Comic 132 - Sing the old shanty

14th Jun 2018, 10:35 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Sing the old shanty
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 14th Jun 2018, 10:35 PM edit delete
You ask if anyone here can read music, and can possibly sing the notes on the gravestone.

"I'm not very good at it..." Justice replies, "but I could try."

She starts by just humming the tune--somewhat self consciously, glancing around as if to make sure no one else is around.

The anchor begins to glow--and based on Valley and Justice's reactions, it's not just you experiencing the effect this time.

Justice parts her lips, and transitions to singing the song properly. The soft glow of the anchor strengthens... and the headstone begins to tremble.

Slowly, inch by inch, the headstone start to slide backward. Dust and smoke pour out as it reveals an old stone staircase, leading downward, into the earth.

...Against all logic, as there was absolutely no room for a staircase there before. It's clearly some sort of magic at work.

Justice stops singing, and the opening remains in place. The glow of the anchor fades.

"Sooo..." Valley raises an eyebrow, "either like, your grandad totally had a labyrinth built where he was gonna be buried? Or he might totes be like, a lich or some junk."

Some uncommon weapons with history, stories, or legends behind them--such as Grandpa's Anchor or the Stone Zwei--may have quests associated with them. These quests are purely optional, but can strengthen the weapon, even granting it additional properties and abilities.


Krylo 14th Jun 2018, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
Unto the breach, down the stairs. Lets get this dungeon crawl moving.
Guest 14th Jun 2018, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Order: Valley, Nast, Justice. Justice and Nast switch when you are further for sneak attacks from behind.
G. Sansa 15th Jun 2018, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
Um... we don't have a lantern? Head quickly back to town and get one or two. I saw some hanging on the outsides of houses, I'm sure our parents have one on or in their house. But yes, come right back.

If we need to leave somebody here so the dungeon doesn't close up, then Nast and Justice stay and Valley heads back.
G. Sansa 15th Jun 2018, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
Also get flint and steel of course.
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
Match-point to Sansa, let’s get us a source of light.
Korsha 15th Jun 2018, 1:36 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, get a light source and go explore the stairs with the current team.
Gandalf 15th Jun 2018, 4:48 AM edit delete reply
Jex 14th Jun 2018, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
Time to (carefully) hip down those stairs.
Guest 14th Jun 2018, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
I'd say go in, but take care for traps.

Also try to identify the lance, might have gotten some more strength in it now
GS 14th Jun 2018, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
Well, now we have to go down there.
MakePeaceAndLove 14th Jun 2018, 11:27 PM edit delete reply
Harski 15th Jun 2018, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
Guest 15th Jun 2018, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
and hope it's not a post-game level 99 kind of deal
Portal In Time 14th Jun 2018, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Leave your pals behind here so you can tell Dad what you discovered, then LET'S GO!
Caydenite 14th Jun 2018, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
I was thinking about changing the party, maybe get Lagrand or Ranse in, as fire works well against undead and Lagrand knows about old stuff? I guess? On the other hand, clerics are traditional when fighting undead, and I'd be worried about status effects. *shrug*
Obviously Valley has to come, she has the anchor, and it's Nast's granddad's tomb.

Either way, we need to go in.

(and later try and find the Zwei quest.)
ZincFingers 14th Jun 2018, 11:10 PM edit delete reply
I think we are good party-wise. Valley for heavy lifting, Justice if we encounter anything “unholy”. I’d advise against taking Ranse, if the worst happens and we are trapped underground a fire weapon just burns through oxygen. (That was pun-intentional).

Though I agree on hunting down the Stone Zwei quest at some point, probably involves another visit to the fairies.
MakePeaceAndLove 14th Jun 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
Yeah we're good with our current party. If we get stuck anywhere Valley can totally dig us out with Sand Shark so that's awesome too.
Guest 15th Jun 2018, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
You don't suppose the Zwei quest is linked to that coffin in the forest do you?
G. Sansa 15th Jun 2018, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
Yes, I do suppose. But I am still worried about that quest. I think we have some amount of plot armor here but I don't want to rely on it, and without plot armor, the coffin quest could well be too high-level for us, while the grandpa quest is probably just right for our current levels. Doesn't mean it will be a cake walk, but something we can handle if we're careful and smart.
GS 15th Jun 2018, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
It's something Grandpa set up, presumably for us, and as far as we know he didn't hate us. ^_^
It's bound to be challenging, because grandfathers can be like that, but I doubt it's an instakill deathmaze.
More like an inheritance where instead of attending the reading of a will, we have to jump through a bunch of hoops to prove we're worthy of receiving the legacy.
Caydenite 15th Jun 2018, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Feel like an idiot. The dude who built the stone soldiers was buried alive in the forest. We were already told that. Yeah, after this lets go wake them up; they're a talented mason, not some super evil archmage world killer.
Caydenite 15th Jun 2018, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm wrong. N/M.
Jex 15th Jun 2018, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Justice doesn’t have any special bonuses against undead though I think
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
Going by how her magic works, so long as she believes she has some advantage against “unholy” things, she will have an advantage.
CruntKnockler 15th Jun 2018, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
It was confirmed in the skelecan fight that healing spells are harmful to undead, so definitely take Justice with us.
Guest 15th Jun 2018, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
No it wasn’t! In the skelecan fight, healing worked just fine on the undead! HEALING SPELLS DON’T HURT ZOMBIES!
Sorry about that. The current party seems good. We don’t want fire taking away the oxygen, and it might be too small in there for the mech. My only concern is that there may not be enough room for valley to swing her weapons, and earthbreaker and sand shark may not work with the stone floor. Nast might have to take the lead when it comes to fighting, so support from Justice seems welcome.
1977 15th Jun 2018, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
@CruntKnockler @Guest
Skelecan is not undead.
It was neither confirmed nor denied.
Skelecan got healed because it is not undead.
Next time before screaming at someone that they are wrong you should probably confirm that you are right first.
Gandalf 15th Jun 2018, 3:15 AM edit delete reply
Yep, skelecan was just a bird. We nearly came unstuck from jumping to wrong conclusions based on bad guesswork.
CruntKnockler 15th Jun 2018, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
"The skelecan looks undead--you suggest that Justice try to use her healing hands ability on it. You've heard that healing does damage to the undead."

Yep, I mis-remembered. Sorry guys :(
Guest 15th Jun 2018, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
@Cruntknuckler @1977
Sorry, I should have checked the lore page first. I just didn’t want this to end up as a repeat of the skelecan incident, where we came rather close to dying to some random, non-story-related monsters - this could be a lot more dangerous!
Since we aren’t sure if healing hurts undead creatures, we ought to only try it when it’s either extremely safe (for instance, a single zombie in the middle of a large, open space) or as a last resort, where a party member might die if it doesn’t work.
Croaker 15th Jun 2018, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
The bird wasn’t a zombie. It just has weird taste in armor/decorations.
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Had a good taste in people though.
Curse 14th Jun 2018, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
I agree that we should check this place out since we are here.

Our current party should be good. Vally has the weapon and can use Grandpa's special move, And Justice can help in case we come across any more musical puzzles.
MakePeaceAndLove 14th Jun 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
G. Sansa 15th Jun 2018, 12:14 AM edit delete reply

Also, Ranse and Inzo can stay busy upgrading/working on stuff. And Lagrand can meditate, and one of his spells is useless underground.
JiggilyJoe 15th Jun 2018, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
Onward and downward!
Tech 15th Jun 2018, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
Do the optional quest. For Grandpa.
GS 15th Jun 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
If there's a maze down there, we have a big advantage; the minitaur in the labyrinth is on our side. ;p
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
+1 purely for that pun. Minitaurs and Mazes. XD
GS 15th Jun 2018, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Sparky 15th Jun 2018, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
You know... I've been thinking. What if the thief really is Nast/us? We've already got a thing for stealing, and we're slowly getting more and more powerful with various items and what not. So, what if at some point in the future, we get mixed up with someone much stronger than us and get trapped back in time, forced to accomplish the one task that got us framed?
Gandalf 15th Jun 2018, 3:18 AM edit delete reply
More like investigating the theft has pushed us towards skills and places related to the thief. Not unusual for cops and robbers to hang out in similar places and have similar skills and interests. I wouldn't read too much into it.
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:18 AM edit delete reply
I said it before, it's technically possible but right now it's verrrry far-fetched. Maybe after more evidence supporting it appears?
1977 15th Jun 2018, 2:28 AM edit delete reply
It seems everyone expects undead down there, so we should probably prepare for that.
Justice, wear the SkullHelm.
In case there are undead they go for the others and Justice can try the healing spell directly to finally see if it works.

Though I'm with the others who think Grandpa set it up for us specifically and there are puzzles and no enemies.

On a sidenote:
I suggested before KingSlime should become a Bard.
That would have totally helped us right now.
Gandalf 15th Jun 2018, 5:03 AM edit delete reply
King Slime isn't in our party though?
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
He means if/when she joins, that should be her class.
1977 15th Jun 2018, 5:28 AM edit delete reply
One day she will join us.
Therefore she needs a class.
Bard is ideal for her I think for several reasons.
1. No one expects her to sing.
2. As a shapeshifter she can change her vocalcords.
3. Maybe she can shapeshift to several mouths and be a choir all unto herself.
4. I'm curious what kind of instrument she wants, if any.
5. The performance for the E-Guild. Imagine it: the stage is ready, all (even the audience if participation is allowed) are naked, the tentaclesex is in full swing when suddenly she begins to sing an aria.
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
And she has spent a long time reading and memorising books, so she could potentially make an excellent storyteller.
Gandalf 15th Jun 2018, 6:05 AM edit delete reply

I'm sold, assuming she can spare the time to join us at all.
GS 15th Jun 2018, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
If she becomes a choir unto herself, she won't even need to embarrass herself by performing porn on stage.

I like it!
Caydenite 15th Jun 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
Would it have helped? We got the door open without a dedicated bard. Also, since when would doing porn on stage not be awesome?
GS 15th Jun 2018, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
@ Caydenite: When you're a monarch who wants to establish diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries, and you don't need a reputation as a kinky stage act to muddy the political waters.
Caydenite 15th Jun 2018, 12:24 PM edit delete reply
I dunno, I think most people would be more willing to deal with what would otherwise be a scary monster if they were a famous and desirable sexpert. And honestly, I'd rather that they developed abilities unique to their Slime Kigness that only they could do that have a bard skill set just slapped on top of an already interesting character.
K3001 15th Jun 2018, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
And with those tentacles she can play any number of instruments at the same time, yeah
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
While the King Slime had no hints of being a talented Bard, reading 1977's explanation, I think I'm sold. I'm all for a Bard Slime for our party. ^_^
Antarean 15th Jun 2018, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
Maybe make a note about where we are and what we're doing in the journal, just in case the entrance closes behind us and/or we need to be rescued by the rest of the party?
GS 15th Jun 2018, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
+1. Good idea.
Drogo 15th Jun 2018, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
+1 on getting a light source but we should probably get a few other items like chalk or something to make sure we can leave a trail for the rest of the party should something happen. That said, we can teleport back to town now so perhaps its not too big a deal
Jochi 15th Jun 2018, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
+1 to getting a light source and chalk, also charcoal sticks if possible to do the rubbing. In the journal, with explanatory notes, so the other party members can access it. Then put Nast in the lead, in case whatever is down there will recognize him. Valley can reach over him or move past him if needed.
Fayti 15th Jun 2018, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
"My arms aching, back's breaking, legs aching neck
And this whole ruddy ship is a huge creaking wreck
Flown ten thousand miles with this thorn in our sides
Though the wind's steady strong with no clouds in the skies
The ropes creaking, ship's leaking, sails are on fire
And this whole bloody ship could go up like a pyre
We've got smiles on our faces, but we've seen this before
No telling just now what we have in store
The back-stabbing, loot-nabbing plans behind doors
Running low on the rum and depleting our stores
Can't tell who's on our side and who's ready to flip
When we hit the next port the whole crew could jump ship
With the moods flaring, crew's glaring, cut-throats the lot
With a paranoid captain always smelling a plot." - Lyrics taken from Aether Shanties by Abney Park

I vote for assembling the party for deep delving shenanigans.