Comic 136 - Try to bait the skeletons

16th Jun 2018, 10:34 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) Rate this comic
Try to bait the skeletons
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 16th Jun 2018, 10:34 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
Before engaging the skeletons, you switch back to your wind wand... and fire off an air blade. It does a decent job tearing up the shields of the front two undead, and chipping into their actual... er... bodies. You and Justice throw your shields up, blocking a few incoming arrows as you all back your way to the first room.

You, Justice, and Valley surround the door. With only this narrow entrance, the skeletons will be forced to funnel in one or two at a time, rendering their numbers (and arrows) useless.

...However, after a brief pause--and some faint skeletal shuffling--nothing happens.

They don't appear to be following, instead wandering back to their original positions.

"Perhaps these skeletons WERE placed here by Nast's grandfather!," Justice comments. "It seems they won't pursue us if we attempt to back out."

"That's cool and all?," Valley replies before huffing, "But like... they should at LEAST follow us to here. That'd be totally rad, too?"

If you had a cheap, mana efficient way to attack at a range, you could technically just pick off the skeletons from here.

Well, Plan B then.

With your shields up, you and Justice charge in. You immediately use your wind wand to create a tornado around the archers--they loose their arrows, but the arrows don't... really... go anywhere important.

Meanwhile, Valley dives into the ground behind you, sand sharking her way toward the back of the enemy ranks.

You and Justice begin to work your way through the foot soldiers. You hurl your shield, ricocheting it from one skeleton to another, getting practice at angling it juuust right to bounce it back toward you. You alternate between that, and just beating the skeletons with your wand... which isn't great, but it does fare slightly better than your swordplay did.

Justice, likewise, alternates between swinging her hammer, and using her healing hands to burn through skeletons. They seem to... slowly start to realize that she's not one of them, but not nearly fast enough.

Valley bursts out of the ground behind the archers and begins to tear through them with the anchor, making her into the crowd.


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The sheer number of skeletons makes for a taxing fight--you do take a couple of hits, here and there, as does Justice. However, you take out the skeletons more quickly than they can manage to surround you, and eventually, you meet Valley in the middle.


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You also managed to get some stealing done. In total, you acquire five more old iron swords, three more wooden shields, two wooden bows, five more piles of bones and 40g.

The three of you take a moment to catch your breath, and examine the big stone tablet jutting out of the ground.

Engraved into its surface is... some language you don't recognize. It seems to happen a lot.

"I believe that's... mermaid?," Justice states. "Mer... folk? Merpeople."

She stares at the engraving for a little while, reading it over. "It appears to be some kind of... prayer. A prayer to One Above The Sea. Oh! I think it might also be a poem, it does have a rhyme scheme."

Comments:

ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Write down a copy of the poem, even if we don't need a written copy later, it'll be a nice momento.

Either way, give Justice a minute or two to read it aloud, translate if need be.

The picture of the anchor might be an indicator that we'll need Grandpa's Anchor for something in the immediate area.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Or what if that anchor mark is like someone signed the tablet?

Maybe grandpa wrote it down... but in, uhm, Merish? (Merese? Merrian? Merglish? Merch? Surely not that last one)

Although, of all the foreign languages out there, that one would be worth learning if you're a sailor, right?
Guest 17th Jun 2018, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
Try fitting the mermish(?) poem to the tune of the song from the entrance - the anchor responded to the tune before, the words might activate whatever magic it was.
Barswanian 16th Jun 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Maybe get some Valley healing. Save some of Justice's mana.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Ask Justice how she is fairing first, and take stock of our own situation. No point in healing if we are still good to go.

Still, it slipped my mind, so, good catch.
Barswanian 16th Jun 2018, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
We took some hits, as did Justice. Better get some healing while it's calm, before we go up against something worse.
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Fair point, don't want to get out if things go awry, and using Valley to heal in down times is a smart move, it's not the best method for us to try in the heat of battle.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
+1 to conversing Justice's mana thanks to Valley's healing, between battles especially.

Even moreso now that we've confirmed Justice's healing spells can damage these undead, we don't have that alternative with Valley... or do we? Huh...
Harski 17th Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
No need to use mana. Both drink from Valleys tits. At same time.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 1:22 AM edit delete reply
+1
Justice and Nast can heal at the same time.
Afterwards Valley can selfheal, I think.
If not then how about Justice holds some milk in her mouth and Valley can take it from there?
Brb 17th Jun 2018, 3:20 AM edit delete reply
+1 it is a pornographic comic after all
Caydenite 17th Jun 2018, 8:23 AM edit delete reply
+1 to Valley healing us, and trying the Justice (or us, I guess) assisted Valley self heal. I'd guess we all took a minor hit or two.
Krylo 16th Jun 2018, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
Ask Justice to translate the poem for us, and also copy it down.

It's probably clues for further in the dungeon. We could maybe try reading it out in the proper language as well, but that's about all we need.

Check to see if the vines are magic--if they are go ahead and steal some for Inzo to use later. Then move on to the next room once we're done with this one.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
+1 to all of these. Good ideas Krylo, especially good point checking out the vines.
G. Sansa 17th Jun 2018, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
Pick up any arrows lying around. Is anyone proficient with the bow?

Get some Valley healing. Make it about a 4, where 0 is just business and 10 is HOT. Flirty but not too prolonged.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
+1, I agree with that 4 out of 10. I was going to suggest we make the healing enjoyable for Valley and then saw this comment, proving I wasn't the only one.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 1:28 AM edit delete reply
+1
I already wondered why there were no arrows in our loot.
Healing with Valley's help is best in this situation, we try to conserve mana after all.
Lavitz 17th Jun 2018, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
+1
Green Visitor 17th Jun 2018, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
+1
G. Sansa 17th Jun 2018, 12:38 AM edit delete reply
Get 3 of the 6 magic candles. Don't waste Mana on identify, just equip 1 for Justice and put 2 in inventory for Ranse to identify later.
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
I'd say leave the candles for now, they might be important for the poem / ritual / whatever is engraved on the rock.
Though after we're done here they're fair game.
G. Sansa 17th Jun 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
Grandpa was a murder hobo. Whatever we're being tested on, not-looting isn't it.
Caydenite 17th Jun 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
+1 to Zinc, they might be part of something important, like creating air in here or something. We can loot 'em later if we want.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
I agree with ZincFingers here, we might want to grab them on our way back.

And if the next room has a puzzle that requires the candles, we can always return here and take them once we know they're needed.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 1:24 AM edit delete reply
YOU NO TAKE CANDLE
At least not yet if there's no reason to.
On the way out of the dungeon is enough time for looting everything we missed.
Fireopal 17th Jun 2018, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
@1977 LOL
G. Sansa 17th Jun 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply
And then, of course, onward!
Crestlinger 17th Jun 2018, 12:50 AM edit delete reply
See if there's any skid marks or lines where This monolith has been moved to, tap it to see if hollow check if that odd root has a route then sing the song/read the poem.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:12 AM edit delete reply
Skid marks like it was moved? Good catch, that's worth checking out.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 1:17 AM edit delete reply
Write the poem into the journal.

Check the candles, you no take candle, at least not now, maybe in the end once we're ready to leave the dungeon.

Sing/recite the poem.

Once we're ready to move to the next room let Justice go in first.
The skeletons ignore her so she can safely scout ahead and we can better plan how to clear the room.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
Good idea letting Justice scout first.

That Skull Helm is really doing work for us! I had no idea it would be so useful in practice back when we stole it from the Skelecan. A quirky situational item, sure, but this, this is game-breaking OP... then again, we're just fighting skellies, more powerful undead might not be so easily fooled.
Twelveseal 17th Jun 2018, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
Twelveseal
Huh, there's a little anchor shape beside the waves on the tablet. The rhyme may grant some sort of power later in the dungeon, but we might want to try touching the anchor to the symbol lightly, just to see if anything happens.

Write the poem down in the journal, both in the original text and the translation. Recite the original now, to see if anything happens. We in experimentation modo.

Also, try identifying the anchor, it may still be able to act as a guide. And identify the vines, tabldt, and candles, too. Then head for the next room.
RicardtheDragoon 17th Jun 2018, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
So, the poem/prayer has a rhyme scheme. As I recall, there were some musical notations on the gravestone itself. Perhaps if we could pair those two things together, ignoring the original lyrics, something could happen.

Mayhaps it won't be useful right now, but maybe later in the dungeon it could be. Or Nast and company could just copy the prayer into the journal or one of the books. I wonder what the Kuo-Toa or the Sahagin would think of the prayer/poem.

Additionally, a clue could be hidden in the prayer. The prayer may be able to trigger some form of reaction in the tree.

Also, maybe take a brief pause to heal up? Let Justice (and Nast) get a helping of milk before the next battle. After all they did take a couple of hits already and the next area may be harder than this one or, worse yet, as hard as this one is compared to the preceding room.
Caydenite 17th Jun 2018, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
Good call on reciting the poem to the tune from the grave, after we note it down. If nothing happens, as it's a prayer, maybe Justice might learn a new miracle if she meditates on it later?
GS 17th Jun 2018, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
Check, then reinforce one of the shields and give it to Valley. Just because she's the toughest member of the party doesn't mean we shouldn't boost her defenses.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 3:21 AM edit delete reply
It's kinda hard to equip a shield when you always use twohanded weapons.
Then there's the fact that shields are not her proficiency, though that didn't stop Nast from using a sword.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
Yeah with two handed weapons you can't use a shield too effectively. Then there's the fact that higher attack is usually worth it, sure without a shield she can take more damage but enemies crushed in one hit don't get to deal damage at all. XD
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Valley is a hardy lass, I'm sure she can take a solid hit or four before being decommissioned, a shield would just slow her down.
GS 17th Jun 2018, 2:14 PM edit delete reply
All sound arguments.

Have we reinforced her armour? I forget... ^^;
Some Random Guy 17th Jun 2018, 2:37 PM edit delete reply
If Valley is going to always use two-handed weapons, can’t we just make her some gauntlet-type equipables that have built-in shields which unfold, so that she would not have to hold an extra object? Or maybe, just respectively strong gauntlets?

Either way, it seems within Inzo’s crafting boundaries, but if we do, make sure to make them with a balance of durability and . . . whatever the noun form of lightweight is.
Eyebrows 17th Jun 2018, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
Get some healing from Valley.
Green Visitor 17th Jun 2018, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Wave the anchor, sing the song.

Seems like the recipe, looking at the art.
Gruk The Loon 18th Jun 2018, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if Justice may acquire smiting and or turning abilities with higher level. Imagine Justice sneaking into the middle of some Undead wearing the Skull, and then blast radius smite or Mass Turn/Destroy. Bam! Human Landmine/Grenade......