Comic 137 - Speak the poem aloud

17th Jun 2018, 2:41 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes) Rate this comic
Speak the poem aloud
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 17th Jun 2018, 2:41 PM edit delete
You definitely suspect the poem engraved on this huge stone slab is involved with some shenanigans. You ask Justice if she can read the poem aloud.

She nods, and begins to read it--speaking fluent mermaid (merfolk?) as she recites the lines. As she goes through them... something definitely starts to happen. A faint light starts to build in the room, and you can FEEL the energy coalescing.

...But Justice reaches the end of it, and nothing happens. The light dims to nothing, and the building sensation fades.

"Bogus," Valley remarks. "Maybe we're like... missing something?"

You take a more thorough look at the stone itself while Valley and Justice try to brainstorm a new way to recite the poem. Justice attempts it while touching the anchor, and while the anchor is pressed to the stone; neither has a dramatically differing effect.

You don't notice anything unusual around the stone slab--no drag marks, no openings, no switches or the like.

Justice attempts translating the poem into your own language. Not all of the words... follow through, exactly, so it's a bit of a struggle, and requires her making a few notes and scratching some out in the journal. The poem seems to specifically call out gods of the deep, gods of the coast, gods of the creatures in the dark... but beseeches specifically a goddess above all that, praying for her help. It's most definitely a mermaid's prayer, using a lot of... well, watery descriptions.

Oddly, it sounds like a prayer to cure loneliness, rather than anything too dire. The poem in general is rather sad.

You take the opportunity to check the vines dangling from the ceiling. They do have a magical essence about them, but it's not too different from the tree you identified in the first room.

"I do wonder..." Justice begins, "if the One Above the Sea is the One Holy Goddess by a different name. The principle is the same--a power above powers, a crown to the celestial hierarchy. ...Just framed from the view of those that live beneath the waves."

Something occurs to you. There were notes on the gravestone coming in, right? Justice had to vocalize the notes to open this tomb, but the song didn't really have lyrics--it was just different pitches. Or octaves. Or... whatever the word is, you don't know anything about music.

"Oh, yeah!," Valley snaps her fingers, giving you a point. "Like, these could totally be the lyrics to that shanty!"

"I'll give it a try!," replies Justice.

She begins to recite the poem from the slab, but attempts to do so to the tune of the song she sang to open this dungeon up in the first place--the one that was on your grandfather's tombstone. Because she's having to read the lyrics line by line, she has to slow the song down... which makes it sound a lot less like a spirited drinking song, and a lot more like something... deep, spiritual, somber even.

The energy builds.

The light deepens.

And as Justice completes the musical prayer for the goddess to send someone...

the light brightens to a flash

then fades, revealing...


...A small water elemental.

"Oh," Justice responds. "Oh my."

Justice has learned Psalm of the Seaway Servant.

She... hesitantly points, and the water elemental trots across the room. She wiggles her finger, and it waddles back toward her. She seems to have complete control over the little guy, who--despite lacking a proper face--seems to stare at her expectantly.

You don't know THAT much about magic, but the wheels start turning in your head. If what Justice does really IS witchcraft, then it has to have a thematic center--in her case, it's previously been holiness, divinity, the general concept of an utmost celestial being.

...The fact that she's learned how to conjure (or summon?) a water elemental seems to fly in the face of that. Nothing about a water elemental is explicitly angelic, light-based, or otherwise divine in theme, which seems to point to the idea that what she does is, in fact--

--and that's when you spot it.

As the water elemental saunters about the room at Justice's direction, you notice the glimmer. The faint... luminescence, of sorts, to its liquid consistency.

It's not just a water elemental, because it's not just water.

It's holy water.

It's a holy water elemental.

...You shake your head, fighting back a sigh. Looks like the jury might still be out on where Justice gets her power from.

Before you move forward, you address the issue of healing. Justice's healing hands are a little easier to bust out in combat compared to Valley's milk, so it's probably better to conserve Justice's energy for actual fights. For moments like this, between fights...

"Toootally on it," Valley giggles. She tugs at her top with both hands, both massive breasts bouncing into view. Justice removes her skull mask long enough to hesitantly approach, seeming a little shy about doing this... here... of all places.

You have no such hesitance, however, tugging down your bandana and scarf, and eagerly taking one of Valley's nipples into your mouth. Seeing you suck at Valley's massive tit reassures Justice, who gathers the courage to do the same--wrapping her soft lips around Valley's opposite nipple.

"Ohhh," Valley groans, running her hands through both you and Justice's hair. "Two at once is... unnnghhh... too good...!"

You feel the pain fade as you drink straight from Valley's breast, your hands gently massaging at the supple surface as if to squeeze the milk into your mouth. Your cuts steadily seal, the soreness alleviating.

"I didn't..." Valley grunts, struggling just to concentrate. "Take too many hits, so... ahh... y-you shouldn't... like... have to worry about..."

Justice lets the nipple slip from her mouth, leans up... and kisses Valley. Deeply, at that--lips parted, body pressing tightly into the minitaur's. You relinquish the breast yourself, slightly taken aback... but also wanting a clearer view of where this is going.

The pieces fall into place as you spy milk trickling out where Justice and Valley's lips meet. Justice took a mouthful of Valley's milk and... sort of... gave it back to Valley.

Though, the kiss does last substantially longer than it probably should, from a purely pragmatic angle. They continue to passionately kiss each other for a little while, Justice bringing a hand to Valley's face, wiping the excess milk from her cheek. They get dangerously close to just making out, but eventually, they withdraw.

Justice sucks the excess milk from her fingers, and Valley catches her breath.

"Okay, like..." Valley gasps, licking at her own lips, "when we started this quest, I was like preeetty sure I was straight?"

Justice grins, and helpfully assists Valley in stuffing her big tits back into her top before putting the skull helm back on. "I only sought to help," Justice says. Though you can't see her face now, you can hear her smile in her tone. "You needed to be healed, too."

"Oh, totally," Valley agrees, still grinning wide. She casts a glance around the room before turning back to you. "What now?"


GS 17th Jun 2018, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Onward, MacDuff, and don't spare the horsepower.

On a sidenote, I'm glad to see Justice's powers remain mysterious. ~_^
Gandalf 17th Jun 2018, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Drogo 17th Jun 2018, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
Jex 17th Jun 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
Maybe take those candles in the background and move onto the next room. Also record the poem, both in merfolk and whatever our language is called.

I wonder how effective holywater is vs undead.
The Might Dragon Lizard 17th Jun 2018, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
DANG! That would have been an epic twist there and some mighty find conclusion to Justice's mysterious powers... But I digress.
Onward and... Downward?
AnchorRage 17th Jun 2018, 4:03 PM edit delete reply
We should just continue down the opening. Maybe sent the holywater elemental first in case there are even more skeletons further on. We cN leave the candles, roots and vines and pick em up on our way back
1977 17th Jun 2018, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
If there's nothing else to do in this room, eventually looting the candles can wait till we leave the dungeon for good, Justice and the HWE should go into next room.

Justice is safe from the skeletons and the HWE should be pretty safe from them too.

Together they can even probably clear it out before Nast and Valley follow them.
1977 17th Jun 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Just thought about it a bit. The term Holy Water Elemental is way to long and calling it HWE is so unpersonal.

How about we call it Howie?
Antarean 17th Jun 2018, 5:52 PM edit delete reply
"Squirt"? "Aqua"? Oh! What about, "Dewey"?

Actually let's let Justice name it.
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
I’m on board for letting Justice name it.
TerraNova 17th Jun 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
BABY BLUE. We should totally recommend Baby Blue for the name.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
I like Howie

But if there won't be a decisive winner we can leave it to Morgenstern and let Justice name it.
Portal In Time 17th Jun 2018, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Ask her if it cost any Mana to create the water elemental, and if she can alter its form or command it without making gestures/nonverbally.

Make a copy of the words on the wall (both the original and the phonetic pronunciation) for future reference, then head into the next room.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
A Holy Water Elemental! That's so awesome.

I wonder something though, does it count as a party member? One you'd have to switch in and out of our group? Or is it more like a pet, not taking up a slot, and always going wherever Justice goes, following her orders?

And all that's not even getting into what it can do... Guess we'll have to wait and see in the next update.
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 4:16 PM edit delete reply
I’d say it’s a pet-like situation. If it was a party member Morg would’ve noted that we had to reshuffle back down to three members.

We need to figure out if it is a full mana cost up front, or a gradual drain over the lifetime of the elemental.
GS 17th Jun 2018, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
This opens up possibilities...

If all party members get battle-ready pets and our planned golem remains mindless, we can greatly increase our combat potential!
1977 17th Jun 2018, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
On this page everything gets explained:

"As per the decree of the gods, your party may only contain three active members, including yourself. Guest members, familiars, summons and such do not count against that number, and you can have any number of people in reserve. You can switch from your active to your reserve party at any safe, friendly location (including towns and tents)."

The HWE seems to me to be a summon.
The description in the partytab implies that.
JiggilyJoe 17th Jun 2018, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
This comic is so great!
I want to remind everyone that Patreon is a great way to say thanks to Morganstern for making such a great comic to share with us!
JiggilyJoe 17th Jun 2018, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
We need to learn more about Justice's new pet. What are its limits, abilities, and so forth?
After that we can continue farther in.
Caydenite 17th Jun 2018, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
Let's take this little fella for a spin, they should lead the charge next room.
Drogo 17th Jun 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
If it can have the elemental shape itself to the door frame and move forward. It should essentially act like a holy wave and any undead should end up in the splash zone like Shamu at SeaWorld.

Also: side bar idea... If it can take shapes we might be able to get some "inspiration" from it the next time we camp...
RicardtheDragoon 17th Jun 2018, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
Sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it will work. Still, worth trying. Nast could get a "holy" spell that lets him imbue the "holy" property into weapons, armors, etc. That could be super useful though it could concievably break his theme (with the religious connection).

I expect that skeletons won't be able to withstand prolonged contact or immersion with Justice's new summon. I doubt it will be a one hit kill but maybe.
Dysprosian 17th Jun 2018, 9:41 PM edit delete reply
Justice moved her finger to make things happen with it, what if she does the finger thru hole motion would do. Tiny humor
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
I'm on board for inspiration since, like the King Slime, the Holy Water Elemental can take on any shapes as a liquid... right? That seems basic enough.

But I'd at least like us to get to know it better. Let it prove itself in a couple fights, pet it some to see how it reacts, watch if it displays any personality... also, it's Justice's pet, so it could identify as male? Or female, or both, or some other way entirely... but regardless, if we get familiar enough then I'd like Nast to try and show it some affection in a more physical way.
RicardtheDragoon 17th Jun 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
So, the tree, as demonstrated in the incident with the fairies and the tainted water supply, could be affected by the holy water elemental. On the other hand, said elemental may not survive the experience. Or perhaps the tree is merely a tree and not hiding anything interesting.

Additional uses: if the water elemental may be the lure we need to net ourselves a summoner. Also, as others mentioned, it might be worthwhile to see how much control Justice can exert over the elemental. Then, the elemental could conceivably be used in place of or in addition to the King Slime. At the very least, Ranse or even Lagrand might be able to tell us something useful about it. Also, if that coffin does have something undead in it, a holy water elemental could be quite useful.
JiggilyJoe 17th Jun 2018, 10:09 PM edit delete reply
+1 to using the elemental and checking out the coffin.
Maybe we need to take Justice and Rance and go visit the coffin.
CruntKnockler 18th Jun 2018, 4:25 AM edit delete reply
+1 to everything JigglyJoe said. If there is a lich or a vampire or some other kind of undead in there it should be vulnerable to fire damage as well as holy healing, so Justice and Rance alongside our new, blue friend should fuck it up pretty effectively.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 10:57 PM edit delete reply
+1 to bringing the Holy Water Elemental to show to the Summoner. Now, granted, Justice summoned it, so this one's hers, but maaaaybe if we teach the Summoner that old shanty she can get her own? Unless this requires faith in the One Holy Goddess specifically?

But bringing it to Ranse and Lagrand for their opinion also sounds good... and for the coffin? Might be worth having it around by then, but still I doubt if we're ready to go back to that thing. Maybe later.