Comic 1017 - Grab the loot

Posted on 12th May 2018, 6:40 PM in Hope
Grab the loot

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 12th May 2018, 6:40 PM edit delete
Though you're pretty sure you'd be allowed back here via the elevator, you take a lot of loot with you anyway.

You check on how the big... shambling... thing was shooting electricity out of its eyes. You find signs of more cybernetic enhancements--implants, similar to those the giant eye had. However, the bigger creature's implants are incredibly damaged, almost destroyed entirely by the fight. There's not much there to retrieve.

You and your allies try to take a sample of the spinal monster's bulletproof bone. It takes some effort just to detach part of it, with Michelle and Caius basically ripping it at a joint.

Caius carefully takes one of the fairly intact acid spiders' corpses.

You and Fuse gather a bunch of old soda cans. They could be worth something, you never know.

Lastly, you make another meat golem. You have it open the cat magazine, first... and confirm that it is, in fact, just a regular magazine about cats. It doesn't seem to have arcane runes or... scorpions, or whatever hiding inside.

You all walk into the final room, where the treasure chest and the elevator door await. You send your golem up to open the chest.

Inside the chest is... a few blood-stained pages.

Written on the pages is, first, some rambling about magic. It says that old rituals are exactly that: old. They're outdated. They use ancient methods to contact ancient beings, when newer conventions of meditation and a better understanding of the universe at large have been achieved in recent centuries.

Take, for instance, Fragments of the First Womb. Spells that invoke them are horribly outdated--the number of Fragments has dwindled substantially since those tomes were first written. The spells themselves were always overwrought and esoteric, scribbled by madmen with visions instead of studied practitioners of the occult.

The cosmic narrative has changed, and the writer of these pages wants to update the practices of ritual casters to accommodate. The Old Red was dangerous, and there were too many steps to utilizing their power. The New Red is benevolent, though the rituals being worked on will still only take the smallest sample of Her power (so as not to bother Her too much).

They are not spells to destroy, or wreak havoc, or gain power. They are rituals to protect, and heal, and resist. They are not a method to conquer and reign, but a way to tip the balance for those that are oppressed and afraid.

The last of the blood soaked pages breaks down a ritual for summoning bone armor. Unlike previous rituals you've seen, this one doesn't require a huge circle, candles, and all the other pageantry--this one requires markings on the body of the caster, a few suggestions for quick meditation, and a simple string of phrases to recite. The writer points out that, with a tattoo, one can be fully prepared to cast this at any time.

Even as experienced as you are at digging around in the red, this ritual still sounds substantially quicker and easier than making bone armor by hand. Furthermore, it could be performed by anyone--your allies wouldn't require you to make armor for them, they could simply... magic up their own.


Baron11704 12th May 2018, 7:03 PM edit delete reply
Fantastic! Commit to memory as much as possible and gtfo
a_name 12th May 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Grab the pages (if you can't, give a good look at them and then remember them with cleantex), and test the exit door. Make sure it's an actual exit door, and not a trap. Then leave and restock ammunition & armor.
Gigafreak 12th May 2018, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
Patch wounds, get Jane a blood transfusion to replenish all the stuff she put into the needles, get some rest, check the current time-- there were only four rooms and I can't imagine them taking more than a few minutes each. It might still be morning, with plenty of time for Jane to recuperate and try Incident F in the same day.
PurpleKetchup 12th May 2018, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
Yes, if Jane is still up to it, going through and coming back from incident F will definitely grant her new possibilities, making it harder and harder for her enemies to corner her.
The others can start investigating Grizwald likely kidnapping without her.
T41 13th May 2018, 1:25 AM edit delete reply
I agree with trying incident F if we have time.
pkrankow 12th May 2018, 7:03 PM edit delete reply

(Take everything if it isn't obvious)
mordred 13th May 2018, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
"Handy"? We didn't find a hand this time sanitized or otherwise xD
pkrankow 13th May 2018, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Lol true
Twyll 12th May 2018, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
So *that's* what the tradesmen wanted with that bone armor :P Or at least, the reason that they knew they'd have a buyer for it. Man, somebody works quickly, to draw up a ritual for summoning it so soon after we traded it.

Next time we do a questions ritual, we should totally ask the Tradesmen about who wrote this spell, and if we might have some way of getting in touch with them. Maybe we could commission the mysterious author for rituals we particularly want!
Espylacopa 12th May 2018, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
There are various sub-god entities that wish to aid you, but cannot do so.

If the prizes are from those sub-god entities, it doesn't seem like direct contact will be possible.
Guest 12th May 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
I have to wonder, is the 'New Red' us, or was it our mother?
She calmed down enough to have a family after all.
Swagner 12th May 2018, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
Considering that Jane's mom is dead, I'm guessing the latter, unless even that page is out of date.
chaosblitz 12th May 2018, 8:50 PM edit delete reply
I think when it's talking about outdated rituals, it's talking about the book we have, not the new pages.
PurpleKetchup 12th May 2018, 8:26 PM edit delete reply
We can bring a soaked page back to mom's red to check if it can sense itself in it... and Jane can try it too, in case it's hers.
That should indicate whose red the spells are tapping into.

Of course, it might be plain human blood. Dr. Finch can make sure of that.
PurpleKetchup 12th May 2018, 7:20 PM edit delete reply
Benevolent, is it ? And corresponding spells turning to protection instead of aggression...
Looks like this author is keeping nicely up to date on recent events. Is it signed or marked with any kind of symbol ?
pkrankow 12th May 2018, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
This could be handy.

I still think we need to work on some melee weapons. Some days the best defense is a good offense.
Blue_Elite 12th May 2018, 7:24 PM edit delete reply
I like where this is going. If we can endure the floors, it looks like we'll get closer and closer to nigh-invincibility (i.e. only obliteration will kill us).
Granted, that's a feat in and of itself. Definitely worth the task BUT we definitely need to be much, much better prepared next time then we were this time (actual basic materials for spells, traps, disarming traps, etc.).

All that said, we're beat and we still have the Grizwald mission. Let's get out of here, look over our loot, have lunch/brunch, get loaded up again (Michelle is out of ammo), and after a break start preparations for rescuing Grizwald.
We'll want to scout the outside with the raven and then look inside Hope's place with the rat (who I'm assuming is Clyde).

EDIT: Just a quick note, if we include Jury on missions, we CAN'T use magic. Still might be able to use her as a (safe) distraction to get into Hope's place this time around.
pkrankow 12th May 2018, 7:34 PM edit delete reply
Jury will pop a fuse if she sees the statue inside bunker x. Something will have to change before she can be included.
Istyatur 12th May 2018, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
Nice. Take pages or get everyone remembering them, go to surface and try out our new magic. Also, see if we can detect when rituals calling on the fragments of the first womb are used. When finch has time, see if he can reverse engineer these simpler spells.
zelly_fangirl 12th May 2018, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
Not bad. Still a good time to bail while we can. Let's gather our party and take the elevator back up. We have more pressing matters to consider.

Back at base I think we should trade up a few things; namely the bone armor, the old sodas, and the cat magazine (take out all the pages so you have a pile of cat pics; that should work right?)
Blue_Elite 12th May 2018, 8:19 PM edit delete reply
Nuuuuuuuuu! The Cat Magazine must be kept whole! It's a sacred treasure; able to fill our lives with many delightful, cat filled minutes! :3 :3 :3
zelly_fangirl 13th May 2018, 1:39 AM edit delete reply
But we might get a whole cat poster out of it! Or an origami cat, or an ACTUAL CAT
zelly_fangirl 13th May 2018, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
But this would be a magic cat from a ritual! That automatically makes it cooler than the other cats.
Espylacopa 13th May 2018, 1:23 PM edit delete reply
I really doubt trading up a bunch of images will get us the thing pictured. If it worked for cats what would stop us from doing the same with pictures of humans, tanks, demons, etc.?
Espylacopa 12th May 2018, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
I wonder, if we find a way to improve upon the design of our armor will the ritual conjure the latest version of the armor or will it always just make the kind we're using now?
PurpleKetchup 12th May 2018, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
I have a hunch new spells would appear to reproduce any further improvements... the author is probably in touch with the Tradesmen and the Library as well (if not one of them).
Crestlinger 12th May 2018, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
Check the bottom of the chest for a false bottom, then get Everyone matching tattoos, middle side just under the ribs would probably be the best place so there's less of a chance to get injured there and mar the circle.
Operation tinfoil rollout to commence after recovery, maybe see if Jury, etc. have any floor plans of the buildings in question.
Swagner 13th May 2018, 1:27 AM edit delete reply
Eh, tattoos might be premature. They can be a pain to remove/replace, and who knows if we might find better rituals later? Also, it would make it that much harder to conceal from Jury.
pkrankow 13th May 2018, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
Ah, but temporary tatoos (can be printed off an inkjet) and henna "tatoos" are both rather durable and less than permanent. They both are inexpensive too.

I bet Pierce will be all over this.

We need to make a couple shields (riot, small like a viking shield, and buckler) and a staff, pointed staff (aka spear) knife and short sword to round out the complement to the armor.

Getting permanent tattoos should be no issue.
fellow 13th May 2018, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we could make these tattoos by changing skin pigmentation? If that's possible, it should be easy to undo as well.
Espylacopa 13th May 2018, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Altering pigmentation should be possible with matter conversion, I think.
pkrankow 13th May 2018, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
I bet Jane could just make it happen. Removing tattoos would be simple as it requires pushing pigment out. Creating as simple as making some iron II oxide (FeO, blue iron oxide) or iron III (Fe2O3, red oxide) exactly where it needs to be.
PurpleKetchup 13th May 2018, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
(unrelated, but FeO isn't used in 'iron oxide blue')
Ablaze 12th May 2018, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
I suspect the ritual might be from the future. The descriptions of the new red definitely sounds like you. If the magic is borrowing from your red, then perhaps you could modify the mechanism to summon other things from your red.
Tale Swapper 12th May 2018, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
I was just thinking the same thing. This means that in another timeline, we survived long enough to get a cult following. Although that seems positive, it doesn't guarantee our success.
T41 13th May 2018, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
From the future, how did you arrive at that conclusion?
Tale Swapper 13th May 2018, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
Mentions of a friendly Red, especially explicitly a "feminine" Red. Probably a reference to Jane, when her presence has become more common knowledge.
Gigafreak 13th May 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
"One [Zone Fifty bunker] has been sent to a different time period, with no entrance available in the present."
The Bunker X keycard was given to us after that conversation, so the possibility exists that it's the one in a different time period-- the new keycard creating an entrance that wasn't available at the time of that conversation. Of course, even if it isn't, the fact that time travel is *possible to begin with* means we could very well receive a thing from the future.

...Which reminds me. Did we ever do the "disconnect the door portal and see what is actually outside the bunker's geographical location" thing with Bunker X?
ReikoLupus 12th May 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Damn, Finch is going to have a Blast with this XD. He wanted to make sense od all this Magic things, make it a real science. Well, now you has study material that isn't the ramblings of a mad-man or cultist. The notes of an autentic Logical Magician XD. Imagine the potential of Finch after this!!!

Take everything and give Finch his new toys XD. And start the preparations for the new ritual XD.
T41 13th May 2018, 1:37 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, maybe not quite as sciency as he'd hope for but at the very least a big step in the right direction.
Frission 13th May 2018, 12:06 AM edit delete reply
This is awesome! :D 10/5. :3
37212513 13th May 2018, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
The Tradesmen said this was all prepared ahead of time, even fully thought out. This seems to indicate that this spell was most likely built from moms influence. This will tax mama red instead of us, allowing her to better assist us. If we find more of these pages, Fuse and Finch should scan for patterns. Patterns means a language, and language means a way to interpret far more than what we have now.

Given everyone is worried about having Judy spark on seeing magic runes, and our team needing to have them ready for use, Jane should discuss the possibility of applying these tattoos to bones beneath the skin. Judy cannot be allowed to know Bunker-X even exist unless we can fully confirm the relative programming is deleted. (That might be more than just hard)
Nayru9572 13th May 2018, 1:49 AM edit delete reply
Could these pages have belonged to Enyo's cultists? It sounds a lot like what they thought of us, and what was going on with blade-man. Ask Pierce once we get out of here.
Terrabrand 13th May 2018, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
With the degree the enemies here are built to counter our tricks, and the fact that the opposition is set in advance, new innovations may be the key to beating later floors.
1977 13th May 2018, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
We still don't know whats behind the meatwalls.
There could be a secret room once the walls are out of the way.
If there are still places where you have not been or anything left that is not looted then you do something wrong in your dungeoncrawl.
Take everything that is not nailed down, and if it is nailed down then remove the nails and take them and the formerly nailed down object as well.
pkrankow 13th May 2018, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
Bonus spaces, yes. There might be more loot. If we have return access we can come better prepared.
lil Joshu 13th May 2018, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
So people are actively borrowing from our power and doing it so as not to bother us...

Mom's Red said it was aware of something being done like that with it, but it was too insignificant to do anything about. Maybe we should see if we can alter our own summoning responses... maybe make it so each of our things summoned comes along with a little note on the importance of caring for the people around you and giving reassuring gentle hugs?

We'll want to talk with Pierce about thes pages.