Comic 922 - Discuss the ritual

Posted on 11th Apr 2018, 3:05 PM in Shipping Off to Southden
Discuss the ritual

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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 11th Apr 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete
Dr. Finch thanks Pierce. With a stack of notes in hand, you, Dr. Finch, and Fuse head back to Bunker A.

You fill in everyone on what you learned, what the error room actually does, and about the secret ritual you acquired. You suggest that, given a parallel version of you vouched for its safety, it should be pretty okay to attempt.

"S'gettin' pretty late," Caius says. "We prob'ly ain't gonna find any specialty shops open sellin' magic stuff at this hour, but one o' them 24 hour superstores might sell candles and chalk. I can go get that while you guys work out tha hard part... should take like ten minutes, tops."

Dr. Finch looks over the ritual your alternate, non-existent self left in the back of the book. "It... actually shouldn't be too difficult at all. These instructions are very concise."

"Nah," Michelle says, "doin' the ritual ain't gonna be the hard part. Hard part's gonna be decidin' what to ask."

Dr. Finch adjusts his glasses. "Asking how to go about restoring Faraday seems fairly obvious, to me."

"Will they know that?," Fuse asks. "Like, I know the tradesmen are cosmic sort-of-gods or whatever, but there's no way they've had to solve a problem like Faraday before. Magic or not, these guys gotta have limits, right?"

Caius chuckles. "Maybe we get a prize for askin' a question they can't answer."

"We oughta ask about Thale's tunnels," Michelle suggests. "They gotta know that one."

"Hell," Caius adds, "we could just ask where Thale is."

"The price of that answer is surely quite high," Dr. Finch states, "and Elizabeth has already given us one. I imagine we would kick ourselves quite hard if we paid a steep cost, only to learn that answer was still accurate."

"Patton may have moved to somewhere more secure after the fact," Elizabeth points out. "His exact location may incur a steep price, but asking whether or not you already know his whereabouts should be substantially cheaper. It's a simple yes or no question, not a request for coordinates."

"That... that is an excellent point," Dr. Finch replies. "Without knowing how the tradesmen operate, per se, it's difficult to say with any certainty... but I would like to think yes or no questions should be easier to answer than those with complex, specific answers. It may help if we can... I don't know, convert potentially powerful sounding questions into simpler ones. Purely speculation, of course."


psychoshen 11th Apr 2018, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
If Caius does make a run for supplies, I'd suggest paint instead of chalk. Not knowing the ritual myself, I could be wrong, but generally an unbroken drawing is safer than one that has small gaps in it.

I'm still on board for asking how to embody Faraday, if only to find out what the price is.
a_name 11th Apr 2018, 4:12 PM edit delete reply
I feel this is a sensible suggestion. While on the topic of properly-made geometric shapes (which I suppose most of the ritual drawings from the book are), a yarn of some thread would also be useful. It can be used to make (almost) perfect straight lines and circles by using it as a ruler or compass, with people holding the ends of the thread.
PurpleKetchup 11th Apr 2018, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
Might as well make it red, so we have some spare to give Edison when we finally get her out of her tube.
lil Joshu 11th Apr 2018, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu

The ritual specified light blue.
PurpleKetchup 11th Apr 2018, 5:59 PM edit delete reply
The rope is neither the drawing nor the candles.
It's used to draw the right shape accurately and position the candles correctly, then removed.

And reused, as a gift.
lil Joshu 11th Apr 2018, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Maybe the first thing we ask them for should be a price guide?
psychoshen 11th Apr 2018, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
A range of prices or items they're likely to ask for could be handy. If we need a quick answer, we don't want to need to go questing for things we don't have.
PurpleKetchup 11th Apr 2018, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
Whatever Thale did to Elizabeth, it clearly didn't destroy her reasoning abilities. Looking pretty good in casual attire, too.

So... we could ask "do we already have enough material to condense Faraday back in her former frame ?" or something similar. Assuming that a yes/no is much cheaper than a direct answer and that the tradesmen allow it, we could play who's who to narrow possibilities down.
I expect consecutive answers will cost more and more, though.

Worth a try I guess.
lil Joshu 11th Apr 2018, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
Probably depends on what their difficulty is.

Are they omniscient and it's time? At which case yes-vs-no is probably cheapest. Are they acquiring the information? Depends on how much work it is to acquire at which point asking for a list of who else has summoned them on our planet in the last 100 years would be much cheaper than a 'yes/no' about if we should worry about the tunnel systems.
Nayru9572 11th Apr 2018, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Regardless of when we perform the ritual, we definitely need to ask about general etiquette for different eldricht beings.
Avery-Cross 11th Apr 2018, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
random thought, but we should put flowers in Elizabeth's hair
Avery-Cross 11th Apr 2018, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
also, wasn't mom's red going to make a pocket for us to store that gun so no one could get to it?
Twyll 11th Apr 2018, 5:40 PM edit delete reply
Let's ask about etiquette for dealing with entities-- not just how rituals set out for humans to interact with extraplanar entities, but also a primer on manners for *us* as a kind of extraplanar entity ourself. (Then again, Mom's Red might be able to instruct us in that.)

We should also ask about what Thale's doing with the tunnels and how to stop it; if "what he's doing" is too expensive, "how to stop it and what our time limit is for doing so" should suffice.

We could also ask about the nature of the Demon Parrot behind the door in Bunker C. If it's too expensive for them to tell us exactly what it is, we can ask "is it hostile" and if no, "is it likely to harm us despite not being harmful if we try to interact with it."

As much as we can ask about Thale's abilities and activities, we should. Where does he get his material from, not having a red? Does he have magical defenses against astral travel? Does Carpenter? Does Hope or Reigns?

Another interesting question: "Where can we spend our future money?"
undeadDreamer 11th Apr 2018, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
Oh yeah asking what the demon parrot is would probably be a good idea.
Leafia_Barrett 11th Apr 2018, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
What if, instead of preparing all of this stuff before ever summoning them, we summon them just to ask how it works? Rather than just assume this that and the other, why don't we try asking them directly? I certainly hope we can ask them the terms of service before doing business with them, at least. For all we know, going through the process of "simplying to a yes/no" might not actually do anything for the price, simply because we don't know how the prices actually work yet.
Warp 11th Apr 2018, 7:22 PM edit delete reply
I second this notion.
While the complete terms of service may take longer to read than a mortal lifespan, im certain their EULA is more lenient than EA's.
pkrankow 11th Apr 2018, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
Yes to the string for a drawing aid. Some nails or pushpins, maybe some magic markers and crayons in addition to the chalk, accounting for different line formation qualities. If the floor is concrete (I'm sure it is) then a cork board or piece of wood or sandbag or rock to fasten things to.

So raid houseware, toys, art suppplies, office supplies, and hardware in this big box run.

While at the store this raid produce and meat for valued offerings. Say 2 days worth of fresh, not processed food for everybody in both bunkers, with an extra day or two of fresh fruit. It won't go to waste.
Moopamoop 23rd Nov 2018, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
I know I'm still archive-crawling and the answers are all crowdsourced, but there's no way Dr. Finch has never played a Diviner in D&D and spent several spell slots playing 20 questions with the DM to get really precise knowledge. If this spell ever gets used again, he's gotta have some useful advice he could cleantex up. :P