Comic 128 - Check out the book store

12th Jun 2018, 11:12 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) Rate this comic
Check out the book store
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 12th Jun 2018, 11:12 PM edit delete
You congratulate Valley, and thank your parents, giving them each a hug. You promise to return and see them again sometime soon, and update them on the whole... situation.

You go to cast Reinforce on Grandpa's anchor, only to discover it... has already been magically reinforced. Oh. Hm.

You suggest that Valley equip it, but you also cast Identify on it, first.

You definitely feel... something. It has a tangible magic to it, but not one you recognize--it's... illusion magic? As you ponder it, you feel something--a tugging, almost, an inclination in a particular direction, like it's trying to guide you. It quickly fades.

You ask if anyone felt that.

"No...?," replies Justice.

Your parents shake their heads.

"Nah," replies Valley. "Like, nothing?"

It seems to be a spell that only triggers if you attempt to magically analyze the item. ...Which is oddly specific, but there it is. The wheels in your brain begin to turn--it was random adventurers passing through town that informed you you had potential as an enchanter. Grandpa did some adventuring. He may have been able to spot the potential in you even as a child, and if he did, he may have had an enchantment put on his anchor specifically to guide you in the event that you decided to take up enchantment yourself--

that's a pretty big leap of logic off one weird spell, though. You put the thought aside, for now--you have a bookstore to check out.

You, Valley, and Justice make your way to Peace Calling's bookstore, the same one you passed on your way into town. It was closed, then, because of the time... but now it is very open.

You head inside, and immediately notice that it's... a little darker inside than you expected. The woman running the counter also looks pretty unusual, for a resident of Peace Calling. You don't recall ever seeing her before.

Valley occasionally throws the woman an odd glance as you and Justice search the shelves. The stock is... not ideal, likely owing to how small this town is, and how low demand for modern tomes on politics are in this area. A lot of these books wouldn't be much more up to date than what King Slime already has.

You do find a... mostly recent book on the kingdom's history and culture, and a book about slime biology. You don't find any guides to proper courtship and modern takes on relationships, but you do find a couple of cheap romance novels that seem to have current sensibilities in mind. You also find a very basic guide to magic schools.

You bring the books up to the counter, where the elven store clerk meets you. You can't really gauge her eyes through her tinted lenses, but it feels like she's staring a hole through you.

"That will be 40g," she says in a very proper tone. She definitely doesn't SOUND like a local.


Portal In Time 12th Jun 2018, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Check out the paper attatched to the check out table, and nonchalantly ask her where she's from.

If it doesn't require touching the subject, let's cast identify on her glasses.
ZincFingers 13th Jun 2018, 2:45 AM edit delete reply
I too am interested in what the paper says.

As for identifying the glasses, unfortunately the spell requires physical contact.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
If it says "back in five minutes", we should get out of hete a.s.a.p., right?
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
+1 to checking out that paper note
Antarean 13th Jun 2018, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
Clearly it says, "RM" in Morse Code.
Jex 12th Jun 2018, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
Ask politely where she’s from.
Krylo 12th Jun 2018, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
Make small talk with/flirt with the clerk.
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
+1 Totally worth a try
Placeholder 13th Jun 2018, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
+1 but only after paying. Don't want her to think we're just going for a discount.
Spazzaraz 13th Jun 2018, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
Does the clerk look familiar to Valley? Maybe like the female Nast?
1977 13th Jun 2018, 12:57 AM edit delete reply
I doubt that female Nast suddenly goes dark and get long ears like a Dark Elf.
Spazzaraz 13th Jun 2018, 4:35 AM edit delete reply
Whups, missed the Elven part of the description. In my defence, Nast is drawn the same colour.
Cloudy 13th Jun 2018, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
No one knows where this story is going and that’s kind of awesome.
Anyhow, pay up. We can afford to give up 40 gold.

After this honestly we need to find out what we can reliably fish, hunt, forage, farm, build, and or grind for a decent chunk o’ change and just fill up our coin purse.

Then, when we have enough money, we should buy three chickens

One we feed fish
One we feed monster bits
One we feed foraged goods

I want to know what they turn into when they grow up, maybe they can be used in battles
Look for any potential books on chicken raising- that could help, hahaa
1977 13th Jun 2018, 1:02 AM edit delete reply
It is cheaper to just buy one Cockadoo from the farm and let them lay eggs.
Books on chickenraising should definitely come first though.
That's the reason we haven't bought a cockadoo already, first the book about what to feed them, then the cockadoo to lay the eggs and then we can raise them properly.
A quick look if there is a chickenguide here can't hurt.
Then buy all the books.
BobLeBob 13th Jun 2018, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
How about buying a chicken and giving it the monster crown?
Fireopal 13th Jun 2018, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
-1 to buying the books. We're trying to save up money to get into the Entertainer's Guild, and none of these books are going to help us with that.
1977 13th Jun 2018, 5:56 AM edit delete reply
We don't save money for the E-Guild.
We plan a performance, not paying 1000g.
ZincFingers 13th Jun 2018, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Sweets said her condition for joining the group was for us to earn our way into the guild by proving ourselves entertaining enough to qualify for membership.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
No, she just said we have to get in, thereby proving we have moxie (and whatever else we're smoking).
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
I also think it's too early to invest in chickens. They're a commitment and the start of an economy, while we have some cash now but we can always spend it on short notice, and what then?

At the very least I'm in favor of buying a book about raising chickens before we pick up our first one.

Also, maybe Sweet didn't demand a performance in particular, but I still believe that's both our best chance to impress her and our best bet at getting into the entertainer's guild (and that King Slime will be necessary to pull that off, too).
1977 13th Jun 2018, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
A Dark Elf Clerk.
Flirt a bit with her.
Ask about where she's from.
Be careful, if she really is new she could also be a bountyhunter in disguise.

About the anchor, Ranse or Ranse's Dad are likely better at identifying it.
I guess it is some kind of search spell.
For example, remember the compass in "Pirates Of The Carribean"?
You had to concentrate on what you wanted to find and the compassneedle pointed there, or so, not sure it's a long time I've seen it.
Could help in finding things like RingsOfDisguise, Puppeteers, Gargoyles, PantyThieves and whatever we may want in the future.
JiggilyJoe 13th Jun 2018, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
+1 on figuring out the anchors abilities.
RicardtheDragoon 13th Jun 2018, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
The elf clerk as a bounty hunter in disguise is quite plausible. May want gather more intel about the clerk from Nast's parents unless we're leaving Peace Calling soon.

I doubt the anchor is quite like the compass from Pirates of Caribbean which pointed towards whatever the owner currently desired the most, but it point to some hidden stockpile of loot left behind by Grandpa or possibly teach Nast, or lead Nast to, something plot-relevant.
ZincFingers 13th Jun 2018, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
I doubt she is a bounty hunter, she may be from out of town, but she seems to be all business, I think a bounty hunter would make some opening gambit to get us separated from the group, or least make us stick around.
Fireopal 13th Jun 2018, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
+1 to looking into what Gramps left us on this anchor.
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
+1 to letting Ranse and her dad check out the Anchor when we reunite.

I think it's awesome that it has illusion magic on it (False Aura anyone?). To me it seems like that's in place to fool lesser wanderers and to make sure Nast has grown a bit, once he has the power and spells to dispel that illusion, he should be ready for the anchor's true power - unless, of course, Valley reveals it in practice by swinging that anchor around. XD

As for the clerk, +1 to chatting her up and trying to flirt.
I doubt she's a bounty hunter. I don't even find her suspicious. But I think she's a magician of some sort and staring hard because she's analyzing Nast, trying to read his potential. Might be a quest giver, instead of an enemy.
JiggilyJoe 13th Jun 2018, 1:08 AM edit delete reply
Hmmmm... staring at us through rose colored glasses...
Is the clerk hot or not?
Let's talk to her. Find out if she's from around here, because we've never seen her before.
Try to use our Je ne sais quoi on her. Maybe she recognizes Nast, or maybe theres more than meets the eye.
Either way, be careful.
Once we get the books though, we can try out our new teleport ability and get the gang over to HS.
CruntKnockler 13th Jun 2018, 2:17 AM edit delete reply
I agree with all this. At the least our Je Ne Sais Quois should get us a but of a discount on those books. We've got plenty of g, but it wouldn't hurt.
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
We might get a discount, but more than some spare gold I'm hoping that the clerk recognizes what Nast is doing and turns out to be a magician too, and maybe gives us some valuable lesson? And that's separate from whether or not our flirting works. XD
GS 13th Jun 2018, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
+ Could this be an agent of the thieves' guild...? Keep our guard up in any case.

+ It's a shame Nast didn't get a chance to spend some quality time with his Mom. Who knows what she might have told?

+ Grandpa must have been a very interesting guy. I wonder what kind of legacy he left for us?

+ After we're done in Peace Calling, let's make best speed for Lightsend! We have a puppeteer to find and childhood stories to collect about Justice. ;)
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Yeah I also would've liked if Nast got to spend some time with Iya. Maybe next time though.

But, Humblestart to join the others first, then Slime's Cave again? Then we can go back West.
1977 13th Jun 2018, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Just read the new lore.
I like the theory that Humans are really Elves suffering a divine punishment. :)

I'm thinking a lot about the Jellofish in our Inventory.
It is basically SeaSlime, so I'm not sure how KingSlime will react if she finds out we have it.
If it is not to late we should put it in a glass or something so it can live.
Don't use it as ingredient.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
Maybe Queen Slime would like it for a pet?
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
Yeah I would also like us to treat the Jellofish kindly. If nothing else, maybe the Queen Slime can communicate with it and make her first diplomatic relation with the jellofish race? You gotta start somewhere, after all.
Jax 13th Jun 2018, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
Flirt/Haggle with the woman. We are good with people after all, most of all female people.
ZincFingers 13th Jun 2018, 2:34 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, we are trying to cave money, but if we can get the price down a bit it may still be worth it. Perhaps we could offer our services... as an enchanter... for a lower price.
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this
Guest 13th Jun 2018, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
Remember to ask Ranse to cast Identify+ on Anchor next time we are all together for second opinion.
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this, definitely
Iago 13th Jun 2018, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
And once again, I get the feeling this was all just a setup to push Nast towarde the adventurer's life.
Is there any way we could check on grandpa's party buddies ? Let's add that to the list, next to "find the ex".

In the meantime, +1 to a bunch of things.
- Read the thing taped go the counter.
- Try to flirt the dark elf. We don't know much about them but they might be coastal enough (lore says they're the sahuagins' neighbors ?) that her being here isn't that weird.
- Haggle the price, but buy the books either way. A mere 40 gp isn't going to make any difference if we end up having to actually pay the entry fee anyway.
- Just try to get some knowledge out of her, if she's willing.

I also think we should try to meet the kuo-toa again, now that we're both better fisherman and equipped with an interpreter. A quick stop on our way west.
We kind of have check the cave and grab the asspotion ingredient while we're in the vicinity to begin with.

Speaking of the potion, while I'm all for it, very much so, I think a non-permanent potion would be better as a gift to the tribe. If only to diminish the risks of a goblin population explosion, and assuming that's doable.
I also believe we should specifically give it to the gobladies, let them choose if they want to use it, how and when. Their dudes are kinda jerks to them, let them have their fun back.
And if they don'y want to, I still think a green gobgirl could well be exotic enough, and easier to convince.

The permanent recipe we keep for ourselves and our personal use. So many possibilities.
If we're in an experimenting mood at some point : do metamorphic effects applied to girl!Nast affect boi!Nast ?
G. Sansa 13th Jun 2018, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
First off, I think she's not a dark elf, she's a wood elf.

Second, before we go anywhere, we should definitely cast "identify" on the anchor again, and get a bearing. Then we can get another bearing from Tumbletart and see if we can triangulate (bearing in mind that the target may be moving for all we know).

Third, I'm definitely in favor of finding a kinky green goblady and giving her the permanent potion. Ideally one who's a mage of some variety so the fertility thing isn't an issue. And recruiting her. OK, I guess this is heading into dreamgirl fantasy territory, we don't know that such a person exists.

But the most important thing is to follow the thread of Grandpa's anchor. This seems as if it could definitely relate to the main quest, and also as if it could lead to some sweet loot.
1977 13th Jun 2018, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
@G. Sansa
The fact that there is little light in the store is in favor of her being a darkelf, the glasses are to reduce the light further for her eyes.

As for exotic women for the tribe, I think just a green instead of a yellow gobwoman is not enough for them.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
I agree completely with your thoughts about that potion, but we should head for Lightsend.
The kuo-toa can wait for a bit; we need to find ourselves a puppeteer! -- and to expand our catalogue of places we can 'port to in case of emergency. ^_^
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
+1 to checking on the Kuo-Toa and the Submerged Cave again when we're around that area, and the nearby woods for the potion ingredient.

+1 to thinking over we should offer the goblins a permanent or non-permanent asspotion too. If possible, we can bring both and choose which one to give them when negotiating the details. Definitely give it to the gobladies though, I fully agree.

+1 to.... considering experimenting on Nast and discovering if effects carry over between our male and female forms. BUT we may want to wait with that until we have a tranmuter in the party, to undo the effect if something goes wrong.

+1 to recruiting a gobgirl to our party if possible, green or not, I'm all for more party members and variety among them, the more the merrier.

I'm indifferent on trying to triangulate what the anchor is pointing us towards. Maybe after Ranse checks it out, I just... suspect it might point us somewhere very far away, and then we can't do anything about it until way later, but it would still distract us from other things.

And finally, -1 to heading directly for Lightsend. We're going that way already, but ignoring other places... ehh, I'm just the type who explores every area thoroughly, picking up all possible items and side-quests so they start up and can immediately trigger when I first visit a new area instead of going back and forth over and over again. But that's my personal approach, if you guys feel that Lightsend and the puppeteer are urgent and want to be done with this quest, we can go for it.
1977 13th Jun 2018, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Dark Elves are the neighbors of the Kuo-Toa not the Sahagin.
Iago 13th Jun 2018, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
True, my bad, but you know : waterpeople. That was my point, really.

I see no huge need to hurry to Lightsend that badly. We do need to go there, sure. Eventually.

I' m not convinced we can figure out the anchor without Ranse, but it's certainly worth trying. And we should do so.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
It might be interesting to let Team B continue to do their own thing and make their own discoveries for a while. ^_^
GS 13th Jun 2018, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
In hindsight, maybe we should have made that Warrior on the beach a gift of our old iron sword.
No one in the party is using it and we have better weapons, but for him it would have been an upgrade that would make the crab-fighting easier.
G. Sansa 13th Jun 2018, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
I thought the same thing. We should be generous with bystanders like that as a general principle. Our inventory has plenty of random crap in it.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 12:42 PM edit delete reply
Well, we're still in Peace Calling.
Maybe we can go and find him before we leave?
Professor Cupcake 13th Jun 2018, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
Professor Cupcake
We gotta have Ranse take a look at that anchor.
GS 13th Jun 2018, 9:01 AM edit delete reply
And maybe Lagrand? Two heads, and all that...
lil Joshu 13th Jun 2018, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
The book clerk is suspicious!
The book clerk is the panty thief!
This logic is perfect and flawless!
The previous statement may be a slight exaggeration!
And that one may have been an understatement!
MakePeaceAndLove 13th Jun 2018, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
The above message is remarkably funny.

Good for a laugh, thanks Joshu
1977 13th Jun 2018, 10:00 AM edit delete reply
Problem is the whole world is suspicious.
The only one we are absolutely sure is not the PantyThief is Nast himself.
So, everyone else in the world is potentially the PantyThief.
That said, I'm not the Pantythief. How about you?
Fireopal 13th Jun 2018, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
I'm still not convinced we can rule Nast out.
Caydenite 13th Jun 2018, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm very in favour of checking out and hitting on the incredibly interesting elf girl. Is that a shaved head there rockin', coz if so that's awesome.
G. Sansa 13th Jun 2018, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
If her class is Librarian or something, we should definitely recruit her to our party. I want to see some high-level Librarian combat moves, that would be awesome. The pen is mightier than the sword!
GS 13th Jun 2018, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Have you seen the "Librarian"-movies? :)
Sonico 13th Jun 2018, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
Maybe it's just me, but on a funny aside, the lore on Sahagin mix of self-reliance, agressiveness and minimal socialization makes me think a bit of the Sayajin from DbZ.