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File 160932928948.png - (19.32KB , 600x400 , dungeoneer_ch8.png )
984496 No. 984496 ID: 293539

http://www.questden.org/wiki/Dungeoneer

I hurt.

Perhaps I am not, in fact, an expert at drinking.

I've used myself ruthlessly; depleted coin, mana and substance in pursuit of ideas that seemed brilliant in the moment. Even by the feeble, hateful rays of the dawning Sun the cracks and blemishes emerge from the kindly night's soporific haze.
Expand all images
>>
No. 984497 ID: 293539
File 160932931635.png - (15.61KB , 800x500 , who_this.png )
984497

How long have I slept? Some little fraction of the night. The earth has hardly moved.

I try to separate myself from the cozy darkness, rise to full wakefulness before the light holds me to account.

My sleep was a fever haze, I'm not sure what was dreams. That act of separation is too much for me right now.
>>
No. 984498 ID: 293539
File 160932937699.png - (26.95KB , 750x650 , objective_complete_survive.png )
984498

My golem body protests as I sit up in bed; its image has been destroyed and recreated too many times.

I've put its stone and clay through various abuses. It has performed better than I could have expected, strengthening its ties to my Heart fragment. My drowsing reinforcement and consolidation is not yet complete.

----------------------------------------
New Ability Unlocked!
----------------------------------------
Spell Revolution: Nearly completed spells are circulated continuously in a closed loop of mana channels, allowing it to be cast very quickly when required. This is preset to a handful of rote spells and each spell takes a considerable amount of time to reconstruct following cast.

Choose two:

In My Image: Copies magical effects affecting Deem to the target. This can also be used to suppress magic currently affecting the target prior to casting the spell.

Invulnerable Hide: Toughen the target's body and their skin becomes practically unbreakable.

Sculpted Simulacrum: Conjures a effigy of the target constructed of materials based on its surroundings and animates it as a golem. It's able to mimic some of the target's abilities.

Stone Egg: Conjures a giant stone egg. It has boulder-like toughness. After a short delay Deem can make it hatch, spraying its surroundings with sticky slime.
>>
No. 984500 ID: 9caba2

>>984498

Good morning there harem member, Kallia seems to be in the middle so that makes her the protagonist of this bed event.
You appear to be the first one in the bed that's awake, so unless Hin is already doing it, you have to make the customary post drinking-or was it a post coitus thing? No matter, you have to whip up some scrambled eggs with sausage.

Also get some water, both you and the clay-leaves on your branches are looking a tad dry(and the branches rather... girthy?).

Spells:
In My Image, since you often get hit by various magical effects, I'd hypothesize that it can be used to help break curses by letting your mages experience them more directly. And you could potentially also use it as a learning tool? Not to mention throwing a debuff right back at a fool in combat or sharing a benign effect.

Sticky Egg, in case there aren't any eggs for making breakfast here.
>>
No. 984501 ID: d47474

huh, somewhat surprised you didn't wake up fused to another golem actually... especially since it looks like you all decided finding more then one bed was to much effort.

but as for what to choose
>In My Image: Copies magical effects affecting Deem to the target. This can also be used to suppress magic currently affecting the target prior to casting the spell.
Deem does seem to get cursed a lot so something to turn that into a boon would be nice.

>Invulnerable Hide: Toughen the target's body and their skin becomes practically unbreakable.
And this one because I feel it pairs beautifully with "In my image" as if she becomes a physical tank it would mean adventurers would more then likely be forced to use magic to try and take her down and if they uses debuffing magic or statis magic with "in my image" she can turn it right back around on the adventurer.
>>
No. 984503 ID: 08e322

>>984498
egg, in my image. check how many people you had rocking sex with last night
>>
No. 984504 ID: 0924b3

>>984498 Simulacrum and Egg, also Deem, sweetheart, brush your hair. It's looking a bit moppy and sad.
>>
No. 984505 ID: 9c1ef3

>>984501
Both of these, because In My Image is such an excellent tool and a good buff like that is only made better by it.
>>
No. 984506 ID: ce39da

In My Image and Sculpted Simulacrum pair beautifully with the theme of a mirror battle. 'You're fighting yourself more than you're fighting me,' and all that.
>>
No. 984507 ID: 001ae5

In My Image and Simulacrum. Making mirror minions and doubling buffs (or mirroring debuffs) will be great for interesting boss fights and force multipliers.
You’re looking a bit slim. Did you make more golems? Or did Centaur gobble you up?
>>
No. 984509 ID: 0c0671

Sculpted Simalcrum: There's so much potential in crafting and combat when you can make inanimate resources mimic the properties of specific animals. Steel formed into the bulletproof hide of a reptile, stem cells molded into replacement organs, and you can make cake out of anything!

I want to see how Deem conjures Stone Egg.
>>
No. 984510 ID: a9af05

>>984498
In My Image and Sculpted Simulacrum

Deem, you're looking really thin. You should replace the materials your body lost, so that you don't look like you'll shatter to pieces if you trip and fall on the floor.
>>
No. 984511 ID: f10f92

>>984498
Hydrate. Check your body for eggs. You ate one last night. Probably absorbed it to fuel tree growth tho? Anyways, Hide and Image.
>>
No. 984513 ID: 10c408

sculpted simulacrum and in my image. Double the denizen fights, double the fun.
>>
No. 984514 ID: d58a70

I'm gonna say In My Image and Sculpted Simulacrum, cause there may be a synergy there of copying buffs like a reinforcement to the summoned golems.
>>
No. 984516 ID: 465a14

In my Image and Sculpted Simulacrum, for the theme and utility. They seem pretty great.
>>
No. 984517 ID: b1b4f3

>>984498
Sculpted Simulacrum, In My Image. Make a minion then give it all your buffs!

Looks like you've got clothes on so your purity has been preserved.
>>
No. 984518 ID: 6e6f32

In My Image and Sculpted Simulacrum

Invulnerable Hide has amazing synergy with Sculpted Simulacrum, as you can create an invulnerable copy of an enemy to beat them down through attrition, but In my Image can do insane things, namely magic cancel a solo runner or Double Boss a team. It may be worth enhancing spell revolution in the future just for Invulnerable Hide, but that is a quest for another day.

It seems your clay is cracked and dry. Seek Water.
>>
No. 984521 ID: 0fae41

In My Image and Stone Egg. How long can you delay the fuse? You can use it for cover or to block passages too.
>>
No. 984522 ID: 12b116

egg and invulnerable hide.

Also touch a boob. Are there any boobs to touch in the bed with you?
>>
No. 984525 ID: 465a14

True, you did do dangerous magical experiments involving boobs last night. It'd be irresponsible of you not to check on them after that- be sure to massage them properly to make sure they didn't somehow get any clay or rocks mixed in.
>>
No. 984533 ID: 735fa3

I'd say sculpted simulacrum and In my image.

I think maybe Invulnerable hide would be more useful, but our strength is in our companions so things we can use with them seem ideal.
>>
No. 984565 ID: 38eec1

>>984498
In My Image and Invulnerable Hide. Cast your famuli in your invulnerable image!
>>
No. 984576 ID: 4b0c86

Invulnerable Hide and Sculpted Simulacrum.
>>
No. 984578 ID: 12b116

Let's go for simulacrum or exploding egg. Speaking of which, are you still full of eggs? If not, which corner of the room did you barf them up in? A drinking expert always barfs something up in a corner of the room.
>>
No. 984636 ID: afa6f6

>>984498
In My Image, and Sculpted Simulacrum are the way to go. Besides the wonderful synergy and the beautiful theming, each is useful on their own in different ways.
IMI, because Deem is constantly putting various effect on herself or experimenting with her Golem body, or getting cursed, so theres already a wide variety of uses without having to change her usual behavior.
And SS, because being able to make a minion on the fly is always useful. and you could use it as a tool to get a better understanding of a target if you use it on various beasts or creatures before considering bringing them in as a minion, and it'll make a great tool for your boss battles in the dungeon, or maybe even as a room challenge if you can set it up beforehand.
>>
No. 984779 ID: 21dfe1
File 160972401681.png - (24.44KB , 600x800 , tough_crowd.png )
984779

>Good morning there harem member, Kallia seems to be in the middle so that makes her the protagonist of this bed event.
>You appear to be the first one in the bed that's awake, so unless Hin is already doing it, you have to make the customary post drinking-or was it a post coitus thing?
>It looks like you all decided finding more then one bed was to much effort.
>Check how many people you had rocking sex with last night
>Looks like you've got clothes on so your purity has been preserved.
>Touch a boob. Are there any boobs to touch in the bed with you?
>True, you did do dangerous magical experiments involving boobs last night. It'd be irresponsible of you not to check on them after that- be sure to massage them properly to make sure they didn't somehow get any clay or rocks mixed in.
...

I don't want to hear it.
>>
No. 984780 ID: 21dfe1
File 160972405792.png - (31.72KB , 650x750 , the_only_early_riser.png )
984780

>In My Image, since you often get hit by various magical effects, I'd hypothesize that it can be used to help break curses by letting your mages experience them more directly. And you could potentially also use it as a learning tool? Not to mention throwing a debuff right back at a fool in combat or sharing a benign effect.
True, it is quite versatile in that respect.

>Deem does seem to get cursed a lot so something to turn that into a boon would be nice.
I don't get cursed that often.

>In My Image and Simulacrum. Making mirror minions and doubling buffs (or mirroring debuffs) will be great for interesting boss fights and force multipliers.
Those two it is then.

>Invulnerable Hide has amazing synergy with Sculpted Simulacrum, as you can create an invulnerable copy of an enemy to beat them down through attrition, but In my Image can do insane things, namely magic cancel a solo runner or Double Boss a team. It may be worth enhancing spell revolution in the future just for Invulnerable Hide, but that is a quest for another day.
Invulnerable skin doesn't mean invulnerability, but yes that is a thought for another day.

I crawl to the edge of the bed and creakily stand up.

>Deem, sweetheart, brush your hair. It's looking a bit moppy and sad.
The colour's run a little. I must have let it get wet for too long. I'll have to tidy it up.

>Huh, somewhat surprised you didn't wake up fused to another golem actually...
With another golem fused to me, don't you mean?

>You’re looking a bit slim. Did you make more golems? Or did Centaur gobble you up?
Do you really think that golem would be able to overcome me? I'm conserving energy.

>Speaking of which, are you still full of eggs? If not, which corner of the room did you barf them up in? A drinking expert always barfs something up in a corner of the room.
No, and I didn't sully this bedroom.
>>
No. 984781 ID: 21dfe1
File 160972416582.png - (33.28KB , 800x600 , deem_used_hydro_pump.png )
984781

>Also get some water, both you and the clay-leaves on your branches are looking a tad dry(and the branches rather... girthy?).
Those leaves aren't clay, but some water certainly wouldn't hurt

I head down to the kitchen to get some water. There's dirty dishes scattered about but I find a clean mug and get water from the pump.

>Hydrate. Check your body for eggs. You ate one last night. Probably absorbed it to fuel tree growth tho?
I removed or digested all the eggs except the one on my chest. I extract that one and set it aside too.

>Deem, you're looking really thin. You should replace the materials your body lost, so that you don't look like you'll shatter to pieces if you trip and fall on the floor.
I'm hardly that fragile and I don't see any spare clay lying around here either.

>No matter, you have to whip up some scrambled eggs with sausage.
The pantry's almost bare. I'll need to go to the shops. I am missing my spare homunculus now so I suppose I'll take Centaur to carry things.

... I do need to bring up the matter of custody with Kallia at some point too.
>>
No. 984782 ID: 36784c

>>984781
……found Hin. Look out the window and you’ll see her. She’s apparently grown too big to fit inside the building!

Hopefully you can fix that, otherwise she’s not gonna be able to fit inside the dungeon when you go back!
>>
No. 984783 ID: b1b4f3

>>984780
Wait a minute isn't that your first adventurer on the floor there? Why does it look like she's got a clay leg?

>>984781
Where's Hin? Don't get Centaur out of bed just yet, you'll probably wake Kallia and... well, we don't remember how long you stayed up last night, do you?
Go find Hin, maybe just spend some time sitting and checking on how everyone's doing back home.
>>
No. 984784 ID: f10f92

>>984781
Now you're hydrated, go back and cuddle. It's only polite.
>>
No. 984788 ID: 12b116

let's look for Hin and find out where that cat came from
>>
No. 984793 ID: b1b4f3

Getting everyone a drink to wake up to sounds like something nice to do.
>>
No. 984794 ID: 0fae41

...So, um. In order of things, I think you should pour some hangover cures for everybody, in the form of water. You should go investigate that hill of yellow and black outside the window there. You should bring the cat a bowl of milk. And you should hug both of those last two things.
>>
No. 984796 ID: d47474

uh, where's Hin and where did the cat girl come from?
>>
No. 984801 ID: 6e6f32

Is.... Is that the cat-folk adventurer from a little while back?

What's she doing here?
>>
No. 984806 ID: d78ab5

The water will probably help with the hangover, maybe, I think that's how fleshy folks get over it other than something about dogs hairs and orange juice.
Your body probably needs heat though, to meld together crumbling joints. So perhaps you should drink...hot water? Maybe with stuff innit?
>>
No. 984807 ID: 9caba2

>>984781
Looks like you managed to get adopted by a cat during your night out. Remember to get some food for her as well.
>>
No. 984820 ID: db14b0

Huh, so Centaur can mimic past invaders now? That is a lot of detail to describe, can you upload memories into golems that are only partially your own?

I do not trust that pump, as it has no face...

Leave the whole jug out for Hin to drink when she wakes up.

Check your amulet to be sure it didn't get damaged. Nobody wants their magic to pop up randomly.
>>
No. 984825 ID: 9c1ef3

>Bed so overflowing with hotties one of them is on the fucking floor
>...but they're all fully clothed

what in the goddamn...

Wait, you might need to find some pants. Or a skirt. Or something.
>>
No. 984828 ID: 4d4283

I think Hin is behind the bushes, There is something wich looks exaclty as her robe.

The best course of actions may be to check damages from last night. I would priorice checking if Hin is ok (she could get a cold). Then look if the cat adventurer is the cat adventurer or a golem. And lastly maybe chek if Kallia is ok, last night she grown things and that can't be good for her health.
>>
No. 984838 ID: 19a984

>>984820
That, or we just amputated the right leg of a semi-random adventurer and tried to fix it...
>>
No. 984971 ID: ae7e19

Make sure you gather up your nice outfit! It would be very sad to loose it so soon
>>
No. 985041 ID: f57349

>>984820
>I do not trust that pump, as it has no face...
Say, Deem, what would it take to make a specialized water-pumping-and-dish-washing golem that could power itself with ambient mana and food waste?
>>
No. 985252 ID: 735fa3

Why exactly are you talking like you live here?
>>
No. 985259 ID: 8fab7a

Yours is a unique position for all you drank, Deem. Not so much hungover as stonedownered from the magic abuse. Heh. Sorry.

Thought: hard to say who took most advantage of the other last night, but the golemeters are down parts and ingredients. You may owe them... something. Ah well. At least some fun was had.

And Pony got eaten.

By the way, your dryadic tree horns. They're... a magical effect of sorts, right? That's what that was last night, wasn't it? You reflected them upon Kallia, In My Image-style. I mean... I don't think she has hers now, still. Or...?

>Custody
Myeah. Centaur was supposed to be of aid with her golem examination project. Still think that's a good idea, in the light of day? I guess you do, if we're handing her over to Kallia, whatever the caveats.

Also, have you considered bringing and selling some of the excess eggs in town? If there's any interesting applications to them, well... we do know how to make more, I think. Mana battery juice can do it.

... could you dump raw mana on them and get, like, a supply of them? Hm. Hmm.

>Catlady adventurer
...is it her?

Oh my.

At any rate, the slow-to-rouse will require sustenance. Check your funds, then dress up and nip out for some quick grocery shopping so that you can repay Kallia's hospitality (or whomever's home this is) with a proper breakfast.
>>
No. 985394 ID: 43a577
File 161036194678.png - (23.61KB , 800x550 , more_junk_next_time_maybe.png )
985394

>...found Hin. Look out the window and you’ll see her. She’s apparently grown too big to fit inside the building!
Well that just sounds like carelessness.

>Hopefully you can fix that, otherwise she’s not gonna be able to fit inside the dungeon when you go back!
I've been working on higher ceilings. Also the spell should have worn off already so this is probably Hin's fault.

>Wait, you might need to find some pants. Or a skirt. Or something.
I find my pants in the lounge room in amongst the other detritus of the night's activities. There's some of my newer rocks on the table too so I replace them.

>Uh, where's Hin and where did the cat girl come from?
She was at the bar, I think. The cat. Hin was there also, but I don't think she's still there.

>Is.... Is that the cat-folk adventurer from a little while back?
Yes.

>What's she doing here?
Sleeping. Maybe I should rest some more too, I still feel low on mana.

>Now you're hydrated, go back and cuddle. It's only polite.
>You should go investigate that hill of yellow and black outside the window there. You should bring the cat a bowl of milk. And you should hug both of those last two things.
I am not cuddly, nor am I a hugger.

>Don't get Centaur out of bed just yet, you'll probably wake Kallia and... well, we don't remember how long you stayed up last night, do you?
Fine. I can go a little longer without any minions. I don't usually sleep, so not as long as usual.
>>
No. 985395 ID: 43a577
File 161036202050.png - (22.67KB , 650x750 , deem_dressups.png )
985395

>Make sure you gather up your nice outfit! It would be very sad to loose it so soon.
I head down to the basement to gather up the rest of my robes. They're a bit loose. I'll have to pin up these pants. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten something with such long sleeves either.

>Yours is a unique position for all you drank, Deem. Not so much hungover as stonedownered from the magic abuse. Heh. Sorry.
So you should be.

>Say, Deem, what would it take to make a specialized water-pumping-and-dish-washing golem that could power itself with ambient mana and food waste?
Why would I waste those sorts of resources on something that limited?

>Myeah. Centaur was supposed to be of aid with her golem examination project. Still think that's a good idea, in the light of day? I guess you do, if we're handing her over to Kallia, whatever the caveats.
I'm not sure if the golem's of particular use to Kallia in its current state.

>Hard to say who took most advantage of the other last night, but the golemeters are down parts and ingredients. You may owe them... something. Ah well. At least some fun was had.
>And Pony got eaten.
I am owed a homunculus though.

>Have you considered bringing and selling some of the excess eggs in town? If there's any interesting applications to them, well... we do know how to make more, I think. Mana battery juice can do it.
I don't think they'll last long term. They're likely to degrade the more they're duplicated.

>... could you dump raw mana on them and get, like, a supply of them? Hm. Hmm.
Possibly, they are partially derive from Stargazer. They might change again though.
>>
No. 985396 ID: 43a577
File 161036212804.png - (20.92KB , 650x750 , wake_up_hin.png )
985396

>Getting everyone a drink to wake up to sounds like something nice to do.
Water seems a bit basic and there's not terribly much else.

>I would prioritise checking if Hin is OK.
She's still in quite an altered state. I suppose I should. I go outside, squat next to Hin and try to poke her awake.

Hin sits up, stretches and yawns. Then she looks down at me. "I haven't changed back? Oh nooo?!" she says theatrically.

I look up at my magically engorged blacksmith wearily. "Hin, take off the bangle."

"..."

"..."

"You've got sharp eyes, Deem." Hin says, rubbing at the Fixity Bangle on one hand.
>>
No. 985397 ID: 43a577
File 161036222090.png - (32.24KB , 750x650 , is_a_huggeder.png )
985397

Hin slouches over and shuffles over to me on her knees, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. "Anyway, didn't eggsplode overnight? That's good."

"I don't explode."

"Don't lie, Deem!" Hin says, swaying me side to side with her. "Betcha were gonna explode if you drank any more. Like bwwoom! Didn think you'd be such a party animal!"

"I'm not." I say, trying to loosen her hand. "About that bangle, Hin."

"Oh yeah! I think I should keep it for a bit. You got that guy coming, remember?" she says.

"That guy?"

"You know, the guy! Thingy's son! You were talking up your dungeon stuff at the bar? He was interested in sponsoring it?"

That sounds like something I'd do but I don't remember much. Also I think I need to get Hin off me if I'm going to achieve anything this morning.
>>
No. 985398 ID: f10f92

>>985397
Can a fixity bangle keep you drunk?..
>>
No. 985400 ID: f10f92

>>985397
Maybe ask Hin if her horns usually look like that?.. She always grinds them down so I don't think we've seen her full horns before.
>>
No. 985402 ID: 9caba2

>>985397
Eh you can let her wear the bangle for now, right? Just give her a honk to get her off of you.


>>985400
And yeah, last time she got respawned she just had short-ish horns that curled down, right? I think she's decided to branch out a bit like Deem.
>>
No. 985403 ID: 2aa5f0

why does everyone have your branch antler look now? That's your look!

But for real see if you can't get Hin to tell you more about that guy... and maybe see if you can't find something to sober her up, she still seems a little drunk from last night. You wouldn't happen to know any cure poison spells by any chance would you?
>>
No. 985406 ID: 798061

>>985397
Gotta one up her for hugging her, deem. Put her on the backfoot. Hug her back and give her a kiss
>>
No. 985407 ID: 094652

Question: why does magic show mercy to Hin's clothing?

Ask Hin if she wants to take advantage of her situation at the local bar or seedy joint, because you're leaving in like six hours.
>>
No. 985410 ID: ce39da

"Hin, I don't remember much after we left this house. Could you please clarify who this guy is, how I can identify him, and what exactly it was that he was offering that requires you to keep wearing that bangle?"
>>
No. 985411 ID: 525e7e

You ringed her, deem. Now she's yours for life. Enjoy your new bride
>>
No. 985412 ID: 87871e

She has a point Deem, don’t go kicking out blocks from the precarious pile you built last night until you have a clear picture of how it will come down. Besides, all the better for her to reach the top shelf and other high things for you now. Tell her to pick you back up and lift you to the second floor, there are more survivors to rouse.
Before he arrives, you should trim her horns back to something more organized. Not all the way down, that would take too long in this size.
...Oh yeah, you had a bunch of eggs still laying around. If you’ve got someone coming, you need to clean up. Hin is on egg disposal duty.
>>
No. 985414 ID: a9af05

>>985397
Oh great. Someone of importance of some kind is coming by.

Deem, you should probably make yourself taller so that you don't have this random person looking down on you.
>>
No. 985420 ID: 12b116

What else can Hin tell us about what happened last night? How did we end up with the cat?
>>
No. 985421 ID: 8fab7a

Well, at least you've given her a taste of her heritage. I'd say let her be to see if she realizes how much more inconvenient her current form is - 's a good lesson. Also, this way she gets to prank the others as well.

And you may or may not be able to use her to impress this 'Thingy's son'. Press Hin for more details on that, then sic her on the others while you consider your next move.

(Hin's horned now. Are you 'In My Image'-ing her?)
>>
No. 985433 ID: 0fae41

Let her have the bangle. See if you can brew up something to counteract her continued inebriation, or maybe just a large intake of water will do the trick. Can you circulate some mana with her to restore your energy? Maybe standing up and doing some stretches would be good for her.
Anyway, clean up the lounge before you prod the cat. It may be polite, after all this time, to finally ask her name.
>>
No. 985463 ID: f0f35e

Hin still sounds drunk... and looks drunk. How is she still drunk, how does something her size get drunk in a single village? ... someone made enchanted booze, didn't they? And the bangle is maintain the enchantment. Can you empower her to resist mental magic?
>>
No. 985464 ID: 735fa3

Maybe she's still drunk. Maybe the fixity bangle keeps you drunk (alcohol acting like a potion?).

Or maybe she's blushing and putting an arm around Deem because of something that happened last night that Deem can't remember.
>>
No. 985504 ID: 4d4283

She looks like enjoying herself, let her play with tha magic item a bit more. It looks funny.
>>
No. 985539 ID: 19a984

Fuck, this might be bad. Aren't there those templar guys who are in charge and basically destroy dungeons? Aren't we technically criminal by nature to them?
>>
No. 985540 ID: b1b4f3

>>985539
I don't believe we've gotten any details about that yet.

This is a good opportunity to do that though.
>>
No. 985844 ID: 777990

Huh

Flushed cheeks

Arm around shoulder

Pressing her obnoxiously gigantic tits against her

Oh my god, they had drunken gigant mode sex last night.
>>
No. 987064 ID: aa5597

>>985397
Why does Hin have treebranch horns? Did she eat some of the eggs as well?
>>
No. 988531 ID: cdddfb

well, there goes flirty but wholesome.
>>
No. 989450 ID: 9a15ed
File 161450758833.png - (27.11KB , 800x550 , talk_some.png )
989450

>Huh
>Flushed cheeks
>Arm around shoulder
>Pressing her obnoxiously gigantic tits against her
>Oh my god, they had drunken gigant mode sex last night.
I did not, I have never, NO.

>Why does everyone have your branch antler look now? That's your look!
>...Oh yeah, you had a bunch of eggs still laying around. If you’ve got someone coming, you need to clean up. Hin is on egg disposal duty.
She's clearly had enough eggs already.

>Put her on the backfoot. Hug her back and give her a kiss.
I will not.

>Question: why does magic show mercy to Hin's clothing?
Because I cast that spell and I'm not an amateur.

>Fuck, this might be bad. Aren't there those templar guys who are in charge and basically destroy dungeons? Aren't we technically criminal by nature to them?
Criminal? What an absurdly inadequate word. My nature is one of determination. I am one who sits in judgement, not one who can be judged.

Had this fledgling organisation of Harrowers that Kallia once mentioned to me been encountered, I surely would remember no matter what state I was in.

>"Hin, I don't remember much after we left this house. Could you please clarify who this guy is, how I can identify him, and what exactly it was that he was offering that requires you to keep wearing that bangle?"
"My memory's fuzzy, Hin. "'Thingy' doesn't really narrow it down for me." I say.

"You know, Thingy! We broke into his vault last night?"

"Oh, the banker." I say. "He has a son?"

"Yes! The guy."

"The guy?"

Hin shrugs, wondering how I'm not following her rambling. "The guy in the bar."

>What else can Hin tell us about what happened last night? How did we end up with the cat?
"More detail." I say. "Was that before or after the cat?"

Hin squints at me. "Whaaaat, we ran into Myaousha when we were running from the church."

"Right." I say.

"So we decided to do the bar thing," Hin continues, "and Thingy was there!"

"The banker?"

"No, actually his son."

This is getting me nowhere.
>>
No. 989451 ID: 9a15ed
File 161450764647.png - (24.64KB , 800x500 , a_collection_of_stuff.png )
989451

>Hin still sounds drunk... and looks drunk. How is she still drunk, how does something her size get drunk in a single village?
I don't think you understand how much there is to drink in a single village.

>Can a Fixity Bangle keep you drunk?..
It does resist physical change, it seems it has slowed her processing the alcohol.

"You still sound tipsy." I say to Hin.

"Tipsy? Yah, I guess. Did drink a lot!"

"I think it's the bangle, Hin. It's keeping you drunk for longer." I say, with extreme patience. "You should take it off."

"Ah, hmm. Oh. Ohhh." She picks at it for a moment. "What about the guy though?"

"What about him?"

"Gotta show off the goods you know? We were kind of on a rampage last night." She raises one hand and counts off on her fingers. "You were going on about golems and denizens and being a magical with all the stuff you can do and make. Between us and the golems and everything, I guess he liked what he saw? But gotta back it up at brunch today."

>Well, at least you've given her a taste of her heritage. I'd say let her be to see if she realizes how much more inconvenient her current form is - 's a good lesson. Also, this way she gets to prank the others as well.
>And you may or may not be able to use her to impress this 'Thingy's son'. Press Hin for more details on that, then sic her on the others while you consider your next move.
I sigh. "I'll repair the spell I put on you. But then you'd better take the bangle off."

"Okay, kay." Hin nods.

>See if you can brew up something to counteract her continued inebriation, or maybe just a large intake of water will do the trick. Can you circulate some mana with her to restore your energy? Maybe standing up and doing some stretches would be good for her.
While my Heart itself is badly depleted, there is still power enough in my Heart's fragment for this golem body of mine to operate locally. A concerning amount of mana really, considering the usual loss I suffer from its broken edges. Perhaps I did drink too much.

I put that power and Hin's excessive proximity to use. I repair the decayed structure of the enlarging spell I placed on her. Hin's other changes should subside after a while.

"There," I say, unwrapping the Fixity Bangle from Hin's finger. I duck inside and select a large pot to place back outside near the garden's pump. "You should drink some water too, to help flush your body." I remain at the door in case she decides to get physical again. "The others are still in bed, would you get them up if they're still not up soon?"

My blacksmith raises her arm in some sort of sloppy salute. "Aye aye, keep drinking and pester lots? Got it."

I sigh.

Hin frowns. "You oughta freshen up, Deem. You're looking a bit groggy. Maybe don't come on so strong this time too."

I don't dignify that with a response.

>Deem, you should probably make yourself taller so that you don't have this random person looking down on you.
This person is coming as a petitioner to me. To overexert myself in preparation would reek of desperation.

It seems I have a wealthy individual coming by in between one and two hours, interested in the potential of my dungeon. What should I do to prepare?
>>
No. 989453 ID: 2aa5f0

well, you probably should start by waking everyone else up. Either they'll have a better idea on what happened last night or at the very least when "the guy" shows up it would probably make a better first impression if the meeting didn't have a bunch of passed out drunks laying around the place.
>>
No. 989454 ID: b1b4f3

>broke into the vault, probably vandalized the church
Well, I hope that didn't get you in too much trouble. You didn't wake up in jail at least...

Well obviously you need to make sure everyone's sober and presentable by the time the guy arrives. That includes you. Get yourself a little food, try to get more of the story of last night from the others, clean up the place a bit too. Pick up those eggs you've left lying around.
And check on the dungeon.
>>
No. 989459 ID: 5b0071

>>989451
Returning to the shape that you arrived in town as may actually be a good idea. It will make the clothing Moriko designed for you fit properly again. It could make the difference between this person seeing you as an individual, or simply as an advanced golem Merud or Kallia whipped up. You don't need that nonsense.
>>
No. 989460 ID: 094652

Write up a list of things you expect the petitioner will request, such as cuisine or a sporting match. Prioritize questions about your dungeon and business opportunities.
>>
No. 989464 ID: 12b116

Just be your usual headstrong self, you can basically do anything and he's lucky to get a chance to work with you. We do kind of need to know what he actually talked with you about though.
>>
No. 989466 ID: 0fae41

Dye your hair, go on an easter egg hunt, and perhaps get everyone's answers straight in preparation for interview. Especially Myaousha's. She needs to understand that she saw a very early, prototype version of the dungeon - we're much bigger now, with much larger and impressive assets - like Hin!
>>
No. 989524 ID: bd10df

The key to warfare is knowledge. Interrogate the locals for the details of your opponent.
>>
No. 990664 ID: d2408a
File 161545484731.png - (30.80KB , 800x550 , drudges_and_drinks.png )
990664

>>Broke into the vault, probably vandalized the church
>Well, I hope that didn't get you in too much trouble. You didn't wake up in jail at least...
The church probably deserved it. I'm sure everyone would agree.

>Just be your usual headstrong self, you can basically do anything and he's lucky to get a chance to work with you. We do kind of need to know what he actually talked with you about though.

>Write up a list of things you expect the petitioner will request, such as cuisine or a sporting match. Prioritize questions about your dungeon and business opportunities.
Golems. Commissioned magic items. Rare materials or monsters. Perhaps paying special effort to testing and strengthening anyone he sends to challenge my labyrinth.

>Dye your hair, go on an easter egg hunt.
>Get yourself a little food, try to get more of the story of last night from the others, clean up the place a bit too. Pick up those eggs you've left lying around.
I asked Hin to get the others out of bed already, so I head to the stable to look for any bits and pieces we didn't get off the pack-mule golem.

Th golem has seen better days that featured more legs. There's other dormant golems of inscrutable purpose scattered around. That might be for the best - I need laborers to clean this places up and I already decided not to rouse that cancerous mass of golemetry in the upstairs bedroom. One seems to be made of river mud, one's made of sticks, one is made of rocks and other found materials, and there's one that resembles an artistic interpretation of Belphe. There's a salt crusted mass inside that last one that smells faintly of seawater and eggs. Maybe I should take that one back to my dungeon, it might encourage my little pot to not slack off.

There's some other signs of alchemical activity too - a few scattered potion pots with labels attached to them in a childish scrawl, labeling them "satid- saif FOOd", "BIG" and "gOLi e m".

And another egg or two as well, of course.

>Well obviously you need to make sure everyone's sober and presentable by the time the guy arrives. That includes you.
I reactivate the stone golem first as it seems like nothing too experimental was attempted with it and it has hands. Aside from a bizarre predilection to hand me potions and take them away, it applies itself to clearing some of the clutter, while I brush my hair and darken it.

>Returning to the shape that you arrived in town as may actually be a good idea. It will make the clothing Moriko designed for you fit properly again. It could make the difference between this person seeing you as an individual, or simply as an advanced golem Merud or Kallia whipped up. You don't need that nonsense.
I do need to find some good quality clay though. For a golemetry guild, this place is bizarrely lacking in it. I must have given too much of myself away last night.

Something's nagging at the back of my mind. Did I do that, and do I need to do this now? I probe the altered connections between my Heart fragment and golem body. Ahah!

----------------------------------------
New Abilities Unlocked!
----------------------------------------
Distill and Disperse Modes: Deem has two forms. Distill Mode refines and process energy, while Disperse Mode spreads it. Disperse Mode loses access to Spell Revolution and instead gains Earth Surge.

Earth Surge: Deem can momentarily amplify her physical abilities with a pulse of mana. It loses effectiveness if she's not in contact with the ground.
----------------------------------------

Something twists in those connective channels, a change of flow. My outfit becomes snug as my golem body expands to better fit it.

Outside I hear Kallia scream.
>>
No. 990665 ID: d2408a
File 161545492238.png - (36.94KB , 720x720 , these_goofs.png )
990665

Hin has gotten Kallia out of bed. And out the window.

"Kallia, you're up!" I say.

"Agh, not so loud." Kallia winces. "And yeah, I noticed." She squints at me suspiciously. "How're you up? You were wasted."

"Maybe she's some kind of drinking expert?!" Hin chimes in. "Woo, drink team!"

"Don't you drop me!" Kallia says.

"Relax!" Hin sways. "Haven't droppened nobody yet."

"Yeah that doesn't reall-"

"Nyaha! What an adventure!" my dungeon's very first invader invades the scene. Kallia winces again. Myaousha perches in the window.

"Oh hey cat." Hin says.

"You're tall!" Myaousha says to her.

Hin looks at herself in what I hope is mock surprise. "Huuuh, guess so." She raises her water jug to Myaousha, who drinks some and passes it back to Hin.

"Mwah," Myaousha says. "What's for breakfast?" she yawns.

"The pantry's empty." I say.

Hin drains the rest of the water jug and then refills it. "There's those eggs, can you cook those up?"

Kallia squints at the sun, distrusting the bright, glaring thing that only means her harm. "Huh, kinda later than I thought. You got that guy coming soon right? Maybe just use those new food-potions you brewed, huh?"

"The guy?" Myaousha asks.

I sigh. "Pilan Nemellan's son."

"Oh right, Thingy!" she says.

>Get everyone's answers straight in preparation for interview. Especially Myaousha's. She needs to understand that she saw a very early, prototype version of the dungeon - we're much bigger now, with much larger and impressive assets - like Hin!
"I want to make sure everyone's clear before he shows up," I say, looking at both Kallia and Myaousha's groggy faces. "The dungeon you've seen was a very early and unpolished version - you especially Myaousha. It's much better now, it has much larger and more impressive assets, like Hin here!"

Hin tips her water jug in a toast. "Yeah I'd kick your ass this time, prolly!"

Myaousha tilts her head in confusion. "I fought you?"

"You thought she was a troll and a witch." I provide.

"Oooh! Let's fight!"

Hin grins at me. "What do you think?"
>>
No. 990666 ID: d2408a
File 161545498398.png - (32.02KB , 800x600 , deem_doesnt_deserve_this.png )
990666

"No!" I say. "No fighting! We've got a visitor soon and we've got to get ready."

I think for a moment. Perhaps it'd be best to split the cat and my tipsy half-ogre up for now. "Myaousha, why don't you go freshen up while I figure out what to do about breakfast."

"Sure! I want to try some of that slime milk, OK?" She vanishes from the window.

>Either they'll have a better idea on what happened last night or at the very least when "the guy" shows up it would probably make a better first impression if the meeting didn't have a bunch of passed out drunks laying around the place.
I look at Kallia, maybe she can actually give me an account of what happened. I ask and her immediate response is a smug grin and, "Goddamn, you were an animal Deem."

I sigh.

It looks like I have to herd these three into getting clean, feeding them, coaching them for this meeting and maybe, should I be significantly lucky actually get any useful information out of them before meeting this new backer.
>>
No. 990669 ID: b1b4f3

>>990666
Be stern. This is important. They can tell you embarrassing stories later. You need to know what you promised this guy, when he's showing up, and... what the hell these golems do. That mud golem in the back has a kind of... menacing aura about it. What's that in its chest?
Also you need better labels for the potions. Childlike writing is not exactly your best foot forward. What does the "golem" potion do? It's new isn't it?
Actually wait, can't you tell what the golems do? By, you know, reading their spell channels or whatever?

Are those weird eggs even safe to eat? Maybe you should try to get some real food instead of relying on satiation potions; you brought those here to sell them didn't you?
>>
No. 990673 ID: 9caba2

>>990666
I'd say Hin already seems plenty presentable, and she can make sure Kallia gets washed.

See if you can't round up all of your golems, so you don't have any lying around in the street.

Hin might need to get topped up with a satiation potion, can't have her deflating with a customer around.
>>
No. 990674 ID: 2aa5f0

well you got the golems, you could probably have them splash the girls with water if they don't clean themselves up... and if you have any money left maybe see if there's a bakery or something nearby you can grab some breakfast for everyone.
>>
No. 990689 ID: 591576

Sniff those potions for the smell of alcohol first. Then, drink them anyway! The golem potion must be labeled for a golem to drink, so it can wait. Give Kallia the satiation potion as requested, and give Hin the one labeled BIG.
The mana eggs are chicken eggs at their core, they should cook quite nicely and multiply for anyone who wants seconds. Do Kallia’s golems know how to scramble eggs?
So, let’s rotate those tasks. Kallia cooking first, herself satisfied by the potion, Hin washing up, because she’ll be fastest, and Deem grilling Myaousha for details. What’s the last thing she remembers, then start where she met this sponsor.
>>
No. 990745 ID: 0fae41

>>990673
All this seems right. After all somebody's got to down these potions to get rid of the evidence- you're not licensed to sell homebrew yet. Also, satiation via potion is much easier than scrambling all the eggs Hin would need. Recruit your pot golem to help mop up and... try to get the mud golem looking presentable? A protean model can show off the breadth of your capabilities in a single golem. Plus, they're good at charades.
>>
No. 990824 ID: ce39da

You don't need to do anything with the potions except stash them out of sight (unless the banker's son explicitly asks for them, and... even then).

Have the useable golems help clean, and just... just hide the ones that aren't.

Definitely grill Hin and Kallia, specifically about what you discussed with the banker's son. Be gentle yet stern with steering them back on topic when they inevitably drift onto a tangent.
>>
No. 990856 ID: 777990

Maybe the golem potions are... well, golem making potions.

You've got like, 4 mono-material, super crude golems. One is made of bamboo sticks, how could that thing ever be useful? Unless all of the weird golems were test runs, figuring out how to get something useful our of a golem that's not actively made by a golemeter.
>>
No. 990857 ID: b1b4f3

Maybe the mud golem can use the stick golem as a skeleton?
>>
No. 990858 ID: 38eec1

>>990857
you want a stick-in-the-mud golem?
>>
No. 990876 ID: b1b4f3

>>990858
Well, look at what we've got here. A golem using mixed materials, a fragile-looking stick golem with NO ARMS, and a mud golem that's slumped over in the corner.
I think Deem was experimenting with mixing materials in golem construction. "stick in the mud" may have been the very phrase that inspired the stick golem and mud golem combo.

...hold on, the cauldron is a golem? Can it move at all? Was it an improvised alchemy assistant or just some way to infuse mana into the alchemy? Maybe Deem can figure out what the new potion does by analyzing the spent ingredients inside the cauldron.
>>
No. 990889 ID: 284364

>>990858
we already have a stick in the mud golem, it carries Deem's heart fragment
>>
No. 990898 ID: dcdd1c

Do you need us to read those labels for you?
>>
No. 991408 ID: 469d24
File 161580535954.png - (18.03KB , 800x600 , the_least_sticky_and_muddy.png )
991408

>Maybe the mud golem can use the stick golem as a skeleton?
>You want a stick-in-the-mud golem?
>We already have a stick in the mud golem, it carries Deem's heart fragment
Enough of your snide commentary! I am very adventurous and exciting, and my dungeon is too! I'll prove it!

>Do you need us to read those labels for you?
No!

>That mud golem in the back has a kind of... menacing aura about it. What's that in its chest?
That's the golem core. And good if it's menacing! Menace is exciting!

>See if you can't round up all of your golems, so you don't have any lying around in the street.
I don't know if any more are lying around because I can only reactivate them at close range.
>>
No. 991409 ID: 469d24
File 161580540329.png - (21.45KB , 500x800 , a_stick_in_the_mud_golem.png )
991409

>Actually wait, can't you tell what the golems do? By, you know, reading their spell channels or whatever?
Much like reading, interpreting the magical anatomy of a golem is a specialised skill only known to a few so yes of course I can. The 'handwriting' of these golems is abominable though.

From what I can quickly analyse of the patterns and residual intent, the mud golem is designed to... drink a lot? The small stone golem was made to serve drinks. The stick golem has a furled up mess of spell channels in it, they seem to be laid in to imitate and reinforce the mostly dissipated patterns of the plant this stick was from. The cauldron golem is basically a pot on legs but has some elements to try and monitor its contents.

>...hold on, the cauldron is a golem? Can it move at all? Was it an improvised alchemy assistant or just some way to infuse mana into the alchemy? Maybe Deem can figure out what the new potion does by analyzing the spent ingredients inside the cauldron.
The mix in this doesn't seem to be related to any of the potions. Wait. I take a closer look at the crust. The salt crystals are storing a small amount of mana? It looks like it was a mana battery experiment. If I was trying to grow larger crystals, I don't know what happened to them.

>Also you need better labels for the potions. Childlike writing is not exactly your best foot forward. What does the "golem" potion do? It's new isn't it?
>Maybe the golem potions are... well, golem making potions.
Fine! I remove the labels. The bottles are colour coded anyway.

Potions don't lend themselves to analysis as easily as the golems. Now I think about it, I couldn't have made these potions here. I left Doyle and the alchemy kit at my dungeon.

The most I can determine is the golem potion is complex. The ingredients are more like something I'd use in a cognition enhancing potion. It doesn't make or enhance a golem directly, a partial key for a golem core is communicated to the drinker. They can construct a body out of ethereal material? Thought?

The potion labelled 'big' has a similar layer of removal from actually doing anything. It's not a potion either, it's an ointment that has to be poured on or applied to the target. It doesn't enlarge the target, it anchors an enchantment. It's a potion of potion of enlargement?

The one labeled 'food' seems to just be some kind of porridge. It's oddly heavy. It's been compressed somehow.

>Well, look at what we've got here. A golem using mixed materials, a fragile-looking stick golem with NO ARMS, and a mud golem that's slumped over in the corner.
>I think Deem was experimenting with mixing materials in golem construction. "stick in the mud" may have been the very phrase that inspired the stick golem and mud golem combo.
It's an abnormal idea, but I try to combine the mud golem and the stick golem. I've made golems with subordinate elements before, but this isn't that. Perhaps some insight from Centaur last night or simply Merud's diligence with designing cooperative golems has stuck with me as the two merge smoothly.

There, now I have an extra golem with arms and legs to clean up the place. I give it the shirt I was using last night.

The stubby stone golem offers a potion to me. I tell it to grab one of the satiation potions instead and come with me.
>>
No. 991410 ID: 469d24
File 161580546006.png - (33.09KB , 650x750 , bigger.png )
991410

>Somebody's got to down these potions to get rid of the evidence- you're not licensed to sell homebrew yet.
I'm not selling them so I don't need to hide them. I want to make effective use of them though. With how quickly they were brewed they won't have much of a shelf life.

>Hin might need to get topped up with a satiation potion, can't have her deflating with a customer around.
I march outside, a satiation potion in hand. "Hin, could you drink the satiation potions we have?" I gesture outwards. "I want you bigger! I want to be sure we can impress our visitor and you're the most impressive denizen I have."

"Aww shucks." Hin says. "Well you're the most impressive boss I've had! I'm up for drinking whatever."

The small golem toddles forward with its potion and holds it out to her.

"Is this the one I made?" Hin asks.

"I don't remember."

Hin scratches her head. "Well I guess it was a group effort anyway!" She takes it and uncorks it. "Seen Izakikk yet? You really made a fan last night!"

"We ran into Izakikk?" I say.

My blacksmith blinks. "I think so? There's not two masked potion brewers, are there?"

>Definitely grill Hin and Kallia, specifically about what you discussed with the banker's son. Be gentle yet stern with steering them back on topic when they inevitably drift onto a tangent.
"I doubt it." I say. "Quickly though, is there anything else you can tell about the banker's son?"

"Uhh, not really sorry?" Hin says. "You were just enthusiastic was all. Golems and item commissions and pissing off his dad seemed to be the big ones. The bangle was his originally, remember?"

I think Liana mentioned something about that when she was selling it. I thank Hin, leave the second satiation potion with her and step inside to check on Kallia.
>>
No. 991411 ID: 469d24
File 161580553138.png - (34.49KB , 650x750 , dang_kallia_you_short.png )
991411

>Well you got the golems, you could probably have them splash the girls with water if they don't clean themselves up... and if you have any money left maybe see if there's a bakery or something nearby you can grab some breakfast for everyone.
They can have eggs! If they explode or something, it'll be the adventure they deserve!

Myaousha's still in the bathroom so I gather the last of the travel supplies to complement the eggs. It's just some imp jerky, slime milk and vegetables.

>The mana eggs are chicken eggs at their core, they should cook quite nicely and multiply for anyone who wants seconds.
They don't have hard shells so we decide to boil some rather than then figure out how to crack them safely. The stone golem wanders over with a potion and I shoo it away, telling it to get back to cleaning.

>Do Kallia’s golems know how to scramble eggs?
"Why don't you have any golems for this sort of thing?" I ask Kallia.

"Oh, old Okum says us junior golemeters need discipline and humility. We'd get lazy with golems to do the work for us!"

"The bulk of the work this guild does is providing extra pairs of hands to do work." I point out.

"I know. It's stupid." Kallia says.

"It is stupid." I say. They could be selling skilled work instead of just simple labour if they got the practice at making more skilled golems too.

"Yeah!" Kallia agrees. "Sad you missed him." she says after a moment. "That's a showdown I'd want to see." She pulls the partially boiled eggs out of the bot and then tries to mash them with a spatula in the pan to convert them into scrambled eggs.

"Speaking of showdowns, I really do need to know more about last night Kallia."

"Nah, don't worry about it too much." Kallia says. "You were basically your normal self, and so was he, except you were drunk off your collective asses. He wants to liven up the place. Liked the thought of having a hand in what adventurers coming here might see. Was interested in golems and magic items but you were clear it'd take a while to get be able to do anything complicated. Guy's a lech though."

"How bad?" I say.

"Got a dirtier mind than me."

"You're kidding."

"I never kid, Deem."

>Try to get the mud golem looking presentable? A protean model can show off the breadth of your capabilities in a single golem. Plus, they're good at charades.
>You don't need to do anything with the potions except stash them out of sight (unless the banker's son explicitly asks for them, and... even then).
Before Kallia and Myaousha sit down for breakfast, maybe I should think what else I need. Centaur's not doing anything, maybe I should get Kallia to loan me the golem.

Currently I have myself, Hin, Hin's hammer, the repaired bangle, two active golems, some untested potions and Myaousha's account to show what my dungeon's capable of. Is there anything else I should get ready?
>>
No. 991412 ID: 9c1ef3

>Guy's a lech, though,

Weak point acquired! N, wait, Deem, I'm not saying 'show some leg', here, I'm saying that it's possible we have an in here. We almost run an all-female dungeon, big dog and golem guy aside. And Riesarf, but only sometimes? Maybe drop the point conversationally, a good line might be 'It's a good thing there's often no guys around when we experiment with spells, because [nervous laughter], yeah." or similar lines.

You don't have to embarrass yourself or really imply anything, trust me, his brain will do most of the work for you. I know you're a respectable golem-heart-riding-a-female-shaped-ish-golem and this might prickle, but an in is an in, and any guy can tell you it's a strong one.
>>
No. 991413 ID: b1b4f3

>>991409
>mud golem was meant to drink
>stick golem was meant to be a plant
>arm golem was meant to serve drinks
Hmm, I guess the mud golem was an attempt at making an actual expert at drinking? Or an attempt at duplicating Hydro Pump? Can you tell if it can drink potions, like the alchemical golems you made?
Stick golem trying to emulate a plant sounds similar to that. Plants drink water! Alternatively... a camouflaged golem? Something meant to hide in a field of bamboo? Or maybe it's a different interpretation of a golem emulating "life". I mean, usually they're based off of animal life.
I think you've already figured out what the pot golem's for. It was for a specific experiment, growing mana crystals.

>golem potion communicates a golem "key" to the drinker
So... it's a potion that tells the drinker how to make golems?
>big potion is a salve that anchors an enchantment
...could it be used to enhance an existing enchantment, like Hin's spell? You said "anchor", could it be used to keep her big after she takes off the bangle?
Or is it used to... uh... enhance a bodypart's natural inclination to become larger? Deem did you make a penis enlargement salve? Or a salve of enhance knockers?
>food potion is compressed food
Ah, an interesting variation of the satiation potion then.
>"Is this the one I made?"
She must mean the Food potion.

Waaaait, that means... I bet you let Kallia make a potion too. That's the Big potion, since it's lewd(probably). Yours was the Golem potion, since it's so complex. It was an alchemy competition to impress Izakikk!
I wonder if the golems were a competition too?

>couldn't have made the potions here
...ah, you borrowed Izakikk's equipment. If you can find them again you'll be able to find out exactly what the potions are meant to accomplish. I wonder if that's where the mana crystals went.

>>991411
Oh good, I was worried we were supposed to have a specific magic item or something ready to give him when he arrived. Also I suppose he'd understand if you don't quite know what you made while you were drunk.

>anything else?
Where are the cart golem's front legs? You're gonna need those for the trip back.
See if you can get Centaur in a cooperative mood.
>>
No. 991417 ID: 36784c

>>991410
>"I want you bigger! I want to be sure we can impress our visitor and you're the most impressive denizen I have."
Poor Hin. At this rate, she’s never gonna be small enough to fit inside the dungeon when we go back!

>>991411
>They can have eggs! If they explode or something, it'll be the adventure they deserve!
Wouldn’t that be bad for Hin? Because if she does explode, wouldn’t the Resurrection Matrix in your dungeon be too far away to bring her back to life? Didn’t you say that thing only works on your denizens that are killed inside of your dungeon?
>>
No. 991425 ID: ce39da

Okay, so it sounds like the banker's son isn't too torn up about how you broke into his dad's vault. That's good, at least.

"You'll need to be a bit more clear; does he intend just to advertise, or is he looking to have a more direct hand in that appearance, such as an architect might?"

Having a planner worry about map minutia like treasure and trap placement, trap and puzzle design, mana flow optimization, and aesthetic details so that we don't have to would be a load off our shoulders, for sure. It's also fine if he only plans to advertise, though that might draw the church's attention.

Gather your stuff and wear your A-Game face. With someone who doesn't like his (probably) stuffy and uptight father, we should probably try to be casual about this.

After we conclude this meeting, we should look for Izakikk - if they've warmed up to us, we might be able to recruit them, and they'd be pretty compatible with our dungeon as it is now.
>>
No. 991440 ID: 5661cf

You should get ready for a show. Make Myaousha more inclined to give a favorable review by flattering her. You should have her in your lap while you entertain guests, petting her hair like the evil genius you are.
Spread some of the ointment of potion of big around the cauldron before putting a simple foaming solution inside, to enhance the appearance of its bubbling brew. Perhaps add slime milk to taste.
Perhaps you can show off your speed with ritual casting as well?
>>
No. 991442 ID: 9cf2a6

Cancel all silly lewds forever.

Mostly prepare yourself to be receptive to his ideas and try to compliment his attitude. Follow and bend the flow of conversation.

Also, arrange your antlers aethstetically, it looks like you got poked in the head by two kids who gace up on getting their sticks back.
>>
No. 991537 ID: dcdd1c

Can you enchant some boss music? Setting the mood is important as you well know. Just treat this like a dungeon invader, except instead of getting the most out of an invader, you are getting the most out of yourself.
> The mix in this doesn't seem to be related to any of the potions. Wait. I take a closer look > at the crust. The salt crystals are storing a small amount of mana? It looks like it was a mana battery experiment. If I was trying to grow larger crystals, I don't know what happened to them.
Well it might be a mana battery experiment. I personally suspect that it was an attempt to ferment liquid mana into alcohol.
>>
No. 991546 ID: 0fae41

A lecher and a rebel, hmm? Get Pony to give attention to him instead of golems. When you're talking about the dungeon, emphasize the element of shadow and how it can unlock potential in people. Oh, and maybe thank him for the bangle, if you haven't told him the story already of how it helped cure Hin of ghost parasites, then tell it to him again while sober. The catventurer can give an honest eyewitness account, unless it's a negative one. Then she should go try that slime milk instead.
I wonder what enchantment Hin put in the food potion. It sounds like maybe it was related to her hammer's enchantment for compressed storage?
A potion of potion of bigness? Make sure you keep that around to try and remember the recipe, that sounds like it could be utilized well in a dungeon fight. You have invented an interesting new level of recursion here, together.
>>
No. 991722 ID: 819251
File 161597396112.png - (24.63KB , 800x500 , breaking_of_fasts.png )
991722

>Mostly prepare yourself to be receptive to his ideas and try to compliment his attitude. Follow and bend the flow of conversation.
I suppose I can be gracious to my first suitor in a thousand years.

>We almost run an all-female dungeon, big dog and golem guy aside. And Reisarf, but only sometimes? Maybe drop the point conversationally.
Doyle and maybe the cake-mimic are boys too. And no, my dungeon is not some sort of burlesque show.

>Having a planner worry about map minutia like treasure and trap placement, trap and puzzle design, mana flow optimization, and aesthetic details so that we don't have to would be a load off our shoulders, for sure.
Are you suggesting some petty little banker's son would be better at that then me? Absurd! I've felt that faulty nonsense his father calls a vault!

>Okay, so it sounds like the banker's son isn't too torn up about how you broke into his dad's vault. That's good, at least.
I should be able to leverage it to prove I know what I'm talking about.

>Emphasise the element of shadow and how it can unlock potential in people.
All dungeons do that. It's what they're for. To wrest power and prosperity from the Labyrinth Game. Shadow in particular is useful for encouraging my denizens to develop unique skills. Also I haven't actually formed that affinity yet!

Myaousha finally emerges from the bathroom and Kallia briefly pops in to freshen up. The eggs and jerky are ready. I set the table for the golemeter and explorer pair.

"Nyo ho, thanks!" Myaousha says, picking up the jug of slime milk I brought along from the dungeon.

"Wow, but you guys eat stuff like this every day, huh?" Kallia says, poking at the imp jerky and scrambled failed alien-jelly-golem-power-source eggs.

"Not really." I say. "We have orange goo too. Oh and I'd like to borrow Centaur, Kallia."

"Sure but be nice to her this time. No tearing off her arms and calling her a clay-stealing harlot!"

"I'll try." I say. I leave them to eat.

>>They can have eggs! If they explode or something, it'll be the adventure they deserve!
>Wouldn’t that be bad for Hin?
I just gave Hin two satiation potions. I don't think she needs eggs as well.

>Poor Hin. At this rate, she’s never gonna be small enough to fit inside the dungeon when we go back!
I'll just put her on a diet. She can work off the weight.

>If she does explode, wouldn’t the Resurrection Matrix in your dungeon be too far away to bring her back to life?
She has a talisman for the Revival Fountain outside the church. I suppose the wretched thing has some uses.

>You should get ready for a show. Make Myaousha more inclined to give a favorable review by flattering her. You should have her in your lap while you entertain guests, petting her hair like the evil genius you are.
She's not a cat.

Well, she is, but not that sort of cat.

Anyway, I've fed her now so she should give me a very favourable review!
>>
No. 991723 ID: 819251
File 161597400441.png - (25.71KB , 750x650 , get_out_of_bed_lazy.png )
991723

>See if you can get Centaur in a cooperative mood.
I check upstairs. Still in bed, lazy thing. Completely absurd, it doesn't even need to sleep!

I leave Centaur and the stick-in-mud golem there, telling them to start by cleaning up the bedroom together and then work their way downstairs.

>Where are the cart golem's front legs? You're gonna need those for the trip back.
I don't urgently need to find those.

>Hmm, I guess the mud golem was an attempt at making an actual expert at drinking? Or an attempt at duplicating Hydro Pump? Can you tell if it can drink potions, like the alchemical golems you made?
I'm not sure, none of the potions would be useful to feed it and find out.

>>food potion is compressed food
>Ah, an interesting variation of the satiation potion then.
Not really It's more compact but almost as heavy as just taking food. Also it needs that much food in the first place, rather than processing less edible substances.

>>big potion is a salve that anchors an enchantment
>Is it used to... uh... enhance a bodypart's natural inclination to become larger? Deem did you make a penis enlargement salve? Or a salve of enhance knockers?
No. No I did not.

>A potion of potion of bigness? Make sure you keep that around to try and remember the recipe, that sounds like it could be utilized well in a dungeon fight. You have invented an interesting new level of recursion here, together.
It just gives the potion recipient the ability to enlarge other things. Somewhat fiddly for a potion but nothing too special.

>Well the pot golem might be a mana battery experiment. I personally suspect that it was an attempt to ferment liquid mana into alcohol.
The pot was full of seawater so I doubt that very much.

>Also, arrange your antlers aesthetically, it looks like you got poked in the head by two kids who gave up on getting their sticks back.
My antlers are very aesthetic!

>After we conclude this meeting, we should look for Izakikk - if they've warmed up to us, we might be able to recruit them.
I can't recruit any more denizens without overtaxing my Resurrection Matrix, which would mean severe resurrection sickness for anyone requiring revival. Once I've built some monster lairs I can consider it, but I need more monsters as well.

>Can you enchant some boss music? Setting the mood is important as you well know.
I don't have any instruments.
>>
No. 991725 ID: 819251
File 161597406786.png - (19.33KB , 650x750 , dang_hin_you_tall.png )
991725

>Gather your stuff and wear your A-Game face. With someone who doesn't like his (probably) stuffy and uptight father, we should probably try to be casual about this.
I think I'd best set up outside, just in case there's not enough time to clean up everything.

>Cancel all silly lewds forever.
You're right, I don't need any of those.

There's a rapping at the courtyard door.

"Deeeem," Hin calls from the courtyard, sticking her head into the passageway next to it, "This green potion tastes weird."

"How'd you get that?"

Hin looks confused. "Your little golem cutie gave it to me to drink?"

"That wasn't a satiation potion, that was the big potion!"

"Then it's what you wanted? Biggening?"

"You're not meant to drink it! You do something like pour it on your hands and it makes things they touch bigger!"

"Ooooh, I see." Hin pauses. "So should I start licking things?"

I sigh.

>Perhaps you can show off your speed with ritual casting as well?
I detest being frivolous with my mana but it would be good to demonstrate what sort of empowered guardians I can create. I will have to be conservative as my Heart fragment has a greater proportion of damaged channels however. Who should I reinforce and how?
>>
No. 991726 ID: 0fae41

Yes Hin, you should start rubbing your chest area profusely. And Deem too, for luck. Use your spit to transfer the potion effect. Actually, is that going to increase the amount of food she's eaten even more, embiggening the food as it goes down? ...It's a good thing you're not liable for this experiment.
Is it possible Centaur can't actually move, on account of you tearing off her limbs? Have the mud golem prod her 'awake'.
>>
No. 991727 ID: b1b4f3

>>991723
Did Centaur even move? Is one of its legs on backwards? Or is it detached? Maybe it can't get out of bed, you should fix that.
>>991725
Maybe you should... make the server-golem stop doing what it's doing.
>big potion-salve lets you enlarge things by touch
Hmm, I can see how that could be useful. Triggering the enchantment is faster than applying the salve, so you can apply the salve before combat then use it to enlarge something quickly during the fight. You can then use it offensively; making an opponent's armor bigger without making the person bigger is actually pretty inconvenient!

Use the server-golem as your target for reinforcement since it's basically a waste of space now. Show off that you can quickly reconfigure its body; see if you can make it more crab-like.
>>
No. 991730 ID: 0fae41

For showcasing reinforcement, well Hin needs no introduction, but the mud golem is definitely the fanciest thing to come out of last night. Make the mud half stick together to itself and other things better, reinforce the stick half with a sturdiness, like a tree. That way it can lift furniture bodily as it cleans beneath them, and climb all over walls.
>>
No. 991734 ID: 2aa5f0

>>991723
I’m seeing something red on the floor next to the pillow that feel off the bed. Right beneath centaur’s head. That important at all?
>>
No. 991742 ID: f57349

>>991725
>Who should I reinforce and how?
Offer Myaousha the same stoneskin effect Hin had on when they first met, since it's a visually striking way to demonstrate your capabilities without being too bizarre or threatening, reasonably simple/reliable and affordable in terms of mana, and may help clarify some of her misconceptions through firsthand experience.

Then, see if you can squeeze any more useful intel out of Kallia by reinforcing her poison resistance or natural affinity for witty banter.
>>
No. 991743 ID: 9a2966

>Lick things
No, but she could probably try to kiss them bigger for a short while. Anything we'd care to try it on?

... can she give the banker's son a big ol' smooch on the head to embiggen HIM? That should be a novel experience. Maybe plays into the lech thing too much, but it's not like he isn't gonna be oogling Hin anyway at this point. Call it the one gimme he gets.

>Myaousha, give good review
Well. How often do you get the opportunity to just ask? Just head on over and get her perspective of the run went compared to, say, others she's had, with the caveat your dungeon was/is still underdeveloped.

Unless you did already last night? Can you remember talking to her at all?

>Lazy Centaur
Alchemical clay golems are a brand of fun of their own, eh? Do they often develop personalities? I'd bet a certain golemeter would be having a field day with this.

>fix potion golem
Concur. Can you do so outside while you wait? Probably not too long until they arrive now.
>>
No. 991752 ID: 36784c

>>991734
It’s just another egg.
>>
No. 991756 ID: 38eec1

>>991725
So Hin can make things bigger by licking them, now? I'm sure the guy would be very interested in a demonstration.
>>
No. 991801 ID: cdddfb

> enhance guardians

There's no real need at the moment. You've already demonstrated what you're capable of.

Better save the reserve, you might have put yourself on a few radars after last nights shenanigans, you do not want to approach empty any more than you have
>>
No. 991936 ID: dcdd1c

Can you enhance your perception? Being able to accelerate your thoughts to think more about things without showing it would be useful if they try to pressure you. If you could enhance your ability to pick up on lies, misdirection, or ulterior motives then that could be, well, you probably won't like looking into what a lecher is looking for most of the time, but it remains an invaluable negotiating aid.

Could you grant illusion or sculpting powers with which to depict yourself? It is not as though you plan to take him back to your mountain to show yourself off personally, and a visual reprentation of what he is investing in would help clarify things.
>>
No. 992010 ID: 5a788d

>>991722
>my first suitor in a thousand years
[DISTANT DISTRAUGHT MORIKO NOISES]
>>
No. 993232 ID: ead888
File 161680854484.png - (19.27KB , 800x600 , its_his_special_attack.png )
993232

>So Hin can make things bigger by licking them, now? I'm sure the guy would be very interested in a demonstration.
>She could probably try to kiss them bigger for a short while. Anything we'd care to try it on?
>... can she give the banker's son a big ol' smooch on the head to embiggen HIM? That should be a novel experience. Maybe plays into the lech thing too much, but it's not like he isn't gonna be ogling Hin anyway at this point. Call it the one gimme he gets.
"Well you could kiss things as well." I say to Hin. "We might try a demonstration during the meeting."

"Noted, I'll try to look smooch-able." Hin says.

>Maybe you should... make the server-golem stop doing what it's doing.
I tell the golem not to bring anyone anything.

"Aww, poor little guy. He looks so sad." Hin says. "You're denying him his purpose in life! Can't he bring us water at least?"

"Fine," I say, "only serve people water unless I specifically ask otherwise."

>Use the server-golem as your target for reinforcement since it's basically a waste of space now. Show off that you can quickly reconfigure its body; see if you can make it more crab-like.
"I'll be using this golem for a reinforcement demonstration too." I say to Hin. "Make sure it stays out of trouble."

"Aye aye boss!" Hin says. She sets down her pot and the golem eagerly toddles off to the courtyard water pump with it.

>Actually, is that going to increase the amount of food she's eaten even more, embiggening the food as it goes down? ...It's a good thing you're not liable for this experiment.
Yes, I think so. I warn Hin to let me know if she's experiencing any stomach problems.

>Yes Hin, you should start rubbing your chest area profusely. And Deem too, for luck. Use your spit to transfer the potion effect.
Neither I nor Hin share your fascination with chests.

>>big potion-salve lets you enlarge things by touch
>Hmm, I can see how that could be useful. Triggering the enchantment is faster than applying the salve, so you can apply the salve before combat then use it to enlarge something quickly during the fight. You can then use it offensively; making an opponent's armor bigger without making the person bigger is actually pretty inconvenient!
That is a good point. I might have Hin try to demonstrate that too.

>Alchemical clay golems are a brand of fun of their own, eh? Do they often develop personalities? I'd bet a certain golemeter would be having a field day with this.
All golems develop quirks. If they did not possess some volition, they'd just be puppets.

Some cause more trouble than others.
>>
No. 993233 ID: ead888
File 161680856882.png - (31.55KB , 721x720 , oh_my_goooood.png )
993233

>Is it possible Centaur can't actually move, on account of you tearing off her limbs? Have the mud golem prod her 'awake'.
>Did Centaur even move? Is one of its legs on backwards? Or is it detached? Maybe it can't get out of bed, you should fix that.
Centaur doesn't seem to have left the bed. I go upstairs to check on my newly appointed cleaning team.

"You stop that right now!" I shout at Centaur, finding her and the mud golem all tangled together. Whatever odd, parasitic golemetry Centaur showed last night still seems to be present. I would be interested if I wasn't so annoyed!

Centaur stops and I have the mud golem sit out of direct contact. It is still functional, despite missing an arm and a lot of its body mass, but its responses feel erratic. The plant bits seem to be sprouting, the stick golem's powers of tree imitation seem to be faster acting than I assumed.

I hear Kallia come up behind me. "Huh, what's going on here?"

"Kallia! Your golem was trying to eat mine!"
>>
No. 993234 ID: ead888
File 161680864882.png - (28.98KB , 800x600 , standing_there.png )
993234

The golemeter squints. "Huh."

"Just huh?"

Kallia shrugs. "I'm kinda hungover Deem. I mean yeah, it's pretty weird but Merud's caused some pretty weird golem-related messes too. Just split 'em up for now and stop leaving Centaur alone with clay golems, huh?"

"Hmmph. First Hin drinking those potions and now this." I glance backwards at Kallia. "Did you get taller? Don't tell me Hin's been licking things."

"Terrible right? Half a dozen deemimic eggs down the hatch and all I get is a few inches. I coulda gotten down and dirty with Hin for that!"

I'm not sure if I want to acknowledge any of that. "I didn't give you that many eggs." I eventually say.

"I ate most of Myaousha's."

"Ah." I say.

"What's the matter, Deem? Eggs, potions, ogres, careless golems. I swear, it's like you want things to go wrong this morning."

"Hmmph." That's absurd, why would I want a meeting with the idle son of some petty banker to go wrong? After all I'm only perilously low on mana, which is even now bleeding out of of crack in my Heart, and about to see whatever grasping little demands he might make of me in exchange for a pitiance of gold to fractionally improve my situation.

"Wanna talk about it?"

"I'm crippled, Kallia!" I snap. "This shouldn't be worth my time. But I need gold if I'm to have any hope of recovery. I have been petitioned for things that approach the realm of the miraculous! What is the banker's son going to want? Some tawdry things that could be accomplished by a mediocrely talented enchanter or craftsman?"

"Yeah? So wring him for every bit of coin he's worth and use that to go on to bigger and better things."

I laugh in surprise. "So mercenary, Kallia!"

"I too am a grump in the morning." Kallia sips from her mug. "But yeah even if it's something small, I bet there's a ton of unique stuff you can provide. Something that 'stirs the heart'. This imitation coffee's great by the way. What's it made of?"

"Squeezed imps."

"Hah, good one." Kallia says.

I don't say anything.

"You're joking, right?"
>>
No. 993235 ID: ead888
File 161680873799.png - (19.94KB , 720x720 , this_guy.png )
993235

With a reduced workforce I focus on just preparing the courtyard.

>>my first suitor in a thousand years
>[DISTANT DISTRAUGHT MORIKO NOISES]
She's fine.

>>Myaousha, give good review
>Well. How often do you get the opportunity to just ask? Just head on over and get her perspective of the run went compared to, say, others she's had, with the caveat your dungeon was/is still underdeveloped.
I have a quick chat with her, but don't have the time for more developed feedback. It's much as what I expected - some interesting encounters with my guardians but little else. She does call out fighting Reisarf and Stargazer on the ice platforms as a highlight.

>Can you enhance your perception? Being able to accelerate your thoughts to think more about things without showing it would be useful if they try to pressure you. If you could enhance your ability to pick up on lies, misdirection, or ulterior motives then that could be, well, you probably won't like looking into what a lecher is looking for most of the time, but it remains an invaluable negotiating aid.
I'm not enough of a mentalist to easily be able to do that to a useful degree.

>Could you grant illusion or sculpting powers with which to depict yourself? It is not as though you plan to take him back to your mountain to show yourself off personally, and a visual representation of what he is investing in would help clarify things.
I spend some time working on a mud map of the dungeon in a corner in case it proves to be useful.

All too soon there's a knock on the door. Kallia goes off to bring the visitor in.

"Good morning ladies!" the banker's son says, strutting into the courtyard. "You're looking so fresh after a splendid night out on the town like that. I love your energy! I must invite you to some of my parties."

"And a good morning to you, Olan." I say. For I did, eventually, manage to confirm one of us actually knew his name.

He's holding an egg. "I'm so happy to see your tales of vault cracking were no mere myth." Olan says, brandishing it. "You really are a woman of abundant talents."

I settle for an enigmatic smile because I do not actually remember how I got into that vault, but it seems I left an egg behind as a calling card.

"It really sets my head spinning." he says. "So just to get talking started, what do you think you could offer for five thousand gold?"

It is not, in the scheme of things, that much gold. Hundreds of low to mid strength potions. Perhaps a dozen of the weakest of enchanted items like the Fixity Bangle or the levitating plaque. A handful of more significant labours. Perhaps an independent golem, were I to source the materials for a complex golem core and a mana source to keep it operating. Training. Research or tutelage into magic or another of the natural philosophies.

What I'd do with it? I'd simply sit on it. Hoard it and offer it as a reward to stoke the earth-pulse, strengthen my denizens, delve deeper, and build new wonders out of the treasures of the earth. It is not much, but it also twice the amount of gold I currently possess, and enough to fortify my Heart with another layer of crystallised mana. An amount such that I would have to manage my dungeon's surroundings very carefully if it were to be introduced all at once. Otherwise I'd have to deal with more creatures like the devil bear popping up from a glut of power from the strengthening earth-pulse.

This is a trap, of course. He is trying to gauge how I react to that initial offer, what I might do cheaply. Materials and monsters available to me are still limited so I wouldn't want to over-promise anyway. I have knowledge, but am still lacking in ability to put it into action. How should I handle him?
>>
No. 993243 ID: b1b4f3

>>993233
I wonder how many golems you can feed Centaur? Imagine it turning into some kind of massive monstrosity not normally possible via basic golemetry! ...is it using your cart's legs?

Also I think the mud part of the stick-mud golem is feeding the plant part. Something will happen. Hopefully not a berserk tree monster?

>>993235
Ok, list off the things you thought of, but leave the numbers vague or lower than would be fair. For the independent golem, make sure he knows the construction cost is going to be included in the price, and that you would value it higher than 5000. Lastly, tell him that you need to get yourself more familiar with the market, and adjust your prices so you're not being taken advantage of.
You may want to price checks and advice from Liana at some point. Heck, maybe you can bring her in during negotiations. You have a good working relationship with her, and you DID save Ophelia's life.
>>
No. 993250 ID: 2f6d8f

>>993235
oh no he's hot
>>
No. 993254 ID: 12b116

Well what's he interested in, potions? Items? golems? Everything we can make can be completely bespoke or unique.
>>
No. 993256 ID: 0fae41

Stoke his imagination. For five thousand you could do something sensible and an uncommon niche for this corner of the world - but the talents of the old masters are worth more than five grand. You could also perhaps offer to merely tighten the vault's wards against earth pulse leakage - for more, you can go and plug up the vulnerability you used. For even more, you can tell them what it was, so they can sell the knowledge to other banks... It'd be a good opportunity to go and examine your handiwork.
Magic items seem like a good lead in to how you can come up with new items, like this Deemimic egg. But research and deemvelopment takes time, time that additional gold can accelerate.
How quickly could you infuse five grand without spawning another boss monster? With your limited golem caravan capacity, do you even have to worry about bringing too much too quick? What if you carry old gold out for purchases back at town on return trips?
Remember, it's cooler if you call it 'investing into mana research' instead of 'sitting on it.'
>>
No. 1000304 ID: 8bdc69

(pinging to see if there's life)
Perhaps one thing to do is show off your skill with a golem. You've proven that you can both make golems more quickly and with more detail and precision than most, if not all, golem makers that specialize in that field.
Even if you don't want to make a more human-like golem on the spot, you have Centaur to show your skill in making some human appearing golems (though he doesn't have to know all the details behind her, obviously).
>>
No. 1002127 ID: 6d11da
File 162237670472.png - (31.87KB , 650x750 , deem_dragged_one_of_the_armchairs_outside.png )
1002127

>oh no he's hot
Don't get distracted.

>You may want to price checks and advice from Liana at some point. Heck, maybe you can bring her in during negotiations. You have a good working relationship with her, and you DID save Ophelia's life.
I'm sure I can get within an order of magnitude but yes advice on any local rarities would be useful.

>Stoke his imagination. For five thousand you could do something sensible and an uncommon niche for this corner of the world - but the talents of the old masters are worth more than five grand.
What could I offer?

"Nothing." I say.

"Hmm." Olan rubs his chin. "A bit of a low starting bid there."

"What I would do with a few thousand gold is use it to stoke the earth pulse. My dungeon's Heart has been dormant for a long time and it will take time and gold to rehabilitate it. At this moment there are many sorts of things I could make, but nothing particularly uncommon for this corner of the world."

I wave my hand, pointing at myself, Hin's enlarged frame, the potions and the simple golems I've put on display. "This is what I can make out of scraps and dregs and the occasional curio I've found." I lean forward. "The real question is do you want a modest repayment for your money or something more?"

"Oh, I'm always interested when a lady would like to offer me a little extra. What does that involve?" Olan asks.

"For now I need to focus on building up my dungeon - magical crafting requires rare materials and a sufficient accumulation of mana to enchant them. Crafting things to help make better things. And Hin's still growing into her role -" Olan raises an eyebrow at this, looking at Hin looming behind me - "and I need to better endow my dungeon's other denizens to fulfill their roles." He nods with exaggerated seriousness at this.

"So lack of materials is your bottleneck?" Olan asks. "Gold would handle the mana."

"Yes, I need to spend time exploring the area's natural resources and obtain materials from further afield. Grist for the mill." I say.

"What about I supply any rare materials needed for my commissions?" he suggests. "In fact, I can double it, leaving you with a surplus for your own projects."

I wonder if he thinks he's being clever, looking for a chance to skew the nature of my dungeon. I've seen that trick before. This is too good to pass up though. "Mmm, that sounds equitable." I say. "Though I'd be quite satisfied to agree on substitutes if doubling is too hard to come by."

>How quickly could you infuse five grand without spawning another boss monster?
I would have to aggressively patrol the area to identify and eliminate or recruit any such creatures. Given the lack of wilderness skills among my denizens and the fact my Resurrection Matrix is at capacity, the lowest risk would be staggering it over a month or two.
>>
No. 1002128 ID: 6d11da
File 162237675419.png - (25.78KB , 900x550 , sample_golems.png )
1002128

>Well what's he interested in, potions? Items? golems? Everything we can make can be completely bespoke or unique.
"On the subject of commissions, what might you have in mind?"

"I'd love to get some things to liven up the old town and perhaps commission a few magical item, but I must say I'm quite taken with your golems. They're so much more lively than the dowdy things the golemeter guild makes." He looks at Kallia. "No offense."

"None taken." she says.

"One of any real sophistication would be a long term project." I tell him. "The homunculi I've made have basic golem cores and no internalised mana source. They aren't much use without a golemeter."

"Perhaps a sort of maid golem as a test?" he says. "Just has to be able to tidy and sort things. Dust cabinets. Clean ovens. Polish spears. Even make simple meals?"

I'm sure Merud would be able to handle the core sophistication required, so it's a matter of obtaining a suitable means of powering it. Which I can neatly leave in Olan's lap. "That sort of commission wouldn't be five thousand gold's worth of effort." I say. "I would still need something to supply it with mana. I'm sure Kallia can walk you through what they might use for independent golems here."

"It's a date." Olan says.

"Wow Deem." Kallia says. "Putting me on the spot like that."

>I wonder how many golems you can feed Centaur? Imagine it turning into some kind of massive monstrosity not normally possible via basic golemetry! ...is it using your cart's legs?
No, Kallia used some limbs are ones of a similar make in Centaur's initial assembly.

I could build a large golem with only basic materials quite easily, though it would be mana intensive to operate. What is unusual about Centaur is the complexity of mana channels she has - there's around two golems' worth packed into one body. If they don't interfere with each other, that could mean higher performance. However, she also has two golem cores currently, and a golemeter can only form connections to a limited number of golems at a time.

There is potential, but it may be difficult to realise it.

>You have Centaur to show your skill in making some human appearing golems
My golem body is a human appearing golem and I don't want to risk Centaur acting up again.

I trot out the simple golems - the drink fetcher, the mud and stick golem and the golem cauldron as I'm confident they shouldn't play up, and demonstrate the level of reinforcement and reconfiguration I'm capable of on the little server-golem. It is quite attached the the concept of serving drinks so I settle for reinforcing it into something more like one of my brute golems and adding a pair of arms. It promptly offers some more water to Hin, who takes it.

>Also I think the mud part of the stick-mud golem is feeding the plant part. Something will happen. Hopefully not a berserk tree monster?
Despite my concerns about Centaur's damage to the mud and stick golem, it's still capable of doing some sweeping and not going berserk.

"Very impressive!" Olan says. "But wasn't there another one?"

"That one was more complex. Making it while drunk meant some instability." I say.

"Ah, a pity."

We discuss things further and Olan is willing to give me a retainer of 500 gold immediately, but he'd like to see some additional proof before he commits any more gold. He asks if I would be willing to do two of the following to demonstrate my dungeon building expertise:

1) Craft an item - Olan has some old materials he'd like to see if I can make anything from.
2) Dungeon tour - Olan has an adventuring buddy visiting in a month's time and would like to see the dungeon from the invader's perspective.
3) Encounter design - Olan would like to provide some creative input into one of the dungeon's battles.
>>
No. 1002130 ID: 094652

Craft stuff. Stuff is what gets merchants' attention.
>>
No. 1002136 ID: cf426f

>>1002128
1 and 2, of course. Personally interested in what ideas Olan would have for three, but I doubt you'd be comfortable with that.
>>
No. 1002138 ID: 9c1ef3

I kind of want to test Olan to see how professional he is with 3, but 1 and 2 together should provide ample sounding for the purpose.
>>
No. 1002139 ID: 01031d

I like 1 and 2, but we don't know in which state is the dungeon after last night. I am worried to find the dungeon in a unpresentable state AND not being able to count with Hin because she is busy (or worse, that she overexerts herself to make it in time).

Also, about Pony having two cores. Could be posible to add more cores and having one only to control the rest?. Done correctly maybe it could make a powerful golem easy to use (though probably cost-intensive)
>>
No. 1002140 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1002128
>1) Craft an item
Any opportunity to let Hin work her craft is a good opportunity. The others I can go either way.
>>
No. 1002141 ID: 12b116

Crafting an item is pretty quick and easy, but we should definitely question him on what he thinks an encounter should be like to see what kind of ideas he has and if they are useful
>>
No. 1002148 ID: 0fae41

Craft an item and a dungeon tour. He can even see the very exclusive meditation chamber. Encounter design is far too obvious a hand in things.
Is it possible to blank Centaur's mind and start again to remove any destructive quirks? Or should she simply be kept away from any other golems while performing duties?
>>
No. 1002154 ID: 96c896

>>1002128
1 and 2. Dungeon design is strictly your business.
>>
No. 1002160 ID: 5b0071

>>1002128
1 and 3
if this lad has ulterior motives, we don't want to make it easy for him to guess where your core is, even if a tour doesn't include it.
>>
No. 1002168 ID: 031458

Wait holy shit. 2 and 3 are serious traps.
This man is dangerous.

2 Will give Olan and his friend the opportunity to specifically prepare to challenge your dungeon.
The will return with a force made specifically to counter you in order to take back what they gave you and then some. They might even attempt a subjugation.

3 will allow Olan to sell the "Solution" to the encounter to would be challengers. The paltry sum of money this would gain him, and weather or not you manage to counter this would be irrelevant. This WOULD however be enough for him to fabricate a "Claim" upon you. He could weave a web of lies and use his legitimate activities to create just enough "Proof" to convince the local guilds, government, or even just a powerful group of adventurers that he owns you and some misfortune has merely wrested magical control from him.

It is very possible that his true desire is YOU, Deem.

The harsh reality here is that you currently have no rights in this society. Even with sheer might you can't take on the whole world.
Unless you can secure some sort of legal protection, you need to be very careful.

If we are going to do business with Olan, We should go 1 and 2.
A month is enough time to prepare.
A secret new layout with new encounters will need to be planned, large amounts of gold will need to be acquired, and a large mana-battery will need to be constructed.
With that, after the tour the whole dungeon can be delved and rebuilt anew, making any preparations they concoct worthless.
>>
No. 1002176 ID: ce39da

Obviously, picking 1 means that we'll need Hin to sober up for real.

I hope 2's phrasing means he's taking the tour in a month as opposed to now; some of the stuff from your bender last night reverberated back to the dungeon, and we don't know what its final state ended up being there.

I want to probe the guy for his general dungeon-design philosophy, both to gauge whether his approach to 3 would be agreeable and what would score points with him for 2.

For my final vote, I'd prefer 1 and 3; we don't know that our dungeon will reach its ideal minimum state by the time he visits. However, I would permit 1 and 2 if you find his vision completely incompatible.
>>
No. 1002209 ID: 9a2966

1) you're very crafty, so should always be up for a good craft.

3) to get your investor, well, invested.
>>
No. 1002223 ID: f57349

Crafting seems like the way to go. Seconding >>1002168
on specifically voting against 2 or 3 - way too early to let this guy you barely know spy on or meddle with your core operations.
>>
No. 1002226 ID: 96c896

Guys, number 2 is just a planned invasion. It's not going to be a guided tour.
>>
No. 1002228 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1002226
Yeah, I have no idea what some are on about. It's not like he needs our permission to send a party to the dungeon anyway, and as a dungeon we actively encourage invasions. Asking us is pretty much a courtesy.
>>
No. 1002264 ID: 0fae41

>>1002223
Well we have to pick two, and our dungeon layout is not static. A tour of its current state is not handing him the keys to the kingdom.
>>
No. 1002270 ID: 031458

>>1002228
Were on about this guy using ambiguous language has money, connections, and power.
It's like playing poker against someone with enough bank to force you to all-in every hand. Yeah there's plenty of opportunity but the question isn't if you lose it's when.

Yes, a random adventurer who we are vastly underprepare for could just wander by. This guy on the other hand WILL bite us in the ass eventually. It's important we predict when so we can prevent that.
>>
No. 1002276 ID: 96c896

>>1002270
The more we try to avoid playing the Dungeon Game, the less we are a dungeon. Risk is part of the game. We have a vault room to reduce risk and manage the reward for beating the boss. Even if this guy hires an overleveled adventurer to smash through our defenses we won't lose everything, and then we can cut ties with him afterwards for not being an honest business partner.

He doesn't have that much to gain, actually, compared to other dungeons he could be raiding. Deem is a low level dungeon right now! He has more to gain from a long term relationship.
>>
No. 1002279 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1002270
>It's important we predict when so we can prevent that.
And if what you say is true, then saying "no" doesn't actually predict anything. The guy already knows where we are, if he wants to attack anyways he can do it without our say so. In fact, if his objective was to get Deem, his best bet would be to detain her now and attack the dungeon while we can't communicate with our famuli (he doesn't even need to fabricate the charges, we very much broke into the bank's vault and left a calling card, and B&E is still illegal even if you take nothing).
I'm not saying trust him, I'm saying choosing #2 costs us exactly nothing, and will in fact allow us to actually be IN our dungeon and able to coordinate a defense in case of an attack.
>>
No. 1002668 ID: ce8c93
File 162289835816.png - (32.17KB , 800x550 , talk_and_demos.png )
1002668

>Wait holy shit. The dungeon tour and encounter design are serious traps.
>This man is dangerous.
>It is very possible that his true desire is YOU, Deem.
You're being paranoid. Any adventurer would be able to sell a recent map of my dungeon if they explore it thoroughly. And I value the ability to shuffle multiple denizens with different skills through my dungeon precisely because it avoids being too predictable.

>If this lad has ulterior motives, we don't want to make it easy for him to guess where your core is, even if a tour doesn't include it.
My Heart is in the final guardian chamber. It's hard to miss. It's also anchored in place by its connections to the earth-pulse now, someone can't just pick it up.

>We don't know in which state is the dungeon after last night.
It's fine, I just need to finish hauling out some of the surplus to requirement stone!

>I kind of want to test Olan to see how professional he is with 3, but 1 and 2 together should provide ample sounding for the purpose.
"More materials are welcome and I think we'd both feel more confident with a more critical eye looking at my dungeon." I say. "I think the tour and crafting an item should be fine."

>Any opportunity to let Hin work her craft is a good opportunity.
"You can see these golems were quickly done as an experiment." I say. "And last night's rambles ended up generating a few curios of possible use. There's a certain improvisational energy to them all. If these materials of yours have even a shred of potential, we will find it."

>Definitely question him on what he thinks an encounter should be like to see what kind of ideas he has and if they are useful.
"I am curious what sort of things you were thinking about with wanting to design something." I say.

"No real plans I must admit! I simply am destined to settle down in this town, take over the family business and presumably become as stodgy as my father. I'd like to make it a more exciting place before then." Olan says. "Hmmm, how hard is it to make someone big like Hin here?" he asks. My blacksmith would be about twenty feet tall standing up.

"Hin's current size is something I could achieve with a high grade reinforcement on anyone without any real trouble. That would normally only be a final guardian." I say. "In her own case, there's been a few factors adding together: she's part giant, I keyed the enlarging spell to feed off whatever she's eaten, and she's eaten a lot."

"Still a little peckish actually." Hin says.

"The spell will wear off when you fast for a few hours." I tell her. That spell has honestly held together better than I thought, the satiation potions were very effective on Hin.

"Final guardian, you said?" Olan says

I shrug. "If I had a large monster or golem, I could use that. I could use a denizen's spells, or potions too. But the dungeon's reinforcement spells take a long time to set up."

"Ah, just an idle thought: tossing something big at adventurers right at the start would certainly get the blood pounding! And the potions, your denizens can use those too?"

We move into discussing how, yes, my denizens can use my dungeon's potions and items and how I might deliberately hand some out to be used in the dungeon's puzzles and challenges.

Hin demonstrates the enlarging potion on Myousha's hat. Olan is excited by the opportunity to mess with an adventurer's body and gear, although I caution him that it's best to be careful with deliberately damaging an invader's panoply.
>>
No. 1002669 ID: ce8c93
File 162289846589.png - (44.33KB , 800x550 , thoughtforms_very_scary.png )
1002669

We move on to figuring out the golem potions. Essentially it lets the target materialise a golem they imagine. I am not particularly convinced of thought's viability as a construction material however.

Olan drinks the potion, then concentrates. A blobby, vaguely humanoid figure gradually gains form and substance next to him as he expends the power of the potion. It bobs up and down, limbs flexing and bending as if it's a jellyfish floating underwater.

"You can tell this potion is unpolished." I say. "It relies on the drinker's ability to form a clear image too much. It would be almost useless most of the time."

"I think she has a certain rough charm." Olan says. His golem flails its arms bonelessly. "Why don't you show me how it's done then?"

I drink the other golem-making potion. A second golem snaps into being next to me.

Olan looks between the two and shrugs helplessly. "Well, you showed me. I love these potions you have! You should definitely explore this some more. Something unique would really help draw people!"

>Is it possible to blank Centaur's mind and start again to remove any destructive quirks? Or should she simply be kept away from any other golems while performing duties?
I wouldn't want to risk destroying the feature that makes her interesting. In hindsight, I need to careful about any commands to do things 'together'.

>Also, about Centaur having two cores. Could be possible to add more cores and having one only to control the rest?
If you recall, I did consider upgrading my Golem Totem to allow mass production of modular golems - a controller with subordinate golem cores. Merud and I can do that as bespoke work.
>>
No. 1002670 ID: ce8c93
File 162289863546.png - (17.81KB , 500x800 , its_the_police.png )
1002670

Someone knocks at the door and Kallia says its for me.

This is a very poor specimen of guard compared to the standard I've seen so far. Scrawny, disheveled and tired. He stands oddly off center, using the door frame for cover.

"Miss Golem?" he asks, looking at me with some wary and weary blend of emotion I'm unable to identify.

"Yes?" I say.

He flops a rolled up scroll at me. I accept it from him. "You are hereby banished from this town until the first day of winter."

"What." I say. That's almost two months from now!

He steps back. "You must leave town before the gates are locked at sunset."

"Hey!" He's retreating down the street, I think I could run him down but that would be very undignified. I am not especially up to date on the customs of this place, but also I believe assaulting the town's guards would be looked upon poorly.

I go back inside to consult the others about my banishment.

Kallia looks at the scroll. "Yeah, that checks out."

Hin rubs her chin and looks reminiscent. "Probably fair."

I grind my teeth. "I was expecting more support."

Olan laughs. "Think of it as a compliment! They do that to any passers-through who are too much of a headache to try anything else on. Now, I fear I have another commitment but I'll have someone drop the gold and those items off here.

"I'll see you lovely ladies again in a little over a month!" Olan says, "If it's anything like last night, I'm sure it'll be a wonderful time!"

Olan makes his exit.

I look at Kallia and Hin. "I suppose I've already fulfilled my primary goal for coming here." I sigh. "The only essential thing is giving that bangle back to Liana. I suppose you should wait here, Hin."

"Oh actually I've got a demolition job. Mind if I borrow Hin for it?" Kallia says, looking up at my blacksmith.

"If Hin's fine with it." I say.

"Sure, why not?" Hin says.

Now I should think about what to with the rest of my day. I won't have time to fit all of these in, but my options are:

- Deliver the Fixity Bangle to Liana and do some shopping at her store.
- Visit the apothecary. Apparently I impressed Izakikk last night.
- Spend some time with Kallia. I won't see her again for a while.
- Spend some time with Myaousha. Perhaps I should learn more about modern adventurers.
- Visit the church grounds. No, never mind, that's a bad idea.
- Do something else?
>>
No. 1002671 ID: 465a14

Cheer up, 2 months' ban isn't so bad when you can just make and disguise a golem if you really want to do something in town before then. Shopping, Kallia, and the apothecary seem good in roughly that order of descending importance.
>>
No. 1002672 ID: 094652

I'm surprised they didn't ban you permanently.
But yes, you did drive heavy vehicles drunk so...

Fixity Bangle, Myaousha, spy on the church.
>>
No. 1002673 ID: 9caba2

>>1002670
When in doubt, visit the cat.

Also go lightly desecrate some skychurch stuff, maybe write a mean message on it?
>>
No. 1002674 ID: 031458

The church could possibly offer insight on light magic or celestial script.
Disgusting, to be sure. However, if you want to eventually get revenge on whomever broke and cursed you, such insights will prove invaluable.
>>
No. 1002675 ID: 0fae41

>Spend some time with Kallia. I won't see her again for a while.
This demolition job. Elaborate. ...I want to watch.
>Deliver the Fixity Bangle to Liana and do some shopping at her store.
Mandatory. Also, we just got paid.
>Spend some time with Myaousha.
What's new, pussycat? Why does the church take such a large role in adventuring nowadays? This revival talisman must have revolutionised dungeoneer gaming as we know it. Also, has she heard anything about a war between the neighbors?
>>
No. 1002676 ID: cf426f

>>1002670
Lol, gave the shit job to the new guy.
>>
No. 1002677 ID: ce39da

I can't believe y'all are passing up a potential recruit that'd mesh so beautifully with our setup. We need to put Izakikk on the docket. (It's also possible that we ended up losing something at their apothecary.)

First, however, we need to drop off the bangle and do some Shopping.

I'm indifferent about our last free-time event. Can I put a second vote on the apothecary?
>>
No. 1002685 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1002677
>We need to put Izakikk on the docket
We can't, Deem has been very clear about this. In this very thread, even:
>>991723
>I can't recruit any more denizens without overtaxing my Resurrection Matrix
>>
No. 1002689 ID: 09f511

>>1002685
We can't recruit Izakkik yey, but maintaining proper connections shouldn't be passed on.

Delivering the Bangle is mandatory, visit Izakkik, and then either Kallia or the cat.
>>
No. 1002691 ID: 96c896

>>1002670
Deliver bangle, do shopping with the gold you have left.
Visit the apothecary.
And get to know Myaousha.
>>
No. 1002736 ID: 5b0071

>>1002670
Delivery of the bangle. Who knows what nonsense will happen before sunset and its best to keep our word.
>>
No. 1002750 ID: 3c4404

With so little time left, networking seems like the priority. The bangle for your reputation and to get some stock while you are out here, Izakikk could someday be a valuable denizen or invader, and talking shop on any new reagents or tools that have materialised since your former glory could only help, while Myaousha is a representative of some nearby adventuring community you should get to know.
Kallia would be fun, but you have probably had entirely too much fun already if the banishment is anything to go by. Scent-marking the church is always a good time, and you could check up on that priest who you had to rescue when their ritual went wrong, but you have work-related business tying you down.
Or you could try to make Hin jealous by checking out their replacement blacksmith? They must have one by now, mustn't they?
>>
No. 1002812 ID: f98fa7
File 162307608059.png - (24.74KB , 800x600 , buy_some_stuff.png )
1002812

>Kallia would be fun, but you have probably had entirely too much fun already if the banishment is anything to go by.
Yes, Kallia seems to be a bad influence on me.

>>Spend some time with Myaousha.
>What's new, pussycat? Why does the church take such a large role in adventuring nowadays? This revival talisman must have revolutionised dungeoneer gaming as we know it. Also, has she heard anything about a war between the neighbors?
An adventurer's perspective would be good to have. I find out where Myaousha was staying and agree to meet her after lunch.

>Izakikk could someday be a valuable denizen or invader, and talking shop on any new reagents or tools that have materialised since your former glory could only help.
A few refinements might help, I'll do that after meeting Myaousha.

>Delivery of the bangle. Who knows what nonsense will happen before sunset and its best to keep our word.
Off to the shops I go. I take the stick and mud golem, and the imaginary golem to carry any goods I need.

"Deem, glad to see you're up and about!" Liana says. "I thought they'd have to roll you home. I guess if a curse couldn't keep you down, a few drinks wouldn't."

A vague recollection of drinks with Liana enters my head. Somehow she looks no worse for wear.

"Now, I have a few items you might be interested in. If you buy four or more items, there's a 10% discount~"

Waterbearer Wand (200G): This wand can be dipped in a liquid and then used to move and manipulate it. The liquid mass falls apart if it suffers a solid impact. It can also be used to purify water.

"If you need to haul water, it'll save you a lot of effort."

Critter Whistle (100G): A special whistle for imitating various animal calls. Useful for luring and trapping monsters.

"You can do a decent impression of a few different instruments with it too!"

Glossid (200G): An insect that produces a glossy resin that can be used to enhance golems and other magic items, though it does need some effort to maintain the polish.

"A leftover from a sale. One glossid will only produce a small amount of resin, but more than enough to be useful."

"Is it an immature one?" I ask.

"No, it's just small." Liana replies.

Alchemical Sprayer (150G): A gun-like device designed to coalesce and dispense a potion or other alchemical fluid at long distances.

"It is very effective at squeezing more doses out of its alchemical reservoir too."

Proximate Rings (300G): The wearers of this pair of rings may use magic on each other as if they're standing next to each other. The mana cost increases exorbitantly with distance.

"I know you have a few magicians so this might come in handy for you!"

Once I give Liana the Fixity Bangle, I'll have 600 gold set aside for spending money on these sorts of items. I can also dip into the 500 gold advance from Olan but I want to put aside a good amount of that for my hoard. I might be able to sell a few things as well, but most of my goods are weak or unusual catalysts that may be hard to find a market for.
>>
No. 1002813 ID: 094652

Get the Glossid for now. All the other stuff is more expensive than its utility appears, for now.
>>
No. 1002814 ID: ce39da

The Glossid and alchemical sprayer - Gas-traps, anyone? - seem like the only things worth getting in the here and now.

The whistle seems like either a poor man's imitation of a proper tamer or something only a tamer can properly make use of. The wand isn't something we need unless we want to make our place a *shudder* water dungeon. And the proximate rings seem a bit expensive for just increasing one encounter's battle synergy (at least while we still need to increase our earth-pulse reserves).
>>
No. 1002815 ID: 82162d

Get the first four. The water wand will make Stargazer’s job easier next time you change the waterworks. The critter whistle will help lure in new monster types. The big can be grown to greater size in your dungeon. And the sprayer will let you dispense potions from far away, on denizens or delvers! The discount brings this to under 600.
>>
No. 1002816 ID: 82162d

Also, Kallia must have taken this job during your bender. Rather than her being a bad influence, you should go see what your influence wrought. Maybe they’re demolishing the church...
>>
No. 1002818 ID: 9caba2

>>1002812
The bangles seem like they could have some practical use, Reisarf has a pretty large mana capacity, right? Though I imagine it's still nothing compared to yours.

The glossid could be pretty nice in the long run, but I'm mildly concerned about tacking on more things that require upkeep, unless of course we can get another person to join us.
Do they reproduce asexually so we can get more? Or would we need to track another one down?

The sprayer, well it could be well worth it just for its alleged ability to squeeze more doses out of its reservoir.

Depending on the efficiency of the whistle it might be useful for drawing monsters to your location in an emergency while traveling, but attracting interesting monsters for taming or just food seems like the best use for it.
But, from what I recall dungeons already draw monsters to them?

Are slimes considered liquid? Could we potentially huck Alkaline or the orange slime at someone with it? And if you're in gigant mode could you toss a whole lake at someone?
If it works with slimes, Alkaline's slimes could also throw each other at invaders.

My priorities would be the Alchemical Sprayer, the Proximate Rings, and the Waterbearer Wand in that order.
>>
No. 1002820 ID: 031458

Critter Whistle and Glossid.
The Glossid can be modified, reinforced, and enlarged quite easily with your set up. It's a steal.
The Critter Whistle, with some some slight modifications only a dungeon can provide, easily solves the sudden monster problem when increasing your horde size.

I suppose if further reinforced could also be used to summon waves of monsters against the edifices of man.
Useful to have.
>>
No. 1002822 ID: 9c1ef3

Get the sprayer! You have a decent focus on potions as it is. The more ways to apply them, the better. Maybe the wand, too.
>>
No. 1002823 ID: cf426f

>>1002820
Giving the critter whistle to the slimes...
>>
No. 1002826 ID: 96c896

>>1002812
>waterbearer wand
Is it heat resistant? Acid resistant? I'm wondering if there are any combat applications with dangerous liquids.

The Glossid looks like an excellent purchase.

The Alchemical Sprayer might be useful too if you can put acid or other baneful substances in it. Would synergize well with slimes and golems too, allowing a handler to buff a whole group at once.

I like the idea of the critter whistle. Can we use it though? Like, don't you need to know what sound to make?
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No. 1002837 ID: 031458

>>1002826
>I like the idea of the critter whistle. Can we use it though? Like, don't you need to know what sound to make?

To expand on that question, is it a purely sonic mechanism, or does it distort the earth pulse to attract monsters?
>>
No. 1002848 ID: 96c2cb

Get the Glossid, because it is cute. Also because golems are your workhorses at the moment and hopefully can be used to provide the upkeep required too.

The Critter Whistle sounds like it could massively reduce the burden of hunting down rogue spawns from your larger hoard. Could it have brought The Devil Bear to your door?

What would happen if you stuck the Water Wand into Worst Slime? I could see it maybe reducing the magical burden of maintaining cohesion, thus allowing it more energy for stabilising its internals, but as an uneducated moron, I am just grasping at straws here.
Otherwise it is just an occasional convenience for problems that you have already surmounted, or a way to stick something obnoxious to a ceiling that can be dropped just by hitting it.
>>
No. 1002891 ID: e4abe1

The glossid is fren, so get him!
>>
No. 1003078 ID: f2320a

>>1002812
i want that bug, the wand has potential i would imagine perhaps making a blood sword by turning it into a dagger that drains blood and uses it as a extension, or perhaps using as a crafting tool it says liquid so perhaps molten metal would allow for some complex manipulation and molding of metal or freestyle glass spinning, and perhaps slime manipulation for throwing and shaping even if not then "purify" water means ripping out water from something so perhaps make a weapon that rips liquids out of the body drying clay/mud brittle, desiccating slime, fatal dehydration for most animals or bloodloss.

alchemy gun good potential for due to our potion use and making.

the rings i imagine would be interesting for a combo boss or monster that is a caster and a brute boosting the other riding its back
>>
No. 1003083 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1002812
I'd say we absolutely want the Glossid and the Sprayer.
The Glossid because it makes our strongest point, golems, even stronger. Like, seriously, it can possibly even make your golem body stronger, what's not to like?
The sprayer seems all around useful, and we have plenty to use in it.
The whistle might be useful for our future monster problems, but not having the capacity to keep them limits its usefulness somewhat.
The thing about falling apart after one impact makes the wand situational at best.
The rings sound like a trap: the ones for whom this would be useful would be crippled by the mana cost, and the ones who can afford it don't have any use for them. Pass.
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No. 1003095 ID: 031458

I just thought of a good use for the wand...
We could analyze and deconstruct it, then utilize it in purpose built golems, traps, mechanisms, and even running water for our denizens.
We could even go as far as engraving it onto our heart next time we gain a layer.

Water is very important for us to maintain life in the dungeon, and the ability to easily move it around would be invaluable.
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No. 1003117 ID: b80c0a

>>1003078
Oh, wow, yeah! Using the wand in crafting would be amazing! It could be used to produce all sorts of hollow or near-hollow structures in a single piece. I am sure that Deem can whip up some heat-resistant enchantments to make it useful with whatever molten material it is being used on. It might also make weird alloys that would normally be difficult to keep mixed. I wonder if it can directly purify materials...

I guess it all depends upon the particulars of its manipulation faculties. Even if it isn't much use as-is, having it as an example might help with making a more sophisticated replacement.
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No. 1003163 ID: afa6f6

>>1002812
The Waterbearer Wand, Critter Whistle, And Glossid all seem useful.
Deem could probably make a potion sprayer by herself if she wanted to, and it wouldnt even have to be magical, so we could hold off on that.

I do want to point out, since its being brought up a lot, That the Critter Whistle has uses other than capturing monsters for the Dungeon. It can be used for hunting too, so we can get food and potion or artifact ingredients. Or we could just use it to lure dangerous or annoying monsters away from the dungeon.
>>
No. 1003169 ID: 9ffe87

>>1003117
Honestly, I initially thought they were all stupid and pointless tbh, but I think the statement about hauling water sort of distracted from the real potential of the wand. With this sort of outside the box thinking it could actually end up insanely useful, although if used for metallurgy Hin may have to relearn/adapt a decent portion of her smithing in order to utilize the wand.
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No. 1003171 ID: 031458

>>1003169
>Hin may have to relearn/adapt a decent portion of her smithing in order to utilize the wand.

Good! Our denizens are here to grow, afterall.
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No. 1008470 ID: ae5bbf
File 162953338397.png - (34.76KB , 800x550 , thank_you_for_your_purchases.png )
1008470

I don't want to give up too much of my hard worn gold so I will limit my purchases.

None of my denizens are particularly trained as a monster tamer, and the rings are a little niche with my current roster. With more slimes underfoot, handing out a noise maker seems like a bad idea too.

>Get the Glossid, because it is cute. Also because golems are your workhorses at the moment and hopefully can be used to provide the upkeep required too.
My monsters include a number of golems of varying quality, so more options for an elite one would be good to have.

>It can possibly even make your golem body stronger, what's not to like?
My gigant form is the majority of my un-reinforced combat strength. Since I need to add additional stone and clay, it'd undo the glossid's resin.

>Do they reproduce asexually so we can get more? Or would we need to track another one down?
That isn't a queen.

>Water is very important for us to maintain life in the dungeon, and the ability to easily move it around would be invaluable.
>The water wand will make Stargazer’s job easier next time you change the waterworks.
Refilling my water reservoir will be quite work intensive without something like it so it seems like a prudent investment.

>Is it heat resistant? Acid resistant? I'm wondering if there are any combat applications with dangerous liquids.
>Or perhaps using as a crafting tool it says liquid so perhaps molten metal would allow for some complex manipulation and molding of metal or freestyle glass spinning.
It doesn't need prolonged contact so I could work out something. I am somewhat lacking in large qualities of dangerous liquids at the moment however. I will have to raise to Hin the possible value in smithing if she can get used to using it as a tool in the place of casting.

>Perhaps making a blood sword by turning it into a dagger that drains blood.
>Perhaps make a weapon that rips liquids out of the body drying clay/mud brittle, desiccating slime, fatal dehydration for most animals or bloodloss.
The effects are extremely easy for a living creature to resist, it wasn't made as a weapon. And this isn't some sort of water dungeon.

>What would happen if you stuck the Waterbearer Wand into Worst Slime? I could see it maybe reducing the magical burden of maintaining cohesion.
If by 'reduce' you mean killing it, then yes.

"I think I'll buy the glossid and the wand." I say to Liana.

"I had a feeling you'd go for it, you like cute things." Liana says, sliding the glossid's cage across the counter. It keeps blankly scratching at the back wall as I have a golem pick it up. "I'm glad Alkaline's doing better," she adds. "She was so upset you were still sleeping when we left."

I suppose talked to her about my little slime princess last night?

"I like useful things." I say. I'm not going to let that pass unchallenged. "I think being able to spend some time with me helping out was good for her though. How's your daughter doing?"

Liana laughs, "Probably for the best you didn't run into her today. She hasn't forgiven you yet."

"What? I saved her life." I point out.

Liana nods evenly. "And more recently you threw up in the church's fountain, and she had to clean it up."

I feel one outweighs the other here but I'm not going to take one of my few allies in town to task over the attitude of her wayward sky-touched daughter.

"Hin's looking more confident too." Liana says as she hands over the wand. "It's good to see. I feel she was struggling a bit before she met you. Oh and these are yours." Liana says, ducking under the counter and pulling out a tiny wicker basket.

It's eggs.
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No. 1008471 ID: ae5bbf
File 162953340446.png - (23.20KB , 800x600 , cat_here.png )
1008471

>Also, Kallia must have taken this job during your bender. Rather than her being a bad influence, you should go see what your influence wrought. Maybe they’re demolishing the church...
I don't have time for that, even if it was a demolition of a locus of the wretched sky-power!

No-one's come to find me so whatever influences might have exerted themselves on a doll mage and a giant blacksmith, it can't be too serious. I just hope Kallia doesn't egg Hin on into doing something stupid.

I'm a little ahead of schedule, so I drop my golems off at the golemeter's guild along with the new purchases and stroll down to the park where I agreed to meet Myaousha.

This is something of a rare opportunity. Before my long sleep I had few chances for dialgue with those come to bait the snare of the Labyrinth Game. The adventurers I've seen are quite reckless compared to what I'm accustomed to, though I suppose the church's revival fountains go some way towards explaining that. I am still not sure how conventions of dungeon delving might have drifted, and perhaps I should ask about what other dungeons there are nearby.

What should I discuss with Myaousha?
>>
No. 1008472 ID: 8a444d

Recruit, recruit, recruit, ...!
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No. 1008473 ID: 9caba2

>>1008471
Alchemic bombs, blast mining, does she know of any bombs that can blow up the sky?
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No. 1008476 ID: cf5fec

>basket of eggs
Your eggs, I take it.

>Kallia, Hin, egg her on
I see what you did there.

>ask
She has a pretty special trinket - it caught you quite off-guard to be located so soon after founding. How often DO new dungeons crop up, for it to exist? Is dungeon location and exploration a common trade?

How many dungeons has she been in previously? What was the yield from those trips (beyond the ineffable feeling of GLORIOUS ADVENTURE and the rewarding beat of the earth-pulse).
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No. 1008480 ID: c92a02

Nice hat.
The Dungeoneering Guild and how adventurers see them.
Her life path - from youth to adventurer to what, if anything, comes next?
Her grappling hook - if you can trick her into giving away her strategy, you can throw some little complications in the mix on her next visit, to shake things up.
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No. 1008485 ID: 96c896

>>1008472
We can't, there's no room in the resurrection matrix.

>>1008471
Ask about the dungeoneering guild, does she know any contacts? People are constructing dungeons out there somehow, it would be good to know how.
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No. 1008489 ID: 5cf232

>>1008471
Hire her for a professional dungeon review of the present dungeon. Previous word of mouth was a 'rocks and spooky things' dungeon, she'd be the best person to talk about how much it's grown since then.

Maybe.

Not sure how many braincells she's got.
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No. 1008497 ID: 8483cf

>>1008489
We need outside expertise. Draw knowledge from more than one well, lest it grow stale.
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No. 1008550 ID: ca0259

Geeze, ask about the state of the dungeoneering game. What other dungeons does she know of, how many times has she delved? Are they far? How many? Is adventuring common everywhere and normal or is this a rarity.

And Deem, I know this isn't your forte, but when you are dealing with these catty adrenaline junkie types, you might actually get further by doing this the way she would, by asking the questions quickly in succession without waiting for an answer, while getting in her personal space.
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No. 1008619 ID: 315573

Obtain an exclusive license to her likeness in golem form.
>>
No. 1017977 ID: ba5e08
File 164007737738.png - (32.78KB , 800x500 , cat_talk_cat_talk.png )
1017977

>And Deem, I know this isn't your forte, but when you are dealing with these catty adrenaline junkie types, you might actually get further by doing this the way she would, by asking the questions quickly in succession without waiting for an answer, while getting in her personal space.
No. I am going to maintain an appropriate distance.

>Your eggs, I take it.
They're mine again now.

>Nice hat.
"Oh your hat hasn't changed back yet?" I say. That enlarging potion certainly seems to be persistent. Whoever brewed it really must have gotten it perfect.

"Not yet!" Myaousha says brightly. "If I keep wetting it, will it get bigger?"

"What?"

"Well that's how it worked with your blue friend, right?" she says.

"Not exactly." I say.

"Nya ha, so they'll both be back to normal soon, wet or dry?"

I rub my forehead, thinking about what Kallia and Hin might be getting up to. "Probably not."

>She has a pretty special trinket - it caught you quite off-guard to be located so soon after founding. How often DO new dungeons crop up, for it to exist? Is dungeon location and exploration a common trade?
I quickly change the subject. "I was surprised to see you in my dungeon. I wouldn't expect you'd be stumbling on new dungeons often?" I ask Myaousha.

"It was a nice surprise!" she says, tail swishing. "It's mostly mapping areas, seeing if any new interesting or dangerous beasties or other stuff has sprung up out of the ground. Lairs and lacunae sometimes, but you don't get to be the first into a new dungeon often. Winzes at best. Dungeoneer Guildies are a bit precious."

"Winze?"

"You know, a naturally formed dungeon!"

"What?" I say. "Do you mean a beast lair?"

"No, it does dungeon stuff!" the cat explains confidently.

"Dungeon stuff?" I say, failing to be illuminated.

"Dungeon stuff!" she agrees.

After some interrogation, I am able to determine that it's cases where features of a dungeon such as traps, enchantments and resurrection of monsters is seen but in a chaotic and uncoordinated fashion. A little like a haunted house I suppose. This is troubling, as I'm unable to explain why this would be the case.

>Ask about the Dungeoneering Guild, does she know any contacts? People are constructing dungeons out there somehow, it would be good to know how.
I bring the conversation back around to the Dungeoneer's Guild.

"Oh the Guild!" Myousha says. "No, you really need to get in good with them before they'll tell you anything. Trade secrets and all that! I have some friends who tried to join, but not sure how they're doing! I'll let you know if I bump into them again."

>How many dungeons has she been in previously? What was the yield from those trips (beyond the ineffable feeling of GLORIOUS ADVENTURE and the rewarding beat of the earth-pulse).
>Ask about the state of the dungeoneering game. What other dungeons does she know of, how many times has she delved? Are they far? How many? Is adventuring common everywhere and normal or is this a rarity.
Myaousha ends up being cagey on this, I suspect she's had mixed results. I receive the impression that given the relative safety of delving dungeons in this era, it's quite frequent for people to attempt it for a while and then give up on it.

There's several dungeons nearby, one a rocky Earth dungeon where Myaousha cautions me I might want to focus the 'lizards and spooky things' to differentiate myself. There's a dungeon intended for beginners within a nearby city called Urthgar. She says you need to pay for entry. I suppose a vault-type dungeon would have many shortcomings in its mana production but it's still a repugnant thought. It seems somewhat predatory too in that it applies a lot of afflictions and they sell cures. She mentions Kendall's Folly, the haunted ruins that I already know about and have been considering stripping for parts. A light based dungeon that she hasn't attempted: it's fairly tough, and some others that haven't managed to really set themselves apart yet.

>Her grappling hook - if you can trick her into giving away her strategy, you can throw some little complications in the mix on her next visit, to shake things up.
Her strategy, as she is happy to tell me, is to grab things with it and then either go to them or bring them to her.

>Her life path - from youth to adventurer to what, if anything, comes next?
"So how did you end up becoming an explorer?" I ask.

"I love exploring." she says. "Ever since I was a kid. Seeing new things, finding stuff, it's great! Curiousity filled the cat you know." she adds.

"I see." I say. "Do you have any plans for where that'll take you?"

"Nyo ho, I'm going to discover a lost city!" she says proudly.

I suppose she doesn't lack ambition.
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No. 1017978 ID: ba5e08
File 164007745884.png - (11.83KB , 800x500 , bye_cat.png )
1017978

I take my leave, I've stayed a little longer than I expected. That cat is happy to talk but extracting useful information was more of an ordeal. I suppose I'm still not very used to talking with people.

>Hire her for a professional dungeon review of the present dungeon. Previous word of mouth was a 'rocks and spooky things' dungeon, she'd be the best person to talk about how much it's grown since then.
>Maybe.
>Not sure how many braincells she's got.
I already have two people coming to my dungeon for such a purpose and I don't have terribly much gold to space for someone's criticism of a work in progress. I'm sure I'll see her again if she wants to make the place anyway.

>Alchemic bombs, blast mining, does she know of any bombs that can blow up the sky?
Foolishness. In amongst her chatter I did learn her bomb enhancement and remote detonation spells are rote magic she learnt off her sister who I am now almost certain is that pyromancer who attempted to invade my dungeon.

>Obtain an exclusive license to her likeness in golem form.
That seems unnecessary.

I head on to the alchemist's shop next. It's time to look at what goods they stock and have a chat with Izakikk.
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No. 1017979 ID: ba5e08
File 164007752534.png - (31.36KB , 800x500 , croc_shop.png )
1017979

The potion shop's front room is a cool and shady, filled with odd fragrances and bottled potions on the shelves. The lizard woman at the counter is glaring at me. I assume this is Seleni.

"Hello, I'm Deem." I say. "We didn't have the chance to meet last time I was in town, but I was hoping to purchase some alchemical supplies from you."

"No, I'm not selling them to you."

I blink. "Might I need an alchemical license to purchase them?"

"No."

I am starting to detect an undercurrent of hostility here.

"Is Izakikk available then?"

"No, you can't see them." Seleni says.

I'm starting to feel a little petulant. "Why not?"

The lizard woman thumps her fist on the table. "That child has some real talent. Real talent! I'm going to offer them an apprenticeship. But they need to learn to do things right! Brewing potions is something that needs precision, consistency and care. I'm not going to let some maverick potion brewer like yourself boiling and smoking and distilling and snorting whatever random things and expired ingredients come their way to teach them your bad habits. And I'm not going to give you the supplies to cause more chaos about town. It's hard enough at times, without you bringing the entire profession into disrepute!" she snaps. "You should leave my shop, and leave Izakikk alone."

I feel I should be angrier. The unexpectedness has me off-balance. I'm not some common herb-witch to be talked down to on how the practice the subtle arts like this. Maybe a confrontation isn't the best idea. I have already - most unfairly - been banished for whatever I did last night after all. How should I handle this?
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No. 1017983 ID: 96c896

>cases where features of a dungeon such as traps, enchantments and resurrection of monsters is seen but in a chaotic and uncoordinated fashion
I very badly want to investigate these Winzes. I have some ideas on how they might be formed but I think I should wait until you're not talking to someone.

>light based dungeon
Heresy. Unless by "light" she means tricks of light, illusions and mirror puzzles and such not.
Lacking second-hand knowledge on how the Dungeoneer's Guild makes dungeons I suppose you could send some of your crew to attempt one, or even visit in person. Have you ever heard of a dungeon visiting a dungeon before? How would the earth pulse even react? Would both dungeons gain mana from the game?

>>1017979
She's cute you should make friends with her. I wonder if she'd like Chakarchelou?

Tell her you apologize for the bad behavior you displayed last night, you were quite drunk, as it was the first time you tried drinking alcohol and you didn't know your limits. She can quiz you on proper alchemy technique if she wants, now that you're sober. Also uh, ask who made which potion. You want to know who won that contest.

...it occurs to me that she might have the right impression of you. You do a lot of improvisation with your ingredients, don't you? Well, at least you can assure her that you plan to keep your alchemical trouble-making outside of town.
>>
No. 1017984 ID: 25006c

Oops, we already have. We should go check on Izakikk!
>>
No. 1017985 ID: 9a2966

You probably don't want to piss off any more of the town's notables than you currently have (or are going to do, in the golemeter's case). Maybe you can start doing some damage mitigation.

You've several options. You could try all, but I imagine the woman's patience to already be limited. Perhaps the best one is to admit...

>appeal: ...it was an honest mistake
Ask for peace. Nobody was badly hurt yesterday (that you know of, and you're pretty sure you'd be informed or in jail if that was the case). Yes, you were drunk and exploring what is possible using a limited set of ingredients at hand, but you barely remember any of it. It is not how you typically do things - in fact, you've never gotten quite so drunk before. Never. It's not a a mistake you're liable to repeat any time soon - or possibly ever.

Rare, too, you think, is the potion maker who has never once gotten inebriated - or sleep-deprived - and done something silly with her skills and ingredients. Or made an experiment that seemed foolish in hindsight. Or been working with sub-par ingredients and taken a chance that seemed to make the best of things.

>appeal: you're not here to trouble her further, or to 'steal' Izakikk - you may even be able to help
Your intent was not to trouble her credentials or her work, or even to poach her apprentice candidate - if they'd actually prefer to work for her. Nor do you think you have the potential to 'ruin' someone in a night drinking and an hour - or less - of talking, and that she thinks so little of her own capabilities or ability to convince Izakikk that she'd be the better master. It's not like you're gonna grab them and run, just sound out what happened and how they felt about last night. Which you can do. Because you can speak to them.

And translate for others, should there be a need.

(... unless the reason she is so upset is that Izakikk has been packing, in which case you may have to amend that statement.)

>appeal: to the fact she's missing out on an opportunity - and has no right to block another's chance for one
You possess a dungeon and that offers opportunities and growth. Even if Izakikk were to remain as her apprentice, it's entirely possible you - or someone you send to town, at this rate - could provide them both with useful raw ingredients, at least until the dungeon gets off the ground proper and adventurers take over that role. Even then it'd be useful for them to know the relative usefulness and value of items produced by the dungeon.

Is that worth giving up in a pique over an honest mistake? You'd be happy to come back - or again, send someone later - if she refuses to trade for now, but you will have to insist on speaking with Izakikk as that's not something she has any control over. Unless they ARE her apprentice already?

>appeal: she can help mitigate the damage to her profession, potentially as a side business
Regarding future potions that come out of that dungeon... you'll admit you've had a thought of using beneficial ones as potential adventurer rewards, with limited and somewhat randomized side-effects, ideally things strange, odd or unusual.

If she's worried about potions from the dungeon circulating in town and damaging her reputation, maybe you can adjust those plans somewhat. Or get her to quality assure the recipes used as rewards.

>appeal: what does Izakikk want, and where can they achieve it in the best way?
You don't remember much of yesterday, but you are told Izakikk seemed enthused by the experiments. That speaks to something they want, to their motivations. You've tested several of the potions that came out of it, and they seem... fine. Odd, but fine. Some may be potentially useful if they can be refined further.

(Do you have any remaining? You could get Seleni to assess them and verify this statement.)

You're not going to argue that safety and precautions don't have their place in potion brewing and that Izakikk shouldn't be taught those safety standards. But as she mentioned, they do seem a genius, so where does she think they'll grow faster and better? In her shop, or... in the dungeon?
>>
No. 1017988 ID: 25006c

“Oh no, our potion bender last night must have transformed your face into that of a hideous old hag! I’m terribly sorry.”
>>
No. 1017990 ID: 5cf232

>>1017979
Set her off balance by agreeing with her wholly. Brewing under the influence is a terrible idea. You made several terrible decisions last night. Also, brewing with subpar ingredients is only something that should be attempted by an expert when desperate. Which is why you want proper ingredients.
>>
No. 1017991 ID: ce39da

>>1017988
Don't say that. That doesn't help anyone.

>>1017985
I agree with this, in the order listed from best to least-best appeals.
>>
No. 1017996 ID: ca0259

Appeal to the scientist within.

Experimentation is what leads to discovery. If you only make the same potions with the same ingredients you might get consistent results, but you'll never broaden your knowledge if you don't try new things, and test the properties of that which is around.

Yes, you'll fail, yes, there will be messes, and people will be annoyed, but it's all in service to the craft. Alchemy isn't mixing herbs to make healing potions, it's reducing things to their essence and crafting that into something useful. If you only user the most ideal of ingredients, you'll miss out understanding to the deepest level so many of the things around you!
>>
No. 1018002 ID: d78ab5

Tell her her alchemical potions are crap, and that you were just trying to support local business. But because of this, she's forced your hand in driving her business into the ground.

Odds are, she sources her components and recipes locally- either she sends youth into the woods and caves for herbs and mushrooms, or local adventurer sorts unload what they find to her. So just undercut her by going and getting those things yourself, and/or offer payment for said goods by posting a market board outside yer dungeon or by the road. You needn't sell or trade potions yourself, just cut her out of the position of middleman so you can make your own stuff.

This is prime magical trading advice- because eventually you'll want to make a kickass potion or require reagents for something else, and if they catch wind of it, suddenly the prices for such things will skyrocket.

best bet would be to wait for Izzkakwlwhatever if he's the poor sod being sent out for stuff, or when some traders pass by the town with wares for the potion shop, and ask for what they're out to go find. Failing, that, see if the book store's open and get a tome of herbology or monster anatomy.
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No. 1018003 ID: 6c227a

You fully appreciate that the air of unpredictability to your most recent attempts are something of a downside. That is, in fact, the reason you came to her, to get ingredients for more consistent and repeatable results.

The fact is, you are going to keep brewing one way or the other. You would LIKE to do so in a way that is consistent with the honored and respectable traditions of the craft, but if she is going to force you to keep making the alchemical equivalent of bathtub moonshine, you will.
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No. 1018011 ID: 25006c

Ah, never get in bad with your supplier. You’ll have to try and make amends. Duly apologize for your behavior last night, your potions are not meant to be used in town and it was your first experience with the most ancient and powerful alchemy, beer, that led to this mistake. Surely she remembers the days of being a young firebrand with a crucible, scrambling to get her hands on any viable ingredients at all?
>>
No. 1018054 ID: d0bfc0

>cases where features of a dungeon such as traps, enchantments and resurrection of monsters is seen but in a chaotic and uncoordinated fashion. A little like a haunted house I suppose. This is troubling, as I'm unable to explain why this would be the case.
Oh, the classic "break a magic thingy and its magic goes everywhere, changing everything" catastrophe.Presumably someone smashed a locus of Labyrinth which dispersed broken fragments of dungeon-craft across the world. Now these fragments are repeating in isolation what they once did as part of a greater whole. The moral of the story is that dungeons, especially ancient and powerful ones, should not get smashed and vomit everywhere no matter how pretty they are.
>"Nyo ho, I'm going to discover a lost city!" she says proudly.
Depending upon your geographical knowledge, you, being older than dirt, could probably help her. Did you know of any structurally durable but socially unstable communities? Perhaps cities with only a sole, easily-destroyed means of access? Or just listing off some of the major transportation locations as they were thousands of years ago could help someone dig them up to follow to wherever they once led. You are really underutilising your value as an old lady.
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No. 1018903 ID: e9c46e
File 164095263566.png - (34.63KB , 800x500 , negotigator.png )
1018903

>...it occurs to me that she might have the right impression of you. You do a lot of improvisation with your ingredients, don't you? Well, at least you can assure her that you plan to keep your alchemical trouble-making outside of town.
I am not some shady back room potion seller. Don't say these things to me.

>Ah, never get in bad with your supplier. You’ll have to try and make amends.
Hmph, I suppose I can show her a little grace to dispel these wildly untrue beliefs she has about me.

>You've several options. You could try all, but I imagine the woman's patience to already be limited. Perhaps the best one is to admit...
>Ask for peace. Nobody was badly hurt yesterday (that you know of, and you're pretty sure you'd be informed or in jail if that was the case). Yes, you were drunk and exploring what is possible using a limited set of ingredients at hand, but you barely remember any of it. It is not how you typically do things - in fact, you've never gotten quite so drunk before. Never. It's not a a mistake you're liable to repeat any time soon - or possibly ever.
"I must apologise for my display last night." I say. "There was some disruption about the town, yes, but no-one was hurt and I fear it's because I haven't gotten that drunk before. I will be more vigilant in the future."

"Oh so you're normally brewing up potions in some wretched hole in the mountains while not drunk you say?" Seleni snaps.

>Rare, too, you think, is the potion maker who has never once gotten inebriated - or sleep-deprived - and done something silly with her skills and ingredients. Or made an experiment that seemed foolish in hindsight. Or been working with sub-par ingredients and taken a chance that seemed to make the best of things.
I grit my teeth. My dungeon is not a wretched hole!

"No," I say. "I am forced to improvise because I need better ingredients. With the right preparation, useful potions can be coaxed out of all manner of things, but its hardly ideal for stability or repeatability. And surely you've occasionally had to improvise or made mistakes while learning your craft?"

"No, never." she sniffs.

A blatant lie if ever I saw one. "Never experimented?" I say. "Made something just for yourself, or something frivolous?"

"You're the frivolous one." she sniffs. "Partnering up with Nemellan's son. Don't think I can't see what you and that wastrel might be planning."

>appeal: to the fact she's missing out on an opportunity - and has no right to block another's chance for one
"I'd like to partner with a number of people about town." I say. "He was just the first person to make a decent offer. This dungeon is my own and I am going to do it my way."

"Well good for you!" she snaps. "My potion shop is a respectable one and I want no part of the degeneracy you're going to be getting into."

>“Oh no, our potion bender last night must have transformed your face into that of a hideous old hag! I’m terribly sorry.”
"Respectable you say?" I begin. "Strange, I would bet you went and made your snout longer at some stage."

"How'd you - I didn't, that's beside the point! I'm not selling anything to you and you can't see Izakikk!"

>Oh, the classic "break a magic thingy and its magic goes everywhere, changing everything" catastrophe.Presumably someone smashed a locus of Labyrinth which dispersed broken fragments of dungeon-craft across the world.
That's not...
>>
No. 1018904 ID: e9c46e
File 164095267478.png - (41.90KB , 500x800 , i_bet_theres_a_prize_inside.png )
1018904

>Now these fragments are repeating in isolation what they once did as part of a greater whole.
You don't know that!

Calm your rage...

>The moral of the story is that dungeons, especially ancient and powerful ones, should not get smashed and vomit everywhere no matter how pretty they are.
They must still be out there, they're just silent. They're not gone, they can't be.

Still your sorrow...

They don't break! They can't die!

Sate yourself in your bloody games.

I don't, I can't, I...
>>
No. 1018905 ID: e9c46e
File 164095272861.png - (27.48KB , 550x800 , blueout.png )
1018905

This day has been an exercise in irritation but at least I have managed to buy some essentials and made one partnership.

With my errands run, I head back towards the Golemeter's Guild. Hopefully it hasn't burnt down in my absence.

>Did you know of any structurally durable but socially unstable communities? Perhaps cities with only a sole, easily-destroyed means of access? Or just listing off some of the major transportation locations as they were thousands of years ago could help someone dig them up to follow to wherever they once led. You are really underutilising your value as an old lady.
I didn't get to travel much. I would be working off hearsay.

>Lacking second-hand knowledge on how the Dungeoneer's Guild makes dungeons I suppose you could send some of your crew to attempt one, or even visit in person. Have you ever heard of a dungeon visiting a dungeon before? How would the earth pulse even react? Would both dungeons gain mana from the game?
Since I need a large quantity of gold resting beneath the earth in my possession no I would not get anything.
>>
No. 1018906 ID: e9c46e
File 164095277614.png - (36.44KB , 800x600 , the_leaving_town_gang.png )
1018906

Dusk is nearing. To my pleasant surprise I find Kallia and Hin waiting together with the golems and supplies. I think Hin's gotten bigger.

"Yo Deem!" Kallia says, waving. "We made some repairs to your horse golem but it's a bit rickety and anyway Hin volunteered to play pack mule for your trip home."

"With that guy coming in a month, thought we'd best fast track it and just walk overnight." Hin says. "I've got a lot of energy to burn up and big steps to cover the distance."

That is thoughtful of her. "Did the demolition go alright?" I ask.

"Yeah finished early thanks to Hin." Kallia says. "She left an impression, even talked your dungoen up a bit. How, I've got all your supplies packed up, and Centaur's ready to go with you too."

"Weren't you thinking of working on Centaur as your journeyman project?" I say.

"I thought about it and frankly don't think old Okum would let me keep her around. He has Views you know."

"Huge prude." Hin rumbles.

Kallia continues. "I think she's got too much going on for me to really figure it out anyway. But last night was great, I've got so many ideas for things to try now."

"What happened to her outfit?" I ask.

"I tried to get my robes off her but the golemetry's all tangled up." Kallia says, gesturing at Centaur. "I got the important bits!" she adds.

"Any other mishaps?" I say, looking the hybridised golem up and down.

"Wow Deem you've gotten all cynical now you're of drinking age." Kallia says. "She's been drinking a lot, your little drink server's too hard to turn down you know. She might have had some cauldron juice."

"I told it water only." I say.

"Yeah when I reactivated him I might have undone that. Can I keep him by the way?"

"I suppose. You said you used up a lot of materials making Centaur though, and I drank that battery." I say.

"Uh, give me golem advice in the future and for now give me some more of those eggs." Kallia says.

"Do I want to know why?"

"It's a surprise!"

"Oh, and did you get in a fight or something?" Kallia says.
>>
No. 1018907 ID: e9c46e
File 164095288996.png - (28.59KB , 800x600 , big_suggestion.png )
1018907

I explain to Kallia that I had some aggressive negotiations, we load Hin up and then find a way through over the town wall with the assistance of a more impressive specimen of guard than the one who handed me that absurd banishment notice this morning. It'll be a few months until I can see this place again but that's fine! I need to spend more time focusing on my dungeon!

We travel in silence for a little while the light's still good. As predicted, big steps make for good time.

"Hey Deem." Hin says. "I've been thinking. Back when we first met I was kinda sensitive about what I would and wouldn't do for dungeon work, but I want to do more."

"What's brought on this change of heart?" I say.

"Well, it'll be a while before you're in shape to do much crafting with all the magic heavy lifting you did last night and... look so far all I've done is almost ruin everything, get sick and be little more than a speed bump for invaders." Hin says.

"You also tamed Doyle, fixed the Fixity Bangle, helped work on a number of useful tools and have done a lot of your own heavy lifting clearing out the excavations without complaint." I point out.

"Yeah, well look, my mother's an adventurer." Hin says. "And I kind of resent her deciding to run off and do adventurery things back when I was just a kid. But I don't want that looming over me deciding what I do! So screw her, I want to fight!"

"I'm not sure if parental spite is the best motivation, Hin."

"Well not fight all the time." Hin says, "I'm a blacksmith. But when I'm not doing that, I still want to be pulling my weight!"

"Thanks Hin." I say.

"Circling back to heavy lifting for a minute, should I stay big a few days longer?" Hin says. "I just need to be sure to eat enough to keep the spell going right? And you've still got all that leftover orange goo and bear meat. And Doyle too. The entrance needs more landscaping, and gather wood and clay and other stuff. You've made the wildlife all aggro too, I bet I could show those frogs who's boss!"

"You'd be roughing it." I warn her. "Clean clothes and washing and sleeping and that are all going to be a headache."

"It's fine," Hin makes a fist. "I'm tough!"

I do only have a month to get my dungeon substantially improved, and I will need some time before I can exert my Heart magically again. Should I try to take advantage of a giant blacksmith? And what should I get her to focus on if I do? If she's working away from the dungeon itself for an extended period I shouldn't send her alone either.
>>
No. 1018908 ID: 5cf232

>>1018907
If she wants to be big, let her be big. If she gets tired of big she can stop being big. Lazy fair. Stop fistfighting shopkeepers. That's the sorta thing that gets banishments extended.
>>
No. 1018921 ID: 0840c2

>>1018907
Let her be big for now, maybe (have her) make something that can let switch between big and regular size sop that she doesn't take up too much room in the dungeon
>>
No. 1018927 ID: 6cc9ee

Okay, I didn't want to suggest this earlier because I thought it would anger you, but it looks like the opposite is true.
These "natural" dungeons remind me more of dreams. Sleeping, damaged dungeon cores, remembering and creating. Sleep-delving. Traps strongly imply some sapience, after all, because traps by their very nature require the ability to see from another being's perspective. To hide something, you must understand how others see. These dungeons don't connect to where the core is, and thus the core is never found, because they themselves don't really know where they are. Likely some Winzes go unnoticed because none of the dungeon connects to the surface.

Investigating one is possibly the most important thing you could do. Go in person, since you will most likely be able to tell where the core is.

Also yeah I guess Hin can be big for a while longer. Just take stock of food supplies so you have a good estimate for how long that could be. She can do some outside work, and on top of that you'll have a giant guarding your front door!
If she hunts monsters in that form, will she level up as fast as if she was fighting them in a smaller form? I don't know how exp works.
>>
No. 1018931 ID: c92a02

Yes she can certainly stay big! Have her focus on landscaping first, monsters second, and have Moriko and some of Alkaline's minions keep her company. When they're fighting monsters, she can keep a look out for that shadow haunting her, and with enough slime bequeathed Alkaline's minions can try to measure up. We can gather clay easily ourselves, and wood? Eh, where would we store it? Something to consider while landscaping the entrance, I suppose.
Maybe the dungeon moat creates enough cover for her to sleep mildly protected? Also consider: slime waterbed, or at least a pillow, with a watertight tarp. Or maybe your gigant mode thighs will be soft enough.
>>
No. 1018932 ID: c92a02

>>1018931
Oh right, there's the hidden valley if she climbs overland too.
>>
No. 1019018 ID: 7217df

Are there any terrifying long-term repercussions from keeping an enchantment going for too long?
>>
No. 1019019 ID: 031458

Stay big, Landscaping and local scouting... The nasty monsters nearby suggests that the geography is causing the earth pulse to collect somewhere other than your dungeon, or that there is an unclaimed gold deposit somewhere nearby.
>>
No. 1019074 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1018907
There's, like, zero reason not to let her do something she wants to do and would help out.
Also,
>"I'm not sure if parental spite is the best motivation, Hin."
Well... that's kinda her point? She didn't want to fight cause her mother did. And, like you said, that's not the best motivation. So she's not doing that anymore.
>>
No. 1019081 ID: 3491a8

I think a great part of her wanting to be gigant is because she felt weak an unuseful for some time and now whe feel big(ger), strong and capable. Just compare how she can feel now and how should have felt when she was goo. Let her help being gigant for a bit more while it's safe so she can feel the power.

About what she can help with I don't think she will be able to easily enter into the dungeon so maybe she can construct a temporal campament outside.

Also I am prety sure you made some magic constructions when you were drunk. Don't be worried but be prepared for the weird.
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No. 1019198 ID: 854c18
File 164111695334.png - (20.41KB , 800x500 , wanderhin.png )
1019198

>Stay big, Landscaping and local scouting...
>She can do some outside work, and on top of that you'll have a giant guarding your front door!
>I think a great part of her wanting to be gigant is because she felt weak and un-useful for some time and now she feels big(ger), strong and capable. Just compare how she can feel now and how should have felt when she was goo. Let her help being gigant for a bit more while it's safe so she can feel the power.
That's true, I suppose I shouldn't complain about a denizen of mine wanting to work harder.

>The nasty monsters nearby suggests that the geography is causing the earth-pulse to collect somewhere other than your dungeon, or that there is an unclaimed gold deposit somewhere nearby.
"I think I'll take you up on that Hin." I say to her. "We do need to do more work around the dungeon's entrance and there must be a locus in the earth-pulse that we should try to find and tame if you're up for some scouting after that."

"Sounds great!" Hin says. "I really started missing legs during that slime thing. A good wander is perfect."

>Are there any terrifying long-term repercussions from keeping an enchantment going for too long?
None I can't handle.

>Stop fist-fighting shopkeepers. That's the sorta thing that gets banishments extended.
What? She provoked me!

>These "natural" dungeons remind me more of dreams. Sleeping, damaged dungeon cores, remembering and creating. Sleep-delving.
>Investigating one is possibly the most important thing you could do. Go in person, since you will most likely be able to tell where the core is.
It'll be months until I can go on another trip, but perhaps you have a point.

>Maybe the dungeon moat creates enough cover for her to sleep mildly protected?
She should - just - be able to get inside the entrance and into the Golem Totem if she needs to.

Although speaking of my dungeon...
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No. 1019199 ID: 854c18
File 164111706149.png - (40.08KB , 1000x1080 , deems_cool_map.png )
1019199

I have a plan for the future shape of my dungeon, but it won't all be achievable within a month.

An abbreviated version will need to cut some corners, but several new rooms can still be added. It should look something like this by the time Nemellan and his companion arrive.

Invaders enter the Golem Totem first and proceed into the corridor beyond. The way ahead is locked, forcing them through the new slime pit to the east to get the key.

Once the first door is open, they'll be able to see the room of the final guardian directly ahead.

Again, they'll need a key. To save myself and my denizens from too much rework, I'll use how it currently works: placing the final guardian's key in the Thaumatorium.

To achieve my new planned layout I will need to Delve to move some of the rooms. However I'm overdrawn on mana and need at least a week to properly condense it for a new spell even with the earth-pulse stirred up as it is. I also will need to power the forge for Olan Nemallan's demonstration item. That's all the dungeon spells I can expect to have the mana to cast before he arrives.

I have two rooms without any current plans on what to do with them: the large circular chamber I currently use for my Heart Chamber and the new room adjoining the Thaumatorium. They both need monsters, puzzles, or objects of interest and I won't be able to contribute to them much magically.

So far I believe my options for something new are:

Lair Conversion: Move Chakarchelou out of the forge and give him a place of his own. Or I could do that with Belphejar instead I suppose.
Upgrade Golems: Work with Merud to create variant golems. I might be able to put that glossid to use too.
Centaur Worries: I could test how useful Centaur is in an actual fight.
New Brew: I currently have a potion dispenser in the Thaumatorium, but something elsewhere might work too.
Hidden Treasure: I don't have much to give away on this front but secrets to be found are a useful trick.
Garden: I have an oreberry bush, a bomb plant, a sticky bomb seed, and rare mushrooms that I have been tending to but not incorporated into the dungeon yet.
Hazard: I don't have a great many options but I could probably rustle up a pit of acid in a pinch or perhaps Reisarf would have something useful to contribute
Research Materials: I have raw mana, a water wand, strange eggs, Reisarf's spell research, Merud's golem work, a cake mimic, curse shards, paramagnetic iron, statues, light absorbing crystals, emblematic flowers, and frog, imp and bear carcasses. Surely I can come up with something to add interest to a room or power up a denizen.

I can't do all of these but there's some room for overlap.
>>
No. 1019201 ID: c92a02

The old heart chamber: You could seal it off and plant the garden here. Don't want adventurers trampling all over our seedlings, and the room's a bit of a rough draft. Nice high ceiling, though! Can put it to use as a boss chamber again in the next phase.

The thaumatorium entrance: Upgrade golems. Line it with your statues and put some upgraded golems in there, a room to show off your myriad expressions of the perfect form. I call it: the Deematorium. ...Statues are also a good place to hide Stuff. Secrets and wonders could be stuffed in the most tenebrous hollows of the statues. Could hide the water wand there, that's both valuable and expendable.

Centaur... could use a bit more work before we put her in the dungeon. She's always very hungry, can she be sated with raw mana? Can she absorb qualities from non-golemetric foes, like the dead frogs?
>>
No. 1019213 ID: 0840c2

>>1019199
Lair conversion: Let's keep Chakarchelou in the forge for now but if we can't make our old heart chamber into a new garden we can have Belphejar act as the garden's guardian he might be able to make some interesting concoctions to keep adventurers busy bonus if they can be used as a reward for defeating him.

Research Materials:: Can raw mana be used as fertilizer/soil for plants or mushrooms? Can the water wand be boosted by the raw mana? What happens if we mix sticky bomb seeds with raw mana? Can we make a raw mana golem? Can we use the oreberry bush to generate gold or other valuable metals? It probably won't be a lot but just due to the shape any harvest might make a good minor treasure.
>>
No. 1019228 ID: ce39da

Chakerchou and Belphejar need their own rooms to shine. It would be a waste not to utilize as many of our creatures as we can in a single run. (A shame you didn't take my advice about leaving the rift where it was geographically and making that new room "the rift room" where a witch could be at work with the cauldron. Would have saved some effort both in terms of the pulse and in ideas.) Since the old heart chamber is optional right now, we can put the map and a lesser gold reward there. Maybe ask Reisarf if he can whip up a suitably caustic hazard for Chakerchou's lair in the thaumatorium entrance.
>>
No. 1019229 ID: 6c227a

>>1019213
huh, actually a puzzle fight where you gotta throw potion materials into an uncooperative cauldron to win sounds interesting
>>
No. 1019240 ID: 96c896

>>1019199
Put some treasure in that little nook off the hallway that leads to the slime pit. Put a secret door in to hide it. Would I be wrong in assuming that the difficulty in finding the treasure has no bearing in how much it helps your mana generation? You could make it very difficult to find, in that case. A perfectly camouflaged door that has a perfectly camouflaged button to open it. Maybe you could even put that button somewhere completely different and the door is only open so long as the button is pressed? Or pressing the button unlocks a button next to the door that you can then press to open the door.
Oh, to further develop this idea... you could actually use the main door to hide a monster to ambush the adventurers from behind once they get to the slime pit. Then the hidden treasure is behind a smaller secret door at the rear of the monster closet.
If making the treasure too hard to find inflicts a penalty then I guess you could just put a singe secret button in the monster closet.

Do we have anywhere to PUT a garden? If it's accessible to adventurers they could steal our plants and damage the garden, which would be a severe loss. I guess you could put some of the harvest in with the hidden treasure? If it's worth growing then it's worth selling, so it's technically treasure...

Test Centaur.
Move Chakarchelou to the old heart room. The forge is now off the adventurers' path so we shouldn't keep him there. You could put the bomb plant in there, so that whoever's paired up with him to fight invaders could use it as an opening attack.
Improve Golems.
>>
No. 1019317 ID: 8483cf

Upgrade golems!
>>
No. 1019323 ID: c92a02

>>1019240
Yeah, Chak will grow into the lair he's given after all. He can be guardin' the garden.
>>
No. 1019363 ID: 5d19c6
File 164126000244.png - (36.37KB , 800x500 , reisarf_spotted.png )
1019363

>Move Chakarchelou to the old heart room. The forge is now off the adventurers' path so we shouldn't keep him there. You could put the bomb plant in there, so that whoever's paired up with him to fight invaders could use it as an opening attack.
Chakarchelou is the first of my denizens, but I haven't done much with him so far. I need to show my gratitude better and having his own space will help his development. Once I have a new Heart Chamber dug I'll have him move in there. The bomb flower should add some interest to it. The room's optional but the reward of claiming his hoard will serve as an enticement.

>Put some treasure in that little nook off the hallway that leads to the slime pit.
That's a good idea. I can easily build a false wall and that's another test of adventurers' destructiveness towards their surroundings.

>You could make it very difficult to find. A perfectly camouflaged door that has a perfectly camouflaged button to open it. Maybe you could even put that button somewhere completely different and the door is only open so long as the button is pressed?
What good is an unobtainable reward?

>You could actually use the main door to hide a monster to ambush the adventurers from behind once they get to the slime pit. Then the hidden treasure is behind a smaller secret door at the rear of the monster closet.
An idea I might have to save for later: golems could be stored in such a way, but the slime pit is already going to have ambush slimes eventually and I'm already pushing at the limit of what I can excavate and have ready in time.

>Do we have anywhere to PUT a garden? If it's accessible to adventurers they could steal our plants and damage the garden, which would be a severe loss. I guess you could put some of the harvest in with the hidden treasure? If it's worth growing then it's worth selling, so it's technically treasure...
That's true, I'm still unsure how cautious modern adventurers are with their surroundings during the Labyrinth Game. My invaders to date have included a pyromancer and a bomb-happy cat girl after all. I'll have to keep any adventurer accessible areas restricted to sturdy and difficult to purloin plantings, at least until I've managed to cultivate replacements.

>We can have Belphejar act as the garden's guardian he might be able to make some interesting concoctions to keep adventurers busy bonus if they can be used as a reward for defeating him.
He's one of my less combat suited monsters when by himself and the connecting chamber is a small room. I don't think he has the confidence to pull it off.

>The thaumatorium entrance: Line it with your statues and put some upgraded golems in there, a room to show off your myriad expressions of the perfect form.
I should probably destroy those things. What was I thinking?

>A shame you didn't take my advice about leaving the rift where it was geographically and making that new room "the rift room" where a witch could be at work with the cauldron.
I should endeavour to put a witch in at some point, the idea certainly seemed to captivate Myaousha.

>Upgrade golems!
I think I have a clear idea of how to repurpose my current Heart Chamber now but I will wait until I see what modified golems Merud and I can put together to finalised plans for the other room.

It's close to midday and my dungeon is in sight. We've made great time by traveling through the night with Hin carrying everything. I shouldn't be so surprised she's still not looking very sleepy with the stamina boost she's gotten by eating so much.

My golems are at work hauling some of the fallen stone outside and Reisarf's sitting on top of a rubble pile with Stargazer. Chakarchelou sticks his snout out and gambols over too.
>>
No. 1019364 ID: 5d19c6
File 164126009557.png - (45.26KB , 800x600 , resiarf_chatted.png )
1019364

"Reisarf, we're back!" I call out as Hin sets me down and starts unloading her other passengers and cargo.

"Oh, you're back early." he says, glancing at the new golems, my more compact form and Hin's taller than usual appearance. "Is it because of the earthquake?" he adds, not questioning any of those things.

"Heya Rei!" Hin waves. "Deem got banished from town for two months for being drunk and disorderly!"

"Hi Hin!" Reisarf waves back. "That makes sense, Merud and Moriko were afraid it was a ghost again but I said it was probably just a night out. Then we found the puppet golem and it was obvious." He looks at me, while I fume silently. "You were avoiding everyone today though! Are you feeling alright? It's rough being banished."

"I'm fine, it's not like I can never return!" I say. After a moment I remember that Reisarf was, in fact, banished from his village never to return and mentally kick myself. I look at the things Hin's set down.

"We bought this bug!" I say, presenting the Glossid.

"Wow, cool bug!" Reisarf says, watching it mindlessly scratch at one of the walls of its enclosure.

"It's for golem work." I say. "And I was able to make a deal with someone in town for some extra gold. They want a tour of the dungeon in a month's time though, so it's going to be a busy few weeks. We'd better get everyone together so I can explain properly!"

For the first one to two weeks I'll have the majority of my denizens working in the dungeon and a smaller contingent outside with Hin to help landscape, scout and proactively fend off any monsters that are feeling aggressive from my use of Churn the Earth. I need to decide who will keep Hin company and if I want them to take any special supplies such as potions or our handful of enchanted items. Food for Hin's a consideration too but I do have plenty of monster meat, the orange goo and possible even the cake mimic to stretch supplies. I'd need myself or Merud to go with her if I want to send any golems along. Similarly I'd want Alkaline along keeping her slimes out of trouble if I sent any of them. Moriko, Chakarchelou, Reisarf and Stargazer are most of my offensive strength while Belphe is able to provide some potion support.

Is there anything I should have them keep an eye out for as well?
>>
No. 1019366 ID: 5cf232

>>1019364
Reisarf can be Hin's shoulder candy. They can shoot magic and Hin doesn't really need melee backup. Plus, Stargazer high up? Probably real good at scouting.

Or she stares at Reisarf the entire time.
>>
No. 1019367 ID: 5cf232

...First trial. Two 'statues' next to the bridge. If the adventure walks past them, they get thwacked from behind.
>>
No. 1019368 ID: c92a02

Accompany Hin and Moriko on their scouting while Merud and Reisarf remain in the dungeon and research, and Alkaline makes herself and her slimes at home in the slime pit you're making. Take some paramagnetic iron with you as a floating compass, see if it attracts you to anything interesting...
Also take some eggs if only to get rid of them. Kallia's shown them to have some use as a potion.
Keep an eye out for Moriko's stalker... and Centaur. Don't want her sucking our workforce dry. Speaking of, maybe our stick golem needs watering?
>>
No. 1019373 ID: 12b116

Alkaline is going to want to hang around you now that you're back, and as useful as sending Stargazer and Reisarf out to scout would be, we might want to keep them here for any unpleasant surprises that might show up. Maybe send Merud and a couple of golems to bring back anything that isn't huge. They should stay on the lookout for any more plants we might want to incorporate as well.

The statues are cool and the dungeon needs more decorations
>>
No. 1019378 ID: 96c896

>>1019363
>unobtainable reward
It wouldn't be unobtainable. A two-party adventurer team could claim it, or the button could be held down by something if a solo adventurer is clever. Having the button in a separate room like that merely introduces a level of context separation. It would be unreasonable, sure, unless the adventurer can spot the secret door somehow and comes to the conclusion that the button in the other room has to be how it's opened. Though, another conclusion is that there's more than one button... You could do that? Multiple buttons scattered throughout the dungeon, once they're all pressed the secret room opens. Like a scavenger hunt!

>>1019364
Keep an eye out for Moriko's shadow. It was disguised as an imp before, and is probably how the bully got executed. Remember, orange eyes and black skin. ...maybe it IS an imp. I guess we were assuming it would still look like Moriko, but that was a hallucination...
>>
No. 1019419 ID: 9a2966

>Puppet golem
Puppet golem?

>Plans
You should stay here for a bit just to recharge your metaphorical batteries (and mana), but then go with Hin - finding and taming an earth-pulse locus sounds like a 'you' job. Bring a big golem and one of the alchemical ones, unless Merud needs 'em.

You'd probably also want a non-golem combatant with you - either Chark, Reisarf, Moriko and/or Alkaline (and her gang of bodyguard slimes). I'd say Alkaline or Char so they can gain s'more experience, but Moriko or Reisarf would add safety.

>Bringing equipment
Yeah, bring some potions, along with regular expedition equipment. Particularly satiation ones should help maintain Hin's size even if you don't manage to hunt much... maybe Belphejar could extend them even further if you bring him? Hm. Worth considering, we've not done much with him with. Bring a bomb from the bomb plant in case you need to clear some rubble fast or run into something big and dangerous that Hin can't just kick away.

>Dungeon tremors
Rumbling and shaking when you were drunk? Oof. Maybe... apologize to those who stayed, a bit. That's not something most denizens would find comfortable to wake up to in the dead of night. Or being kept awake by.

Also consult with your friendizens on what's been happening! Anything of note? Anyone getting cabin fever waiting for the next big event to come around? Have projects progressed? Inner natures been explored, epiphanies had? Mention you at least now you've got a visit scheduled.

And that you have your own minor upgrades! In My Image and Simulated Simulacrum. Don't think you've spoken about those to anyone yet, and Merud would probably be intensely fascinated by your continued growth.

Speaking of Merud, introduce your new golems and relate part of the... crafting shenanigans that happened in town with Kallia. No doubt he'd be intrigued by the sort of mess you created.

Hin: Add bemused commentary as to what went down on that most epic of nights. Drinking, crafting, breaking and entering, kissing... so many great moments. "Drunken me to drank.", "I did this, but with a mountain." and so on. Don't share everything at once, though. These are stories that can last one's socializing for days, especially with enough cleverly dropped foreshadowing.

Deem: Bite your tongue. She's still been (mostly) steadfast and loyal and is now helping out even more. She truly deserves the nice surprise her forge upgrade will represent when she returns to it... the loose-lipped traitor.
>>
No. 1019423 ID: 9a2966

Oh, and is Centaur's golem-absorption tendencies under control? Lots more golems around here, after all.
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No. 1019738 ID: 5d19c6
File 164146261347.png - (40.45KB , 800x600 , alkaline_was_very_well_behaved.png )
1019738

With the news we've returned, Alkaline's the first to come charging out of my dungeon, with Merud and Moriko quick on their heels. Alkaline races over to hug me, which I permit, and shows off how some of her slimes have been growing. Merud and Moriko arrive at less of a full run.

"Deem, you're back early!" Merud says. "You got shorter. What are these golems? Wait, why is Hin so big?"

"She got banished from town for drinking too much." Reisarf says.

"That doesn't explain-" Merud pauses for a moment. "Ah."

"Alkaline was very well behaved while you were away." Moriko says.

"Thank you Moriko." I say.

>Dungeon tremors
>Rumbling and shaking when you were drunk? Oof. Maybe... apologize to those who stayed, a bit. That's not something most denizens would find comfortable to wake up to in the dead of night. Or being kept awake by.
"I'm afraid I wasn't on my best behaviour yesterday though. I am sorry for the chaos last night. I have discovered I can become drunk and I must never do it again."

"Come on now Deem." Hin says. "I think letting your hair down was good for you."

I point at Hin, the new golems, the rubble pile Reisarf's perched on and the statue next to the bridge.

"I don't mind the statues." Moriko says.

"Wait, there's more?" Hin says.

>Puppet golem?
The spare golem I made to help coordinate things at the dungeon while I'm away. It can't talk but it can mime.

"You were getting a little touchy too." Merud says.

"Wait what?" Hin says. "What did she do here?"

"I made some updates to some rooms, some questionable decorative choices and stirred up the earth-pulse to speed things along." I say.

At this point I decide to briefly recap the night in town. We went to the bar, had some drinks, went back to the guild to engage in some drunken golemetry, had some dares with Kallia and then we headed out again to do some more things about town. In the morning, I was able to make a preliminary deal with Olan Nemellan for additional gold and he'll be coming in a week's time, and also soured things with Seleni, the potion shop owner.

>>Deem: Bite your tongue. She's still been (mostly) steadfast and loyal and is now helping out even more. She truly deserves the nice surprise her forge upgrade will represent when she returns to it... the loose-lipped traitor.
Hin adds her own embellishments, somewhat out of order. I think she's exaggerating saying we also broke into a vault, mucked about on church grounds, that I fell in the harbour, threw up eggs, brewed potions with Izakikk, and that Kallia and I left several other discarded golems around the town, got kicked out of three bars and almost bought a food stand.

"And she was all 'I did this but with a mountain.'" Hin raises her hands towards her chest and-

"Hin, not in front of Alkaline." I say.

"She's a big girl." Hin grumbles but falls silent.

>Finding and taming an earth-pulse locus sounds like a 'you' job.
Dragons are better fought before they hatch, it's true. Although it's more likely to be bears or a plague of frogs in this case.

>You'd probably also want a non-golem combatant with you.
>Keep an eye out for Moriko's shadow. It was disguised as an imp before, and is probably how the bully got executed. Remember, orange eyes and black skin. ...maybe it IS an imp.
What!? Are you sure about this? Why haven't you said anything before now? That one that almost tripped her up when the imps invaded? I've been saying that if it exists we should have seen a more obvious manifestation all this time and that was weeks ago!

I will keep an eye out for any suspiciously competent imps then, and bring Moriko as a warrior and a lure.

>Yeah, bring some potions, along with regular expedition equipment. Particularly satiation ones should help maintain Hin's size even if you don't manage to hunt much... maybe Belphejar could extend them even further if you bring him? Hm. Worth considering, we've not done much with him with.
I don't have many potions left so I think I will simply take Belphejar with us.

That's it then, the outside team will be Hin, myself, Moriko, Belphejar and some supporting golems.
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No. 1019739 ID: 5d19c6
File 164146279892.png - (48.89KB , 800x500 , golem_selection.png )
1019739

I intend to be working outside starting tomorrow, so I have the rest of today to teach Merud new things about golems. I'll be keeping him up all night I think.

>Alkaline is going to want to hang around you now that you're back.
There's not much opportunity, I'll let her sit in on this as long as she doesn't get in the way.

>Also take some eggs if only to get rid of them. Kallia's shown them to have some use as a potion.
They make something a little more like my golem body. I don't see that being terribly useful in the field but they might have some research use. I am not a strong combatant but this transfer of properties could be useful.

>...First trial. Two 'statues' next to the bridge. If the adventure walks past them, they get thwacked from behind.
A simple enough trap to make, but I don't know if I should keep these statues.

>Oh, and are Centaur's golem-absorption tendencies under control? Lots more golems around here, after all.
In a manner of speaking. It's been misinterpreted orders that have caused it so far. I can just leave her inactive.

>Speaking of Merud, introduce your new golems and relate part of the... crafting shenanigans that happened in town with Kallia. No doubt he'd be intrigued by the sort of mess you created.
Merud is immediately puzzled by how some parts of these golems function at all and my own lack of recollection on what I was trying to achieve threatens to turn this examination into a gigantic time sink. We reluctantly have to shelve it and focus on the basis for upgrading some of the dungeon's golems since he'll be doing the bulk of the work.

>And that you have your own minor upgrades! In My Image and Sculpted Simulacrum. Don't think you've spoken about those to anyone yet, and Merud would probably be intensely fascinated by your continued growth.
I'll see how we go with the golem upgrades and then tell him!

Working with Merud, these are the options for an upgraded golem that seem relatively quick to put into place:

Modular: Adding attendant simple golems that link to the primary golem. This allows it additional forms of attack and defense such as an animated weapon and it may change form or use these golems as ablative armour.

Protean: A golem body modified to be malleable. It can move its core around, reattach severed parts and change shape.

Vital Point: The golem's animating force is concentrated into a single vulnerable point. This makes it resistant to damage in other locations and improves its overall performance. The back is a common location.

Woody: A tenacious golem with parts of living wood. This makes it strong, resilient and able to grow to provide benefits such as weapons, sap, fruit or regenerating armour. The mud-and-stick golem I've made is more or less a barely functional version of this.

Gardener: The golem has a symbiotic relationship with a specific flower or plant, and has access to a single Rote Spell of symbolic relevance to that plant.

Other Materials: I don't have any rare materials in bulk, but I could try to make a golem completely out of plants or pull Reisarf in to see if his material combining spell can make anything worthwhile.

Stabilised Simulacrum: Essentially making use of my new Sculpted Simulacrum spell and then trying to make a permanent version that replicates its functionality. I don't think we have the resources to do this very well at the moment but it could be worthwhile.

I can pick two of these and work on two golems or focus on one and make three. An existing golem can be used as the base, or a new golem can be made specifically for this. I can apply the Glossid's resin to improve one golem as well.
>>
No. 1019741 ID: c92a02

>I can just leave her inactive.
...You should test this theory. Behind a locked door.
>Other materials
Try Reisarf's combining spell on Deem eggs and... hoo boy, what do we have that's even remotely suitable for sculpting golems that isn't wood or clay? It'll probably have to be clay + a special item then. Okay, how about clay infused with curse shards? This can in no way go wrong.
Upgrade our stick golem into a glossy, woody golem. Olan will hardly recognize her when we're done.
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No. 1019746 ID: 96c896

>>1019738
>Why haven't you said anything before now?
We didn't notice it when it happened, and only realized it recently. Today, in fact. Yes, it was the one that got tangled up in her clothes. Then I believe ran off with a scrap of fabric. Likely intentional, as a keepsake or for some more magical purpose.

>statue trap
If you don't like how they look, change them. Shouldn't be hard. You could wipe off identifying features or change the features to look more... generic.

Vital Point on your fastest golem. The more agile a golem is the harder it will be for an opponent to get behind it!
Woody on the long-armed golem. I just think it would look best on her. Or just make a new golem with a similar design. I feel like wood and plant-strengthened golems will fit our current stone/plant/dark theme extremely well.
Glossid one of your big brutes.
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No. 1019751 ID: 4273fc

>>1019739
>A simple enough trap to make, but I don't know if I should keep these statues.
Well, that's the beauty of it: convince the adventurers that every statue is out to get them, and they'll take care of them for you.
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No. 1019753 ID: 0840c2

>>1019739
Supporting >>1019746
>>
No. 1019754 ID: ce39da

Considering the direction we want to take our dungeon overall, would it be possible to mass-apply the Woody trait if we put all our effort over the week into just that one aspect? We'll want Gardener and Other Materials (Plant) at some point too, but just woody works for the early sections of the dungeon (which this current section will likely occupy).
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No. 1019755 ID: 9a2966

Let's keep in mind your dungeon's themes: Earth, Shadow, Fecund and Weird Stuff. And since you've been talking about needing some tougher minions, work on 2 of your more offensive golems; a Big Arms and a Big Boy, say. Give them both Woody and Protean upgrades.

Woody for the Fecund theme, aiming for armor or regeneration. Protean for changing up how the golems get defeated so adventurers can't rely on old tactics (plus the whole Weird Stuff factor of being able to keep fighting when it looks like they shouldn't).

Heck, between Protean and Woody, you might even gain a surprise Round 2, if they pretend being downed (but sneakily moved their core) and then regenerate for a later re-encounter using their Woody nature. Perhaps they could even merge, or at least trade bits to make one even tougher and more offensive.

Adventurers will have to learn to be careful about presuming something is dead in this dungeon where life abounds in the shade.
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No. 1019779 ID: af2f11

>>1019739
Are we planning on regaining our golem body's lost mass before we set off? Probably better to have a stronger body.
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No. 1019785 ID: c92a02

The statues are nice! They're all statues of you after all, and they don't even show signs of impaired hand-eye coordination since you don't have eyes or hands. What if... we glossed one of those instead? The dryad/treant statue maybe, since it's outside.
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No. 1019887 ID: 7217df

If I understand it correctly, Stabilised Simulacrum can provide a permanent reproduction of once-off encounters. There are many such encounters, with the obvious periodic plunders of your precious possessions and evil enemies emerging from your earthy emanations, but also searching settlements and cities for certain civilians and combatants from close or convenient communities or boss-monsters and random encounters from any quest locations hit.

Combined with Vital Point, I would hope that the shortfalls in duplicating the original's abilities could be counteracted, and with the wide range of forms likely from Stabilised Simulacrum, the Vital Points should be easy to vary, from hidden behind a knight's shield or kept mobile in a duellist's off-hand, to put right in the centre-torso of something with lots of arms to defend the location. I would also suggest the inside of the thigh for a default weak-point. Minimal exposure, relatively easy to defend, and if they can hit it with any force then they have likely removed a leg, which will often make for an ineffective golem regardless of whether it is still operating. There are reasons why, despite being widely regarded as a weak-point in many species, crotch-shots rarely decide duels.
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No. 1019900 ID: cdbcf8

>>1019739
OK let's see what we got here
Modular. So how small are these simple golems? Because if they're big as like, a cat, we can go swarm mode and overwhelm our enemies. Also how big is the primary golem? Because if it can be small as the simples, we can go for a swarm monster approach to it. Either way living armor and weapons are incredibly useful when making surprise attacks or defends. Also if we focus on them and make a lot of them, mini boss made up of all of them?
Protean. Become a boxer and take any and all punches and give them back? Become what fills the cracks in the walls and hides in the shadows as an assassin? Or just be an copycat and copy what ever our enemy does? The possibility's are endless!
Vital Point. Put the point in it's mouth, they'll never expect it.
Woody...Can we set them on fire? Because as we saw with Agni/Denji it was really affective.
Gardener. Pick the fastest growing plant, make the plants grow inside our enemies.
Other Materials/Stabilised Simulacrum/ Don't have enough stuff for it & we have other things that do it better.

Modular, I like the utility of it. Gardener, the magic part really seems like it'll help us out, if we pick the right plant that is. Plus it was either that or Protean.
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No. 1019901 ID: 5cf232

I like gardener! Risk and reward in one. Defeat the golem, get the magical potion ingredient.
>>
No. 1019902 ID: 5cf232

>>1019901
Which also gives delvers the opportunity to profit without stealing our gold.
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No. 1019906 ID: a6e7d9

>>1019739
>I can pick two of these
Woody and Gardener! Either on the same golem so it can take care of (and cast rote magic on) itself, or in a synergistic pair with a nimble homunculus gardener tending to a burly woody brute.

It's probably best to upgrade existing golems instead of making new ones, but it might be a good idea to let Merud pick which specific golems to upgrade, just to see what he goes for.
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No. 1019916 ID: f57349

Combination of Vital Point and Gardener (Bomb Flower) is tempting.
>>
No. 1019951 ID: 35f98c

>>1019755
This seems like a good idea, to me. Woody and Protean seem like they sync well, making the golem hard to cripple or disable or kill, and also seem thematically good.
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No. 1019971 ID: 7217df

How redundant is protean with slimes? If all of the monsters are vulnerable to the same types of attacks...
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No. 1027510 ID: fefffb

I offer four ideas. 1: For short term, going with modular is what I believe is the best choice. 2: For the long term, developing a stabilised simulacrum would be preferable. 3: Can the vital point of a golem be detached and hidden. Oh, the ways that could be exploited. And 4: Treat those you have come to view as more than servants, more than friends, those you may very well hold as family, whether you admit it or not, you must treat them with kindness, love and understanding. For if you are ever heartless to them, cruel for no reason other than amusement, then either they or I. Will. END. YOU.
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No. 1027600 ID: 3f2a88

Isn't it nice to come home to your wife and kids after a productive business trip, Deem?

I'd say have one of the smaller golems upgraded to be a gardener, with affinity for vines and viney, flowery plants. They'd help maintain the foliage in the dungeon, and be able to use entangling attacks or possibly magic.

As well a completely plant golem that could disguise itself as part of the scenery. Maybe the use of entanglement magic from a gardener golem on another golem made almost entirely of woody, ropey vines would have some kind of synergy.

And I really like the idea of adventurers reaching a seemingly empty, overgrown thaumatorium, where as soon as they start trying to cross the water statues and plants come to life, and slimes slither out of the shadows and hidden corners.
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No. 1027656 ID: ba2bc3

I don't like a lot vital point by itself (is really funny but I always see that kind of design flawed) but I think that a modular shielding golem dedicated to protect the core can be a funny and functional midboss kind of golem.

I would chose Vital point, modular and either woody or gardener for thematic
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No. 1027987 ID: 2e321d
File 164888399676.png - (41.95KB , 800x550 , im_automating_your_space_toilet_merud.png )
1027987

>Isn't it nice to come home to your wife and kids after a productive business trip, Deem?
I don't have any time for this tomfoolery!

>>I can just leave Centaur inactive.
>...You should test this theory. Behind a locked door.
A key feature of an indepedently operating golem is removing their dependency on a magician to supply them with magical power and will. Centaur is not an independent golem.

>Can the vital point of a golem be detached and hidden. Oh, the ways that could be exploited.
In much the same way you could detach and hide someone's head, yes. I would not recommend it.

If I understand it correctly, Stabilised Simulacrum can provide a permanent reproduction of once-off encounters.
No. I'd need to model it after a denizen or someone I have prolonged access to.

Merud was a quicker study for the options I was considering than I expected. As a reward, I dredge through my my pitifully low reservoir of mana to demonstrate my new simulacrum spell. A golem is made that is focused on golem magic. Sadly I think this one may be difficult to use effectively as if I am conjuring up golems I am likely very low on permanent golems.

It manages a passable imitation of some of Merud's rote spells but I am loath to expend too much energy on it when I have several important uses for my limited supply looming.

"That's really elegant Deem." my golemeter says, inspecting his rudimentary copy. "It's like the whole body's a core to make up for the poor channel density."

"Strictly speaking, a golem usually has a complex core so the effort and rarer materials can be focused there." I explain. "Much like how a human is more than just a heart or a brain, many functions and behaviours can be placed anywhere in a pinch."

"Ah I'd mainly heard about that in terms of integrated magic items but you're right!" Merud says, acknowledging the obvious. "It doesn't need to be something complete in of itself, the golem's the complete entity. Isn't that whatever you and Kallia managed with Centaur and the other little golem? There's two cores but they're cooperating?" He starts scribbling notes.

>Upgrade our stick golem into a glossy, woody golem. Olan will hardly recognize her when we're done.
It already is a primitive wooden golem but this idea entertains me to highlight the skills of my dungeon and its denizens. I'll use it as a test run for the glossid's resin since it's a small golem that's unlikely to strain the little bug's supply.
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No. 1027989 ID: 2e321d
File 164888409171.png - (41.62KB , 800x550 , grassroots_golem.png )
1027989

>Let's keep in mind your dungeon's themes: Earth, Shadow, Fecund and Weird Stuff.
>Woody for the Fecund theme, aiming for armor or regeneration. Protean for changing up how the golems get defeated so adventurers can't rely on old tactics (plus the whole Weird Stuff factor of being able to keep fighting when it looks like they shouldn't).
>If they pretend being downed (but sneakily moved their core) and then regenerate for a later re-encounter using their Woody nature. Perhaps they could even merge, or at least trade bits to make one even tougher and more offensive.
A lot of this role should already be adequately provided by a Woody upgrade to one of my brute golems so I believe I will focus on that and get another trick rather focus on upgrading a single golem heavily.

>Woody and Gardener! Either on the same golem so it can take care of (and cast rote magic on) itself, or in a synergistic pair with a nimble homunculus gardener tending to a burly woody brute.
That's a useful pair to have both in battle and as a dungeon tender so I will rework one of my homunculi as well.

>I'd say have one of the smaller golems upgraded to be a gardener, with affinity for vines and viney, flowery plants. They'd help maintain the foliage in the dungeon, and be able to use entangling attacks or possibly magic.
"What is useful to know," I say to Merud, "Is that the plant element doesn't need to be anything special. We just need a symbolic link to provide an appropriate template for a Rote Spell. In fact we might be biting off too much if we tried using something like a bomb flower, the kindly mushrooms or the oreberry as a focus, given the relative crudity of our tools. You could liken the symbiosis to a wizard's staff or familiar: the plant is still largely its own distinct entity but it serves as a focus for the golem's magic."

It's starting to get late but I want this done. Merud makes some cacoffee for himself and I take an exploratory sip myself. I feel a touch of false vitality, energy and sharpness papered thinly over the gaping hole that is the true state of my Heart's mana supply. I don't care for it but I have more anyway.
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No. 1027990 ID: 2e321d
File 164888415730.png - (37.51KB , 800x550 , late_night_golemetry.png )
1027990

We get to the woody golem. I have obtained a small sapling that will become shaped to purpose.

"This isn't a style I have used often." I explain to Merud. "But it's something like a flesh golem. You are weaving the golem's functions into a whole together with the living material's natural ones to complement and enhance it. You've worked on a flesh golem before haven't you?"

"Ah, once when I was first learning golemetry." Merud says. "Master Okum didn't like the idea of them..."

I frown. First homunculi and now this. "I'm starting to think this so called master didn't want you to make golems at all! What was he trying to run, a puppet show? Did he just want you to get a pile of rocks and bang them together?"

Merud sets down his cacoffee mug. "Maybe we should take a break."

I eye him suspiciously. "That seems like a non-sequitur."

"You can get cranky when you're low on mana."

"Well excuse me if my depleted state, impoverished treasury and constant bleeding of vital mana from my wounded Heart is making me 'cranky'!"

Merud sighs helplessly and then looks thoughtful. "Maybe you need to bleed more actually..."

I point at him accusingly. "You're just trying to distract me with something provocative!"

"Mmm, maybe." Merud says, still looking irritatingly thoughtful. "I was just thinking though, if you hold more mana in your golem body, yes you'll have more mana bleed but it may actually slow over time as you see the incomplete channels form more connections to your golem body. It'd be interesting to see what other abilities you might manifest..." He takes a sip as he mulls it over.

"Oh so you're just interested in me for my body?" I say darkly.

Merud spits out his drink. I watch him as he coughs and then he straightens. "Now I think about it, maybe we do need to use your body more?"

It's my turn to splutter. "What?"

"Both of the golems that became Centaur used clay that originated from your body." Merud says. "Maybe it's more useful for golem making than we thought? If you consume a small amount of clay each day and let it reach equilibrium with your golem body, we could harvest some and find out?"

>Are we planning on regaining our golem body's lost mass before we set off? Probably better to have a stronger body.
I hadn't planned to use my Gigant Mode, I need to conserve mana while I am trying to restore my sorely diminished stockpile of it.

"I'll think about it." I say. "But we're getting sidetracked and I want the initial work on this golem finished tonight."
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No. 1027991 ID: 2e321d
File 164888417943.png - (12.59KB , 800x500 , night_night_deem.png )
1027991

We work into the early morning and then there's not much for me to do until I can leave with Hin in the morning. I bid Merud good night and I might as well be comfortable while I'm conserving mana so I climb into a bed.

>We didn't notice Moriko's shadow when it happened, and only realized it recently. Today, in fact. Yes, it was the one that got tangled up in her clothes. Then I believe ran off with a scrap of fabric. Likely intentional, as a keepsake or for some more magical purpose.
Imps are hardly magical geniuses and whatever it might really be, that's what it has assumed the qualities of. Perhaps it did simply come to try and take a trophy off her if it wasn't pure dumb luck. Hopefully that will make it easier to pick from a crowd if it has kept it.

>Treat those you have come to view as more than servants, more than friends, those you may very well hold as family, whether you admit it or not, you must treat them with kindness, love and understanding. For if you are ever heartless to them, cruel for no reason other than amusement, then either they or I. Will. END. YOU.
Who are you to make such empty threats?

>The statues are nice! They're all statues of you after all, and they don't even show signs of impaired hand-eye coordination since you don't have eyes or hands.
They are not very well made.

>statue trap
>If you don't like how they look, change them. Shouldn't be hard. You could wipe off identifying features or change the features to look more... generic.
True, I suppose I simply just don't want to deal with anything more from last night just yet.

>Well, that's the beauty of it: convince the adventurers that every statue is out to get them, and they'll take care of them for you.
Though I suppose them not being well made means I won't miss them much should the get damaged, defaced or continually remade to replenish disarmed traps.

>I really like the idea of adventurers reaching a seemingly empty, overgrown thaumatorium, where as soon as they start trying to cross the water statues and plants come to life, and slimes slither out of the shadows and hidden corners.
It is a strong image, I hope to make it real soon.
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No. 1027992 ID: 2e321d
File 164888422497.png - (27.18KB , 800x550 , they_grow_up_so_fast.png )
1027992

I wanted to check on my other dungeon dwelling denizens before I set off with Hin but something is not right. Something is not right. My royal jelly is being uncooperative.

"Alkaline, open this door."

"No!"

"Alkaline." I say warningly.

"Go away! You just got back and you're leaving already, so go! I hate you!"

"Don't you talk to me like that, little miss!"

"You're dumb and your dungeon is dumb!"

This is outrageous, I shouldn't have rebellious monsters, I am not dumb, and I am very good at running a dun-
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No. 1027993 ID: 2e321d
File 164888424218.png - (26.61KB , 800x550 , oops_all_golems.png )
1027993

"Deem," Merud yells. "I've made a terrible mistake! I tried supercharging Centaur and she's absorbing every golem in sight!"

"Why would you do that?!" I scream back at him.

"I wanted to see what would happen!"

It looks like I have yet more problems to get sorted before I can leave this dungeon in a fit state!
>>
No. 1027996 ID: 96c896

I'm pretty sure you're dreaming right now. Oh well, let's just go with it.

Centaur's not an independent golem so just deactivate her. If that won't work, rally your forces and treat her like a wild monster that needs to be taken down.
Tell Alkaline you can keep her company with your other golem. You're not leaving, you're the dungeon. Remember? So long as she's here, you'll never be apart.
>>
No. 1028008 ID: 56f06e

Slimes and golems seem ill-equipped to harm each other. Try getting them to distract play together.
>>
No. 1028026 ID: c92a02

Send a non-golem to deal with Centaur, like Hin and Moriko. Alkaline requires additional hugs, spend a little extra time with her now and promise more when you return.
>>
No. 1028027 ID: 3f2a88

Ok, so Alkaline just hit her angry teenager phase. She's growing up, it was gonna happen eventually. I'd say bring her with you since she's growing up, but no, you don't just give a teenager throwing a tantrum what they want, you'll spoil them if you do.

That looks like it's centaur right behind Merud, but act fast and disable it. Hopefully without destroying ALL the golems it's absorbed.
>>
No. 1028032 ID: 9a2966

It's a dream. Or a nightmare.

You once said you hated dreaming, because it made your sense of awareness ebb - and you do like to stay in control, don't you? Another time you said - to Moriko - that in a dream there is no separation between thought, desire and action.

Have you ever tried to have a lucid dream, o' dungeon Deem?

To control the effusive flow of consciousness, however indirectly and imprecisely? To explore the mindscapes that rush along and say "To this degree, at least, I am the master of myself, that I can chose their topic and nature" and void your most stressful nightmares.

Try! Why let your dreams torment you once again? Think of something that would be more pleasant. Something you'd find sweet, upon waking... perhaps a celebration of your new denizens and their recent growth. Or perhaps you'd prefer to daydream up a rousing battle, the earth-pulse raging. You've yet to have a proper spar with Hin.

How one between a Gigantified you and a giant her feel and look? The ground would tremble beneath your feet, haha! Or how it'd feel if you faced down a batch of adventurers, together, as a surprise titan battle. Now that could be suitably epic!

... anyway, this can't be the work of a night-haunt, right? Way too amateurish. Alkaline can't even talk yet and she'd pout and cling to come with, not try to block your path.
>>
No. 1028059 ID: 3bd6f9

Order Merud to do something appropriately parental at Alkaline while you decommission the katamari golem.
>>
No. 1028061 ID: ba2bc3

Told ya. Many of us told ya. Dangerous speciments are to be sealed and keept in secure areas for their study and dismantle by the wellinformed and permised personal.

About the golem eater monstrosity I suggest to flee. You are in big danger of lossing your newly improved golem (who knows if that body of yours is replicable).
>>
No. 1028217 ID: 16408a
File 164905615761.png - (42.06KB , 800x600 , teen_talks.png )
1028217

>Centaur's not an independent golem so just deactivate her. If that won't work, rally your forces and treat her like a wild monster that needs to be taken down.
"Tell her to stop!" I yell back at Merud.

"I tried that, it didn't work!" my golemeter shouts back.

"What do you mean it didn't work?! Well stall her, I'll get the others!"

>Slimes and golems seem ill-equipped to harm each other. Try getting them to distract play together.
I give the door an extra push. "Alkaline, can you help!"

She huffs, her slimes pushing back on the door. "Oh so you have time for me now you want something?"

>Ok, so Alkaline just hit her angry teenager phase. She's growing up, it was gonna happen eventually.
>Send a non-golem to deal with Centaur, like Hin and Moriko. Alkaline requires additional hugs, spend a little extra time with her now and promise more when you return.
"Look Alkaline, I didn't know you were feeling neglected, do you want a hug?"

"I'm not a baby!" she huffs again. "You just don't get it, do you?" The door is forced shut.

"Hin, Moriko!" I call out desperately. "We're under attack!"
>>
No. 1028218 ID: 16408a
File 164905619109.png - (23.76KB , 750x650 , hi_deem_im_leave_hin.png )
1028218

>About the golem eater monstrosity I suggest to flee. You are in big danger of losing your newly improved golem (who knows if that body of yours is replicable).
I run towards the entrance, I have to stay away.

There peering in the entrance is my blacksmith. What has she done to herself now?

"Hin, you're huge!"

"Yeah, uh," she chuckles weakly, "you should see the rest of me!"

"What happened?!"

"Uh I couldn't sleep so I went for a walk and took Doyle in case I got into trouble. Anyway there were frogs and fairies and it turns out Doyle can really put out a spread!"

"Hin, I need-"

"Um I've been thinking actually Deem. I've kind of outgrown your dungeon? I thought I'd do my own thing for a bit! Find some bigger and better things to get in."

"Why-"

"Oh and Doyle's coming with me! You really let him get bullied a lot you know!"

"You can't- don't leave me!"

She doesn't listen.
>>
No. 1028219 ID: 16408a
File 164905622353.png - (21.70KB , 800x550 , deadly_impulse.png )
1028219

I hear Moriko yell behind me. Finally, someone I can rely on!

"Die demon!"

She's fighting, wait no that's the imp! Not an imp! Her shadow! She drives her hammer into its chest with a brutal strike. It screams and vanishes in a wisp of shadow.

Moriko looks triumphant for a moment and then collapses.
>>
No. 1028220 ID: 16408a
File 164905625026.png - (25.73KB , 600x800 , morikarry.png )
1028220

What. What is happening.

>It's a dream. Or a nightmare.
What.

>You once said you hated dreaming, because it made your sense of awareness ebb - and you do like to stay in control, don't you? Another time you said - to Moriko - that in a dream there is no separation between thought, desire and action.
Something is not right.

>Have you ever tried to have a lucid dream, o' dungeon Deem?
>To control the effusive flow of consciousness, however indirectly and imprecisely? To explore the mindscapes that rush along and say "To this degree, at least, I am the master of myself, that I can chose their topic and nature" and void your most stressful nightmares.
>Try! Why let your dreams torment you once again? Think of something that would be more pleasant.
Oh yes what a good idea instead of getting tortured I should just not do that thank you so very much for your useful suggestion.
>>
No. 1028223 ID: 96c896

You worry about your denizens that much, huh? I think Moriko is really the only one you need to worry about. She does not understand how much she is hurting herself, whereas you can just talk to Alkaline about her emotions, and make sure Hin is satisfied with her job. Doyle... uh, he's been doing well lately, maybe give him a little more encouragement? Merud seems to have been reasonable with his experiments, are you just worried about Centaur specifically?
Nothing you could do for Moriko in this state; nothing anyone could do I think.

Where are Reisarf and Stargazer? They saved you last time. Subconsciously, you should be able to count on them.
Can you use your sense of the dungeon? Look through your core, instead of your sleeping golem body. I wonder if that will show you reality...
>>
No. 1028224 ID: c92a02

To dream, perchance to sleep... These are all things you've been worrying about, to have them all happen at once is suspicious. So what you need is a plan for each of them.
Focus on Moriko first. Draw her shadow back through the resurrection matrix. When they wake up, you can reintroduce them.
Then Alkaline. She might reject the offer of a hug at first, but persist. It's a good start. Listen to their troubles.
Hin... you can delve a bigger dungeon? Ultimately, she's a strong independent giant and will make her own decisions on whether she stays or goes. She'll probably come back eventually, bigger and better than ever, and really this means you wouldn't have to feed or pay her while she's gone so it's not the worst deal. Doyle was only briefly mentioned but it sounds like the solution is training him more so he's tougher like he used to be.
Finally, Centaur. If you're this worried about a golem's potential, that's a sign that it's very strong. You're afraid of what it's capable of - so test it, experiment on it, pore over its cores and figure out what causes that impulse. Then, install a switch on it! Remember, it is just a golem. You are a dungeon. You're stronger than it.
>>
No. 1028227 ID: 96c896

>draw her shadow back through the matrix
That... sounds like it would work even in the waking world. Just in case it does, maybe you shouldn't do it? Releasing the shadow imp in the waking world might result in Moriko attacking it just like you saw, and hurting herself for real.

I wish we could just wake you up.
>>
No. 1028229 ID: 9a2966

>I should just not get tortured, thanks
If there is no separation between thought, desire and action, can you really not put your mind to better things? At least recognize the absurdity of the things hurting you through your fri- denizens.

Hin owes you much and finds you fun. She'd not abandon you.
Merud is absurdly meticulous and interested in golems. He wouldn't mess up something so basic.
Alkaline adores you. She's happy just to be with you. She blubs, not talks.
Moriko is strong and determined. She could kill her other half and still try to stand - and you encouraged her to reconcile herself with her nature besides.

Nor are any of the problems presented here things you could not solve, if you wished to.

>something is not right
Agreed. If some outside force - like an entity capable of feeding off of and manipulating dreams - is throwing you - in your weakened state - into various no-win scenarios to make you feel strong emotions - that it can feed on - feed it less by calming down. You have suffered setbacks before. You've always risen again. Even now.

But if your dreams truly are not so easy to steer, maybe the outside world can do you one better. Try to command a denizen - Chakarkelou, say - to sniff out and use as chew toy whatever's manipulating your dreams. It must be nearby, or have some sort of connection to you.
>>
No. 1028232 ID: 96c896

I don't think there's an outside force, this just looks like an anxiety dream to me.
>>
No. 1028234 ID: 06c1f4

What the heck, chase after Hin and climb on. She’d be decent enough to do you a favor before she leaves and squash Centaur.
Hey, if it’s a dream, then you don’t have to worry about mana expenditure, you can go gigant mode with no consequences whatsoever!
>>
No. 1028237 ID: 12b116

It's a golem, can't you just cut off the magic animating it? You're the one in charge here, nobody else's power can compare to yours, especially here in a dream
>>
No. 1028242 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1028227
>That... sounds like it would work even in the waking world. Just in case it does, maybe you shouldn't do it?
Only if the shadow is dead, and in the real world it's not yet. The matrix can't bring something that's alive.

>>1028234
>you can go gigant mode with no consequences whatsoever!
Now this is a bad idea. Deem's actions in dreams have affected the waking world before, especially those that use mana.
>>
No. 1028269 ID: 3f2a88

Come now Deem, you have an amazing insight, you should be able to use this.

A dark pall is hanging over you. When you went to sleep everyone was happy, and now you are dreaming of everyone going away. You are suffering your fears, that everyone you rely on and care for is being lost.

So either a malevolent spirit is infecting your dreams, which you'd probably be subconsciously aware of, or you were scarred by some past tragedy, left alone by others, and are reliving that loss with your current family.

But the why is a thing to ponder in your waking hours. Right now, seize on the thread of anger and bold ambition that are your forte.
>>
No. 1028314 ID: ba2bc3

If overthinking is hurting you, then stop thinking until you feel ok enought. Breath, slowly, use that new nostrils you made or the equivalent of "breathing" that dungeons do. Center your mind in not think, you can either supress every thought when it arrise or fixate on something simple like the white color.

Ease your mind, relax your body, let your fears and stress go. Actue when you are prepared.
>>
No. 1028733 ID: f6f6cb
File 164958606873.png - (24.62KB , 600x800 , dumped.png )
1028733

>You worry about your denizens that much, huh?
>So either a malevolent spirit is infecting your dreams, which you'd probably be subconsciously aware of, or you were scarred by some past tragedy, left alone by others, and are reliving that loss with your current family.
...

No.

I don't know about any tragedies don't talk about that you can't make me how dare you!

>At least recognize the absurdity of the things hurting you through your fri- denizens.
Many of the things that can hurt me come from my denizens! I need servants to do anything!

>A dark pall is hanging over you. When you went to sleep everyone was happy, and now you are dreaming of everyone going away. You are suffering your fears, that everyone you rely on and care for is being lost.
Eventually everyone leaves.

Or dies.
>>
No. 1028734 ID: f6f6cb
File 164958611514.png - (26.86KB , 800x600 , cowabunga_my_dudes.png )
1028734

>But if your dreams truly are not so easy to steer, maybe the outside world can do you one better. Try to command a denizen - Chakarkelou, say - to sniff out and use as chew toy whatever's manipulating your dreams. It must be nearby, or have some sort of connection to you.
Something is not right, maybe Charkarchelou can sniff it out. I run for the forge, the corridors seeming strange and unfamiliar around me. It's as if I've only taken a few steps and I'm there. I find a giant turtle taking up most of the forge.

"Chakarchelou! Who said you could go and evolve on your own?"

"Snnr? Grrr."

"What do you mean you don't need me?!"

"GRONK!"

"Maybe I have been slow with the ice cream, but that's no excuse!"

Chakarchelou starts plodding towards the entrance.
>>
No. 1028735 ID: f6f6cb
File 164958615982.png - (27.79KB , 650x750 , happy_april_1_plus_9.png )
1028735

>Where are Reisarf and Stargazer? They saved you last time. Subconsciously, you should be able to count on them.
"Reisarf, Stargazer!" I call out.

"Deem!" I hear Reisarf call out from the doorway behind me. How'd they get here so fast? I turn around and Stargazer looks strange. I squint at her in confusion. Get that stupid smug look off your face, Stargazer!

"Stargazer ate some weird eggs and turned into a girl," Reisarf explains, "so we're going to go and get married!"

"What."

"We don't know how long it'll last but maybe we'll come back!"

"Why is -"

"You should get married too!"

"No, I -"

"You're cute, you shouldn't be so sad, and we love you, so let's get married!"

I back up and trip.
>>
No. 1028736 ID: f6f6cb
File 164958620696.png - (29.19KB , 800x600 , it_was_all_just_a_dream_what_a_twist.png )
1028736

I tumble out of bed and hit the floor.

>I think Moriko is really the only one you need to worry about. She does not understand how much she is hurting herself, whereas you can just talk to Alkaline about her emotions, and make sure Hin is satisfied with her job. Doyle... uh, he's been doing well lately, maybe give him a little more encouragement? Merud seems to have been reasonable with his experiments, are you just worried about Centaur specifically?
Oh so you're trampling around in my dreams now?

>If some outside force - like an entity capable of feeding off of and manipulating dreams - is throwing you - in your weakened state - into various no-win scenarios to make you feel strong emotions - that it can feed on - feed it less by calming down.
>I don't think there's an outside force, this just looks like an anxiety dream to me.
If I see something like that, I'm going to tear it in two.

I don't have dreams like that. I shouldn't have fallen asleep. Maybe this is just some new symptom of my broken Heart and depleted state... I don't like it.

It's morning and so I am already running late. I had wanted to get some more prepared before launching into a busy day of pacification and landscape with Hin, Moriko and Doyle. Hin and Doyle are some distance away from my dungeon but seem to be headed back this way. I suppose I can spare a little time to finalise the packing and speak with one or two of my denizens to reassure myself that they won't get into anything ridiculous while I am away.
>>
No. 1028737 ID: 96c896

>>1028735
Haha, just like I said! They woke you up, you can count on them even in your dreams.
...Stargazer is already a girl though... Are there laws against marrying the eldritch?

>>1028736
>I don't have dreams like that.
I'm going to guess it was either due to the cacoffee, your experimental raw-mana-consuming golem body, or... your new core layer? Many things have changed since the last time you tried sleeping. I guess you can try laying off the cacoffee.

You should try talking to Moriko. Warn her not to kill an imp if it's black with orange eyes. Or any monsters that are black with orange eyes, actually. Heck, make sure everyone knows not to! Possibly tell Moriko what it is, depending on how likely she is to listen and not disobey the order. Don't tell anyone else what it is.

Ummm, you could make sure Alkaline doesn't feel like you're abandoning her.
>>
No. 1028739 ID: 2f6d8f

>>1028736
>Oh so you're trampling around in my dreams now?
Hey, you're the one who pulled us in. And then refused to listen to sense, as usual.
Maybe we should be the ones to leave, or just go silent permanently, if you appreciate us that little.
>>
No. 1028740 ID: c92a02

Speak with Chak and Alkaline, make sure that Chak's draconic greed is being managed and just hug Alkaline so you feel better.
>>
No. 1028741 ID: de4006

Are you... jealous of Reisarf's and Stargazer's relationship?
>>
No. 1028748 ID: d7b36d

You also didn't used to have to sleep at all, or have a humanoid body that your consciousness is tied too, or have a bisected piece of your heart that acts on it's own apart the whole, or have emotional outbursts every time you think about what caused all of these things.

You've changed a lot. You aren't just a dungeon mimicking a humanoid to make life easier now, you are a dungeon/humanoid hybrid. I somehow doubt you could reunite the pieces of your heart at this point, nor should you really.
>>
No. 1028766 ID: ba2bc3

Maybe dreams are a new bug/feature of being an homunculi golem (like drunkness)
>>
No. 1028829 ID: 0840c2

>>1028736
Talk to Moriko and Alkaline
>>
No. 1028872 ID: 36784c

>>1028860
I think this violates one of the rules on this site and it need to be deleted.
>>
No. 1028940 ID: cc0ff9

>>1028860
I just thought I should explain as an author's note that I arranged to have this post removed.

Fan-fiction should not go in the actual quest thread, and trying to shoehorn in new story elements is a breach of decorum at best.
>>
No. 1029015 ID: 9c1ef3

>>1028736
>Thoughts on dream parasite things?
just check under your pillow or around your bed? Maybe? I dunno, it feels logical that tings like that would nest there.

Otherwise, maybe start holding regular meetings of your people and get a feel for their concerns. If there's nothing pressing, well...

Maybe you're working too hard. You did just recently have a great time on the town, sure, but the shenanigans level was pretty high and that might be indicative of some lingering burnout. Consider some more intense rest and relaxation, if you're not picking up on your inhabitant's stress, it could just be you.
>>
No. 1029021 ID: 8eb91d

Honestly sounds like you should try your own meditation chamber.
>>
No. 1038384 ID: 7ec758
File 165804801969.png - (24.30KB , 800x550 , deemeditate.png )
1038384

>Honestly sounds like you should try your own meditation chamber.
I try to focus on it, for I have designed it to encourage a peaceful mindset but between the ache of my low mana and that disturbing dream I don't think it has helped my mood much.

>Haha, just like I said! They woke you up, you can count on them even in your dreams.
Those two have proven to be dependable in a pinch I suppose.

>...Stargazer is already a girl though... Are there laws against marrying the eldritch?
How would I know? Probably! Historically it has been shunned. You might as well try to marry a dungeon...

>Are you... jealous of Reisarf's and Stargazer's relationship?
I- I'm in no mood for these ridiculous questions!

>You've changed a lot. You aren't just a dungeon mimicking a humanoid to make life easier now, you are a dungeon/humanoid hybrid. I somehow doubt you could reunite the pieces of your heart at this point, nor should you really.
Don't say such hateful things to me so baldly. I do not enjoy my maimed state!

>>Thoughts on dream parasite things?
>Just check under your pillow or around your bed? Maybe? I dunno, it feels logical that things like that would nest there.
I'm not looking for a child's boogeyman. Something like that can't creep into my realm so easily.

>I'm going to guess it was either due to the cacoffee, your experimental raw-mana-consuming golem body, or... your new core layer? Many things have changed since the last time you tried sleeping. I guess you can try laying off the cacoffee.
Eliminating possible causes would be wise, I shall endeavour to limit my expsoure to other novel experiences until I'm sure of a cause for that dream.

>Make sure Chak's draconic greed is being managed
"Chakarchelou." I say, for my quasidragon has elected to accompany me to the Meditation Chamber.

"Snnr?"

"You won't be sharing the forge with Hin much longer." I say to him, giving him a chin scratch. "Once we've dug out some more rooms, you'll be lairing in my old Heart Chamber."

My quasidragon looks thoughtful and looks at me questioningly.

"No you can't have the anvil, that's Hin's."

He rolls over and flails his legs in the air.

"Don't get sooky with me. You'd better work hard if you want something of your own to rest on. You're going to have to get strong if you want to keep protecting your hoard."

"Grrr!"

"That's the right attitude, try and evolve soon!"

>Otherwise, maybe start holding regular meetings of your people and get a feel for their concerns.
That isn't a bad idea. I'm still not used to being able to have face to face decisions so casually. In the past it was a far rarer and more formal affair, I wouldn't speak directly with every denizen like I do now, most communion would be far more vague.
>>
No. 1038385 ID: 7ec758
File 165804816110.png - (32.83KB , 800x600 , beware_their_gaze.png )
1038385

>Maybe you're working too hard. You did just recently have a great time on the town, sure, but the shenanigans level was pretty high and that might be indicative of some lingering burnout.
Well that's too bad because I need to work harder if I'm to prepare my dungeon for its new visitors. I only have a montha and I have rooms to excavate, a wilderness to bend to my will, magic items to get crafted and denizens to manage.

>Hug Alkaline so you feel better.
>Ummm, you could make sure Alkaline doesn't feel like you're abandoning her.
Alkaline is quite firmly asleep after trying to stay up far into the early morning. After an abortive attempt at waking her, I consider applying cacoffee but I can only see that ending badly. I will humour your suggestion with some of Alkaline's budded slimes, as they seem to be just as tactile-focused as she is and tell them all I'll be back soon.

>You should try talking to Moriko. Warn her not to kill an imp if it's black with orange eyes. Or any monsters that are black with orange eyes, actually. Heck, make sure everyone knows not to! Possibly tell Moriko what it is, depending on how likely she is to listen and not disobey the order. Don't tell anyone else what it is.
As we prepare to leave, I let Moriko know I've had a premonitions that killing a monster with orange eyes might lead to ill fortune. She and the others seems willing to humour this bit of superstition.

Between Hin, Moriko, Belphejar and the golems I have quite a substantial entourage for this trip. This is fortunate as I want to minimise any direct mana expenditure on my part until I am recovered from my depleted state. I will add a little clay to my golem body to satisfy Merud's curiosity about raw mana saturated clay, but try to minimise use of my Gigant Mode, spells, and any significant physical exertion. I should try to eat regularly and ensure my group picks some fights as well.

Three options come to mind for putting Hin's temporarily magnified talents to best use. We've packed devil bear meat, slime milk and orange goo to keep Hin and Moriko fed, but will be relying heavily on satiety potions too. My goals are landscaping, gathering raw materials and making sure the wildlife is in check following the death of the devil bear and my amplification of the earth-pulse's effects.

Frogs and Forestry: Clearing some of the area that was formerly the devil bear's territory and ensure those frogs' numbers are kept under control. An excellent chance to gather clay, lumber and possibly rarer plants. Very likely to run into frogs and the other creatures of that area: branch bugs, gorebulb spiders, spinning strangleroots, and the slime spitter lizards. Considering the density of monsters, I may get lucky and find a locus of the earth-pulse to convert into a spawning point for my dungeon.

Orange Crags: An area of rocky hillside that had a large amount of orange goo appear there following my nightmare. The goo is inert and edible by itself but seeing the discovery that it was originally a mass of curses perhaps I need to be more proactive about cleaning it up. It's where Reisarf, Stargazer and Moriko found the cake mimic and one of the sites where Moriko has complained about a feeling of being watched. There may be other oddities there such as a twin to the void slash in my dungeon.

Mountain Road: Widen, smooth and improve the path from the base of the mountain to my dungeon. This will make it easier to travel to and from my dungeon, allowing easier patrolling and exploration of the surroundings, as well as slightly faster travel to the town. It'll be useful for monster hunting, taming; and gathering of raw materials and hauling them back to the dungeon. We'll gather some stone and lumber in the process of working on the road. It will make my presence more obvious, but I will have advance warning of any invaders using the road.

Suggest a side effect or quirk of the satiation potions too.
>>
No. 1038386 ID: e07ed2

>How would I know? Probably! Historically it has been shunned. You might as well try to marry a dungeon...
Well you've already bound us to a long-term relationship. I didn't know you were polyamorous, our dear wife.
>>
No. 1038387 ID: e07ed2

Anyway frogs and forestry has frogs so it's the best option without any real debate. The satiation potions go semantic and randomly start making words not sound like words anymore.
>>
No. 1038388 ID: f1cb5b

I think the orange crags are where Moriko's shadow is likely hiding away. Getting her taken care of should be priority even though it's less important for upkeep and materials. It's been hanging over your heads for too long so start there.

And the potions, they rob you all of your internal monologues. You talk out loud when you think. Not every single thought, of course, but maybe enough to let a secret or two slip.
>>
No. 1038390 ID: 9a2966

>Where go
Frogs And Forestry. If you were less mana drained, I'd suggest we be proactive about curses, but you may not want to face that on an empty tank. Wasn't there also talk of finding some haunted ruins in the forest - Kendall's Folly or whatnot? Is that the hopeful locus?

Come to think of it, kicking the crap out of frogs and other pesky monsters (or watching your fri- denizens do it) may have its own therapeutic value too. Hard labor is its own reward, suchlike.

Satiety Side Effect - Intentive Touch

Touching someone can create a temporary empathic connection. Like zaps of static electricity, only for emotions.

What a useless side effect! Surely it'd never reveal anything new or surprising. Or cause a suspicious increase in poking/petting/brushing up against each other accidentally.
>>
No. 1038392 ID: 12b116

let's got battle some frogs
>>
No. 1038398 ID: 899c9f

Our dungeon does need more four-legged denizens, and the opportunity for Hin to put her might to use in a fight can't be missed. We're going frog stomping.
The side effect of these satiation potions you made seems to be additional growth, as over the course of one morning Hin doubled in size. That's a pretty useful side effect given her other enchantment leads to a feedback loop.
>>
No. 1038410 ID: f98309

Build a road and call it the giants’ causeway.
>>
No. 1038414 ID: 15c72a

>>1038385
Orange Crags. Let's handle Moriko's problem so she can finally start improving again.
>>
No. 1038421 ID: 600de3

Orange Crags seems to be the only one that is actually time-sensitive.
>>
No. 1038450 ID: 7397c3

>>1038388
>And the potions, they rob you all of your internal monologues. You talk out loud when you think. Not every single thought, of course, but maybe enough to let a secret or two slip.
Huh. I wonder if that could affect us.
>>
No. 1038455 ID: 15c72a

Satiation overuse side effect ideas:
Drowsiness
Discoloration of skin
Unusual food cravings
Excessive thirst
>>
No. 1038456 ID: 939508

Take whichever path is least likely to have cute monsters. You know well that you are already tight, and if we see anything cute, we will nag you to take it home with you.

illusory googly-eyes, bobble-heads, and/or chibi-proportions.
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No. 1038471 ID: 0d01d6

>>1038450
Better idea: rather than talking out loud, they occasionally end up being projected to others minds. Sort of like reverse mind reading. Similar beneficial effect, but with a less obvious solution of just not talking.



Also, we should hire a chef...
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No. 1038480 ID: f2320a

>>1038455
Hmm sticky/grease sweat like when someone eats too much onion or ham perhaps a stomach ache
>>
No. 1038481 ID: e07ed2

>>1038450
No chance, we're already like that.
>>
No. 1038487 ID: 36784c

>>1038385
Go to the Orange Crags.

>potion side effects?
>>1038455
>Unusual food cravings
This one
>>
No. 1038493 ID: a9af05

>>1038487
This
>>
No. 1038500 ID: a87877

Orange Crags. That site's a disaster waiting to happen if it's not taken care of, or at least moderated to reduce the risk.

>>1038455
I also vote for Unusual Food Cravings.
>>
No. 1038511 ID: 708905

>>1038385
>Frogs and Forestry
Seems a straightforward start

>Side effects: Weird cravings often for normally inedible stuff
>>
No. 1038559 ID: 7ec758
File 165821663142.png - (37.81KB , 800x550 , hin_was_there_too.png )
1038559

>I think the orange crags are where Moriko's shadow is likely hiding away. Getting her taken care of should be priority even though it's less important for upkeep and materials. It's been hanging over your heads for too long so start there.
>Orange Crags seems to be the only one that is actually time-sensitive.
The crags it is then.

After some consultation, Hin, Moriko and I determine that it would be better to spare our nicer clothes from tramping around in a place full of orange goop and Moriko and I change into more appropriate outfits. Hin only has her one set of appropriately sized clothes, but she should hopefully stay above the thick of it.

"Are you sure you can't leave this to us?" Moriko says to me as I marshal my other denizens for this trip. "You don't look well."

"It's fine, she'll just be supervising while we do all the heavy lifting!" Hin says.

"Hin's right." I say. "I'm mainly going to be an extra pair of eyes. If there's something strange happening out there, we all need to know.

"Very well." Moriko nods.

>>You might as well try to marry a dungeon...
>Well you've already bound us to a long-term relationship. I didn't know you were polyamorous, our dear wife.
I don't need any additional intimacy.

Moriko and Reisarf last came through here and found a lot of orange goo and a lot of imps that seemed to be struggling to survive.

I think we've found the culprit: slime spitters.

They're smarter than the frogs in that they don't attack on sight but there's a great deal of rustling in the woods about us, a few sometimes venturing out to deliver a warning spit. In the weeks since someone last came here, they seem to have invited their family and friends. As we get closer the area is swarming with slime spitters coming and leaving drooling orange goo, some carrying away chunks of it. It doesn't look appetising, as most of it has solidified into hardened gunk, but the slime spitters don't mind.
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No. 1038560 ID: 7ec758
File 165821670149.png - (43.32KB , 800x550 , the_glossed_world.png )
1038560

I have a better idea of what happened here now.

A lump of orange goo the size of a small iceberg appeared further ahead and oozed away from the point it was dropped. Most of the plant-life in the gullies is looking distinctly distressed from being smothered in weird goo, though some seem to be showing signs of adaptation. There's a good chance this place will turn into a slimy patch of forest, evidence to me that the point where the goo appeared turned into a weak locus of the earth-pulse after I Churned the Earth.

We've spotted a mutated variety of slime spitter too.

They're bigger, fatter and much more belligerent. It's an impressive rate of growth - the normal ones only come up to about the waist while these ones are much heavier in body, head and jaws and taller than a man. The giant slime spitters don't seem to have developed any new tricks thankfully and are not as sneaky as their smaller kin, but they're not as shy and don't like the idea of us muscling into our territory. putting up at least a token display of displeasure before retreating. I'm glad we brought Hin, the obvious physical deterrence she provides has prevented a lot of fights and I've simply had her smash a path into the woods to stop them getting too many ideas about ambushing us.

One of the giant spitters was too bold for its own good. Thanks to Moriko and Hin providing a most satisfactory hammer and anvil, dinosaur steaks are on the menu for tonight.

>Kicking the crap out of frogs and other pesky monsters (or watching your fri- denizens do it) may have its own therapeutic value too. Hard labor is its own reward, suchlike.
The little flicker from these challenges has been reviving me a little. It's a shame this place doesn't have frogs, I almost miss their suicidal aggression.

>Take whichever path is least likely to have cute monsters. You know well that you are already tight, and if we see anything cute, we will nag you to take it home with you.
These giant spitters are the size of a horse, I don't have any space to keep them and they will try to eat Alkaline. I'm not taming them.

There's an area at least the size of a stadium ahead where the slime is thickest. We'll have to wade through it to reach the origin point. The slime spitters are densely grouped here though, and seem likely to attack in force if we try to force our way in. It's getting into the late afternoon so we pull back to set up a camp and consider our options.
>>
No. 1038561 ID: 7ec758
File 165821678114.png - (40.77KB , 800x600 , talk_at_camp.png )
1038561

I try a shot of Doyle's satiation potion and after not making certain I'm not observing any particularly strong effects or cravings, allow Hin to drink. She half drains the cauldron, Doyle trying not to tremble as she uses him as a cup.

Moriko has some next, as her cooking attempts with the spitter meat were charcoal-like and eating the devil bear meat seems to only be an option if it's a matter of life or death for her.

Hin tries a bit of Moriko's steak attempt and looks thoughtful. My giant blacksmith briefly sears each side of a fat slice of spitter steak and then bites into a piece with relish. "Hey they're great rare!"

"I think I'll stay with the potion." Moriko says, getting herself another ladleful.

"Careful how much of that you have." I say. "One dose is a day's food."

I try a piece of steak. I might as well get a little mana back if no-one else is going to eat it. I'm not sure what Hin sees in it, she barely even seasoned it. I unwrap a piece of clay I've brought to humour Merud's experiment and ingest that next. That's actually quite good! I decide to get an early start on the clay I would have absorbed tomorrow.

Hin quickly falls sound asleep - the day must have been more draining for her than she let on and I share the night watch with Moriko. It reminds me of our last trip together. A pair of slime spitters tries to get at Doyle in the night. It seems the lizards are getting cheekier without the devil bear to menace them. We may need a more secure camp at night.

>Also, we should hire a chef...
Reisarf and Stargazer are good cooks and Merud is passable. Also my Resurrection Matrix is at capacity, adding even a single creature is going to put a strain on anyone getting resurrected.

In the morning I have clay for breakfast, Moriko has potion and Hin has potion, bear meat, and the last of the spitter steaks.

What we need next is a strategy. I haven't seen any imps yet and the local colony might be connected to the mystery of Moriko's shadow and there's a potential locus of the earth-pulse I need to confirm. Both need us to get further into the thoroughly gooed area that the spitters have laid claim to. Their slime is probably acidic, sticky, slippery or perhaps even cursed. Hin's a excellent threat and Moriko's an excellent warrior but if the spitters attack in force we're going to have to pull back or get overwhelmed. Hin's a big target and Moriko can only dodge so much slime getting spat at her. My golems will help but they can only do so much too. I need a better way to fight, to avoid fights, or a good option to circle around and better scout where we need to go.
>>
No. 1038563 ID: e07ed2

Depending on how well you can withstand gravity, jumping and fastball specials with Hin's help might do wonders for mobility.
>>
No. 1038564 ID: 15c72a

>>1038561
It occurs to me that the shadow-imp will be intimidated by Hin. It might not get close enough to spot.

Hmm. I remember you once managed to "untangle" a bit of orange slime, turning it into curses. Can you do that on purpose here, and curse a bunch of lizards?
You could try cooking up some offensive alchemical concoctions since we have Doyle here and probably some raw materials nearby.
Hin is big, but has no weapon her size. She could strip a tree of branches and use it as a weapon? Or lash together something more complicated. Hey, maybe you can cooperate with her to make a shield of some sort since her problem is she can't dodge very well? Shape together wood and rock?
Hin could throw large rocks at them to lure them into an ambush point which you've fortified. A choke point of some sort, so that your fighters don't get overwhelmed.
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No. 1038566 ID: 9a2966

>Alternative: Ambush
Drawing them out into an ambush sounds good if it can be managed. They've been pretty shy so far, plus they're ranged opponents, while we're a pretty melee-heavy team, so if Hin can lure them out and into a gulch or gully and our forces flank them where they can't easily escape, we could probably deal some solid blows and reduce their numbers, at least. They might not be willing to leave their turf, though.

Still, Hin throwing things can solve a number of problems, really. She can clear an area around camp to stock up on decent handfuls of throwing material. This way it'll be harder to approach it without being seen, and she can use some of the stuff to create barriers to stand behind in case the spitters attack, thus helping with the securing goal. Hin could also put down (or throws) in stripped trees and rocks to form a pathway inwards, so you at least have places with better mobility. And if the Spitters close? Here comes a boulder or a fistful of dirt!

Just gotta be careful about friendly fire or tuckering Hin out too much. Maybe just being in a giant body is what is actually somewhat exhausting for her? Perhaps the enchantment isn't doing all the heavy lifting and it's putting stress on her. Would a strength or stamina enhancing potion of some sort help at her level?

Also, could we whip up some anti-slip solution with Doyle if that exists? Mainly worried about Hin doing 'the taller they are, the harder they fall' bit if she steps wrong in the gooed region, but it might come in use for you all. Even solidified I imagine goo can be tricky to walk on unless you do something clever like chuck pocket sand over the most at-risk stepping places.

... I'm not going to suggest filling Doyle with sand so you have enough while exploring. That would be mean, I'm sure. But I will say Hin has some rather large pockets at the moment.

>Alternative: Distraction
Finally, it strikes me Hin could serve as a pretty big distraction. With or without some orange camouflague, perhaps a smaller team could sneak in while Hin and whoever else left behind causes the spitters to be drawn towards a different location? Depends on how big the area is and how many monsters are hiding there as to whether that'd work. Plus we would be depriving ourselves of Hin's sizable assistance while exploring, but maybe it's good enough for a day of scouting.
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No. 1038568 ID: 899c9f

Perhaps if you hunt a few lizards and wear their bits for intimidation before approaching the slime pits that will scare off some of them? Hin needs to forge a tool of some kind, a sloped shield would provide both cover and a way to plow a path through the slime. For a retreat, source a tub of water for cleaning off goop quicker. Ranged attacks are key to countering slime, rocks for Hin and a stone bow for your homunculus.
I can’t help but notice Hin’s outfit looks downright climbable, if you cling to the webbing you’ll be elevated in a secure position without using up a hand. If you hold onto a stick, Hin can lift you even higher for scouting.
For a more secure campsite, a cave is ideal, but this ridge you’ve found works almost as well at blocking off one side of the camp from lizards. Build some barriers for cover, scatter sticks for a perimeter alarm and give Doyle a little shelter.
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No. 1038575 ID: f2320a

>>1038561
This fattening goo seems useful could perhaps use it to make a candyland dungeon section or use it for cattle feed
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No. 1038576 ID: f57349

Can Doyle brew up smoke bombs? Clouded visibility near the ground makes stealthy infiltration easier, and impairs incoming ranged attacks. You and Moriko can use earth-pulse perception to partly substitute for vision, and you can micromanage the golems so they still participate effectively even without knowing what's going on, while Hin could keep her sight-lines clear by simply being taller than the cloud.
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No. 1038577 ID: 7397c3

>>1038560
>they will try to eat Alkaline
Then they must die. Slaughter them all.
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No. 1038590 ID: 600de3

Deem, organics like cooking their food. Have you tried eating pottery?
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No. 1038591 ID: 9a2966

>>1038590
Mmm glaze.
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No. 1038593 ID: 86b9c8

Hin’s behavior is a little erratic. Ask what she’s got cravings for and try to keep it handy. There isn’t enough cacoffee in the world for her metabolism right now.
Focus on scouting first to try and find the imp with orange eyes. Hin’s too big and obvious to do that, but you can have her knocking down trees to scare the little critters and get the materials to make a bridge that’ll give you some solid footing on top of the slime.
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No. 1039170 ID: c2c2da
File 165874420586.png - (35.51KB , 900x600 , hins_a_lumberjack_and_its_OK.png )
1039170

>Drawing the spitters out into an ambush sounds good if it can be managed. They've been pretty shy so far, plus they're ranged opponents, while we're a pretty melee-heavy team, so if Hin can lure them out and into a gulch or gully and our forces flank them where they can't easily escape, we could probably deal some solid blows and reduce their numbers, at least. They might not be willing to leave their turf, though.
>Hin throwing things can solve a number of problems, really. She can clear an area around camp to stock up on decent handfuls of throwing material. This way it'll be harder to approach it without being seen, and she can use some of the stuff to create barriers to stand behind in case the spitters attack, thus helping with the securing goal. Hin could also put down (or throw) in stripped trees and rocks to form a pathway inwards, so you at least have places with better mobility.
That makes sense, it'll help keep the camp safe at night, make the ambush work if the spitters can be lured and give us a point to defend if we draw too much of a response.

>Hin is big, but has no weapon her size. She could strip a tree of branches and use it as a weapon?
Hin and I pick an appropriate sized tree, she uproots it, and we make a stone axe for Hin to start clearing out the forest around our camp.

>Hey, maybe you can cooperate with her to make a shield of some sort since her problem is she can't dodge very well? Shape together wood and rock?
We don't have good materials for a shield of that size.

>You could try cooking up some offensive alchemical concoctions since we have Doyle here and probably some raw materials nearby.
>Source a tub of water for cleaning off goop quicker.
Doyle has been mostly dedicated to concocting satiety potions for this expedition but to give us some more flexibility, I dole out some of my scant mana piecing together some extra stone vessels and then rest.

They're crude and heavy containers but Hin's able to carry one to a stream to fill it with water and the other we pour most of a nervous Doyle's contents into. Moriko fills her waterskin with the potion too.

>Perhaps if you hunt a few lizards and wear their bits for intimidation before approaching the slime pits that will scare off some of them?
Since Hin's stint as a lumberjack makes a lot of noise, Moriko and my homunculus act as sentries to fend off any monsters it draws. I leave the brute golem to help Hin with gather and bundling the trees and stones.

Some irate lizards are defeated, and we start tossing spitter remains into Doyle to condense into more satiety potion. It'll be less effort than trying to properly butcher and store it all, and hopefully give us some cleaned bones depending on how strongly his mix interacts with them. Moriko tries some and compliments the umami it's added to the taste.

>Maybe just being in a giant body is what is actually somewhat exhausting for Hin?
Of course it is, this is some of the most physical exertion she's done since being gigantified and with her pushing the limit of the spell so hard, a lot of what she's eating is going to just sustaining it. Thankfully she's able to eat herself out of trouble as well as into it and perks up quickly after a little rest and a meal whenever she's getting too worn down.

>Hin’s behavior is a little erratic. Ask what she’s got cravings for and try to keep it handy. There isn’t enough cacoffee in the world for her metabolism right now.
"How are you doing?" I say to Hin as she slows down for a break.

"Whooeah, cleared the place out!" she says, looking around at her work. "That axe made a difference, really pulling my weight now, eh." She wipes some sweat from her forehead. "Think I need to figure out a better bath though. Missing a good soak already."

"Afraid I passed on the option for a beach dungeon." I tell Hin. "Do you have a hankering for anything for lunch?"

"Those spitters were pretty good?" Her stomach rumbles loudly. "Uh yeah, more meat'd be good."

Dino-steaks with potion sauce for Hin. That's an easy craving to manage at least. Moriko skips lunch and I try a little of the meat and then continue my schedule of consuming some clay. I still haven't managed to prepare the spitter meat any better than passable.

>Deem, organics like cooking their food. Have you tried eating pottery?
When have I had the time to try eating pottery?

... That doesn't sound bad actually.
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No. 1039171 ID: c2c2da
File 165874441441.png - (58.30KB , 900x600 , deem_is_supervising.png )
1039171

We do a trial run and unfortunately the spitters don't want to chase us far when we provoke them. I suppose it's not unexpected: they just want us out of the slime-rich area they're monopolising.

>It strikes me Hin could serve as a pretty big distraction. Perhaps a smaller team could sneak in while Hin and whoever else left behind causes the spitters to be drawn towards a different location?
>We would be depriving ourselves of Hin's sizable assistance while exploring, but maybe it's good enough for a day of scouting.
Thankfully we have our backup plan. Hin draws a lot of attention and a stealthy team of myself, Moriko and the homunculus should hopefully be able to slip past them.

>It occurs to me that the shadow-imp will be intimidated by Hin. It might not get close enough to spot.
The imps remain evasive. I hope they haven't been driven out of the area completely. We've all talked of being watched at times but with the spitters thronging the area it's hardly surprising.

>This fattening goo seems useful could perhaps use it to make a candyland dungeon section or use it for cattle feed.
It's sugary but unless some of these mutated plants start making something like it, I don't have any way of making more.

>Hmm. I remember you once managed to "untangle" a bit of orange slime, turning it into curses. Can you do that on purpose here, and curse a bunch of lizards?
If I were to deliberately mix raw mana into the orange goo, yes, but I don't know what it'd do. The curses I was afflicted with were hardly disabling.

We wrap up the work on our camp, work on some bone decorations for extra intimidation and prepare for an early start the next morning. I try to get an early night to conserve energy but I overhear some attempts by Moriko to coach Hin in intimidation, to mixed results.

Heading into the spitter territory with Moriko gives me some flashbacks to our trip against the devil bear, the two of us fending off the frogs' unrelenting aggression. It's not really the same as it's Moriko and one of my homunculi on the front line, while I hang back and provide the occasional distraction.

Hin's distraction is very effective, as we run into few monsters. The small spitters are still unwilling to engage with even our reduced group, they seem to mostly be visiting to grab a little slime to top up their slime sacs, while the big spitters seem to have transitioned to a mostly slime diet and remain far more belligerent.
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No. 1039172 ID: c2c2da
File 165874446419.png - (32.77KB , 800x600 , this_has_never_happened_to_me_before_i_swear.png )
1039172

This is humiliating.

I can't do it.

I have been sitting on a floor of slightly sticky of half solidified goo for two hours now and haven't made any headway at all.

Moriko and I found that there is indeed a nascent locus of the earth-pulse which has been accelerating the spawning of spitters and encouraging the struggling forest's adaptation to its surfeit of slime. I am currently in a cave that the giant spitters are too bulky to easily fit into. It's half full of orange slime, and goopy roots dangle from the ceiling.

We evicted some sleepy, normal slime spitters and with Moriko standing watch, I set to work trying to locate and control the locus. Having my Heart fragment physically present should have made this easy, but my mana is simply too wispy and tenuous to assume dominion over this locus from here in my current condition.

Maybe I should have tried to consolidate my reserves before this journey, that night in the town almost completely hollowed me out.

I'm not miraculously going to replenish a large chunk of my mana in the next day or two so I need an alternative. I need to bring myself into better synchronisation with this locus, or leave a denizen here to do it for me.

The easiest way to improve synchronisation is get closer. I used this spot because it was easy to defend and being underground got me more attuned to the earth-pulse. There will be a fight if we try, and I need to properly triangulate it still.

Next I could try to act more in accord with its nature. The locus is mainly influenced by the presence of the orange goo although whatever warped teleport dumped it here has left traces of shadow magic and spatial expansion along with fragments of strange whimsy still hanging about. That's fortunate, as although I have not fully awakened my own shadow element, it is a direction I have been bending myself towards.

Less fortunately the goo, as study back in the dungeon revealed, is weakly fire aspected. Most of the things fire does (like burn, consume and harm) have been simply scooped out of it. We later discovered it was a mass of collapsed curses and that if energy is reintroduced in specific ways it can be turned back into a curse. Even then it's oddly truncated: none of those curses were actively harmful. This has left us with an edible goo that is usually harmless giving aspects of what... sweets, plenty, food, gooey and squandered potential?

Lastly I can deploy a denizen to claim the locus in my stead. This is how I'd normally do the process, but it's slower. They'd have to live here and the locus would gradually absorb an aspect from them. It'll take a few weeks, it may not be finished by the time Olan comes depending on how assertive my denizen is. Obviously I would need to quickly bring someone from the dungeon if I wasn't going to leave Hin, Moriko or Doyle here.

I could also just give up for this trip, but having the authority over this locus will let me tweak the monsters and its effects on the terrain around it.
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No. 1039178 ID: 9a2966

The most pragmatic solution is to act more in accord to its nature. I doubt you want to leave any of your denizens alone up here, especially with the weird sense of being under watch that was previously reported and just admitting defeat and going home is... probably too sensible for us.

How would one attune up, though? Food and plenty is easier - just stuff yourself to the branches and the sap leaks from your very pores - you'd both be filled with food and BE food. Would there also be a sympathetic link in acting sweetly?

The squandered potential thing you should have down as-is - no offense, it's just with your recent hangover and weakened mana state, you are sort of fitting the bill a bit. Maybe fortuitously so.

Strange whimsy... I suppose you could manage that too. Just do things as they come to mind - or take our varied suggestions which could count for the same, I suppose. Even better if those acts can be associated with any of the other traits of the place, yes?

As for shadow magic and spatial disturbance... you could spend time in the shadows, I suppose? Try to become one, hide, and then pop ou--

Hum. Would I be correct that in order to synchronize with this locus you'd have to act in a most fey-like behavior? Glutting yourself on the sweet and sappy stuff, but acting in surprising ways, hardly seen, popping out of nowhere?

It does strike me the orange goop seems almost sap-like and you're having the whole dryad look going - could you connect to it that way?
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No. 1039179 ID: 9caba2

>>1039172
You should act in accordance with the nature of the orange goo. And the locus of course.
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No. 1039180 ID: 899c9f

You have to eat the goo, Deem! You can’t delegate being a dungeon to your subordinates.
How would one act in accordance with squandered potential, other than just being yourself? Maybe if you had a heart to heart with Moriko about the things you were not living up to you would both be more attuned to it.
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No. 1039188 ID: 9ab9f7

You're already in a defensible position, moving from it would put us at risk so let's try to avoid that.

Acting more like the locus... well, strange whimsy would cover doing something for the heck of it, the goo covers a lot of aspects in and of itself, sweet, plenty, gooey... and all the monsters seem to have had a lot of it, wouldn't they in theory be attuned to the locus somewhat? You have to eat the tangy goo Deem, or at least give it a shot.
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No. 1039214 ID: 273c18

Attune to shadow to claim it.
>>
No. 1039240 ID: 12b116

let's get closer, it might be more risky but if we stir up trouble it could give us a better idea of where the locus is concentrated as well
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No. 1039276 ID: c2c2da
File 165882324965.png - (31.50KB , 720x720 , goourmet_deem.png )
1039276

>You have to eat the tangy goo Deem, or at least give it a shot.
I suppose it can't hurt. I eat a few chunks of less hardened slime, perhaps a bowl's worth. I'm only feeling a twinge of resonance and I'm starting to feel full. I try another bite but it's giving me flashbacks to that night in the town. I don't think this is going to work.

>As for shadow magic and spatial disturbance... you could spend time in the shadows, I suppose? Try to become one, hide, and then pop ou--
I'm already in a dark cave, but I don't think I'm going to be startling Moriko.

>How would one act in accordance with squandered potential, other than just being yourself?
>The squandered potential thing you should have down as-is - no offense, it's just with your recent hangover and weakened mana state, you are sort of fitting the bill a bit. Maybe fortuitously so.
...

For all the problems its current lack is causing me, I put that mana to good use Churning the Earth and enhancing my dungeon's forge! I have incredible potential and I don't intend to be wasting it!

>Would there also be a sympathetic link in acting sweetly?
There had better not be, my mood is thoroughly soured now!

>Strange whimsy... I suppose you could manage that too. Just do things as they come to mind - or take our varied suggestions which could count for the same, I suppose. Even better if those acts can be associated with any of the other traits of the place, yes?
I suppose that's worth trying. Are you feeling whimsical today? I'm not going to talk to Moriko about anything demonic, hug anything, or consider changing anything about my appearance. What else have you voices got?

>You have to eat the goo, Deem!
>Food and plenty is easier - just stuff yourself to the branches and the sap leaks from your very pores - you'd both be filled with food and BE food.
Fine, I'll eat the stupid goo!

"Moriko." I say. "How do you finishing eating something you don't want to?"

Moriko peers inside. "Why do you need to do this?"

I wave one of my chunks of slime. "I'm not in tune enough with this area, eating enough of this goo should help."

"I understand." Moriko says. She closes her eyes and thinks for a moment. "Does it taste bad?"

"No."

"Are you worried it's unclean?"

"No."

Moriko knocks off a chunk and nibbles on it herself.

"I see it could get monotonous, but what is stopping you?"

"I feel full." I explain.

"You feel full." Moriko repeats.

"My golem body does, yes."

"And this is a problem?" she says.

"Yes."

"You, the Dungeon Heart, thousands of years old. 'A power born out of the hearts of mountains, of the secret fires and darkness that lies beneath the earth.' With a body you personally created. You can't eat because you feel full."

"I have spent a long time without a stomach." I say a little defensively.

Moriko actually sighs. "It sounds like what you need is motivation. You want to lay claim to this area, don't you?"

"Yes."

"Then this slime is an enemy you need to overcome."

"Yes!"

"Think of it as treasure you that you're taking off the spitters." she adds. "You're not going to let some lizards beat you, are you?"

"Yeah!"

Reinvigorated, I tuck in.
>>
No. 1039277 ID: c2c2da
File 165882332378.png - (39.96KB , 800x600 , ancient_special_ritual_pose.png )
1039277

I feel fat.

Motivational talks from Moriko helped, my hammerai also kindly breaking up and fetching more of the solidified goo lining the inside of this cave. I am stuffed to the point I have goo seeping out of my antlers. The little trickle of mana as it digests is a consolation prize, and I can feel the flows and tangles of the earth-pulse that make up this locus coming into focus. It's coming together, This is close, but maybe a little more effort is best...

>Hum. Would I be correct that in order to synchronize with this locus you'd have to act in a most fey-like behavior? Glutting yourself on the sweet and sappy stuff, but acting in surprising ways, hardly seen, popping out of nowhere?
I have golems back at the dungeon, maybe they could do something... I don't want anyone assuming I'm drunk again though.

>Maybe if you had a heart to heart with Moriko about the things you were not living up to you would both be more attuned to it.
No I think Moriko's done that to me enough already.

>Acting more like the locus... well, strange whimsy would cover doing something for the heck of it, the goo covers a lot of aspects in and of itself, sweet, plenty, gooey... and all the monsters seem to have had a lot of it, wouldn't they in theory be attuned to the locus somewhat?
It's a little chicken and egg: a locus of the earth-pulse is influenced by the area it exists in, and its power causes it to reinforce certain elements in the area. Traits of monsters are one of the easily influenced elements.

What do I want out of this area? Once I've claimed it, I can do some subtle tweaks. I can de-emphasise or reinforce an existing element within the locus and also incorporate a feature that exists within my dungeon or my denizens. Between my verdant earth aspect, the rooms I've made to date and my various denizens I have a wide variety to pick from. This tweak has to be simple, think of its as a an adjective or a few words in terms of the complexity. It's a change I'll be making to the terrain itself, to the vegetation, or to the monsters, to the possibility of even introducing new varieties.

Also Deem is now cursed. Suggest an appropriate curse.
>>
No. 1039278 ID: 15c72a

>>1039277
>!!CURSED!!
You're orange now! That's my attack!
other ideas:
emits sweet smell that attracts insects and predators
drool
light sensitivity

>whimsy
Act like a slime spitter! Heck, can you change your golem body to look like one?
Do a silly dance, or a dance that's not so silly but looks kindof like a spooky ritual. Maybe chant a bit?

>what to do with the locus
Well first off, see if you can get rid of all the slime and disperse the lizards then attract imps to the locus so we can find that shadow (Hin might have to hide though). Perhaps you can encourage some shadow-aspected monsters to spawn? Sapient shadows, night stalkers, dream-eaters, that sort of thing. Maybe even a doppleganger or two, but unless they're not very good at mimicry they could cause a lot of problems for both you and the village.
>>
No. 1039279 ID: f57349

>>1039178
You need a lot of mana, quickly, and the best way you know to make that happen is playing the Labyrinth Game. Just gotta run it from the other side this time, 'shadowboxing' against a nonsapient pseudo-dungeon.

Buff yourself with a variant of the cake mimic's metabolic trick, stealing mana from whoever eats part of you. Brew up a potion that makes slimy fruit grow on your head-branches, distilled from the orange goo so it'll smell even more delicious to the spitter lizards than the contaminated stuff lying around free, thus baiting them into melee range when you proceed deeper into their territory. Resemblance to a belled jester cap gets you a "nightmare clown" angle, playing on both the broader shadow aspect and strange whimsy. Melodramatically bemoaning your recent bad decisions while marching into a seemingly hopeless battle could hit "squandered potential," too, and maybe even "hollowed-out fire."
>>
No. 1039280 ID: f57349

>Suggest an appropriate curse.
Cake-mimic style reverse vampirism, though maybe less efficient. Fruit grows from Deem's antlers, quickly becoming overripe, fermenting, and rotting away, only to be replaced by a new crop. Sickly-sweet smell attracts pests, and she can steal mana from whatever eats the fruit.
>>
No. 1039282 ID: 600de3

>>1039277
I CURSE YOU WITH FRUIT! MAY YOUR BOUGHES BOW BENEATH THEIR BOUNTIFUL HARVEST!

And uh turn the goo into slimes? Slime monsters to make it look like Alkaline and her Alkalings are native.

Also everything is purple, not orange.

If you need a bit more of a boost waltz with the ladies.
>>
No. 1039283 ID: 0840c2

>>1039277
How close is the slime to clay in consistency? Could you use to replace minor parts of your body?
>>
No. 1039286 ID: 9ab9f7

Oh ho ho, is that a hint of blushu?

>Whimsy
I haven't got many ideas here, hm. Maybe try to ponder the shenanigans your denizens have gotten up to, like Hin using the bangle of fixity to acquire great bignity. Being more permissive of others' whimsy might help, it's good for their mental health and can discover strengths/weaknesses they weren't aware of.

Hell, you could probably do with some shenanigans- just after you've recovered and also not while capable of exerting the full might of your core, safe shenanigans! Maybe Merud can help with that, a safety valve so you can drink and otherwise experiment freely without risking all your mana.

>Curses
Oops, the goo imparted some of it's aspects and Deem is now plenty, however that ends up manifesting. e.g. fruit, being extra leafy, or something else.

>Locus
Well, the goo is a useful material and kind of the key feature of the area, so it'd be sad to get rid of it, but the curses are tricky.

Maybe you can get rid of the curses, or failing that, have it naturally concentrate so the cursed goo and non-cursed goo can be separated when harvesting it? Slime spitters that spit cursed slime would be an- interesting hazard.

The monsters seem territorial, which is good, since it keeps them from causing trouble outside of the area, and makes them an effective obstacle for anyone seeking your dungeon.

Maybe add a bit of a planty aspect to align it more with you, and/or reinforce the plenty aspect? To give this place a good story, an unnaturally plentiful land guarded by territorial monsters who live off of it.
>>
No. 1039290 ID: 0f5c1d

>>1039277
>Also Deem is now cursed. Suggest an appropriate curse.
Deem is now fat. No matter how much she tries to reshape her clay body, she will always end up looking fat.

She's not going to end up being as fat as the giant slime spitters, but it will still be annoying to her.

>>1039286
>Maybe you can get rid of the curses, or failing that, have it naturally concentrate so the cursed goo and non-cursed goo can be separated when harvesting it?
This
>>
No. 1039291 ID: 0b03a0

Curse of Doll Deem has its revengeance!
Tweak this area to be more gelatinous, the slime mountains are an interesting new feature and a source of abundant minor curses, curses which Alkaline can eat and grow stronger.
>>
No. 1039293 ID: 9a2966

>I have incredible potential and I don't intend to be wasting it!
This is true. So you are saying you made nothing but correct choices in your drunk state and not, say, wasted some mana on creating a bunch of funny statues?

Look, yes, you did a lot of good and cool stuff during your drunk rampage, but you can't say you didn't spill some milk mana either. The more the epic potential the more it matters how it's spent, yes? If you were to waste even more of your precious mana on something frivolous right now - like say turning those dangling drops of sap into sticky sweet peaches - I dare say that might bring you even closer in attunement to this place.

But you may wish to select other options for that final push. It's a balance of however much mana you need to harness it and how much you can to bring you closer. But you are good at balancing things out, aren't you?

>curse
That blush sticks around for a while.

>What to do with the area
You'd want something that supports your existing themes, yes? Fecundency seems like it could fit this area well - make the plantlife adapt better to the orange goo and grow their own array of syrupy, sticky, oozy substances (not all of which have to be orange per se), so it becomes more self-replenishing and not dependent on the limited resource of the orange goo. Could you tie in some of your garden powers to this area? I forget what the effect of that place was. You could also apply the Potent Residue - heh, Potent Resindue, maybe - effect to the area, making stuff created by the products here have something of the same effect as your Potent Residue bath. Maybe a natural slimy pool at the center of the area your minions (or the brave) could dip into and come up with some manner of effect?

As for monster developments - we have our li'l orange goopling slime. Maybe we could create an environment in which it could thrive, with siblings to match? Remember that Alkaline asked for 'More slime'. As a slime queen this region could become one of her outpost domains, a training ground, a harvest zone. And she does seem to like eating curses, so sweets tinged with that would be quite the treat for her, no?

I'd suggest you de-emphasize Spitter spawning, as a territorial foe with a ranged attack AND a predilection towards hunting slimes seems very annoying to deal with if you're sending your denizens (some of whom are slimes) to harvest and/or manage the area. Though you could make the larger variants more rare alpha predators in the biome. The chonky boy T-Rex of Spitters, so to speak, something to truly hone one's edge against - particular if one is a team of slimes trying to train and coordinate together to take down larger and more dangerous targets.
>>
No. 1039295 ID: 9a2966

>>1039293
Bah, nevermind that first bit. Looks like I misread the situation and you're already all ready and raring to go. Well done.
>>
No. 1039304 ID: c3e059

>curse?
>>1039290
This

>what do with this area?
>>1039293
>chonky boy T-Rex of Spitters
>training for Alkaline and her slimes
This
>>
No. 1039308 ID: 7397c3

>>1039276
>What else have you voices got?
Dance. Or Sing. Or do both.

>>1039277
>Also Deem is now cursed. Suggest an appropriate curse.
The curse of the glutton: if you're not paying attention, you'll start absentmindedly consuming any edible thing in front of you, even if you're full. I live like this, and for a while so will you.
>>
No. 1039312 ID: bf7d5b

Curse: pregnant with a slime baby
>>
No. 1039315 ID: e5709d

>Curse
Enhance Nubs
Lactating Slime
Grow a Tail with Dong
>>
No. 1039316 ID: 6360dd

Now she (and only she) can see a big orange humanoid-like rabbit called Herbert who does mieschief to make her look bad.
>>
No. 1039318 ID: 0d2390

Enhance knockers
>>
No. 1039320 ID: 899c9f

The Curse of the Man-Bat gives Deem a sense of vertigo unless her head is upside down.

So the change you're making is to this area, based on your existing aspects? I'm not entirely clear on how this benefits your dungeon. Is it like a surface-side side gig that you can now siphon mana from when adventurers come to deal with the monsters? Will you be able to summon monsters from here to populate it?

Well, I think the most interesting aspect to tweak here would be adding a hint of the alien based on Stargazer's affinity. Say, have you found that twin to the spatial anomaly around here?
>>
No. 1039323 ID: f2320a

>>1039277
Hmm sweets fecundity fat and not able too stomach it and goo going to run out so i guess ideas list

curse of gluttony: absent minded constant consumption and cravings.

Curse of overflowing bounty: where you constantly produce goo internally like its fat.

Curse of Cake princess got cake:become as cake mimic magically deliciouse minor magic drain when eaten.

My syrup brings all the boys to the yard curse: syrup is fat/blood for plants so lets get some big fat leaky horns that are oddly enticing.

You are what you eat curse: what it says on the tin.

Ham legs: upper thighs literally honeyied hams with pineapple.

Dance of the sugar plum fairy: good at ballet oddly enough smells like sugared plums

Going to see if can find or think up some more so (1/?)
>>
No. 1039325 ID: 36784c

I think the curse should be this: >>1039290 , or this: >>1039308 , or this: >>1039318 .

Can’t really decide which one I’d want the most, so I’m good with any of them.

As for that simple tweak you wanted to make, how about making it so that the slime spitters don’t want to eat slimes anymore. It would make this place safer for your slime denizens if they ever come out here.
>>
No. 1039326 ID: e07ed2

Curse of the Tsundere: unable to hold back from expressing the fullness of your feelings in a direct and comprehensive fashion
>>
No. 1039334 ID: a5db47

Deem's curse is that she becomes chonky! Or she just has enhanced knockers.
>>
No. 1039343 ID: 12b116

>>1039293
Seconding this for what to do with the area.

Fruiting branches sounds like a good curse especially if they are disgusting like persimmons
>>
No. 1039344 ID: fec07f

>>1039343
Slime fruits that are constantly falling off at awkward moments
>>
No. 1039345 ID: 9a2966

>>1039343
>>1039344
Perslimmons.
>>
No. 1039346 ID: f1cb5b

I don't think we really want to maintain an orange slime forest, but maybe you could enhance the shadow aspect, and the curses in the slime, and make it into some kind of cursed swamp?
>>
No. 1039353 ID: 899c9f

>>1039345
>Perslimmons
Does that mean she has to get people to eat the fruit in order to work off the fat?
>>
No. 1039368 ID: 9caba2

>>1039277
Don't worry Deem, you can always just diet a bit to get rid of that excess weight, though you seem to have sprung a leak. Collect some and let people sample it.

For curses, well it's fire aspected, so mayhaps Deem can get a tad more hotheaded. Or simply uncomfortably warm for others to touch.
>>
No. 1039370 ID: 0d74b4

Glowing eyes, which seem to grow larger the more creeped-out any onlookers are by the glowing red eyes dwelling in the darkness...
>>
No. 1039378 ID: 0d2390

>>1039346
Cursed swamp is cool. We could put a bunch of crucifixes in there too (not the religious cross kind. Instead kinds like the T kind or the circle on a post kind from Dark Souls 3) to add to the mood. Maybe a bunch of nooses as well for atmospherics.


We could also make homunculus zombie golems to hang or crucify (as part of their design) for both keeping the monster population in check while nobody is there, but also acting as surveillance.
>>
No. 1039407 ID: cec161
File 165896020273.png - (46.77KB , 800x600 , runes_of_power.png )
1039407

>Curse of gluttony: absent minded constant consumption and cravings.
>Deem is now fat. No matter how much she tries to reshape her clay body, she will always end up looking fat.
>I CURSE YOU WITH FRUIT! MAY YOUR BOUGHS BOW BENEATH THEIR BOUNTIFUL HARVEST!
Deem is now plentifully cursed.

>So you are saying you made nothing but correct choices in your drunk state and not, say-
I don't need to hear this right now.

>So the change you're making is to this area, based on your existing aspects? I'm not entirely clear on how this benefits your dungeon. Is it like a surface-side side gig that you can now siphon mana from when adventurers come to deal with the monsters? Will you be able to summon monsters from here to populate it?
It is to better direct the earth pulse to my dungeon, to create a buffer zone from invaders, to mould it into a place I can draw useful materials from, and to sponsor useful monsters to tame for my dungeon while reducing the risk of antagonistic ones.

>As for monster developments - we have our li'l orange goopling slime. Maybe we could create an environment in which it could thrive, with siblings to match?
I'm not bringing any more creatures as unfortunate as that little orange slime into being.

>Dance. Or Sing. Or do both.
"Moriko, should we dance?"

"I need to keep watch." she reminds me.

I feel a little petulant as I dance with my homunculus instead.

"Should I sing then?"

"As long as it doesn't draw the spitters like it draws the frogs."

I sing a little. I think things are coming together!

>Well, the goo is a useful material and kind of the key feature of the area, so it'd be sad to get rid of it, but the curses are tricky.
>Maybe you can get rid of the curses, or failing that, have it naturally concentrate so the cursed goo and non-cursed goo can be separated when harvesting it? Slime spitters that spit cursed slime would be an- interesting hazard.
I'll try to encourage them to separate, a more distinct threat dotting the area would be more useful instead of this rare, latent potential for something to go wrong.

I feel odd, something is unfurling within me. I've felt this before, mangled and dormant magic pulling itself back together and boiling to life. I feel a flush run through my body. I missed something: there is raw mana present in parts of my golem. It hasn't been an issue when I eat this orange goo, but after eating so much I'm seeping it out my branches, the two have been mingled. I feel a moment of oneness with jelly, a craving to take in more and flower with more, then it quiets. My golem body's watery substitute for blood feels sappy and my branches are tingling, one tip budding into a fruit.

I seem to have gotten off lightly. This slime produce may even be useful.

>I think the most interesting aspect to tweak here would be adding a hint of the alien based on Stargazer's affinity.
It's a slight stretch but I've seen Stargazer's alien jelly and that efficient conversion and stockpiling of energy might be just the elment that's needed for the work I wish to do. I bridge the gap from here to my dungeon, circling around thoughts of Stargazer as I try to push into place the main adjustment.

>Tweak this area to be more gelatinous, the slime mountains are an interesting new feature and a source of abundant minor curses, curses which Alkaline can eat and grow stronger.
>Fecundity seems like it could fit this area well - make the plantlife adapt better to the orange goo and grow their own array of syrupy, sticky, oozy substances (not all of which have to be orange per se), so it becomes more self-replenishing and not dependent on the limited resource of the orange goo.
>The monsters seem territorial, which is good, since it keeps them from causing trouble outside of the area, and makes them an effective obstacle for anyone seeking your dungeon.
>Maybe add a bit of a planty aspect to align it more with you, and/or reinforce the plenty aspect? To give this place a good story, an unnaturally plentiful land guarded by territorial monsters who live off of it.
I focus on the orange goo and the plants, encouraging the distressed stretch of forest to adjust to its sticky situation as I drip my dungeon's fecund aspect into it. A slime forest of plenty which Alkaline and her spawn can make good use of, guarded but rich in reward.

A ripe slime-fruit falls off my branches and plops to the ground.

>I'd suggest you de-emphasize Spitter spawning, as a territorial foe with a ranged attack AND a predilection towards hunting slimes seems very annoying to deal with if you're sending your denizens (some of whom are slimes) to harvest and/or manage the area. You could make the larger variants more rare alpha predators in the biome. The chonky boy T-Rex of Spitters, so to speak, something to truly hone one's edge against.
Threading through the flows of the earth pulse here, I place my thumb against the scales to try to discourage the spitters from spawning here. With how well suited to this area they are, it's likely those that do spawn are going to be stronger but that ultimately will work out to my dungeon's benefit I believe.
>>
No. 1039408 ID: cec161
File 165896033141.png - (29.88KB , 800x550 , plant_the_deem.png )
1039408

As I work, my new fruit keeps growing. I offer one to Moriko but she doesn't enjoy it. They do seem enticing to the slime-spitters though, more start showing up through the day as I work and Moriko and my golem start having to work to keep them off us.

I end up eating the fruit myself to try to reduce the appeal. They aren't that appetising but they might be useful as fertiliser? The scent of even the unripe fruits seems to still draw them. This could make getting back to Hin and the camp difficult.

If it's fruit they want, I guess I'll give it to them! Once I'm happy the changes to the locus are in a stable state I sneak out to remove and plant my branches. A squat little pair of saplings but I think they have a certain charm. I break a twig off each to replace my horns and the replacements start eagerly soaking in my golem body's sap. Hopefully the scent is reduced while they regrow. Maybe I should try transplanting some other plants once we're back at the dungeon.

>Act like a slime spitter! Heck, can you change your golem body to look like one?
I already told you I wasn't going to do that.

>How close is the slime to clay in consistency? Could you use to replace minor parts of your body?
It's slime, not earth, stone, clay, or vegetation, so no. Not without some involved golemetry.

>Hell, you could probably do with some shenanigans- just after you've recovered and also not while capable of exerting the full might of your core, safe shenanigans! Maybe Merud can help with that, a safety valve so you can drink and otherwise experiment freely without risking all your mana.
I'm not about to go putting chains back on my Heart.

>Could you tie in some of your garden powers to this area? I forget what the effect of that place was. You could also apply the Potent Residue - heh, Potent Resindue, maybe - effect to the area, making stuff created by the products here have something of the same effect as your Potent Residue bath. Maybe a natural slimy pool at the center of the area your minions (or the brave) could dip into and come up with some manner of effect?
I've tried to encourage certain images and concepts but I don't have too much control unless I revisit this place with the power and intention to more thoroughly terraform it. I'm hoping to see alchemically useful substances and the center was where all the slime poured through (unless the locus drifted somewhat, so we might be fortunate and get a potent fountain of slime at the center.

>Perhaps you can encourage some shadow-aspected monsters to spawn? Sapient shadows, night stalkers, dream-eaters, that sort of thing. Maybe even a doppelganger or two, but unless they're not very good at mimicry they could cause a lot of problems for both you and the village.
All things I might like to see eventually but I think I'll have to wait until I'm better attuned to shadow.

It's evening by the time we finish but thankfully we're able to slip through the darkening woods without too many random encounters with spitters. Moriko hasn't complained about missing dinner but I could do with something. Hopefully Hin's been fine just a deactivated golem and Doyle for company.
>>
No. 1039409 ID: cec161
File 165896040592.png - (28.56KB , 750x650 , its_you.png )
1039409

"Deem, guess what I caught trying to get into the potions!" Hin says, eyes bright. She ducks behind the tent and grabs something.

My giant blacksmith holds out a strung-up imp. "Orange eyes, you said you had a premonition about it, right? Look at this little cutie, can we keep her?!"

One of my new fruits plops to the ground.

"That's yes, orange." I say, squinting up at it. "You caught it?" Moriko remains silent behind me.

"Left some snares out." Hin says. "Moriko, I think you have a fan." she continues, "Look, she's got a little dress and a little hammer!"

"No." Moriko says.

"Mowww!" the imp yowls like a bad parody of cat as it squirms in the air.

An imp that has its act together enough to make things on its own is rare. They're usually much better at breaking them. This imp feels familiar too. Is this Moriko's shadow? I need to be very careful how I handle this, conversations with Moriko about ancestry and demons have blown up in my face most of the time. Hin seems to be a firm advocate for keeping the imp, but she has no idea about any of Moriko's history too. What's the best approach to hold on to this imp and maybe tactfully raise the point it could be spiritually important to Moriko?

>Say, have you found that twin to the spatial anomaly around here?
That's the other question. I've turned this area about to my will somewhat, but I haven't found that possible spatial anomaly or any other imps yet. I might also want to cull the spitter numbers somewhat. That might be harder with this imp in tow. Should we return to the dungeon tomorrow or stay a little longer?
>>
No. 1039410 ID: 12b116

Waddle yourself back to the dungeon before you need a scooter to get around. We should come back later with a combat focused party and explore the center of this area, and that'll definitely be better without having a captive.
>>
No. 1039411 ID: 600de3

>>1039409
Can you bind the imp like you did Doyle?
>>
No. 1039412 ID: 7397c3

>>1039409
>What's the best approach to hold on to this imp and maybe tactfully raise the point it could be spiritually important to Moriko?
You're overthinking it. You're the dungeon, you get to choose what you keep in yourself. Just answer "yes", and nobody's going to question it. You'll have plenty of time to talk to Moriko later, in a more comfortable and private location.
>>
No. 1039413 ID: e07ed2

Tell Moriko you liked and accepted her for who she was and she didn't have to change.
>>
No. 1039414 ID: 0f7505

However you address this with Moriko, you should probably be careful she doesn't get the idea she can, like, get rid of her demonic side by killing the imp. That doesn't sound to me like it'd end well. Can you give us a recap of what this imp is, exactly? Or, examine it first, do some magic analysis or whatever?

If you've sufficiently asserted dominance over this locus, it's probably better to head back for now. Don't want the imp accidentally escaping or getting killed. If you haven't - what else remains to do?
>>
No. 1039415 ID: 899c9f

Let's stay a little longer, the imp may need further taming before she is house trained.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Moriko. We should keep this one under investigation and study its behavior. We might begin to understand why and how it follows your echo in the earth pulse.
>>
No. 1039416 ID: 15c72a

>>1039409
That is DEFINITELY Moriko's Shadow. Tell Hin we should keep it captive for now. ...wait a minute, it's bigger now, isn't it?

Can you communicate with imps, at all? Maybe it's time to get the imp's side of the story. In private, obviously.
Hmm, is it that it wants to be Moriko, or just to be like her? To gain her acceptance? Maybe you could see if it has any skill with that makeshift hammer.

As for how to talk to Moriko about it, don't yet. Remember, her defense is to deny everything, so gather evidence. Investigate the imp first, find out how it thinks, and if it has any potential to be a decent denizen. We don't have a resurrection slot for it, but... maybe it shares Moriko's? Could you tell if that was the case? Alternatively, maybe you can investigate its link to her, see if there's something wrong with the way it was formed that you can repair, to allow it to become strong, or at least allow it to be summoned and dismissed at will? Most importantly, we need to know if anything bad happens to Moriko if it dies. You could also, potentially, see if you can grant Moriko's wish to be rid of her demon blood, by shoving it into the imp and then severing any connection. Could you do so in a way that prevents Moriko from losing much power?

Once you get some facts, talk to Moriko in private and tell her what you've learned, and ask what she wants to do. Tell her you don't need to know details about her past, the only thing that matters is the present, and this... "separation" has weakened her.
>>
No. 1039435 ID: 4798b1

Let’s head back now. Give Hin the remaining satiety potions before they go bad. As far as Moriko needs to worry, we’re taking this imp with us for interrogation.
>>
No. 1039443 ID: 6360dd

Tell Moriko she doesn't have to face the Imp right now, she can take her time. We should keep that imp secure (whatever we mean) until she want to face this problem.
>>
No. 1039474 ID: f2320a

>>1039409
Where did it get that pink cloth and on size it got fatter thighs
>>
No. 1039482 ID: 0d74b4

You could put a pair of cute little bows on it, and a leash, give it to Moriko, and tell her that you expect her to obedience-train her new pet!

Regardless, congratulate Hin on her good work. Vocal reinforcement is likely much cheaper than whatever you used to congratulate good work back when you didn't vocalise...
>>
No. 1039483 ID: 15c72a

...having Moriko keep it as a pet, while being forbidden to kill it, might eventually get her a little more used to the idea of it being linked to her... but it's also pretty mean. She won't want to do it, and I don't think we should be forcing our denizens to do things.
>>
No. 1039502 ID: 3f2037
File 165914110133.png - (24.58KB , 720x720 , she_screm.png )
1039502

>You're overthinking it. You're the dungeon, you get to choose what you keep in yourself. Just answer "yes", and nobody's going to question it. You'll have plenty of time to talk to Moriko later, in a more comfortable and private location.
I am overthinking this. And yes, the full story can wait. The tour of the hidden valley, the raw mana experiments, the imp attack... I've tried to confess far too many stupid things to her in the heat of the moment.

>Tell Moriko you liked and accepted her for who she was and she didn't have to change.
Exactly this sort of thing!

"Yes, we'll keep the imp." I announce.

Moriko looks askance at me. "I thought you said you'd prefer 'more useful creatures' than imps?"

>Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Moriko. We should keep this one under investigation and study its behavior. We might begin to understand why and how it follows your echo in the earth pulse.
"There's something odd about this one and I need to get to the bottom of it. I think it's the one that finished off the imp bully. It's rare for them to take so much initiative too, they're usually pack creatures. You may be influencing the earth pulse if you're attracting echoes like this."

Moriko doesn't look happy but she nods. "I understand."

>However you address this with Moriko, you should probably be careful she doesn't get the idea she can, like, get rid of her demonic side by killing the imp. That doesn't sound to me like it'd end well.
"I know you don't like demons, but it's going to be a denizen of my dungeon and I need you to make sure it stays alive."

"I wouldn't do anything less."

>You could put a pair of cute little bows on it, and a leash, give it to Moriko, and tell her that you expect her to obedience-train her new pet!
That's disgusting.

>Can you give us a recap of what this imp is, exactly? Or, examine it first, do some magic analysis or whatever?
Moriko had some stigma against her due to her demonic blood in her homeland. However, it's also what gives her an affinity for shaodw and the earth pulse that forms the foundation of her family's fighting skills. Something that happened during the night hag dream intensified Moriko's rejection of her demonic blood, creating a fissure in her spirit. She has slowly been getting weaker since then, and there was growing evidence it had somehow been split off from her as a shadow creature.

This imp is probably her shadow, or at least her shed strength may reside in it.

>Can you communicate with imps, at all? Maybe it's time to get the imp's side of the story. In private, obviously.
>Hmm, is it that it wants to be Moriko, or just to be like her? To gain her acceptance? Maybe you could see if it has any skill with that makeshift hammer.
>Maybe you can investigate its link to her, see if there's something wrong with the way it was formed that you can repair.
>Once you get some facts, talk to Moriko in private and tell her what you've learned, and ask what she wants to do. Tell her you don't need to know details about her past, the only thing that matters is the present, and this... "separation" has weakened her.
It will take a while, but I'll investigate it properly once we're back at my dungeon. I'd just better not wait too long.

>We don't have a resurrection slot for it, but... maybe it shares Moriko's?
>Can you bind the imp like you did Doyle?
It's a soft limit, but exceeding it means that resurrection will be much rougher on all my denizens. I should be able to improve it once this month is up, I think it's worth the cost. I will bind it once we return.

>You could also, potentially, see if you can grant Moriko's wish to be rid of her demon blood, by shoving it into the imp and then severing any connection. Could you do so in a way that prevents Moriko from losing much power?
Of course I can do that, but it would be cleaving apart her being. Unless I was to put something back in its place, some weakening is inevitable. If it helps her achieve a state she desires, that is extremely helpful for her recovery, but in the short term there's not much to be done.
>>
No. 1039504 ID: 3f2037
File 165914122508.png - (51.30KB , 800x600 , headhin_home.png )
1039504

>Waddle yourself back to the dungeon before you need a scooter to get around.
Eating a little orange goo hardly means I'm waddling and why would you think a children's toy would help in a forest like this?

>If you've sufficiently asserted dominance over this locus, it's probably better to head back for now. Don't want the imp accidentally escaping or getting killed.
In the morning, I carry the imp on our trip back. This ends up being the easiest way to handle her without keeping her trussed up.

This turns out to be wise as by the morning I am fruiting again and attracting spitters. Hin and Moriko being freed to fight means that we can repel the handful coming after us without too many injuries.

"You're oddly composed for an imp you know." I tell the imp as we walk. She's content to be carried, she doesn't squirm in my grasp.

"Mowww!"

"Really? She starts screaming the moment you put her down." Hin says.

"You haven't dealt much with imps before I see." I say.

"Wonder where all the others go to." Hin says. "I was expecting to see some but I guess I didn't do much this trip..."

"You cleared out everything around our camp and we wouldn't have been able to claim the locus without you drawing off the spitters." I remind her.

"Yeah but that was a sideshow, it'd be cool to be the main event! If we cooked up all these guys," Hin says, hefting her brace of slain spitters. "And I finished off Doyle's potion, I bet we could probably just bulldoze right in there, fight all the spitters and find the voidy thing you were looking for too."

"You sure you're not just hungry?" I say. "You're already pushing the upper limit of that enchantment and bigger isn't always better."

"Whaaat, back me up here Moriko." Hin complains.

My hammerai takes a deep drag from her waterskin to wet her throat. "In a more normal duel, reach is an advantage." Moriko admits, looking up at Hin thoughtfully. "Against the devil bear, Deem's gigant form was very useful too. Many of these beasts are reluctant to fight a physically imposing enemy too."

"You see," Hin says. "Your fighting expert agrees: bigger's better!"

I didn't expect Moriko to agree with Hin on this.

Back at the dungeon I will need to take things easy outside of my imp investigation. I need to recuperate mana so that I can Delve to push the dungeon towards its final format for Olan's visit, and I need some mana for when Hin works with Olan's curios. I currently have a bit over three weeks until his visit.

Should Hin return to her normal size now? I suppose she could do a little more work near the entrance if she doesn't go too far.

I have had Merud work on improving some golems and I'll be moving Chakarchelou (and the bomb flower) to my former Heart Chamber after the excavation of the new one is a little more progressed. Alkaline's still spawning slimes and I intend to get her into a proper lair too. I should be fine for monsters during the tour.

For plants, I have a small crop of Izakikk's kindly mushrooms coming along in the secret valley. There's the oreberry bush, emblematic flowers and the sap-bomb flowers I haven't done anything with yet too. I'm starting to move in some mundane vegetation as well.

I think I should have my denizens experiment for the next few days. There might be something to add some spectacle (or danger) to my dungeon's chambers, or something that can help my denizens find a way to develop their abilities. There's my own fruitful, monster attracting condition and Hin's sizeable nature, plus Centaur and Reisarf's experiments which might do with some more scrutiny. We still have our miscellaneous tools, creatures and materials too: Hin's softening hammer, the water wand, the glossid, the cake mimic, and then my weird eggs, raw mana, orange goo, slime milk, Stargazer's jelly, curse shards, the lump of paramagnetic iron, and light-absorbing gem.

What are some things that might be worthwhile that don't require any magical exertion on my part?
>>
No. 1039505 ID: 7397c3

>>1039504
>Should Hin return to her normal size now?
just let her stay big as long as she wants, I'm sure she'll get bored of it after a few more days not being able to go inside
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No. 1039506 ID: 899c9f

Hin and Moriko concur, let's send our minions to thrash the slime pit one last time! Pluck your fruits, drop them somewhere and lay low while the fighters and your brute push into the slime. This time you can provide the distraction.
Ways to develop your fighters' abilities include: Higher ceilings. Bigger is better... Also maybe adding some training mats to the meditation room? Make active forms of meditation more comfortable.
Once you get back, keep Hin's enchantment going, use her strength and reach to help the entrance look its best. Plus, a couple of giant footsteps outside your dungeon helps to raise intrigue. You can use your fruit to attract more monsters for her to fight, which will help to keep her fed too.
Hmm, softening hammer + sap bombs = plastic explosives? Curse shards + paramagnetic iron = earth pulse compass?
Has the goo's properties changed after consumption by the spitter lizards? You should perform an autopsy to get some of that twice-processed liquid curse.
If you gloss the light-absorbing gem, does that improve its light absorbing capabilities? What about cutting it?
>>
No. 1039507 ID: 9ab9f7

I feel like you should allow Hin's request. The subtext I'm getting is she knows she can't stay huge forever, but she's enjoying it for the moment, and she wants to make the most of it before returning to normal.

We could technically come back later but- I think it'd be more satisfying for Hin to do it now. Besides, don't you want to see Hin use that enchantment to it's fullest potential? We've got spare spitters and Doyle's potion, I think we can chance it. The main thing is making sure the imp doesn't escape if things go sideways.
>>
No. 1039508 ID: 899c9f

Oh, this is important: If the imp behaves like a cat, you must treat it like a cat. Pet the imp.
>>
No. 1039509 ID: 15c72a

>>1039504
Hmm. If Hin wants to stay big for a little while longer she could try doing some blacksmithing like that. Drag out the anvil, and she can use the Handy Hin Hammer to work without heat. We don't really have the food supply to support that size in the long run though, and there's no way for her to get into the dungeon or get to her bed.
>fight more lizards?
Uh. Well, worst thing that happens is Hin dies I guess? Then she resurrects and becomes small earlier than she wanted. Could give her some good experience. If moriko wants to do it too... well, she'll respawn with her equipment right? And you're not expecting an encounter for the time period where they'll be recovering?
Seems low risk, decent reward even if we fail.
You could ask the others if they want to join in, since it'll be a quick outing and a focused combat job which could actually be safer in numbers since the objective is extermination.

>experiments
Um, you could encourage Alkaline's curse-eating via the curse shards? It's been a while since we tried to solidify/evolve any of her abilities.
Does the waterbearer wand allow you to separate fluids? Can it be used to move slimes around? Launch them at enemies perhaps? Could Alkaline hold it, and use it to levitate herself and the wand at the same time and thus fly at will?
I wonder if the cake mimic would react to the weird eggs? Eggs are an ingredient in cake, and it's technically a living thing... If it can eat things you could try giving it some goo.
Why don't we try making a magic item using the paramagnetic iron and the refocusing gem? I feel like magnetism/lightning and "redirection" together might produce a decent ranged weapon. You could add a touch of eldritch via stargazer jelly, since she's all about the giant lasers.
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No. 1039510 ID: 12b116

How many bombs do we have from that flower, and can we mix them with curses to make cursed bomb traps?
>>
No. 1039512 ID: 15c72a

Oh, Hin needs to make herself a proper giant weapon, instead of that makeshift thing.

If severing the blood would further weaken Moriko, then... maybe something synergistic could be done? Strengthen the bond, but keep the imp separate, so that when one grows stronger the other does as well?
>>
No. 1039514 ID: f57349

>>1039512
Could turn that into a condition. Something like:
>"I hired you for your talents as a blacksmith rather than a brute, so if you want to start a big fight, first forge a proper weapon."
Challenges of working without appropriately-scaled infrastructure might convince her of the "bigger isn't always better" point better than any verbal argument... or, if Hin succeeds, after that supersize effect wears off a gigantic masterwork weapon can be reused as a memorable trap component, so it's a win for Deem either way.
>>
No. 1039515 ID: 15c72a

A giant's weapon can also just be melted down afterwards, it's no big deal.
>>
No. 1039564 ID: 0d74b4

Could the enchantment be having mental effects upon Hin? If I recall correctly, Hin was initially concerned that you sought her fir her combat prowess rather than her skill as an artisan. She seems to currently be seeking to excel as a combatant, which seems odd. Another explanation would be that she has been feeling unfulfilled and is looking for self-expression in the more abundant field of violence, where as her forge may be a bit too dependent upon lacking materials to operate at a satisfying capacity... . Or she just likes how much you dig your hammerai and she wants a piece of that action...
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No. 1039599 ID: 0840c2

>>1039504
Could Merud make Golems that are simply long arms coming from the wall, floor or ceiling? They wouldn't have to be strong, just annoying to deal with
>>
No. 1039678 ID: a0a93b

>>1039599
...And they drop on you from above and drag you back to the entrance
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No. 1039734 ID: 851e04
File 165939225384.png - (29.79KB , 800x600 , hins_the_carry.png )
1039734

We find Reisarf and Stargazer loitering out the front of my dungeon again.

"Oh welcome back everyone! You're all looking healthy." Reisarf says. "Deem, you got bigger? I thought Hin was going to. You're always so surprising, it's amazing!" Stargazer wiggles in agreement.

i look at him in silence for a moment. "T-thanks." I say, deciding to take Reisarf's words as the compliment they were probably intended to be.

"Is that an imp mimic?" he asks, looking at the new addition to our group.

"No, just a shadow imp. There's something odd about it." I say.

"Isn't she adorable?" Hin says. "Are you going to name her? Oooh, how about 'Blackie'?" Moriko gives her a brief, annoyed glance.

"Nooo, not just yet." I say.

>We could technically come back later but- I think it'd be more satisfying for Hin to do it now. Besides, don't you want to see Hin use that enchantment to it's fullest potential? We've got spare spitters and Doyle's potion, I think we can chance it. The main thing is making sure the imp doesn't escape if things go sideways.
>I feel like you should allow Hin's request. The subtext I'm getting is she knows she can't stay huge forever, but she's enjoying it for the moment, and she wants to make the most of it before returning to normal.
True, with all she's been through since joining my dungeon, if this is something she's been enjoying I don't want to cut it short for her.

"I've been thinking about your idea." I say to Hin. "And I think you're right. Maybe we should be making the most of you while these circumstances last. We'll rest today, re-equip, cook up those spitters, and then I'd like you to head back to the crags."

"Great!" Hin says.

>Or she just likes how much you dig your hammerai and she wants a piece of that action...
What.

>Let's send our minions to thrash the slime pit one last time!
"I had better stay back at the dungeon." I say. Out in the wild I'll be attracting monsters, and I need to investigate this imp. "Doyle, you're going with Hin. Do you want to go as well, Moriko?"

"No I think I should stay here." Moriko says, looking at me and the imp in my arms. "It is my duty to protect you and your dungeon."

I nod. "Reisarf, Stargazer, do you want to go? You know how to recognise a spatial void." I haven't thought of anything for them to experiment on, they're good firepower, and the fresh air and combat experience will probably be good for them.

Reisarf and Stargazer share a look. "It'll be like a campout!" Reisarf says. They're also much better cooks than Moriko or myself so there's that little bonus for Hin. I put the two of them in charge of an outdoor barbeque for this evening.

I make the offer to Merud and Chakarchelou too, but my golemeter is still busy with golem work and my lizard is worried about his gold. Alkaline's busy spawning slimes.

>Uh. Well, worst thing that happens is Hin dies I guess? Then she resurrects and becomes small earlier than she wanted. Could give her some good experience.
It'll be a good lesson about not getting in over her head if that happens, and if not less spitters to worry about in the future and we might find the origin point of the orange goo.

>Oh, Hin needs to make herself a proper giant weapon, instead of that makeshift thing.
>Hmm. If Hin wants to stay big for a little while longer she could try doing some blacksmithing like that. Drag out the anvil, and she can use the Handy Hin Hammer to work without heat.
Hin uses her magic hammer to reshape her crude stone axe into something a little more respectable, as I provide some advice on my stonecrafting. We dip into the ingot stockpile to put a metal rim on the axe blade. My blacksmith has a slightly more respectable weapon now.

Hin sets into devouring the spitter steaks with alarming gusto. I try some myself, with my alienist and alien's efforts it's a much more palatable meal. Between Hin consuming an alarming fraction of her body weight in lizard, and her drinking all of Doyle's current batch of satiety potion, my giant blacksmith is waxing out to behemoth sizes. She has to be almost thirty feet tall. It's probably just that ridiculous dream rattling around in my head, but I'm starting to worry.

Moriko even gives her some pointers in the evening. My hammerai comes out on top by ruthlessly going for the knees and ankles at every opportunity but Hin's happy she put Moriko on the spot a few times. It's closer than the last time they had a match-up.
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No. 1039735 ID: 851e04
File 165939229907.png - (41.71KB , 750x650 , petition_the_princess.png )
1039735

The next morning Hin and company set off and I set my other denizens to work.

>Why don't we try making a magic item using the paramagnetic iron and the refocusing gem? I feel like magnetism/lightning and "redirection" together might produce a decent ranged weapon. You could add a touch of eldritch via stargazer jelly, since she's all about the giant lasers.
I don't have the spare mana to work on magical items.

>You could encourage Alkaline's curse-eating via the curse shards? It's been a while since we tried to solidify/evolve any of her abilities.
Alkaline's been lurking up in the hidden valley for some reason, but I find the tent-like affair she's made by stringing up sheets of toughened slime between trees. My little slime princess is lounging in a mass of goo like a couch, some of her more developed slimes tending to her. She must be delegating out a lot of her strength again.

"Alkaline!" I say, holding out my arms.

She doesn't get up, and just glances up from the book she's reading. "Blee-" she coughs. "Deem."

I take a proper look at her. "Why aren't you wearing your pretty dress?"

"Why are you?" she asks back.

I'm not quite sure what tack she's taking here, maybe these books are a bad influence.

>Could Merud make Golems that are simply long arms coming from the wall, floor or ceiling? They wouldn't have to be strong, just annoying to deal with
I'm going to work on some extra long golem arms with Merud as a trap." I offer. "Do you want to watch?"

"No, I'm reading a book." Alkaline says.

"Oh." I say. She seems to be in a funny mood. Maybe it's something she ate. "Well I have some curse shards for you, I think they'll be good to help you develop your curse eating."

She rolls her eyes. "Of course you do." She does accept them off me though. Alkaline reports one of the curse shards makes her chest tingle so I quickly get it off her and let her try the other one instead. From some of her sudden little tweaks to appearance, I think it's the polymorph curse, that one should be very good for her.

>Does the waterbearer wand allow you to separate fluids? Can it be used to move slimes around? Launch them at enemies perhaps? Could Alkaline hold it, and use it to levitate herself and the wand at the same time and thus fly at will?
It won't let someone levitate levitate themselves but throwing is worth a test. I ask Alkaline if I can borrow some of her slimes.

"Ugh, fiiine."

I leave Alkaline to her book and discover the wand is finicky to get right, but if done correctly, considerable slime velocity can be achieved.

>Has the goo's properties changed after consumption by the spitter lizards? You should perform an autopsy to get some of that twice-processed liquid curse.
I set some aside when Reisarf was preparing the barbecue and my main discovery is sometimes it solidifies, making an effective restraint to something that's gotten gunked in spitter goo.

>I wonder if the cake mimic would react to the weird eggs? Eggs are an ingredient in cake, and it's technically a living thing... If it can eat things you could try giving it some goo.
The cake mimic's disinterested in both. It normally eats bugs and mice and the like.
>>
No. 1039736 ID: 851e04
File 165939235571.png - (30.56KB , 800x600 , my_water_now.png )
1039736

My imp and Moriko research has been an exercise in frustration.

I only have my handheld Scan Lens and no dungeon rooms to support me in diagnosing what's going on. That crude tool and my own extensive experience have been enough to identify a number of things to date, but they're failing in the face of something that might be getting deliberately hidden from me.

Moriko scans as doggedly human, rather than a tiefling. She's still weakened but doesn't seem to have become substantially weaker since the last time I did an extensive scan. The imp is a shadow imp, an unusually developed and individualistic one and there's some parallels between her and Moriko but I can't say for sure if it is truly some spiritual shadow, whether it's just some imp that somehow swallowed Moriko's abandoned essence or this is a complete coincidence.

Questioning has revealed the imp very much looks up to Moriko and wants to emulate her. She has managed a passing imitation of Moriko's basic hammer moves, admitted to sneaking into the dungeon with the other imps, killing the Imp Bully and following Moriko around in the wilderness. Hin caught her because she wanted to try some of Moriko's 'special drink'.

>Oh, this is important: If the imp behaves like a cat, you must treat it like a cat. Pet the imp.
If that imp would behave maybe I would. She's been picking fights with Alkaline's smaller slimes and Chakarchelou. The slimes have been getting the worst of it, as generally Chakarchelou just gets fed up after a few minutes and sits on her until I come along.

Moriko hasn't been letting her follow her to her training spot and the imp keeps eating slices of the cake mimic and leaving crumbs and icing about the place, despite it being entirely illusionary!

The only mercy is she doesn't seem to have a normal imp's predilection for getting into places and breaking things.

>If severing the blood would further weaken Moriko, then... maybe something synergistic could be done? Strengthen the bond, but keep the imp separate, so that when one grows stronger the other does as well?
I haven't confirmed if there was a bond because that would require magic work on Moriko that might draw a negative reaction from her. Strengthening a sympathetic link would be very obvious to the both of them. I could wait for Moriko to weaken again and see if there's a corresponding change to the imp but that's hardly ideal either.
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No. 1039737 ID: 851e04
File 165939243278.png - (28.46KB , 800x600 , no_one_expects_the_frogs.png )
1039737

On the evening of the second day after Hin's departure, frogs attack!

These ornery creatures seem to have an impeccable sense of timing. My dungeon's bridge is retractable but unfortunately frogs can jump and with my limited sense of advance warning they're in the Golem Totem before I can do anything, throwing themselves against my big handed brute and swarming past her. I feel the earth-pulse swell as the invaders rush in.

Moriko's a strong fighter but other than her I just have Chakarchelou, Merud, the golems and Alkaline and her slimes. The frogs have brought some of their exploding tadpoles this time, and the kamikaze creatures are likely to cause injuries.

I don't doubt I can repel them from my dungeon itself: my fighters are superior to giant frogs and the amphibian menace can't use their numbers well in most of these hallways, but outside my denizens will get absolutely swarmed. We lack effective wide area attacks outside of Alkaline's Bad Eggs or carefully trying to snip off some bomb flowers without lighting them. It might even be worth waiting for my Orange Crag investigators: they should be back in a day or two but my dungeon would be sieged by frogs that entire time.
>>
No. 1039738 ID: e07ed2

>>1039737
frog
>>
No. 1039739 ID: e07ed2

Anyway the best way to manage these is to get them to start infighting. Imitate a female frog through some apparatus if needed and get the males to compete with each other.
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No. 1039740 ID: 899c9f

You may not be able to read, but you should have Merud screen what books Alkaline reads. That one doesn't seem good for her. Perhaps he can suggest some books that feature heroic golems or powerful queens.

Use the dungeon to your advantage, allow the frogs inside in waves so you can deal with them piecemeal. Use the golems and slimes as the frontline to intercept kamikaze tadpoles. Avoid injuries to core fighters, since the rez chamber is currently overworked. Once they stop accepting your invitation inside, set up a clay pillbox and huck bad eggs and arrows over the rim from your golem totem until they give up and leave.
Also, keep an eye on your spatial anomaly. After all, you did send Hin and Reisarf to look for the other end of it. Something or someone might pass through.
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No. 1039741 ID: ff9c4f

Your goals here should be to avoid injuries and milk and earth pulse for all that you can. Maybe a golem front line, then slimes with spears, or at least vaguely pointy sticks, then Merud with his scarf ready to slap away any tadpole bombs. Chak is probably mostly immune to froggination, so have him slip in and out to cause havoc/intensify the earth pulse and then rest. Alkaline can read her book within shouting distance, ready in case the frogs somehow surprise us and need bad egging.

Or whatever else Alkaline wants to do.
>>
No. 1039742 ID: 15c72a

Ah, if we had some traps or environmental hazards they would be really effective...
I say go ahead and repel the attackers. You've seen how the imp fights, is she strong enough to avoid getting killed? If not, you should make sure she's locked up somewhere safe.
This is a pretty good way to train the slimes, isn't it? We were hoping to use them as hoplites, and that's a formation that works very well against mass enemies.

Can you block/unblock passages to allow manageable groups into rooms for reduced risk combat training? Like, seal off a portion of frogs and then open a different door to allow them to spill out into a room where our forces are waiting? Like an airlock, but for frogs.
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No. 1039745 ID: 12b116

Alkaline is being a sulky teen, get her involved in the defense to give her something to do besides sit around and read porno books. Maybe get her to evaluate the imp's skills while we're defending the dungeon while also protecting it so it doesn't get hurt too bad. This can also give us a good idea of how well she has a grasp of command and tactics with her slimes. Let her have some autonomy and responsibility in the frog battle.
We should definitely get them stuck in to the dungeon where we have the defensive advantage and not really go on the offense where we can get swarmed
>>
No. 1039762 ID: a0a93b

>>1039740
Yyyeah.... I was gonna ask if you screened those books first, but I forgot you can't read. Where did they come from, again? You should probably have somebody keeping an eye on what Alkaline is reading. Given her rate of growth, she'll probably be out of her sulky teen phase before long, but/and you should try to make sure she's growing in a good direction while she's still growing.
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No. 1039779 ID: 36784c

>>1039735
>Alkaline’s attitude
Seems like she’s in her moody teenager stage. Then again, another reason she could be upset is because you never spend time with her.

Seriously, when was the last time you did anything with her that didn’t involve training one of her abilities? Also, with how often you’ve been leaving her behind when you leave the dungeon, she must be feeling a little abandoned.

No matter how much you deny it, you are basically Alkaline‘s mother. And she’s at the age where she’s starting to notice you’re only around when you want to train up one of her abilities. She probably thinks you only care about her abilities, but you don’t actually care about her.

Next time you have a chance, you should spend some time doing some bonding with Alkaline.
>>
No. 1039782 ID: a0a93b

>>1039779
Hmm. Possible good point. Of course, she seems to get annoyed by interaction in general. Still, you could...ask what she's reading, maybe? Have we seen Alkaline engaging in any other hobbies?
>>
No. 1040049 ID: d240e9

Use the Earth Pulse!

It might be impolite, normally, to rearrange the dungeon while the Labyrinth Dance is underway, but frogs deserve no such courtesy. Whatever mana you're getting from them can be used to keep everyone safe. Then, try to prolong things and wring as much mana as possible from the attack.

What you need, then, is something that'll keep the frogs in an impassioned state as long as possible. That doesn't necessarily mean someone has to be fighting them the whole time! In the past, they've reacted to music.
>>
No. 1040338 ID: d0a22e
File 165994010549.png - (51.59KB , 900x550 , deems_cool_golem_swarm.png )
1040338

>Ah, if we had some traps or environmental hazards they would be really effective...
I know, but my denizens have been busy on other work! Unfortunately the bridge I do have isn't the best at keeping them out.

>Your goals here should be to avoid injuries and milk and earth pulse for all that you can.
>We should definitely get them stuck in to the dungeon where we have the defensive advantage and not really go on the offense where we can get swarmed.
I marshal my golems. Many of them are already working about the dungeon in various places, my others working up in the hidden valley improving my denizen's accommodations. They raise the alarm as they drop tools and pick up weapons.

>You've seen how the imp fights, is she strong enough to avoid getting killed? If not, you should make sure she's locked up somewhere safe.
Chakarchelou was napping in Hin's forge and proves to be a fierce guard-dragon as frogs spill into the hall past my Golem Totem and keeping them out of my Heart Chamber where I and Merud are talking. I make sure the orange slime and the imp are safe with me while I fall back towards the meditation chamber where I know Moriko is resting. The cake mimic will be fine in the Resurrection Matrix.

The other side is less defended, which is perhaps fortunate. They haven't caught anyone in the baths, but the frogs aggressively harrass those of Alkaline's slimes that are hanging out there as my golems try to intervene.

Thankfully I can marshall my forces quickly, and send in Moriko to help Chakarchelou. That eases the pressure enough to push forward with brute golems and spear wielding homunculi, allowing my big-handed brute golem to retreat out of the Golem Totem before it was completely destroyed.
>>
No. 1040339 ID: d0a22e
File 165994013393.png - (37.83KB , 800x530 , alkalines_squishy_slime_swarm.png )
1040339

As Merud is hastily patching my golems up, Alkaline arrives.

She's got some new, hydra-like slimes with her. It looks like she's developed her alchemy crafting variants, in the nick of time. They have a body full of volatile alchemical goop that allows them to create various substances. She's learnt a trick from her time hunting the devil-bear and given them very durable and stretchy membranes, making it hard to slash or pierce what would otherwise be a potentially explosive weak spot. I suspect some of their 'heads' will survive as basic slimes.

>Alkaline is being a sulky teen, get her involved in the defense to give her something to do besides sit around and read porno books.
What kind of books?!

>This can also give us a good idea of how well she has a grasp of command and tactics with her slimes. Let her have some autonomy and responsibility in the frog battle.
"Alkaline," I say. "This is a good chance for you, I want you to take charge of your slimes for this battle."

She looks surprised. "Really?"

>This is a pretty good way to train the slimes, isn't it? We were hoping to use them as hoplites, and that's a formation that works very well against mass enemies.
Their numbers are low and they're still learning, but Alkaline's slimes are starting to get the basics of combined formations.

Alkaline leads the charge into the thaumatorium, a mass of shields and spears with Bad Eggs hurled over the top of them. A handful of exploding tadpoles are the only real threat.

"You might want to stay at the Thaumatorium so you can use your Hydro-Pump on your slimes." I suggest.

"I'm going to stay with them." she says, as she delegates that ability to one of her older slimes. She gets ready to push back to the Golem Totem, leaving her injured slimes at the thaumatorium to recover a little and get watered as the others go on.

>Use the dungeon to your advantage, allow the frogs inside in waves so you can deal with them piecemeal. Use the golems and slimes as the frontline to intercept kamikaze tadpoles. Avoid injuries to core fighters, since the rez chamber is currently overworked.
I let the others know we'll use slimes and golems as our front lines, the other denizens only stepping in if something gets past the front line.

We clear the Golem Totem without too much damage inflicted on our forces. Alkaline raises the dungeon entry's bridge and keeps pushing. There's dozens of angry frogs hopping about outside.

"Alkaline!" I say, as she joins the hoplites in the lead. A hail of Bad Eggs clears half the bridge, but then the frogs spit their tadpoles back in turn. Most of hoplites and Alkaline are knocked off the bridge.
>>
No. 1040340 ID: d0a22e
File 165994015186.png - (32.96KB , 800x550 , the_froggening.png )
1040340

My golems grab the alchemical slimes, to stop them going over too.

I send my basic brute, my damaged big-handed brute and a homunculus with a spear into the bridge. Another golem activates the bridge drop. It splashes down into the wet ditch where the slimes are trying and failing to fend off a horde of frogs.

With the basic brute and homunculus getting the frogs' attention, my damaged golem wades into the water, grabs Alkaline and throws her back up. Above, my woody golem grabs her. My golem keeps searching the water for slimes to toss back up as the other two try to keep the bridge clear.

It's not as successful as I'd hoped.

Frogs and tadpoles pile up on the escarpment, hurling themselves down on the heads of my golems, others trying to make the jump to the dungeon entrance. All too soon, I've lost the golems I sent, and about half of Alkaline's slimes.
>>
No. 1040341 ID: d0a22e
File 165994018718.png - (33.59KB , 800x600 , ur_not_my_real_mum.png )
1040341

I check on Alkaline. She seems shaken.

"You can't keep rushing in like that." I tell her. "I won't always be able to bail you out."

"I-" Alkaline starts to say something, then changes her mind. "You didn't have to, I'd have been fine."

We trail off as I give her a skeptical look.

>No matter how much you deny it, you are basically Alkaline‘s mother.
No matter how much you harp on about this you're not going to convince me.

>Seems like she’s in her moody teenager stage. Then again, another reason she could be upset is because you never spend time with her.
>Seriously, when was the last time you did anything with her that didn’t involve training one of her abilities? Also, with how often you’ve been leaving her behind when you leave the dungeon, she must be feeling a little abandoned.
>She probably thinks you only care about her abilities, but you don’t actually care about her.
>Next time you have a chance, you should spend some time doing some bonding with Alkaline.
Well we'll spend some time together now.

"Well we're safe in here, we'll let those frogs wear themselves out a bit." Our numbers are now a little thin for a counterattack without casualties too. "Do you want to read that book of fairy tales together again?"

"I'm not a baby any more." she pouts.

I can't help but find this a little much since it was only a few weeks ago we last read it.

"What are you reading now then?" I say.

She looks aside. "It's very serious and adult stuff, you wouldn't like it."

>Yyyeah.... I was gonna ask if you screened those books first, but I forgot you can't read. Where did they come from, again? You should probably have somebody keeping an eye on what Alkaline is reading.
I can read now, I must have read at least half a dozen books! It must have been from that box of secondhand books I bought from Liana.

>Given her rate of growth, she'll probably be out of her sulky teen phase before long, but/and you should try to make sure she's growing in a good direction while she's still growing.
"Well I don't know if those books are the best for you." I say.

"Oh now you're interested just because you want to tell me what to do?!"

Alkaline stomps off to sulk in the thaumatorium.

...

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I see about getting my denizens ready for the night. My reduced complement of golems should be enough, along with the slimes camping out in the hallway. The frogs are still trying the occasional probing attack but mostly seem content to try and keep my denizens awake with their infernal croaking.
>>
No. 1040342 ID: d0a22e
File 165994023270.png - (32.89KB , 800x600 , did_you_get_a_haircut.png )
1040342

We're going to hunt the devil bear. No, some frogs? Something is not right. I need to find Moriko and Alkaline. We're going the wrong way.

"You're sooo stupid. You know that right?" A voice comes behind me, It's familiar.

"Moriko?"

"Am I?" the imp laughs back. "You're going to lose her you know, one way or the other. You mess it up every single time. You blurt out something stupid and tactless, or you hesitate and don't do anything - you coward!"

Something about this is famil-

"You can't help her, and you can't help yourself. You're going to drive her away or stew in your own uselessness until there's nothing left of her!"

"Aren't you my denizen? You should be serving me, not berating me!"

"Yeah so I think I'll keep telling you you're stupid! No-one else is going to do it!"

I need to get this imp in line, what should I do?
>>
No. 1040344 ID: e07ed2

>>1040341
>No matter how much you harp on about this you're not going to convince me.
That doesn't matter if she's already convinced of it.
>>1040342
Well denying it isn't helping so far so try acknowledging Morikoesque's issues and ask how you can help or improve
>>
No. 1040346 ID: 7397c3

>>1040342
>No-one else is going to do it!
Hey, I resent that. We do it all the time! We're not about to let you take our job.
>>
No. 1040347 ID: 899c9f

Hey now, there's plenty of us around to call you stupid!
The imp is a symptom of Moriko's denial. Take the first step of confronting it. You'll keep trying to get through to Moriko, and it won't be easy but you will move the mountain of self doubt a pebble at a time. Now, if you don't mind, the resurrection matrix needs testing. (Whack her. Some denizens need a firmer hand.)
>>
No. 1040348 ID: 15c72a

>>1040342
Oh you're dreaming again. No antlers! Also I'm pretty sure the shadow imp hasn't evolved so quickly.
Guess it wasn't the cacoffee. That leaves either the raw mana doing things to your golem body, or your new core layer giving you a deeper link to artificial life.

Anyway, the imp. Just take away her hammer until she agrees to behave herself.
As for Alkaline, once you're awake you should have an extended, serious conversation about your role in her life, and also bring some pre-screened books for her. Find out what kind of books she likes in general, so you can find more of that kind for her, ones that don't have anything too objectionable in them.
Hmm, have you taught her math yet? I wonder if there are any other skills she's interested in learning?
>>
No. 1040352 ID: 0530ae

You gotta teach Alky bout choke points, dawg.
>>
No. 1040353 ID: 9caba2

>>1040342
It's simple, you must seduce the imp. With a smooch.
>>
No. 1040367 ID: 12b116

>>1040342
we tell you you're stupid all the time! Punch it in the face.
>>
No. 1040368 ID: 30b9f6

>Deemdreams
>In a dream there is no separation between thought, desire and action.
Deem, last time you dreamt I suspected an outside source, but now I'm starting to wonder if something isn't rising from your subconscious. Fears and worries, minor matters magnified, perhaps.

>How to get the Imp in line
If it aimed to get a rise out of you... well, it has. But the response can still be measured.

>No-one else is going to criticize you!
Utter crud. You are amply awarded by yours truly with a running commentary whenever mistakes be made - however much you may groan to hear it - and you've received implicit criticism both asked and unasked from your denizens before. To snag two off-the-cuff examples:

>Reisarf: "Ah, you do have a talent for overdoing things."
>Hin: "Deem, you sound like my grandma."

Points made towards your occasional propensity for pushing things towards their limits and how you coddle-worry about your denizens perhaps a bit overmuch.

>You mess it up every single time
Not so. The recruitment, the garden, assorted pep talks, they've all gone fine. You have it in you to say the right things, and you have, confidently, before. Otherwise you'd not have them here at all, let alone as a budding... friend.

>You're going to lose her
Moriko is remarkable, even despite her own internal troubles. She's thoughtful, strong and brave. The loss of her would sting, so the fear of this is in itself a reasonable thing for a Dungeon like yourself. But not only is Moriko incredibly unlikely to leave without fair warning, but also... so what if she does leave? It'd be her choice and her voice speaking - not some imp's - and she's earned the right to both.

Even if she left you could always invite her to come back some day, then continue to work hard on the Dungeon so you can give her a challenge worthy of the earth pulse's stirring. Never let your fear of losing someone get in the way of doing right by them, one way or another.

>Trick the dream imp into revealing something
You know the imp took Moriko's life force somehow, whether through a curse or the shared connection of demonic blood, or whatnot. Can you get it to talk about its connection? Maybe something not entirely wasteful will come from it. The imp issue does need to be resolved sooner rather than later. It'd be great if you could restore Moriko to her full vim and vitality and get her to resolve her issues with her heritage - or at least come to peace with it better.
>>
No. 1040391 ID: f1cb5b

Well... ok, she's kind of right.

I mean, you keep hesitating at the last moment. You end up a step away from just forcing Moriko to confront something that she feels intense personal shame about but is honestly something pretty amazing.

"Shadow" doesn't mean evil, and she comes from a place where they teach the opposite of that. Demonic heritage doesn't mean bad things. You flirt with her at the worst times, refuse to admit any real attachment, and keep letting her wallow in her own self loathing instead of confronting the problem that's been eating at her.

You are literally staring at a magic creature that you can track through a series of magic mishaps to containing Moriko's demonic connection and your answer was to dominate it, keep it around, and hope she takes care of it herself.

Moriko is your champion. Losing her would be losing a piece of this new identity you built. You ARE worried about it, even though you tell yourself you aren't. You're worried she'll continue to get weaker, become hopeless, and leave.

When you push her and she pushes back, and you don't want to have whatever happened to you before happen again, so you retreat and doubt yourself. You wait, and bide, and hope it works out on it's own.

But it's never going to work out on it's own, and not doing anything will lead to failure. Your own mind is telling you Deem, this new golem body has dreams like the humans do, and your own mind lurking beneath the surface, the one that remembers all the long years of labyrinth game, is telling you to quit being stupid and afraid.
>>
No. 1040486 ID: 550cca
File 166012561633.png - (30.29KB , 800x600 , imp_recations.png )
1040486

>It's simple, you must seduce the imp. With a smooch.
That's not going to happen.

>Oh you're dreaming again. No antlers!
Something's not right... no they're here?

>If it aimed to get a rise out of you... well, it has. But the response can still be measured.
It's trying to provoke me? How dare it!

>Trick the dream imp into revealing something
You know the imp took Moriko's life force somehow, whether through a curse or the shared connection of demonic blood, or whatnot. Can you get it to talk about its connection?
"What is your relationship to Moriko?" I say to the imp.

The imp cackles. "I thought you were supposed to know everything, Deem! Dungeons and monsters and demons are all your rock for a brain are good for right?" The imp wriggles on the spot. "No, I've got a better one, what's yours Deem?"

"..."

"You don't even know that, do you?!" she chortles.

>Well... ok, she's kind of right.
That's not what I want to hear.

>I mean, you keep hesitating at the last moment. You end up a step away from just forcing Moriko to confront something that she feels intense personal shame about but is honestly something pretty amazing.
It's something that's controlled her entire life, I don't want it to overshadow her life here too.

>"Shadow" doesn't mean evil, and she comes from a place where they teach the opposite of that. Demonic heritage doesn't mean bad things. You flirt with her at the worst times, refuse to admit any real attachment, and keep letting her wallow in her own self loathing instead of confronting the problem that's been eating at her.
All of you keep pushing me to give her something I don't have! My Heart is barren, there is no future there!

>You are literally staring at a magic creature that you can track through a series of magic mishaps to containing Moriko's demonic connection and your answer was to dominate it, keep it around, and hope she takes care of it herself.
I don't have an easy answer! I don't even know for sure if they are connected! Am I just jumping at shadows?

>Moriko is your champion. Losing her would be losing a piece of this new identity you built. You ARE worried about it, even though you tell yourself you aren't. You're worried she'll continue to get weaker, become hopeless, and leave.
She can't go, I won't let her go, she needs me!

>When you push her and she pushes back, and you don't want to have whatever happened to you before happen again, so you retreat and doubt yourself. You wait, and bide, and hope it works out on it's own.
>But it's never going to work out on it's own, and not doing anything will lead to failure. Your own mind is telling you Deem, this new golem body has dreams like the humans do, and your own mind lurking beneath the surface, the one that remembers all the long years of labyrinth game, is telling you to quit being stupid and afraid.
I don't want it to break her, like- I don't want it to happen.

The imp pokes me. "Are you even listening?"

"What, do you have more insults for me?"

The imp rocks back in the air, legs crossed. "Ah, your fecund dungeon is a bad sham knowing seeing what you're really like, your branches are silly looking and your fruit smell!"

I frown at it.

"Oh, and stop trying to be taller and puffing out your chest! No-one's going to think you're mature!"

"I am very mature!"

"You're a dumb whiny baby!"

"Am not!"
>>
No. 1040487 ID: 550cca
File 166012564918.png - (30.44KB , 750x650 , so_you_have_chosen_death.png )
1040487

>We tell you you're stupid all the time! Punch it in the face.
Hraaagh! I punch the imp in the face.

The imp screams as it flies off.

>Hey now, there's plenty of us around to call you stupid!
>Hey, I resent that. We do it all the time! We're not about to let you take our job.
>Utter crud. You are amply awarded by yours truly with a running commentary whenever mistakes be made - however much you may groan to hear it - and you've received implicit criticism both asked and unasked from your denizens before.
You're next if you keep your attitude up.
>>
No. 1040488 ID: 550cca
File 166012569052.png - (17.69KB , 720x720 , ha_ha_deems_in_danger.png )
1040488

Moriko jumps up in front of me. "Hahahah, you missed!" She sticks out her tongue. "That was just my shadow! Weren't we going to do something now? Sing a song? Have a heartfelt chat watching the stars? Play dress-ups? Should we take another bath together?~"

"... You're not Moriko." I say.

Moriko pouts. "So now you want to say who I can or can't be? Unbelievable Deem!"

>Not so. The recruitment, the garden, assorted pep talks, they've all gone fine. You have it in you to say the right things, and you have, confidently, before. Otherwise you'd not have them here at all, let alone as a budding... friend.
This isn't going fine at all and I need famuli, not friends!

>Moriko is remarkable, even despite her own internal troubles. She's thoughtful, strong and bra-
Moriko presses forward, eyes alight with mischief. "I know, we should we duel again! If I win, this time I'll be the master and you can be my cute little servant!"

"N-no, that's never going to happen again!" I say.

"Oh maybe you can be my cute big maid instead?" She leans in. "Let's seal it with a kiss!"

Something hits my head.
>>
No. 1040489 ID: 550cca
File 166012573968.png - (33.97KB , 800x600 , the_frogs_are_gone_and_everyone_is_happy_deem.png )
1040489

I raise an arm to fend off Stargazer's pats.

"Reisarf why are you here?"

"Oh well Merud and Moriko thought we should let you sleep but I thought you didn't like sleeping? And I have a favour to ask!"

I blink.

>Deem, last time you dreamt I suspected an outside source, but now I'm starting to wonder if something isn't rising from your subconscious. Fears and worries, minor matters magnified, perhaps.
Whatever's causing these dreams, being so overdrawn on mana has to be what is causing me to fall asleep. I need to do something about my levels of mana.

>As for Alkaline, once you're awake you should have an extended, serious conversation about your role in her life, and also bring some pre-screened books for her. Find out what kind of books she likes in general, so you can find more of that kind for her, ones that don't have anything too objectionable in them.
I'm starting to wonder if those stupid books are worth getting in another fight over!

"What is this favour?" I venture as Reisarf and Stargazer continue to just watch me.

"Things happened and Hin's worried you'll get mad, so can you promise you're not going to get mad?"

"That makes me think I need to get mad." I say.

"Oh, that's not what I wanted to happen." Reisarf says.

I feel exhausted already. How am I going to handle this?
>>
No. 1040490 ID: 15c72a

>>1040486
>My Heart is barren, there is no future there!
What does that even mean? You long for a family, you treat your denizens with respect and kindness, perhaps even affection. How can that be "barren"? What is the problem, exactly?

>>1040487
>You're next if you keep your attitude up.
I'd like to see you try. No really, I want to see what that would look like.

>>1040489
>mana problems
Uh, didn't you just get the earth pulse pumping by fighting those frogs? You shouldn't be mana-starved...
>something happened
Promise to have a reasonable level of anger.
>>
No. 1040492 ID: 9ab9f7

Books I think can be handled another time. Alkaline could've been handled better but- this is on us for not properly advising, teenagers are tricky to handle and can be moody. Maybe try again once she's had time to cool off, she's probably frustrated at how she walked into the frog's trap and conflicted between wanting to be independent and you swooping in to help salvage things being actually needed.

As for Hin, well, there's a chance it's the amusing kind of thing that happened and not the frustrating kind, maybe Hin misjudged her size trying to get back into the dungeon and got stuck or something. Let's go see what mess she's gotten herself in and hope it's the former.

Thankfully it was just a dream, although continuing low mana levels is a bit concerning, is it better than yesterday at least?
>>
No. 1040493 ID: 22e820

>>1040489
You’re too tired to get mad mad, so tell Reisarf so and have him come out with it.

The whole «promise me you won’t be mad» at least indicates it can’t be TOO bad. A true crisis should have invoked more haste and less excuses.
>>
No. 1040494 ID: 1ae008

You let Stargazer eat the hole in space? Good choice. We can’t get mad about our denizens growing.
And yes, it is worth addressing again, bad taste in trashy novels can be a lifelong affliction.
>>
No. 1040495 ID: 9caba2

>>1040489
It might be prudent to take up some of that meditating Moriko does to keep your feelings in check.
Though getting extra gold is the more pressing matter.

Hopefully Hin just accidentally smushed something.
>>
No. 1040496 ID: 7397c3

>>1040487
>You're next if you keep your attitude up.
Hah, nice try, but I'm calling your bluff. You keep huffing and puffing, but the blowing down just keeps failing yo occur; if you could do something to us for being impudent, you'd have done it by now. We're not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with us.
>>
No. 1040497 ID: 30b9f6

>You let Stargazer eat the hole in space?
Oh hey, that's new, isn't it? Interesting. I think that's just a trick of perspective though, since we are in the heart chamber where it's located. Definitely not an eye gazing straight at us.

>wat do
Actually, before we get too distracted, Reisarf has a tendency to be laconic about things, so maybe clarify whether there's a need to respond with speed? If there is, get moving.

If not, mitigate incoming annoyance by getting a cup of something - cacofee? - and grabbing a slice of cake mimic on your way out. Maybe some food to slow-digest into mana can put a bit more pep in your step.

Uh, incidentally, have you investigated yourself for curses lately?
>>
No. 1040498 ID: 12b116

Well let's try to not get TOO mad. We need to know what she broke first.
>>
No. 1040513 ID: 899c9f

The reaction will be proportionate to the problem. After this week, your denizens are still finding ways to surprise you.

>>1040497
>digest food into mana
the cake mimic won't help with that, but since you made this golem into a homunculus maybe a balanced diet of slow-release mana really will help you. You shouldn't be passing out from mana starvation in the middle of a dungeon siege... Perhaps it's something else?
>>
No. 1040528 ID: 552024

Promise you'll listen to the explanation before deciding how mad to be.

Also, did Reisarf's hair always have that color at the ends? That seems new. And it's longer, and he's taller? Maybe that's part of the "things".
>>
No. 1040559 ID: f1cb5b

The way you always do, with mild irritation and an all-encompassing knowledge of exactly how to use whatever bullshit you have at hand to make a solution to whatever problem they've created.

I'm pretty sure whatever it is going to be trivial except in how irritating fixing it will be.
>>
No. 1040579 ID: 87a35c
File 166021334656.png - (41.30KB , 800x600 , tell_me_whats_going_on_and_bring_me_food.png )
1040579

>My Heart is barren, there is no future there!
What does that even mean? You long for a family, you treat your denizens with respect and kindness, perhaps even affection. How can that be "barren"? What is the problem, exactly?
...

You must have misheard.

Anyway I don't have time for this!

>Reisarf has a tendency to be laconic about things, so maybe clarify whether there's a need to respond with speed?
"Is this problem urgent?"

Reisarf shakes her head.

>If not, mitigate incoming annoyance by getting a cup of something - cacoffee? - and grabbing a slice of cake mimic on your way out. Maybe some food to slow-digest into mana can put a bit more pep in your step.
>The cake mimic won't help with that, but since you made this golem into a homunculus maybe a balanced diet of slow-release mana really will help you.
"Then I'm going to have breakfast."

"It's closer to dinner." Reisarf says.

"Then I'd better hurry up."

A golem brings me some leftovers and Merud brings me some freshly brewed cacoffee. This isn't bad, I should do this more often.

"Merud, where is your cape?" I say.

My golemeter winces. "We were short on numbers so I tried to reactivate the golems you made in town to see if they could be of any help in fending off the frogs. I, uh, Centaur has it now."

"I seem to recall a night, not so long ago, where I told you - at length! - about some of the problems Kallia and I had with that golem."

He chuckles uneasily and slinks off when he has a chance.

>Also, did Reisarf's hair always have that color at the ends? That seems new. And it's longer, and he's taller? Maybe that's part of the "things".
It looks like Reisarf is a girl again and has been trying to pack more mana into her Secondary Storage. I think the hair's the only physical distortion from using it.

>Uh, didn't you just get the earth pulse pumping by fighting those frogs? You shouldn't be mana-starved...
I dug deeply into my reserves to cast both Churn the Earth and Verdant Chamber that night on the town. I feel a little better now but I'd liken it to a sprain, I have yet to pack my available mana back into replenishing that foundation.

>Books I think can be handled another time. Alkaline could've been handled better but- this is on us for not properly advising, teenagers are tricky to handle and can be moody. Maybe try again once she's had time to cool off, she's probably frustrated at how she walked into the frog's trap and conflicted between wanting to be independent and you swooping in to help salvage things being actually needed.
True, this isn't an immediate crisis either.

>Yes, it is worth addressing again, bad taste in trashy novels can be a lifelong affliction.
I'm not falling for your tricks this time.

>You let Stargazer eat the hole in space? Good choice. We can’t get mad about our denizens growing.
That wouldn't be the worse state of affairs. "Did Stargazer eat the spatial anomaly?" I ask.

"What?" Reisarf says. Stargazer waggles at the light-edged sphere of darkness nestled in her hoop. "Oh, we were thinking about cake and the void shard, and we managed to dig this out as well, I think it'll help with our mana!"

I think it's too early in the day for me to put up with unravelling this one.

>Promise you'll listen to the explanation before deciding how mad to be.
"In that case, I'll hear your explanation before I decide how mad I'm going to be." I say to Reisarf. My alienist opens her mouth. "The worse the explanation the madder I'll get." I quickly add.

Reisarf clamps her mouth shut and looks intensely thoughtful for a few seconds. "Hin's worried you'll get mad because she accidentally absorbed the void shard from the spatial anomaly when we dug it up."

I blink. "Is that all?" I ask. She was the only person who was going to be able to make much use of it at the moment anyway, it was essentially a choice of her or Reisarf for gaining an alternative ability. I believe it was that slime one? It's nice to have but I would prefer to be putting my resources to work.

"That's it!" Reisarf nods in relief.

Time to see Hin.
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No. 1040580 ID: 87a35c
File 166021354560.png - (34.18KB , 720x720 , reptilihin.png )
1040580

>The reaction will be proportionate to the problem. After this week, your denizens are still finding ways to surprise you.
"Uh, hi." Hin says, standing next to the bridge to my dungeon looking slightly larger and considerably more reptilian save in one or two respects.

"REISARF, I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND!" I say. "YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE DESCRIPTIVE!"

"Reisarf, why didn't you say anything?!" Hin says.

"Oh no." Reisarf says quietly. Stargazer pats Reisarf consolingly.

"It's just a potiony thing!" Hin says to me. "Doyle made some 'You are what you eat' sort of thing and, uh -" Hin pats herself down. "I might have overindulged on spitters. And then that slime started looking really good too... Reisarf confirmed it should wear off!"

"I can see that! That's not what I'm angry about!" I say at slightly lower volume.

"So you are angry about the shard?" Hin says.

"IT'S NOT THAT EITHER!"

"What?"

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Hin Ivac
Lvl 3 Half-Ogre Blacksmith (2=>3)

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

A blacksmith unaccustomed to success after a life of struggle. Easily befriended by creatures everywhere. Will she rise to the heights she seeks?

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Detected Abilities
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Giant Blood: Great power over the physical world. Hin is resistant to any effects that would reduce her physical condition and gets an additional bonus on effects that would enhance it.

Item Creation: Hin is trained in the skills and secrets of creating magical items. She can temporarily enhance tools and gear or, with the correct setup, create permanent magical items.

Conjure Figment: Projects the shape of something Hin visualises. It has only a little substance to it. Useful for planning.

Gluttonous Ogre: Consuming food recovers Hin's stamina and gives her a temporary boost of health. Overeating lets her overcome injuries and illness faster. Hin can eat a wider range of food without ill effect and resists ingested poisons and curses. Potions have an increased effect, as do other food related special effects.

NEW - Glutinous Ogre: Hin's body produces slime. She can reflexively sweat tiny amounts of it out of her skin to give herself some protection against fire, cold, acid and cutting attacks. She can also spit slime. Secreted slime can be made sticky, slippery or acidic. Hin can allow abilities that only affect slimes to affect her, at reduced effectiveness.

NEW - Dragon of the Orange Crags: While dwelling within the Orange Crags, power slowly flows into Hin as reinforcement magic. Within a few hours, Hin gains a boost to size, Power, Vitality and most abilities; a slight impairment to Speed, a powerful acidic breath and can consume gelatinous substances at no harm to herself, possibly boosting her power. When fully transformed, the added strength is on par with the spells reinforcing an elite guardian of Deem's dungeon. It swiftly wears off should she leave.

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New Ability
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Gelforge: Hin can forge items out of liquids, although viscous ones work best. As part of working it, she can harden such substances into a glassy solid, although the exact properties of the material depend on the effort put in and liquid used.

OR

Blue Skies Monster: Hin can soak up sunlight and store it. She gains a small boost to her Speed the more light she's stored and can expend it as healing magic, but only for others. Conjure Figments can be combined with this light to swiftly create tools, weapons, armour and other items with substance, although they degrade over time if not stabilised afterwards.

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Hin has spent a considerable amount of time in my Earth dungeon which is slowly gravitating towards adding a Shadow aspect, had a lot to do with slimes and potions and other watery things, and developed a potential ability that enhances her existing weak Light affinity? That's just perverse! No, I'm getting distracted...

I don't usually like to have locus guardians as it disperses my most important denizens into the lands about my dungeon, but somehow Hin has achieved this status by accident. And despite not originally being recruited to fight at all, she's also somehow become my second strongest denizen?

>It might be prudent to take up some of that meditating Moriko does to keep your feelings in check.
I'm trying to create a labyrinth of deadly traps and creatures for adventurers to prove their daring. It shouldn't be this stressful!

>The way you always do, with mild irritation and an all-encompassing knowledge of exactly how to use whatever bullshit you have at hand to make a solution to whatever problem they've created.
There's nothing to actually be fixed by I am still exasperated! I sit Hin down to explain this.

"Wait so I'm like the queen of the lizards now?" Hin asks.

"Only while you feel like living in a slime forest." I say.

Hin rubs her snout. "Yeah that seems like a sometimes thing. It's not going to cause any problems, right?"

"No, you'll be fine. You've got something else coalescing though, is there a material you'd prefer to work with?"

"Uh both seem really cool!" Hin says. "You're the ancient dungeon that's seem all sorts of crazy stuff get made, what do you think?"

My natural instinct is to push her towards Gelforging, but maybe I'm being too hasty? Both offer a lot of possibilities, and despite being narrower Blue Skies Monster has other benefits attached.
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No. 1040581 ID: 15c72a

>huge buff from being in Orange Crags
Wow. Uh, can you use that spatial distortion thing to create a portal between that location and your base? That would make utilizing the buff a lot easier if she lived there, but I guess she already said it should only be a sometimes thing.
Ask what the difficulties would be with it. Perhaps we can solve her objections with enough magical shenanigans? Heck, if you can extend the dungeon towards the Orange Crags enough, could we have part of the dungeon count as being in that area, and thus allow her to receive the buff while defending the dungeon? Or can you pull some bullshit and drag the Orange Crags closer? Or pull even bigger bullshit and transplant part of it into the dungeon?

>if not stabilized afterwards
Ok but how do we stabilize them? If we can actually do that, then she'd effectively be able to make items out of thin air. On the other hand, we have a slime queen, AND Hin can already spit slime, so slime is effectively infinite as well for the Gelforge ability. So both abilities let us manufacture items effectively for free, in theory.
Gelforge lets us make a greater variety of items, since different liquids make different things, but Blue Skies gives us some healing light... That seems to be the main difference, assuming stabilizing items isn't a huge deal.

I have a question. Can that healing light heal non-physical wounds? If so, that might be worth it. We're having issues with curses and of course Moriko's spiritual damage, and no clear solutions. You could also try, ugh, researching ways to use light magic in your dungeon, with this as a springboard. The brighter the light the darker the shadow, right?
But if neither of those sound viable, Gelforge is definitely the way to go. We've got healing potions for physical injury!
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No. 1040582 ID: 899c9f

Materials of light and materials of liquid are both bold new frontiers. Go with gelforge, and one day she may learn to forge lava itself!
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No. 1040583 ID: 9a2966

Deem? As much as you are upset by the sheer coincidence of it all and the Light aspect (probably because she was working outdoors at the time?), it seems to me that congratulations are still in order! Hin has levelled and become more than she was and that is no cause for dismay.

Gelforging is useful and you do have a new and upgraded smithy for her to play around with it in, but as of now you also don't really have anyone on your team capable of doing healing. Maybe that'll change if you get the mushroom handler on your side - there might be healing synergies there - but as we don't know, it's actually a tough choice. What does she think? You hired her to be a smith, but she's been feeling adventurous of late and maybe that's what prompted her growth.

Ask if she wants her smithing work to continue to be her focus or she wants to explore becoming a proper fighter. You'd prefer her to be a smith, yes? But her potential can also lean in other directions it seems, so it seems fair to get her own considerations.

>considerations
The Blue Skies synergy with Conjure Figments means Hin can create light armor and weapons for herself even when gigantified (not that the gigantification is a permanent thing, mind), so saving on those resources is very good. If she's going to be stationed at the Orange Crags semi-often, I'd say DO pick up the Blue Skies, she'll be outdoor anyway and without easy access to reinforcements, so any edge she gets is good and any aid (i.e. healing) she can give to whoever else is stationed there to support her is also good.

If she's not or if you really don't want the light-aspected trait in her, then Gelforging is definitely the best - there's probably oodles of things you can use the orange slime, Alkaline's slime and now Hin's own slime for use in forging, plus I'm sure with our fecund focus there's going to be rare saps and oils and juices and other biological liquid-y things to come.

One concern, mind, if she stays big and out there - can the resurrection matrix handle her as she is now? Won't her respawn be very... cramped?
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No. 1040584 ID: 7397c3

>>1040579
>You must have misheard.
We cannot, by definition, mishear.

>>1040580
>maybe I'm being too hasty? Both offer a lot of possibilities, and despite being narrower Blue Skies Monster has other benefits attached.
What? No! Come on, Deem, you of all people should know better than be seduced by the lure of Light. Sure, it might sound useful, bit you know where that leads.
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No. 1040586 ID: 0abafa

DEFY THE SKY TYRANT! STEAL THEIR POWER AND USE IT AGAINST THEM!
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No. 1040588 ID: e07ed2

Blue Skies Monster lets you boss the sky power around. Sounds good to me. Also, the faces on the mugs are cute.
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No. 1040595 ID: 58dd24

Blue skies monster includes a healing ability and an upgrade to Hin's neat little illusion power that makes it actually do something.

Having to rely on potions with side effects for all our healing is how Hin got all weird in the first place. And I have seen some pretty neat dungeon puzzles based on a heavily shadowed room and one powerful light source, which Hin could make for you. A sword of light displayed on the far side of the room, which will banish the shadow creatures which relentlessly harry the adventurers trying to reach it? A rotating beacon of light which the adventurers must remain within to stay safe? There are OPTIONS here.

Gelforge would give us another use for all this sludge we have lying around, but it doesn't seem like the produced products from that are likely to be of very high quality.
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No. 1040598 ID: 36784c

>>1040580
>considerably more reptilian save in one or two respects.
Yes, we can see her boobs have gotten bigger. You don’t need to point that out to us.

I’m honestly more surprised that Reisarf didn’t think that Hin becoming partly dragon would be important to tell you!

>"It's just a potiony thing!"
>"Doyle made some 'You are what you eat' sort of thing
Deem, maybe you should try some of that stuff and eat a few spitters. If you become partly a dragon, then maybe you’d get a little taller.

>ability choice
Gelforge. With all the different types of gels we have access to, we should be able to make good use of that ability.
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No. 1040606 ID: f1cb5b

I wouldn't want to inflict either of those on Hin. Certainly sweating goop is going to negatively affect her social life. Probably should keep her focused towards the orange dragon since she doesn't HAVE to live there, it just means you can have a side quest with her in it. She shouldn't be fighting anyway, even if she is quite powerful, we didn't ask her too and she expressly said she didn't want to and has been helping with combat ANYWAY.

Seriously, what do you when things form that you just... don't want? That aren't helpful, and don't fit in with what you are building. It's not like you can replace Hin, at this point she's one your most loyal and competent denizens.

And hey, at least be relieved this is something you don't really need to do anything about. Definitely urge her towards Gelforging, as that's what she is, a Smith. With ready supply of slime as a material she can create slime specific weaponry for the slimes.
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No. 1040610 ID: 860984

>>1040580
>>My natural instinct is to push her towards Gelforging, but maybe I'm being too hasty?

No, Gelforging does seem great, and synergizes with her ability to now sweat slimes. Plus, she'll be able to make stuff out of Acids among other things, and could open up a lot of trap crafting options. I can see making like, Jelly armor and such things too. Flexibity is nice.
Additionally, on top of keeping Hin more inline with the themes of the dungeon, with Gelforging and Glutinous Ogre, she'll already be able to quick forge simple things just by spitting/sweating out some slime, and then shaping it, no need for light powers. Lot of tricky potential there. Plus, she can now work better with Alkaline since she gets slime benefits, and any new types of slime She produces in the future can be possible new materials. And more immediately, She can turn or slime hoplons into better soldiers by toughening up their slime armor.
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No. 1040612 ID: 2f88b2

Blue Skies Monster would enable much faster crafting of intricate objects (assuming stabilization isn't too much of a pain), whereas Gelforge permits more exotic materials. Blue Skies Monster also grants healing magic. So far "make a long list of complex mechanisms" hasn't been a common task, here, and as mentioned Hin's original purpose wasn't combat, so I'd lean towards Gelforge based on historical happenings - BUT, if either of those things changed, my answer might, too. Do you want complex (puzzle) mechanisms? Does Hin want to do more combat?
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No. 1040613 ID: 02e7e9

Hm, BSM I think. Gelforge is about exotic goo stuff, and we could develop better quality goo to use over time. Bsm opens more unconventional paths though, and shadow is most striking when combined with light
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No. 1040619 ID: f57349

I'd be in favor of Blue Skies Monster. If we've got an in-house source of light-based healing, that means one less potential excuse for somebody to try and get another priest involved, and rapid prototyping seems like exactly what we need given the ongoing sense of time pressure. Even if we end up under siege, Hin could use the hidden valley to recharge.

Slime crafting could be good synergy later on, but seems like a bad idea at this particular moment, since it would be intruding on Alkaline's specialty while she's right in the middle of trying to more clearly define an identity for herself.
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No. 1040620 ID: f57349

>>1040598
>If you become partly a dragon, then maybe you’d get a little taller.
Or we could take this opportunity to make Chakarchelou even more dragon-y.
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No. 1040623 ID: 36784c

>>1040620
Yeah, that could work!
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No. 1040625 ID: f1cb5b

I wonder if you could mix gelforging, a little golemetry, and living slime to make some kind of flexible slime exoskeleton around our slimes making a few "hard" slimes to act as a more durable tank to distract while Alkaline's other slimes ambush from hidden positions and shadows.
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No. 1040631 ID: 2a82d3

ooo Dragon Lady. Slimy skin's an issue, no less cool/cute. I know, not Dragon technically, but that just means she's a great curveball boss to throw at the end of a Dragon area.

Blue Skies Monster would synergize well for that. She doesn't even need to fight, just make some new minions friends from her new domain and they can guard her while she boosts them.

Stick some Fire energy on her, and she could develop into a Master of All Elements. Or a hot mess, but, well...
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No. 1040635 ID: 0d74b4

With both slimes and cauldron, along with pure mana, you have a decent array of liquids. It would feel like a waste if Hin were unable to take advantage of your fluids.
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No. 1040641 ID: fec07f

>>1040580
We don't really have a medic at this point so I'm pretty tempted by blue skies
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No. 1040644 ID: 899c9f

Let's contemplate our goozilla a bit more. This is a proud moment for us- this would be evoking memories of our old dragon Ashwing, if we had memories anyway. She should climb up into the hidden valley and stop sleeping out front, she deserves a hero’s welcome home.
And now, Hin has an innate connection to the land very close by. Your subconscious needn't worry about her going away forever now!
She ate all or most of the slime spitters? Alkaline will be relieved to hear that, so long as she doesn't think she's next.
There are so many liquids we could forge with - liquid curse, slime, both of which are available in massive quantities. Alcohol, ice, ice cream... Truly endless possibilities. Does Gelforging work fast enough to have any effect in combat, even just thickening slime a little?
Lastly, how soon do these various effects wear off, because this is very much what our sponsor likes to see. You could even top her off with hydro pump now so her mana doesn't have to do all the work.
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No. 1040647 ID: 02e7e9

>>1040625
Ah yes, the fabled Exo-Gelatin
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No. 1040648 ID: 860984

>>1040647
>>Ah yes, the fabled Exo-Gelatin

I feel like this is a joke, but I feel like this isnot only a real possibility, but that its a better version of what the Slime Hoplites are doing already.

Also, A lot of voices really seem to be citing our lack of a healer for the Blue Sky Monster, and I feel I have to point out that we just dont have one YET. Our lack of a healer is temporary, but this choice for Hin is apparently permanent. More ddenizens will come, and because of the matrix no one is in danger of dying, but weve only got the one Hin, see we should plan with her future in mind. If we choose the light healing now, and it does end up interfering with her integration into our dungeons nature, and/or we end up getting someone else who can heal later, its going to feeel like a bit of a waste, especially since Hin didnt really sign on to be a medic in the first place.
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No. 1040667 ID: 2a82d3

>>1040648
Lack of healers issue is only a temporary issue, but consider how much Light itself is a going concern. It is clearly asserting itself here.

It could be because Hin's natural affinity for it grows to scale with her as she does. This is only going to get harder to repress later on, so it would be better to direct her in her best interests not just ours. Remember we're not just dictating her job here, but we're deciding her future, so she would grow as a person if she had a life beyond that.* Learning when to concede our own interests in favor of our vassals is just a good management skill, since these conflicts like this are always going to keep happening.

Also consider the world itself may be counter-balancing our Shadow development. We already arguing against the sky here. Are we really prepared to fight another element as well? Perhaps we can focus our resources better if we let this go. In that respect, ceding to it now could deescalate an unnecessary conflict before it happens, like a controlled demolition.

*I'm not just saying that because I hope she befriends a few kobold tinkered.
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No. 1040668 ID: f2320a

>>1040580
I guess we need to turn orange hills into gluttony valley
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No. 1040684 ID: a3629a

Gelforge seems more useful inside of the dungeon while Blue Skies Monster looks better if she will spend more time outside.

More important that her power is... How she feels about this changes? A lot is happening very fast and it might be disturbing for her. She has become gigant (not only in blood) and reptilian. This may be traumatic for her.

As guide of your denizens you should find what she want to do with her life. If she has become your second best fighter when she didn't want to be a fighter, then something is not going right here...
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No. 1040701 ID: f1cb5b

Deem, if you have some finger of god repercussions you can lay down on those insane voices suggesting you invite sky power into your dungeon, I'd suggest you do so.

Blasphemy.
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No. 1040736 ID: 58dd24

>>1040648
Lack of healers is only a temporary problem if we SOLVE it at some point. Every opportunity to gain one is going to be a choice, and so far we have not picked it. I'm thinking we should choose it when offered a chance.
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No. 1040737 ID: 13d480

>>1040580
Given all these physical changes to her body, Hin isn't going to end up with some sort of body dysphoria or something, right?
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No. 1040789 ID: 87a35c
File 166045707558.png - (28.79KB , 800x500 , goosmith_or_shinesmith.png )
1040789

>Deem? As much as you are upset by the sheer coincidence of it all and the Light aspect (probably because she was working outdoors at the time?), it seems to me that congratulations are still in order! Hin has levelled and become more than she was and that is no cause for dismay.
You're right, I'm letting my own tiredness and sourness preoccupy me. I let Hin know I'm proud of what she's managed to accomplish. We'll need to have a proper party in a day or two once things are a little more back to normal.

I feel a little wrong-footed by the frog menace's evaporation. I have a vague sense of what happened, but that dream felt realer. Tactically there weren't a lot of surprises: Hin stomped in with her axe, Reisarf and Stargazer provided spell bombardment whle she carried them and my denizens in the dungeon rallied and caught the frogs in a pincer attack. Hin's quite bruised on her legs and is looking forward to a nice hot soak once she's back to her normal size.

>>huge buff from being in Orange Crags
>Wow. Uh, can you use that spatial distortion thing to create a portal between that location and your base? That would make utilizing the buff a lot easier if she lived there, but I guess she already said it should only be a sometimes thing.
>Ask what the difficulties would be with it.
She would be camping out in a monster infested stretch of woods by herself.

>Heck, if you can extend the dungeon towards the Orange Crags enough, could we have part of the dungeon count as being in that area, and thus allow her to receive the buff while defending the dungeon? Or can you pull some bullshit and drag the Orange Crags closer? Or pull even bigger bullshit and transplant part of it into the dungeon?
Hmmm, perhaps.

>One concern, mind, if she stays big and out there - can the resurrection matrix handle her as she is now? Won't her respawn be very... cramped?
She would be resurrected at her normal size.

>What does she think? You hired her to be a smith, but she's been feeling adventurous of late and maybe that's what prompted her growth.
"Do you think you want to do things in those crags more often?"

Hin rubs her chin. "It's been neat but I think a break would be good first. I'm all bigged out for the moment! Looking forward to a night in my own bed."

>The Blue Skies synergy with Conjure Figments means Hin can create light armor and weapons for herself even when gigantified.
>Blue Skies Monster includes a healing ability and an upgrade to Hin's neat little illusion power that makes it actually do something.
That's true, it would be very useful if she does spend more time at the Orange Crags.

>Additionally, on top of keeping Hin more inline with the themes of the dungeon, with Gelforging and Glutinous Ogre, she'll already be able to quick forge simple things just by spitting/sweating out some slime, and then shaping it, no need for light powers.
But making things out of light doesn't give an overwhelming advantage there. We could simply store a few spare pieces of equipment there.

>he'll be able to make stuff out of Acids among other things, and could open up a lot of trap crafting options. I can see making like, Jelly armor and such things too. Flexibility is nice.
>I'm sure with our fecund focus there's going to be rare saps and oils and juices and other biological liquid-y things to come.
>Lot of tricky potential there. Plus, she can now work better with Alkaline since she gets slime benefits, and any new types of slime she produces in the future can be possible new materials. And more immediately, she can turn our slime hoplites into better soldiers by toughening up their slime armor.
>I wonder if you could mix gelforging, a little golemetry, and living slime to make some kind of flexible slime exoskeleton around our slimes making a few "hard" slimes to act as a more durable tank to distract while Alkaline's other slimes ambush from hidden positions and shadows.
Chatting with Hin, while she's tempted by the thought of being able to conjure up a bespoke tool for whatever she's doing, the opportunity to work with all these exotic materials is just too tempting.

We end up settling on Gelforging.

>Lastly, how soon do these various effects wear off, because this is very much what our sponsor likes to see. You could even top her off with hydro pump now so her mana doesn't have to do all the work.
Given that Olan's visit is most of a month away, not nearly long enough. She would not be able to travel back from the Orange Crags before that reinforcement has reverted either.

"You'd better start fasting if you want to sleep in the valley." I say to Hin. "You can drink a little water if you're getting thirsty but that's it."

"Aye aye."
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No. 1040790 ID: 87a35c
File 166045732908.png - (33.76KB , 720x720 , a_golem_a_map_pamameloga.png )
1040790

>I’m honestly more surprised that Reisarf didn’t think that Hin becoming partly dragon would be important to tell you!
Reisarf's priorities seem skewed at the best of times.

>Yes, we can see her boobs have gotten bigger. You don’t need to point that out to us.
I'm not quite sure how she's ended up the bustiest creature in my dungeon, they might be doubling up as slime sacs. Well as long as she doesn't make a habit of it.

>What do you when things form that you just... don't want? That aren't helpful, and don't fit in with what you are building.
Abilities form because they are compatible with their user. If a direction of growth is undesired, I can prune such things from a denizen though it is taxing on them. If they have a weakness develop, that is much more difficult again, but I can at least shape what direction that takes.

>>"Doyle made some 'You are what you eat' sort of thing
>Deem, maybe you should try some of that stuff and eat a few spitters. If you become partly a dragon, then maybe you’d get a little taller.
They're not actually dragons and I can already become as tall as I want with Gigant Mode. I am trying to conserve mana. Hin got that title on the basis of being a large, fearsome creature with a deadly breath dominating an area.

>Or we could take this opportunity to make Chakarchelou even more dragon-y.
It might be worth trying to encourage Chakarchelou to develop some more.

>Also, the faces on the mugs are cute.
I think Merud has been making them. He and Reisarf seem to be the cacoffee aficionados of the lot.

I now have three weeks until Olan arrives, and need to think about how to occupy myself and my denizens for the next week. There's work on the dungeon to be done to get it into its planned layout, and I need to be better about checking in on my denizens. This week I have the following options:

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Dungeon Renovations - Pick One
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Lizard Lair: Move my Heart to its new location and refurbish the old Heart Chamber so that Chakarchelou can move in. A completed lair will boost Chakarchelou's strength. The lairs will be usable as dungeon rooms should I not focus on them, they will just be more basic and not grant their associated benefit.

Slime Lair: This has to wait until after I Delve to move the Thaumatorium, but I can do it this week if I'm conservative with other activities that require my dungeon's mana. A completed lair will boost Alkaline's slime production.

New Room: After Delving I'll have a new room 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 frogs have destroyed the statuary), perhaps they could do with a special feature?

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. This will give me slightly more advance warning of invaders too.

Overgrowth: Add a lot of plants to some of my dungeon's spaces to help provide cover and a basis for some traps, puzzles or simply raw material for harvest.

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.

Resurrection Remodel: There have been reservations about the current appearance of my Resurrection Matrix and a more harmonious design should ease the burden of my over-subscribed Matrix. I should see what ideas my denizens have come up with.

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Denizen Work - Pick Two
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MANA: I can't keep passing out like this. I need to look at options to more quickly restore and condense my mana.

Olan's Commission: Create the sample item to be crafted out of the catalysts Olan supplied. It has to be done before he arrives.

Way of the Hammerai: I need to talk to Moriko about her shadow, her past, and her future. And do it right this time.

Royal Jelly: Alkaline's going to be a full fledged slime queen soon and seems to be in a moody. Maybe I need to spend more time with her.

Alien Concerns: I should check in with Reisarf and Stargazer to see if they have any concerns. They have been doing a lot of undirected research and maybe I should find out what's useful, relevant and not dangerous.

Words With Smith: Settle with Hin how she feels about how the last few weeks have been going. She also has a lot of new abilities to try out.

Good Golemeter: Merud seems to be having a lot of golem ideas. Maybe I should check in with him.

Lizard Likes: Chakarchelou needs more appreciation, he's been a dependable guard-lizard. I could try feeding him the last of Doyle's potion and the spitter meat to see if that has a positive effect on him.

Curse Breaker: While these monster-luring fruit I'm growing are potentially useful, dropping them everywhere is getting annoying. I should put some effort towards breaking the curse.

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

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, and get them practiced on getting into position and working together.

Material Science: Between Alkaline's new slimes, Reisarf's material blending spell and Hin's enhancing smithing, I should see what can be produced for use in the dungeon.

Garden Plotting: I should work on propagating my existing plants: the oreberry bush, bomb plant, a sticky bomb seed, and the kindly mushrooms, and see what other useful plants I can gather, such as the slime-adapted plants from the crags and the strangleroots.

Amphibian Assault: The frogs have definitely gotten more belligerent after the devil bear's death and me Churning the Earth. I should send a small squad to keep their numbers under control.

Potion Recipes: Use the Brewery to work with Alkaline and Doyle to create a stable recipe - a potion that can be created reliably without much effort. Due to the limited ingredients, they are likely to have a side effect.
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No. 1040791 ID: e07ed2

>Resurrection Remodel: There have been reservations about the current appearance of my Resurrection Matrix and a more harmonious design should ease the burden of my over-subscribed Matrix. I should see what ideas my denizens have come up with.

this seems like it has the biggest impact and it's not the kind of thing to keep postponing.

>Way of the Hammerai: I need to talk to Moriko about her shadow, her past, and her future. And do it right this time.

>Royal Jelly: Alkaline's going to be a full fledged slime queen soon and seems to be in a moody. Maybe I need to spend more time with her.

Ditto these two, a lot of the issues shouldn't wait too long but emotions tend to fester the worst and interpersonal issues are difficult even when they haven't reached an event horizon.
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No. 1040792 ID: 15c72a

Dungeon Renovations - Pick One
Slime Lair. Giving her her own room is a gesture that will speak volumes, and allow her to achieve the power she clearly desires. Also, it will look nice, for the visit.

Denizen Work - Pick Two
1, Way of the Hammerai. It's the most pressing denizen issue we have at the moment.
2, Lizard Likes. Mainly because Chakarchelou is cute and we haven't done much with his development in a while. We can't put this off because the potion and spitter meat could degrade...
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No. 1040793 ID: 899c9f

>the frogs have destroyed the statuary
Mhm. How convenient for you.
Start with the Baths this week, and Hin will have something to look forward to, and everyone will have somewhere to relax between busy shifts. The other priority renovations should be Chak's lair and upgrading the rez chamber before your exhibition.
Denizen work:
-Olan's commission, don't delay and you can play when it's done.
-Way of the Hammerai. Your dreams have been plagued with worries about Moriko.

We don't have enough time to have a talk with each of our denizens directly - we can't neglect Chak or Alkaline but we could postpone Reisarf and Stargazer's discussion. Merud's golem designs are of interest to Olan, so we may want to have that talk before he gets here. A new potion recipe would also be of interest.
so, tentatively, weeks 2 and 3 should be Alkaline/Hin and Merud/Chak but we'll get there when we get there.
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No. 1040797 ID: 7397c3

>>1040790
Let's start from the most urgent: Olan's Commission is time sensitive. We can't put it off, can we? That one needs to be locked in.
Lizard Likes is not required, per se, but we won't get to do it if we don't do it now.
Royal Jelly might be needed too, but we can't stop everything and focus on Alkaline every time she gets cranky. And Moriko's been this way for a while, she should be able to hold together for a bit longer, no matter what the dream imp says. MANA... yes, yes, I'm sure it's annoying, but it'll go back to normal on its own. Walk it off.
As for the other thing: I'm tempted by the Lairs, and you've been putting off moving your Heart Chamber for too long, but on the other hand the Resurrection Matrix may become a problem? Sure, it's possible nobody will die until you get around to it, and it's not like it won't work at all just be very uncomfortable, but... I dunno.
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No. 1040799 ID: 15c72a

>>1040797
We can put off the commission. This is week 1 of 3, we can do it next week or the week after.
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No. 1040803 ID: 01fe07

>>1040792
This
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No. 1040804 ID: a87877

>>1040792
Also voting for this.
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No. 1040807 ID: 7397c3

>>1040799
If we keep putting it off, we're gonna give him something shoddy. Do the job first, make sure we have something of quality, then we can do internal stuff later. Procrastinating on this is silly and unprofessional.
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No. 1040809 ID: 055838

>>1040790

Resurrection Remodel, definitely. Getting core functions of your dungeon working effectively is paramount.

Olan's Commission - Work is work, and getting this stuff ready early means being able to get a product in, which'll be good for rep.

Royal Jelly - Making sure our good slime girl is in a good mood, especially at such a major stage of development will be huge in avoiding future issues and we haven't really interacted properly with her recently.
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No. 1040810 ID: 2a82d3

>>1040790
>Lizard Lair
>Lizard Likes
Nostalgia must be tempting you to make this lizard week. Go for the latter, if you shouldn't also do the former.

>MANA
We can get more work done long-term, with our denizens at least, if she passes out less now rather than later.

>Slime Lair
Would easier for her to do if we also do >MANA
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No. 1040811 ID: 12b116

Lizard lair, mana, and talk with Alkaline
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No. 1040822 ID: 9a2966

Slime Lair - Let's get the queen teen her own room. Surely this will end well.

Good Golemeter - we've been neglecting following up on Merud for a bit, and I have a niggling suspicion he might now have continued working on Centaur despite our best warnings. Let's get ahead of a crisis for once!

Way of the Hammerai - Well, we've got her mystery shadow at hand now - as a wannabe disciple of her school, which has to be somewhat disconcerting to her. We're due for a new chat, I'd say.

Alternatively, do Olan's Commission if there's a rush on this, but I'd work that into a combo with Words With Smith in a later week.
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No. 1040895 ID: f1cb5b

Yeah, for the upgrade slime lair seems like a good bet.

Of course dealing with Morkio's problem is a priority. And as a secondary, work on Olan's commission. I'm not sure what kind of item you've got planned here, but I'm assuming Hin will be involved so maybe you two can get all chatty during that.
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No. 1040907 ID: d5b762

Exterior Works
I want more Novan History to help uncover the ancient conspiracy, but but with a public speech at the end of the month, we really need to pump our Presence...
MANA, this may not be a magic run, but Sense Magic checks are everywhere.
Olan's Commission, We've flubbed enough Court Manners checks already, let's get ahead of that for once!
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No. 1040909 ID: fec07f

>>1040790
Not sure about renovation but I think we should address our hamurai and slime as they seem to have the most pressing issues
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No. 1040910 ID: 0840c2

>>1040790
>Lizard Lair
>Olan's Commission
>Way of the Hammerai
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No. 1040911 ID: a3629a

I would say Lizard Lair and see if Chakarchelou manages to get something nice before Olan's comming (and because he deservesw a little apreciation).

About denizen interaction I would chose one Olan related and one of your denizens problems. So little time and so much to do... I think Olan's Commission, MANA, Amphibian Assault(for the visitors safety), Royal Jelly and the path of the hammerai are prioritary. If the Overgrowth is chosen, then the Potion Recipes also are something good to show Olan.

I would chose Royal Jelly because for some long time we only spent spare time on Alkaline and that is being reflected on her. For the other either MANA or Olan's Comision. MANA will give more benefit the sonner we chose is, but we also should secure Olan's Comision should the project have delays.
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No. 1040936 ID: 36784c

>>1040792
This
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No. 1040938 ID: f1cb5b

We've waited too long to confront Moriko, so that's on the agenda. I'd say as a secondary you get the item made since it's time sensitive. Maybe you can talk to Hin while you are at it, since she will likely be involved.

For the upgrade, a slime lair. Alkaline has a lot going for her but she's still inexperienced and young. A room of her own will help with her independent streak, and give her a little more room to go. Having many slimes is one of the tactics that make them effective, and this should be more true with Alkaline's slimy mixed tactics.
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No. 1041063 ID: 9ab9f7

My vote is Lizard Lair, Mana, and Way of the Hammerai. It's best to get this mana issue sorted ASAP so you have the energy and focus for the upcoming weeks.

Also to note, it's probably a good idea to keep the curse in place while you're having mana issues. If your body can get some amount of mana from eating, and the curse is prompting you to do that, then it's helping more than harming when your mana is this low.
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No. 1041069 ID: 52c889

First off, work on fixing your mana so you can operate at peak efficiency on all your other tasks. Renovate the Lizard Lair and work on curse breaking too if it’s not mana intensive. Otherwise, speak with your hammerai.
>>1041063
Eating too much will make you sleepy and fat, Deem. Snacking on cake is just empty calories.
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No. 1041092 ID: 9ab9f7

>>1041069
Shhh, I'm trying to justify letting a pretty harmless curse stick around for a little bit. Where's the fun if we get rid of it ASAP?

Besides, we do genuinely have more important things to do than Deem's figure, various denizens and projects need attention and we only have so much time. It also is actually helping with the mana somewhat!
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No. 1041094 ID: a9af05

Lizard Lair, Mana, and Royal Jelly.

>>1041092
Curse? What curse? There is no curse! *wink* ;)
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No. 1041378 ID: 87a35c
File 166098670161.png - (39.61KB , 800x600 , this_weeks_losers.png )
1041378

>Way of the Hammerai. It's the most pressing denizen issue we have at the moment.