Comic 127 - Help out the locals

12th Jun 2018, 5:36 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) Rate this comic
Help out the locals
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 12th Jun 2018, 5:36 PM edit delete
You tell your dad to go on ahead--you want to give the locals a hand dealing with those giant crabs.

Your dad chuckles, and nods, patting you on the back again before he heads off. You hustle your way down the beach, where a man in rusted armor and a mage are battling monsters.

You jump into the fray, using your wind wand's air blades to cut through the legs of the monstrous crustaceans. The crabs are... surprisingly hardy--your wind strikes don't actually slash all the way through their armored limbs, though you do put a pretty good dent in them.

The fighter mostly attacks with shield bashes, and hitting the softer parts of the crab with the edge of his shield. Despite his lack of a decent weapon, he seems to have gotten a wrangle on how to fight them--having mastered the timing of their attacks, the creature's normal pace, and where all the vulnerable spots are. You think you've seen him around Peace Calling before, so... it's likely he just fights this particular monster A LOT.

The elven mage quickly reveals himself as a conjurer--manifesting orbs of acid that he uses to eat through the crabs' armor, and a phantasmal sword that comes and goes from his hand.

The crabs, to their credit, do make an attempt to fight back--firing sprays of massive bubbles that pop with concussive force, and clacking with their huge claws. The two residents of Peace Calling are just way, way too used to fending off crabs like this.

You end up not helping as much as you thought you could, but it is useful experience--you get a chance to cut loose and practice throwing, and returning, your shield using your wand. After the last of the crabs falls, the two men are still quite grateful.

"Hey, anything that gets the job done quicker," the warrior comments with a smirk.

"Yeah, we're not gettin' paid by the hour," agrees the conjurer.

As thanks, they let you keep a crab claw.

You head back to Peace Calling to meet with the others. Justice and Valley are hanging out with your parents when you get back to the house.


"Nast!," Valley begins as you walk in, "your parents are like, amazing."

"Yes," Justice agrees, "Hurley and Iya have told us some fascinating stories. Also, we fixed the door!"

"Like... mostly," Valley notes. "Not totally, but uh... the people living there were like, really nice about it? They said it was good enough...?"

On the subject of stories: you ask your dad about grandpa's anchor, and his Sand Shark attack. Valley's a warrior--you don't want to impose, but is there a chance Dad could show her all that...?

"Oh, sure!," your dad replies. "Yeah, gimme a sec."

He heads deeper into the house for a second or two, and returns with a... definitely large anchor. He almost has to drag it, due to its size; he sets it down in front of Valley, taking a big breath.

Valley picks it up almost casually, looking it over with wide eyes.

"Oh, wow," she says. "Yeah, like... it's pretty much an axe? I can totally see how somebody'd use this as a weapon." She turns it a bit, almost feigning to swing, though she doesn't want to accidentally wreck the living room.

"You can have it, if you want," Dad says.

"Seriously?" Valley stops, sounding almost worried. "It's like, a family heirloom, right? I dunno if--"

"Nah, it's fine," your dad says with a wave. "Dad would've wanted it that way--going on more adventures, not just rotting away in our house. Besides, it takes up way too much space."

"It really does," your mom agrees.

You have acquired Grandpa's Anchor.

"Thank you so much," Justice responds.

"Yeah, for real," Valley adds. "This is like, super rad."

"As for the Sand Shark..." Dad begins, breathing out slow. "Well, I can TRY to show you! I was never real good at it."

With a slight chuckle, he heads outside. You, Valley, Justice, and your mom follow him.

Heading out onto the front lawn and making sure he has room, your dad takes a moment to psyche himself up... and then leaps into the air, diving hands out and head down straight at the earth.

He hits the ground hard. It looks at first like he's about to just... injure himself, outright, but he doesn't stop--he plunges into the ground with uncanny grace, smoothly gliding straight through the surface.

...To a point. His descent slows rapidly, and his momentum halts at about his waist. Your dad's stuck about halfway into the ground, his legs idly kicking at the air.

Valley wanders over, grabbing his legs and pulling him back out of the ground like a huge turnip. He tumbles back, falling on his butt.

"Well, I tried!," he says. "Dad always made it look easy, but even in my prime I had trouble pulling it off."

"I... like, I think I get it?," Valley replies. She scratches her head, as though mulling it over. She stares at the little spot in the dirt your dad left behind--not even a sizeable hole, just a slight disturbance in the grass.

She slowly nods to herself, and takes a few steps back. Valley rolls her shoulders, and stretches a little, visibly regulating her breathing. She breathes in deep...

and jumps. Her form isn't as refined as your dad's--the leap itself isn't pretty, thanks in no small part to Valley's size and stocky frame. However, she does manage to turn over in mid-air, and hits the ground much like your dad did...

and disappears, straight into the ground. Her momentum doesn't halt, she just keeps going, diving into the grass as though it were water. Like with your father, the hole she leaves behind is... practically non-existent, just a small patch of tussled dirt. You would have never guessed a minitaur burrowed into the earth right there.

There's a slight pause.

"Is..." Justice hesitates, "is she coming back?"

But then, suddenly, Valley bursts out of the ground, almost on the other side of the lawn. She gasps, stumbling as she finds her footing. She has a bit of a wobble, seeming a little disoriented by the experience... but she shakes it off quickly. It worked.

"That was like... WAY hard to figure out where I was going!," Valley remarks. "Was that totally it, though?"

Your dad climbs to his feet, actually applauding her. "That was it! On the first try, even, my goodness! I must've tried that a hundred times and never nailed it."

"A hundred is low balling it," your mom comments with a grin.

Valley has learned the ability Sand Shark.


Caydenite 12th Jun 2018, 6:23 PM edit delete reply
Hurrah! Congratulate Valley, and thank Dad for being so cool. Throw in a hug too, we can afford it. Talk to your Mum too (and think about her name), get her thoughts on you being an adventurer. Then off to the bookshop?

Also, now that I think about it, I believe we bought the best party for this. Nobody sniffing our parents, or flirtatiously posing or declaring goblin superiority,
Alex Nipal 12th Jun 2018, 6:46 PM edit delete reply
Mom's name is Iya, Justice mentionned it: "Hurley and Iya have told us some fascinating stories."
Caydenite 12th Jun 2018, 7:07 PM edit delete reply
Oh yeah! Dunno how I missed that. Thanks.
Jex 12th Jun 2018, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
+1 to this, and Iya is a cute name.
JiggilyJoe 12th Jun 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Awesome! Valley can now outflank anyone we fight with!

On to the book shop!
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
Green Visitor 12th Jun 2018, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
Grand! Although suddenly worried about the "silence" status effect.

Good thing inventories are roomier than houses.
Guest 12th Jun 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Let's fix the lawn before we leave and stop by the people's house to reinforce the door later.
Cloudy 12th Jun 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
The door has already been reinforced and will remain as such until fully broken
Guest 12th Jun 2018, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
Have Valley equip and reinforce the anchor. Also I wonder if she can learn to use stomp to pinpoint enemy positions (a la Toph) to improve Sand Shark's accuracy.
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:18 PM edit delete reply
That's something worth testing/practicing, so +1 from me
Caydenite 12th Jun 2018, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
Identify Granddad's Anchor!
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:18 PM edit delete reply
Cloudy 12th Jun 2018, 7:49 PM edit delete reply
It was nice to spend time with the family, let them know you will definitely be stopping by again sometime to visit and update them on our journey sometime in the near future.

Use reinforce on the crab claw we got. With how durable the shell already was, I’m sure reinforcing it might put its hardness on par with some metals.

Then use it as a weapon.
I can see either Inzo or Lagrand using it.

If we want to give it to Inzo;
Write a note for Inzo that the crab claw is extremely durable and might be able to beef up one of his mech’s arms or potentially add some sort of armor buff to it.

If we want to give it to lagrand;
Write a note to lagrand, telling him similarly about the claw. Suggest he use his bramble arms to grip it and swing it about as a strong AF mace/flail thing-
A wrecking claw
Spades 12th Jun 2018, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
Lagrand rejects weaponry, says they're a distraction from his magic.
Cloudy 12th Jun 2018, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Yes, but in order for him to use the object as a weapon, he must deploy his bramble arms, which is one of his magics. It gives him a new way to use his magic, too. Instead of just hold, entangle, whip, and slice. Now he can also bash.
Jax 12th Jun 2018, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
Caydenite 12th Jun 2018, 8:02 PM edit delete reply
Was thinking a fancy shield for Justice, but damn, Claw Mech is hard to argue against. Either is good.
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
+1 to the Mech Claw
Spades 12th Jun 2018, 7:50 PM edit delete reply
Check grandpa's anchor fir magical effects then reinforce it.
Lapdragon 12th Jun 2018, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
IRL crab claw hinges are no joke - I wonder what sort of funky properties a gargantuan extra-tough one has.

We should convene the whole party, boil our crab claw and have dinner with the parents and introduce the rest of everybody.

When we stop back in Humblestart to talk to Ranse's dad, let's see if he's got any alchemical use for some extra-heavy-duty chitin, and then we can see if we can make a vambrace or two for Valley out of what's left. If Nereus can wear coral, then Valley can likely wear crabshell - she's been doing nicely without any real armor, but I can't imagine that having some nice reinforced crabshell armplates won't improve her defenses.
Krylo 12th Jun 2018, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Give inzo the claw to upgrade the mech with, if possible.

Identify and reinforce the anchor.

Go to the book store.

Target books: politics, economics, monster studies on slimes and goblins, and romance. All for king slime. Also books on magic and other monsters for ourselves.
MakePeaceAndLove 12th Jun 2018, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
+1 to all of this
Guest 12th Jun 2018, 9:52 PM edit delete reply
Valley is the best. :D
Antarean 12th Jun 2018, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
You have to admit, our family is awesome. :)

Maybe head to the bookstore and one of the party members can test out the Inter-Party Journal Messaging System?

We might see those 2 adventurers from the beach again; as I understand it they live in Peace Calling and specialize in fighting the giant crabs, but they probably travel to Humblestart on occasion to sell crab parts, where they might see a wanted poster and decide to confront us about it. Well I guess it's easy enough to explain that it's a case of mistaken identity, especially since they just know us as a nice guy who helped them out with the crabs.

I wonder if we'll encounter anyone who sees Valley using the anchor and the Sand Shark attack and recognize them as belonging to Nast's grandpa? Probably not, I don't think Nast's grandpa really travelled that far, but it would be a neat way to hear more adventuring stories.
lil Joshu 13th Jun 2018, 1:27 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
To make dad feel better, chalk up Valley's success to the fact she's a fighter primary instead of secondary and has a bonus in learning combat techniques. It's kind of her schtick.

On a side note, how she's learning techniques REALLY is reminding me of an FF blue mage...