Comic 139 - Slot the anchor

18th Jun 2018, 2:16 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Slot the anchor
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 18th Jun 2018, 2:16 PM edit delete
While you begin to investigate the room, Valley switches the anchor back out, and re-equips the stone zwei. She places the anchor in the big stone door, and it definitely fits, however...

nothing happens.

"Huh," Valley remarks. "Like, I thought that would do something...? It does totally fit, though."

"Perhaps there's another step we must follow," Justice replies.

There's a stone brazier on other side of the door, propped up by more wood growing out of the ground. Inside the stone bowls are... some sort of soft, blue powder.

You also inspect what appear, at first glance, to be altars on both sides of the room. On closer examination, they're actually chests--dense, stone chests, with heavy looking lids.


Krylo 18th Jun 2018, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
Check inside the chests, and then, depending on what's found inside, probably apply blue flames from candles to blue powder in braziers.
Mochi 18th Jun 2018, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
time for looting!
GS 18th Jun 2018, 3:32 PM edit delete reply
I hope you don't mind my saying so, Mochi, but I love your avatar. ^_^
LytharWolfe 18th Jun 2018, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
Isn't it adorable? Also yes, +1 for looting.
Twelveseal 18th Jun 2018, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
Agreed. Oh, and yes, on to the looting.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Inspect and identify everything around.

Then try opening the chests, and if we can't, then can we pick them up and carry them? If they fit into our inventory we can open them up anytime, like with the locked chest we found on the beach - although this time we have Valley with us anyway... but I'd still wait with opening them if they're locked until we get out of this dungeon, or perhaps reunite with our second party, just in case they're... trapped or, worse.
ThatGuyWhat'sMadeofCheese 18th Jun 2018, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Identify Blue Powder.
Knock on the door to make sure it's not a solid wall, then just have Vally sand shark to the other side? Might not even need to open it.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Oh wow, you're right. It didn't cross my mind that sand shark can get you over locked doors and through walls.

Give it a try if nothing else works. That would be super awesome, though, like you need Grandpa's skill to get inside, and maybe this door only opens from that side? Then everything would fit together!
Caydenite 18th Jun 2018, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
wouldn't that leave Valley stranded alone on the other side? This seems like a boss door to me.
Guest 18th Jun 2018, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
+1 to identifying the powder. Pocket a bit if it’s magical, Ranse might be able to make more. After that, +1 to lighting it with the candles from the previous room. Loot the chests, but maybe have howie open them. We can test his strength, and he is disposable... just in case there are more skeletons in there. It’s a little suspicious that there weren’t any in this room...
1977 18th Jun 2018, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Identify the powder and the chests.

See if we can simply open the chests, if yes then open them if no then wait, they probably open itself later.

Determine if the powder must be set on fire with help of the candles or must it be drowned in Howie's water.
Maybe both? One of them fire the other water?

Justice could try saying something to the door in the mer-language. Harry Potter had just to say open in parsel and the doors opened. Same principle.
Gandalf 18th Jun 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers 18th Jun 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
This about sums it up. If all else fails we might be able to get out HWE to the other side of the via cracks, where to from there I don’t know.
Dysprosian 18th Jun 2018, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
+1 pocket some powder. +1 try different things
Antarean 18th Jun 2018, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
If there's a locked door with braziers in front of it, light the braziers. Adventuring 101. Also the fact that there's treasure chests suggests there might be a boss fight on the other side.

Is anyone else starting to suspect Grandpa might have been a follower of the One True Goddess? Maybe this dungeon was meant to be completed with the help of one of the Goddess' clerics. Justice was the one that got us in here in the first place, she was the only one able to read the stone slab (assuming that ability to read languages is a common ability for the Goddess' followers) which gave her a new spell, and the only enemies we've seen so far are weak against healing magic.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
Justice pretty much said that it seems that the Mermaids God, and her one true Goddess were one and the same, and it seems Granddad was really involved with the mermaid religion. On the other hand, without the anchor that is a family heirloom no one would have likely gotten either this far, and definitely no farther if they weren't either family, or stole it from family. Either way we are very fortuitous that we have Valley in our party or we would be stuck.
Caydenite 18th Jun 2018, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
I think those blue dots on the door are part of a lock, and probably connected to the braziers in some way, so they should let us know if we're on the right track. It might be a different thing we have to do for each one though. Before we try burning them or something irreversible, maybe fiddle about with weight? If one is heavier than the other, transfer powder across to equalise?
Oh, and Valley should see if she can get those chests open, as the only non-weakling here.
JiggilyJoe 18th Jun 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Agreed on the blue dots... I think those are some kind of door knob, or locking mechanism that work with the anchor. I think we need to cast identify on pretty much everything in the room before we start doing anything else though.
G. Sansa 18th Jun 2018, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
I think the dots and lines are a clue. "Left side up, right side down". I don't know what that means though. Should we light the right brazier if we want a down elevator? Put more powder on the right so that it's heavier? Do something with the brazier on the left and with the chest on the right? Any of these would be consistent with that clue.

So, discuss this idea with Valley and Justice, take a vote, and do something. Definitely not something symmetric though, it's clear there's a difference between the two sides.
G. Sansa 18th Jun 2018, 5:02 PM edit delete reply
Flame on one brazier, Howie on the other?? In that case Howie would be on the right.
Jex 18th Jun 2018, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
Identify powder, possibly light on fire or something based on results. Check chests before doing stuff with the powder.
Lapdragon 18th Jun 2018, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
My gut says to light the powder with a candle.

HOWEVER, my brain says that we’re dealing with an old-timey seafaring adventurer, sea shanties, ancient merfolk hymns, an anchor, and a water elemental - that powder is most likely meant to be wet. Plus, those two dots (doorknobs?) are blue - the same color as the powder, candles, sea, sky, and Howie. I’m also wondering if the flame from those candles is hot or cold - cold flames might be relevant (as the deep sea is cold).

My vote is to Identify the candles, powder, and blue dots, and then hoist Howie up so that he can soak the powder.
Lapdragon 18th Jun 2018, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
+Edit: the stone tablet we got Howie from in the previous room showed waves and the anchor at the bottom - I’m going to double down on needing to use Howie and the anchor to open this door.
Lapdragon 18th Jun 2018, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
+Edit2: We should put a note into the journal for one our partymembers in town to pick up a wineskin for Howie to live in while he’s not needed, so he doesn’t dry out as badly from walking around with us and so he can be handled more easily - he’s a short little fella, if we want him up high (like in those braziers), we’ll have to pick him up to get him there. One of us can sling the wineskin over our shoulders to make him easy to carry, and I suspect he’s cohesive enough to stay in the wineskin even without the cork, so he can slither out at Justice’s command.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
+1 to getting a wineskin, that sounds like a good idea
Jochi 18th Jun 2018, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
The two blue dots are not just slightly offset, the higher one has a line going up, the lower one a line going down.
Try lifting the root supporting one of them slightly to see if it moves and if so if the other one drops slightly. If so, try transferring some of the powder from the left to the right. If not (as I suspect) try lighting the LEFT one with the blue candle provided on the right after wetting the powder on the RIGHT one with a bit of holy water. That way, the smoke from the powder on the left goes up, and the solution on the right goes down (soaked into the root if nothing else). But try to look into the chests FIRST in case there are clues there that point to a better solution.
Green Visitor 18th Jun 2018, 6:54 PM edit delete reply
ourss96 18th Jun 2018, 6:56 PM edit delete reply
I know Howie has been leaving water trails from where he's traveled, but do those trails evaporate and leave blue powder?

I vote for Howie getting on the brazier that matches the blue dot with the down arrow.
Some Random Guy 18th Jun 2018, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Is it me, or is it time to LOOT THIS JOINT?!!!!

I mean, the chests will have stuff we need for passing the room, as I can vaguely assume, but whatever materials are left would be wasted if we would not take them.
MakePeaceAndLove 18th Jun 2018, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
+1 especially for that enthusiasm XD
Guest 18th Jun 2018, 7:58 PM edit delete reply
Nast should totally slot Justice and Valley while things are quiet. Then solve the puzzle of the braziers and anchor.
Antarean 18th Jun 2018, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty sure the blue orbs are just going to light up when the braziers are lit. No point overthinking things until we try the simpler solutions.
DonJohn 18th Jun 2018, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
In the previous picture it looks like branches (levers?) on each pedestal. They are positioned opposite to the blue dot arrows. Try flipping left side up and right down.
If no levers, sprinkle a little blue powder on Howie and the candle flame to see if there's a reaction to either/both.
Separate half of each powder so if burning is wrong, we still have some to moisten and visa versa, wet powder may not burn.
+1 for fire in left pedestal, setting Howie in right pedestal. ?Though it appears the only candle is to the far right???
Are the alters big enough to be sarcophagi? We're in a grave after all.
Can Howie seep through the cracks and then report back to Justice, communicating whatever is inside? If it understands Justice's intent, maybe she can interpret its.