Comic 146 - Hunt for crabs

22nd Jun 2018, 3:05 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Hunt for crabs
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 22nd Jun 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
"So... to confirm," begins Ranse. "The c-crown is... oneuseonly. Thenit'sgone."

"Yes," replies her dad.

"And... th-the. Fungus. We need. It grows on creatures in the forest... s-southwest of, Threeroads."

"Indeed," he replies again.

"And we still need... something old. Like g-gargoyles or... demons. Any idea where to find those...? Or h... howtofightthem, even?"

"Well," starts Ranse's father, "gargoyles tend to stay in dark, urban environments. Rooftops or tunnels in... abandoned sections of cities, for example. They... prey on people, but like to have a place to hide. So they blend in with... urban architecture. Demons..."

He pauses, seeming to mull it over a bit. "A demon would be... much, much harder to find, and I wouldn't recommend it. Most demons are... powerful, and incredibly dangerous. They... rarely make it to this plane, only appearing when summoned, or when something is... very, very wrong. Gargoyles are... practically stone. You would want... acid. Sturdy, metal weapons. Fire and electricity are... all but useless. Fighting demons, though..."

Ranse's dad trails off a bit, seeming uncertain himself.

Lagrand speaks up. "Though I'm certainly loathe to admit it, the church may have the definitive answer on that front. I must think there's been some emphasis in their organization upon the art of battling demons. ...I, for one, would prefer to take my chances with the gargoyles."

"Agreed," Ranse replies. "Dealing with... d-demon stuff. I don't... think that's, our wheelhouse."

As Ranse is putting the monster crown back into your inventory, she stops, prompted to ask one more question. "Would this... work on constructs?"

"You know, I'm... not really certain," replies her father. "I believe it should, in theory. It may depend on the nature of the... the construct. Elementals and... gargoyles, for that matter, have that primal... monstrous quintessence. A homemade golem, on the other hand... would lack it."

For now, Lagrand, Inzo, and Ranse decide to head south to the King Slime's cave--hopefully to meet up with you, Valley, and Justice. Some arrangements and decisions about the next step need to be made, and are probably best done in person, rather than through the journal.



BACK IN PEACE CALLING

While you gather up a bunch of bottles of rum, pornographic books, and phantom candles, Valley and Justice head to the beach. Though you're out of mana--and thus very vulnerable--they still have a bit left in the tank, and can start making a dent in Inzo's request for crab parts.

image

It also gives Valley a chance to practice with the chain part of Grandpa's anchor. Using it is fairly simple--the hard part's just being mindful of what the user does with their hands. A flick of the wrist extends the chain, a firm tug retracts it. The way the whole package is enchanted makes the anchor move in a way that's... definitely useful, but not necessarily natural, at first. Even pulling off the ranged anchor grabs that Grandpa was doing takes Valley a few tries.

Once you've finished collecting things from around the tomb, you head home... and explain everything that happened to your parents. Your dad fights back a few tears, and you give him a hug.

Valley and Justice return from the beach, with a generous heap of crab plate in tow. You all rest for the night, again staying at your parents' house--though, Valley and Justice switch this time, with Justice sleeping on the couch, and Valley staying with you in your bed. You're pretty sure they had to have talked about it while they were crab hunting.

No banging goes down (even with Reinforce, Valley's not convinced the bed could take it), though a great deal of soft making out and tit squeezing certainly does.

"We do totally need like... a base," Valley remarks, your face buried in her cleavage. "Like, with beds and junk? Big, comfy ones? We work hard, we deserve like... nice stuff. Kinda sucks that all our options are like, nasty caves so far. Buying a big ass house is prob'ly, like... way out of the question while we're still sorta criminals."

She gently strokes at your hair, smiling as she stares up at the ceiling. "Big beds and like... a personal chef. And hunky massage guys. Adventurers get like, rich? Right? After we clear your name we should totally... I dunno, rob a dragon or some junk."

You both eventually drift off to sleep, Valley still mumbling about her dream Adventuring HQ.


The next morning--with your mana fully replenished--you cast Return to bring you and your party back to Humblestart. You can only use the spell to reach populated towns, and only towns you've visited... but from there, it's a short and uneventful walk to the slime cave, where the others are waiting.

You pass Inzo on the way in; he's sitting in his mech outside the King Slime's throne room, grumbling to himself in gob and tinkering with crab parts. It occurs to you that he and the King Slime are... maybe not on the best terms yet.

You, Valley, and Justice enter the throne room, and discover...


well, a couple new members of the court.


image

"Welcome back, my hero!," greets the King Slime. "I would like to introduce you to my chamberlain..." she motions toward the huge slime wearing a sash, "and my royal vizier," she says, waving toward the slime at the back of the room in the feathered cap.

"Are those...?" Justice begins to ask, but Lagrand cuts her off.

"Your eyes do not deceive you," he states. "Her highness's court has grown. 'Tis a serious matter, to be taken quite seriously."

Despite his very serious tone, his expression can only be described as... sassy. The flare in his eyes tells an entire story--you're convinced that Inzo may have been banished from the throne room for mocking the err... royal court.

Valley looks like her brain just shut down. "But... like... where did she get the...?"

"Wedon'tknow," Ranse blurts out. "W-we have... noidea."

The King Slime continues, undeterred. "I have trained my officials in all the affairs of the court. They will manage the kingdom until my return."

Comments:

Jex 22nd Jun 2018, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
We can show her some of the books that feature more modern ways of thinking now. Also we should discuss what we must do as a party.
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
+ to the books. Almost forgot that.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
+1
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
Neat. New party member.

A Squad: Ranse + Inzo + Nast: Return home and check the mines for equipmentand useful ore.

Reasoning: Inzo and Ranse are most likely to properly identify the ore, and I trust Nast to be able to pull off an upset or escape if the monsters the are too strong.

B Squad: Slime, Justice, and Valley: head out into the forest for monster shrooms, and then head north to check the coffin.

Reasoning: we should use the queen but u want to softball with her a bit and Justice and Valley are a strong team and the fungus collection seems relatively easy, with dangers that the slime is likely resistant to.
Jex 22nd Jun 2018, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
Yeah Inzo could cover the party while Nast uses return in a worst case scenario
Stonebrow 22nd Jun 2018, 5:35 PM edit delete reply
+1 This seems sensible. Although I think Lagrand should replace Justice. He's in his element in the forest, and knows antipoison, which will be good against mushrooms.
Krylo 22nd Jun 2018, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
Lagrand is also a good choice, I concur. Although I think he'd have the most fun out of anyone in our party watching the slime council
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
In general that sounds like a good idea, but I'd prefer to the inspection of the coffin discreet and cursory. I think it would best for a team with more experience to handle.

To be nice to Ranse, we should probably omit the coffin inspection if we send Lagrand instead of Justice (though if the coffin is one hundred years old, it would be unlikely for Lagrand to have anything to do with it.)

It may be worthwhile to keep Justice away from the King Slime, lest amid all these other rapid changes the King Slime decides to adopt the One Goddess as her state religion or make Justice her official cleric.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
I'd rather have King in the party with Nast, so we can get to know her, and I'd guess she'd rather join 'her hero' to start.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
I also think the King and Nast should be in one party next.

Therefore I propose we send Nast + King + Ranse to the forest and to check out the coffin. Ranse knows its location, Nast has plot armor and versatility, while the King... I wonder, could she be the party tank? Since she'd probably be tougher than either of our two casters.

Also this lets King watch as we finally reward Ranse's patience, or let Ranse watch King and Nast. Or even do both.

For the mines I think a party of Inzo + Valley + Justice should be sturdy enough.
K3001 22nd Jun 2018, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
Ask the Slime King, how did she prepared for her absence and about a way to communicate with them in case the group would have to split up. Not questioning her choice. Also, present the books to her majesty.
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
I suggest we be very careful to make a dignified presentation of the books since the King Slime seems to be acquiring a more dignified air to her kingdom. Nast could probably get away with a more familiar presentation, but, in the presence of her new royal vizier and chamberlain, Nast should put his best foot forwards.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:31 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
On the topic of best foot forward, now would be a good opportunity to offer to Reinforce the structural supports of the cave.
JiggilyJoe 22nd Jun 2018, 5:48 PM edit delete reply
JiggilyJoe
I really would like a basic run of random encounters with Nast and the King Slime. I'm not sure who the third should be, but I would vote for Ranse just because we haven't had her with us for awhile, and since she's been creating all these anti burn potions, maybe we can see what happens between the three of us when night falls?
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
+1
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
+1
Guy Incognito 22nd Jun 2018, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
+1
Green Visitor 23rd Jun 2018, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
+1

If random leads to fungus
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
Was this really posted 3 hours ago? I swear this page was not here 30 minutes ago. And I just made a lengthy post on the preceding comic (about topics covered in this post) because I did not know this one was here! Argh. *Sigh* Well, time to actually read it and formulate a new response...
Antarean 22nd Jun 2018, 6:06 PM edit delete reply
Nice. :) If King Slime does join us, I think the first order of business should be mediate a discussion between her and Inzo so that they get a better understanding of each other and there's no negativity between party members. Maybe even have the 2 of them in the same group so they're working together, although if we do that it might be best if Nast was also with them.

Talk to her about the Monster Crown. It's *possible* she would want to use it to create another King Slime that she could marry, but she probably wouldn't want to do that since she said she wanted a politically beneficial marriage. Might also lead to a discussion about her backstory; maybe she was *created* with a Monster Crown which is why she's smarter than a regular King Slime.

Also, assuming she does join the group, and it strongly looks like she is, would we split the party into 2 groups of 3 with 1 person just doing their own thing, or should we do 2-2-3? Maybe talk to everyone, let them decide what tasks they want to work on.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Just ignore my previous post, Antarean also caught on that she might not be officially joining just yet. (and beat me to the punch by three minutes, with a longer message).

I agree wholeheartedly that some form of discussion has to take place with the King Slime and Inzo. Maybe point out that both of their races are still largely on the fringe of modern society, and as of such may be the only support they can find until the ball gets rolling.
Would we want all the other party members present for the discussion? Or do we want to give Inzo and King Slime a chance to air their grievances in private (with Nast as a neutral participant)?

As for the different parties, 2-2-3, that way no one member can be caught off guard by a monster or bounty hunter.
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
Oh, that's a good catch. We should definitely get clarification about "her return". If she doesn't join the party or only does so on an off-on basis, Nast may need to act as a bodyguard. Also, she may not (easily) accept being sent with a party that doesn't include Nast.

The King Slime-Inzo situation does need some work, especially if Inzo would be in the same party as her (even if she only tags along as a guest).

Speaking of bounty hunters, we should probably warn the King Slime about them, both for her protection and her kingdom's (since at least one bounty hunter is astute enough to figure out the connection).
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 6:34 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Just think of how politically advantageous it would be if the King Slime assisted in the creation of the Butt Potion.
Iago 22nd Jun 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Okay. Welcome to our merry band, then.

- Figure out the details of that arrangement.
- Inquire about the whereabouts of Summoner Friend.
- Ask King of she has specific goals in mind, or if she's okay just tagging along as we do our stuff ? We are after all going all over the place, living interesting lives.
- Take the time to learn what she can do, the unique skills, all that.


If we're already departing and need to decide on party comp, I'd vote Valley or Ranse with us. We don't know what King does, but having a tank is nice. If she fits the bill, I like having Ranse's mind around. Her ass too.
Also : not the worst teacher in our group, although we don't have any I'd consider great - Nast himself and Lagrand being the two others, but I don't think she'd enjoy witchboi's snark just yet.
RicardtheDragoon 22nd Jun 2018, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Very nice analysis. The point about the summoner is a good one. Perhaps she knows more about the genesis of this court.

I'm hoping we aren't immediately departing because Nast could use a little downtime. Though he slept for a whole night already the last two days have been a little hectic with Grandpa's final(?) passing and the bounty hunter attack.

Regardless, whatever the King Slime wants is going to play a large part in the party's next actions.

The suggested composition sounds plausible, but until the King Slime states her intent, it is all mutable.
Caydenite 22nd Jun 2018, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
Awesome. Advise her to keep an eye on the vizier, they are notoriously untrustworthy. Tell her we would be honoured to accompany her, if that is still her wish, and let her know we have several books in our inventory she would be interested in (she can decide for herself if that includes the small mountain of porno).

Party wise, if Her Majesty is joining, I imagine she'll want to stick with Nast at first as it's his JSQ that got her to consider it, and it'd be nice to get to know her a little more. I think Ranse is the logical third as 1) she's a healer, always useful. 2)she seems the most interested in KS. 3)She's the one who lent her that book, and probably interested in knowing any... thoughts KS might have and 4) she can make burn resist potions. Gathering the fungus makes sense for these guys, as it will help the peace the King seeks, and Ranse is the alchemist.

Inzo seems busy, so he can work on his projects for a while. I'd also suggest giving him the Jellofish, as Gobjuice is made from slimes and it's basically just the fish version and paralytic bombs would fuggin rock.

That leaves the strong party of Valley, Lagrand and Justice, which is cool as they are some of our heavy hitters. They could go tackle something challenging; I know some people are keen to explore those mines, and they could probably get a good start on clearing them out, or they could poke around the fairy temple looking for leads on the Zwei if people prefer.

Oh, and we should all drink some rum to celebrate our recent successes.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jun 2018, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
+1 but without that vizier warning. It feels prejudiced to me.
ZincFingers 22nd Jun 2018, 11:41 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Yeah, leave out the warning her against her Vizier, she said she was the one that taught them, and I highly doubt she would teach him to betray her. Also, not wishing to sound prejudice myself, but is vizier even capable of thinking of the idea of betrayal?
Guest 22nd Jun 2018, 10:12 PM edit delete reply
Im guessing the best bet to find gargoyles is in the catacombs under threeroads.
Knowone 22nd Jun 2018, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
just thoughg of something, when we got the "tutorial" for weapon quests it mention the anchor AND the stone sword.maybe we should look into that? might have something to do with the coffin piece.
Tech 22nd Jun 2018, 11:48 PM edit delete reply
Did we pass out the trap parts? Ranse could use one, and if we have two, Inzo could use the other.