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File 170626913202.png - (22.94KB , 600x400 , dungeoneer_ch9.png )
1081887 No. 1081887 ID: df47b5

We have something on the order of a week until this possible patron for my dungeon arrives for his tour, but we're making steady progress.

https://questden.org/wiki/Dungeoneer
Expand all images
>>
No. 1081888 ID: df47b5
File 170626923618.png - (37.63KB , 800x600 , extremely_safe_item_forging.png )
1081888

Hin and I are in the forge, working on turning the two items that possible patron - the son of the merchant banker in town - provided for use as demonstrations of my dungeon's crafting ingenuity. They're both hazardous, the fate twisting bezoar of a questing beast and a stone with a sickly radiance with the potential to warp whatever's exposed to it.

I'm trialing the use of some of Alkaline's treated slime as a protective garment against such things. Hin's blacksmithing outfit is adequate for the most part, but she's added some as well to avoid inhaling anything dangerous.

"Think I should wear this apron more often?" Hin asks me, voice slightly muffled. "Reisarf sure was filling out hers nicely, huh?"

"Hin," I say, "focus."

"Still waiting for things to get hot enough." Hin shrugs. "A chat on something irrelevant helps steady the nerves anyway." She looks at me again. "Did you get taller again?"

I sigh. "Yes, probably." I'm still cursed to be chunky and still accumulating mana with my Verdant Image.

"Dang Deem, I thought I was supposed to be the tall one. Don't make me start wearing heels!"

"You can go to the Orange Crags and turn back into a lizard if you're feeling intimidated by people being too tall." I offer.

"What, but then I might become too tall. Just saying, if I have to start looking up to Alkaline or Moriko or whoever too I'm not going to know what to think." She squints back at the irradiated stone in her tongs. "Think this is good to go."

I pull up my hood and we begin, Hin working the forge while I supply mana and occasional advice on the crafting and enchantment.
>>
No. 1081889 ID: df47b5
File 170626931217.png - (27.42KB , 750x650 , crafty_business.png )
1081889

We'd already planned out what items to make, and the work goes smoothly. An industrious extended day of smithing leaves us with two new magic items.

Morphic Lantern A lantern that mutates living creatures that soak in enough of its strange light. Sunlight helps undo the effects.

Maul of Misfortune A heavy hammer with a dark and eerie style. Slightly reduces Luck while carried. Significantly reduces Luck when unsheathed. Inflicts little physical damage, but each attack will reduce the victim's Luck. Likely to lead to an enemy's defeat in an unexpected manner.

And one unexpected bonus:

Curio - Crown's Burden: A dark pebble with a verdigrised crown. It's oddly heavy. Once per lunar month, a person and the ruler of the region it's used in (Deem) may touch this curio and attempt to transfer a single magical affliction to the ruler (Deem).

A curio was formed out of the bezoar remains. Interesting but somewhat niche. It might be useful if one of my denizens does get themselves badly cursed again, as my golem body is not very involved in the day to day running of my dungeon compared to my denizens. It might be useful in places where I'm less of an overwhelming presence too, for example Hin might be able to use it at the Orange Crags.

It's fairly useless for Moriko's current circumstances, as it might suppress her Mana Vacancy for a day or two but it'd return as that's a symptom of her circumstances.

It might also help with Alkaline's heavily cursed status, but I think she'd want to work through this on her own.

We have these new items, but I need results from their use.

Who should I give the hammer to?

Next what should I try the lantern on? I could try to capture some monsters to use it own, or have a volunteer from my denizens. I think Alkaline's had enough exposure to odd influences, but my denizens are tentatively in favour of trying it out.

Lastly, the curio will recharge before the visit, so I have one opportunity to try it during this week. Should I use it for anything?

Also suggest mutations for the tested individual or monsters with the lantern.
>>
No. 1081891 ID: 273c18

>>1081889
At first I was thinking Moriko should take the hammer because duh, hammerdin, but it debuffs the user so that's a bad item for a boss encounter. Hin could make some use of it of course, or if not that, we could give it to one of the more skilled golems. The debuff lasts a long time, right? Hitting an adventurer near the start of the dungeon would be optimal then, and putting the hammer on someone expendable is also a good idea. Maybe putting it on an aggressive golem would be best. Whatever can get in the most hits before dying horribly.

Hmm. I suppose the orange slime's frailty is not magical in nature, so we can't use it to make it healthier. Let's keep the curio in reserve to react to any upcoming circumstances.
I'm thinking mutate Chakarchelou a bit. ...hmm, would it be possible for mutations to become permanent if the lantern was used on something unstable like the orange slime? I'm wondering if we could turn it into something useful that way, and thus have it engage with the resurrection matrix or Alkaline's budding pseudo-resurrection.
>>
No. 1081893 ID: 864263

>>1081889
First thought for the lantern is a a lighthouse or focal for it to act as the sun in a area
>>
No. 1081894 ID: 56db77

>>1081891
Supporting the hammer golem near the entrance idea, luck drain early could be brutal.

As for the lantern, I'd say try it out on our wannabe dragon maybe he'll get wings
>>
No. 1081896 ID: 9a1e90

Hin has a pretty good luck stat to offset the hammer, plus she’s not quite as proud of her martial skills as Moriko who may consider the unlucky hammer undignified.
Can the homunculi be mutated?
-Imposing Stature: appears to grow in size, but actually is making the people around it smaller via spatial magic.
-Magnetic Moriko: The hammerai grows tough rocky protrusions at her wrists and ankles (like a certain dungeon master) with dense concentrations of the earth pulse. They can repel metal weapons and attract mana, while being tough enough for a quick parry.
>>
No. 1081897 ID: 1effd3

>>1081889
Use the lantenr on the Imp.

...On second thought that *could* end poorly.
>>
No. 1081912 ID: 5b2941

>>1081889
>It might also help with Alkaline's heavily cursed status, but I think she'd want to work through this on her own.
Maybe so, but you should mention it anyway or she's probably gonna accuse you of hiding it.

>>1081894
supporting this
>>
No. 1081914 ID: a7a180

Try using the hammer yourself, I wonder if you can cause an overflow error with your Luck stat.

You should clearly point it at Moriko until Hin has to look up to her too. Serves her right for sassing.
>>
No. 1081935 ID: f93fe1
File 170633321464.png - (25.76KB , 800x550 , today_am_hammerai.png )
1081935

>At first I was thinking Moriko should take the hammer because duh, hammerdin, but it debuffs the user so that's a bad item for a boss encounter.
>Moriko may consider the unlucky hammer undignified.
Moriko has been unfortunate lately, so worsening that may not be wise. And she does take her hammer skills very seriously.

>The debuff lasts a long time, right? Hitting an adventurer near the start of the dungeon would be optimal then, and putting the hammer on someone expendable is also a good idea. Maybe putting it on an aggressive golem would be best. Whatever can get in the most hits before dying horribly.
>Supporting the hammer golem near the entrance idea, luck drain early could be brutal.
This seems like it'll give the best value. I'll give it to the remaining basic brute, as the maul is large enough for its use. One of the homunculi would be more skillful in using the hammer but this should have more staying power.

It'll need some work to ensure invaders can't steal the hammer off the defeated golem, but hopefully should provide an early wake up call to them. Bad luck, or them slowing down to restore their luck both work to my advantage.

>Let's keep the curio in reserve to react to any upcoming circumstances.
I don't really need more curses I suppose. I will keep it in case of emergency.

>Would it be possible for mutations to become permanent if the lantern was used on something unstable like the orange slime?
It has the potential to become permanent for anyone if there's no rejection.

I very much doubt it'll help the orange slime's tenuous existence but when I mention the possibility to Hin, she's keen to see if there's a outside chance it'll strengthen the ailing creature.

Its slime immediately starts blistering on contact with the lantern's radiance, so I terminate the experiment as Hin coos over the poor thing apologetically.

I warned everyone not to get attached...

>First thought for the lantern is a lighthouse or focal for it to act as the sun in a area
There's a few things I might do to turn it into an installation, but that'll need further renovations. I'll keep it portable for now.

>Can the homunculi be mutated?
No. I could make a mutable homunculus but that'd need some refinement of an existing one. The golems incorporating plants would mutate however.

>As for the lantern, I'd say try it out on our wannabe dragon maybe he'll get wings
>Use the lantern on the Imp... On second thought that could end poorly.
>You should clearly point it at Moriko until Hin has to look up to her too. Serves her right for sassing.
I am hearing a push for Chakarchelou in the hope of draconic mutations, but let me lay out the full set of options.

There's my denizens: Chakarchelou, Alkaline, Doyle, Hin, Merud, Moriko, Moriko's imp, Reisarf and Stargazer. Sadly I have very limited monster stock as within my more numerous denizens, only the slimes and the woody golems would be affected. Layering more things on the slimes probably isn't wise with Alkaline's current condition. The cake mimic isn't technically a denizen of mine but I do have it available as well.

I could also set out to capture some monsters to mutate them. The local varieties that have been discovered are giant frogs, giant stick insects, mosquito fairies, gorebulb spiders (a spider that can reanimate its dinner), spinning strangleroots (a choking plant capable of limited flight), slime spitters, the giant slime spitters from the Orange Crags and a type of flying jellyfish that might fission.

You can still suggest mutations too.
>>
No. 1081936 ID: a7a180

First choice is Moriko with Imposing Stature or just imposing stature.
Another idea, though, is to catch a few mosquito fairies and mutate them into honey-producing pollinators for your underground garden. Maybe they'll start to suck on fruit juice. Maybe the blood of adventurers will still be their preference.
>>
No. 1081938 ID: 99f29a

Create a frog-king.
>>
No. 1081942 ID: 273c18

>>1081935
>It'll need some work to ensure invaders can't steal the hammer off the defeated golem
Would that be so bad? They'd be wielding what is effectively a cursed item, unless they're hitting something they need to make unlucky. It'll take a while before they reach a boss room, which means they'll have to deal with the extra luck debuff of wielding the thing. If you mean you don't want them to take it if they win, well, sure I guess.

>mutate?
Mutate a giant stick insect.
>mutation?
Turns into a rock-camouflaged insect instead. Same overall behavior of course.

For general mutations, how about:
extra eyes
longer limbs
longer hair
longer torso
longer nose
fur
frog skin
scaly skin
tough/bark skin
green pigment
blue pigment
red pigment
stone-colored pigment
horns
sharp teeth
claws
cat ears
>>
No. 1081947 ID: 2eb3cc

The cake mimic could turn a different flavor
>>
No. 1081987 ID: 2409f2

Could you mutate plants with it? Mutating the vies that grow in the thaumatorium has merits. I'm betting with a few short lifetimes of selective mutation you could make a vine that grows symbiotically on your clay golems.
>>
No. 1082011 ID: 116d18

Send a party to bring back weak monsters to test, but still use it on Chakarchelou.

-mutation suggestions-

Evolve- For better or worse, better adapt the creature to its immediate environment.

Devolve- For better or worse, revert the creature to a more primal form.

Hybridize- Creature gains traits of another type of creature. Selection is random, but nearby creatures are more likely.

Purify blood- Creatures who are already hybrids become pure blooded of one of their mixtures, at random. Non-Hybrid creatures have any genetic errors fixed, generally making them hardier, healthier, and longer lived.

Aberration- Creatures body becomes unstable and grows and loses limbs at random permanently.

Taurify- Creature gains a tauric body, even if that doesn't make sense.

Hypertrophy- Creature gains a second layer of muscle all over their body, making them super bulky, along with an extra heart and enlarged lungs. They also eat three times as much.

Big head- Head gets really big, with all the drawbacks and benefits that might entail.

Octopus- Creature obtains a random number of tentacles. The tentacles have a mind of their own, however, and cannot be controlled like a normal limb.

Ass Blast- The creatures farts are now explosive, literally, thanks to a fire gland growing within the rectum.
>>
No. 1082013 ID: f2320a

>>1081935
for better or worse insane amounts of worms and insects have adapted to survive inside the body of other creatures. Symbiotically, parasitically or mutualistically in relation to there host due to the extremely fast comparably generations of the species compared to there host.
Wood digestion
disease resistance caused by guest organisms.

The light has a tendency to make stagnant sources of water proliferate and mutate extremely. Due to the half minute to minute long space between generations and the exponential growth turns water into this slow flowing ooze of competing or cooperating bacteria, archaea or eucariota and unknown life in this strange primal ooze forming odd lumps of colonies and mats covering every surface under the surface slowly bubbling away
>>
No. 1082115 ID: bb9468
File 170660121467.png - (24.64KB , 800x500 , he_is_growing_stronger.png )
1082115

>The cake mimic could turn a different flavor
I need to show these items are powerful and useful, not pull party tricks.

>Send a party to bring back weak monsters to test, but still use it on Chakarchelou.
Chakarchelou seems the best option of my denizens. I stirred up the earth-pulse with Churn the Earth back when I was in town, so this is a good time to encourage the growth of monsters. My quasidragon will hopefully see results in a matter of days rather than weeks.

He happily sprawls next to the lantern after I direct my attendant golem to place it with the rest of his little hoard.

>I'm betting with a few short lifetimes of selective mutation you could make a vine that grows symbiotically on your clay golems.
I can already make golems with symbiotic plants though?

>Catch a few mosquito fairies.
>Create a frog-king.
>Mutate a giant stick insect.
It's about time to revisit the area that was formerly the devil bear's territory. I'm not hearing any strong contenders, so we will just settle for what can be easily caught.
>>
No. 1082116 ID: bb9468
File 170660128940.png - (37.95KB , 800x500 , expedition_leaders.png )
1082116

It'll be an overnight trip at the minimum to get there and back. Only Alkaline, Moriko, Doyle and myself have been out to that frog haunted spot, and Doyle wouldn't do a great job of leading a second trip there.

Alkaline insists she could go out there, despite her extremely cursed status, and wants some revenge on the frogs that take out so many of her slimes the last time they invaded. Perhaps the responsibility would do her good, but I don't know if she could keep a cool head.

I could go but while I'm stronger in this form, my Verdant Idol means I'm likely to attract monsters keen to claim the energy I've stockpiled. It might help find monsters, but also impede making a clean escape. The frogs would have only multiplied since I killed the top predator in the area too.

Finally Moriko is a good fighter, but might struggle with finding and trapping monsters, and her Mana Vacancy will leave her more vulnerable should she run into anything strange.

I'd like more of my denizens to learn the area, which means sending either Merud, Hin or Reisarf and Stargazer along. Some fresh air might do Merud good, Hin has been eager to have a more active role, and Reisarf and Stargazer have a good eye for unusual phenomena.
>>
No. 1082118 ID: 273c18

>>1082116
Alkaline can go. Pair her with Hin since she wants to as well.
Alkaline might make another mistake but that's how you learn. She needs as much hands-on experience as we can get her, to be honest.
>>
No. 1082120 ID: a7a180

Hin, Moriko, and Reisarf.
>>
No. 1082126 ID: eeb2cc

Moriko can slay hordes of frogs easily. Leave the catching to Merud. Reisarf’s strong spells and keen eye could spot unusual phenomena of benefit too, and his magic missiles are good at taking out weak swarms like fairies and frogs.
>>
No. 1082129 ID: 5ebd37

Alkaline and Hin, maybe Reisarf and Stargazer as well.
Alkaline should get the opportunity to prove herself capable, and Hin will provide encouragement while also keeping an eye on her.
>>
No. 1082174 ID: 1effd3

>>1082116
slime mecha
>>
No. 1082271 ID: 572e85

Alkaline, Hin, and let Alkaline pick a wizard.
>>
No. 1082329 ID: cc7fc8
File 170691093201.png - (38.65KB , 900x500 , alkalhin_expedition_away.png )
1082329

>Alkaline can go. Pair her with Hin since she wants to as well.
>Alkaline might make another mistake but that's how you learn. She needs as much hands-on experience as we can get her, to be honest.
That's true, I just hope she doesn't end up running other people ragged because of mistakes she makes again.

>Alkaline should get the opportunity to prove herself capable, and Hin will provide encouragement while also keeping an eye on her.
Hin's always been good with her, so I think this should work out well.

>And let Alkaline pick a wizard.
No, I don't want to cut my manpower down too much.

I send Hin and Alkaline on their way to fight frogs and snatch monsters. They should be back part way into the final week before Olan's arrival.
>>
No. 1082330 ID: cc7fc8
File 170691099217.png - (37.76KB , 750x600 , merud_misses_his_space toilet.png )
1082330

It still has a lot of polish to be done, but the day after Alkaline and Hin leave, I'm able to update the Resurrection Matrix to include the statues of my denizens.

"We still need to make more space, and they're still synchronising, but here's the icons." I say. "They might closely resemble you, or they might be more abstract. They should change and pick up details over time, particularly as everyone has more near death experiences." I say.

"Is Reisarf a slug?" Moriko asks.

"I think it's a cocoon." Merud says.

"Why are you a cocoon Reisarf?" I say. "Have you been thinking of turning into a butterfly?"

"Mmm I don't think so? That'd be interesting though?" Reisarf hums vaguely. "Oh, or maybe it's an egg sac?"

"It's not an egg sac." I say authoritatively.

"Oh... but that'd be interesting too?"

I'll note Reisarf down as fine with becoming some sort of creature.

"Where's your statue?" Merud asks.

"I don't need one." I say.
>>
No. 1082331 ID: cc7fc8
File 170691102528.png - (25.27KB , 800x500 , a_chungus_of_chakarchelous.png )
1082331

Chakarchelou's unfinished statue is a surprise though. He was on the cusp of evolving and this has been enough to push him over the edge. Well done Chakarchelou! I can feel a few paths he might take.

Psuedodragon: A tiny dragon-like creature capable of poor flight. A keen sense for treasure. Arguably the most refined in terms of draconic essence but it doesn't really play to his other strengths.
Two-Headed Quasidragon: A quasidragon that has mutated a second head. Twice the biting, twice the fire breathing! A response to the Morphic Lantern, and likely to develop along mutable and hydra-like lines.
Cave Wurm: A serpentine lizard with stubby limbs that has focused on its deadly breath and tunnelling through caves. Likely to become further cave adapted.
Bull Wyvern: A landbound creature with powerful limbs and an armoured head. By far the most physically powerful, and likely to develop further along this theme.
>>
No. 1082334 ID: a94f5d

>>1082331
Chaka is perfect as he is.
>>
No. 1082335 ID: dc4bad

>>1082331
Two heads are famously better than one, and by similar reasoning the possibility of more heads in the future is only a net positive!
Also Hydras are just cool.

Also also, mutability in an evolution line gives the most diverse options over time, a handy trait to have. Though I suppose with the morphic lantern we might always have the ability to branch into a mutative line whenever the choice comes up.
>>
No. 1082337 ID: 5b2941

>>1082331
hmm, too bad the only flying version is tiny. I guess the two-headed one then?
But how does it work, tho? Does each head think independently, or are they both the same person? Would reaction times be affected if muscles under one head's control had to react to something seen only by the other?
>>
No. 1082338 ID: a7a180

>his other strengths
Being adorable is one of his strengths! Nudge him towards a pseudodragon. He may become much smaller in the short term, but one day you can grow his refined essence from a pseudodragon into a truedodragon. Also, the treasure sense is immediately useful in finding rare resources, and you could probably even convince people he's tame enough to take into town.
On the other hand, bull wyvern would show immediate returns and be just as mighty in its own, quasi-draconic way.
>>
No. 1082339 ID: 99f29a

>>1082334
No he isn't. Nurture his dreams! He wants to grow!

Let's go Pseudodragon. It's boring for now but it's a step closer to being a true dragon with all the exciting opportunities it brings.
>>
No. 1082341 ID: 5ebaa3

Does he have an opinion? Or are these representative of choices he's considering?
>>
No. 1082342 ID: 1effd3

>>1082331
Hydra-Dragon
also give shim the ability to be multi-elementl if he wants to. he can still evolve flight later too
>>
No. 1082344 ID: 12b116

Cave wurm, give us longboi
>>
No. 1082351 ID: d01b00

Strong chonkier boy, beginnings of horns? Bull Wyvern that boy up. If thats a nothing vote tho, swap it to Two-Headed
>>
No. 1082352 ID: 031458

Pseudodragon! Bring him closer to draconic Majesty!

Tiny size aside, he'll still have a true dragon's form. Further evolutions, mutations, and changes will all be much more likely to develop his draconity. He may never have a chance like this again!
>>
No. 1082353 ID: 99ca7b

Two heads are better than one!
>>
No. 1082356 ID: 124485

>>1082331
Bull Wyvern!
>>
No. 1082357 ID: 5ebd37

Pseudodragon, follow your dreams little guy
>>
No. 1082358 ID: d6a776

long wurm is loooong
>>
No. 1082359 ID: 9f158c

>>1082331
Definitely vibing with the two-headed quasidragon path, it sounds like we'll get lots of options going down that route. Also, two heads for headpatting.
>>
No. 1082360 ID: 273c18

>>1082330
Oh we definitely need to mutate Reisarf then. We can expect the lamp to give him/her some eldritch traits. Actually maybe we should talk to them about it first. Would the lamp help move things along, or would it be a separate, potentially pollutive influence compared to their natural bond?

>>1082331
So, we've got a flying dragon path, a hydra path, a noodle path, and a big lizard path.
I think the winged form is too small, it looks like too much of a tradeoff. We don't exactly have a good style of dungeon for it anyway. It would be useful for hunting outdoors though, and... hmm, I guess if we had slightly bigger rooms he could fly a bit. Might be a long term investment, since it makes him weaker until his next evolution. Or just if we want a flying monster for the dungeon since we currently don't.

Hydra is interesting... your dragon lost last time because adventurers learned to predict it, right? A path based around mutation could allow for him to adapt to challenges quickly and avoid that problem. Even if it wouldn't allow him to mutate during a fight, you could use enhancement to swing his various mutations this way or that, to mix things up. It's a flexible option.

Noodle is a classic. Perhaps too classic, didn't you do that last time?

Big lizard is certainly strong. That might fit his current role pretty well, which is to be a miniboss to expose adventurers' strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't feel very interesting though, where do we go from there?

I'll pick Hydra.

On a separate note, I wonder if the beastmaster who was in town could tell us anything about the orange slime?
>>
No. 1082363 ID: 16993b

>>1082331
Hydra seems like too much of a risk. If both heads are independent, then they'll fight for control of the body, resulting in them stumbling around. And if the heads hate each other, then they'll never cooperate, which is bad when you need them to actually work together during fights.

Psuedodragon seems to be too small to be effective. Not only that, but why would you want a flying creature in a dungeon that has a ceiling it can accidentally crash into? And if he gets bigger later on, his wings would be useless because he'd never have enough room to get off the ground!

Bull Wyvern would be a good powerhouse to have around, but we'd need to specifically make all of our rooms bigger so that he can move around without getting stuck somewhere.

Cave Wurm seems like it is the best one to choose. Being good at tunneling will be helpful and with our dungeon being a cave, he'll be able to thrive as he becomes better cave adapted later on!
>>
No. 1082377 ID: 12b116

>>1082344
If wurm doesn't have a chance I'm changing my second choice to wyvern, then pseudodragon
>>
No. 1082378 ID: 08d6dc

Cave Wurm
>>
No. 1082379 ID: a7a180

>>1082363
We should be making all our rooms bigger anyway for all sorts of bigger minions, as Hin helpfully highlighted.
>>
No. 1082385 ID: 5ebd37

>>1082357
I would add a second choice of wurm
>>
No. 1082386 ID: 855004

Pseudodragon or cave wurm. Wyvern is cool but it has no votes already.
>>
No. 1082464 ID: 86d8fb

Cave Wurm seems to be the most useful in a cave dungeon.
>>
No. 1082489 ID: efbac9

>>1082335
This
>>
No. 1082492 ID: 75b262

We should choose Cave Wurm and name it Shai-hulud
>>
No. 1082550 ID: 059779
File 170712432562.png - (37.22KB , 650x750 , GRONK.png )
1082550

>I think the winged form is too small, it looks like too much of a tradeoff.
True, while it might help him gather treasure, he's already struggled to hold his own in a fight and this might make it difficult for him to progress further.

>Hydra seems like too much of a risk. If both heads are independent, then they'll fight for control of the body, resulting in them stumbling around. And if the heads hate each other, then they'll never cooperate.
It is definitely an unpredictable option, and he does have a boisterous personality which might lead to friction.

>Cave wurm, give us longboi
"Chakarchelou, you're going to knock me down!" I complain as my former quasidragon rears up against me, putting his little claws on my golem body's shoulders.

"Gronk!" Chakarchelou says, aggressively presenting the underside of his chin.

"Chakarchelou!" I sigh. I scratch my overgrown lizard's chin. I will permit this though, he deserves some recognition for his hard work.

"Ohhh, he's going to be super popular." Reisarf murmurs.

----------------------------------------
Chakarchelou
Lvl 2 Cave Wurm (Lvl 1 => 2)

----------------------------------------
Power: C=>B
Vitality: B=>A
Accuracy: D
Speed: D
Wits: C
Skill: E
Spirit: C=>B
Luck: C

Deem's first companion in this era, demanding extra chin scratches for his excellent progress. A cave dwelling lizard on the path to becoming a dragon. He favours the depths he originally sprang from.

----------------------------------------
Detected Abilities
----------------------------------------
Dragon Blood: Chakarchelou has a small amount of dragon blood, giving him a boost to his physical attributes, mana regeneration and honing his draconic qualities if he is allowed to hoard gold. With a large hoard, he will grow permanently stronger.

UPDATED - Torch Breath: Chakarchelou can breath a cloud of choking smoke and burning sparks or a narrow, short jet of more intense flame. He can't use it immediately in a fight as he needs a while to stoke his flame. He can keep inhaling to charge up a more powerful version but cannot bite whole doing so and can potentially be interrupted.

NEW - Worm Breath: Chakarchelou has mutated to hork up a mass that adheres to a surface and turns into a tentacle that'll grab at things nearby. Chakarchelou can't use this frequently without eating to replenish his supply.

UPDATED - Slick Scales: Armour with a small chance of resisting hostile magic. Chakarchelou can easily squeeze through tight places, deflect poorly aimed blows and slip free of clingy effects.

Slime Hoarder: Chakarchelou's tougher depending on how much slime he has with him. Based on the nature of the slime he's hoarding, Chakarchelou can slightly tweak his abilities such as making his Torch Breath sticky or making his Slick Scales rubbery.
----------------------------------------

It looks like he has benefited from the Morphic Lantern's light, though that alternate breath is a little strange. Other than that, nothing too surprising. His breath has some more versatility, he's a little better in tunnels and he's physically grown quite a lot. Burrowing might be a possibility eventually, but that'll need more work.

I have my golem gather up his shed skin.

Gained a Quasidragon Molt.
>>
No. 1082551 ID: 059779
File 170712446001.png - (30.77KB , 650x800 , dawn_of_the_final_week.png )
1082551

>Oh we definitely need to mutate Reisarf then. We can expect the lamp to give him/her some eldritch traits. Actually maybe we should talk to them about it first. Would the lamp help move things along, or would it be a separate, potentially pollutive influence compared to their natural bond?
It might be worth considering when the lamp's next available. My Churn the Earth ends this week though, so it'll take much longer to see any mutation from it. It's not a guarantee we'd see anything 'eldritch' but I would not expect any destructive interference.

>On a separate note, I wonder if the beastmaster who was in town could tell us anything about the orange slime?
It's an extremely fragile slime somehow created from a cursed residue that somehow had all its curse potential forcefully extracted, all done while I was under the effect of a nightmare trap. Unless we found someone with significant specialised knowledge and practical experience such as a slime breeder or some sort of nightmare alchemist, there isn't the slightest chance anyone can stabilise it.

We only have about a week until Olan's arrival. This week my Heart will be getting moved to its new location, which is the only chamber remaining to be dug out fully, and it will be secured by the two keys placed in the Slime Lair and Thaumatorium. We've had some delays and Alkaline's slime lair has ended up undersized due to the need to seal off the green thumb spores. Alkaline and Hin are out on their expedition but I wouldn't worry about them being late until at least another two days.

To make sure we have enough time to get everything done, we'll only focus on two activities this week.

----------------------------------------
Final Week Actions - Pick Two
----------------------------------------
Lizard Lair: Refurbish the old Heart Chamber as a proper lair for Chakarchelou. A completed lair will boost Chakarchelou's strength. The lair will be usable as a room for Chakarchelou should I not do this, it just won't grant any benefit.

New Room: There is a new room between the hallway and the Thaumatorium I haven't given any purpose to yet. Perhaps I should use it as another creature lair, or a study or workshop?

Hallway Works: I have two fairly bare hallways following the Golem Totem at the moment (the statuary was a casualty of the frog invasion), perhaps they could do with a special feature or trap?

Finale Embellishments: Work on something to add to my new Heart Chamber that will work well with my final guardians to make them more memorable or threatening. This space will eventually get converted into a normal room so it has to keep that in mind unless I Delve to relocate the entire room instead.

Exterior Works: I have the bridge to my dungeon but I can start expanding outwards and engage in some landscaping. This will give me slightly more advance warning of invaders too.

Baths: Divert some excavation effort towards digging out a larger, more private and more comfortable bath rather than the regular bath and the Potent Residue health soak that currently occupy a corner of the Thaumatorium.

MORE Mana: While I am not passing out, I have just expended a great deal of mana on item crafting. I think with some work I will have accumulated enough power in my Verdant Image to cast a single dungeon spell that way, allowing me a final Delve or other such thing.

Curse Breaker: I probably need to lose some bulk. I should put some effort towards breaking the curse from the Orange Crags. If Alkaline will listen, maybe she could do with some instruction too.

Orange Crags Connection: Hin gets a considerable enhancement at the crags. I have the spatial anomaly linking the place to my dungeon and a wizard and her starspawn companion with specialities in spatial magic. This could be worth investigating to power up my blacksmith.

Encounter Design: I should put some thought into how I station some of my denizens about the dungeon now the layout is getting more complex, update some of their equipment and livery, and rehearse Olan's inspection to ensure it all goes smoothly.

Material Science: Between Alkaline's new slimes, Reisarf's material blending spell and Hin's enhanced smithing, there's materials I should put to use about the dungeon.

Green Thumb: My dungeon needs more plants, and I should use the rest of the of the green thumb spores! I should put my existing plants in more places: the oreberry bush, bomb plant, the sticky bomb seed, and the kindly mushrooms. I should see any other plants I can easily gather, as the slime-adapted plants from the crags and the strangleroots.

Golem Guidance: Merud's been run ragged doing research, and maintaining and repairing damaged golems. A number of them have deviated from a consistent baseline. Given Olan's interest in a golem commission, it may pay to check on things.
>>
No. 1082553 ID: 273c18

>>1082551
>some sort of nightmare alchemist
There are TWO skilled alchemists in town. Yes, one of them hates you, but this is a unique challenge that they will at least be interested in.

>what do?
Green Thumb to use up the spores and reclaim that space so you can finish Alkaline's room. It's the least impressive part of your dungeon right now so let's fix it.
Golem Guidance since it's Olan-related.
>>
No. 1082555 ID: a7a180

Time to tidy up the dungeon. First, break your curse Deem. Then, check in with Merud.
>>
No. 1082557 ID: eeb2cc

Put the chicken leg down, Deem. Break that curse!
Then, remember the way he looked at Hin’s enchantment in town? Form the orange crags connection for when she gets back.
>>
No. 1082577 ID: 0441fc

>>1082551
Green Thumb and Golem Guidance
>>
No. 1082601 ID: 5b2941

>>1082553
>>1082577
I'll have to agree with these two. Tidy up the loose ends.
>>
No. 1082634 ID: 5ebd37

Green Thumb and Golem Guidance, though Orange Crags does sound promising
>>
No. 1082657 ID: 124485

Lizard Lair to give Chak a boost with his new form.

And we should help Merud with Golem Guidance. He could use some assistance with how much he's been run ragged.
>>
No. 1082672 ID: 2ee613

Green Thumb and Encounter Design.

The artifacts were made are intriguing and useful but lack "pizazz". It's really important that we look like we have our stuff together for our investor. Our denizens and our dungeon have grown, new encounters need to be put together. This is doubly true if we also go green thumb, as we'll need to integrate the plants, a things we really need to do anyway since we're going the verdant route.
>>
No. 1082674 ID: 58dd24

Exterior Works, first impressions are important, and our front door remains so shitty. More warning would be good too, but there is not going to be a more important moment to have a better entrance than when you are expecting a visitor you want to impress.

Curse breaking would also be wise. you neglect your own health too much.
>>
No. 1082701 ID: a207b8

>>1082551
Encounter Design, to make sure everything looks good for Olan.

Golem Guidance, because of Olan's interest in golems.
>>
No. 1082740 ID: 508591

First spend some time with Merud. Then work on breaking the curse. Can Alkaline do that?
>>
No. 1082745 ID: f520c5

>>1082551

A checkup on Merud seems prudent, and the longer we let the curse fester, the worse it'll get, so I say Golem Guidance and Curse Breaker
>>
No. 1082750 ID: a3931e

>>1082601
I agree, we should tidy up the loose ends. Let's do Green Thumb and Golem Guidance.
>>
No. 1082786 ID: bbce81

Oh, so many options. Hmm. I think it's best to look for actions that serve multiple ends at once.

Material Science: When you met Olan last, you told him that obtaining and refining materials from your dungeon's surroundings was your major bottleneck in terms of projects. This demonstrates progress on that issues AND also involves making your dungeon nicer and more impressive, so two birds with one stone, there.

Curse Breaker: Showing up to the meeting cursed is... probably not the best impression to give. Don't forget he saw or heard about you getting drunk last time, so you don't want to establish a pattern of being frequently, er, out of sorts.

It also gives you a chance to (hopefully) work together with Alkaline one something, which could hopefully help some with the current issues between you and her. Again, two birds with one stone.
>>
No. 1082848 ID: 2ffbb3
File 170738939257.png - (36.57KB , 720x720 , golems_n_gardens.png )
1082848

>There are TWO skilled alchemists in town. Yes, one of them hates you, but this is a unique challenge that they will at least be interested in.
They didn't know how to meddle in the stuff of dreams last time I checked.

And she doesn't hate me, she's just a cranky old lizard labouring under the delusion I'm some sort of disaster witch and hole-dwelling degenerate.

>Curse Breaker: Showing up to the meeting cursed is... probably not the best impression to give. Don't forget he saw or heard about you getting drunk last time, so you don't want to establish a pattern of being frequently, er, out of sorts.
It was one time!

>Work on breaking the curse. Can Alkaline do that?
No, she can't go around yanking curses off things.

>Curse breaking would also be wise. You neglect your own health too much.
I'm perfectly healthy outside of the terrifying split in my very being that slowly sucks away any strength and semblance of life I gather to myself!

>Green Thumb to use up the spores and reclaim that space so you can finish Alkaline's room. It's the least impressive part of your dungeon right now so let's fix it.
It's one of my larger room, and at least moss and algae has done a good job of colonising it due to the slimes and leftover spores. Still, with the rate Alkaline has been making slimes, bigger probably is better.

>And we should help Merud with Golem Guidance. He could use some assistance with how much he's been run ragged.
>Golem Guidance, because of Olan's interest in golems.
Merud has been left to fend for himself a bit too long, and given Olan's interest in a golem commission, yes I probably should try to see that we put our best foot forward. At a minimum it'll give him a little bit of a break from the more onerous parts of maintaining my dungeon's roster of golem.

We should tidy up the loose ends. Let's do Green Thumb and Golem Guidance.
Golems and gardens it is!

Reisarf and Stargazer were very effective at corralling the green thumb spores when we first mined into the cavity, so I go up to their quarters in the hidden valley to see if they could provide a repeat performance.

It smells like eggs up in Reisarf's little yard.
>>
No. 1082849 ID: 2ffbb3
File 170738951352.png - (38.42KB , 720x720 , dream_prophecy_averted.png )
1082849

In the absence of my ogre, Reisarf seems she's making an attempt at being one. My alienist is both animal and mineral, and in unusual abundance. She's horned, crystal limbed, chunky, and extremely floofy. A slim Stargazer's contribution to this is poking her partner's new horns. I send my attendant golem to fetch the scanning lens.

"Deem, good morning." Reisarf says cheerily. "Can you help, I can't get my hat on!"

Ah, so Reisarf's bigger worry about all this is those horns that prevent wearing her hat.

"Reisarf, you're enormous. What happened?" I say.

"Oh, yesterday we tried to make a better mana-storing crystal with the cauldron salt and some of Stargazer's jelly. It was better, but still not very good, and took a lot of mana to do. So we decided to put some mana in it and see if it would lose any over time. That was.. late last night?" Reisarf looks at Stargazer for verification. Stargazer keeps patting the horn. "Very late, so that was today too." Reisarf says. "The moon was bright, but it was very cloudy, so we went to bed to make an early start on some other things today. Eating all the eggs!"

"You should be more careful about your health." I say to Reisarf.

"Don't worry, we're going to have a nap this afternoon."

""No, I- never mind. I thought Stargazer would be the one to try the eggs?" I say.

"Why would Stargazer do it?" Reisarf tilts her head in confusion. "Did you have an idea? I think we have a few left..."

"Sorry, I'm distracting you. Please continue."

"I ate a lot of eggs, but I was still hungry, so I ate the mana-salt-jelly-crystal and this happened." Reisarf says. "I feel really strong!" Her stomach gurgles. "I think I need a second breakfast though."

>The longer we let the curse fester, the worse it'll get.
I've changed my mind. That's two of my denizens who've turned into heavyweights by imitating me now.

I'm going to see Merud about the golems, and break this curse! But first, my golem comes back with the lens. Let's see what exactly Reisarf has done to herself...

----------------------------------------
Reisarf Silen
Lvl 3 Human(?) Alienist (Lvl 2=>3)

----------------------------------------
Power: E=>C
Vitality: D=>E
Accuracy: E
Speed: C
Wits: A
Skill: C=>B
Spirit: A
Luck: C

A magical prodigy wielding a chimerical staff, eyes opened to the lore of the outer spheres and ears listening to the secrets of the depths. Magic is a part of her, and her spell channels have outstanding capacity and processing speed. However, she is fragile and her accuracy is abysmal. Although you're strong or clever enough, you don't really need to aim?

----------------------------------------
Detected Abilities
----------------------------------------
Passivity: Is it from staring unblinking into the eye of eternity or just her nature? Reisarf is extraordinarily laid back. She is immune to fear and resists all mind influencing effects.

Spawnpact: Reisarf is bonded to Stargazer and she has tutored her in the destructive and alien principles known to the Far Ones. It draws upon their understanding of distance, space and the illusion of form as well as bizarre spells drawing on the elements they have contaminated: shadow and water. Since these principles are difficult for a human mind to understand, Reisarf relies heavily on rote spells in battle, and has increased difficulty casting without Stargazer's aid.

UPDATED - Volatilised Biology (Secondary Storage): While female, Reisarf's body is a secondary reserve of mana that's is able to store a large amount of mana at the cost of some physical distortion. Such energetic forces have made her more physically capable but not particularly durable, with this effect scaling the more mana she has stockpiled.

NEW - Crystal Plague: Excess mana stored from Reisarf's Volatilised Biology accumulate as crystalline growths. If Reisarf is highly crystallised, it will affect her surroundings as well. The crystal is relatively fragile.

Rote Spells:
Stray Illume: A scattershot-style blast of magic missiles.
Gazerbeam: A magical laser. Power is enhanced when channelled through Stargazer.
Starlight Destroyer: A spell of full power destruction. Somewhat difficult to cast.
Spatial Warp: Teleports Reisarf several feet from her current position in a direction in line of sight. Can be automatically activated with a high probability of success when attacked. The exit point is difficult to predict and its disorientating to use.
Evil Eye: A paralysing curse that breaks the enemy's concentration and interferes with their movement.
Curse of Formlessness: A curse that attacks a creature's definition of its own shape, causing weakness and loss of coordination. On a spectacular success, they are transformed into a slime-like creature.
Spatial Extrusion: Creates extra space, making an area larger. A spatial extrusion that would extend solid material instead fills the area with dark water that defies gravity. The space collapses violently when cancelled.

Ritual Spells:
Matter Virus: A spell that mingles features of one material with another, creating a hybrid material with some of the properties of both.

----------------------------------------
Special Equipment
----------------------------------------
Stargazer: A chimerical staff - a shapechanging farspawn that acts as her companion and a spell focus. She can move on her own to defend her in battle and resupply Reisarf's mana.

Potential Void: A light-edged sphere of darkness, ripe with possibility. It improves the gathering of mana when the wielder is experiencing new things and performing activities with a large number of potential outcomes.

----------------------------------------
New Ability
----------------------------------------
Spell Twister: Reisarf's magic is an extension of her body. She can convert an ongoing Rote Spell she has cast or one still in-flight to a different Rote Spell, or directly decompose a shed crystal into a Rote Spell.

OR

Perpetual Resonance: Reisarf's life resonates with magic. A single spell that is cast on or kept near her can be sustained indefinitely, though high power spells will cause strain. This might be able to scale to multiple spells with practice.

----------------------------------------

It seems Churning the Earth was one of my better drunken decisions. My denizens are getting very strong. My best guess with these crude tools would be Reisarf eating those me-mimicking eggs allowed her to manifest a debased form of my Gigant Mode which then adapted to the mana-bearing crystals and was subsumed into upgrading what was her Secondary Storage.

"I think I understand now." I say. "But why aren't you wearing any pants?"

"Oh I was worried I'd rip them. This shirt's a little tight too!"

"Reisarf, I can give you some new clothes." I hurriedly say.

There's also a final ability that is still manifesting. Obviously Spell Twister works very well with Reisarf's spells and could get very nasty if she develops more lingering effects like her Spatial Extrusion, while Perpetual Resonance is very useful with spells from other sources. I suspect it would work on potions as well.
>>
No. 1082850 ID: 273c18

Oof, lost vitality. Reisarf is *literally* a glass cannon now. We might have to give her some basic self defense lessons so she can use the extra bulk effectively. I'm not sure how useful that would be in general though. Maybe she can just shove adventurers that get close?

>choose new ability
Spell Twister, definitely. Nothing wrecks adventurers like throwing a curveball, and with enough shed crystals she could turn the arena into a bullet hell.
>>
No. 1082852 ID: fdae85

Perpetual Resonance, spells wear off when she says they wear off!
>>
No. 1082853 ID: 031458

Spell Twister.
Also, this really is the curse that keeps on giving. I've seen nothing but good things so far from it, must you really break it early?
>>
No. 1082855 ID: 5d82cd

I feel like balancing the scales again with Perpetual Resonance.
>>
No. 1082861 ID: 2420bf

>>1082849
Spell Twister

>>1082853
>curse that keeps on giving
>I've seen nothing but good things so far from it
I agree, there's been lots of benefits so far. Don't get rid of it too soon!
>>
No. 1082864 ID: 58dd24

I like Perpetual Resonance for its synergy with Doyle, and it's our best bet for shoring up Reisarf's weaknesses. If she lives with an effect long enough, it will probably seep into her new abilities too, so its a way to try and guide the development of what has otherwise been very random growth.
>>
No. 1082900 ID: bbce81

>Also, this really is the curse that keeps on giving. I've seen nothing but good things so far from it, must you really break it early?

I hate to say it, but I think there's something to this. At this point it almost feels like like gluttony/consumption/growth could become a genuine theme of your dungeon if this curse carries on for too much longer. Probably because it's been a major influence at the same time your Churning of the Earth is causing everyone to rapidly develop.

The question is, is that a theme you *want*? On the one hand, it probably means faster growth. On the other hand, it sounds like it could become unsustainable or cause various problems down the line. (It's also worth noting that, given her current state, if this keeps up Moriko may be next.)

As for Reisarf, it's easy to see this as a choice between shoring up her weaknesses or honing her strengths. But that's wrong. Perpetual Resonance could help compensate for her fragility, true, but Spell Twister is *also* a new direction. Reisarf isn't a tricky fighter, she relies on sheer brute force. It's not actually doubling down.

Either way, she's gaining a new dimension to how she fights. The question is, do we want her to be more durable (I suspect that's how Perpetual Resonance would be used, anyway) or more tricky?
>>
No. 1082901 ID: a7a180

You see Deem, if you don’t get this under control you’re going to eat yourself out of house and home! Heck, Reisarf might even decide your core looks tasty. So, it is best to count your blessings thus far and cut off the curse. Your minions who actually have to eat will require all the food. …is it safe for Reisarf to transform to a male with crystal limbs? Another haircut is in order. Oh, And feed stargazer the rest of those eggs, she looks rail thin. ...Would she be opposed to eating mana-rich hair?

Choose Resonance, so you can use spatial warping on Reisarf’s domain semi-permanently. Keeping up multiple spells adventurers will have to deal with should make them a very challenging miniboss.
>>
No. 1082904 ID: 5b2941

>>1082849
keeping buffs forever sounds like fun, let's go with Perpetual Resonance
>>
No. 1082915 ID: 5ebd37

PR
twister would have more combat utility, but resonance could be useful at anytime.
>>
No. 1082925 ID: 2ffbb3
File 170747362564.png - (37.13KB , 800x500 , normal_talk.png )
1082925

>Spell Twister, definitely. Nothing wrecks adventurers like throwing a curveball, and with enough shed crystals she could turn the arena into a bullet hell.
Tempting, there's all sorts of traps and tricks that it might allow.

>Twister would have more combat utility, but resonance could be useful at anytime.
>Perpetual Resonance, spells wear off when she says they wear off!
But I need my denizens to do more than fight. After discussing the options with Reisarf, I help her coalesce this new extension of her self into Perpetual Resonance.

>Oof, lost vitality. Reisarf is literally a glass cannon now. We might have to give her some basic self defense lessons so she can use the extra bulk effectively. I'm not sure how useful that would be in general though. Maybe she can just shove adventurers that get close?
It's not too much different from when she first joined my dungeon. She already knows some tricks to defend herself, lessons on the application of big monster hands and pointy feet would not go amiss, and I can try to make up that deficiency with application of reinforcement magic and potions.

>This really is the curse that keeps on giving. I've seen nothing but good things so far from it, must you really break it early?
Early? I've been cursed for weeks!

>You see Deem, if you don’t get this under control you’re going to eat yourself out of house and home!
You do remember my dungeon currently supports half a dozen humanoids, several monsters and dozens of slimes right?

>Heck, Reisarf might even decide your core looks tasty.
That would be very unfortunate because my Heart is effectively invulnerable to denizen teeth and also Reisarf would die.

>There's been lots of benefits so far. Don't get rid of it too soon!
>I hate to say it, but I think there's something to this. At this point it almost feels like like gluttony/consumption/growth could become a genuine theme of your dungeon if this curse carries on for too much longer. Probably because it's been a major influence at the same time your Churning of the Earth is causing everyone to rapidly develop.
Ngghh, make up your minds!

>The question is, is that a theme you want? On the one hand, it probably means faster growth. On the other hand, it sounds like it could become unsustainable or cause various problems down the line.
>It's also worth noting that, given her current state, if this keeps up Moriko may be next.
Everything and anything has potential to cause problems further down the road. I need to keep my mind open to try new things, I need my dungeon to grow stronger and it is definitely lacking bite at the moment.

Reisarf has also been thinking.

"Do you think if I cast a weak Spatial Extrusion on the inside of the shorts, then they'd fit?" Reisarf asks me.

I blink. "Your legs would seem shorter though."

Reisarf blinks. "Would that be strange?"

"Again, I'll get you some new clothes, Reisarf."
>>
No. 1082926 ID: 2ffbb3
File 170747369198.png - (59.96KB , 500x800 , super_crystal_transformation_long_reisarf_paperdol.png )
1082926

Right then, I have a very mana overdosed magician to dress up. What sort of outfit would be suitable? It'll have to be adjustable, Reisarf isn't constantly going to be this overlarge.

Next, what spells or potions might be a good exercise of Perpetual Resonance? It can be a spell on Reisarf herself, something she's carrying, or something near her. Stargazer also is almost always with her come to think of it.

>Feed stargazer the rest of those eggs, she looks rail thin.
Fine! I don't think they'll be good for much longer and Stargazer does look like she needs a recharge. Is there anything I should try to get her to focus on if she's going to be mimicking some features I have?

Lastly, should I break this curse or not? The point has been made it might allow thematic expansion of my dungeon, but all the existing reasons for getting rid of it still stand.
>>
No. 1082928 ID: dbabb8

I'd vote for keeping the curse, intentionally or not, you've stumbled onto a theme and it seems to be working well. The downsides are easily manageable, and by things you'd want to do regardless of the curse, since as you'd want more infrastructure to support more monsters, and the monsters + denizens will be a greater usage of resources than you, especially in the long term.

I'm not sure if I've weighed in on the cosmetic factor, but it's a good look too. Consider, dungeons are dangerous places yet adventures go there regardless. They're both imposing but alluring, and the curse helps you fit that as your golem body is representative of the dungeon, and it's aligned with the plant overgrowth / fertility theme too.
>>
No. 1082929 ID: eb0a9c

Eh, break it. It's going to corrupt all your employees into becoming lazy glass cannons. That's not a viable long-term strategy.
>>
No. 1082930 ID: 273c18

>>1082926
>stargazer mimicking Deem
Hmm. You have very different body types... oh, she could wind up with horns. Or jiggly tentacles that look like horns.
>>
No. 1082932 ID: c36876

>>1082928
I agree with all of this. The curse has been beneficial, so let's just keep it.
>>
No. 1082934 ID: 949794

Yes, break it! We’re not having this debate again.
Have Stargazer focus on Gigant form too, since she can suck up a lot of water/mana/etc.
Spatial Warping of her surroundings centered on her to create more space might prevent her from breaking those horns off on accident by hitting a doorway.
>>
No. 1082938 ID: b2bdbf

Give Reisarf one of those potion golems to maintain!
Stargazer could focus on your shapeshifting aspect.
Break the curse, you need to be as un-cursed as possible for this important visit.

>>1082928
Let’s keep gluttony out of our theme, as that is perceived as a rather obvious vice.
>>
No. 1082941 ID: c36876

>>1082938
>that is perceived as a rather obvious vice.
Sounds like a benefit to me.

The adventurers that challenge our dungeon will feel satisfied in being able to overcome such an obvious vice. Especially the adventurers that really get into their role of wanting to be a hero and fight the "evil creatures" in the dungeon.

And if we give them a good experience, they'll want to come back and try again!
>>
No. 1082943 ID: 5b2941

>>1082926
>should I break this curse or not?
Not in the short term, but it shouldn't be allowed to linger too much longer. It's a curse, it might have gotten us a few windfalls but ultimately it's not beneficial and might bring complications down the line. It's not a priority, which is why we always advice to focus on other stuff instead, but still should be treated at some point.
>>
No. 1082947 ID: 124485
File 170750979603.png - (86.49KB , 500x800 , Untitled1_20240209135425.png )
1082947

>>1082926
>clothes?
How about these loose fitting star pattern clothes? You know, because she's an Alienist and aliens are related to the stars. (I'm not very good at drawing. This is the best I could do.)

>break curse?
You don't have time for that! You need to focus on Green Thumb and Golem Guidance to prepare for Olan's visit! Throwing a 3rd activity into the mix will just make you run out of time you could've been using to prepare!

>>1082928
Yeah, you've got some good points. Maybe we should keep the curse?
>>
No. 1082954 ID: bbce81

>Ngghh, make up your minds!
Sorry. It's a difficult choice.

>Lastly, should I break this curse or not?
Personally, I say break it. Your dungeon already has a theme of growth, and I worry that adding in gluttony/consumption could shift that more towards growth *at the expense of others.* More about taking, less about developing what you have. Pillaging or draining rather than nurturing.

I can understand the appeal, and I certainly won't judge if that's the path you choose. But ultimately, I don't think I would want that kind of concept as a permanent part of me. Or as a foundation for everything you try to build after. It's too... negative? Cynical?

>What sort of outfit would be suitable? It'll have to be adjustable, Reisarf isn't constantly going to be this overlarge.
Remember that pink and brown outfit you had way back when, with all the buttons? Wasn't that originally designed to accommodate different boss modifications while still being wearable? It's not a perfect match, but it might be a good place to start. If nothing else the basic concept of "lots of buttons that can be undone" should carry over.

>Is there anything I should try to get her to focus on if she's going to be mimicking some features I have?
How about nudging Stargazer in the direction of your new plant aspects? Verdant Image ended up being about storing and refining power, which would suit her role well. Plus staffs are traditionally made of wood, so it's fitting.

>Next, what spells or potions might be a good exercise of Perpetual Resonance?
I'd support using it to help Stargazer along, Reisarf just got an upgrade and somehow it feels like they ought to stay balanced. Maybe something to do with the plant stuff above? She might be able to do something with the spoors if you're too busy curse breaking.
>>
No. 1082957 ID: 524878

>>1082956
Sorry, I posted that without really meaning to.

Please let's break the curse. This has been fun but it seems to be spreading around to everyone else and it may seem beneficial but I'm getting very tired of this. I thought this was just going to be temporary. Please. I really really don't like how and where this is going. Being entirely subjective, being entirely selfish, I don't like this anymore and I'm not having fun.
>>
No. 1082958 ID: ae64e6

>>1082925
Sure, go ahead and break that curse!
>>
No. 1082961 ID: a7a180

>>1082941
It is by definition the opposite.

Don't let the curse control you, control your curse. Remember Deem, your Verdant Idol reflects on you and your denizens. Being seen as a glutton is bad for your figure and bad for your image. You should be a better role model than that.

An aspect for Stargazer: Well, Hidden Reservoir and High Speed Ritual are your most beneficial abilities for casters. Probably the former since Stargazer's not the one doing the casting.

A spell for Reisarf: Magic is capable of so many utilities, some showier than others.
-there's always enlarge, like on Hin. A giant glass cannon is still an impressive cannon.
-A levitation spell on Stargazer. Or a feather fall on Reisarf, so they don't accidentally trip and shatter a limb. It'll be practically invisible unless he lets go of Stargazer. (Or tries sitting down, but they'll only be floating a few inches off their chair.)
-A glamour of mist, in case of clothing dysfunction.
-A helping hand for holding things in a non-crystal grip.
-What about a spell just for good luck? You wouldn't know any, would you?
>>
No. 1082986 ID: 273c18

I'll support breaking the curse. The tittymonster plague has gone on long enough.
>>
No. 1083013 ID: a7a180
File 170754644307.png - (67.55KB , 500x800 , alienist_of_destiny.png )
1083013

There is only one outfit for people with such mutable forms where one size is guaranteed to fit all.
>>
No. 1083017 ID: f45470

>>1083013
Or, if we're going to be truly weird, no outfit at all.
>>
No. 1083019 ID: a7a180
File 170755673825.png - (71.01KB , 500x800 , adjustable_alienist.png )
1083019

An actual outfit submission - something made of lots of individual pieces that can be added or removed as needed to adjust to surface area.
-Standalone collar/shoulder cover.
-Halter top with eye motif slide. (Slide can also be worn as hair or horn ornament.)
-Detached sleeves that flare at the ends. Stretch or lace up to fit over big monster hands.
-Undercorset.
-Two belts worn in sequence, the buckles at the sides. Can wear both in parallel when waist thins.
-Shorts. Easy and comfy to wear. Probably much baggier trousers on slighter frames. That's why the belts are important.
>>
No. 1083020 ID: 5ebd37
File 170755682425.jpg - (147.92KB , 500x800 , reisarf fashion.jpg )
1083020

Pilot of the outer spheres outfit

This curse is too uncontrolled, its time to cast it off.
Reisarf should practice with spatial extrusion, as it is the safest to mess with.
>>
No. 1083021 ID: a7a180
File 170756089410.png - (73.19KB , 500x800 , alihinist.png )
1083021

Hin probably won't mind if we borrow this, it's the closest fit we have. Reisarf sure fills it out nicely, huh? We might need to let out the sides of the skirt still.
>>
No. 1083022 ID: a7a180

>>1083019
Oh, and one last thing - Reisarf's going to need a headband to keep that hair out of their face.
>>
No. 1083037 ID: b4b039
File 170758489210.png - (66.18KB , 500x800 , 170747369198_steve.png )
1083037

As demanded by the ancients
>>
No. 1083038 ID: c4b5da

If we're gonna break the curse, then could we at least wait until after Olan's visit?

We really need to focus on our final preparations and we can't afford to waste time on breaking the curse when we still have other things that we need to prioritize first.

After Olan has left, we'll have plenty of time to focus on breaking that curse.
>>
No. 1083039 ID: 5b2941

>>1083038
agreed, it shouldn't be a priority. Which is why we voted to focus on other stuff instead in the first place
>>
No. 1083043 ID: 377373

Yeah the curse can wait till after the visit.
>>
No. 1083045 ID: 58dd24

There is never plenty of time for anything, only the next priority and the next emergency. And the next priority is breaking the curse apparently.
>>
No. 1083050 ID: 5b2941

>>1083045
No, next priorities are Green Thumb and Golem Guidance. Curse Breaker was an option but it wasn't chosen. Stick with the schedule.
>>
No. 1083051 ID: bbce81

Is it possibly to commit now to breaking the curse being Very Definitely The Next Thing we do after the visit, barring some horrible crisis?

That sounds like maybe a good compromise
>>
No. 1083054 ID: 5b2941

>>1083051
That'd be muddying the waters. Let this vote be for whether the curse should be lifted at all, the next priority should not be decided beforehand.
>>
No. 1083071 ID: bbce81

>>1083054
The waters are already muddy, though. "Should the last option before the meeting be breaking the curse or the spoors" is already explicitly part of the question, because Deem said this:

>I've changed my mind. That's two of my denizens who've turned into heavyweights by imitating me now. I'm going to see Merud about the golems, and break this curse!
That's what started this whole discussion.

Unless I'm missing something (possible) both "should we break the curse" and "should we break the curse NOW" are part of the question. The options seem to be a) break the curse *right now*, or b) leave the curse indefinitely. Am I interpreting that incorrectly?
>>
No. 1083072 ID: 377373

>>1083054
Remember, curses are more like magical diseases to Deem, she'll work it out naturally if it's left alone, it isn't permanent.

From what I'm seeing here the two factions are Break -Now- or break -Later-
The never break it crowd seems to be in minority.
>>
No. 1083103 ID: bbce81

>>1083072
I mean, normally yeah the curse would eventually wear off. But it seems to be becoming an entrenched theme of her dungeon, so I'm not super sure we should be counting on that anymore? Plus, even if the curse itself is gone, the theme it created could stay.
>>
No. 1083104 ID: c4b5da

>>1083072
I'm all for breaking it later. We have more important things to focus on, like finishing our preparations for Olan's visit.

We need to use our remaining time wisely and not get distracted by doing something that can wait until after Olan has left.
>>
No. 1083106 ID: 5b2941

>>1083072
The "break now" crowd is in the minority too. We literally just had a vote to decide priorities, that was one of the choices, and the majority decided to go with other things.
>>
No. 1083140 ID: 9de95e
File 170765876534.png - (32.15KB , 600x800 , too_many_pears.png )
1083140

>You don't have time for that! You need to focus on Green Thumb and Golem Guidance to prepare for Olan's visit! Throwing a 3rd activity into the mix will just make you run out of time you could've been using to prepare!
I was going to abandon working on the plants and instead focus on golem work and breaking my curse. I was already very on the fence with the curse breaking

Unless...

>Stargazer might be able to do something with the spores if you're too busy curse breaking.
I shouldn't be greedy.

I shouldn't.

But those two are very well suited to clearing the spores. Even if we can't get things replanted in other areas, that'll let the slime lair be cleaned up and finished. I'll ask them.

>Break the curse, you need to be as un-cursed as possible for this important visit.
>Personally, I say break it. Your dungeon already has a theme of growth, and I worry that adding in gluttony/consumption could shift that more towards growth at the expense of others.
>Being seen as a glutton is bad for your figure and bad for your image. You should be a better role model than that.
I am a glutton. I hunger endlessly for things that I can't have and am never satisfied when they do fall in my reach. That's probably why this curse has held on as long as it has. Still, I don't want anything to come at a cost to my denizens. And I hate the thought of anything messing with my head.

>There is never plenty of time for anything, only the next priority and the next emergency.
I'm going to break the curse. I slip out of my outfit, let's see what it's actually done.

I feel indecent. My golem body's rocks have not been keeping up... But this shouldn't be too difficult, I just need some focused time for it.

>I'll support breaking the curse. The tittymonster plague has gone on long enough.
It's not a tittymonster plague!
>>
No. 1083141 ID: 9de95e
File 170765880869.png - (31.76KB , 800x500 , hat_ban.png )
1083141

>Reisarf should practice with spatial extrusion, as it is the safest to mess with.
True, but I feel that there's other spells that might be useful sustained. Reisarf keeps toying with her hat as I think.

"I can tailor that to work with the horns?" I offer.

Reisarf hesitates. "Ah, it was a gift from someone in my village, I want to keep it the same."

Considering Reisarf was banished from that village due to forming a pact with Stargazer as a child, I don't think she had many friends there. I'm not surprised she doesn't want to modify a memento like that. Wait, there's that thoughtful look in her eyes.

"I want to make sure you try other spells, but if you have some time you can practice using Spatial Extrusion to fit it over your horns. It might be good practice for working up to sustaining two spells at once."

Reisarf's eyes widen in astonishment. "Wow Deem, how did you know? It's like you're a mind reader!"

If only it was always that easy.

>Give Reisarf one of those potion golems to maintain!
Moriko has the last doses of those potion in her new flask.

>Have Stargazer focus on Gigant form too, since she can suck up a lot of water/mana/etc.
>An aspect for Stargazer: Well, Hidden Reservoir and High Speed Ritual are your most beneficial abilities for casters.
>How about nudging Stargazer in the direction of your new plant aspects? Verdant Image ended up being about storing and refining power, which would suit her role well.
Stargazer stares as she slowly starts putting mana into the remaining eggs to duplicate them. These are copies of copies of copies. I hope the quality is good enough.

I explain to Stargazer that I have several aspects pertaining to absorption and direction of power. While she's never going to get a dungeon's raw ability to cast complex spells and efficiently draw mana from the earth-pulse, Reisarf and her have made enough progress in mana manipulation and storage that new perspective might be useful, if she can glean anything from egg-induced mimicry. I suggest she focuses on my Gigant Mode, plant golemetry, and Verdant Image, since those are expressed mainly by my golem body. With this low fidelity copying I doubt she'd glean any mysteries from my Heart fragment.

I can never tell if she's listening... It's infuriating.

>What about a spell just for good luck? You wouldn't know any, would you?
No. Shut up.

>I'd support using it to help Stargazer along, Reisarf just got an upgrade and somehow it feels like they ought to stay balanced. Maybe something to do with the plant stuff above?
I cobble together a spell of plant symbiosis for Stargazer. Much like a dryad, she'll temporarily be linked to a plant and thrive when it does. They leave to pick out a plant for Stargazer, and move the more useful plants to the slime lair so they'll get another dusting of spores from whatever do manage to get past Reisarf and Stargazer.
>>
No. 1083142 ID: 9de95e
File 170765888483.png - (31.55KB , 800x600 , magical_crystalliser.png )
1083142

>How about these loose fitting star pattern clothes? You know, because she's an Alienist and aliens are related to the stars.
>Standalone collar/shoulder cover.
>Pilot of the outer spheres outfit
I need something adjustable and I want to get it done quickly so I modify the protective slime garments I used for the magical item forging as a base. It'll be good to know how hard wearing they are. I add a collar piece, and a tabard with some night themed iconography. With that sorted, I send a golem to fetch Reisarf to try it one.

"Thanks Deem, look Stargazer!" Reisarf says. Stargazer waggles at her alienist.

"Remember, you just have to capture the spores so we can store them and finish excavating the slime lair." I tell the pair, as they go to head back. "Anything past that is a bonus."

"Don't worry Deem, we're not going to lose!" Reisarf says.

I constantly feel I've had some subtle miscommunication with these two.

>Or, if we're going to be truly weird, no outfit at all.
Don't be weird.
>>
No. 1083143 ID: 9de95e
File 170765894893.png - (36.03KB , 720x720 , anti_curse_vision_on.png )
1083143

>Remember, curses are more like magical diseases to Deem, she'll work it out naturally if it's left alone, it isn't permanent.
Blessings are given, curses are inflicted. It's a matter of how subtly they infect the spirit and how grievously they wound it to cling on.

Much like recovering from a lingering illness or injury, it needs time to be given over to it.

This curse has been sneaky, as it has made me absent-mindedly snack when distracted. This is behaviour to be avoided. So I will stay focused, keep my concentration on this curse and finally abrade the wretched, barbed thing away before it distorts me any more. I've already stolen part of the power of this curse, taking the fruitful and monster luring elements and using it to help build my Verdant Image. Now all that remains of the Orange Crag curses are this one of appetite, and with how fat it's gotten from my weeks of distraction, it's now easy prey now it has my full attention.
>>
No. 1083144 ID: 9de95e
File 170765900615.png - (45.55KB , 600x800 , dabs.png )
1083144

The midnight hour has come and gone. It's very early in the morning.

The curse is shed. I feel light on my feet. I-

There's a panicked imp thrashing through the bushes. Moriko's imp. I grab her and she yowls like a cat.

"Quiet!" I say. "It's the middle of the night!"

The imp looks at me. "Mow!"

"Stargazer's started eating everything in sight?"

I concentrate. Everyone's accounted for. Most of my denizens are up here in the hidden valley. Chakarchelou is in his lair. Belphe is in the potions room. My golems are scattered about doing their tasks. Stargazer, Reisarf and most of the slimes are in the Thaumatorium? I try to concentrate on there, but my senses there feel numb. Something is interfering?

I demand a fuller explanation from the imp and receive a rambling tale of how she was walking about at night, making sure no-one was going to get into trouble and then she saw Stargazer headed to the slime lair with some bottles. Filled with suspicion that Stargazer was starting a new potion party without her-

"Wait, Stargazer was the final member of your secret potion party?" I say.

The imp starts wriggling frantically. No, don't tell her that she said that! She didn't say anything about Stargazer organising the parties! Oh no, she's going to eat her!

I suspect something stupid has happened.

Everyone's asleep. Alkaline and Hin are still out on their expedition. Who should I wake up and take with me to investigate?
>>
No. 1083145 ID: 5b2941

>>1083141
>I can never tell if she's listening... It's infuriating.
She's always listening, for better or for worse.

>>1083144
Oh. Oh my. That's a good look on you, Deem. Anyway, you have Moriko's imp already, might as well get the rest of her too.
>>
No. 1083150 ID: 5fb55e

Moriko, I suppose.
>>
No. 1083151 ID: 5fb55e

And a side thought:

Your denizens are mutating more and more rapidly and it's concerning me. I'm sure the others here are happy to have more boobs and thick thighs or whatever, and sure, Reisarf is mutable as are yourself, but we need to reign this in and be more careful about bodily mutations. This isn't a "before it gets out of hand", this is *already* out of hand. God only knows what your boss form looks like now, since you're halfway there already! Can your chamber even accommodate it?! Are we going to wake up one morning and find Moriko looking like a fertility idol or something? Yes, everyone is stronger, sure, but it'd be nice if everyone would stop inflating.
>>
No. 1083154 ID: a7a180

Perhaps Stargazer was doing it as revenge for Doyle trying to eat her on their first meeting.
Take Chakarchelou and some golem backup to investigate.
>>
No. 1083158 ID: bc24cb

>>1083144
Oh no. Go back. Maybe the curse will forgive us if we beg?
>>
No. 1083160 ID: 377373

Hmm...
From thicc to Amazonian...
It's only a matter of time until one of us begs you to step on them...
>>
No. 1083166 ID: 273c18

>>1083141
Reisarf where are your glasses?
Also, huh, I thought Reisarf's evolution stole the anomaly but I guess they can just swap it around freely?

>>1083142
>potential miscommunication
They might wind up capturing the spores for their own development. I guess that's fine too though, so long as they get used for something, right?

>>1083144
Ah, that's a much better form. Breast size is still big, but acceptable.
Sounds like Stargazer got affected by the Appetite curse before you removed it, or it somehow transferred itself to her through your connection instead of dissipating.

Another possibility is that this is a side effect of whatever method of growth she chose?
Anyway, bring Moriko- wait no, she'll be vulnerable due to her Mana Vacancy; this effect is strong enough to affect you, so it's too strong for her. Bring Merud since this could be a magical malady. Also get one of your stronger golems.
>>
No. 1083167 ID: bbce81

>"Stargazer's started eating everything in sight?"
Not to be paranoid, but I do NOT trust the Imp to have an accurate understanding of the situation. We shouldn't assume much about the situation other than Stargazer is involved.

>Who should I wake up and take with me to investigate?
How about Chakarchelou? Whatever happened *probably* has to do with plants somehow, between Stargazer's new symbiosis spell and the spoors. Chaka can breathe fire. Depending on what's going on, that could be needed.
>>
No. 1083168 ID: f2320a

>>1083144
The curse of gluttony and weightgain wonder how much people would pay for it to be inflicted at there livestock could make alot of cash.
Or inflict it on adventurers around debuff consumable items
>>
No. 1083181 ID: 743e67

>>1083166
>Sounds like Stargazer got affected by the Appetite curse before you removed it, or it somehow transferred itself to her through your connection instead of dissipating.
Pretty sure that's not what happened at all.

I think Stargazer is just doing whatever she wants in order to make things that will help Reisarf. And she doesn't care if her actions are causing problems for others.
>>
No. 1083186 ID: 5ebd37

I hope the new body helps you feel more in control, Deem.
Bring Moriko, her imp's already here and she is the most level headed among you, usually.
>>
No. 1083215 ID: dbabb8

I'll definitely miss the old look, but your new look is strong.

Didn't you ask Stargazer to help deal with the spores? I imagine there's been some- misunderstanding, or over eagerness? That noodle is inscrutable.
>>
No. 1083224 ID: 6049e5

See, look what the curse was hiding. You’re in top form now.
Bring Moriko and Chakarchelou to deal with whatever sticky magical situation presents itself.
>>
No. 1083264 ID: 273c18

Oh I know what's going on. You told her to try some plant-affinity growth, and gave her the spores, so she's growing a LOT and of course she needs nutrients.

You should help her eat, not stop her.
>>
No. 1083283 ID: ca9d2e

>>1083264
Can we not? As much as this new form has advantages, it's getting a little disturbing how hard we're leaning into making more and more people thicc. We can stop at Deem. There's no reason to turn this into a titty dungeon.
>>
No. 1083284 ID: 273c18

>>1083283
What? It's STARGAZER. She's not going to get fat, she's going to... uh, do whatever her species does to evolve, probably.
>>
No. 1083285 ID: ca9d2e

>>1083284
Apologies! I misread your post, please disregard.
>>
No. 1083295 ID: 00589d

>>1083144
>Stargazer
Remember what you told Reisarf and Stargazer? You said, "You just have to capture the spores so we can store them and finish excavating the slime lair. Anything past that is a bonus."

The whole "eating everything in sight" is probably just Stargazer gathering the spores.

As for why they're in the Thaumatorium, it's probably just Reisarf doing another one of their crazy tests. Or they're doing something to prepare for excavating the slime lair.

Then again, if the slime lair is already excavated, then like you said, "Anything past that is a bonus." So they might be using the spores to create something as the "bonus". After all, you said to store the spores, but you never said anything about storing all of the spores, so they might be using some of the spores to make something, while storing the rest of them for later, like you wanted.
>>
No. 1083296 ID: bbce81

Those are good potential explanations but they do still leave the question of what's interfering with Deem's senses. Spatial Extrusion doesn't do that... right? Have we actually tested it before? I can't remember.
>>
No. 1083356 ID: f28a01
File 170790862664.png - (28.34KB , 720x720 , as_imple_as_that.png )
1083356

>Oh. Oh my. That's a good look on you, Deem.
All my looks are good looks.

>Bring Moriko, her imp's already here and she is the most level headed among you, usually.
>Anyway, bring Moriko- wait no, she'll be vulnerable due to her Mana Vacancy; this effect is strong enough to affect you, so it's too strong for her.
Hmm it's risky but I did promise her involve her in more things. She has a good head on her shoulders, this should be a safer way to test if her Mana Vacancy is going to be a problem on an expedition.

>Not to be paranoid, but I do NOT trust the Imp to have an accurate understanding of the situation. We shouldn't assume much about the situation other than Stargazer is involved.
True, she is very excitable, doesn't have much experience, and may just be looking to cause some mischief.

>The whole "eating everything in sight" is probably just Stargazer gathering the spores.
I ask if the imp just saw Stargazer gathering the spores.

No that was earlier! Reisarf - who's fat now, did you know Reisarf is fat? - went with Stargazer to the slime lair, and rolled back Pancake who is the best golem and then Reisarf (who has cool horns too) made pretty dark balls and Stargazer got all puffed up to suck up the green air that came out. Does green air make you fat? But they were doing that for a while and bouncing on slimes was getting bori- and she had other places to look for miscreants to hammer!

>Didn't you ask Stargazer to help deal with the spores? I imagine there's been some- misunderstanding, or over eagerness? That noodle is inscrutable.
I'm going to speculate that Stargazer sucked up most of the Green Thumb spores so Reisarf decided to toss some plants inside her too to give them a high intensity dose. Using Stargazer as a greenhouse has the stench of exactly the sort of idea those two would come up with.

My theory immediately is confirmed when Moriko's imp says when she later followed them to the Thaumatorium she saw Stargazer drank a lot of potions - probably raw mana - and the slimes started tossing plants in her mouth.

It's then dashed when Moriko's imp says Stargazer pounced on a slime and swallowed it up. Wait, Alkaline's slimes can act like soil. Maybe they really went all-in on this greenhouse idea? No slimes ran away after all. I think I'm prepared now. There's going to be an orange elephant in my Thaumatorium full of slimes, plants and spores, and perhaps it was even a good idea.

It's odd they convinced so many of the slimes to come with them to the Thaumatorium though. Maybe there's something I'm missing. Or maybe they just miss direction with Alkaline away.

I collect Moriko on the way to the Thaumatorium.
>>
No. 1083357 ID: f28a01
File 170790871905.png - (36.61KB , 900x500 , stargazer_got_fat.png )
1083357

The door is stuck, and eventually in frustration I kick it down. I need to use better materials than cobbled together rubble with a veneer of smoothed stone.

>It's STARGAZER. She's not going to get fat, she's going to... uh, do whatever her species does to evolve, probably.
GET FAT APPARENTLY.

Moriko pushes forward, hammer raised to defend me.

The Thaumatorium is mostly filled with a bloated maggot of a starspawn, the only noises her laboured wheezing as she takes spore laden breaths and the slight rasping of her sides against the stone walls as she inhales and exhales. I suddenly recognise what's interfering with my senses: another dungeon.

"Runaway growth, but look -" I say to Moriko, stepping past her. I kick a tentacle. Stargazer doesn't even twitch. "She can barely move. I haven't seen it often, but there's something dungeon-like inside her. It's usually bad: a sickness or parasite in a leviathan. Maybe her and Reisarf managed to be absolute overachievers with ideas of a living greenhouse, but most likely she took in too much negative material and that tainted her."

"Where are Reisarf and the slimes?" Moriko asks, still on guard.

I point at Stargazer.

I try to think about our next steps.
>>
No. 1083358 ID: f28a01
File 170790881113.png - (31.31KB , 801x550 , deem_headaches.png )
1083358

One week! Can I have just ONE WEEK without some bizarre disaster!?

>I think Stargazer is just doing whatever she wants in order to make things that will help Reisarf. And she doesn't care if her actions are causing problems for others.
She is certainly giving me a headache! I don't know if I should be impressed or furious. It's borderline miraculous if she's managed to replicate a dungeon-scale spell, but those require a Dungeon Heart for a reason. She's neither a dragon nor a dungeon so she can't scoop power from the earth-pulse. It's some stopgap feedback loop made out of what? Consumption, raw mana, the void orb, plant symbiosis, sharing mana with Reisarf and a knockoff of my False Idol ritual? Maybe she somehow is drawing on my mana intake too? I don't think I'm losing any but I do feel numb in this area. Dungeons aren't supposed to exist inside dungeons!

I send my golems out to do a quick inventory. I can't find any of the raw mana that was stored away, or the remaining locus fluid. The chrysopear tree, sap bomb, oreberry bush, the original sample of Izakikk's kindly mushroom and some of the bomb plant seedlings are all missing. The interior of the cavity the Green Thumb spores were growing in looks like it's been licked clean.

>As for why they're in the Thaumatorium, it's probably just Reisarf doing another one of their crazy tests. Or they're doing something to prepare for excavating the slime lair.
Stargazer obviously grew after moving here, maybe they needed the water? She obviously drank most of it. I look up at the void stretched over the roof of the Thaumatorium. Or maybe the void shard for its spatial properties, or its tie to that piece of void from that Orange Crags that they're carrying around?

>Also, huh, I thought Reisarf's evolution stole the anomaly but I guess they can just swap it around freely?
It's equipment of course they can do that.

>Oh no. Go back. Maybe the curse will forgive us if we beg?
>It's only a matter of time until one of us begs you to step on them...
>Ah, that's a much better form. Breast size is still big, but acceptable.
I think I should probably stop taking any aesthetic input.

>Oh I know what's going on. You told her to try some plant-affinity growth, and gave her the spores, so she's growing a LOT and of course she needs nutrients.
>You should help her eat, not stop her.
I think that's going to break my dungeon.

I explain to Moriko that we're going to have to go in and sort out Stargazer's insides.

"You want us to climb into that thing's mouth?" Moriko asks me.

"Into Stargazer's mouth, yes." I say.

"The spirit beast who has already swallowed her own bonded magician?" my hammerai asks for clarification.

"If Reisarf had died, I'd have resurrected her already." I think for a moment and sigh. "We're going to find Reisarf trapped in a giant crystal, aren't we?"

Moriko stares at me in incomprehension.
>>
No. 1083359 ID: f28a01
File 170790888949.png - (42.59KB , 720x720 , yum_yum_im_so_full_of_switches.png )
1083359

>Perhaps Stargazer was doing it as revenge for Doyle trying to eat her on their first meeting.
That sounds plausible. She's the type that holds grudges. Though if she's going to have a grudge over me untangling this mess for her, she's going to learn I'm better at grudges.

After giving Moriko a fuller explanation, we climb into Stargazer's mouth. It's wet. Thankfully Stargazer doesn't have bad breath. It smells a little like the sea and a little like soil after the rain.

"Up there, hit that the orange bump." I point out to Moriko, as I'm carrying the imp. "Don't fall in the water though, There's tentacle traps in there."

After a little bit of explanation that I meant the more protuberant and paler one, Moriko leaps and hits it. It starts faintly glowing and we hear a wet squelch ahead. A hidden switch already? You might barely impress me by the end of this Stargazer.

I tickle the membrane blocking the exit and it retracts. We move to the next chamber.
>>
No. 1083360 ID: f28a01
File 170790896047.png - (28.82KB , 900x500 , seenut_wants_to_fight.png )
1083360

There's a monster here! Some sort of staring nut?

It makes a threatening move and then Moriko cracks it.

"Weak." she says.

"Not bad for a first attempt." I defend Stargazer. I don't know why I'm doing that, I don't even know if she had any conscious input on this. I lever the shell open with the tip of my short sword. "Be careful, I think they can self destruct. The nut's more like a bomb flower. And there's definitely something cursed in here." I point out some dark fluid dribbling out of a wall. Kindly mushrooms are sprouting out of it. "Izakikk said these thrive off cursed material."

"That's not raw mana, is it?" Moriko squints at the fluid.

"More like raw curse." I say. "Don't touch it. Maybe Stargazer's new diet is giving her some digestive problems."

>She's always listening, for better or for worse.
She's certainly been paying attention if she's actually managed to deliberately replicate any of my Heart's functionality!

One tunnel leads onwards, but we've opened a hidden chamber. There's a sac half filled with the me-mimicking eggs steadily replicating in a mana-rich broth. The excess are drained off in a pipe that must lead to Stargazer's stomach to help sustain this transformation.

We should break this. We can cut it open or tie off the pipe or mess with something. Or am I being too hasty here?
>>
No. 1083361 ID: 273c18

>>1083357
Oh that's much bigger than I expected.

>>1083360
If you sabotage that thing you won't be able to complete the dungeon, I think it'll collapse quickly which means you'd want to escape immediately. It would be more beneficial if you kept going and completed the dungeon. More mana for Stargazer, maybe more mana for you, and more experience for Moriko.
>>
No. 1083362 ID: 56fadc

>>1083360
What does the seenut taste like?
>>
No. 1083363 ID: b4b039

I'd say in general to get a pretty thorough understanding of things before breaking them, unless speed is important.
>>
No. 1083365 ID: a7a180

Scoop out some of the eggs to feed to other dungeon constructs, you might be able to get past them without a fight by feeding them and it’ll take a while before they start rolling down the pipe again. Also you should be looting samples of all those plants she ate, lest you lose all of them when she turns back!
>>
No. 1083366 ID: 273c18

Another reason to keep going and not sabotage it: if Stargazer DID put conscious effort into this you wouldn't want to disrespect it.
>>
No. 1083370 ID: 486840

>>1083360
>>We should break this. We can cut it open or tie off the pipe or mess with something. Or am I being too hasty here?
I think we should find Reisarf and be ready to leave before we do anything decisive. This whole thing isnt supposed to be happening in the first place and is probably unstable.
Maybe cut a small whole in it so only some of the eggs are fall out over time, starve the process slowly that way. it might weaken the dungeon somewhat too.

In any case, I think maybe Deems been too lenient with Reisarf and Stargazer and their shenanigans, because they happened to work out most of the time. This seems like it could have gone deadly wrong extremely easily, still might.
>>
No. 1083373 ID: 2ee9c9

You need to Delve around Stargazer to give her room to breathe! Also be sure to capture some of the unique flora and fauna of this dungeon. Your minions are evolving in leaps and bounds under your influence, and it is your job to guide them and trim their branches so they don’t grow too far too fast. When the time is right, you can replant these clippings to preserve the incredible advances she’s made.
>>
No. 1083374 ID: 1effd3

>>1083360
assuming theres going to be a boss at the end of this, weakening the boss-form would be a good idea. i wouldnt entirely cut or stop the eggsack, but at least do something to slow it down so this thing doesnt... you know, collapse ON TOP OF YOU
>>
No. 1083375 ID: 5b2941

>>1083356
>Pancake who is the best golem
dammit, I'm starting to trust the imp's judgement now

>>1083358
>One week! Can I have just ONE WEEK without some bizarre disaster!?
Not with your luck stat as it is, you can't.

>>1083360
>I don't know why I'm doing that
Probably because she's the closest thing you have to an apprentice, it's not like she's learned any of this from any other dungeon.

>"More like raw curse."
I wonder... did she eat the orange slime too?

>Or am I being too hasty here?
You are, yeah. You don't know if doing that would do anything to Reisarf or the slimes trapped in here. Besides, I wanna see just how much she learned.
>>
No. 1083382 ID: 86d8fb

Yeah, we're gonna need to have a serious talk with Reisarf and Stargazer on their habits of carelessly doing experiments without thinking things through. Because this seems to be very dangerous!

Also, this carelessness might explain why their village kicked them out. Too many dangerous experiments.

>Where's Reisarf?
Well, we saw Reisarf's statue in the Resurrection Matrix. I'm pretty sure they're in a cocoon or an eggsac in the boss room of the Stargazer dungeon.
>>
No. 1083384 ID: 588b52

Okay, we have gotta put our foot down on these wacko experiments. We're not gonna kick them out, but...

>Options.

So, on some level, we've got ourselves some sort of self-sustaining loop. If we tie it off, it will probably eventually end the loop but in the meantime it'll cause a logjam where some of the fuel isn't being recycled? Cutting it open will end the loop immediately, if I'm reading this correctly, but might harm Stargazer in some irreversible way. And it's not like we can ask the inscrutable Noodle what the hell to do.

This looks like it's - metaphorically - a stomach of some kind. We don't want to jam up the process or destroy it, because both options might lead to bad ends and damage to a dungeon member. Is Stargazer an individual or a piece of equipment? Will she rez if she dies? Can she die? Would it more count as equipment breaking? All important questions, but right now...
Right now I want to induce vomiting. Reverse the process happening here, not end it. Check and see what all this is intended to eventually produce, first - let's see what the hell this is all for - but right now, I think the best option is to try and get the whole system working backwards.

tl;dr:
Find out what this is all for
Reverse the process without causing harm
For the love of god stop your denizens growing huge in various ways it keeps causing problems

ALSO I TOLD YOU SO
I TOLD YOU THAT STARGAZER WOULD GET FAT
(not you, Deem, I'm talking to another one)
>>
No. 1083386 ID: 588b52

>>1083373
nonononono

THis has *already* gotten out of hand! We're reversing this process here and now, talking to Reisarf about these experiments, and making sure our denizens stop exploding in size, because this makes like four now counting ourselves and it's getting out of hand! Goodness knows if Reisarf is actually okay!
>>
No. 1083391 ID: 2f7f6e

If those eggs are copies of copies of copies and so on... how stable is this?
>>
No. 1083393 ID: 2fb935

>>1083386
mate, cut that out. I'm not even into the size thing but now I kinda want it to keep going just cause you keep whining about it
>>
No. 1083394 ID: bbce81

Huh, I just realized Deem's new look still has the curse perma-blush on her cheeks. Wonder what's up with that?

>We can cut it open or tie off the pipe or mess with something. Or am I being too hasty here?
Yes. Find Reisarf first. She knows WAY more about Stargazer's biology than anyone else, and she was there when this happened. That's incredibly important information for figuring out how to fix this. Just trying stuff without any clear idea of the results is how Stargazer got INTO this mess in the first place. Don't just continue what they did.

Finding Reisarf should be the first step.

>I defend Stargazer. I don't know why I'm doing that
Well...
>A hidden switch already? You might barely impress me by the end of this Stargazer.
She's the closest thing to another dungeon you've encountered since waking up, and a self-aware one at that. Not shocking you might feel some fleeting kinship, even if she's not a true dungeon.
>>
No. 1083403 ID: eacb9d

>>1083394
I agree that safety of our denizens is first and foremost. We need to ascertain reisarf's status, learn what stargazer is up to here, and determine benefits and danger.

The size thing isnt the core problem, its the lack of stability and safety around here. We really need a denizen meeting to address issues beforethey get outof hand. Make it regular, even. We need to start preventing fires.
>>
No. 1083418 ID: 031458

Don't cut the power so soon!
Run the dungeon!
I'm sure she'll surprise you!
>>
No. 1083496 ID: 5a7a53

>>1083360
Continue through the dungeon. Find Reisarf and get a better picture on what's going on.
>>
No. 1087234 ID: 7657d6
File 171153464197.png - (34.13KB , 750x600 , starplanter.png )
1087234

>If those eggs are copies of copies of copies and so on... how stable is this?
It isn't.

>If you sabotage that thing you won't be able to complete the dungeon, I think it'll collapse quickly which means you'd want to escape immediately. It would be more beneficial if you kept going and completed the dungeon. More mana for Stargazer, maybe more mana for you, and more experience for Moriko.
I don't think it'll come apart that quickly, especially if I move quickly. There should be a few keystones to a over-puffed manifestation like this, but I'll leave these eggs alone at least. If Stargazer thinks this is a good copy of me, that's her own business.

>Find Reisarf first. She knows WAY more about Stargazer's biology than anyone else, and she was there when this happened. That's incredibly important information for figuring out how to fix this. Just trying stuff without any clear idea of the results is how Stargazer got INTO this mess in the first place. Don't just continue what they did.
Fine, I'll wait for now! But if Reisarf's right at the end, there's not going to be much chance to backtrack.

>You need to Delve around Stargazer to give her room to breathe! Also be sure to capture some of the unique flora and fauna of this dungeon. Your minions are evolving in leaps and bounds under your influence, and it is your job to guide them and trim their branches so they don’t grow too far too fast.
I don't need to expend some of my limited stockpile of mana hollowing out myself to help an overgrown tentacle get even fatter from a wobbly stack of unstable magicks.

>Another reason to keep going and not sabotage it: if Stargazer DID put conscious effort into this you wouldn't want to disrespect it.
If someone burst into your bedroom at night to start renovating, would you care about disrespecting their efforts? I feel my initial curiosity is quickly dying off. This is an intrusion, like a grub burrowing through a rotten tree! Just because I don't feel anything yet, doesn't mean she's not being some gross parasite.

Nnngh I hate this image! No, think about greenhouses instead. Fine. I'll see what she's trying to grow in here.

The next room is still meaty but there's plants too. There's another of the nut creatures, which Moriko immediately annihilates. There's more nuts growing on a twitching plant anchored to the wall but they mustn't be ripe yet. I set Moriko's imp down and she tries to jab at the lowest of the nuts. Maybe that will make the rest force their ripening, that'll make a valuable lesson for her.

There's another odd plant here, mired in a sort of a potting mix that's mainly the plant nourishing goop produced by Alkaline's slimes. Instead of fruit, it's sprouting into vaguely cubic rocks? Some seem to have gotten embedded in the floor to. There's another welt of Stargazer's jelly nearby but instead of serving as a plant holder, it's just oozing more of that corrupt fluid.

These are both curious but I am not clear on the intent behind them. They might just be rejects, seeing they're out here.

>Also you should be looting samples of all those plants she ate, lest you lose all of them when she turns back!
I don't have pockets, but I should be able to gather things up after resolving this.
>>
No. 1087235 ID: 7657d6
File 171153481111.png - (38.76KB , 720x720 , worms_2.png )
1087235

It smells a little of the green thumb spores in here, but they're mostly kept isolated to a large tube running along the ceiling. I think the plants were dusted with spores to help force their growth. There's flecks of spore embedded in the growth medium too.

>What does the seenut taste like?
I'm in a hurry and I think they're likely to explode if I am hasty in tampering with them so I'm not about to find out.

>Well, we saw Reisarf's statue in the Resurrection Matrix. I'm pretty sure they're in a cocoon or an eggsac in the boss room of the Stargazer dungeon.
That was a curious statue but I sincerely hope it wasn't that immediately prophetic. I am supposed to be giving a dungeon tour in a few days and it would be extremely inconvenient if my main offensive magician was so inconsiderate as to be undergoing a bizarre metamorphosis still.

We walk past a particularly oozy piece of flesh wall and Moriko suddenly pushes me aside.

A bristly worm-like creature bursts out, leaping more at Moriko than me but missing us both. It falls through the floor without a trace.

"Was that a gristleworm?" I say.

I stare at the ceiling.

"Stargazer, have you had worms this whole time?!"

I get no answer.

Moriko looks at her feet guardedly. "Can they come up from below?"

"They can't phase through two different creatures at the same time." I say. "But keep an eye out."

>Don't cut the power so soon!
>Run the dungeon!
>I'm sure she'll surprise you!
My denizens deciding to surprise me has been a source of considerable stress and frustration!

>I wonder... did she eat the orange slime too?
No, Merud took it with him when he went to bed.
>>
No. 1087236 ID: 7657d6
File 171153489696.png - (27.06KB , 550x800 , door_solved.png )
1087236

>She's the closest thing to another dungeon you've encountered since waking up, and a self-aware one at that. Not shocking you might feel some fleeting kinship, even if she's not a true dungeon.
Seeing the door ahead, I guess Stargazer has some taste in dungeons! The door is locked, but there's another switch above with some sort of lens covering it, with an opening on either side, but difficult to get a direct angle on the switch. The way forward is obvious but some ingenuity is needed. A classic!

There's a basin that the water flows to and drains into in a miniature whirlpool. Before walking to the door, I pluck one of the rock fruits and throw it at the switch. The cover barely dents and then slowly pops back.

"I don't have a boomerang so I'm going to throw your imp at this." I say to Moriko.

Moriko looks at me in bafflement.

"Mow!"her imp says. I take it as permission.

I pick Moriko's imp up and weigh her thoughtfully. "Hmmph, I suspect this was made with something like Reisarf's light spells in mind, they'd go right through the cover." I throw the imp. She squeals but manages to long to the wall and stick one arm in the opening. "I prefer to have a solution to such things available in the dungeon, sometimes an adventure's tools and skills have a solution but I don't like to force them to leave and come back later, even for just a side room."

Moriko's imp finally taps her hammer on the switch. The door unlocks. "Also they break things if they try to get too creative."

>You don't know if doing that would do anything to Reisarf or the slimes trapped in here. Besides, I wanna see just how much she learned.
I guess she has learned a little!
>>
No. 1087237 ID: 7657d6
File 171153497247.png - (38.01KB , 900x500 , huge_guts.png )
1087237

>Oh that's much bigger than I expected.
And bigger again in here.

Moriko's imp drops into my arms as we move into the next room. It's a cavernous expanse, the floor quickly shading into impenetrable darkness, and pillars and stepping stones rising up from the unseen floor.

Moriko looks at the cavern ahead. "This shouldn't fit... How's it so deep... Is this Reisarf's doing?"

"Good eye, I think it's based off it." I agree. "This is a bottomless pit... and probably expanding the area as well? Don't fall in, it's a spatial trap. It'll take a bite out of your vitality and deposit you back at the entrance to the room." I tap my chin as I see there's some streams of highly diluted slimes being poured into the pit from this side. Is it being done to drain their energy, or maybe as a sorting mechanism? "It's easier than digging a deep enough pit a lot of the time. Useful for sparing monsters pushed into it and separating adventurers from any items they're not too attached as well. We've seen a lot of tubes, this might be splitting up things that fall in it too."

>Probably because she's the closest thing you have to an apprentice, it's not like she's learned any of this from any other dungeon.
I'm starting to get suspicious. I haven't done half these things in my dungeon yet!

Has she been prying and ogling at my Heart while I was unconscious? I don't like the thought!

>In any case, I think maybe Deems been too lenient with Reisarf and Stargazer and their shenanigans, because they happened to work out most of the time. This seems like it could have gone deadly wrong extremely easily, still might.
No-one is going to permanently die without my explicit permission. That might be part of the problem actually...

>Okay, we have gotta put our foot down on these wacko experiments. We're not gonna kick them out, but...
>Also, this carelessness might explain why their village kicked them out. Too many dangerous experiments.
First I seemed to be holding them back but it seems giving them an inch is giving them a mile. I'm not sure what to do with them going forward.

I notice a big slime pop up in the distance. Somehow it's gliding along the top of the shadowy pit like it's a pool of water. It stares at me balefully before submerging and disappearing again. Strange, it makes me feel like the invader. I have been trying to push Alkaline into developing a Shadow Slick using assassin slime as a third elite variety. It looks like several slimes fused together, so I should assume it's stronger than usual.

I don't want to be killing any of Alkaline's slimes but this one can't hear me, and trying to cross this room without dispatching it is going to be risky.
>>
No. 1087238 ID: 273c18

Ugh that fucking gristleworm. Considering how difficult it was to deal with last time... how are we going to get it out of Stargazer, if we don't kill it while it attempts to attack us in here? Hell, there might be more than one in Stargazer, since there was at least two when Hin got infected.

>slime can't hear you
Huh? You mean your usual monster connection is broken? ...I guess you'll have to restrain it. Goad it into attacking you and Moriko, then... ugh how do you even wrestle a slime? Can you throw it back out of the room behind you and block the door with rubble? ...or maybe you can nonverbally scold it so that it stops attacking you? Surely it must realize who you are, even if it can't hear you?
Well, I suppose another alternative is to goad it into attacking you specifically, and just keep its attention while Moriko and the imp cross over. The slime can't really do anything to your golem body, right? You can cross over after the others while ignoring its attacks. Bulk up your body with stone for extra defense if you have to.
>>
No. 1087241 ID: a7a180

Focus on the earth pulse sense for dodging, and knock them into the pit trap rather than fighting.
>>
No. 1087246 ID: 8f9bc4

Invisible floor? Maybe there are pathways disguised to look like part of the bottomless pit.
>>
No. 1087248 ID: 1effd3

>>1087237
well this place is horrifying. the slime mutant is 100% going to attack us if we cross the stones, so we need to lure it out and defeat it so we can cross. but yeah, we've been too lenient with thier experiments, because this is too much. i hope we dont get a "spatial area inside of a spatial area" situation. no idea how THAT would turn out
>>
No. 1087249 ID: b9b19a

Be ready to cut the next worm you see.
Maybe the eggs contained this knowledge innately? Come to think of it maybe a dungeoneering course for your denizens is a good idea, you can pass on knowledge and better understand how adventurers think about traps and puzzles these days.
Oh right, the slime. Can you disable it if you, uh… these don’t have cores, do they? What if you put some of Morikos thought golem potion into them, could you use that to mind control them?
>>
No. 1087259 ID: 588b52

>>1087238
yeah, just let it try, really.

>First I seemed to be holding them back but it seems giving them an inch is giving them a mile. I'm not sure what to do with them going forward.

Part of me wants to say you need an assistant manager, someone stable and solid, to say "no" in your place and keep an eye on people. You have a lot of strong, independent, and unique people under your employ, and their diversity of thought is what makes your dungeon unique... but there has to be some form of order or stuff like this will keep happening. We need to be cautioning more and scolding less - preventing instead of reacting.

I'm sure you agree that we've been putting out too many fires lately.
>>
No. 1087263 ID: 12b116

We need to take some cuttings of that block tree and see if we can grow them in the outside world.
>>
No. 1087287 ID: 5ebd37

Could we use the bush blocks to make more stepping stones?
Can we trigger the nuts to self destruct? You could throw one drive the slime back, then hurry and cross right after it blows.
>>
No. 1087446 ID: 250221
File 171178431428.png - (27.48KB , 800x550 , nutty_solution.png )
1087446

>Could we use the bush blocks to make more stepping stones?
No, it's a bottomless pit.

>Ugh that fucking gristleworm. Considering how difficult it was to deal with last time... how are we going to get it out of Stargazer, if we don't kill it while it attempts to attack us in here?
Stargazer has had them for months, so they're clearly not affecting her health as badly as Hin. That piece of Stargazer's tail that Doyle bit off must be how Hin came into contact with them. I should have realised something was... fishy... when Izakikk mentioned they're normally only found in sea life.

>Surely it must realize who you are, even if it can't hear you?
I said it doesn't hear me! It doesn't recognise itself as one of my denizens. I know my magic is still tenuously spread and Stargazer is obviously insulation against my Heart itself, but I still can't help but feel a little insulted a rank amateur has managed to look more credible and appealing than me!

>Goad it into attacking you specifically, and just keep its attention while Moriko and the imp cross over. The slime can't really do anything to your golem body, right? You can cross over after the others while ignoring its attacks.
I explain this plan and Moriko agrees it's a sensible division of effort. She should be able to safeguard the imp and while I am not as agile as Moriko I am far sturdier against a slime's attacks.

>Maybe the eggs contained this knowledge innately?
No-one else reported an overpowering urge to construct a labyrinth in their guts. It doesn't make sense to me, there's too much intentional seeming design that would need to be learned.

>Can we trigger the nuts to self destruct? You could throw one drive the slime back, then hurry and cross right after it blows.
I go back and tear some nuts free of their vines for use as projectiles. I collect some of the stones from the other bush too.

I throw some to get the slime's attention - sadly the nut does not explode on contact - and then start hopping out on the fleshy stepping stones dotting the pit. Moriko moves a few seconds later, once the slime's fixated on coming after me.

Provoking the slime reveals it's able to throw corruption-laced Bad Eggs back at me. Obviously it's been fed some of that cursed goo. Though I am quickly exhausting my ammunition, Moriko's able to safely cross, and no curses take hold from the hits I receive.

Then it's simply a matter of keeping the slime at a distance whenever it decides to pop up with its Shadow Slick with a few judicious throws, and haul my golem body over to the exit without receiving too much of a further battering.

As I get deeper, the curve of the chamber reveals another door ahead, though with no stepping stones to get to there from this point. The roof on that section is shaggy with hanging vegetation. I think I see the staring nuts, bomb flowers and a brightly coloured eggplant all in the mix. There must be another entry to this room ahead.

>We need to take some cuttings of that block tree and see if we can grow them in the outside world.
I suppose I might mitigate that small risk of losing these. I didn't bring my attendant golem because I was worried it'd be cramped but that hasn't been the case. I direct it to come in Stargazer's mouth and collect some cuttings of the nut plant and the blocky bush. I think it'll be more trouble than it's worth to try to bring a golem across the pit though.
>>
No. 1087447 ID: 250221
File 171178439227.png - (47.52KB , 800x600 , every_garden_needs_a_hole.png )
1087447

In the next room I find Moriko looking rueful, her pants scuffed, some smouldering weeds on the floor and some juice she's wiping off her face.

"What happened?"

"I must apologise, I was enticed by the fruit on that vine. and failed to notice the weeds were tiny bomb flowers."

This room's got a lot to take in but I focus on those elements first. The weeds are burned up but they're smaller and much denser ground cover than a normal bomb flower. It looks like the bombs were only about cherry sized too.

The slime-apple that lured Moriko in is growing in a socket on the wall. It smells extremely good, is greener than normal and looks disconcertingly out of phase. I pull one off the vine and cut it open, the flesh spilling out into far more fruit than it should contain.

I pinch my nose again. "These slime-apples are spatially overlapped with themselves. Why did they do this...?"

Moriko nods. "An overlapple."

"... I suppose we can call them that for now."

"Mow!" Moriko's imp protests.

"Fine, they're overlapples."

Moriko turns with a slight limp as we look at the rest of the room.

>Come to think of it maybe a dungeoneering course for your denizens is a good idea, you can pass on knowledge and better understand how adventurers think about traps and puzzles these days.
I need to prototype some new rooms anyway, that's a good idea.

>Part of me wants to say you need an assistant manager, someone stable and solid, to say "no" in your place and keep an eye on people.
Maybe I should offer someone the position then. Moriko perhaps? Or Merud or Hin?

>I'm sure you agree that we've been putting out too many fires lately.
Perhaps I should have chosen a less flammable aspect to my dungeon. I chose to focus on encouraging my denizens to develop, so part of this is on me.

There's more plants growing in alcoves in the walls and the ceiling is dense with beanstalk-like vines. Some eggplant-like fruit are hanging off them. Unless I mistake my guess, those are the fertiliser sap bombs, modified to have thinner skins and more sap.

A little more of the greenhouse project I speculated about comes clear: I think this is the plant Stargazer chose to bond with when I cast the symbiosis spell.

Something like an oreberry but it grows rocks instead, variants on the bomb flowers, spatially infused apples... did they somehow adapt Reisarf's Matter Virus to blend plants together with other materials without killing the plants?

Some of the plants look like ones from the Orange Crags, but not ones the expedition collected. They're not trying to dip into summoning magic as well, are they? I point out a few of these features to Moriko.

The reason I'm suspicious of this hovers in the center of the ceiling, reeking of possibility and far away places. That's the Potential Void, the piece of void they pulled out of the Orange Crags spatial tear. It's engorged with all these combinations and possibilities and outcomes they've fed it and fed back mana in return, thrumming with latent potential for disaster.

Should I grab it?

We're going to have to cross the previous room again soon. Is there any changes I should make to our approach to deal with that slime lurking in the pit?
>>
No. 1087448 ID: 99f29a

Remind the slime that the pit is bottomless. Very embarrassing mistake to make.
>>
No. 1087449 ID: 273c18

>>1087447
>grab the Potential Void?
Yes. What can you do with it? Drain mana out of it, maybe?

>slime return trip?
Feed it overlapples to distract it. Or maybe it responds to outright bribery.
>>
No. 1087450 ID: 521475

>Should I grab it?
Seems like it might be serving as dungeon-heart analogue here, in which case moving it would have similar results as disconnecting your heart from the local earth pulse. Given that this place is dependent on dungeon-scale magic to maintain its current size, could mean a collapse. So, don't grab it until you've collected a bit more of the non-load-bearing treasure and are ready to run.
>>
No. 1087451 ID: 588b52

>>1087447
>Moriko perhaps? Or Merud or Hin?

Moriko is actually my first choice, but all three are strong choices for different reasons. We want a moderating, stable force in this case and she seems the most likely candidate. Of course I think other voices should weigh in as well.

>>1087450
Agreed, we still need to find Reisarf, last thing we need is some nonsense where they don't die but get trapped or somesuch. Get the Denizen, collapse the 'dungeon', get out, scold those responsible, in that order.
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No. 1087456 ID: 80c73b

Hmm. Of the three listed, I feel like Moriko is too strict, Hin is too easygoing, but Merud might be a good middle ground. He generally has a lot on his plate, though. Also, I guess if we're LOOKING for an extra helping of strict, maybe Moriko would be better. Not sure. Maybe depends on exactly what their duties are and the implementation details. Another option is explicitly hiring a manager or st - though then it's a wildcard.
>>
No. 1087457 ID: 1effd3

>>1087447
Yep, the void is 100% staring back at you. better hope it doesn't reach deeper than just the surface level of the void.
>>
No. 1087464 ID: 5b2941

>>1087447
>It looks like the bombs were only about cherry sized too.
so they're cherry bombs? do pick a few samples, if you can do that without setting them off. Get some overlapple seeds too.

>Maybe I should offer someone the position then. Moriko perhaps? Or Merud or Hin?
Merud gets distracted easily with his own work, and Hin will go along with things you'd rather not. I think Moriko might be the best choice.

>Should I grab it?
You're the dungeon expert, or expert dungeon, around here. How structurally important do you believe that to be?
>>
No. 1087469 ID: a7a180

Hm, wasn't this thing head sized last time you saw it?
Yeah, take it.
>>
No. 1087470 ID: 56fadc

>>1087447
The potential void should be interacted with slowly and carefully, not in middle of a dungeon run.
>>
No. 1087487 ID: 58dd24

might be worth seeing if the slime can be distracted or bought off with an overlapple if they're so enticing
>>
No. 1087509 ID: 5ebd37

>should I grab the latent potential for disaster?
Lets not destabilize anything until we at least find Reisarf
Tossing things kept the slime at bay before, stock up on apples
>>
No. 1087515 ID: dca656
File 171189155887.png - (52.88KB , 900x500 , avoid_this_void.png )
1087515

>What can you do with it? Drain mana out of it, maybe?
I can't fill it like Reisarf and Stargazer have done, I don't get intoxicated by possibility like they obviously have; I do what I am going to do and don't do what I won't do. But I can drain mana from it, yes.

>Lets not destabilize anything until we at least find Reisarf
>Don't grab it until you've collected a bit more of the non-load-bearing treasure and are ready to run.
Fine! I will leave the infrastructure helping strengthen the dungeon I am invading alone for now.

>Merud gets distracted easily with his own work, and Hin will go along with things you'd rather not. I think Moriko might be the best choice.
Merud is already quite overworked and Hin... yes, I feel she's too open minded at times.

"Moriko," I say as we head for the door. "this has made me think that I need more help managing the dungeon. I'm glad my denizens are bold in trying new things, but it's just been too chaotic. We need more discipline. I need someone who I can trust to be a stabilising influence, to help lead my denizens to better paths and keep our home in order. I know it's a lot to ask, but would you be willing to take on this extra responsibility?"

"I'll do it!" Moriko immediately volunteers, putting her hand to her chest. The Covetous Ring glints on her finger. "I'm honoured you'd think me worthy to lead your household."

I shake my head. "Please, in this era I'd hoped to be less formal. I'm glad I can rely on you, Moriko."

It's a short hallway lined in tubes throbbing with water, slime, the corrupt fluid and other more mysterious fluids and then we're back to the pit room.
>>
No. 1087516 ID: dca656
File 171189162658.png - (26.11KB , 800x550 , this_is_your_life_now.png )
1087516

>Remind the slime that the pit is bottomless. Very embarrassing mistake to make.
Sadly its Shadow Slick is compatible enough with the veil of shadow magic that makes up the 'surface' of the pit that it can glide along the top of it. Though if I could somehow disrupt that, yes the slime should fall into the pit.

>Might be worth seeing if the slime can be distracted or bought off with an overlapple if they're so enticing
Sadly I think it's more a sign of Moriko's vulnerability to bewitchment than any particular strength of the fruit. I toss one out to the slime and it fails to have the desired effect.

>Tossing things kept the slime at bay before, stock up on apples
And thus I resort to more forceful throws.

The slime hasn't figured out a counter yet but this section is more hazardous: bombs, nuts and drips of the corrupt fluid occasionally falling from the ceiling. Moriko gets clipped by one Bad Egg as she's forced to deal with a marauding nut trying to challenge her over ownership of a stepping stone.

Thankfully the slime dips into the shadows to sulk and I hastily make my own way over. I boot a nut into the pit, and get splashed with the corrupt fluid but no curses take hold.
>>
No. 1087517 ID: dca656
File 171189169938.png - (42.10KB , 650x749 , dungeon_shutdown_and_cake_dispensary.png )
1087517

The door on the far side is bigger, I think this is the final chamber.

We open it. The ceiling is dense with vines and scrubby patches of bomb flowers dot the floor. I smell slime and that corrupt fluid but I don't see it. The second is worse than it's ever been. Probably a moat around the rim. Reisarf is directly ahead, sealed up in a crystal of the dungeon-salt she and Stargazer started producing. You see? I told you.

I can taste the incipient violence. It's very clear the moment I step through this door something going to pop up looking for a fight. Most likely an oversized eyeball, an angry beanstalk and whatever other fractions of an octopus Stargazer can muster to put up a fight while inside her own body, augmented by whatever reinforcement magic she's aped from me.

However... a classic mistake has been made here. Things won't properly activate until the floor's stepped on. We might be able to jump up to the vines, or perhaps I could throw Moriko's imp at the crystal?

We can't linger outside the door very long, that slime will start throwing Bad Eggs at us again any moment now. Do we fight, or do we give Stargazer longer to wind up protections and enhancements for whatever guardian's in there?
>>
No. 1087518 ID: 031458

Honestly? We've preserved the Amateur's infrastructure already. Let's give her just a little time to prepare. Let's see what Stargazer's got when she's at her best!

Have Moriko and her imp get in position up on the vines. Wait for a moment yourself while continuing to pelt the slime.

Once you feel it time to withdraw your grace, stroll right in and start the fight!
>>
No. 1087522 ID: a7a180

True, you didn't disturb any of the power sources so this boss will be at the intended strength. Let's go for a fully traditional run of this non-traditional dungeon and just fight it now instead of after further buffing! The main goal should be getting to the crystal rather than defeating the boss.
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No. 1087526 ID: 1effd3

>>1087517
it fight time! throw the imp to Reisarfs crystal and have it start bonking it. you get reayd to grab those bombs and start throwing them at the boss that shows up
>>
No. 1087530 ID: 8f9bc4

Would like to point out that Deem said she could avoid the fight by not stepping on the floor in the final room. The fight hasn't started yet, and would need to be triggered.
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No. 1087533 ID: eb0a9c

Cheese this fight by adding as many objects as you can to the battlefield. Throw a bunch of items onto the floor - make a pile, or even a paved road. Then move as far as you can by stepping on the items until you trigger the boss.

If you can, reinforce the door frame so they can't close it when the fight begins - though, I don't expect this will work, but worth a try.
>>
No. 1087536 ID: 1effd3

>>1087533
so we litter the ground with explosives and detonate the room when the boss shows up?
>>
No. 1087540 ID: 741cc9

>the boss is going to be at intended strength because we didn't tamper with anything earlier
I mean, being able to tamper with the power source from earlier is probably an intentional puzzle.

We're given the option to fight the boss at its intended strength or, if we're able to figure out what's supplying it with power, we can weaken it for an easier fight. We just decided leave it alone.

Which is probably for the best, since the Earth Pulse will be more intense from a stronger fight.
>>
No. 1087544 ID: 5ebd37

Get someone up in the vines in case the guardian bursts out of the ground or something.
>>
No. 1087553 ID: 273c18

>>1087517
The boss isn't ready yet which means there will be a delay even if you step on the floor. That is a weakness but you can still play fair while exploiting it.
Rush in, go full aggro on it. Stepping on the floor is fine but there's no reason to go easy on them. Moriko should be able to smash that crystal with a disrupting strike while you deal with anything that pops up to get in her way. The imp can grab bombs.
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No. 1087608 ID: bbce81

Can getting Reisarf out of the crystal be done quickly and safely? If so, you should climb the vines and drop down on the crystal from the ceiling, then break it open.

(I mean, breaking it open can't be that hard, it's salt and was described as 'relatively fragile' when Reisarf started growing the stuff on herself.)

Shifting the odds from two-on-one to three-on-one in your favor likely matter a lot more than a few extra minutes of preparation on Stargazer's end, even assuming breaking Rei out doesn't disrupt things somehow.

Alternately, you could try to break the crystal by throwing stuff from the doorway. But that seems harder.
>>
No. 1087609 ID: bbce81

Edit to clarify: The crystal looks big enough for one person to stand on, and likely doesn't count as 'the floor' for the purposes of Striggering the fight. So it should be possible to free Reisarf before the fight begins using the vines to climb above it.
>>
No. 1087618 ID: 521475

Throw the imp at the crystal, then you and Moriko brachiate across the vines to reach it and start hammering away as well. Reisarf is probably stuck in a "captured princess" role, so if freed before the boss fight begins properly you'll have another ally and a head start on escaping.
>>
No. 1087625 ID: 486840

>>1087517
You're coming at this with all your exprience running a dungeon, Deem, and that makes this a teaching moment.
I say do everything within the rules that you can while still stacking the deck in your favor, set the field before entering, get right up on the objective(crystal) before the boss spawns in so it cant defend it, just everything that would be annoying to you as a dungeon without outright cheating. Show Stargazer why she should respect you.
>>
No. 1087656 ID: 588b52

>>1087625
Yes, yes, yes
>>
No. 1087805 ID: 486840

>>1087625
Bonus points if Deem can actually push the boss OUT of the boss room.
>>
No. 1088072 ID: e5e504

>>1087625
Yes, that would be interesting.
>>
No. 1088557 ID: d1e263
File 171292364740.png - (64.14KB , 750x700 , team_hammer_rock_vs.png )
1088557

>Cheese this fight by adding as many objects as you can to the battlefield. Throw a bunch of items onto the floor - make a pile, or even a paved road. Then move as far as you can by stepping on the items until you trigger the boss.
I'm not going to backtrack to gather up some things and then heading across those stepping stones a third time while laden with floor tiles.

>You're coming at this with all your experience running a dungeon, Deem, and that makes this a teaching moment.
>I say do everything within the rules that you can while still stacking the deck in your favor, set the field before entering, get right up on the objective(crystal) before the boss spawns in so it cant defend it, just everything that would be annoying to you as a dungeon without outright cheating. Show Stargazer why she should respect you.
I have done nothing to interfere so far, so I had best not hold back in this fight.

>The crystal looks big enough for one person to stand on, and likely doesn't count as 'the floor' for the purposes of triggering the fight. So it should be possible to free Reisarf before the fight begins using the vines to climb above it.
>The imp can grab bombs.
>Shifting the odds from two-on-one to three-on-one in your favour likely matters a lot more than a few extra minutes of preparation on Stargazer's end, even assuming breaking Rei out doesn't disrupt things somehow.
It is three on one. I have Moriko's imp.

Though I suppose six on one would be even better.

"Moriko, your potions are going to be key here." I begin. "Though remember your Mana Vacancy, so if there's anything you're not comfortable with, let me know."

Moriko nods seriously.

"First dip your imp's hands in the enlarging touch potion." I begin. As Moriko kneels to do so I hand my sword to the imp and then continue my explanation. "I'm going to carry her over, and then during the fight she's to grab bombs to pump up and throw. If there's no good bombs nearby, she'll keep touching someone."

I pick up the imp. "We might not need the other potion, but be ready to take it to think up a golem for support. Once we get close to Reisarf, I'm going to use my simulacrum spell to make a golem copy of her for some more firepower."

I eye the bottomless pit. That slime will be back any moment, surely. "The guardian shouldn't appear until we touch the floor, and attacking the crystal might do it too. I'll lift you up to the vines, and then you start crossing to the crystal."

Moriko is a little startled when I pick her up, but the little bit of extra height from imp handling is helpful in getting her safely onto a sturdy vine.

I start after a short wait, as my golem body is much heavier than her, but thankfully the vines are quite sturdy. Hanging above the crystal, I give a nod to Moriko and she unleashes a devastating hammer blow on the crystal at her feet. Almost a quarter of it cracks, crazes and starts falling apart.

The room shudders. I arm myself with a more sword sized sword, and drop down. Unwinding my Sculpted Simulacrum spell, I force into being a crude approximation of Reisarf. The golem fleshier than is my wont, but as its material is based on the surroundings it's hardly surprising. Ready to rend space and fire lasers, the alien jelly flesh golem wobbles uncertainly and waits for orders.

Reisarf is waking up, still half encased in crystal. "Are you a princess?" Reisarf slurs, looking at me blurrily. "Because you have so many dragons!"

It seems Reisarf's brief sojourn into a crystal prison hasn't had any side effects, but she's not going to be much help like this!
>>
No. 1088558 ID: d1e263
File 171292373740.png - (67.76KB , 600x800 , only_i_have_the_brains_to_rule_dungeon.png )
1088558

The fleshy walls contract against whatever underlying structure's forming this cavity and the ceiling rises as the chamber expands. Stargazer comes into view, her bloodshot eyeball staring at us with blank fury. Something's off, I'm not sure she recognises us. She rises up and up on a vine-wrapped stalk like an enormous serpent, symbiotic sap-bomb vines and her hybridised plants swaying about her.

Droplets of the corruption spray down as she swings her head down to look at us, staying silent at what would be the typical time for such a guardian to roar a challenge.

For someone whose head is mostly eyeball, maybe Stargazer is more of a deep thinker than I've given her credit for. In this form, she has a giant pulsating brain of alien jelly above her eyeball, half lost in the vines doting the ceiling. The corruption is here too, leaking out of folds and pooling and dripping down.

Something jagged and irregular glints at the front.

Wait...
>>
No. 1088559 ID: d1e263
File 171292377085.png - (39.50KB , 750x650 , eye_on_the_prize.png )
1088559

What is that? What is that?! What is that DISGUSTING thing?! Gross! GROSS! I hate it, I don't want to look at it. Get it out of my sight!

My head is throbbing, the junction of my golem body to the ragged edges of my broken Heart suddenly grating as it saws at the dumb, clay approximation of nerves. Some sort of spell washes over me but I barely notice.

I feel sick. My mazy thoughts can't spare me with this thing in my sight. Disgusting, DISGUSTING! It shouldn't be able to fall any further and here it is. It can't speak, it doesn't BEAT. All that it is, is bleeding out. Pitiful. Bad. Wrong. ROTTEN! Still, it seeks to stain the earth-pulse with its imprecations. Clawing at the sea and the sky. Nothing good for anyone.

I want to stop looking at it. I can't stand it! Why is it here?! How did you find that wretched thing, Stargazer?! From where did you call up that gross jigsaw parody?! Are you a grave-robber now? It's broken! Something that MUST NOT break is broken! That fossilised thing is broken and BLEEDING and gross and decaying and, and - I hate it! I hate the world that allowed this!

"Mow!" Moriko's imp shrieks in warning.

Moriko hits me in the head with a hammer.
>>
No. 1088560 ID: d1e263
File 171292382010.png - (35.30KB , 800x500 , fight_for_ur_friends.png )
1088560

I drop my sword and stagger as I fend off Moriko's follow-up hits.

I have heard that tainted crystal shard named once before. I see what it is now.

Winze.

A malediction, a poor excuse for a dungeon. A shambling imitation of my Heart. Who were y-

Not now.

I can't get distracted.

Stargazer's already stolen a march on me. She has stolen away my hammerai! She opened with a spell to bewitch my denizens! Did Stargazer plan this? Or is that usurping eye just another piece of misfortune?! I knew Alkaline's slimes were suspiciously compliant!

Moriko is coming at me with forceful movements and an intense gaze that takes me back to the first time we met. Behind her, Stargazer's greasy brain is making some more greasy plans as she plucks sap bombs for some sinister purpose. Ripening the nuts? Something with the bomb flowers? My flesh golem feels slow to respond but starts moving, Moriko's imp is screeching defiance as she throws a bomb at Stargazer, and Reisarf seems groggy and bewildered still.

I let myself get distracted by that GROSS THING which Stargazer has clearly been using for ideas because she is a hack, but I can turn this around.

The bewitchment effect was a bound spell, the eyeball won't be able to cast that again. I can end it immediately by pushing In My Image onto Moriko, but I have been reluctant to risk affecting her Mana Vacancy. Or maybe I can try something else to get through to my hammerai?

Alternatively maybe I should work on freeing Reisarf and finding out what below the earth she and her idiot noodle were getting up to. I hardly think we'll be talking Stargazer down now, but fighting her idiot wizard might make her cry or otherwise give us an edge!

What should I prioritise? Helping Moriko get back to her senses, or trying to get some sense out of Reisarf?

Or I suppose I could simply abandon all pretence of civility and fair play in exchange for the certainty of victory. I could just beat Stargazer's gross brain to death with my bare hands and tear out her DISGUSTING brain tumour.
>>
No. 1088562 ID: 273c18

>>1088560
EUGH. Okay, your next step depends on one thing. Did Stargazer do this on purpose or has she gone mad from absorbing the Winze? Is she okay? Ask Reisarf, and tell her to snap out of it already and focus. Also Deem until you tell us what exactly that thing is, please don't destroy it.

If Stargazer is somehow sane and doing this on purpose, then continue to play along:
Use In My Image on Moriko, it's better than allowing Stargazer's spell to be drawn into her Mana Vacancy.
Have your reisarf-golem start blasting Stargazer. Don't let her use those sap bombs.

If Stargazer is badly affected by the Winze, then stop playing fair and rip it out of her. ALso uh, hmm, we're going to have to put some care into collapsing the Winze's minidungeon aren't we?
>>
No. 1088563 ID: 273c18

Ah wait, In My Image wouldn't remove Stargazer's spell it would just suppress it. In that case, what you should probably do is perform some kind of callback to the fight you had with her when you recruited her. How did you end it, again...?
>>
No. 1088564 ID: 273c18

Huh, all the stuff we've seen... if the Winze is in control here, would that mean it's trying to become a real dungeon? It's certainly managed better than usual. They were described as chaotic and unorganized, but this minidungeon is pretty well-realized isn't it?

So I changed my mind. If the Winze is controlling Stargazer rather than the other way around, don't lose your cool. Even if it can't speak and can't beat, maybe it can still think? Disgusting as it is, could you potentially communicate?
>>
No. 1088565 ID: eb0a9c

Focus on Reisarf. Her Passivity trait means she's immune to the Winze's mind control.
>>
No. 1088568 ID: bd9c6f

Get Moriko back on your side. Don’t touch the gross thing with your bare hands, focus on directing your minions to deal with it.
This is exactly what the In My Image spell was made for and a more Moriko-sized Moriko would be very useful right now.
>>
No. 1088571 ID: 6299b8

>Helping Moriko get back to her senses, or trying to get some sense out of Reisarf?

Focus on getting Reisarf released - but with some judicious dodging, you may still be able to get your Hammerai to help you with the task. Get your flesh golem to shield you all from whatever Stargazer is planning, and let the imp continue its bombing run to distract it.

It may be best you let your minions deal with the abomination - you may go in too hard thanks to your disgust. Reisarf may have some idea how this ocurred and how to undo it, too. Could a curse of formlessness make it easier to slip out?

Tell her she’s the only princess in this castle, and she’d better snap to, before your present disgust at the state of her boon companion forces you to give this domain the barbarian treatment.
>>
No. 1088574 ID: 031458

We need to remove the WINZE without labotamizing Stargazer. Take back Moriko, and with her help, remove it without destroying the rest of Stargazers brain!
>>
No. 1088585 ID: 1effd3

Wake up our nuke caster, so she can begin "helping" stargazer with magical explosion, then get yourself to free Moriko. oh yes, and impy throws more bombs
>>
No. 1088589 ID: a7a180

Throw a gooey overlapple at her face to block Moriko’s eyes, but remember she can still sense targets via the earth pulse. Then toss the imp at her to help her remember herself.
Try and set off a chain reaction of the unripe seenuts. The flesh golem’s blast spells are familiar to Stargazer but the amount of chaos she can sow should hinder any plans.

So there used to be another dungeon here? That would explain the pitiful chest and adventurer skeleton that were already here. Or one in the orange crags, perhaps.
>>
No. 1088651 ID: 99f29a

Free Moriko! Reisarf is probably having fun being in a predicament and Moriko needs your support.
>>
No. 1088700 ID: bbce81

I can see two paths here.

>Something's off, I'm not sure she recognises us.
If anyone can get through to Stargazer and snap her out of... whatever that thing did to her, it's Reisarf. If anything can break whatever effect this is besides physically prying the thing out of her, it's be the one person Stargazer seems to genuinely care about. I have a hard time imagining she could willingly hurt him, even with everything that's happened.

(You might also try getting through to Moriko. Possibly telling her you KNOW she's strong enough to snap out of it? Your esteem and trust seems very important to her.)

Alternately...
>I could just beat Stargazer's gross brain to death with my bare hands and tear out her DISGUSTING brain tumour.
Right goal, wrong plan. You already threw the imp to reach something high up once already, why not again? Throw the imp up there and tell her to pry the shard out. Or enlarge it with the potion on her hands until it falls out due to gravity, I guess.

I don't think Moriko is the only one being mind controlled here. Stargazer is too, I think. Dealing with THAT needs to be the top priority, whatever the method.
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No. 1088747 ID: d1e263
File 171310569948.png - (33.46KB , 800x500 , this_is_how_deem_believes_reisarf_acts.png )
1088747

>if the Winze is in control here, would that mean it's trying to become a real dungeon? It's certainly managed better than usual. They were described as chaotic and unorganized, but this mini-dungeon is pretty well-realized isn't it?
It is a - no I'm not going into this. Stargazer obviously jabbed it into her head for a reason, probably to steal dungeon secrets!

>So there used to be another dungeon here? That would explain the pitiful chest and adventurer skeleton that were already here. Or one in the orange crags, perhaps.
I didn't think so, I don't know! We can worry about how that gross thing got here later.

>Don’t touch the gross thing with your bare hands, focus on directing your minions to deal with it.
I don't want to touch it, I don't even want to look at it. Yes that'll be better.

>Get your flesh golem to shield you all from whatever Stargazer is planning, and let the imp continue its bombing run to distract it.
>The flesh golem’s blast spells are familiar to Stargazer but the amount of chaos she can sow should hinder any plans.
I order my golem and the imp forward. The flesh golem manages a satisfactory copy of Reisarf's Stray Illume, the swarm of magical missiles pelting Stargazer's main vines and disrupting whatever she was attempting with the sap bombs. Stargazer tries to swing at them and is again repulsed. I think it's actually a better aim than Reisarf.

Moriko's curiously reluctant to engage the imp. The imp has no qualms about using bombs to force her to back up.
>>
No. 1088748 ID: d1e263
File 171310577135.png - (31.83KB , 650x750 , dazed_and_confused.png )
1088748

>Tell her she’s the only princess in this castle, and she’d better snap to, before your present disgust at the state of her boon companion forces you to give this domain the barbarian treatment.
"The only princess here is you, Reisarf. Now you'd better tell me how you ended up stuck in a crystal before I have to settle Stargazer down with brute force!"

Reisarf blinks owlishly at me, still confused. "Oh what about Merud? Oh and I'll need a dragon then?"

I start shaking the crystal. I'm an inch from slapping some sense into her. I start twisting the crystal around so she can see Stargazer herself.

Her eyes clear a little. "Brute force? How'd you do that?"

"WITH MY BARE HANDS REISARF, FOCUS."

>If anyone can get through to Stargazer and snap her out of... whatever that thing did to her, it's Reisarf. If anything can break whatever effect this is besides physically prying the thing out of her, it'd be the one person Stargazer seems to genuinely care about. I have a hard time imagining she could willingly hurt him, even with everything that's happened.
I kick the crystal and a crack spreads most satisfactorily. Moriko's held off for the moment but I don't have much time.

Reisarf flexes her claws, crystal flaking as some more movement returns. "Oh Deem," she mumbles. "I didn't realise you felt that way so often, I'm sorry."

"Later! What were you doing here?"

"You wanted to start a garden and get everyone and everything looking right for the visit." Reisarf begins. "But you've never seemed to have time for the garden. So we thought if you had more interesting plants and we had more mana, that'd help out. We realised that my Matter Virus didn't always kill seeds when combining them with something, but it needs so much mana! Stargazer wanted to improve our mana loop, I think you offended her saying she could eat all those eggs, but she was never going to be good at dungeon stuff!"

I restrain myself from correcting her that Stargazer simply doesn't possess the qualifications to do it.

Reisarf frowns "It was so hard to try to figure out something that might work like dungeon stuff but... there was something... in the dark..." she shakes her head. "Stargazer, you're hurting yourself doing this! Let's stop!"
>>
No. 1088749 ID: d1e263
File 171310589705.png - (25.37KB , 800x600 , extremely_normal.png )
1088749

The Potential Void suddenly appears here, Stargazer must have moved it within her body. I feel mana shift - ah, through the floor!

Stargazer is pumping more mana into Reisarf to cause more crystallisation. She must want to put her wizard back to sleep. The void thrums ominously.

They can both contain far more mana than a regular wizard and with each cycle they have fed it back to each other and raised it higher yet, creating more mana with more possibilities. The instability is raised higher too, as more possibilities unfold for them to do something wrong, which spirals everything out further again.

Reisarf attempts to cast a spell.

Possibilities converge in one searing point of nothing, in hands that cannot hold them.

The Potential Void splits open.

Reisarf dies.

The throbbing in my head worsens. This is what I hate with this sort of magic! I hadn't realised Reisarf and Stargazer had grown so proficient in courting disaster!

This isn't merely dangerous, this is something unbearable. The world rejects this. It paradoxically seeks to undo the chain of events that allowed this moment of crisis, an intervention to haphazardly dump some outcomes of another way things might have gone into the present, such that it was never possible for this to have happened.

Reisarf is staying with my dungeon, because I will not let go of them! My Resurrection Matrix holds them. But before I can finish dealing with Stargazer, I need to impose my own determination on this vanishing void.

Where's Reisarf?: Reisarf is currently on the monster gathering expedition with Alkaline.
Why Reisarf?: Reisarf didn't accompany Hin on the second expedition to the Orange Crags.
How's Reisarf?: Reisarf's mana storage was transferred to someone else.
What's Reisarf?: Stargazer didn't rescue Deem from the night hag's dream.
Who's Reisarf?: Deem didn't recruit Reisarf.
>>
No. 1088750 ID: 99f29a

Where's Reisarf?: Reisarf is currently on the monster gathering expedition with Alkaline.
>>
No. 1088751 ID: a94f5d

>>1088749
Ah hell no, screw timeline fuckery, it's time for you to shounen protagonist it up and steal all that mana for yourself and punch this instability in its proverbial face and break the winze while you're at it.

If there's no other option, revert as little as possible and go with the Where.
>>
No. 1088755 ID: a7a180

What is Reisarf? We just don't know.
>>
No. 1088757 ID: 12b116

Could the mana storage be transferred to Moriko to cancel out mana vacancy?
>>
No. 1088759 ID: 014c98

>>1088749
If a choice must be made, Where's Reisarf.

But, they must know, they must *remember*. Reisarf and Stargazer are prone to testing their limits too far in dangerous ways. If the mistakes of this now are forgotten, there is a chance that it will happen again in the future. They must remember, they must know, they must learn.
>>
No. 1088760 ID: 1effd3

>>1088749
Where's Reisarf?

Something stirs in The Void
>>
No. 1088763 ID: 273c18

>>1088749
Oooh oooh! Potential, the cocoon!

What's Reisarf?
Let's find out how weird he/she can get.
>>
No. 1088779 ID: bbce81

Are... are we allowed to get meta with this?

Because I don't know exactly what it's going to happen as a result of this choice, but it CAN'T be re-writing time, at least not permanently. If it was, the later options would mean the vast majority of the quest never happened. Which makes sense by the story's internal logic, but would be incredibly narratively unsatisfying to just go "none of these decisions mattered, because they never happened." I don't think that would be presented as an option, at least not without making it VERY obvious what the consequences will be.

So whatever effects this will have, I don't think it's likely to be as simple as "the past has changed, things are different now." At least, not some of the options. It's possible that 'Where's Reisarf' WILL be permanent while the others aren't, simply because it CAN be without screwing up the narrative. I could see that actually sticking in a way the others don't.

On the other hand, this logic amounts to voting based on calling an authorial bluff, and "I don't think you're really gonna do it" is logic that tends to lead quests to... bad places.

I'm voting for How's Reisarf, but mostly because I'm a lot more comfortable screwing with powers and upgrades than I am with sequences of events that could have led to someone getting badly hurt if things went differently.
>>
No. 1088780 ID: 273c18

>>1088779
I think what's going to happen (and what we are choosing, specifically) is that Reisarf's past is being rewritten, but ONLY hers.
>>
No. 1088782 ID: 5ebd37

Why Reisarf? If Reisarf wasn't on the expedition would that mean the spatial anomaly and void shard are still at the crags?
>>
No. 1088817 ID: 580aa8

give mana storage to moriko
>>
No. 1088829 ID: d9776d

Hrm. Timeline messups. If we don’t want to be too confused let’s just go with Where’s Reisarf?
>>
No. 1088912 ID: d1e263
File 171327892051.png - (17.53KB , 750x650 , grasp_hole_firmly.png )
1088912

>Because I don't know exactly what it's going to happen as a result of this choice, but it CAN'T be re-writing time, at least not permanently.
This is merely a crude patch. A little of what may have been jammed in with little thought of how it should have connected to the greater whole.

>Could the mana storage be transferred to Moriko to cancel out mana vacancy?
Her problem is that she is struggling with self definition, not a shortage of mana. This leaves her vulnerable to mana-based influences.

>Hrm. Timeline messups. If we don’t want to be too confused let’s just go with Where’s Reisarf?
>If there's no other option, revert as little as possible and go with the Where.
It feels it like lack courage, but I suppose what was most recent should be the most flexible in ontology. I just hope Reisarf doesn't cause another mess on the monster capturing expedition.

I grab the void and clamp it shut, bringing this to closure in the way I desire.

I blink as phantoms of memories try to settle on me. I feel muzzy headed.

I'd have had a quiet evening talking about golemetry with Merud that ran later into the night...
>>
No. 1088913 ID: d1e263
File 171327895307.png - (50.27KB , 750x650 , observation_skills.png )
1088913

The world ripples.

I feel the watery blood of my golem body congeal. My rocky coverings strain as clay expands. I feel ungainly. These fruit doting the place look tempting.

Argh, I finally broke that curse and it's come back?!

Oh. I see. I only changed my mind about breaking the curse after seeing what it had done to Reisarf. But if I sent Reisarf to capture some monsters, then I haven't seen Reisarf for days.

She did take my eggs with her though... I did say she could use them after the party.

Maybe I still need to be concerned...

>What is Reisarf? We just don't know.
Someone I need to give a stern talking to once she is back in the world of the living!

My left hand is burning from forcing the void to close. It's not in good condition but I've recovered my sword.

Moriko hits me with her hammer again.

"Stop that, Moriko!" I yell. "You don't want to do this!"

"I want to fight you again!" Moriko says. "I want you to see me like that again!"

"Aren't you my guardian, Moriko?" I ask.

She suddenly rocks with indecision.
>>
No. 1088914 ID: d1e263
File 171327903261.png - (51.96KB , 600x800 , big_brain_move.png )
1088914

Stargazer's changing. I can feel her finally, her body straining against walls of the Thaumatorium.

The walls of Stargazer's interior bulge inward with whatever alien equivalent of lard Stargazer possesses and the ground becomes lumpy with similar protuberances.

Ah the eggs again. Stargazer would have been emulating my cursed form the whole time instead of just at the start.

I stare at her now greasier brain accusingly as she tosses sap bombs about seemingly at random. I didn't know a brain-stem could become obese but she's somehow managed it. This is very rude, mocking me like this Stargazer. I'm not that fat!

"Let fight this fathead together, Moriko!" I say.

"Mow!" the imp says.

"I... yes!" Moriko says.

Between the smaller space and the cluttered vines, it's getting hard to move. I finally realise this was probably Stargazer's plan all along, using her sap bombs to congest the arena, make the bomb flower patches spray bombs everywhere and regrow her vines. It's like fighting a hydra.

Moriko's broken free of Stargazer's control but is struggling to get to me. Hammering plants isn't working well. My flesh golem is down, and I've lost sight of the imp but keep hearing imp noises. I take some hits from sap bombs and they warp my legs and make my horns ungainly while around me the vines sprout more.

Thick vine arms fence me in.

Stargazer headbutts me.
>>
No. 1088915 ID: d1e263
File 171327916545.png - (46.94KB , 750x650 , underworld_deem.png )
1088915

I ... lost?

The Resurrection Matrix has intervened and captured my Heart fragment and golem body. I don't particularly enjoy the feel of sinking in the border between life and death so I try to focus elsewhere.
>>
No. 1088916 ID: d1e263
File 171327920747.png - (96.66KB , 750x650 , behold_statue.png )
1088916

Reisarf hasn't resurrected yet. How lazy. I feel their spirit pooling within their statue. It shouldn't be much longer.

>If Reisarf wasn't on the expedition would that mean the spatial anomaly and void shard are still at the crags?
Most likely. Maybe. As I said, it's hardly a clean break.

Moriko's still fighting Stargazer. I feel tremors. Stone groans in my Thaumatorium. Wait, I've been defeated so that means Stargazer has just seized all the mana I had accumulated with my Verdant Image. I almost had enough for a dungeon spell!
>>
No. 1088917 ID: d1e263
File 171327924972.png - (34.04KB , 600x800 , a_fine_crop_of_deems_this_year.png )
1088917

I sit up.

I've had enough! No more playing around!

Before Stargazer can attempt something stupid with that inrush of mana or try to break down my walls looking for Reisarf, I'm going to seal her up!

The horrific things she's done to her insides can stew a while within a Sealing Designation and I can safely tease apart this rickety framework of power she and Reisarf assembled later when everything isn't at boiling point.

Sealing is about separation, defining an inside and an outside. I can cut some things away from Stargazer before placing the seal. It'll weaken the seal if I try to take too much. There's some things I should cut away: Moriko, the imp, the stolen plants. The slimes might be fine in there but that's iffy. The winze is too deeply embedded. Perhaps I should should try to cut her capacity for bad ideas away too, but that's likely too embedded as well.

Next, I need a container to seal her into. I might try to seal her up in her own skin but that has the obvious problem she's occupying my entire Thaumatorium. Something more portable I have immediately at hand, or something that I can quickly make, or I could attempt to go a little more conceptual by imprinting something on her with the wizards I have available or my handful of Rote Spells.
>>
No. 1088918 ID: 06ecc3

Maybe you can seal the dungeony parts of her in something like a dollhouse for a portable dungeon, or like a fish tank.
The slimes should be taken out too. Maybe you can leave her eye poking out of the seal?
>>
No. 1088919 ID: 1effd3

>>1088917
Remember the wierd stomach thing that was moving eggs around and stuff behind that secret wall? cut that off as well. it'll hopefully stall any new mana she tries to generate
>>
No. 1088920 ID: a94f5d

>>1088917
Stargazer has already made a bunch of things you can cut away from her, heck they're event meant to become separated, the fruit!

And if you're in doubt as to how to store them, you can set them to ferment for a long time.
>>
No. 1088925 ID: 5fee00

Seal her into your golem body's belly, where you can keep an eye on things and get alerted as soon as they inevitably go wrong. You're already mimicking life via golemetry principles, whipping together this kind of storage is natural and basically trivial for someone of your skill.
>>
No. 1088929 ID: 5ebd37

>Something more portable I have immediately at hand
Well why not use Deem's tummy a golem? Something sort of like Doyle.

Wouldn't the plants fare better sealed away than the slimes? Shouldn't leave anyone behind.
>>
No. 1088937 ID: a7a180

A terrarium seems like an appropriate sealing vessel for Stargazer's little garden of horrors. Will her having all that mana in quarantine be dangerous? Will she still be in this state when your patron arrives for his tour?
Hopefully you have enough mana after that sealing to fix this curse again. You know how things were supposed to go... will anyone else remember?
>>
No. 1088966 ID: a4d918

>>1088929
A stargazer sealing-mech she can move around or you can take over sounds excellent. A walking time-out-cage. It could even function as a miniboss!
>>
No. 1089008 ID: 273c18

You can easily use Sculpted Simulacrum to make a golem body made in her image, and seal her in that. Very good conceptual fit!
>>
No. 1089010 ID: 5a489c

>>1089008
the mental image of this with a crude sign hung on it saying something to the effect of "I have been a very naughty staff" is absolutely sending me
>>
No. 1089024 ID: 486840

>>1088917
Is there a suitable fruit, or gourd you could seal her in? That would fit the worm metaphor. Maybe hang it on a hook as well, just to drive the point home.
>>
No. 1089104 ID: 374cf5
File 171344234532.png - (30.85KB , 650x750 , grave_liberation.png )
1089104

>The slimes should be taken out too. Maybe you can leave her eye poking out of the seal?
>Remember the weird stomach thing that was moving eggs around and stuff behind that secret wall? Cut that off as well. It'll hopefully stall any new mana she tries to generate.
>Stargazer has already made a bunch of things you can cut away from her, heck they're even meant to become separated, the fruit! And if you're in doubt as to how to store them, you can set them to ferment for a long time.
Good points, I will take all those things. And focusing on the fruits rather than the entire plants should mean very little effect on the strength of the Sealing Designation.

I'll try to give Stargazer some awareness of the outside world. I'm not a monster!

My attendant golem breaks open Reisarf's statue shell and pulls out my alienist. He is still wearing the slime outfit I made him because paradoxes are stupid.

"Oh hello Deem. I'm so confused." Reisarf says, holding his head. "I was here, but I was out catching frogs?"

"You attempted to wipe yourself from existence." I say. "Feel lucky you're only confused! With every time you and Stargazer activated that Potential Void and cycled more and more mana through yourselves, you expanded your potential to do something drastic. What do you think happens when something mortal attempts to encompass boundlessness?"

"Something amazing." Reisarf says breathlessly.

"No!" I shout. "Events unravel to protect you from your own stupid self!"

"Oh but that's amazing..." Reisarf mumbles.

I stare at him. Reisarf shuts up and looks at his feet.

>Hopefully you have enough mana after that sealing to fix this curse again. You know how things were supposed to go... will anyone else remember?
I've shed that curse through sheer resentment.

There's another tremor, I chivvy Reisarf to the Thaumatorium.
>>
No. 1089105 ID: 374cf5
File 171344246384.png - (0B , 750x650 )
1089105

The entrance is blocked by orange blubber.

"Hmmmph, I'd hoped to really impress on you what your nonsense has done, but this will have to do." I say to Reisarf. "You two have gone too far this time." I give Stargazer an accusing poke.

The giant maggot occupying too much of my dungeon doesn't react, as busy as she probably is trying to headbutt my valiant hammerai with her fat head.

>Is there a suitable fruit, or gourd you could seal her in? That would fit the worm metaphor. Maybe hang it on a hook as well, just to drive the point home.
As the overlapple is bigger on the inside it would be particularly appropriate for such things. I don't think I want something that might spoil though, especially seeing the corruption affecting her body.

>A terrarium seems like an appropriate sealing vessel for Stargazer's little garden of horrors.
>Maybe you can seal the dungeony parts of her in something like a dollhouse for a portable dungeon, or like a fish tank.
I barely have any glass unfortunately!

>Seal her into your golem body's belly, where you can keep an eye on things and get alerted as soon as they inevitably go wrong. You're already mimicking life via golemetry principles, whipping together this kind of storage is natural and basically trivial for someone of your skill.
>Well why not use Deem's tummy a golem? Something sort of like Doyle.
True, I don't want that eyeball doing anything out from under my sight. And moving her from inside my self to inside myself has a convenient adjacency. If she's going to try to imitate my work then I'll give her a chance to follow me around and be a properly diligent student!

Although I suspect you suggested this for some perverse reason. This will not go how you wish.

>Will her having all that mana in quarantine be dangerous?
Perhaps. It can't do much but stew internally though. With this sealing option, she can transfer the mana to me if she's feeling cooperative due to her talent as a Mana Battery.

>You can easily use Sculpted Simulacrum to make a golem body made in her image, and seal her in that. Very good conceptual fit!
I don't want to risk creating a second giant monster in my already overcrowded dungeon. I can allow her access to the puppet-homunculus I used while travelling though.

"Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to seal Stargazer up inside me before this gets any worse. I'm going to let her possess this golem -" my puppet golem waves. "- to help avoid her being too isolated. I want you to stay with it. Try to make Stargazer comfortable. She will be disorientated. Can do you that?"

Reisarf nods.

With Reisarf out from under foot, I focus my dungeon's power with my golem as a focal point and squeeze my grip around Stargazer.
>>
No. 1089106 ID: 374cf5
File 171344251020.png - (41.70KB , 500x800 , finger_trap.png )
1089106

You should never have touched that gross thing Stargazer. It's no good for you. It will drag you down with it.

Time, and distance, will save you.

I will separate you from what you have taken, to lighten your load.

I cut so my stolen denizens can spill out.

I cut to reap the harvest she has sown.

I cut a third time to rid Stargazer of distorted images.

I wrap her up in my power, and then I swallow her down.
>>
No. 1089107 ID: 374cf5
File 171344254986.png - (26.92KB , 600x800 , furry_bad_end.png )
1089107

I blink, disoriented. How long has it been? Not long I think. Reisarf and my puppet golem are back, the former nervous and the latter moving awkwardly and looking very unhappy to be here. Something is...

Ah yes of course Stargazer would assume the form of my nightmares.

>Will she still be in this state when your patron arrives for his tour?
It could take a month or more for things to settle down to the point I can safely untangle them.

I feel Moriko and the imp are stirring in the Thaumatorium. I restrain from peeking inside. I need to take a firm but fair hand with them and I just know seeing the state of it will make me irrationally angry.

I need to discipline these two! They need to be punished, and we need to set ground rules so this doesn't happen again. How should I handle them, and what is an appropriate punishment to make sure they are properly ashamed?

>The mental image of this with a crude sign hung on it saying something to the effect of "I have been a very naughty staff" is absolutely sending me
Yes, like this!
>>
No. 1089108 ID: 1effd3

>>1089107
No more trying to break reality without permission! This is the consequences of your actions, you can't properly fulfil your roles as staff and mage now!
>>
No. 1089109 ID: 85a0df

>>1089108
Also almost wiping Reisarf from existance. Stargazer would have been sad if you hadnt fixed that
>>
No. 1089110 ID: 99f29a

It's okay Deem, we still love you even if there's a taller you around now. I promise to only scheme to serve a new, better, master one-fourth of the time at most.

Put a tall cone around their necks, the same way you would prevent a dim-witted pet from chewing or scratching at things they shouldn't.
>>
No. 1089112 ID: 619ac8

>>1089108
Oh I think she’ll make a pretty good staff still. Reisarf could probably even swing her around if he gets all big and crystalline again.

Give Reisarf the worst punishment of all: an intervention where everyone tells them they’re too valuable and respected by their friends to throw themselves down a mana black hole.
>>
No. 1089114 ID: 2409f2

Make Reisarf etch in stone "I will not break causality" 100 times.

For Stargazer... well, we should probably look at what that shard of corruption was, where it came from. If she willfully took a devils bargain for the power to challenge you, that requires more than a slap on the wrist.

I think, Deem, at some point you should take a moment to stop and consider perhaps what residual effects this may have as well. Is your arm still corrupted? When you were sinking into death (and you have a very attractive soul, by the way) there was a conspicuous asymmetry on the sky magic sealings, that perhaps coincided with the corruption you felt when you crushed the reality hole in your hand.

I know you're not supposed to talk about it, but maybe think about what's changed?
>>
No. 1089116 ID: 3a9fbe

>"Oh but that's amazing..." Reisarf mumbles.
The world is full of amazing things Reisarf, is it worth dying to see just one of them? He needs self discipline or he's going to burn out and miss a lot.

As for Stargazer, if she wants to prove her capabilities this is the wrong way to go about it. Punish her with a long lecture on how her ideas could have worked if she had just taken it slow and discussed it with you beforehand.
>>
No. 1089122 ID: e1a09b

>>1089107
I'm all for the shame-sign for giggles, but a long lecture is probably the best when you get serious. Make it interminable, boring, but if they ever lose interest, snap them back to attention with some... unpleasant thing you can do. I'm sure you have some idea. Need to nip this particular tendency in the bud before it gets worse, before they take some other shortcut and delete, I dunno, a whole city, or something.
>>
No. 1089127 ID: 12b116

>>1089114
Make him etch it on a random wall in the dungeon to confuse adventurers and make them overthink things to set them up for an ambush
>>
No. 1089128 ID: e1a09b

>>1089127
lets be honest a room full of crazy can have a lot of impact, might as well use this to improve things a little.
>>
No. 1089134 ID: eb0a9c

Hammer in the fact that reality itself was willing to cause a time paradox before it would endure a Votential Poid infinite mana exploit. That's @#$%ing serious. Does she realize how few universes would tolerate a time paradox, to the point they would commit suicide the moment they experienced one?! And that this magical universe thinks the PV is even worse?!

Threaten to take Reisarf's boobs and temporarily give them to someone else, that's how bad they screwed up.

>Stargazer as teen Deem
That's actually Stargazer re-living a Magical Girl nightmare she had. It's complicated.
I like it. In fact, Stargazer's punishment is that she has to listen to us headvoices again.
>>
No. 1089140 ID: 273c18

>>1089106
The Winze is only a finger? I wonder where the rest of it is. Uh. Wait, you swallowed all that, and then bound Stargazer in the golem. I don't se the Winze in the golem. Where is it now?

>>1089107
Tell Stargazer she can keep that pilfered mana for now, but you will expect it to be returned in time. Her holding it means it won't leak, so it's saving you mana overall. You'll want it back once you've gained some in your main storage, enough that you'll be able to USE the mana when you retrieve it.

Definitely put that sign on Stargazer. For Reisarf, tell her that she's forbidden from using the Potential Void for a week, and all magical experiments the two of them do will have to be approved by a third party from now on. They have lost your trust.

Then the interrogation can begin. WHERE did they get the Winze? When and how did it spiral out of control? They should know their limits.
>>
No. 1089142 ID: a7a180

So the goal of the punishment should be to teach Reisarf (and Stargazer!) better risk assessment and safety practices. Not to pay them back for making a mess. They did accomplish a lot of good things! And then tried something incredibly dangerous.
-So, for starters: no more experiments until Stargazer's unsealed. Until then, Reisarf will be tasked with the cleanup and organization of the magical workshops, under close supervision. There will be no magical shortcuts taken along the way, stick to the basics.
-While he's being supervised, Deem can teach them by rote a framework for experiments: proposing ideas to her, hypothesizing expected outcomes - at least trying to predict something, anyway- and preparing appropriate safety precautions before they start. Get it in their head that to get to the fun part, you have to follow this formula - like drawing a circle over and over to develop a reflex, you need to start with the fundamentals.
-Impress on Reisarf that if he goes deeper into the abyss next time, Deem will not be able to pull him back out. You are responsible for guiding them down this path, and it's your job to make sure they don’t fall off the ledge. Using himself as a test subject is not an excuse to ignore safety. When considering the wellbeing of other people, he should remember: Other people care what happens to him - particularly Stargazer!
-Once the safety procedures are drilled into them, Deem will teach them a ritual spell, the lowest cost dungeon magic she can find, something within mortal grasp. That's the carrot to the stick - all of this setup is in service of performing more advanced research.
>>
No. 1089147 ID: 486840

>>1089107
I agree that really drilling into them how bad and dangerous and irresponsible what they were doing was, In fact should probably forbid them from doing ANYTHING until we're satisfied they get that.
They wanted to see something amzing, but was it worth being wiped out of existences for? was it worth getting ripped from each other? Was it worth taking us down with them? This has definitely harmed our ability to trust them, and they should be aware of it.
As far as more concrete punishment, I can only think putting some kind of restriction on them is the only effective thing that makes sense, magical or otherwise, maybe limiting what/how much magic they can use, assign them some boring routine task to perform for a period of time, thats useful to the dungeon, like carrying water or something.If we're lucky they might even learn something from this.
Reisarf just seems to be naive and reckless, but im not sure Stargazer doesnt have something against Deem personally, and this incident might just be a symptom of that, maybe its time to find out.

It's probably worth clarifying as well, does Stargazer still have (gristle)worms? you might want to ensure that doesnt get passed along to your golems.
>>
No. 1089148 ID: a320af

You know what? This all happened because Alkaline told Deem that she puts too much restrictions on Reisarf and Stargazer, so that resulted in Deem letting them do what they wanted, which resulted in this whole mess happening. Therfore, Alkaline is unintentionally responsible for this happening. However, we can't punish her because she had no idea this was going to happen.

So what we should do is tell Alkaline what happened. Let her know that allowing Reisarf and Stargazer to do what they wanted resulted in them almost erasing themselves from reality. Emphasize that we put restrictions on what they do for their safety and the safety of everyone else because they always want to do dangerous things like this.

Hopefully by telling Deem's daughter about the danger we avoided, she'll understand how important certain restrictions are!
>>
No. 1089159 ID: 273c18

Oh, and regarding the Winze. From what's been implied, that's... part of a dead dungeon?
>>
No. 1089262 ID: e951ad

It may have been only because of your grace, but Stargazer as a dungeon *did* manage to defeat your lesser form. That's a laudable achievement!

After you get through punishing her, perhaps a small boon is in order?
>>
No. 1089264 ID: 260607

>>1089262
>After you get through punishing her, perhaps a small boon is in order?
Don't give them any rewards. That sends the wrong message and will make them think they're allowed to keep doing dangerous unsupervised experiments like this, as long as they manage to do things that will result in something Deem will end up liking.

They need to be punished so that they can understand how stupid they were when they did this!
>>
No. 1089272 ID: 1effd3

Also: they aren't allowed to sleep together until Stargazer is ungolemed. It'd be... weird to let Reisarf sleep with a humanoid... he's too young for that!
>>
No. 1089273 ID: 273c18

>>1089262
I don't think we would have lost if Reisarf hadn't erased herself, forcing Deem to resolve the paradox and become cursed again as well as hurt her hand in the process.
>>
No. 1089277 ID: a7a180

>>1089264
Well we can't just keep punishing them forever. At some point the punishment ends and life goes back to whatever passes for normal.
>>
No. 1089293 ID: 2409f2

We haven't punished them at all yet, I don't think I've read anything that would remotely get through to Stargazer suggested.

This is the hard part, half us will always coddle, half of us will make jokes, there'll be a few encouraging the lewd solution.

Sometimes an obvious solution will be suggested but punishment? For an eldritch being like Stargazer no less?

...

Separate them. Keep them apart until they've both learned their lessons. To these two who spend all their time together, as each other's constant companions, that will be a meaningful punishment.
>>
No. 1089296 ID: e97e06

>>1089277
I never said to punish them forever.

And we haven't even started their punishment yet! It needs to start and be in effect for a while before it can come to an end!
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No. 1089305 ID: 5b2941

>>1089293
Agreed. This is the only way.

>>1089262
Can we not? Ambiguity won't help any here.
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No. 1089306 ID: 273c18

Oh right, the paradox also removed the simulacrum golem Deem had made, which was important for keeping the boss suppressed. So if it weren't for the paradox I think we could've won.
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No. 1089326 ID: a7a180

>>1089296
Well they didn't say to give them the boon first, either. Obviously the punishment comes first.
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No. 1089353 ID: a172c6

>>1089326
And the boon never comes.
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No. 1089357 ID: 2409f2

As it should be, they fucked up, this is not a victory. Hell, Stargazer and Reisarf squared up against each other during that. Things are changed by this.

It dawns on me, Deem, that Stargazer once saved you from a curse over your mind. Perhaps, before any punishment is given, a brief heart to heart in whatever way you can manage might be appropriate.


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