Comic 122 - Remove the tail

8th Jun 2018, 2:53 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 4 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Remove the tail
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 8th Jun 2018, 2:53 PM edit delete
The monking continues to swing wildly--or at least, as much as it can, with one arm somewhat disabled. Inzo trades shots with the beast, throwing the mech's huge limbs up to block before firing punches of his own. Ranse makes various attempts to get the pyrespewer in there, but has trouble getting close enough without getting TOO close.

Meanwhile, Lagrand becomes very irritated with the smaller monkeys. After several attempts to just... GRAB the health concoction, only to have it promptly pulled from his reach by a mischievous monkey, Lagrand holds a hand out, fingers apart.

The monkey begins to hustle its way toward the monking, possibly to give it the concoction.

A wooden spear appears in the air above Lagrand.

Five spears.


He launches them all simultaneously, though they fire from different locations, at slightly different angles and speeds. The first spear misses the monkey, and it dodges the next handful, deftly bobbing and weaving in its desperation to heal its boss but--

it's a lot of spears.

One eventually hits the monkey (and then another, and then a few randomly pelt the other monkeys in the area).

Lagrand trudges over, picks up the health concoction, and chugs it. "Finally. Now, what to do about THAT monkey..."

Meanwhile, the melee battle has slowly been slipping. Inzo's mech is resilient, but it's not doing enough damage to keep up with the monking, and going blow-for-blow isn't doing anything to remove the tail. The blocked hits are slowly adding up, the surface of the mech starting to chip, and peel off where it was burned earlier.

Ranse finally dares to inch in closer, firing the pyrespewer at the monking... only for the flame to get caught in the passive gust from Inzo's air filters, blowing the fire off in seemingly random directions. It doesn't hit the monster directly, but it does startle it... as well as Ranse.

"Gah! O-Okay," Ranse stammers, starting to back off, "M-maybe not. That closetothemech."

"YES! That close!," Inzo shouts. "Ex-actly that close! Inzo has gotten idea! More fire!"

An almost maniacal grin works its way across the goblin's face. Ranse is... skeptical, but the mech is reinforced against fire--might as well trust his suggestion.

Inzo flips a couple of switches, increasing the power of the suit's built in fans. Ranse lets loose another stream with the pyrespewer... and rather than simply blow the flames in erratic ways, it seems to spread them out, feed them, creating an almost... dome-like shape out in front of the mech.

You've discovered the combo ability Heat Buffer.


Though it's not a legitimate shield, it does bring the monking some issue. He throws punches, but each one forces his hand through the field of flames, burning at his knuckles. With each blow, his attacks slow, and become more hesitant; he's hurting himself each time he tries to attack.

Inzo's mech, however, is specifically built to resist fire... and the flames from the pyrespewer aren't quite enough to overcome that. Inzo's mech attacks with impunity, firing punch after punch through the heat buffer with no problems.

Well, almost no problems. To keep the burning bubble up, Ranse has to fire a continuous stream, which is draining the pyrespewer a lot faster than normal short bursts would. While Inzo's mech is reinforced against fire, Ranse herself is not--a thin layer of sweat begins to build on her pale skin. Further, the spinning of Inzo's air filtration system is audible, buzzing and clicking in his mech. It's not made to run at such a degree for very long, and is likely doing some minor damage over time.

Still, it's worth it to get momentum back against the monking. Inzo gains ground, pushing the monking back with punch after huge punch; by the end of it, the monking barely wants to attack at all, his gigantic knuckles too charred from the heat.

During all this, Lagrand has been lining up his shot.

One spear.

Perfectly aimed.

Angled just right.

Lagrand launches the spear, sniping the crown off the monking's head with pinpoint accuracy. The large crown goes tumbling to the ground, rolling toward Inzo and Ranse.

The monking immediately forgets what it was doing, spinning around to focus a murderous glare at Lagrand.

"...Hmph," Lagrand starts with a flip of his hair, "I genuinely thought he'd cease to be a king, once deprived of his crown."

With the monking no longer pounding on Inzo, at least, he and Ranse are relieved of their heat buffering duties. Dropping the barrier, Inzo drives his mech forward, grabbing at the giant monkey's tail. The robot's feet dig in hard, trying to rip the tail clean off... or at least, hold the beast back.

And to Inzo's credit, he does manage to slow the animal down. The monking stomps furiously toward Lagrand, not even seeming to care that its tail is being gripped upon. Its pace is lagged by the weight of Inzo's mech hanging onto it, but the monking marches on regardless.

Ranse hurriedly pulls the sharp coral out of your party's inventory and, after determining it's not inherently magical (though it is still versatile, high quality coral), she runs ahead. While Inzo holds the tail straight, Ranse begins to saw at it, hacking away with the serrated spear tip.

The monking, again, does not seem to care.

Lagrand knocked its crown off.

It wants Lagrand.

As the beast gets closer, Lagrand begins to back away. Slowly, at first. Casually. Just... a step here and there. He maintains his unaffected demeanor, his vacant expression.

...Until the tail comes off, Ranse finally slicing it free.

With Inzo no longer holding the monking back, the creature's speed picks up substantially in a mad, roaring charge straight at Lagrand.

All pretenses of detachment are banished in an instant. Lagrand twists around and bolts, running away at a frantic pace, arms pumping and body tilted as he desperately flees the wild animal. The normally calm, collected witch disappears into the dark of the woods, with the tailless and crownless monking in hot pursuit.

Inzo eyes the neglected crown. "Inzo does need crown," he ponders aloud... but shakes his head. "But Inzo will make own crown! Not wear crown of stinky monkey."

"I... d-don't think. I'd advise wearing this one... anyway," Ranse says. Stowing the pyrespewer, she carefully picks the monking's crown up with both hands. "I-it's not... any magic I recognize. But. There is... something. Power."

"Power?," Inzo asks. He turns in his seat, his interest renewed.

Ranse doesn't look up from the crown, turning it over in her hands. "N-Not... meant. For us. I can't... explain it, but... it's... it feels dangerous. I... might ask my dad about it."

Ranse puts the monster crown and monking tail in your inventory.

She looks up, a light smirk teasing at her lips for just a second. "I-it's way too... big for you, anyway. Why're you even thinking about it?"

Inzo scoffs. "Mech could wear! Inzo could build big, king mech, with fancy crown. Inzo would wear gob-sized crown. Double crown! Double bonus kingly might. King gob in king mech. Cannot deny all the kinglyness then."

Ranse sighs, trying not to smile further. "It takes... m-more than just a fancy hat. To convince people you're a worthy leader."

"Pish posh," Inzo replies, waving a hand at Ranse. "Persons that say such a thing not have fancy enough hat."

In addition to the items dropped by the monking, the party acquired five animal furs from smaller monkeys, as well as some random items the monkeys were carrying: a mandragora seed and about 50g.

Ranse leveled up! Ranse reached level 5. Learned monkeys: somehow more annoying than goblins.

Inzo leveled up! Inzo reached level 6. Learned monkeys: somehow smellier than humes.


G. Sansa 8th Jun 2018, 4:30 PM edit delete reply
Ok, off to Peace Calling, with all due haste. Inzo needs to make repairs but not in the middle of the woods. Lagrand will show up later after being a tree for a while. This party can camp just outside town and meet up and talk in the morning (after any morning activities).
G. Sansa 8th Jun 2018, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
Actually, with the magic inventory, we don't really need to meet up. Back to Humblestart for repairs and alchemy? Inzo gets the coral, foliage, and if he wants them the pelts. Rance asks Dad about crown and gives him the tail. See if she can do something with the tuna and/or seed. Sell any crap that we can't use (pelts?)... We need money, because if we recruit Slime she'll need a mount.
SolomontheLionheart 8th Jun 2018, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, but it would be nice for them to meet the family :D
SolomontheLionheart 8th Jun 2018, 4:58 PM edit delete reply
+1 for them heading to Humblestart first
MakePeaceAndLove 8th Jun 2018, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
+1 to heading back to Peace Calling first.
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
Party meeting in PC +1
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
Party meeting in PC +1
Antarean 8th Jun 2018, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
"More fire!" is always a good strategy. : P

Huh, I'm surprised Ranse didn't go for the Goblin Knife or the Old Iron Sword instead of a brand new item that she didn't previously know about in their inventory. Hm, I'm wondering if anyone's set up a multi-party system for delivering mail across long distances. . .

Also they should at least be a *little* concerned about Lagrand, he can probably lose the Monking by disguising himself as a tree but the Monking has to lose sight of him for that to work. He might also be able to use this bramble arm to pull himself into the canopy or do a quick 180 around a tree trunk, that *might* give him the time he needs.
Guest 8th Jun 2018, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
If he just turns into a running tree, then into a running bush, then into a running different kind of tree, etc., eventually MK will get confused/distracted.
Antarean 8th Jun 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Actually, if we're going to splitting up the party regularly in the future, it might be beneficial to have a Party Diary of sorts so everyone knows what's been going on.
SolomontheLionheart 8th Jun 2018, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
+1 diary kept in the inventory isn't a bad idea, unless party members just know? I dunno what the gods have decreed on that issue
K3001 8th Jun 2018, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Hey, that's a good idea! Sending notes through our inventory, almost instantly. We need some paper and... something people write with in this realm.
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
+1 to party diary! Something to consider when we check out the bookstore tomorrow.
1977 8th Jun 2018, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
In this comic
the shared inventory came up the first time.
"Valley and Inzo shove their way in front of you. "Are you, like, cool?!," Valley asks. "You okay?" She's wielding the Stone Zwei, which she equipped from your shared inventory. Don't think about the logistics too hard."
That's why I suggested Ranse can identify it.
Witch's woods and PC is a greater distance as a few hundred meters in the temple but it works just as well.

Oh and @Guest, Lagrand can only turn into a treee if he stands still, he turns back as soon as he moves so regrettably no running bushes.
MakePeaceAndLove 8th Jun 2018, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
+1 to party diary
SolomontheLionheart 8th Jun 2018, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
Well they did it... just!
Go team!
Let's hope lagrand is OK, though Ranse and Inzo seem pretty chilled. Time to head back, if Humblestart is closer, as it's late probably head there, then while Nast is fishing they can wander over to Peace Calling.

Next thing for Nast is becoming inspired by Justice. (I wanna know if the carpet matches the drapes)

Then fishing with dad, and sorting out the door. Maybe we can see if there are any jobs that we can do in Peace Calling to make a bit of money.
Ranse can talk to her dad about the crown and drop off the tail before heading over. Inzo can make any necessary repairs.
Mochi 8th Jun 2018, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
we should... probably go make sure our witch doesn't die.
SolomontheLionheart 8th Jun 2018, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
+1 I definitely want to be sure he's OK, though I don't think Ranse or Inzo could catch up...
Krylo 8th Jun 2018, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
+1 Find Lagrand and get him back.
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
+1 I'm not comfortable with leaving whilst a party member's status is 'last seen fleeing from an enraged giant monkey'.
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 5:40 PM edit delete reply
Oh, if he's having a had time breaking line of sight to tree up, we do have a potion of sneaking.
Corwin of Amber 8th Jun 2018, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers 8th Jun 2018, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should make sure the witch doesn’t get himself in too much trouble. Hopefully he is smart enough to leg it to the temple, hide out in the pipes too small for the Monking to fit through.
MakePeaceAndLove 8th Jun 2018, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
+1 to finding Lagrand and using the sneaking potion if need be
Rick the Magnarvelous 8th Jun 2018, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
I'm not suggesting we try to take it, but is the King Slime's crown also an object of power?

Anyway, unless Lagrand has already managed to get away, we should try to make sure the Monking doesn't exact his brutal vengeance upon him. Maybe if Lagrand can duck out of the Monking's sight briefly he can use Floral Facade again.
MakePeaceAndLove 8th Jun 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
I really wonder about that crown. Is the King Slime's own crown magical? Did she find it or made it herself? Perhaps that crown can help another slime ascend to a King Slime? Then we'd have a partner for our King Slime or at least a competent ruler to watch the slimes in her absence. We could always just ask her about it, right?
Iago 8th Jun 2018, 5:12 PM edit delete reply
Heh. Forgot gobs had a thing for fancy hats as well.

Retrieve witch, rejoin party.
He's probably being a relatively safe tree somewhere, but still. Be careful, find him, get out of forest.

By the time everyone's back together - and rested as appropriate - we should be ready to leave Peace Calling anyway.

Edit : also ? Identify seed, think of uses for that and the furs. Could it interest the Summoner ?
And give foliage to Inzo for his mech, unless Ranse has ideas.
We're also gonna have to either find a way to craft stuff at some point, or start selling.
Does one of our peoples want some fur added to their outfit ? A pimpier cloak for Lagrand, or some barbarian furs for Valley ? Are there enough to cold-proof the mech ?
Caydenite 8th Jun 2018, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
Whilst I'm sure a lot of this will be decided when we gather the party, you're definitely right that it's time to talk seriously about crafting.

I wonder if Ranse can make some kind of Sonic Blast! Thrower from that seed. Or maybe Lagrand could have a mini-Mandragora familiar.

I like the idea of giving the cloth to Valley, she could definitely use more armour, although hopefully still following certain Fantasy tropes; we actually have legitimate reasons for needing quick access to her chest! Maybe pauldrons or something. I'd also like to use that foliage to whip up another shield for Justice, it doesn't do to have your healer be too vulnerable.
ZincFingers 8th Jun 2018, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
There’s an entry for the seed in the lore, apparently we can use it make sonic weapons or something that will apply the Silenced status effect.
Fireopal 8th Jun 2018, 10:33 PM edit delete reply
Speaking of the summoner, we should tell her about the monkeys and Monking the next time we see her, in case she wants to try to pick up summoning for them.
1977 8th Jun 2018, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
The thing with the crown here let me think about this comic
Pay special attention to the explanation in the last panel.
No surprise that the monking is pissed about his missing crown.
JiggilyJoe 8th Jun 2018, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
-make sure Legrand is safe.
-find somewhere safe for the night.
-Nast and Justice get some "inspiration" in the morning.
-fishing with dad and asking more questions
-What else do we need after getting Monking tail?
ZincFingers 8th Jun 2018, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Don’t forget that after fishing we have a door to fix and a bookshop to visit.
Fireopal 8th Jun 2018, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
We should also let dad know about the bounty hunter, so he can be on the lookout for more after we leave. We want our family to be safe, and not to be used as a bargaining chip for someone trying to capture us.
Magister Dicks it 8th Jun 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
really cool having narration of things happening outside Nast's presence, mad respect for all the work and dedication you're putting into this :D

And how they used the tip of the coral spear was really cool!

I have a suggestion: what if they stored messages in the inventory so that the other party members could check it out?
And even add a physical mail box for each party member for private messages (anyone can insert a message but only the owner can open it). though the spirit of the party should be to be open about everything idk.
Fireopal 8th Jun 2018, 10:37 PM edit delete reply
Well there's precedence for this. In the era when RPGs like this were popular on video game consoles, sometimes we we get flashes to things that people outside the main party were doing.
Green Visitor 9th Jun 2018, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
Yeah. That was the MEANWHILE in the beginning of the cut. I actually had to search a little, but here is a short example cutting to the villains perspective:
Crestlinger 9th Jun 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply