Comic 195 - See where this is going

31st Jul 2018, 5:52 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
See where this is going
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 31st Jul 2018, 5:52 PM edit delete
You hold up a hand, signalling to the others to wait. The pirates look a little put off by not taking the opportunity to strike first, but they follow your decision. You want to see what's going on, first, before you commit to any offensives.

The kuo-toa continue to chant, with the one in front--wearing some sort of... bone bracelet, it looks like, seeming to lead the ceremonies. He says a few lines of his own, while also joining the other two in uttering chants.

You also cast Identify on the bottle of air the captain gave you. You confirm--it is in fact magical, and appears to do exactly what he said it would: it is perpetually full of breathable air.

...However, the second you cast Identify, the lead kuo-toa twists around, glaring almost directly at you. He yells... something, in kuo-toa, prompting the other two to tighten the grips on their tridents and likewise turn. They don't hesitate at all, the two kuo-toa with tridents immediately beginning a rush at your group.

"Fun while it lasted, mates!" Hemingway hurls a ball of fire skyward and over your party, which arcs close to the ceiling before tumbling back toward the dock... but it never quite makes it. The ball bursts mid-flight in a huge flash, briefly stunning the nearer two kuo-toa.

The one with the bracelet squints, and winces, but isn't totally stopped by the flare. He reaches back, pulling out...

what you recognize as a primitive looking injector.

He shoves the pointy end, quickly, into the back of one of his fellow kuo-toa; you're not... real sure WHAT he's injecting him with, though.

The kuo-toa are still recovering from the sudden blast of heat and light--which means you have the jump on them deciding how to approach, one way or the other. They're definitely hostile.

The snake hisses, seeming perturbed... but doesn't seem in any hurry to act.



Krylo 31st Jul 2018, 6:28 PM edit delete reply
Man, someday ya'll gonna learn context clues and we'll be able to get the drop on something.

Anyway, I say we stick with paralyzing consentacles for the fish men, and tornado + maximum murder for the snake.

Killing their godhead may demoralize them.
Jex 31st Jul 2018, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
Twyll 31st Jul 2018, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
Honestly, I'd prefer to apply murder to the kuo-toa and leave the snake be. He doesn't seem to be up to anything-- he's "perturbed" but not "angry"-- while the kuo-toa are very obviously hostile.
Rent 31st Jul 2018, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
+1 to this. You're probably right about context clues, but it wouldn't be Nast if we didn't first try to befriend and/or sleep with every creature we meet.
Gandalf 1st Aug 2018, 3:34 AM edit delete reply
And I'd be very disappointed if everything in Nast started turning out to be what first appearances suggest.
ZincFingers 31st Jul 2018, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
Don’t immediately open with paralyzing them, wait for the stun to wear off / be removed by being hit. If we para-touch right out of the gate, the stun is wasted.
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 2:58 AM edit delete reply
I'm with Twyll and ZincFingers on this one. Focus on the Kuo-Toa, and try to paralyze them after that first stun wears off. Focus fire their spellcaster perhaps?

Leave the snake, for now. That one can go either way, while these are obviously hostile.
Professor Cupcake 1st Aug 2018, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Professor Cupcake
Combat is boring, any chance to avoid it is fine by me.

... but yeah, it's pretty clear here there was no avoiding this. Kinda hoped we could at least witness something interesting.

Still, we learned that magic can be detected when used - worth remembering for later.
YetiOlwen 31st Jul 2018, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Serpent seems to be neutral so far. I suggest only attack it if it attacks us. Focus on fish people.
Guest 31st Jul 2018, 7:53 PM edit delete reply
+1 Focus on the one that got injected before it recovers
Korsha 31st Jul 2018, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
+1. Also Wind Slash the injector. Whatever it's made of, it's relatively small and hollow, so likely weak enough to be cut, and whatever's in it, it's probably bad news if the last two or even the snake gets injected
Korsha 31st Jul 2018, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
+1. Also Wind Slash the injector. Whatever it's made of, it's relatively small and hollow, so likely weak enough to be cut, and whatever's in it, it's probably bad news if the last two or even the snake gets injected
ZincFingers 31st Jul 2018, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, we should focus on the injector, whilst Sheila and Inzi rush the stunned, with Emmy keeping an eye on them to para-touch as soon as the current stun wears off.

As for Mangobeard and Hemingway, not sure, help with injector? Rush the snake? Dealers choice?
YetiOlwen 31st Jul 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
+1 wind to injector.

I also suggest that we try to blind the one being injected. If it is a berserk drug then blinding or obscuring its vision would make it unable to tell friend from foe. If the drug does something else hopefully being blind would still help nullify its effects.

We could attempt to wind slash across its eyes and the injector in one motion but don't try too hard if our should slow down the attack. Stopping that injector as soon as we can is paramount.

Idk if Emmy had the ability to throw, spit or whatever some slime at its eyes(she's never done this before but we've never tried or asked) but slimy eyes would be hard to see from. Could also poison our paralyze it.

Hemingway is fast and good with his hands right? He could maybe dart in real quick and slash the eyes with a dagger or Scaling Knife if he has one.
Not a dog 31st Jul 2018, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
+1 For mangobeard and Hemingway on the injector. We don't know the limits of the leaders ability to detect magic, but there's a good chance he'll be able to identify and thus dodge any single spell. Having more distraction and less magical means of taking the injector may increase the chances of success.
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
If he's detecting our magic he won't have many options. Either he blocks or dodges but either action would stop him from continuing to do the injection. However if he does block it (personally I fear that he could know how to silence us, and I don't know any way we would block an attack like that) we should think of a second back up plan to stop the injection, perhaps crab claw could give it the clamps, or Sheila could hookshot it.

But in the best case scenario the fish will have half of an injector sticking out the middle of its back and we should be prepared to use that to our advantage.
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 12:42 AM edit delete reply
On second thought don't have Sheila use the anchor like a hookshot. She's had no practice with it so it could very likely miss and hit the serpent instead.

Go with crab claws as a back up
ZincFingers 1st Aug 2018, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Educated guess, using an injector, and being able to detect magic, we are dealing with an alchemist, so be ready for it try to use healing concoctions and other alchemisty things.

In reply to Not A Dog, I’d say the ability to detect magic might be on parr it with Ranse, thought I think it might be less, since Ranse picked up on us immediately, and fish-lips here didn’t twig until we cast.
Don’t know if that means It’ll know what we are casting, or only that we are casting.
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 3:05 AM edit delete reply
+1 to focusing on the Kuo-Toa. Wind Slash the injector, let Inzo's mech bubbles shoot at it as back up, it's a ranged attack but it doesn't rely on magic.

The rest take on the two paralyzed Kuo-Toa in melee, probably, letting Sheila keep them at bay and Emmy Para-Touch once they start moving.

I think that the one already got fully injected, honestly. But if we can stop the caster from doing that again, that would still be worth it.
Spades 31st Jul 2018, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
Pull out the wind wand and make a tornado in the middle of the kuo-toa or as close to it as you can manage. Ask Hemingway to cast that fire spell at the tornado. Inzo use explody bubbles at the closest targets.
Spades 31st Jul 2018, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
Everyone else on standby to deal with any surprises.
Gandalf 1st Aug 2018, 10:45 AM edit delete reply
+1, I like this plan.
Caydenite 31st Jul 2018, 7:55 PM edit delete reply
No point adding hostiles before we have to. Murder some fish peeps and see what the snek does. Hopefully we can deal with it in two separate fights.
Paralysis on the dude who was injected, bubble both front guys and everyone else geeks the mage (or Alchemist or w/e).
Some Random Guy 31st Jul 2018, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
Inzo shoots his bubbles and Emmy paralyses with her tentacles. Perhaps this is the time to use that bomb in our inventory, as they are paralysed.
YetiOlwen 31st Jul 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
-1 No No No! They are right next to that beam that probably supports the cave. No bombs! Also reinforce that beam if possible.
Some Random Guy 1st Aug 2018, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
NEVERMIND I juat noticed that thanks for telling me
YetiOlwen 31st Jul 2018, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
If at any point possible please let Nast (or to a lesser extent Hemingway) use steal, especially to the "leader" in the back.
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
Good call, +1 to stealing if we get the chance.
ZincFingers 1st Aug 2018, 5:13 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, if the opportunity arises, rob some foes.
Lapdragon 1st Aug 2018, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
+1 to stealing from the "leader"
JiggilyJoe 31st Jul 2018, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
Drat. I thought the attack votes outweighed the wait votes.
Oh well, wind slash the injector. Inzo start punching and exploding bubbles. Sheila needs to get in there if she can.
If possible, tornado the guy in the back and have Hemingway put another fireball in it.
ZincFingers 1st Aug 2018, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, I also thought attack would win out, admittedly I was voicing ideas for both paths.
Gandalf 1st Aug 2018, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
I think Morgenstern cunningly gave us both: waiting to see what happened, swiftly followed regardless by the first move in a fight with the kuo toa. Great work - everybody gets their way, and everyone gets to think they chose the right option because the outcome was the same either way.
lurking lurkitus 1st Aug 2018, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
don't slash the injector we could save it for Ranse. have inzo bubble blast him or windslash him about neck level. or whatever is mob ruled just leave the injector.
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
While I would really like getting that injector for ourselves I don't think it's worth the risk of trying to save it over them having the chance to use it. Destroy it as quick as possible. With luck after the fight is over we might be able to look a broken injector with potion residue in it that Ranse could examine later.
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 3:08 AM edit delete reply
If we can manage to gather up that stuff for Ranse after it spills, then maybe.

Alternatively, we could try to steal it the non-Steal ability way: beat down the caster and wrench it from his fingers. There's still a chance it'll shatter in the process, but if we're already focusing him down we might keep this in mind so we can snatch it if we see an opening?
Lapdragon 1st Aug 2018, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
I'm with Yeti on this one - Ranse (or her father) can learn from a broken injector, and it's not worth possibly taking major damage about. If we can wind-slash the KT HOLDING the injector and make him drop it tho, I'm all for that.
Gandalf 1st Aug 2018, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, doesn't seem to be so complex we couldn't make a copy ourselves (or commission some craftsman to make one for us).
Stuart 1st Aug 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
I'd see if hemingway can do the fire ball again and lob one into a tornado
Focus on the guy with the injector and the koatoa who just got injected

Also have shellia and Inso take up positions at the front and attack the closest fish man. A combination of bubble attack and beat down should drop the lead fish man swiftly.

Emmy could withdraw slightly so she is out of people's line of site then sneak in as a regular slime ready to paratouch any or follow Inso for opportunity attacks

I figure if she's going to have a class then thief or rogue would work really well for her
RicardtheDragoon 1st Aug 2018, 9:12 PM edit delete reply
This is the only comment that actually begins to address what the pirates' reaction might be to learning Emerald is a slime, not that I expect anything more than surprise, as Morgenstern has left it fuzzy whether the pirates have realized.
While having Emerald engage sneakily is a good idea as far as hiding data from the pirates is concerned, I'm worried that, by pretending to be a normal slime, Emerald would be making herself a target for both the pirates and the kuo-toa.
Greenkind 1st Aug 2018, 1:35 AM edit delete reply
+1 to all the votes saying to slash the injector - The risk of it making combat harder outweighs any potential benefit from possibly looting it at the end. It also sounds like BraceletFishy is in the process of injecting, so if we're quick enough it might stop that from finishing.
But also hold off on attacking Snakey, since he isn't hostile at the moment - In fact, we have spare fish that aren't being used .. how about offering them to the snake? Potential for a familar perhaps? Having the unlimited air bottle is good, but imagine that with a mode of underwater transport.
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
A familiar needs to be smaller then the one who controls it. Also the mecha crab already is underwater capable. It's kinda looking like we'll have an underwater mission soon.
Krylo 1st Aug 2018, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
-1 to trying to befriend the snake. Familiars have to be small, and killing the snake is the whole reason we're here.

Did everyone forget that?
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 3:09 AM edit delete reply
Like Krylo said, -1 to befriending that snake. Let's just focus on the fight.
ZincFingers 1st Aug 2018, 5:24 AM edit delete reply
Shrinking potion the snake, then befriend it...

But seriously, let’s get us some sea-snake skin boots... maybe a matching purse.
Greenkind 1st Aug 2018, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Fair enough, Nix my original ideam I guess I got caught up in the 'let's befriend/bang everything' that started a while back. Although, is is explicitly stated that we have to kill the snake, or just remove it from the tunnel? Anything open to interpretation should always be exploited for the non-obvious solution.
So new vote for me, definitely take out the fishes, then see how the snake reacts, that 'perturbed' comment definitely has me intrigued.
MakePeaceAndLove 1st Aug 2018, 3:12 AM edit delete reply
Okay, this is a weird idea, but maybe... that snake isn't an old god, and it's totally confused by what the Kuo-Toa are doing? Hence the 'perturbed' comment?

Like, imagine the snake just found its way into the cave and can't get out. It's big but not that big and hasn't demonstrated any special powers yet.

Then, the Kuo-Toa arrive here and they try to worship it, interpreting its arrival as one of the Old Gods (or a herald of one?).

In that case, it should stay out of the fight while we take on the Kuo-Toa. It has no stake in this or a reason to help either side. And since the Kuo-Toa are more immediately threatening anyway, we don't lose much by leaving it for last.
Krylo 1st Aug 2018, 4:51 AM edit delete reply
Old Gods in fantasy tend to be totemic, based on animals, etc.

It's likely it being 'just' a big snake doesn't mean it isn't also an 'old god' as a big sea snake that eats people is exactly the kind of thing people might worship as a god of this or that or the other thing.

And in Nast we're very agnostic about religions in the lore so far. Is the goddess real or is Justice just another witch? Most people worship the archmages, which we know were mortal, but very powerful, wizards, by the fact that we know they were slain by heroes.

This seems to be one of the fantasy worlds where whether there are ACTUALLY gods or not is left up to interpretation of the people rather than actual godheads messing with mortals.

The old gods might just literally be big scary animals, some of which are legitimately powerful, and others of which were just terrifying to early human/kuo-toa/whatever race.
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Use the fishing pole to catch the kuo-toa and then just add them to the inventory. Problem solved.
Then do that for the serpent.
Professor Cupcake 1st Aug 2018, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Professor Cupcake
By the way, anybody checked the inventory? It's not that I don't trust Hemingway, but I don't trust Hemingway...
YetiOlwen 1st Aug 2018, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
I've been checking it daily since we first met them. Nothing's missing (yet)