Comic 98 - Insta-kill the ants

26th May 2018, 2:26 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
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Insta-kill the ants
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 26th May 2018, 2:26 PM edit delete
You suggest that Ranse and Inzo go after the mantrap. Ranse's pyrespewer might not be effective against fire-based enemies, and Inzo's mech is made of wood--also probably not good for dealing with monsters that can breathe fire.

While they turn their attention toward the monstrous plant, you focus on the pyre ants. You ready your wand, looking for just the right moment; if they'll just get a little closer to each other...

Ranse hesitates to get too close to the mantrap, and with good reason. Though it doesn't move very quickly, its tendrils certainly do, and with surprising reach. Inzo charges into melee, throwing hard punches at the monster. Its tentacles whip about, blocking the blows from a relatively safe distance, and keeping Inzo from getting in close enough.

...All but one of the tentacles. The mantrap abruptly shoves one of its thick vines straight into the ground.

After a brief pause... that same tentacle erupts from the earth, right between you and Ranse. Ranse twists around quickly, lighting the tentacle up with her pyrespewer. You hear the mantrap hiss as it sucks its limb back into the ground.

The ants draw near. You swing. The angle on the slash isn't perfect, but it's good enough--you manage to drag the blade of air straight through both ants in one swing, the slicing motion carrying across one and into the other.

Both ants die in a single move.

The mantrap continues to stay on the defensive as Inzo barrages it, rapidly launching blow after blow. The goblin sometimes chucks a bottle of gob juice, but the whipping appendages of the mantrap repeatedly block it. It's steadily damaging the vines, but they seem very sturdy.

The buried limb bursts out of the ground once more, and again seems to intentionally appear in you and Ranse's blind spots. This time, though, it doesn't hesitate--before either of you can turn to deal with it, it wraps itself around Ranse's torso, disappearing into the ground with her. She doesn't scream, or... react much at all, really, just makes a surprised "whoop" sound.

Inzo seems to have realized what's happened. He begins to fight harder, yelling at the mantrap.

"Plant monster DARE?! Over grown pansy! Stupid weed! Monster fights Inzo, not hume! Inzo not good enough?!"

He sneaks a punch through, nailing the mantrap right in its... er... face. It recoils, its central mass clearly weaker than its limbs. The damage Inzo's been doing to the tentacles is takings it toll--they're not moving as quickly, and each hit they defend against seems to soften them further.

The mantrap still looks like it has a lot of gas in the tank, though.

You're not sure where Ranse was dragged to after being pulled undergr--

the mantrap shrinks its buried tentacle back to its body, bringing Ranse with it. She's still tight in the plant's clutches, the mantrap waving her around with its slightly burnt limb.

"Karmicpunishment," she blurts out. Though her voice is still very dry, her candidness and the speed she's talking at makes you think she's actually a little frightened. "Shouldn'thaveread, allthoseweirdbooks. NottheraunchytentacleromanceIwanted."

Inzo's absolute blitz of punches slows down substantially, now that Ranse is being swung around like... well, a hostage, almost, sometimes being lifted straight in front of the mantrap.

Given room to breathe, the mantrap swings one of its free tendrils, forcing Inzo to throw his mech's arms up to block the blow. Inzo's mech is slid back a few feet.

Inzo and the plant monster reach something of a standstill. Despite his vocal dislike of 'humes,' he's uncertain how to approach while the monster has Ranse.


Gallstone 26th May 2018, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
We don't have another potion of communication handy, and this thing isn't backing down. Unless it releases Ranse, copy its trick; run, get in its blind spot and use Wind Slash to sever that vine -- at the BASE, not anywhere near Ranse -- while Inzo keeps its attention!
Gandalf 26th May 2018, 4:32 PM edit delete reply
1977 26th May 2018, 4:42 PM edit delete reply
Plants don't have a blind spot.
This thing has no eyes, so I assume it can sense us through vibrations on the earth, just like Toph Beifong from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
She only lost track of Aang in their first fight because he could fly, not something we can use here.
1977 26th May 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
On second thought: maybe we can fly with help of the wind wand.
Gandalf 26th May 2018, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
The blind spot isn't the important part. If we can find one then great, but either way we windslash the plant.
Ace of Hats 26th May 2018, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
It'll almost definitely hurt you a little in the process, but maybe tag the mantrap with your poison spell.
barswanian 26th May 2018, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Wind slash, but at the base of the mantrap, where it touches the ground. That should get most of its vines.
Guest 26th May 2018, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
If that part is underground, go for base of tendril holding Ranse.
1977 26th May 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Throw a tornado in the center of mass.

Try poisoning it.

Cut the vines with your wand.

Ask Ranse if you can borrow some of her books for the KingSlime. She learns a lot from books :)
K3001 26th May 2018, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Hm... can Inzo throw Nast into the monster's blind zone? And then attack immediately so it would be preoccupied while Nast cut down the tendrils that hold Ranse and cast a poison at the tendril's wound for better effect?..
Guest 26th May 2018, 4:01 PM edit delete reply
I really don't know that poison'll do much to a plant.
K3001 26th May 2018, 4:19 PM edit delete reply
Ever heard of poisoned soil, that prevents any plants from growing healthy, if at all? It's a living being too, and quite active, so it needs a lot of energy and needs to be able to process it quickly. I don't know, how poison spell works, but usually it just means "getting some substance into target's organism to harm it over time". It might work.
Gallstone 26th May 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
True, it might. But I'm still going to favour a wind slash to hack off its limb; we need to get Ranse out fast, before it starts to squeeze or tries to swallow her.
If Poison does work, the thing's convulsions might hurt Ranse, so there's that as well.
Green Visitor 26th May 2018, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
What Gallstone said. Poison is uncertain strategy, must come after freeing Ranse.

Cut the grappling wine with wind wand.
Go straight for the weaker body, if possible.

If Ranse still has control of Pyrespewer; combine to make firetornado at soft center of mancatcher.
Korsha 26th May 2018, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
Have Inzo throw a Gob Juice bottle as far from Ranse as possible. When the plant moves to deflect, use a gust of wind to speed it up or change it's direction to get the bottle past the plant's defenses.
Nieki 26th May 2018, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
This seems like the ideal time to try the Combination Attack that Valley suggested. With her so close, this is a solid time to Tornado the central mass--Ranse can probably hit it from there. A flaming hurricane on its weak spot might be enough!
Gandalf 26th May 2018, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
Not with the plant using Ranse as a human shield.
Green Visitor 26th May 2018, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
+1 Nieki

A fire tornado down the plants throat ensures Ranse can`t be eaten.

Only possible if Ranse can move her hands though.
Hellbovine 26th May 2018, 9:55 PM edit delete reply
Try firenado with the gob juice instead
Jax 26th May 2018, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
Use poison.... on the grass below it. It is taking nutrients through the ground and every moment it will poison itself more and more. This should confuse it while that is happening have Inzo grab and try to force open the creature while our alchemist pours some more chemicals inside it. Double poisons from inside and out. Outta help weaken it enough and if that work then duel tech, fire and wind.
Royell 26th May 2018, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Can Inzo still deploy the air filters? Even if they don't cut the vines, they'd probably still batter the plant enough to throw it off guard.
Otherwise, +1 to air slashing the base of Ranse's vine.
Twelveseal 26th May 2018, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
First, poison won't work unless we hit the thing directly with it. Trying for poisoned soil isn't an option due to the spell properties. If we're going to poison it, we basically need it to grab Nast and do so through the tentacles.

The wand is an option, especially with a horizontal sweep low to the ground and aimed at the maneater's central base and the base of the tentacles. This runs the risk of hitting Ranse, though, and depending on how tough the monster is, it might not die from one slash.

Alternatively, we could try to use the wand to interfere with the timing of Inzo's Gob Juice, making it harder to block.

We could also try giving Inzo our sword, which might be more effective at making salad of this thing.

Finally, a possibility we haven't explored yet is if Reinforcing the Wand might make it more powerful,potentially boosting damage dealing with it.
ZincFingerd 26th May 2018, 8:48 PM edit delete reply
Where did the pyrocaster end up? If Ranse still has it, and can do so, get her to drop in the plants mouth, hopefully instinct takes over and it tries to eat it. We just killed two more ants, so it isn’t like we are short on supplies to make a new, maybe improved, one.
grenli 27th May 2018, 8:23 PM edit delete reply

"The buried limb bursts out of the ground once more, and again seems to intentionally appear in you--"


"--and Ranse's blind spots."

Well, that's a relief.


Ditto that.