Comic 138 - Test out the elemental, press onward

17th Jun 2018, 10:19 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Test out the elemental, press onward
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 17th Jun 2018, 10:19 PM edit delete
While making sure the whole song is written in the journal, you ask Justice about any drain she feels from the elemental.

"I do feel rather tired after finishing the song," Justice replies. "It's not growing any worse, though."

The cost of casting is likely all up front, instead of eating mana over time. Between that and how long it takes to sing the song, summoning the elemental mid-combat is probably not feasible... but since it's not eating away at Justice's energy by existing, there's no reason not to just summon it during down time and keep it around.

Well, aside from an elemental possibly scaring regular citizens, but it's a small elemental. It shouldn't be a big deal.

Justice takes a moment to practice giving the elemental commands. It seems she does need some sort of gesture, or verbal command, to make it do anything--however, those gestures can be subtle, and it seems to understand her intentions even if the orders are hard to interpret.

It's not able to harden itself much--the elemental mostly exerts force by circulating the water inside it more rapidly, creating miniature "jets" or "jetting" its own body. It can do this to attack (shooting water out of its arms with some intensity, then drawing the water back), or even to propel itself around.

However, due to its size, the amount of water it has available to do these things is fairly limited. It can't hit very hard, nor can it go blasting off at ridiculous speeds. It IS extremely malleable, able to flatten itself out and reconstitute--it just lacks the physical presence that, say, a slime might have.

It's also able to hold small objects... just, not very well. It kind of... floats items around inside itself, if provided.

Lastly, the elemental is... maybe not all that great at maintaining its own moisture. Wherever it walks, and whatever it touches, is left wet--and you're no scientist, but you're pretty sure that's bad for the creature made of water. If active long enough, you suspect the elemental will shrink a bit, or may even exhaust its own supply of holy water just wandering around. In short, it has a time limit--a very generous one, probably, but a time limit nonetheless.

You all head into the next room, having the elemental lead the way. The room is... surprisingly skeleton free.


Arislide 17th Jun 2018, 10:46 PM edit delete reply
I do believe we need to slot an anchor
Jex 17th Jun 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
There's an anchor, there's a slot. We must fulfill our destiny.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
+1, I couldn't have said it better myself.
The Mighty Dragon Lizard 17th Jun 2018, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
Well, I think we all know what to do here. Place the Anchor in the slot, stand back, and see what happens.
Krylo 17th Jun 2018, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
Examine the altars off to the sides first.

Assuming the altars are fine. . . slot anchor, light fires on the two braziers if they don't light on their own.
Ghest 17th Jun 2018, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
You sure those are altars? They might be stone chests with something inside that could be described as treasure.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
Either way, check them out, this room looks interesting and if there is treasure we've got to find it!
Dysprosian 17th Jun 2018, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
Looks like we need to slot the anchor and add the holy water on both sides. Easy enough, wonder whats on the other side.

Also we now have a (small) portable shower yay :)
Emiko 17th Jun 2018, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
Make sure to equip the stone zwei first, then anchor up.
ZincFingers 17th Jun 2018, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
Good call, don’t know if the door is going to lock the anchor in place.
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 3:36 AM edit delete reply
P132 seems to suggest though that this side-quest is about strengthening and enhancing the anchor, not losing it. I don't think we should be too worried.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
Not worried about permanently losing the anchor, it just might be locked in place during the ritual / door opening / whatever comes next.
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
I see. Yeah, readying the zwei as a temporary back-up does make sense.
Cloudy 17th Jun 2018, 11:19 PM edit delete reply
Those candles burn blue.
I want one.
Can we cast identify? And maybe nab one or two on our way out?
Also thank Valley for sharing her milk. We know it’s no big deal to her but it’s very helpful and we appreciate it.
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jun 2018, 11:44 PM edit delete reply
Yeah I forgot last time due to that cool Holy Water Elemental, but Valley was totally awesome, and Justice making out with her was great too.
K3001 18th Jun 2018, 3:29 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, and they were burning ever since someone put them there a very long time, it seems. So, they ether eternal, or do have a ridiculous amount of time to burn down. Or... it's magic. I say, we take some.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Could be that were set to magically light up with once the first tune was sung to open the grave.

Our dad said Gramps was a fisherman, who also adventured a bit. He said nothing of him being a wizard / architect / engineer / gravedigger / polyglot / subterranean botanist. My point is, Gramps was a badass.
Placeholder 17th Jun 2018, 11:39 PM edit delete reply
That slot looks bigger than the Anchor. I mean, try it, but if it doesn't fit then see if the water elemental can conform to the slot shape.
Guest 17th Jun 2018, 11:45 PM edit delete reply
Ask Valley if she's feeling lucky, before slotting anchor. Go for humor. :D
Guest 17th Jun 2018, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
Also, maybe, possibly, look at everything before anchor slotting.
Dysprosian 18th Jun 2018, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
+1 humor/tease
Lapdragon 17th Jun 2018, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
I suspect our new elemental buddy would be magnificent at creating havoc with single enemies - throw him at somebody's face and have him go into spincycle mode, between the turbulent surface of the water and all the bubbles he'd suck in, they wouldn't be able to see anything, and might even get dizzy and have more serious issues.

He might even be able to use the same concept on hollow enemies like skeletons to redirect their movements, and cursed undead like liches and vampires would be absolutely terrified of him.

I wonder if he can absorb some sand or we can find him some pumice later - he could use that to bulk up a bit and add some solidity to himself and his attacks.
1977 18th Jun 2018, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Holy water to control a skeleton?
Normally you use it to destroy them.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
I suspect the contact damage from holy water splashing on undead would trump those clever tactics, but our HWE could try this on different enemies later on.

I wonder if he could jump onto a target's head and hold on until they drowned... or even pour himself into their mouth and flood their lungs directly. He's probably too weak for that, or it'd be too gruesome, but it's an option to consider if we find ourselves in a pinch.
Korsha 18th Jun 2018, 12:27 AM edit delete reply
This little guy might come in handy when next we check out that enchanted coffin. If there's a hostile vampire or other unholy undead creature inside, we'll have Justice and her buddy ready with a holy water bodyslam!
Eyebrows 18th Jun 2018, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
This room is fairly self-explanatory. Anchor A goes in slot B.
Twelveseal 18th Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, but I think we should examine the stuff in the room before we commit to that. Including potentially Identifying the candles, chests(?), and braziers(?).
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
+1 to checking everything out carefully before we act.
G. Sansa 18th Jun 2018, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
And a blue candle in the high brazier on the left, on the low altar on the right.
1977 18th Jun 2018, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
Inspect everything carefully.

Are these chests or altars an the sides?

These bowls atop the roots, are they for water or for fire?
Maybe we must place the candles from the room before in them.
Alternatively the HWE can somehow activate them.

Place the anchor in the middle after inspecting everything when you're sure nothing else is to do in preparation.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 2:19 AM edit delete reply
I think this nicely sums up what needs doing, throw in a little bit of the flirting that others have suggested and I’d say we’re good to go.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
+1 from me too
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 2:17 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like we could do with a bucket.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
Agreed. That was my first thought. Some kind of container so our little buddy lasts longer.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
Keep it in a keg for Inzo to throw.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
For those that have yet to read the lore entry on skeletons. Go do that.
Twelveseal 18th Jun 2018, 2:33 AM edit delete reply
Such a cruel punishment that was.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Cruel Punishment was my mother’s maiden name.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
I liked it, that lore was pun-tastic.
Twelveseal 18th Jun 2018, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
Jochi 18th Jun 2018, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
-1 (or more) to any attempts at 'inspiration' with the elemental, at least until we learn more. Right now it feels too much like a living thing and too little like an adult sapient. It smacks of either bestiality or pederasty. I hope we don't make Nast swing that way.
Jochi 18th Jun 2018, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
Sorry, wrong word. Pedophilia, not pederasty.
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
Gotta say I agree with this, and to add, even if it was sapient / sentient, it is bound to by magic to do whatever Justice tells it to do, so, that opens another can worms.

Although if Justice found out that the spell forced a free-willed entity to do her bidding, she would never use it again.
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
I'm guessing it's on a level with domestic animals, so maybe best looked at the way we would a horse or a dog or something. Not sure how I'd feel about using it for a suicide-splash attack though.

Maybe it gets harmlessly released back to its home plane if its physical form in this one is destroyed, but I'd want to know more about the mechanics of elementals in this setting before doing anything with it that might constitute cruelty or abuse.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
I get your meaning though. I wouldn't mind it at some point in the future but right now... our HWE just seems, unready for it.
1977 18th Jun 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
It doesn't really help this discussion, but under Lore>Bestiary>Constructs is the entry about it.
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 10:05 AM edit delete reply
Thanks - looked for it but couldn't find it.

I'm starting to think it's non-sentient, especially given the classification as a 'construct' and the talk of 'animation'. Maybe less like a dog and more like a roomba? (Or an Oglaf cumsprite, perfectly happy to splash-dive to death under suitable circumstances.)

Still probably needs clarifying either way, as you say.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Water Elemental (Small): An elemental made of pure water, animated by raw, primeval energies. Though maybe the least destructive elementals, they're also the most flexible--both literally and not. They have mallable bodies, able to slip through cracks and under doors. Because they moisten everything they touch, a water elemental away from actual water will slowly lose itself, steadily shrinking away into nothingness. For bigger elementals this is less of a problem, but for the smallest among them, this puts a notable limit on their lifespan.

Soooo.... its animated water under the control of Justice. It's not a pet, it's not sentient, it's just the element water formed into a shape that she controls. My guess is that its only limits are what Justice feels comfortable with.
Tungsten 18th Jun 2018, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
how much of a personality does the little critter have?

(it's NOT something seduceable)
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
If only we had a way to communicate with him somehow...

He's got no mouth to talk with us, but he does understand Justice's commands, so either he knows the language or maybe he can read her mind?
Twelveseal 18th Jun 2018, 10:19 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we can get it to write words using that moisture it naturally loses. Sure, they'd evaporate quickly, but eh...

Or have it form words inside it's body.

Or maybe it can just imitate speech by vibrating or something after making a suitable facsimile of a mouth.
G. Sansa 18th Jun 2018, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Can we reinforce Howie? Increase his surface tension, make him last longer?
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
We can try but I doubt it'll work, Howie feels like a creature and not just some object.
G. Sansa 18th Jun 2018, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
If slotting the anchor opens a door, Justice and Howie should be the first ones through.
Caydenite 18th Jun 2018, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Before slotting the anchor, we should check out those box-y things. Are they chests or something. After that, those bowl looking things. If they are bowls, Looking at the pattern on the door it looks like maybe the one on the right is maybe supposed to be a little lower. Could our new friend (we need to get justice to name them) hop up in to to tip the scales? Then we can try the door-anchor interface.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
It looks like the blue knobs next to the anchor slot are in some kind of grooves that they might move in.