Part 10: Team Ovaries
Update 9: Team Ovaries
"So if he drives a chariot across the sky, does that mean the days are longer in summer 'cuz it's too hot and the horsies get tired? I know I get tired when it's too hot."
"Sally, what did I tell you about talking to strangers? Honestly, sometimes I don't know what to --"
"It's okay, Celestine. She's a preacher woman. She's tellin' me all about the glory of Radaso!"
"And just who the hell is Radaso?"
"Has nobody here heard of the glorious sun god Radaso (may his light shine eternally)? Is this entire world filled with nothing but heathens? I can't allow this to continue. I will go on a holy crusade across Cron to win converts! Who will join me? Drewjitsu, where are you?"
"I think he went off with Tarquinn a while ago. Mattybee's gone too."
"At least we still have Successhands."
"Actually, I'm retiring. I've pushed my luck far enough."
"Well, nuts. Now where are we gonna find someone to try and fail to disarm traps for us?"
"I've got some experience with that sort of thing, if you're interested. Name's Escher."
"Very good! Is there anyone else who hears the call of truth and justice?"
"Sure, why not. It could be kinda fun, and you're less creepy than that Gothmog guy."
"I'm coming along too! I want to hear more stories about Radaso and his magical ponies!"
"I guess if she's going, I'm coming along too. What's our first destination?"
"Well, if you're looking for someone to preach to, how about Sandsobar? A little religion couldn't make them any worse, anyway."
"Of course, the lair of the thieves' guild is in the cavern underneath Sandsobar, or so I hear. If you want a challenge..."
"No soul is so depraved as to be beyond redemption. Let us go into the caverns immediately to preach the true faith to the Thieves' Guild!"
"Well, this doesn't look so bad. If we survive, I bet I'll learn a lot more about traps one way or another."
"I wonder if they're talking about the animals down here, or the people?"
"Agh! Look out: the thieves have laid traps for us."
"Are you sure you didn't just set off a giant rat trap? You know, for giant rats? If it was for people, you'd think they'd make it a bit more deadly."
Oddly enough, the Levitation spell doesn't protect the party from the traps in this place. They only do 20 damage to one character, though, so it's no big deal.
"You'd think a master thief would want to make himself hard to find."
"This is Sandsobar. If they locked up every thief, they wouldn't have enough citizens left to guard the jails."
"That is by far the goofiest-looking acidic slime monster I have ever seen."
"I've spent hours working on this tan and I'm not letting some acid monster ruin my complexion. Quick, everyone, find somewhere to hide until they pass by!"
As you've probably noticed by now, "Hide" has replaced "Surrender" as a possible response to encounters in M&M2. Successfully hiding from battle lets the party avoid combat while staying in the same space. Of course, the catch is that it usually doesn't work, so it's best to only use it when you're sure you'll live long enough to escape with Time Distortion if hiding fails.
"Maybe we should try to make a bit less noise. This place is kinda dangerous."
And here's another new game mechanic. Essentially, it's a difficulty setting. Inconspicuous means that the game won't throw extra monsters at you if you're overlevelled for an area, Average is the normal setting, Aggressive means you'll fight more monsters than usual, and Thrill Seeker means that you will have to fight 250 monsters in every single encounter and you will probably die a quick and painful death. I'm not kidding. Try it yourself.
"Gee, should we trust someone who calls himself the Thieving Fiend? What do you guys think?"
"Preacher says thieves are bad because it's wrong to steal! We should ignore him until he goes away!"
"Well, you got the right answer, even if it was for all the wrong reasons."
"Maxwell, I'd like to ask you one question that could change your life. Have you ever heard of Radaso?"
"I don't think now is really the time for that. Can we please move on before we're ambushed?"
If we'd accepted his offer, we'd see the following message:
... and then all the robbers and ninjas in the party would have permanently lost a few points of Thievery skill. I don't know exactly how it's possible to steal the knowledge of thievery out of someone's brain, but I guess Maxwell is just that good.
Anyway, the party didn't do that.
Instead, they went into the next room to the north and were attacked by cobras.
"Kill a cobra? Don't mind if I do!"
"I liked this day a lot better when it didn't include getting bitten by giant snakes."
Some of the monsters down here are fairly bad news when their attacks connect. Killer Cobras can also inflict poison, but that can be dealt with after the battle's over. Right now, it's time for the party to lay on all the buffs and damaging spells they've got.
"Good thing I learned Lightning Bolt, huh?"
"Whew. That was close! What else is down here besides thieves?"
"What's that even supposed to mean?"
"That's easy. First we all take 32 steps to the right, and then -- ow! I hit the side of my head on the wall!"
"Is she always like this?"
"I'm afraid so. I'm used to her by now."
"I guess that explains why you get along so well with Big Sally..."
"Yay, a free ticket! Is it for the circus?"
"Ooh, I hope so! Maybe there'll be rides, and clowns, and a petting zoo!"
"The only clowns here are you two."
"Don't be silly. If I was a clown I could pick the party up and juggle them, and I can't, so I'm not."
"Well, this doesn't sound ominous at all. What are the odds that there are more cobras inside?"
"Dogs are like cobras, if cobras had fur and legs."
"Ow! Not again! Weren't the cobras bad enough?"
This fight is even tougher than the one with the cobras, but the party pulls through (after fleeing a few times and trying again).
"Cool! Can I wear it?"
"I... don't see why you would want to do that, but I know better than to stop you."
"Hillstone... that's Lord Slayer's castle. He's a collector of rare monsters."
"Does he have a petting zoo?"
"You could call it that, I guess. Depends on how brave you are."
"What if we don't want to travel to the Elemental Plane of Water, huh? What then?"
"Then we don't get to drown people with the power of our minds."
"Good point. We should probably find a way to get there, then."
"Damn. We've explored nearly the whole cavern and we haven't found the Thieves' Guild's headquarters yet."
"Hey, don't you think that big blank spot in the northwest corner of our map looks suspicious? Maybe if I push on this wall here..."
"Looks promising to me."
"Why does this always happen to me?"
It's probably a good idea to pool all the party's gold on the final character before attempting this fight.
"Well, at least we killed them. I hope this is where they put all the money they stole. Who wastes time stealing someone's gold in the middle of a battle, anyway?"
"Never mind that now. Let's see what kind of trap these master thieves put on their stash!"
"That was kinda disappointing. Much too easy. Well, at least there's plenty of treasure, I guess."
"What's an earth disc?"
"Well, it's... um, it's a disc, you see. Made of earth. What could be more obvious?"
"But then why do you have to look for it in Castle Xabran? Why not just cut one out of a rock or something?"
"It's unladylike to ask too many questions, you know."
"Finally! I can't wait to see what they can teach me!"
"Hey, aren't you forgetting that the last time we saw a sign pointing to the master thief, it was a trick?"
"See? These are ninjas, not thieves!"
"Hold, warriors! Why not join me and put your bravery to use in a good cause? What say you?"
"I think that's a no."
Ninjas can assassinate characters, instantly reducing them to 0 HP. Fun, huh? They can also shoot, so it's possible for any character to be knocked out by an attack and killed by a shot in the same round, even from full health. They only have 35 HP, but they're hard to hit.
Several attempts later...
"At least I'm not the one who got killed this time."
"Can we at least do what we came here for before we run back to town to get Sally resurrected? I don't want to have to come back here, ever."
"Now that's what I wanted to hear! Teach me everything you know, Rinaldo!"
"I don't suppose I could interest you in... on second thoughts, never mind."
"Great. Now let's get out of this place before something kills us."
"Hey, can I join your party?"
"We're Team Ovaries. I don't think you qualify."
"Maybe if I had a shield I wouldn't get hit so much."
"Does anyone remember what happened between when we met those men in black pyjamas and when we got back to town? Because I forgot."
"Nothing to worry your little head about, Sally. What's important is that I got a shiny new set of chainmail out of it."
"And for only 700 gold, I've permanently become a better thief. Also, I've got these big rocks that explode like fireballs when I throw them. Neat, huh?"
"With this medal, my faith is strengthened and I am ready to go forth and convert the unrighteous! Even so, perhaps we should have started with someone more receptive to conversion."
"I've got a blowpipe that shoots fire. Awesome."
The dog whistle provides a +1 bonus to Luck when equipped, by the way. It's also usable to cast the Guard Dog spell.
That's it for Team Ovaries. Tune in next time when we'll be introduced to our final party, Team Phone Home!