Part 28: Update 025 The Great Cave and the HoneycombUpdate 025 The Great Cave and the Honeycomb
"So, I'm open to suggestions."
"It would be prudent to aid Micah in his quest. The simple answer is disrupting enemy Slith activity will result in a better strategic position for us to act in."
"I too find it difficult to progress in a steady manner through the constant distractions of combat at the other detritus of an unorganized society. And with the possibility of finding more Slith magic tomes, I must cautiously support at least a good reconnaissance into Slith territory.
You can't be serious! We should investigate these Scimitar people, and see if they can help.
You mean the guys who killed that Empire Patrol, and see to be residing in the prison of Exile?
You can't be serious.
And yet they already seem to have active agents, good intelligence, and a desire to protect this nation.
It does not sit well with me that we would seek to enlist the aid of these strangers when the onus of action has been placed on us.
But every minute we do the bidding of someone else is a minute we do not spend searching for an exit!
DO you really think we can escape through no resources but our own? Think, you fool! The more effort that gets put into a project, the quicker and better it can be done. By providing some small measure of aid to Micah now, we can gain more help in the future.
What he said!
But still, we have our own goals. How do we know that the King will uphold his end of the bargain?
He is nobility.
What land are you from, that such things are true?
I'm very sorry.
You need not be. I doubt you were involved in the.... colonization of my homeland.
Can we get back on the topic here? You know, the assassination of the leader of the Slithzerikai to the north?
I think we should.
Well, we were at that village up that way, and I made nice at the altar there, and I think a Slith deity or spirit asked for him to get killed.
I don't believe you.
Ember recalls her experience. You believe me.
If you would, Art? You would likely know more about this than I.
Thank you. Ember, what makes you think that a Slith god would talk to you?
I don't know!
How can you know that this wasn't one of the mages or priests at that village trying to trick you?
I know I'm right.
Look, we don't doubt what you experienced. It's just the source of it that's the issue.
Indeed. I suspect that you were deceived, though my logic was different than Art's.
Thus, it may be that the natives of Gnass wanted more human help. They seemed to feel that they were in a bad strategic position, and wanted to ally with Exile as a better prospect for their long-term needs.
Still, no need to get us involved!
It may be that this is a constant thing to try and convince the locals of Blosk and Fort Emerald of their good nature.
Rook? You're being quiet.
Your input would be very appreciated.
I'm thinking about this from Micah's perspective. We've been seeing signs in many of the towns asking for adventurers to come to the Castle, yet when we got here, we found out that only a Royal Token would let us in.
So, the only way to get said token was to perform a task for one of the Mayors of the major cities, or, I would assume, through a service to the King directly.
Therefore, how would he get the people he wanted? How would he know that whomever came to his chambers would be qualified?
And we have had evidence that the Mayors are in communication....
For those of us who have chosen a different logical path?
Allow me. The whole 'Royal Token' deal is a setup. What it really is, is a sign that the bearers are competent and capable of performing certain missions. The other mayors have rejected us out of hand because they already know we bear a token, and don't need another.
So we're... over qualified for this job?
That would seem to be the implication. Rook, you have more to say?
I'm just wondering why.
Because we're expendable, that's why.
Right, we're not army. We're just a group of individuals with no major political or military affiliation.
So, if things go wrong, we're to blame, and not the King. I hate being on this side of the deal.
Experienced, I take it?
Oh shut up.
I've made up my mind.
What's the call?
We make a move to do some recon against the Sliths. Determine what sort of opposition anyone who makes the actual attempt will encounter, and from there, make plans to pass it off to someone else. See if this Scimitar group is up to the task.
So, what shall we tell Micah then?
Nothing. I recognize him now honestly thought he was executed and he's the sort to respond to action, not words. So we're just going to leave and do our thing.
And if we don't commit to an action...
We can't be held if we try or not. Clever.
I approve. There is no sense in committing to a course of action with inadequate information.
Come on then, let's go. First stop, let's get our boat back.
I wasn't sure how to incorporate Peregrine's drinking of the Skill Potions into the story, so I'm just going to show you the before-and-after of it.
And now, he has 10 more Skill Points; I'll be doing some training at the end of the update.
I feel much more capable!
This place seems nice and quiet.
No idea why I took a picture of this. Maybe because it looked pretty?
You lose five gold.
And this is north of Almaria.
Hey, open the door please!
Seriously? We're leaving!
Yep. Pay up!
Oh, I can't wait to get our boat back.
Don't mind if we do.
Sounds like my kind of fellow.
No, I don't head back for that in this update.
This has to be the lava field that has that shattered fortress buried in it.
Yeah. No. Not going to go there.
I have no idea what's in the centre of all this.
This place feels... artificial.
And what do we have here?
I think we got... directions here?
Look, we just stick to the right, and we'll get through this maze.
Art, we are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike. I don't think 'right' will get us out of here.
What made you think that a shortcut existed through a place called, The Honeycomb?
Ember, what are you doing?
Noting where we've been.
But why 'XYZZY'?
Silly girl, codes have to be harder than that nowadays.
I'm not sorry one bit.
Are you sure this is the right way?
Let's ask this guy!
About those directions?
Maybe this guy?
You really do have a
Let's go somewhere else.
That bad, huh?
So, we're what? South of Corta?
Give or take a couple dozen miles.
Oh, come on...
Three castings of Cure Poison for the party, we're ready to go.
This seems weird...
We're still going higher!
damn it all
There's our boat. Come on, let's start heading west.
I remember that section of the Honeycomb!
Why did we come down here again?
No, you won't.
This passage does lead out behind those glyphs from earlier.
Allow me to make a map....
Can we go now?
And yet my map shows possible secret passages.
Why are we here? Let's get out of here?
One moment, Ember... Ah, I do know that spell!
Your magics reveal a few living things. I do not like the looks of this place. Let us be off.
Not time for me to come here. Not yet.
Why are we here?
Just checking out to see if there's another Slith outpost over here we can raid for information.
Come, let us do this mission quickly and return to our real goal.
Sorry about the lack of content this update, I was getting back into the swing of things after my hiatus. Next update will be chalk full of stuff, I guarantee it!
In the meantime, here's the current stats and equipment for everyone:
Art spend her 15 Skill Points on 3 points of Luck. That will pay off in the long run. Her equipment is getting into top-notch tiers with the Heartfinder from Dharmon.
More Edge Weapons, more Strength and Dexterity. I've abandoned giving him any Traps, Lockpicking and Poison as Duncan does the former two better, and the latter is redundant in the face of Major Blessing.
Archery is falling by the wayside as Assassination gets improved.
Improved Alchemy and general stats will help carry the team forward.
More intelligence! More Spell Points! Those 10 Skill points from the Knowledge Potions were well used.
More Intelligence and the sixth level of Mage Spell gives her access to Kill, which I haven't had a chance to show off properly yet.
Nothing unusual with the Key Items at this point. I should finish off the crystal quest next update or two.
Behold! The map to the Great Cave (and areas East)