Comic 191 - Meet the pirates

26th Jul 2018, 5:00 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Meet the pirates
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 26th Jul 2018, 5:00 PM edit delete
You tell Inzo and Emmy to hang back--but be ready, just in case.

You head on into the next room, and greet the pirates. You inform them that, if they were having trouble with the aquamold... well, you've taken care of it.

"Hmph. Must be tough," comments the orc.

"Or especially clever," adds the man in the overcoat. "Though, I do believe those clothes are some of our leftovers..."

"Aye," the captain agrees, "but sometimes, a man just wants to dress like a pirate. A sacred rite, it is--t'would be wrong to find pirate things and not be puttin' 'em on. Besides, those boxes be sittin' there forever."

"Fair enough," replies the overcoat man. "What brings you out here, stranger?"

You tell them the truth--that you're on a big, convoluted adventure, and you noticed the cave while exploring the beach. You were pretty much obligated to investigate it at some point or another.

"A big, convoluted adventure y'say?," ponders the dwarf. "'Tween that and fightin' off that infernal fungus, ye might be in a good spot to be fightin' that serpent what lies farther in."

The man in the overcoat shakes his head. "I'm tellin' ya, mate, the fungus was really not that strong--"

"Arrrrgghhhh I be thinkin' he can handle th' snake," the captain declares. "Though, I shan't be askin' any favors without introducin' th' crew, eh? I be the legendary Mangobeard. Th' tall drink o' water in the corset be Sheila, and th' proper fella what with th' coat is Hemingway.

...Oh, and th' frog be Bexley. He's not normally a frog, o' course."


Guest 26th Jul 2018, 5:23 PM edit delete reply
Tell them a member of your crew also got turned, and another was able to turn him back with a kiss.
Benjerbro 26th Jul 2018, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
Edit -1 I've changed my mind on kissing. (See my longer post below) they're pirates, generally not trustworthy and we would be giving them strength in numbers over us. We can inform them we know how to cure the frog if we desire, but don't give specifics till we know we can trust them not to turn on us.

It appears that the frog curse is not time based as Bexley was froged before Inzo but is still a frog.

So kisses it is (just not right now)
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 5:44 PM edit delete reply
I’d say bring Inzo and Emmy, explain that our party would be happy to assist with their snake problem, (something something orc helping with our own snake), but leave off the kissing until we have had a chance to talk about it on the sidelines with Emmy, kissing a disliked party member to help them is rather different to kissing a stranger.
Jex 26th Jul 2018, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
I guess Inzo and Emmy can join us now and we can see about dealing with that serpent as a big group.
Jex 26th Jul 2018, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
Idk why it double posted
Jex 26th Jul 2018, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
I guess Inzo and Emmy can join us now and we can see about dealing with that serpent as a big group.
Guest 26th Jul 2018, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
How about we share some rum and find out more about this serpent plus some frog kissing and orc flirting.
Gandalf 27th Jul 2018, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
+1 to just talking some more with the pirates before deciding what to do next. Obviously we're almost certain to end up going after the seasnake regardless, but let's find out more about the pirates before deciding exactly how to deal with them.
Professor Cupcake 28th Jul 2018, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
Professor Cupcake
Yeah, no need to rush off straight away, we can stay and chat for a moment, see what these guys are about.
Crazy Eights 26th Jul 2018, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
If you tell them that they will know you aren't alone plus it would put us at a potential disadvantage giving them an extra guy on he off chance that PIRATES may attack us after we defeat the snake. I would suggest we don't tell them quite yet.

We should ask for any information they may have on the snake.

Equip necessary gear and have someone wear bandit bandanna in case they can get close enough to steal (Emmy?).

Also may not be a bad idea to ask if the pirates can provide some means of healing if you help them with their snake problem. Otherwise use the journal to ask about ranses health concoctions or valley's milk.
Twyll 26th Jul 2018, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
I think it's probably safe to reveal the rest of our party, given that they seem to think we're a credible threat (although we could add in a few implications that it would go badly for them if they crossed us). I agree with asking about the snake, though. Gathering information is always helpful!

Maybe we should ask about Mangobeard's snake, too~ :3
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Wait a minute, there's 4 of them? What kinda godless pirates are theses that defy the will of the gods by forming a party of more then 3!
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
Well, since have pirates cared about the law?
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
It's no wonder their cursed then.
Twyll 26th Jul 2018, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
I think the will of the gods distinguishes between how big a *party* can be, and how big a *crew* can be. Otherwise, ships would be rather limited in size. And if *every* organization were limited to a typical party size, you couldn't even have string quartets!
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
Tywll’s on point there I’d say, I don’t see the gods creating a world in which such a musical injustice would occur.
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
If this is true can we skirt the rules by forming a crew or similar? I say we form a posse.
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
A posse, or a barbershop quartet.
Placeholder 26th Jul 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Given our proclivities, perhaps a barbershop sextet would be more appropriate.
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 10:19 PM edit delete reply
Well played Placeholder, very well played indeed.
MatthewTheLucky 26th Jul 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
We can't form a posse until we know where the panty thief's lair is, so we can round up the varmint.
MakePeaceAndLove 27th Jul 2018, 1:48 AM edit delete reply
A very amusing exchange, and Placeholder won a cookie right there. *gives (::) to Placeholder*

While obviously the limit to 3 party members is in place so that Morgenstern doesn't struggle with showing our full party on screen in each comic panel, plus needing to give everyone something to do PLUS making enemies that a party of 4, 6 or more members wouldn't just focus fire down and defeat easily... I wouldn't press the issue. Others can form bigger groups but we should stay in groups of 3 because it's better for the comic, and perhaps we can use everyone's abilities more effectively when there isn't a crowd around.

Although, that said, I wouldn't mind the occasional huge fight, if, say, a big monster or a whole bunch of smaller ones (or bandits, or later, knights?) attacked our party after we reunited, maybe at night? Then we could get sort of split up, showing some folks on one side and some elsewhere, in multiple comic panels, as the big fight breaks up into smaller skirmishes and duels... just throwing out the idea, though it would still probably be a mess overall. >.>
Krylo 26th Jul 2018, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
Mangobeard is bae.

Step one: Promise nothing but suggest we were heading deeper anyway.

Step two: Flirt with Sheila.

Step three: Call in Emmy and Inzo. Introduce them as part of our crew.

Step four: See if Emmy would mind fixing Bexley. If so, fix him.

Step five: Onward.
SolomontheLionheart 26th Jul 2018, 6:09 PM edit delete reply
+1 to everything.
Though maybe see if Shelia would fix Bexley instead?
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Good call seeing if Shelia would try cure Bexley, if it works we don’t have to disclose that Emmy is, in fact, royalty. The last thing we need is someone trying to kidnap her for ransom, or spreading word of the Slime monarch before we are ready for it.
Hellbovine 26th Jul 2018, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
+1 to trying sheila
Twyll 26th Jul 2018, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
We could also flirt with Mangobeard and Hemingway. I mean, Nast doesn't seem particularly choosy when it comes to gender.
Rent 26th Jul 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
+1 to all this plus Solomon's and Twyll's suggestions. We should pretty much flirt with everyone. It's our strength.
MakePeaceAndLove 27th Jul 2018, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
+1 to everything above, I'm game. JNSQ makes Nast one mighty charming pirate indeed.
RicardtheDragoon 27th Jul 2018, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
An additional consideration about fixing Bexley: is s/he a healer of some kind? Even considering the numbers issue, having a healer in the fight against a sea serpent might be worth a bit of backstabbing later.

Actually, if Nast does agree to help with the sea serpent and what-not, getting an idea of their party's abilities would be very helpful (if they don't mind). Plus, it could be one of them is a healer but just doesn't look like one (like say Valley, not that it might be anything like Valley's healing).
MatthewTheLucky 26th Jul 2018, 6:06 PM edit delete reply
I couldn't breathe for a solid 30 seconds after the pirate clothes debate.
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 6:29 PM edit delete reply
I for one don't trust Mangobeard. Pretty sure he just wants to use us, and eventually backstab us, he is a pirate after all. My guess his plans are:

A. Get ourselves killed fighting while he grabs his stash and runs

B. Kill us himself after we're weakened from fighting.

C. Really just any backstabbing and looting he can manage.

I suggest splitting both parties up. Sending Nast and Inzo along to fight along with two pirates (probably Mangobeard and Sheila).

Emmy, Bexley, and Hemingway can stay stay behind to be back up for the exploring team, watch for any signs of treachery and get to know each other. Maybe do some fishing together (I personally really like fishing)

Edit: Also don't let them know about the kiss yet. We're don't want people we can't necessarily trust having strength in numbers over us
YetiOlwen 26th Jul 2018, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
I don't see a bandit banana visible on them but pirates might natively have steal. We need to keep an eye on our inventory.
Krylo 26th Jul 2018, 10:19 PM edit delete reply
I don't like the idea of splitting the party up like that.

If the pirates are going to betray us, leaving one party member alone with one of them is incredibly dangerous when we don't know their capabilities. And if they AREN'T it just shows that we don't trust them and fosters bad will.

Plus, in the actual fight, if we can't trust them they're going to be more liability than help--even before we consider that we've never fought alongside them and thus won't have good teamwork or synergy.

If they want to come with and help out with the serpent, then sure, but never split the party.
YetiOlwen 27th Jul 2018, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
I'm worried about them thinking of us more as naive and easy targets. It seems so far we are going to lay out all our cards on the table, telling them who's in our party, how to fix frogin' so that they can outnumberus, and probably where all our weak points are for stabbing (namely our backs)

That said I'm not necessarily sold on splitting up the party. It's usually a bad strategy. But if they don't join us they're likely planning on jumping us in our weakened state after monster fighting.

If they do join us then that's 6-7 people in for cramped cave fighting, so we might not all get to go anyway. The way I was thinking of splitting puts tank to tank (Inzo/Shelia) and leader to leader (Nast/ Mango). And Emerald would be best to leave for 1to1 because how would you sneak attack a slime? No throat to cut and can she even be knocked out with a blow to the back of the head? And (unless we tell the pirates this) if Hemingway even bad touches her he'll get paralyzed!

It would also separate the smartest one in the pirate group away from the other 2, and gives them less time and ability to plan their backstabbing treachery.

And what's wrong with just saying that we're covering our exit/rear, we don't have to explicitly say we're doing this because we don't automatically trust a band of pirates. After all there already was a cave in, so somebody should be ready to get help if thing go really south. Especially as it appears that out of the 6 nonfrog people there's not a single healer among us.
MakePeaceAndLove 27th Jul 2018, 2:01 AM edit delete reply
I'm also against splitting up our party. If they want to join us that's alright, but I'd keep our whole party and take ONE pirate with us, perhaps Sheila? To tell us anything else we should know about the serpent and so it doesn't get too crowded.

If we stick together then they can plot anything they want without us, but laying an ambush and risking their crewmate walks into it instead of us would suck. So they'd have to follow us at a slight distance, and that gives them the chance to rush in after the fight, either to help us or to try and attack.

But, you see, the thing is that I believe even if these pirates were to turn on us, we can handle that situation. Nast can simply surrender and try diplomacy, OR better yet act super brave and turn towards them asking where that courage comes from to try and attack us after we've just defeated the sea serpent they were having trouble with? If we managed that we could take them out too, what matter is acting brave so they have to pause and reconsider. If Sheila did join us for the fight she can confirm that we're no pushovers, too.

It's for this reason I don't want to take too many precautions, except for, again, bringing Sheila if she agrees to join us and tell us more about the sea serpent. What might seem like naivety can be read as a show of confidence instead, that we're so powerful we can turn our backs to invite an attack if they want to try it. Hemingway does strike me as the... what's the word? Least trusting member of their party, but so long as we cooperate and help out Mangobeard he shouldn't jump at the chance to attack us, at least for as long as our goals coincide.

If Mangobeard's crew did mutiny'd against him, then he could be looking for a new ship. THAT could get us started on a brand new quest later on, and give us acess to a (sea)ship, even if it wouldn't be our own, but being on good terms with the captain wouldn't be far from it.

..... okay this one post is super long as it is, so let me end it here. I'll add more if I get other ideas or need to respond here. >.>
RicardtheDragoon 27th Jul 2018, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Overall, that sounds very reasonable. I especially like taking one of them along to both provide Nast knowledge about the cave system and the serpent and verify Nast's ability.

The additional potential of defeating a group of mutineers and earning a friendly pirate captain with a pirate ship could prove quite helpful any number of times in the future.

Splitting up their party could also help Nast in case of betrayal, especially in light of Bexley being cured.
lil Joshu 26th Jul 2018, 6:33 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Emerald should offer an exchange for the kiss.

In exchange for the kiss, assuming it works, they agree at a future point to be privateers on behalf of the slime kingdom (besides, privateers is a step up from just any pirate, afterall.)
Some Random Guy 26th Jul 2018, 7:51 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
This ain't so bad, but is it wise to tell some pirates of the upcoming Slime Kingdom? If they accept the fact that a green blob of ooze can be royalty, they might aim to pickpocket and/or kidnap Emmy.

Pirates are awesome, but they are known for being sea thieves.
ZincFingers 26th Jul 2018, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
Exactly what I was saying above, S.R.G, we don’t really want word of the kingdom getting out until we are ready, the summoner knows, but hopefully doesn’t talk.

I’d almost be willing to let Dobbs know, being close he is in a good position to open trade with them. He seems the open minded sort, and has shown he is an aspiring entrepreneur.

Of course at the moment the only thing the slimes can offer is, well, slime, but with Humblestart being an alchemist driven town, Dobbs would have a solid place to sell the slime on to.

Edit: looking at the map, Dobbs isn’t as close as I thought, but he would serve as a good intermediary until the town is willing to trade direct with the slimes themselves (or he could make a monopoly of it).
Korsha 26th Jul 2018, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
Wink at Sheila, comment that you're sure she's capable of handling a big snake.

Hold off on letting them know you can cure the frog pirate. First we need to know if Emmy is cool with it, and also get to know the pirates better, see how 'backstabby' they appear
Antarean 26th Jul 2018, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
I'm loathe to suggest this, but maybe hold off on flirting with Sheila. I sorta get the impression Mangobeard might have a thing for her and I don't want to antagonize him. Although if we're flirting with all of them then that would negate that. (Actually, was Mangobeard already flirting with us? "Arrrrgghhhh I be thinkin' he can handle th' snake.")

Mention that it seems that breaking the frogification requires a kiss from a beautiful maiden (although we don't know if it requires royalty or just a kiss from anyone) so that Sheila tries it before we ask Emerald to do it again.

They introduced themselves, so we should follow suit. We don't necessarily have to have our party members come out of hiding just yet though, we can just give their names. "I'm Nast and my party members are Emerald and Inzo."

+1 on offering the pirates a bottle of rum as a peace offering/token of friendship. Only one though, if we're going to be fighting alongside them we don't want them incapacitated. Between that and the appearance of Inzo's mech when we do call for him and Emerald to join us, the pirates probably won't try anything with us at this point, especially since they want our help fighting the giant snake. Even if they are backstabby they probably wouldn't needlessly pick fights with powerful opponents.
RicardtheDragoon 27th Jul 2018, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
"A kiss from a beautiful maiden." Sounds like an excellent explanation. First, it hides Emerald's involvement and background, particularly if Nast presents it as a rumor. Second, it lets Nast subtly inquire as to whether Sheila is a maiden, that is a virgin and/or in a committed relationship, which clears the waters a bit in case Nast wants to flirt. Thirdly, it has the advantage of being true since Emerald is a maiden. Fourthly, presenting it as a rumor lets Nast distance himself and the party from it if it doesn't work with Sheila or Emerald or if it works with one of the guys. Finally, if Emmy is unwilling, she can always claim not to be a maiden, perhaps inflating Nast's reputation with the pirates if she wants.

The peace offering and introductions sound like a great way to continue to nurture the emerging camaraderie. It's a bit harder to betraying nice people and friends than people who aren't quite so nice (like other pirates).
Devus 27th Jul 2018, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
+1 to deft political maneuvering.
Eyebrows 26th Jul 2018, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
Get the others' opinions on what to do. Especially if we want Emerald to kiss the frog. I personally vote against having her kiss the frog at this time.
ZincFingers 27th Jul 2018, 12:28 AM edit delete reply
Whilst I’m not over the moon at the prospect either, if it proves the only defrogging method, it would be a good way to ingratiate the pirates to us.

And if they discover Emmys true nature (slime king) then they go forth knowing that Her Slime-ness is a kind and benevolent soul, who is willing to help those shunned by normal society.
MakePeaceAndLove 27th Jul 2018, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
Definitely ask Emmy's opinion on this first, and/or see if Sheila is willing to try.

I'm not worried of them finding out who she is, though. I mean, she could simply be the slime lady, that's amazing and rare already. But even if they find out she is the queen, then like ZincFingers said, that could be a good message to send out.
Ghest 27th Jul 2018, 1:30 AM edit delete reply
Legendary for what? Poor judgement?
Caydenite 27th Jul 2018, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Why so little suggestion of flirting with Mangobeard? Just look at that magnificent 'stache!
The chicken guy 27th Jul 2018, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
I'm allergic to mangos. And nobody want to see the crazy chicken guy break out in a sympathetic rash.
The chicken guy 28th Jul 2018, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
Also, STCs. Sexually transmitted curses.
Devus 28th Jul 2018, 1:55 PM edit delete reply
We really do need to watch out for those.

When we get to Mageholm, let's go shopping for Warded Condoms.
RicardtheDragoon 27th Jul 2018, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
Despite being "frogged" and thus unable to speak, Bexley can still participate in the conversation using the familiar system of "one croak yes" and "two croaks no". It might not be helpful now, but it still could in future encounters (like interrogating a frogged bounty hunter mayhaps).

Besides that, proceed with caution with an eye out for anything amiss.
ZincFingers 28th Jul 2018, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Just a note for future reference: don’t forget to go cave fishing before we leave. We even have some Unimpressive Trout to use as bait (plus or minus whatever else is in our inventory.

Side note to the side note: is there a fishers guild? And how does on join?
1977 28th Jul 2018, 8:39 AM edit delete reply
Probably part of the Bakers Guild.

"The bakers guild is now the central hub for all varieties of food expert, from pastry chefs to fish cooks."