Comic 77 - Watch the ranch

16th May 2018, 8:53 PM in Humble Beginnings at Humblestart
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes) Rate this comic
Watch the ranch
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 16th May 2018, 8:53 PM edit delete
You decide that watching the ranch might be your best bet for the night. You go and talk to the rancher, and ask if you could get any sort of reward for helping defend the place.

"Hey, if'n ya stop a thievin', I don't see why not. I could cut ya a discount... maybe 50g per bird instead o' 75. If'n that don't interest ya, I'm sure we could figger somethin' else out."

You head back to the others, and explain the plan.

You sleep in shifts, with two of you keeping watch while the other naps. While Valley is asleep, you ask Ranse about visiting the temple and seeing the clerics. During the conversation, she... fiddles with the pyre ant parts, and various bottles. She's definitely putting something together, you just can't tell what.

"I..." She pauses. "Idon'tcare. Either way. Up to you. I... if you think itcouldbehelpful. We should go there. You've... already committed to a school. So. They can't... convert you into a weird cleric."


"Yeah," she says bluntly. She almost just leaves it at that. "Y... you can only have one school. Or focus, I guess. Th... the magic changes you. Forever. It's been that way since... since the archmages. When they turned on each other, it... the war r-rewrote the laws of magic. They were so powerful they could reshape reality itself on accident. Th... that's why there can't be any more. The archmages could do... anything. All magic. No limits. No schools. No focuses. Since they broke it, there... can't be anyone like that ever again."

Ranse looks up from the ant parts and stares at you for a moment, silently. She inches just a little closer... and takes a deep breath of you. A smile almost makes it across her face, but vanishes quickly. "Y... you shouldn't. Worry about it, though. You... you're... y-you have a strong potential. For enchantment. Y-you... you made, the right choice."

After Ranse goes to sleep, and Valley wakes up, you ask Valley about the whole... support... milk... thing. Subtly. Politely.

Valley grins. "You totally would get hung up on that part, huh?" She giggles softly, stepping closer... once more almost burying your head in her intense cleavage. "I'll, like, make you a deal. You buy me like... a cake? Like a whole cake? I will totes be your..." She bites playfully at her lower lip, still smiling wide. "...Support."

Valley runs a hand through your hair... and then abruptly pulls you forward, shoving your face between her enormous breasts. "If you're just, like, looking for an excuse to suck on my tits, though... like, you don't need one?" Her massive tits shake against your cheeks as she giggles again. "I bet they're gonna be like... suuuper sensitive after I get my nipples pierced. I'll have to ask what the like... wait time on that is."

Not much further talking goes down--mostly just you rubbing your face between Valley's boobs. You eventually fall asleep without even realizing it--it's not until she shakes you awake, and shouts at Ranse, that you start paying attention again.

There, not far across the field, are an elf, a half elf, and an orc.


"You said there'd be nobody defendin' the place," says the half elf. She's definitely dressed like a thief of some kind.

"There wasn't! ...The last couple times," says the full elf. She's decked out in bones and fur.

"More fight, more pay!," growls the orc.

"Yup," says the pink-haired half elf. "Those are the terms. We were ready for some fat rancher, not... whatever the hells this is. We stick around, you owe us."

"Fine, done, just... help me out here," replies the wild looking elf.

Ranse is still wiping at her eyes and trying to wake up, but she moves close to you and Valley, and whispers: "One summoner. P-... probably the elf. Almost... definitely the elf."


xenonni 16th May 2018, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Check if Ranse finished whatever she was doing with the Pyre ant parts.

Leverage that je ne sais quoi and see if we can't figure out what the rival party wants, and if we can't offer something better.
Guest 16th May 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Don't think it would work in direct conflict. Maybe after, if they seem willing.
Nieki 16th May 2018, 9:17 PM edit delete reply
Well, now. THIS is a Fine Kettle of fish--it looks like a full on enemy PARTY is here. After all, groups of three, no?

Right now, our odds are roughly even, but a summoner could probably complicate matters. We need to interrupt her, and FAST. Perhaps rattling her with a TORNADO would do the trick. I don't know how Valley would do against an Orc strength-wise, but she's probably better armed--my worry is for Ranse.

Aim to disarm and stop them. If we can pin them down and grill them, that's for the best, but there's no need to play too nice until we know what's what.
Fireopal 16th May 2018, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
+1 to neutralizing the summoner first. Valley is going to need to keep that orc off of us. The thief we really need to try to recruit because we could use someone of her skills. If we can quickly take out the summoner and the orc, we might be able to use our je ne sais quoi to convince her to join us. (And perhaps she can inspire us.)
Guest 16th May 2018, 10:03 PM edit delete reply
+1 to take down the summoner
Krylo 16th May 2018, 10:10 PM edit delete reply
First order of business: Try to figure out what the elf is paying the other two, and if we can get them to change sides or even just sit it out.

Second order of business, try to leverage elf into not robbing the ranch tonight, and maybe get information out of her about the bandits--these thieves may know of other thieves operating nearby.

Third order of business: Bang everyone.

Fourth order of business: Failing all other orders of business, take out the elf ASAP. She's probably magic, but she's ALSO paying the other two. If she goes down the other two might not want to fight.
Guest 16th May 2018, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
First we probably don't have the money for.
Second, they don't seem in a talking mood.
Third, maybe later, that chicken is sexy...... (Kidding, for the worried)
Fourth, I can get behind. Raise should stay behind valley, maybe make some on-the-fly healing if she doesn't have that fire ant thing ready.
Krylo 16th May 2018, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
We've literally diplomanced a giant spider that wanted to eat us. Those two already don't like this situation.

The idea we can't talk our way out of this seems odd considering that.
Cloudy 16th May 2018, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
We gestured in loose slimelanguage without knowing it.
We talked pissed off pantyless fairies out of mob mentality.
And yes, we talked a spider out of eating us
Despite the fact he was probably winning the fight we were in the middle of-
And he got no real net gain from doing so.

Two thirds of the people here don’t really want to be. They weren’t as prepared for us being there as they would have liked to have been. And the other member, we know she’s a summoner.

In fact, use Ranse’s super sniffer to throw them off a little by calling her out.
“Hello traveling summoner and... hired ‘help’. What brings you to this guarded farm this night?”
Ghest 17th May 2018, 12:01 AM edit delete reply
Spiders and basic slimes have less capacity for complex thought than humanoid lifeforms(probably) and we talked the fairies down by creating uncertainty. Neither situation applies here. The orc and the half elf are in this for the money and we don't have a lot of it. There probably is no getting out of this while that elf still stands.
Guest 16th May 2018, 11:06 PM edit delete reply
Forgot about the spider. I still prefer a straight fight, but I'll retract those objections.
Arislide 16th May 2018, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
As much as I do love our sexy hippie ways; this is an RPG, fighting is an important part of that too.

Also only we get inspired from sex, the rest of our party has only advanced through combat.
Fireopal 16th May 2018, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
+1 to banging everyone who survives, though
Gallstone 16th May 2018, 11:59 PM edit delete reply
Try diplomacy, but get the wand out.
Have Valley and Ranse stand ready in case this goes pear-shaped.

Target order:
1 - Nast uses air wand to disrupt the summoner.
2 - Valley engages the orc.
3 - Ranse throws potions at the half-elf.

LLSix 17th May 2018, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
Diplomacy seems like a solid bet. Even if we don't have the money to outbid the summoner on us. If we point out that when the summoner loses she's going to have a hard time paying them changes the calculation a fair bit.

Besides, I'm curious about what they want.
Cloudy 17th May 2018, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
This situation may not be comparable to the others in the ways of our opponents, but it is in the ways of us. We are still Nast. Nast, so far, seems to like trying to talk things out. One of the old gods could descend from wherever and start chucking lightning bolts at us and I have a feeling the genuine response from us would be to dodge and then proceed to try and talk it out of its rage.
I’m voting + diplomacy not because it’s worked in the past, but because it’s what we’ve done in the past, and I like consistency in a character.
Besides, Morgenstern usually works the culmination of all of our ideas into the next post. We often end up fighting /while/ being diplomatic.

This doesn’t mean I’m against getting out our wand, though. Quite the opposite actually. Perhaps pulling out a wand + letting the summoner know we know what she is might just be enough to throw them off their game a little in case they do attack.
1977 17th May 2018, 1:47 AM edit delete reply
I agree with those who said try diplomacy and get your wand ready.
We should start with calling out to the summoner by letting her know we know she is a summoner.
1977 17th May 2018, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
We could yell something like "Are you that bad of a summoner that you need to hire help against one single rancher?
TheMightyDragonLizard 17th May 2018, 2:16 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, trying to Psych out the Elf could be quite effective. Just in case, have Val ready to rush the Orc.
Frayed 16th May 2018, 11:49 PM edit delete reply
Either air slash or charge in behind Valley. Could be good to get us some melee experience. All of our spells are at short range after all.
Hambone 17th May 2018, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
It would seem that Ranse's identification skills go far beyond simple items. This is an invaluable tactical tool.
K3001 17th May 2018, 3:37 AM edit delete reply
If diplomacy fails, someone should make that chicken fight for you. Rancher said, they are fine in battle and it's in his interest to protect the ranch. Borrow it for the fight and return it back after.