Comic 145 - Say goodbye

21st Jun 2018, 11:27 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (5 votes) Rate this comic
Say goodbye
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 21st Jun 2018, 11:27 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You ask Grandpa if it's okay to use this tomb after he's gone--or, heck, if he might maybe want to stick around longer...?

"Nah, I got a whole afterlife to get after," he says. "You can do whatever ya want with this old place, though! It won't bother me any, I promise."

You ask if he has any advice, or anything else he wants to say before he goes.

"I wish I COULD give ya some tips, Nast, but you seem like you've got it well in hand! Take care o' your friends, never forget where ya came from... watch out for mimics. I think that about covers it!"

You go to shake his hand, but he grabs you, pulling you into a tight hug. You shed a manly tear, and tell your grandfather goodbye.

"Goodbye, Nast. I believe in ya, boy...!"

He slowly fades away.

"Man... your grandpa's cool," Valley remarks.

"He is," Justice agrees. She turns to Valley, asking curiously, "Were you able to learn that shoulder pinch he was doing...?"

"I don't think so?," Valley replies. She puts a tight grip on Justice's shoulder, but alas, it sparks no paralysis. ...In fact, Justice seems to kind of like it. She turns, giving Valley the other shoulder; Valley rolls her eyes, but grins, and puts a hand on the other shoulder, turning it into more of an impromptu massage than anything. "I'm toootally gonna keep working at it, anyway. I kinda got the basic idea? I think? I mean, like... it's some kind of nerve pinch, right? I'll figure it out."

While Valley continues to rub Justice's shoulders, you commend the girls on a job well done, and you begin opening the various crates throughout the room. You find therein... a whole lot of bottles of rum, and paper books that on closer inspection... uhhh...

feature some really graphic artwork.

Like, these books are full blown pornography.



...And that's it. Just a hidden cache of booze and porn.

You take a moment to rest a bit, and update the journal. You also catch up on what the others have been doing--apparently Ranse has finished working with the acid enzyme in your inventory, and has gained the ability Burn Resist Concoction. Like her Health Concoction, her Burn Resist Concoctions are short-term, battle-ready diet potions... in this case, ones that drastically increase resistance to fire, acid, and other burn sources.

Inzo has started making notes, though a majority of it's written in gob--he has noted a bit more legibly that he has an idea, but it's going to require more crab parts. You're... almost afraid to ask.

The B Team has also made it back to Humblestart.




MEANWHILE, IN HUMBLESTART

image


"The monking tail... is good," begins Ranse's dad. "These wood chips, unfortunately... aren't quite old enough. Not for our purposes. I'd estimate that they're from something... barely over one hundred years old. We'd need something... older."

He's referring, of course, to the piece of coffin acquired in the Witch's Woods.

"W-we also, found this," Ranse replies. She places the monster crown on the counter.

The older alchemist's eyes widen a bit as he focuses on the crown. "...Oh my. I believed... you could acquire the tail, I didn't anticipate... this, however. That... is a monster crown. Certain species of monsters develop them. They're... incredibly powerful. And valuable."

"I k-kind of... guessed. That," says Ranse. "Why? Wh... what's it do?"

"Well..." Her father takes a moment to sort his thoughts out. "Monsters have... evolutionary lines. Clear cut... natural hierarchies of development. Some evolve and adapt to their environment, changing over time--the way goblins gave way to green goblins, or even orcs, for example."

"Orcses more of a sides way evolution," Inzo states. "Maybe even backwards."

Ranse's dad smiles, briefly, and continues. "Other creatures can evolve... within the lifetime of one member of the species. A slime that consumes enough will split into multiple slimes... or it will keep its weight, and become a king slime. Monkings will randomly appear... within the ranks of regular monkeys, for reasons yet unknown. Only a handful of species have natural crowns in their stronger forms, and when these crowns are transposed to a different creature... well, the power of instantaneous evolution takes effect. ...Even in species not normally prone to such a feat."

"Hold on," speaks up Lagrand. "You are suggesting that, should we place that crown atop the head of a different monster..."

"...The crown will become one with the beast," Ranse's dad finishes, "and that monster will physically change. Change into something... far more powerful."

"Inzo could become..." the goblin pauses for effect, "a SUPER goblin?!"

"Or an orc," Lagrand responds with a flippant smirk. "Are trolls within the goblin family? Perhaps you would become a troll..."

"Never mind," says Inzo. "Inzo has lost interest in crown. AGAIN."

"W... why..." Ranse squints as she tries to process it all. "Whythehellswouldanyone... w-want to make a monster STRONGER?"

"Numerous reasons, actually," replies her dad. "For beast tamers and summoners, it's an easy upgrade... though, due to the way summoning functions, that's only a temporary boost. For warriors, it's an improved challenge. For alchemists, it's a way to harvest materials from an unusual variation. There exist coliseums that pay well for these crowns, as it can turn a meager salamander into a ferocious dragon--far more entertaining, or so I'm told. Some advanced forms are more... intelligent, as well. A monster can... become a soldier, if one knows what they're doing. I've read that dark elves do exactly that--make workers and assassins out of common pests. Though... I've never witnessed such things in person."

"That... makes. Sense." Ranse glances at the crown, grimacing. "W-we've... seen. A king slime that... was much smarter than, aregularslime."

"That case is something of an outlier, I fear," Lagrand remarks. "I've encountered my fair share of normal king slimes... I assure you, they are not traditionally known for their personalities."

"R-right," Ranse replies. "I'm... s-still. Alittleconfused. About that. So... that adds another factor. ...I guess."

"Must be careful with crownses, then," Inzo concludes. "Crown goes away when used, yes? And makes monsters into BIG monsters. Or smart monsters. Or orcses maybe. We still needs old thing, from gargoyles or demonses or whatever old thing. REAL old thing. Still needs monster fungus from near Threeroads, too! For butts."

Ranse sighs. "...F-for... butts."

"For butts!," agrees Lagrand, with a boldness and enthusiasm that's clearly just there to poke at Ranse.

Comments:

Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
Remind me to put "Bury me with my porn" on my will.
Hambone 22nd Jun 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Hambone here. Blast the logouts. That crown seems like it could have many uses. I wonder if our queen slime would be interested in it for any reason.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Yeah, add it to the slime pile, or keep it in our party stash for personal perusal, I’m sure we can find some interesting articles in them.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 12:43 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
+1
Twelveseal 22nd Jun 2018, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Twelveseal
Queen Slime? Maybe. But srs question here... what happens if you slap that thing on a person? Or how about a person... turned into a frog?

Is it perhaps time to experiment? For SCIENCE!
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 3:54 PM edit delete reply
Personally I think porn works better passed on than buried alongside someone forever stiff, but hey, to each their own.

Our second party did well too. I'd like to keep the crown for our King Slime, it actually reminds me of the item King's Rock from Pokemon, a consumable that triggered unique evolutions... but Ranse's dad said the transformation is temporary? Or maybe it varies between species... won't know until we try though.
Barswanian 22nd Jun 2018, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
B Team should be confused why Nast and co got so much stuff.

And as these three are kind of inventors/creative types, confer on what they can do with these new items.

a team should pack a bunch of booze into inventory. And Justice should probably take off the skull helmet.
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
Take all the booze. All of it.

Also, we should consider crowning a cockadoo.
GS 22nd Jun 2018, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
What? No! We should use it to give Queen Slime a compatible mate!
Twyll 22nd Jun 2018, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
But a normal King Slime isn't intelligent, as Lagrand just said. If we use it on a regular slime, or even another King Slime, it won't necessarily make them intelligent-- it might just make them even bigger and tougher but not smarter. We can't count on it having that predictable an effect, *especially* when we know that the King Slime we know is an outlier.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 12:46 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
So I'm thinking that since we're a little weak at the moment, maybe Justice, Valley and Nast should break open a bottle of the good stuff, go through the porn together, and see what happens. ;)
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Naturally, after we have left the dungeon, gotten somewhere a bit more comfortable.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
+1 to not bangin' where our dead Grandfather was interred.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
Yeah I'm game if we leave this place first
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
Also: Bring porn to slime
Portal In Time 22nd Jun 2018, 1:01 AM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
Screw that, bring BOOZE to slime
vilageoftheflame 22nd Jun 2018, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Bring booze and porn to slime.
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 2:15 AM edit delete reply
I ain't sharing my rum.
Tech 22nd Jun 2018, 11:42 PM edit delete reply
I ain't sharing my porn.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 3:59 PM edit delete reply
Can the King Slime even hey drunk on that booze?

I have to say though, Ranse's new ability should make getting inspiration and joining the Entertainer's Guild A LOT easier.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
We need to get a bumper sticker for the mech.
“I did it all for the butts”
1977 22nd Jun 2018, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
That seems more appropiate for his tombstone.
For his mech a simple

FOR BUTTS

should be enough.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 2:40 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
That is a bit more succinct.
Sonico 22nd Jun 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
+1 to the bumper with "For the Butts!!!" Horde-style! XD
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
FOR BUTTS

+1 from me
Jex 22nd Jun 2018, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
Gramps has never stopped being an icon I swear. Keep all the porn and booze, if nothing else it functions as a buffer if someone tries to steal shit from us.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
So what do we do about the crown?
GS 22nd Jun 2018, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
Consider using it to get Queen Slime a compatible mate.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
She wants a politically advantageous marriage, so we can't just 'promote' another slime, and probably some other rando monster won't do it either. Maybe a monster that is already a leader of it's people, but there probably already a King, so the crown won't help.
1977 22nd Jun 2018, 1:38 AM edit delete reply
Get a Piggu (Lore>Bestiary>Beasts>Piggu) and give it the monstercrown.
With the enhanced Warboar we can hunt truffles near Threeroads.
These monsters with the fungus should be no problem.

And even without crowning it, getting a Piggu to help in our search for the Fungus should be doable.


So, with the enzymes she can figure out concoctions and with parts that produced it she can build ChemThrowers?
We should really try to not entirely destroy the enemies in the future.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Piggu might be a sound investment, we should look in the cost next time we get the chance.
Harski 22nd Jun 2018, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
+1 for piggu
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
As long as the warboar doesn't turn hostile or this big, I think that idea merits further consideration. Note that while a large pig could aid the mobile base design some people are interested in, it would probably destroy any attempt at secrecy unless Nast already had the Ring of Disguise or some such. A downside to a "Warboar" would be feeding, but perhaps a small enough one could forage on its own.
Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
So, like, what if someone who isn't a monster wears it? Would it make them into a monster? Would nothing happen?(How totally boring and lame would that be?)
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 2:45 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
So what about Team B? I think we should send them after the monster fungus, and if we want them to, maybe scout around the abandoned temple for other stuff we might've missed, or clues to the Zwei quest.
GS 22nd Jun 2018, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
+1. Keep them gainfully occupied, and also far away from that damn' coffin.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
We could do that but I think it's time we switch up our party. We could send Justice to talk to the Kuo-Toa for example.
Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
Could we give the crown to the giant spider? It seemed nice. Might get a drider-esque creature out of it. Or the fairies though not sure how that would work.
GS 22nd Jun 2018, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
Nnnno. It was a bit too keen to eat faeries and goblins.
Green Visitor 22nd Jun 2018, 2:56 AM edit delete reply
That's some possible foreshadowing; Dark elves with uplifted pests, mimics, and MOAR butts.

Questions for Ranses dad:
How can we fight demons or gargoyles (any known weakness)?
Do the crown disappear after use?

Bring along some samples of rum and riches from grandpas crates, but don't abuse the inventory system. I have some ideas where everyone should go next, but I think the party should have a party at the slime caves first.
Brb 22nd Jun 2018, 2:58 AM edit delete reply
Let's send team B to find the monster mushroom while Nast&friend party with booze and pornography. Oh, and let's put the crown on the water elemental and let's fuck him too!
1977 22nd Jun 2018, 3:44 AM edit delete reply
The elemental is a construct. I doubt that would work. Even if it did, Ranse's dad said on summons it would be just a temporary boost. The next time we would get a small elemental again and the crown is gone.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
A temp boost and we lose the crown, that is not a good exchange. Save it for a more permenant creature companion.

Has anybody suggested “Double King”ing the King Slime?
Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Would the crown affect Valley? Could we give the King Slime another crown for an upgrade?
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
Hmm... maybe? We can give it a try
G. Sansa 22nd Jun 2018, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
See if Chickepedia has anything about Rooster Kings. If so, do it on a chick we've raised from an egg to see us as friends.
Magister Dicks it 22nd Jun 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
There, my wacky theory of King slime coming from the slime from blood is mine, goes down the drain xD

I think we really should make this catacombs a base.
Make a system t
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
You, er, seem to have cut that post short there mate.
Magister Dicks it 22nd Jun 2018, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
sorry posted it before time.

Have a mechanism to check on the surroundings of the grave every time we want to leave it. and change the tombstone to not give any clues to somebody else about how to enter it.
and maybe enter the catacombs only through the return spell instead of the normal entrance so that we aren't even spotted entering it.
Though return spell only goes back to the last village or town you were in, right? Or can you choose the destination?

If not we could use a quick travel to do so.(but only to our bases and not just any town, or it would be too much of an op spell).
Maybe an item that you leave somewhere and can teleport to?
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Unfortunate the only step I can think of to help secure the grave is to deface it so that nobody else can learn the tune to open it. A step that I am strongly against doing.

Edit: all good mate, wasn’t sure if had hit post and ran, or were still around.
Magister Dicks it 22nd Jun 2018, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
not defacing the tombstone. attaching a layer (seamlessly) to its surface with something else written "in the memory of the coolest grandfather, father, adventurer and sailor".

or just substitute the tombstones
1977 22nd Jun 2018, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
The return spell can bring you back to any town you know, not only the last visited.
You have to think of your destination and you will arrive there.
Right now it only works with towns and villages, you can't set a marker or something in a destination of your choice.
With more practice the spell will become more powerful, maybe we can set markers then.
Otherwise it was said for example the slime cavern is not a viable choice but implied it could be later with practice.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
I kinda think you have to have the anchor there when you sing the song to open the portal. We should test this though.
G. Sansa 22nd Jun 2018, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
+1 to testing this.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Take the rum and porn. All the rum and porn.
Then go home home rest up and enjoy each other's company.

The whole party should meet up (maybe at slime cave.) and divvy up stuff for projects and change up the main party. Then head out in search of old stuff and fungus, with maybe detours and crab parts and stuff.

Oh, ask Ranse's Dad about where demons and or gargoyles are, and if the crown would work on constructs.
Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
We should get the crab parts for Inzo, and Valley should get some practice with the upgraded anchor.

And the anchor needs a name.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
+1 all this.
Ok, so let's have Ranse ask her Dad any last questions we have about monsters, the crown, or anything else we can think of.
Next if we can safely make it to slime cave let's get the whole group together there, if not let's get the whole group together here, maybe get a room or two at the inn?
I just noticed that Ranse's underwear are still in the inventory. That means she likes running around in her short skirt with nothing else....
Damn she must be so horny right now!
Green Visitor 22nd Jun 2018, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
Yep, Ranse needs some time in the main party. Maybe with Justice as well, good chemistry although fighting potential is more uncertain.
G. Sansa 22nd Jun 2018, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, but Nast should hide out down here and rest up in the meantime. Valley and Justice are mostly full strength and mostly safe from bounty hunters, they can handle some crabs. Then when Nast gets his mana back he can warp to Tumbletart and we can all head to slime cave.
Harski 22nd Jun 2018, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
+1 on all.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
+1 to this, we can always hunt more crabs in Peace Calling if Inzo needs more parts.
Turquoise 22nd Jun 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply
Turquoise
King. Riding. Chicken.
Because feeding it crowns sounds way too expensive.
G. Sansa 22nd Jun 2018, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
If we feed it pyre ant parts (eventually finding and attacking the main nest?), we could have a King Fire Cock, which is a baller ride.
1977 22nd Jun 2018, 9:15 AM edit delete reply
Good thing we have the Chickepedia now.
It contains which food has what effect.
Maybe the effects of things like a monstercrown are already described so we know which breed we want to give the first crown to.
Hambone 22nd Jun 2018, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
"Arise chicken! Chicken, arise!"
Decibal 23rd Jun 2018, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
+1 King Riding Chicken!
Placeholder 22nd Jun 2018, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
If we're planning on making Grandpa's tomb our HQ then B team should first see how much beds cost. Then we should ask everyone if they have any special requests. I.e. alchemy lab, crafting bench, et cetera. A team should also grab some more mining equipment and bring it down in case we want to expand and excavate further, although maybe wait until we recruit someone who is skilled in such things first.

After all that is done both teams should rest.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
I, personally, would prefer not to make the grave our base. Whilst I doubt Gramps would mind, I'd rather Nast not get nasty here, gotta be a bit weird for him, and our base should be somewhere we feel completely at home. The slime cave has already been volunteered for the purpose. Oh, and if our base gets found out, and attracts bounty hunters ect, I'd rather it was further from our Mum's house.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
I don't think it's that big a deal that we get busy here. Obviously Gramps hid his stash of porn here, so I think he would be totally cool with it.
But I really think we need to set up that storage room at the slime cave as our HQ, and this as just a good hide out. It might not be such a bad place once it gets cleaned up.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
Yeah I'd also prefer the Slime Cave as our base.
Zeraligator 22nd Jun 2018, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
The gobs might accept the porn as a substitute for a whore (remember, whore's are temporary, porn is forever\longer). Also it would be interesting to see what king slime would be like while wearing the monster crown, plus we could use the burn resist potion and maybe acquire some inspiration.
P.S. Use the return spell to travel there.
Gandalf 22nd Jun 2018, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Gandalf
Jeez, I have so completely lost track of all our various quests and side-quests, and where we're at with each of them.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
There's a list on the Discord, if you want to check that out.
pwzysk 22nd Jun 2018, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
If the crown doesn't get consumed once you put it on something, give it to Justice, have her use it on Little Blue whenever she summons it.
Green Visitor 22nd Jun 2018, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
+1, if we get certain information that crown isn't lost when used.
Antarean 22nd Jun 2018, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
"For honor! For glory! For butts!"

Ah, so this is basically Grandpa's man cave, neat. A little odd that it's beneath a graveyard, but whatever. :P

It would be neat to actually see some of the journal pages sometime. The different party members could have different handwriting and different writing styles and stuff.

We can use the rum in a similar fashion to using Gob Juice; even if the two don't mix well together we can still use the bottles of rum separately as incendiary devices. Or we could give it to people we meet in the future, alcohol is a pretty good social lubricant so it might help people be friendlier towards us. Or we might be able to use it to bribe our way into the Entertainer's Guild, if we're still planning to get in there.

Let the party look over the pornography stash, see if there's anything anyone wants to keep for themselves. King Slime might also be interested in some of it. No point letting porn go to waste. :P
Jochi 22nd Jun 2018, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Summoning Little Blue drained Justice heavily, I doubt she has Mana enough to summon another yet. I'm surprised she had the Mana to perform two spells/miracles simultaneously. HEY--JUSTICE CAN PERFORM TWO MIRACLES/SPELLS ON THE SAME ACTION PHASE. Can Nast? When he gets Mana back, he should try. Also, when he gets Mana back, he should try to Identify the Anchor again, to see if what he detected before is still there, or possibly has been replaced.
If and when we get the chance, we should ask the King Slime if she has ever lost her crown, and if so, how traumatic/painful that experience was and how long it took to generate/manifest a new one. Because "they're... incredibly powerful. And valuable" and having a crown generator as a resource could be handy.
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Morgenstern still has the option of calling Justice's use of Healing Hands and Status Martyr an coup de grace or limit break or some other "special move dependent on the battle".

On the other hand, [b]Status Martyr[/b is a passive ability, so it might not cost mana or require specific activation (which would dodge the issue in a way).

Still, I think this might be one way the comic moves away from strict turn-based to turn-scheduled-by-character-attribute which could let Justice "save up" action points or give her an instant window to do another action.

Regardless, this are just little matters of form which should not be permitted to get in the way of the most excellent story.
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
After such a rousing success for both teams and due to a need for direct communication on several issues, heading back to the Slime Cave for a 'wild party', as mentioned by others, is a good idea. Naturally, Nast whatever precautions he deems necessary to avoid bounty hunters.

The King Slime will certainly be interested in the books Nast is bringing, possibly even the pornography because we don't know if the King Slime has had more than a textual description of the process. Along those lines, the King Slime could be interested in watching "for experience purposes". Ranse, deprived of her panties for so long, might not care or could even be interested.

As to the crown, it is not a temporary boost. The part that says so is talking about summoners, so the word temporary is specific to that use case. Also, Ranse's Dad did not confirm Inzo's supposition about the crown "going away when used." If the crown was used on another slime, it is possible the King Slime could convince or train them (to have a winning personality).

Based on the Monking and Lagrand's comment,
"...Hmph," Lagrand starts with a flip of his hair, "I genuinely thought he'd cease to be a king, once deprived of his crown."
it doesn't seem clear that the crown is consumed by the transformation but that the transformation is permanent. Admittedly, this may be different for creatures which do not "develop" the crown naturally.

As to why the boost would be temporary for summoners, I suggest is that summoner make some sort of pact, sex in the case of one summoner, with a specific type of creature, and since the crown changes the summoned creature to a new type of creature, that creature cannot be summoned again without a new pact made specifically for it. In light of that understanding, I suggest that if the crown was given to the creature before the pact was made (for the one summoner we know that means before ex), the pact would be with that specific type of monster. This interpretation is dependent on one key assumption: the pact does specifically require that the monster the pact is made with be the summoned monster. IF that assumption is incorrect, then this theory may need to be reworked.

As is, I think we should definitely have a conference about what do with the crown (and the coffin with appropriate security measures).

One final thing, if the summoner is still there, will she be a part of the party?
Spades 22nd Jun 2018, 8:04 PM edit delete reply
The summoner, as I recall, said she'd prefer to continue traveling alone.