Comic 148 - Search for the fungus

23rd Jun 2018, 1:43 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 4.8 (5 votes) Rate this comic
Search for the fungus
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 23rd Jun 2018, 1:43 PM edit delete
Morgenstern
You confirm to everyone the next stage.

You, Ranse, and King Slime will head to the forest southwest of Threeroads, and look for the fungus Ranse's dad requested to make the ass potion.

Valley, Justice, and Lagrand should head into the witch's woods, and look for more information about the stone zwei. Checking the statues, or even investigating the fairy temple again, may be required.

On your way out of the cave, you stop to talk to Inzo--telling him you completely understand where he was coming from (if not for the warnings, you suspect several more party members might have been kicked out of the throne room), and you're not taking sides. You DO want to give him more time to work on... uhhh... whatever it happens to be he's working on.

Inzo nods. "Inzo understand. New invention will be worth time! Real game changer. ...Will work on else wheres, though. Inzo not want to stick around in sticky slime cave."

Probably for the best. You really don't want Slime-Goblin War II to break out.



You, Ranse, and King Slime head down the road. It would probably be faster to Return to Threeroads, then reach the forested area from there... however, you're not sure teleporting right into the middle of town is a safe proposition. You only have one disguise potion left, and for all you know Return could drop you right in front of the king's knights. ...With a king slime in your party, no less.

So, you're getting there the old fashioned way.

As you walk the roads, you ask King Slime about proficiencies--weapons? Armor? Shields...?

"To be quite candid, I've never attempted to wield a weapon before," she replies. "I knew as I prepared to join your quest that combat was an inevitability... but I'm very much unsure what method of warfare would fit me best."

Most people arrive at their class sometime between their late teens and young adulthood. Though anyone can study to learn any weapon, weapons tied to their class are learned more naturally and quickly, almost instinctively. A person who develops into a thief, for instance, will have an uncanny knack for daggers, even if they've never wielded one before. That doesn't stop them from steadily, painstakingly training to use two-handed axes, though. You personally have been getting better at using swords, though you wouldn't exactly call yourself proficient yet.

Most people just sort of... happen upon their class. Sometimes it starts as a casual interest, an eye for technique, or a hobby--other times it develops out of necessity. Once a person has found their class, however... switching classes is extremely difficult, often impossible. You've actually had trouble understanding how this works for martial classes, but you COMPLETELY get it for magical ones--you, personally, can't wrap your head around anything but enchantment now. Conjuration spells, divination, your brain can't process them. It's gibberish, like a foreign language. Enchantment just... flows. It's second nature. All other casting methods feel alien and weird.

Though, considering it, you still have no idea how Valley does what SHE does, either--you've seen Earthbreaker multiple times now. It's not magic, it just... is. Sand Shark, the same; it makes no sense to you, logistically, but Valley and Grandpa both made it look seamless.

You shake your head, realizing you've gotten lost in your own thoughts. King Slime doesn't seem to HAVE a class, which means no natural proficiency. You're... not entirely sure if she can develop one, either. She's intelligent enough that nothing should stop her, but at the same time... you don't think you've ever heard of anyone outside humanoids and goblinoids developing classes. Even a lot of goblins never really find one. Monsters are just... monsters.

Classes are weird.

You stop walking, and change some equipment around--providing King Slime with the belt of the brawler and a wooden shield. It's not a permanent solution, but it's better than going into battle with nothing.

You also offer her the jellofish your dad caught while fishing. You're... a little vague about HOW you present it. You don't want to dismiss it as 'just some thing you caught,' but you also don't want to patronize the King Slime by treating this regular fish with TOO much respect. You just... assume that it being ooze adjacent, she might be interested in it.

King Slime stares at the jellofish, eyes wide as she takes it from your hands. You watch her expression change--she squints at it, tilting her head, and if trying to read its mind.


She then proceeds to shove it into her mouth.


Whole.


Like, all at once, stretching her slime mouth wide to just... consume the entire jellofish in one go.

"F-fuck," Ranse blurts out.

For a brief moment, you watch as the color of the King Slime's mass subtly shifts hue. Her expression strains, her cheeks puffing out as she grimaces. ...And then everything returns to normal. You want to say she exhales, but... you're pretty sure slimes don't breathe. Her body makes the motion of firmly exhaling.

"Are... y-you alright?," Ranse asks.

King Slime nods. "He would be proud to know that even after death, he was able to serve his kingdom. I have absorbed the properties of that sea slime."

...Well. Okay then.

King Slime has gained the ability Para Touch. In addition to producing acidic chemicals in her body, she can--a bit more intentionally--produce paralyzing ones, as well. She can force those out through her surface the same way she can her acid.

Ranse bears a look on her face that you have trouble parsing. "N... negotiation with other slimes. Won't. ...Meaneatingthem, willit?"

"Oh, no, of course not!," King Slime replies... before adding, "At least, I should certainly hope not. It should be easy to convince foreign slimes of my authority--subsuming their present leaders to usurp their power would be devastating for my weight."

Ranse just... turns, and stares at you. You stare back at Ranse, not really having an answer. You'll, uh, work on it, when you reach that point.


The walk itself is fairly uneventful, aside from that. On your way toward the bridge to the west, you encounter a few slimes... but of course, they don't attack. King Slime wiggles at them, and they go on their way.

Closer to the forest, you do run into a line of pyre ants--however, they don't seem interested in fighting you. Rather, they appear to be hauling a treasure chest to... somewhere, and that takes priority over trying to roast you and your party.


image

Comments:

Twelveseal 23rd Jun 2018, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
Twelveseal
Huh, well that's different. I vote we follow them to get an idea where they're headed before just diving in for the loot.

Also, your sacrifice will be remembered, jellofish.
GS 23rd Jun 2018, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
+1 on following them, but we should attack as soon as the nest is in sight; if they get too close, they'll have a LOT of help to mob us with.

The scene of Queenie eating the Jellofish was kind of creepy. ^^; Or at least I thought it was.
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
+1. See where they're going before deciding whether to attack or not.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Slime creature? Creating tentacles? Eating creatures alive?

Sweet cheese, there are a plentiful amount of jokes to be made here.
Krylo 23rd Jun 2018, 3:31 PM edit delete reply
Krylo
Follow the ants. They're likely heading back to their home, or something else controlling them. Which, if they're bringing one chest there, may be full of treasures.

Lets track down the loot.
Stonebrow 23rd Jun 2018, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
+1 Let's find the Fire Ant Nest and add it too our map! Farming spot, plus possibly more loot. As well, if it's too big, it might be a serious threat.
Barswanian 23rd Jun 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Be cautious about it though. We're not greatly outfitted for fighting a whole lot of these ants.

Maybe ask King Slime if her kingdom has any knowledge/dealings with pyreants?

We cannot simply kill monsters, so maybe there is negotiation she can do? Or maybe pyre ants are an enemy?
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
+1 to following the pyre ants, wherever they may be going. Maybe we'll even snag that treasure, or maybe meet whoever sent them for it... huh
ZincFingers 23rd Jun 2018, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
I’m all for following them closer to their destination. Just, as others have said, if we are going to fight them, make sure we do it at a safe distance from wherever they are going. Don’t want to get swarmed.
Caydenite 23rd Jun 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
+1 to following, but attacking as soon as we know where they're headed, before we get mobbed.
K3001 23rd Jun 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Follow the ants form a safe distance
Dysprosian 23rd Jun 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Feed her the troll headed fish for healing ability?
1977 23rd Jun 2018, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
An interesting idea.
Can she only absorb abilities from other slimeraces or can she abilities of other species as well?
We should definitely ask her.

As for the tuna, in the lore it says the fish itself has no regeneration, it only grants them to the one eating it.
So it is possible that it works for her just the same way it works for us, a temporary regeneration effect.
Still worth a try, but probably at a time she needs it anyways so it goes not to waste.
Sonico 23rd Jun 2018, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
-1: It's NOT the troll headed fish who regenerates, but those who EAT IT. I somehow doubt the Slime King would appreciate having such capacity.

Supposing she even can subsume it like with Para Touch, as - as far we know - the troll headed fish is not related to slimes like the jellofish.
1977 23rd Jun 2018, 4:39 PM edit delete reply
We can probably test it more safely after this is resolved.
If we end up fighting them then we aquire once again pyre ant parts.
The first enabled Ranse to build the pyrespewer, the second given to Inzo improved his mech.
With this third KingSlime can actually test out if eating the pyre ant parts grants her the ability to breath fire.

We still didn't ask for her name.
G. Sansa 23rd Jun 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Even if her name is really just "king slime", she may want to adopt an adventuring alias. "Emerald Scholar" is actually not a bad idea.
GS 23rd Jun 2018, 5:54 PM edit delete reply
Not to mention, the Maoyuu Mao Yuusha-reference makes me smile. ^_^ Go for Emerald Scholar!
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
+1 to not wasting the fish - at the very least after some damage or during a bigger battle so we get actual healing from that regeneration.

Also +1 to that Emerald Scholar, that's neat.
Twelveseal 24th Jun 2018, 12:47 AM edit delete reply
Twelveseal
XD obviously +1 on calling her Emerald.
1977 23rd Jun 2018, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
Slime diplomacy reminds me of that one episode from futurama.
There were a planet of waterpeople.
The new ruler were always crowned after drinking the one before.
A drinking straw was the most dangerous weapon to them.

Good to know a bit more about classdevelopment.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Yeah that was interesting and new. I'm glad that the jellofish proved useful, though, having access to paralysis is sure to pay off.
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
Yeah, will make a nice change from random beasties constantly paralysing party members.
Iago 23rd Jun 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
Hah ! Love it.
Let's set a limit for now : King, don't get any bigger than Valley. That's about when it'd get overly unwieldy, or at least socially too ... complex.
But until then, feel free to grow as you want and/or need.


Alright.
Back to business : either we jump those ants and mug them or we follow them.
I for one, am intrigued. Let's follow them. Someone or something is giving them orders : either we find an ant-queen of some sort - possibly sexy, possibly grossly monstrous, or we run into a mage/witch/druid, which is always interesting.
Twelveseal 23rd Jun 2018, 4:05 PM edit delete reply
Twelveseal
Or maybe just a Summoner looking for a hot time.
Krylo 23rd Jun 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Krylo
I see no reason to put a limit on King Slime's size beyond what she, herself, wants (she did mention eating too much would wreck her figure).

More mass means bigger, longer, and more dangerous consentacles, and just generally makes her a better/more dangerous adventuring companion.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 4:38 PM edit delete reply
I also wonder if our Summoner might be involved in this. The ants didn't behave this way before so it makes sense that something changed.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
Wipe out the ants that aren’t holding stuff, then run off to a safe distance. Seeing as to how the ants are no giving a damn about us, they may lay off.

If they do lay off, wait until the ants get a bit near to a specific destination, and three-on-one murder the one holding the chest.

If they do not lay off, I recommend we give them the smackdown.
G. Sansa 23rd Jun 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Burn concoction for all, then follow. Also, Ranse should equip some non-fire weapon of her choice.

When/how will we get arrows?
G. Sansa 23rd Jun 2018, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
And King should have a shield. And we should ask her if she wants to go incognito and cover the crown with other headgear... Might be safer.
GS 23rd Jun 2018, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
+1 for Queenie using some sort of disguise -- for her own safety, if nothing else.
Remember, there are folks on the lookout for creatures to throw into the arena out there!
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:09 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
For her safety? We're still fugitives trying to lay low, surely wandering into town in company with a King Slime will just attract unwelcome attention?
1977 23rd Jun 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Do we even need arrows?
Maybe they are magically created in this world.
Just use the bow and it will fire an arrow.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
+1 to using the burn resist concoction in advance

As for the arrows, I doubt they would just materialize for our bow. We can try, that's in line with Final Fantasy games, but in D&D we would need to buy and count our arrows... then again, Inzo has basically unlimited Gob Lob so, maybe?
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
Ranse needs to fuel the Pyrespewer, and Inzo makes stuff out of what we collect, but we really don’t know about the Wooden Bow yet.
GS 23rd Jun 2018, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
Something I wish we'd asked Lagrand while we were all together…

Just how many archmages were there? Is it possible at all that there were only seven?
Because, see, I have this theory.
We know one of the archmages was named NEID, and that's German for Envy.
Then there was WARgog, who seems like he might have some issues with Wrath.
Sooo… is it at all possible that the archmages corresponded to the seven deadly sins?
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:00 PM edit delete reply
That would be an interesting theme, and it would be kinda cool if we could meet any or all of those dudes.
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
Ask him now by writing it in the journal. (Or at least when we next have a moment.)
ZincFingers 23rd Jun 2018, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Soooo... Lust is back and has taken to collecting panties?
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:16 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
And copied Nast's face in tribute.
ZincFingers 23rd Jun 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Maybe didn’t even copy our face. Lust probably slept around a bit, you know, maybe.

It could be we are just an ancestor with an uncanny resemblance. It explains our Je Ne Sais Quo. If any of the archmages had a natural charm, it’d be Lust.
RicardtheDragoon 23rd Jun 2018, 7:16 PM edit delete reply
Continuing this line of thought about Lust, let's flash back to our discussion about the heroes and the Archmages. As I recall, the Archmages lost their power because the heroes changed the rules of magic. Perhaps, Lust finally found a theme to permit the continued use of his/her magic: namely panties. Specifically, we know that panties that were worn, not just stored away somewhere, were taken. Thus, we could say those panties might have some of the essence of lust which could be the fuel, thus satisfying the thematic requirement, that the might Archmage Lust needs for their magic.
Of course, the supposition this is based on is still flimsy, but this seems like an elegant solution.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
Plot twist: one of the archmages has an uncontrollable desire for women’s underwear, and disguised himself as some random dude he/she saw on the street.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
That would be really something else. Also +1 to that clever theory Ricard brought up, it would kind of explain the panty thief.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Find the slime a name, find the slime a class.

Try to equip her with various weapons in battles, to figure out which one she likes or is amazing with. As she is one without an actual class, put the weight of the fighting on you and Ranse, so that there is less injuries in her direction.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Besides, she is the lowest-leveled on all the group. We gotta look out for her.
Gandalf 23rd Jun 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf
May be worth finding out what kind of injuries she's susceptible to. I can't imagine cutting or bludgeoning would do much damage to something as fluid as a slime.
ZincFingers 23rd Jun 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
I’d say her biggest concerns would be chemical / magical / fire.

Chemical damages the chemical structure of her slime.

Magic is magic.

Fire would dehydrate, possibly solidify or burn her.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
Gandalf, Zincfingers, good ideas.

What armor would she wear? She would need something stretchy, but tough.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
Let’s converse with her about all of this.
ZincFingers 23rd Jun 2018, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
ZincFingers
Reinforced latex.

Nitrile if she has an allergy.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
It's worth a chat, so +1 from me, especially to what ZincFingers said.
Lapdragon 23rd Jun 2018, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
I just read up on Giant Slimes in the 5E guide, and they are primarily resistant to acid and most status effects, are weak-ish to electrical based attacks, and if they take a slashing attack they will split into two smaller slimes. They don’t need to sleep (yay night guard), and can stick to walls and ceilings (so she would be good at Xenomorph-style sneak attacks).

Her acid will wreck most organic materials, but stone and metal are for the most part immune, so regular steel/iron weapons will work nicely for her if she chooses to explore them. This also means we could get her a cute chainmail bikini if the opportunity arises. ^_^
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
Now, all we have to know is if Morgenstern will go by all of the rules that you’ve mentioned, or at least the majority of them.

Plus side if true, we don’t need to give her sleep-resisting stuffs to accessorize with.
Portal In Time 23rd Jun 2018, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Portal In Time
I'd like to see what happens when we combine our tornado with the King Slime being her goopy slef!
RicardtheDragoon 23rd Jun 2018, 7:25 PM edit delete reply
May I remind you what happened to Little Blue when he tried that?
In so much as an elemental can, he died.
I'd rather not have that happen to our lovely King Slime.
Plus, the suggested attack sounds rather discriminate and likely to do as much harm as good, given how paralytic or acidic goo in a tornado is likely to go everywhere, both on allies and on enemies. Additionally, it would probably diminish the King Sime's health to perform though it probably won't kill the King Slime since the King Slime is better put-together than a decaying water elemental.
Some Random Guy 23rd Jun 2018, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
-1. I don’t want to hear the scream that comes out of someone’s mouth when they get sucked up into a whirlwind and spun around til barf comes out, all the while grounded into a fine mush by the killing vortex.

I know you probably don’t actually want to throw a new teammate into a TORNADO, and am deeply sorry if you took my description as a retort.
Green Visitor 23rd Jun 2018, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
The description and picture of the ants hauling a treasure chest made me laugh! For some reason it was absurd.

The safe and greedy thing is to cut the ants down. If there is such thing as a pyre-anthill then it is a very dangerous place for our party.

But I still say we follow and investigate. The slime king does not need to see us as homicidal savages, but as noble adventurers! What subtle difference too often crossed in rpg settings!

I hope slime king is fast enough to retreat if necessary, otherwise keep a very safe distance. Recall spell if thing gets ugly.
Green Visitor 23rd Jun 2018, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
Also. I AM THE KING SLIME: YOUR RACIAL DISTINCTIVENESS WILL BE ADDED TO MY OWN. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE UNLESS IT'S ACID RESISTANCE.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jun 2018, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
That one was really funny, +1 from me