Comic 168 - Loot more and press ahead

6th Jul 2018, 1:34 AM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) Rate this comic
Loot more and press ahead
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 6th Jul 2018, 1:34 AM edit delete
Inspired by the conversation about adventurous looting, Valley heads back outside and pries another, less damaged stone tallshield from one of the nearby knights.

...And after giving it some thought, also tears off a pair of stone gauntlets.

Justice summons another holy water elemental.

Once everyone's gathered back inside the workshop... the groups take formation, and moves on to the next room.

...Which is surprisingly barren, except for one large stone device.

"Okay, like--" Valley pauses, making a face both confused and frustrated, "what is THAT garbage?"

"I'm not a mason myself," Justice replies, "but I... think it's a forge?"

"I'm no mason, either," adds Lagrand, "but I'm quite certain that's not something a stone mason uses. Furthermore, this er, forge looks rather crude; not the neat and tidy work those knights were, by any stretch."

"Maybe it was formed the way those golems were," Justice suggests. "They were very... well, special. As well."

Lagrand squints, as if expecting the forge to give him answers. After a brief silence... "No. It can't be. ...Well, perhaps. Those golems were a byproduct of the ambient magic--similar, albeit not identical golems appear out in the wild. Skeletons, too--I've witnessed skeletons rising from their graves with no aid from a proper necromancer. Magical energies in high concentration have unpredictable and often dangerous effects, however, THIS..." he motions toward the forge, "this is more methodical than your average wandering monster, this is... something else. Not the work of a skilled stonemason, no, but... I highly doubt it's accidental, either. Someone-- or someTHING had to have crafted this! Magically, I would wager."

The green light from within the forge slowly pulses, its inside giving a vibrant glow. Once in a while, a faint puff of likewise green smoke rolls out from it.


Guest 6th Jul 2018, 2:02 AM edit delete reply
Is that the pick for the front plate stuck in that forge there?
Guest 6th Jul 2018, 2:07 AM edit delete reply
Well spotted! We should remove it veeeeery carefully, and be prepared to run like hell if anything goes wrong.
ZincFingers 6th Jul 2018, 2:31 AM edit delete reply
I'd say let's thoroughly examine the 'forge' first. I'm for getting the pick once we understand what it is stuck in.
Caydenite 6th Jul 2018, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
+1 to Zinc. We can't just walk away now, but we should definitely learn all we can before doing anything drastic.
MakePeaceAndLove 6th Jul 2018, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
+1, yeah, let's examine the forge first, but then take that pick out verrrrry carefully. And get out in case that thing explodes... or worse.
Krylo 6th Jul 2018, 2:08 AM edit delete reply
Take the pick for the thing outside. This forge may have to wait until we can have Ranse and/or Nast check this room out as if Lagrand doesn't know what it is, I don't think Valley or Justice are going to figure it out.

However, pressing that pick into the emblem might let us find more clues. So lets press onward.
Gandalf 6th Jul 2018, 2:16 AM edit delete reply
+1. Seems the only sensible course of action. No point making guesses about the forge rather than having Nast or Ranse look at it with a more educated eye.
Green Visitor 6th Jul 2018, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
I'm more thinking Inzo. He 's the tinkerer and craftsman in the party. Identify is probably a good idea too though.
MakePeaceAndLove 6th Jul 2018, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
I can't +1 this though. I mean, it seems like the safe option, but... what if leaving it here means more enemies are spawned? And even stronger ones than that stone golem? Cause Lagrand's explanation sounded like it's responsible for making monsters in the environment.
Eyebrows 6th Jul 2018, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
Those golems probably took years to spawn.
Korsha 6th Jul 2018, 2:26 AM edit delete reply
+1. Be wary though, just incase removing the pick somehow brings that thing to life. Last thing we need is the forge turning out to be the head of a giant buried golem.
Korsha 6th Jul 2018, 2:27 AM edit delete reply
Ehh, that was a +1 to Krylo, apparently I forgot to hit reply.
Twyll 6th Jul 2018, 2:26 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm. I suspect this "forge" might actually be some kind of veeery large golem.

Perhaps we could have Lagrand take the pick from outside the room, via the bramblin' hand, while the rest of the party holds back? Maybe we could even have Valley holding onto him, ready to yank him backwards as soon as he gets a hold on it.
Twelveseal 6th Jul 2018, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
+1 this smells like a setup. Brambling hand that pick with everyone else out in the previous room, including Lagrand. He can peek around the door frame to see what he's doing.
Curse 6th Jul 2018, 2:37 AM edit delete reply
While I believe that having a healthy helping of paranoia is important for every adventuring party, I also feel that we should continue to investigate. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I vote we take pickaxe (carefully) and add it to the front door.
GS 6th Jul 2018, 3:26 AM edit delete reply
I am getting a REALLY bad vibe here.
If we have a rope, loop it around the pick, then go into the other room and pull from there.
1977 6th Jul 2018, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
+1 We still have the reinforced vines in our inventory, so your plan is doable.
MakePeaceAndLove 6th Jul 2018, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
The rope gives us some extra reach, but if the pick doesn't just slip out, pulling on it by force could disturb that... thing, somehow.

Others suggested using Lagrand's Brambling Hand. I think that would be safer, even if it'll be slower before he grows his hand to that length, and moreover, he might need more time to withdraw it... but at least he'll be able to delicately grasp and move that pick.
GS 6th Jul 2018, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
But the brambles are physically connected to Lagrand. A rope, we can let go of.
Vilem 6th Jul 2018, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
Get the Stone Helmet and see if Valley can wear it. Another use: When placed on the ground, it could be used as a little pillbox for the water elemental to hide in for protection and snipe water blasts out of.

Check if the stone zwei could be sharpened using the grinding wheel and mason tools, and wet the zwei with holy water from the elemental as needed during the grinding/sharpening.

Last thing to do is get the pick carefully. Place pick and hammer in cutouts, be prepared to run if we awaken something worse than the stone golem. If nothing happens, come back later with Nast and Ranse to examine forge.
Frayed 6th Jul 2018, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
I very much doubt the way it's supposed to be upgraded is a change to it's weapon type. It's currently under hammers, and sharpening it would probably put it under swords.
Emiko 6th Jul 2018, 3:09 PM edit delete reply
A Zwei is a sword though. The only reason we have it under hammers atm, is because its so old and dull. Sharpening might be the upgrade.
Zek 6th Jul 2018, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
We could just put the stone sword in the green light and see what happens.

I expect this is a store of magical energy that was used to manipulate stone like a blacksmith uses a forge to heat metal
Lapdragon 6th Jul 2018, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Before we do anything to the pick, I think we should have LB spritz the forge and green clouds with some of his holy water - if the forge or clouds are daemonic in nature, I would think it would react (chemically) to the water and we'll at least have a better idea of what we're dealing with.

If it does turn out to be daemonic, we should temporarily recruit an artificier/puppeteer to come back with us for using the forge - I don't think any of us are qualified to use it, and somebody with some expertise would be better than possibly injuring/corrupting one of our party members.

If it's NOT daemonic, then we should give it a poke with Valley's new gloves to see what happens, and then see what happens if we stick one of the stone zweis (and stone shield if possible) into it.

Then, we grab the pick and pop it into the relief in the door, and see what that does.
Krylo 6th Jul 2018, 6:20 AM edit delete reply

We should do the pick before messing with it at all. For all we know spraying it with water might destroy it, and it could ruin stone objects placed within without proper technique.

Plus, it's just generally dangerous to play with forces we don't understand.

So first pick, and see if the relief does anything that spells out the nature of this forge, and if not, leave it alone until we can have it checked by Ranse/Nast/Inzo.
Lapdragon 6th Jul 2018, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
I’m not suggesting we hose it down - just a few drops near the grille, and some sprinkled through the green clouds that it’s putting out. Daemonic forces are never to be trifled with, and aside from maybe Justice’s work with the church, we’ve got no experience with demons, which we’ve already been warned about fighting.

I suspect that the forge is just a magic device for stone-forging, all of the armor and weapons that we’ve seen look forged, not carved - but I’d rather be careful, as we’ve already run afoul of some rogue magic in this building, and the forge is likely the source of it.
G. Sansa 6th Jul 2018, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
+1 to Lapdragon. If a few drops of holy water is going to close off any futures, they're futures we don't want to see anyway.
MakePeaceAndLove 6th Jul 2018, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Something that didn't cross my mind earlier...

Could we use the rocks that made up the stone statues and/or the golems we fought as the 'something old' for the potion recipe? The stonemason worked back in the time of Archmage Neid, so, if they are his work, that should be old enough.

On the other hand, if these monsters were recent creations due to some evil influence, then we're out of luck. But it's worth a try right? At worst Ranse's dad will tell us they won't work, and we can still use them as materials otherwise.
Jochi 6th Jul 2018, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
I think I remember Ranse's dad already saying the zwei and statue bits weren't old enough, and the golems should be no older.
Jochi 6th Jul 2018, 3:19 PM edit delete reply
Inventory the stone helm and the grinding wheel. Has anyone actually looked IN the forge to see if anything is in it? If Justice stops and thinks about it, thinks about the way holy things like her golem feel, can she sense the opposite? Can she Detect whether or not the green fire or smoke are demonic, or evil at all?