Comic 1117 - Begin conjuring the tradesmen

Posted on 10th Nov 2018, 9:06 PM in Like a Bullet from Behind
Begin conjuring the tradesmen

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 10th Nov 2018, 9:06 PM edit delete
You have your pigeon check around on the ground. There's a couple of drops of blood on the sidewalk, but not much else. You have Caesar hop up on the door's handles, and peek through the glass.

There's... a whole facility in there. You can see it through the windows, the interior of some kind of laboratory. Somehow. Despite the fact that you can have your pigeon casually hop around the back side of the door, and there's demonstrably nothing behind the door.

It reminds you of the bunker doors--though, the shorter handles and the presence of functioning windows leads you to suspect this is not, in fact, a bunker. It might use similar technology, or at least the same idea, but... something about it is different.

You begin to explain this to everyone while you prep the tradesmen ritual.

"Tha hell is Carpenter doin'?," Caius exclaims more than he really asks.

"He... he has been quiet for a while now," Dr. Finch replies anyway. He watches you solemnly for a moment before adjusting his glasses. "It would be difficult to guess what preparations he's made in light of his last defeat."

"Blondie," Michelle begins, a bit softly. "If we're gonna have to go fight Carpenter... I dunno, maybe y'shouldn't go full drain on the magic stuff. If there's questions we gotta ask... maybe one of us could do it."

"Hm," Dr. Finch starts. "Hm hm. A number of us have toyed with magic now, but I don't recall any of us meeting with the tradesmen outside of Mine--at least, not personally, as a part of this particular ritual. That... is an option, though I'm not sure how the nature of the spell would interact with her ability to keep up with us."

For now, you commence the spell yourself.

Your casting is a bit hurried, but you've done this enough times that the process is getting easier. Smoke fills the room... and you are greeted by the tradesmen.


"Hello again," their voices echo, smoothly transitioning from one figure to another mid-word.

Michelle does have a point--you don't want to totally waste yourself on anything less than the most pressing questions, at least not until you have a better grasp on what's going on.

You start to ask if Lydia's in any immediate dang--

"We would like to state that--purely from a professional standpoint--we were surprised by what you achieved in protecting your friends, Lydia and Grizwald. You accomplished things we would not have anticipated from you for months, if not years. Your rate of growth has made business... more interesting, to say the least. Many thought you could not win that particular battle, let alone as wholly, efficiently, and extensively as you did. This is not our approval nor congratulations, as we are a neutral party; we simply thought that you should be aware."

You're... guessing the emphasis on extensively, in regard to protecting Grizwald and Lydia, is a hint that they should be good for now.

You ask how long you have until Carpenter's plan can't be stopped.

"We cannot effectively price the answer to that question."

...You pause, trying to think of a way to rephrase it. What's... stopping them from answering it now...? As if they can sense your confusion, they continue.

"To clarify, the question has many answers. Arvin Carpenter has the ability to act upon his current plans at this very moment. He wishes for you to bear witness to them, in person. He wants you to attempt to stop him. In the event that you do make the attempt, the window of time to stop him shrinks substantially. If you do not attempt to stop him, you have until his patience wanes. Such as he is now, we cannot say with certainty how long that will take... and we do not sell uncertain answers."

You ask how you can permanently dispose of Carpenter without risking your friends or other innocents.

"We cannot effectively price a question that you already have the answer to."

You ask what's behind the door--what is actually at that address?

There's... a silence. Almost. Not quite. The candle flames flicker, briefly, and you feel whispering but you don't actually hear anything.

After what feels like an eternity, you get a response.

"We cannot answer that question."

...What? At all?

"We are not privy to what is beyond that door. We cannot see within it. We cannot tell you, at this time, what is occurring within. This is not information we have been able to obtain, and thus, it is not information we can offer."


Lunar Waffles 10th Nov 2018, 10:17 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
So~ um, i say we infiltrate the building with a blood bug, lay eggs absolutely everywhere, use them all to open portals,make them spew blood, use that blood to make more even BIGGER portals and flood that building! (edit) Also, do any training before hand needed to pull of such a trick.
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Don't forget, Carpenter is a mad genius. He may be aware of our bugs, and have a backup plan.
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Don't forget, Carpenter is a mad genius. He may be aware of our bugs, and have a backup plan.
Cyanic 10th Nov 2018, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
+1 Flood the place, or the ground around it, put it in the red, then destroy it completely. There's some interdimensional shenanigans happening in that place and we're super dead because Carpenter is the worst
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:23 PM edit delete reply
Also, didn't Carpenter capture the Many? The psychic mass thing? That could be a big problem.
undeadDreamer 10th Nov 2018, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
The Many can't do jack to golems.
Limrix 10th Nov 2018, 11:33 PM edit delete reply
What if we found a place across the street and made a blood portal there, then extruded a blood battering ram straight out, and portal in blood from that? Given that we can extrude redstuff at arbitrary velocities, we could probably destroy the entire lab within a few seconds. Given that we don't know what's in the lab, that might not be a good idea, but it's Carpenter's stuff, so it's probably worth destroying.
ReikoLupus 11th Nov 2018, 8:09 AM edit delete reply
We can try XD.
If it doesn't work, then he already knows we can do it and is prepared for it. In that case, we would learn how much he knows about us.
If it Works... In be best case, Carpenter we'll drown XD.
If it Works at the beginning but we fail to execute it and Carpenter stops us... Well, we ruined it XD.
Some Random Guy 11th Nov 2018, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
This, although a good idea, must be prepared for. If we choose this course of action, we probably should do something along the lines of reconnaissance beforehand, so that we may find the weakest and strongest points of the building, whether he has pre-planned countermeasures put together for this happening (I slightly doubt that he planned against someone just dropping his building into a blood zone), etc.

Considering that this man is not an idiot, he’s probably taking a small bit of his time trying to figure out how we made the flesh walls, messed up the beast thingy under the building, and so forth, as they were majors points that aided us is kicking his ass the last time. I have full faith in us having all of the necessities for this plan, but we should probably scout out the building beforehand.

Also, if we were just to take the building into a massive blood portal, we would have to take into consideration how much blood is required, how long it would take to pump it out, how to hide it from plain sight, and if there are any innocents that may be involved in this.

EDIT: Wait, were we talking about Patton Thale’s place or the bunker we found? I thought we were doing the former, though I guess this SORTA fits with the latter.
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
The tradesmen don't know basically means a more powerful entity/force is involved. Definitely worth our investigation. Maybe we could ask if Carpenter has other plans or backup?
Some Random Guy 11th Nov 2018, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
Some Random Guy
You know, I wonder how much the question will cost, as to whether we ask *if* Carpenter has plans or *what* those plans are. I assume the latter will be more.
Sekwel 10th Nov 2018, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
Which, of course, bodes well for everyone.

I suppose there isn't much we need to ask; maybe something to the effect of "what sorts of forces make it hard for you to gather information?"

Could be very general, but we might get some idea of what we are up against without forcing them to sell an uncertain answer.
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
Good idea, but general questions will result in general answers. We may still not get the information we need, but there's no harm in asking.
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 4:17 AM edit delete reply
I was also warning of being too general in another comment. In this specific case, however, I think the best way to word this question would be, "What is the force, in your knowledge, which is most likely to be blocking you from that building?"

Even if that force ends up not being the right one, we gain something we can probably use. Or that we'd at least be happier knowing, rather than not.
ReikoLupus 11th Nov 2018, 8:12 AM edit delete reply
Asking this is a good idea.
If Carpenter is able to stop gods from seeing what he is doing, he is REALLY deep in this shit. In the worst case, he is working with another god.
We Might discover the potential dangers we'll face fighting him XD.
Skullrama 10th Nov 2018, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
We are sort of getting a lot of information from the Tradesmen for free here. I feel kinda bad about it actually. We should ask a question they can answer just so we can actually make a transaction and pay them for something.
The Chicken Guy 10th Nov 2018, 10:25 PM edit delete reply
I want to ask about that weird blue cactus we got from the warehouse. What is it, and what does it do?
Lunar Waffles 10th Nov 2018, 10:30 PM edit delete reply
Lunar Waffles
How about "what are the 3 worst ways to enter that "building"?" ... though they might not know that either come to think of it. What are Carpenters motives, what does he want out of his life? though i think the answer is just mad science without repercussions. x: um do they know a way we can make our yet to be bio-mechs work without Mine controlling it herself,That Mine can make with the Red,and having the pilot move it on their own. i give this one even odds
Cyanic 10th Nov 2018, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
I also wanna ask the Tradesmen if there are other ways to do/channel magic besides just rituals

and also how to make our own rituals. I mean someone made the safe bone armor ritual, I assume we could probably make our own ritual if we knew how and we dedicated the resources to do that

After that we rest and continue biomeching
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
While this is a topic worth pursuing, I would advise caution. The broader a scope we try to ask, we risk one of two things:
1) Increased price.
2) Diminished value of answer.
If we're going to ask about how to make rituals, we should present a general field of activity we want to affect. Something we want to start getting into magically speaking. Like making ourselves more ready for combat, keeping tabs on the city, etc. This would not be SO specific that we're basically asking about one ritual, but we would be narrowing it down a lot.
Pwzysk 10th Nov 2018, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Well that's new. I wonder if they can tell us why they can't get in there.

Aw, what if Carpenter is working with Nil somehow?
Waddle Dee 10th Nov 2018, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
Carpenter definitely has the history and the potential to support working with Nil. We know that he was once Nil's "strongest foothold", until he stopped sleeping entirely...according to Nil, anyways.

Perhaps he is hiding his building in nothingness? That would explain why the tradesmen can't access it. Hmm hm.
Limrix 10th Nov 2018, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
This building has Nil all over it. Especially the fact that the tradesmen straight up don't know what's behind the door. In general, the tradesmen are very well informed. The only subjects we've seen them consistently lack information on are Nil and ourselves.
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
One big problem with it being Nil (and I'm not objecting to the possibility)... that Nil is literally the concept of nothingness. We cannot fight nothing. We can only condemn more lives, more structures, more laws and factions and bonds, to his domain. While it is hypothetically possible to eradicate all of creation (affecting a heat death of the universe, for example), there is no conceptual way to banish the concept of Nothing from the universe.
Guest 11th Nov 2018, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Can we "be" Nil? I mean, Nil seems to be the personification of Nothing: an actual will assigned to it. I wonder if there is a way to "steal" that assignment - be the both the creating goddess of all that is... and all that isn't.
Limrix 10th Nov 2018, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
We have learned something important, and that is that we currently have time, a very precious resource. We should take advantage of this respite to train/gather information/make a plan (or five) on how to deal with Carpenter while we have the chance.
Waddle Dee 10th Nov 2018, 11:28 PM edit delete reply
That all being said, of course, I can only help but wonder what the Tradesmen mean when they say that we already have the answer to dispose of Carpenter without losing our friends or innocents. That seems to rule out the soul-shredder gun, at any rate - but just...what are they referring to? Thoughts appreciated, since we'll need all the ideas we can get for taking him on.
ReikoLupus 11th Nov 2018, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Maybe because we are already working in creating meat-mechs?
A remote controlled meat-mech, or an army of them, could fight Carpenter without us being in Danger XD.
Tych 11th Nov 2018, 12:18 AM edit delete reply
Ask what is stopping the tradesmen from knowing so at least we know what we are dealing with
Frission 11th Nov 2018, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
Far be it for me to be a proponent of the nuclear option, but I wonder if we could somehow collapse the subspace bubble carpenter's 'building' is currently existing in? That would pretty much be that.

..though without knowing who else is inside, that may be a Bad Idea.

Oh. Weirder idea.

Ask the Tradesman if there's any way to make peace with Arvin.
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 4:14 AM edit delete reply
This is an excellent idea: making peace. However, I have a more functional way to word the question. "What would it cost us to make peace with Arvin Carpenter?"

Here's my thinking: if it is impossible, then we will get that information anyway. But if we ask what it costs, then they cannot sell us an answer if no price would be enough. If we ask for the price, here's the benefits:
1) Your question is worded as "Is there a way?" They could answer with Yes. That would be bad, and a waste of whatever they charge for the answer. If they play nice, then we will know the way to make peace, but not the cost in money, materials, people, time, personal sacrifice, etc.
2) Asking what it costs will tell us if we're even willing to pay up. If it would be too costly to make peace with him, we might prefer to just take him out. What if they tell us we'd lose Michelle? What would Michelle think if we gave her that information?
3) The obvious benefit is that, even if they don't tell us how to make peace with him, we will be able to get our hands on whatever resources we need. And if it is something we already have, we can go into negotiations with the full awareness of what we can expect to lose.
fellow 11th Nov 2018, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
Would we even want to make peace with that evil man?
PurpleKetchup 11th Nov 2018, 5:24 AM edit delete reply
He's too petty to admit defeat and causes massive collateral everytime he tries something.
I don't think peace is in the menu, aside from the 'banish him in another dimension' flavour.
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
WELLLL... -evil grin-

We DO have a pocket dimension we could use.
ReikoLupus 11th Nov 2018, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
...Are you a genius?

Damn, I never thought of making him into an ally XD.
fellow 11th Nov 2018, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Do you remember how Carpenter sicced Nil on Macland, or how he exposed Finch to flesh-eating bacteria with sadistic glee? (

This is not someone we want to have walking free, and it's not someone we wanna be buddy buddy with.
WalkerOfSorrow 11th Nov 2018, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
fellow, I hear you, and I have this to say:

One, yes.

Boredone 11th Nov 2018, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
On a random thought, lets Ask the Tradesman what Thale can do with 'The Blood' that we haven't figured out to do with our own.
PurpleKetchup 11th Nov 2018, 5:27 AM edit delete reply
He got pretty experienced at turning his thralls into brainless exploding hulking monstrosities.
I think Mine can skip over that part of the skillset without looking back.
undeadDreamer 11th Nov 2018, 12:49 AM edit delete reply
1.Let's eat carpenter's building from the inside out when we finally go.

2.How are we doing on the biomech front?
Guost 11th Nov 2018, 1:08 AM edit delete reply
Arvin really hates magic interfering with his science projects, it seems.
Leah9572 11th Nov 2018, 3:54 AM edit delete reply
I want to point out that they specifically said that the sooner we try to stop him, the sooner Carpenter will try to enact his plan. Let's not immediately go after him while Thale is also still a threat.
Crestlinger 11th Nov 2018, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
So remaining from previously suggested are:
-asking about the effects of adding a note to the upgrading ritual
-the cost of identifying the unknown stuff from the bunker we have in our possession
-threats in the Ilworth power plant
-Bunker X's original purpose
-the number of entities asking questions about us or for/against us in the betting pool
-would they like some pancakes in trade for anything?
ReikoLupus 11th Nov 2018, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
Certainly, we still need to ask about the unknown stuff we got. There could be a lot of usefull stuff we simply CAN'T learn how to use by ourselves.
dasno 11th Nov 2018, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
How can we get edison to like us or trust us more?
Tinkerbill93 11th Nov 2018, 3:39 PM edit delete reply
Hello new to comic and/or forum and I've got a thought.

We should ask the tradesmen if there are any others we could/should add to the group as Allies.

Before the church it felt like our combat potential is a bit low, with more than half our Allies being non combatants, jury somewhere else and the three ghost girls being kids. Maybe mercs from the Deck, maybe other lab meat guys from shirai, maybe carpenter had an old enemy other than Nil who he worked with before but then stopped sleeping so he doesn't anymore
Guest 11th Nov 2018, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
... information on what is happening n there may be useful to trade?