want to be left alone. they explain the stalking to hazy.
they return to the celebration, trying their best to enjoy the rest of it.
tomorrow, they'll start heading into the black forest, taking wisp and team dirtbag along for the ride. might also check in on shallot and his farm.
hazy goes to see shallot first thing the next day. dungeon's still open but the shed's still standing strong around the entrance. hazy pays shallot to watch his plants while he's out in nori. ambur drops off one of the two wishing stones they're still carrying with carson and takes the other one along in their bag. they also grab the umbreon's diary from licorice.
team midnight crew meets at the café and has a brief conversation about writing systems, hazy still has trouble reading footprint runes and especially can't read more abstract and stylised forms like scrawled handwriting or fancy cursive. they head to the guild tower and ask meringue for payment again, he explains they're still waiting for funding through the nori guild after all the repairs they had to pay for, but he can pay them out of his own pocket. they get 800poké, a couple orbs, some blast seeds, and a wonder gummi.
they head to the inn to pick up wisp and team dirtbag, with ambur buying some food supplies for the trip also. wisp is talking about burnwillow mansion and carl is very interested. they all head out toward the forest, the trip is uneventful. they stop at the hot springs because wisp is very curious, they all briefly wonder if the heat is coming from a mystery dungeon instead of any geothermal activity. ambur takes the opportunity to check on the swirl at the top. it's much more defined, someone's been through here again multiple times since they last checked. there's also a shiny half buried under the silt.
they try to dive in after it but almost drown. hazy chomps down a watmel berry he got from burnwillow and dives in gracefully, spending a full minute or two down at the bottom of the topmost deepest tier of the hot springs. the swirl is carved into the rock from repeated reopenings of the dungeon. there's also some large clawprints and a little ditch from something approximately lugia-sized resting at the bottom repeatedly for the past like six months. he digs up a bunch of coins and also the shiny thing. it's a cobalt blue entercard with a silver star.
ambur lays out the set of four they now have and speculates on where they could lead. it's definitely not the same symbols as the RKS sword so it won't lead to the star league. the silver wing is a symbol often associated with lugia, and the red/gold swirl is a general mystery dungeon leyline symbol. carl says he's seen it before too. they put them all away again and they head into the dungeon.
black forest dungeon is fully back to normal, so ambur and carl get super lost since they're still used to its previous spider apocalypse vibes. after a lot of wandering they stumble on a blue door.
astra the farigiraf steps through a blue door into stax's 7/11. he's been tasked with finding some fault in the mystery dungeon network by his boss, a genesect. stax recognises him even though they've never met before and asks him what happened to the umbreon and typhlosion and where the sword he promised to retrieve is. astra futuresights the RKS-01 sword and bullshits his way through the convo, saying it's in a safe spot right now and they'll get it to stax soon.
the extended midnight crew walks into all this as astra pulls a poryphone from inside his "hood", snapping a photo of stax to post to social media but finding he's got no signal in here. stax gets a little upset but greets ambur and hazy, then calls carl over to pay off his debt. carl slams a bag of coin onto the counter then retreats back to the door.
ambur and astra have a very confused conversation. astra's from neo kobe city, in the future. ambur can't read most of the labels in the store but astra can. they go over different writing systems again, adding in astra's future letters. they go over all the store's junk. there's a buster sword, rocket armor fit for a mewtwo, weird goggles, spamton shades, an armband labeled "pipe bomb", weird cards with a D on them.. hazy barters for another watmel berry, giving away a couple orbs and some blast seeds in exchange for the berry, a couple potion sprays, the pipe bomb band and some CD bagels.
astra prepares to say goodbye but steps back through the blue door into black forest dungeon. guess he's joining the team!
carl says his goodbyes amid the crew talking about timelines and nonlinearity, satisfied having paid his debt to stax and not caring at all about whether they're meeting the porygon in the right order or not. with a clearer mind and without carl there giving bad advice, ambur finds the way much easier. they take a little break for food while astra explains what a Phone is and what the Internet is. they find the dungeon exit eventually but are accosted by the revived ariados and a couple spinarak. hazy, after dealing with a mouthful of string shot, hyperbeams it to near death and they all just fuck off, leaving the team alone even when they trip all the web traps in front of the exit.
out of the dungeon at the edge of the forest, astra seems a little confused by the bright noon light and ambur calls for them to camp out just behind the treeline where there's shade. wisp doesn't sleep. wisp never sleeps. astra keeps watch initially, with ambur and hazy tagging in later. it's midnight by the time they wake up, they briefly consider looking for a mystery dungeon shortcut but ambur decides that it's better to take a longer known path than trying to find an unknown shorter path. they start walking across the flat grassland plains, wisp lamenting that they used to be farmland before the ghostlord wars. hazy's gardening knowledge says the soil is poisoned from the ghosts' scorched earth policy. astra goes wait huh GHOSTS and pulls out a silph scope type thing which starts pinging two signals right next to him. wisp and hazy are half ghost, dhari gets spooked for a moment but they chill out about it.
astra talks some more about the future after seeing that the moon is still in one piece right now. he pulls out his phone and shows a photo of the night sky, with half the moon smeared across the sky in a trail of moondust. there's a lot of umbreon in the future too, but he doesn't seem to know about other eeveelutions. ambur explains that environment can have a big effect on mutations in eevee's unstable genetics, and if astra's future doesn't have many trees it'd make sense there's no leafeon. but an excess of umbreon over anything else doesn't make any sense -- the conditions for umbreon and espeon are identical, the only difference is sunlight vs moonlight, so it'd still have to be like 50/50 right?
the morning sun starts rising over the horizon and astra freaks. his future is perpetual night, he's never seen the sun before. wisp remarks that lady burnwillow has something to do with the sun.
astra also talks about beedrill fossils, which puts ambur in a funk realising that the species they know right now, the friends they have right now, might all die out in the future. minor existential crisis. astra puts on some fucking vaporwave while they walk further.
it gets to noon, they're still half a day out from mallow town, so they camp out again, setting up the tent only for shade from the sun. astra doesn't seem that bothered by the heat though, the environment feeling kinda natural to him. he keeps watch for the first hours of rest.
about halfway through his watch a furret and nidoran step out looking at him all weird. after determining that he's not a tree and realising that he's not from around here they try to fleece him for some "payment" by making up a local custom about leaving a gift to the pokémon whose territory you're passing through. astra can't see wisp anywhere. he offers some wasabi peas, the poison type likes them but still demands money. astra pulls out his phone and pulls up his $MEOWTH wallet which only confuses them further. a red-white suicune stalks the grass behind them, astra spots it and obliviously calls out hello, making wisp just drop the stealth and march out in front of them, scaring the two thieves off. she reverts back to her vulpix disguise and astra learns she's got disguises.
they wake up ambur and hazy, deciding it's better to move the camp rather than risk the furret and nido having backup.
ambur lays on astra's back as they walk. they run into a lotad in the road who expresses concern about them being out alone wandering the path through the plains late at night. his name is tortilla. with just a little hestiation they follow him to his place of rest, the remnants of a basement to a house that no longer exists. he asks for ten coins a head, and despite the hefty charge for just a few hours' stay, they all pay up, dropping the gold in the lotad's rain dish. out here in the middle of nowhere you kinda have to charge a little more.
they leave in the middle of the night with the lotad missing. wisp, still awake and having kept watch the whole time, says he didn't do anything, just wander around a little. they shrug it off and leave, continuing down the path to mallow.
they run into the furret and nidoran again, this time harrassing and attempting to rob a familiar bellsprout, one that had been very mean to the café ghosts and had left town pretty soon after. the team just decide to not intervene until the nido mentions their boss, and after some intimidation from dhari he coughs up the name tortilla. the lotad's a mob boss. they tell the pair to fuck off cause their boss already got paid today, and hazy hands the furret his huge bag of granola. they also offer to accompany the bellsprout to mallow town as long as he keeps quiet, but he just has to run his mouth about untrustworhty dark types, so they leave him in the dirt.
mallow town is smaller than pannacotta, only four main buildings and a few scattered houses, around a crossroad connecting pannacotta, nori, vanilla and lone lodge. they check in at the inn staffed by a wooper, securing a room for two days and some breakfast, with astra asking if they serve torchic nuggets before realising that fresh baked bread and jam made with real fruits is way better.
they check out the kecleon shop, run by a black and white pair called licorice and mint. pokémon are allowed to share names i guess sure. ambur buys a blow dart gun and a couple darts and grabs all of hazy's seeds. a bellsprout checks in at the inn while they're shopping.
curious to see if they have a map of local dungeon shortcuts, ambur heads into the town hall, finding a victreebel behind the desk talking with a goomy called jujube, who runs a local guide business that's been disrupted by a lot of unstable dungeons popping up lately. ambur offers team midnight crew's services to help some of jujube's customers across the marsh, as well as delivering a letter to the goomy's brother in nori, in exchange for payment, and he accepts. they'll meet back here tomorrow.
they head to the inn for the day.