Comic 182 - Choose an ability

16th Jul 2018, 6:20 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Choose an ability
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 16th Jul 2018, 6:20 PM edit delete
"Our journal mentioned someone named Cardvärde," Justice begins. "Would... that happen to be you? Are you Cardvärde?"

"Nay," replies the fish. "I am, as I hath proclaimed, a prince in fish forme."

"Would you like us to help you return to your original form...?," Justice asks further.

"Nay, 'tis not needed," says the fish o' wishes. "I doth enjoy being a fish, though thou art kind to ask."

After some discussion among the group, a... well, ALMOST consensus is reached. There's a lot of options available, and many unpredictable ways they could benefit from an improvement.

"Okay, like..." Valley starts, "Emmy's whole... uhh... like, BEING a slime? Can you totally upgrade that?"

"Nay," says the fish. "'Tis passive, not an active power."

"How are you aware of party members that are not present?," asks Lagrand. "Knowledgeable of what they're capable of, even."

The fish squints. "Ye question the magic fish too much, methinks."

"We're toootally boosting Little Blue, then," Valley says firmly. "Or Baby Blue, or Blue Jr, or... whatever it is now?"

"Is that really for the best?," Justice asks. "My elemental IS quite useful... but I don't know if I've truly earned--"

"Please," Lagrand interjects with a wave of his hand, "it's nothing to do with what one's earned. The potential of a larger, more powerful elemental cannot be understated."

"Besides, like...?" Valley shrugs. "If you're totes worried about what you've earned, like, you've totally done more than Lagrand anyway?"

"My role in this tale is not a significant one," Lagrand huffs. "I am but a background player in this--"

"Okayyeahwhatever," Valley interrupts. "You don't gotta like, sell it to me? You can BE lazy, it's no big deal."

"...It is NOT laziness," Lagrand mutters, practically pouting.

"Thou hast chosen the Psalm of the Seaway Servant, then?," the fish clarifies.

"Indeed," agrees Lagrand.

"Totally," adds Valley.

Justice smiles, lowering her head. "I suppose, if everyone is fine with it... then yes."

"Then it shall be done!," declares the fish. With a vibrant, almost blinding light bursting from his shining scales... Justice's ability transforms into Psalm of the Seaway Servant+. It can now summon a medium holy water elemental, instead of a small one, at her option. However, the medium elemental is more draining to manifest.

While everyone is stunned and blinded by the brilliant golden light, the fish o' wishes wiggles frantically, flopping itself toward the dock's edge. By the time everyone's eyesight returns... there's a big splash, and the fish is gone.

"...Well, that certainly occurred," Lagrand remarks.

Justice congratulates the kuo-toa on his outstanding catch.

The party spends a little while longer fishing; however, with their meager skills, they only catch a couple of unimpressive trout.

Valley, Justice, and Lagrand camp for the night, and in the morning meet up at Outwall Ranch with you, Ranse, and Emerald.

...And Inzo, who is now driving a giant mechanical crab.


Valley starts laughing hysterically the second she sees your attire. "Okay, like-- I know the journal said BUNNY OUTFIT but--"

"That... is certainly what that describes," Justice states, blushing brightly.

"Is the costume truly so ridiculous?," the King Slime asks. "It warranted a similar reaction from the ranch's staff."

"It is, in fact, THAT ridiculous," Lagrand chuckles. "My word, Nast--your confidence continues to impress and surprise me. I'm not even sure I have the clockweights to sport that getup."

"Okayyeahit'sasillycostume," Ranse blurts out. "W-what's with theCRABthough?"

"Latest invention of brilliant Inzo!," shouts the goblin inside. "Be holding! The Goblobster! Water proof! Floats! Can even go under waters, sort of!"

"...How does one sort of go underwater?," Lagrand asks, but Inzo just keeps rolling.

"Shoots explodey bubbles! Tough as crab, if crabses was tougher!"

"Are you like..." Valley, too, is getting in on the confusion. "Totally planning to go underwater by YOURSELF, 'cuz-- like-- none of us can fit in there?"

"Maybe huge moo cow can't," Inzo retorts, "but regular humes--"

"N-No," Ranse agrees, "that... y-you. YOU barelyfitinthere. By... yourself."

"We could make it work, perhaps," Lagrand concedes, "but it would indeed be a tight fit, at best. It is an astounding proof of concept, I admit--if you could get it to function at a larger scale..."

"Not-gobs just jealous," Inzo huffs. "Of crab brilliance. And gob size. Inzo not need to embiggen crab if not-gobs was gob-sized."

"Well, I think it's neat," says Justice.


Guest 16th Jul 2018, 7:54 PM edit delete reply
Bless you Justice and your positivity
GS 16th Jul 2018, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
Devus 16th Jul 2018, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
1977 17th Jul 2018, 12:56 AM edit delete reply
TerraNova 17th Jul 2018, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Korsha 16th Jul 2018, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
That mech is not what I expected but I am so loving it.

Parties should discuss what each have discovered, Nast should milk Valley for the cokcadoo chick (and fun), and whatever they decide to do next, Nast should deff have a talk with that ranch girl. Especially if getting milked arouses Valley, leaving her all hot and bothered and jealous, that might lead to fun later.
Tech 16th Jul 2018, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
+1 to milking Valley.
G. Sansa 16th Jul 2018, 8:10 PM edit delete reply
So it's time to ask about other party members and their water tolerance. Did Emmy learn underwater powers from the jellofish along with the para touch? Can the HWE exist underwater and if so can it keep an air bubble around Justice's head? The crab is awesome and we should try it out ASAP.

But. I still think Nast in a bunny mask, Lagrand holding his leash, and one other thespian should go to Threebroads to do an over-the-top skit to get into the Entertainers' Guild. At the very least, have a conversation about that now that the whole party is here.
Krylo 16th Jul 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
-1 on Nast going to Three Roads for any reason until we have a GOOD disguise and/or the knights are gone.
G. Sansa 16th Jul 2018, 8:28 PM edit delete reply
Bunny mask and leash is a GOOD disguise. To make it, deinforce bunny pelt, stretch/cut into shape, then reinforce twice. Nobody's going to question a kinky "mage" with pet.

But as I said below, I'm fine with that not happening right now, because it makes sense for Emmy to be in the water party now.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
I look forward to some party-swapping and trying out the crab sometime, with this invention Inzo could be in the party that checks out the cave later on.

I'm also against sending Nast to Threeroads and performing before for our chance to enter the Entertainer's Guild. Like Krylo, I'm concerned about the guards, but I also believe we can't just go in and do it without any actual training - at the very least, this shouldn't be Emmy's first sex experience, what if she gets stage fright? We should spend SOME time and effort training first.
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 5:25 AM edit delete reply
I am not suggesting a sec performance. Just a campy version of "Little Bunny Foo Foo" with some double entendres. Emmy would be the big good fairy, with consentacle wings.
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
Sex, not sec, is what I meant
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
As for time and effort training, yes. Now is that time.
Krylo 16th Jul 2018, 8:10 PM edit delete reply

That out of the way.

Nast, Inzo, and Emmy: head to the cave. Inzo can do water now, and Emmy PROBABLY isn't at risk of drowning, but even if she is, she can probably fit in the crab due to her flexible form. Nast is mostly coming along on this excursion to avoid towns/wanted posters until we have more disguise potions or the disguise ring.

Justice, Ranse, and Valley: Head to three roads to look for information on the disguise ring, knights, and disguise potions. Reasoning is that justice is the most charismatic character after Nast (who is wanted), Valley is third, and Ranse seems to enjoy Justice's scent, so let's see where that goes. Also Lagrand is really good at being rude as shit so leave him out.

Lagrand: meditate on your seed and raise our baby at the ranch.

Optional: Bang ranch hand on the way out.
G. Sansa 16th Jul 2018, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm actually... not opposed to that. I still want Nast to be campy as hell to get into the EG, but I guess it can wait.

As for the ranch hand though, keep up the flirting, but no rush. We'll see her again. Maybe get her name?
Rent 16th Jul 2018, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
+1 to this, pirate goodies and information is a sound plan. Also, shopping maybe?
I think we were talking about getting Ranse new clothes, maybe a better disguise for Emmy.

Guess we can't call them baby blue anymore. Just... Blue maybe? We should get them a bar/bat mitzvah present.
G. Sansa 16th Jul 2018, 8:29 PM edit delete reply
It's "Bay Mitzvah", obviously.
BjornTFH 16th Jul 2018, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
+1 to Pirate Booty!
GuyIncognito 16th Jul 2018, 9:39 PM edit delete reply
+5 on the ranch hand.
nathan400 16th Jul 2018, 10:59 PM edit delete reply
We should hope that an enemy doesn't hit the crab-mech's weak point, for massive damage.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
+1 to everything Krylo suggested. And yes, the girls can go clothes shopping while they're at it, that shouldn't seem suspicious to any guards. Heck it might even be a good pretext if anyone wonders what they're doing there?

I just got the idea that the three might even chat amongst each other about Nast and what they all think of him. Especially since Valley and Justice just got to see him in the bunny outfit. XD They might tease Ranse about it and when she answers... well, it's all up to Morgenstern but it's a possibility.
JiggilyJoe 17th Jul 2018, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
I do like the idea of the girls going in together. No telling what they would talk about.
JG 16th Jul 2018, 8:10 PM edit delete reply
Give valley's milk to the chicken.
Twyll 16th Jul 2018, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
+1, we never gave it any last time we were feeding it and we *do* want a healing chicken. Maybe also feed it some holy water from Medium Blue.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:50 PM edit delete reply
+1 to giving our chick some Valley milk.
JiggilyJoe 16th Jul 2018, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
I really like Krylo's plan above, but I would offer up an alternative in that we send a team to the cave, and a second team back to the Pyre-Ants.

In that case the team going to the cave needs to include Emmy and I would probably put Valley with her as I don't see Inzo's mech doing much good in there, and add Legrand as the third because he has remove poison, and brambling hand might help if climbing is needed. I would also send our new chick with them.

I would then send Nast, Justice and Inzo to go check out the pyre ants because if the ants can talk, Justice would be able to communicate with them, and if not, then I think Inzo's new mech would get a really good testing against the Ants.
Lastly, Ranse could then go clothes shopping, and maybe do a little looking around 3roads.
Krylo 16th Jul 2018, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
While I agree that Inzo's new mech will probably work really well against Pyre Ants (As will our new water elemental), I'll point out the reason we haven't done the cave earlier is that it's partially flooded.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
We don't really have anything new for visiting the Pyre Ants. We got more battle potential but that's it.

Also, Justice can't talk with monsters, that's the limit of her ability. >.> We'll need more help if we want to solve that matter diplomatically.
JiggilyJoe 17th Jul 2018, 12:36 AM edit delete reply
If I remember right, the cave is covered and uncovered with the tides, so we might or might not be able to get in there depending on the tides.

As for communicating with the ants you're probably right, but the flying guard seemed to be smarter than the average ant, and regarding a benefit, the ants regularly haul loot down there. That place could be a treasure trove.
Korsha 16th Jul 2018, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
Oh, and getting the obvious mana draining important task out of the way: Reinforce Inzo's mech. While the improved reinforce didn't seem to do anything longterm, the mech is so drasticly different now, I guess whatever earlier reinforce no longer applies
Krylo 16th Jul 2018, 9:10 PM edit delete reply

I'm guessing this is an all new mech, so yeah, Reinforce.
ZincFingers 16th Jul 2018, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
Fair call, it may have a base of original mech in there, but I don’t think we ever reinforced the crab plates, or the glass... where ever he got that from.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
From its new shape I actually think that Inzo built a second one rather than kept changing his old one? He can have multiple mechs, after all.
JiggilyJoe 17th Jul 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
That could require a lot of mana, do you want to burn it all at the start of the day?
ZincFingers 17th Jul 2018, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
Not sure we have ever experimented with the mana cost of Reinforce. Is it based on size, material, total mass? Other? A combination?

Who knows? What I knows is that I don’t want the crab-mech getting bust due to avoidable physical limitations of its component parts.

Also... has anyone else thought about how different this whole story would have gone if we had reinforced the prison after first seducing Valley?
Ghest 17th Jul 2018, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
As Inzo's Pyre Plated Invention appears in our inventory, I'd say The Goblobster is entirely new.
Mochi 16th Jul 2018, 9:18 PM edit delete reply
so i drew this ages ago and never shared it but uh, here's a Nast.

Antarean 16th Jul 2018, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
Oh, nice. :)
Krylo 16th Jul 2018, 9:51 PM edit delete reply
I know this isn't a suggestion, but I'm still +1ing it.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:55 PM edit delete reply
Great work Mochi, +1 from me. ^_^
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
Antarean 16th Jul 2018, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
I guess Little Blue might be able to fit in the mech and go underwater, I'm sure that would be useful and not pointless at all. </sarcasm>

Also, does anyone else now have a certain B-52's song stuck in their head, but with slightly modified lyrics?
Mochi 16th Jul 2018, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
We were at the beach
Everybody had matching towels
Somebody went under a bob
And there they saw a gob
It wasn't a gob
It was a Goblobster!
Caydenite 16th Jul 2018, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
Mochi, you're killing it today!
Barswanian 16th Jul 2018, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
Maybe we should have a group go to three roads, sell some of the expensive things we have and see how close we are to that entertainer's pass?
Barswanian 16th Jul 2018, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Alternatively: Nast should go fishing for more fish for our future ride.
Barswanian 16th Jul 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
On subject of feeding chicken... Pyre ant bits and healing bits sound like phoenix to anyone?
ZincFingers 17th Jul 2018, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
You did just catch some unimpressive trout. Or would we rather use those as bait to catch some other fish which to feed our bird with.
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
+1 on Nast doing more fishing. I think it's clear that Tease Balling is a better fishing location than these old docks. So we could make a trip there, and maybe even buy some fish from Dad.

To make it interesting, we could do the coffin quest (Justice, Nast, Valley) while we're there. That's also a good party for dropping by the bookstore with, before using up mana; we have enough aces in the hole that I'm not too worried about Delmora. Chances are actually good that she's begun to have doubts (and/or abandoned the bookstore), and might have information on the satyr for the fairy tail quest, which is one I'd really like to make progress on.

Also, independently from the above, we should save the unimpressive trout to use as bait, not feed them to cockachick directly.
Caydenite 16th Jul 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
Or we could at least attempt getting in for free a couple of times before spending ALL our money on it?
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jul 2018, 11:59 PM edit delete reply
If we end up selling stuff I'd rather we had a particular goal for that money, like how we were first saving up for a chicken (though thanks to the boar trade we got one for free). And since we're commited to doing the performance to recruit Sweet, buying our way into the guild does nothing for us.
Barswanian 17th Jul 2018, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
I thought sweet's challenge was simply to get access to the entertainer's guild?
ZincFingers 17th Jul 2018, 4:18 PM edit delete reply
"If you can get into the entertainers guild and THEREBY PROVE you're real adventurers with moxie, chutzpah, and whatever else the kids are smoking these days, I'll join your par-tay.”

Admittedly she didn’t specifically say that we had to prove ourselves entertainers, only that we had to get into the guild, (even just breaking and entering would put us ‘inside’ the guild), but I feel that purchasing a membership would be against the spirit of things.
Crestlinger 16th Jul 2018, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
Goblobster- does it sidestep to move? Experiment with explosive bubbles as a potential combo with wind magic
Test out exactly how draining summoning that elemental is and see what kind of duration Valley's Stone Body has.
Mochi 16th Jul 2018, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
make a pass at lagrand regarding the bunny outfit.

like... you'd like to see him in it, but he'd have to get you out of it first, wink wonk
MakePeaceAndLove 17th Jul 2018, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this. I enjoyed everyone's reactions and I'm looking forward to more.
Green Visitor 17th Jul 2018, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
Tech 16th Jul 2018, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
The Goblobster isn't in the Lore page. Thought I'd let you know.
Mochi 17th Jul 2018, 2:46 AM edit delete reply
that would probably be because it just showed up? and MM hasn't had the chance to update that yet?
Guest 17th Jul 2018, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
We do have a shrinking potion. We'd just need another to have an underwater adventure in the goblobster with a full party.
G. Sansa 17th Jul 2018, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
-1. Save shrinking potion for using with fairies.
alex 17th Jul 2018, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
I like the idea of using shrinking potion with fairies. If we run into the summoner, we should suggest using shrinking potion with fairies.
Sonico 17th Jul 2018, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
Give the Kuo-Toa fisher a cool pair of shades and a hat as thanks for being a awesomely helpful chill person.
With that he would have some convenient protection against the surface's world excessive brightness to it.
Guest 17th Jul 2018, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Exploding bubbles, you say? Somewhere, there is a very happy jojo fan...